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UfD: Locations, Locations, Locations

abbotsford-convent-abbey-buildings-061

It is a time old question, “where did you take that image?”. When you see a photo that someone else has taken you immediately think where was it and how can I get a shot like that. You might not, but I certainly do.

There seems to be an attitude around that if you find a great place to take photos then you should share that information, or location. It is something that I have never worried about and have always shared where I have taken my photos, but recently I’m finding that I all I want to do is protect those areas.

abbotsford-convent-abbey-buildings-062I know other photographers that do this, they don’t tell people about the places they go to. At first I thought it was weird, but then it was explained to me that they don’t want to tell people where they go because then everyone else will go there. If people do that then their photos stop being so special.

As I said I have never been one to do that, but I’m starting to want to protect the areas I visit. I’ve had people copying me and going to the same places after I have said where I’ve been and it seems like my originality is not so original after all.

Then I’ve heard some people talk about how they have tried to protect places for whatever reason and then other photographers have got nasty with them. Who wants that?

abbotsford-convent-abbey-buildings-063So then the question becomes do photographers have the right to protect the places they find?

What reasons should they be allowed to protect them?

Do you protect the places you go to take photos?

What reasons would you give for protecting your locations?

Would love to hear your opinions on this.

The photos in the post today are from Abbotsford Convent. It isn’t a place I need to protect as it is well known, not private land and most people in Melbourne would be aware of Convent.

100 Comments
  1. I protect the photos gps when there are children in my photos.

    August 14, 2015
    • That’s a good point, I don’t have gps for my photos so not a problem, though I don’t photograph children either. Thank.

      August 14, 2015
  2. I think some places need protecting – fragile abandoned buildings or delicate natural wonders. But most places don’t need it. In fact one of the great joys of photography for me is taking photos next to another photographer and later seeing how different our photos are. The creativity is in the seeing and we all see differently.

    August 14, 2015
    • I agree that some places need protecting, though I also think if you went on private land you shouldn’t tell people where, as the owners might not like that. I enjoy taking photos with other photographers as well, but if you have someone that then goes to many of the places you’ve been it can start to get a bit creepy.

      August 14, 2015
  3. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I love your perspective shots. 🙂

    August 14, 2015
  4. this is a quite interesting question, Leanne. I’ve had to think about this.
    Generally, I share the location for travel and / or landscape photography on request. But, I won’t share the exact location I used for my model photography (portrait, couple or wedding).
    On the other hand, your (my) photo not only lives from the location, perspective angle and position of the sun, but also from your editing style and the weather conditions.
    Your camera gives you raw material. Camera, lens and filters are determine the raw material, but the photographers knowledge forms a kind of a raw diamond from this by choosing the right focal length, using some filters and a certain aperture/speed combination. And, in post processing you finalize this to become a precious little gem.
    Every now and then, I like browsing other good photographers work to get inspirations and sharpen my own eye. I do this without digging a whole portfolio. Just, by using G+ and/or their blog.

    August 14, 2015
    • It is a tough question and one that friends and I have been pondering.
      For us it is about finding places and wanting to experience them for ourselves first, I think. Are we obligated to tell people where they are? I often just say a general area, and no specifics.
      I know the photos all come out different, but there is that idea that if only a couple of photos of a place are being seen then that is nice, but if there are lots and lots then yours get lost in the crowd.
      Thanks for your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
  5. All you can do is find places that are harder to get to or be flattered that people are trying to emulate your photos. 🙂

    August 14, 2015
    • Yes, that is one thing, being flattered by people copying one or two is nice, but when it is everywhere you go, or seems to, it starts to get weird. I’m not sure what to do. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

      August 14, 2015
  6. A couple of years ago I took a photo of an eagle fledgling sitting in a nest in a remote island in another country. I was told I was not allowed to publish that image or reveal the location (and it was in fact illegal to do so) or people might turn up to steal eggs and disturb the eagles.

    So there are clearly cases where locations need protection. The location of the night parrot would be another example.

    I’m not concerned with competition from other photographers and I also believe in most circumstances in free exchange of information. Secrecy is usually just a form of self-impoverishment. Needing to protect the environment is a different issue.

    I’m also not concerned about being copied. I’m not at all referential to other peoples work myself, I just see the things I see and do the things I do. Take a group of photographers to a place anyway and they’ll all produce quite different images.

    August 14, 2015
    • Well I definitely understand that, though it must be annoying not to be able to show the photos, is it possible to do it after? Would it be possible to even tell from the photo where they are?

      It isn’t about being copied so much as the other photographer I spoke about gets annoyed because then everyone else goes there and then there are so many photos of that place that they get lost in the crowd. It is a hard one. I like to keep them to myself, at least until I’ve managed to get what I want, but I also know people who have others that copy every where they go and they find that really hard, like they have a constant shadow.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
      • I don’t know first hand what the laws actually say but the naturalist/ photographer told me it was technically illegal to actually take the photograph. The photograph doesn’t reveal anything of the location directly because it has a large untidy nest on a very steep hillside with no vegetation or horizon. However, if I were to present the photograph I would want to say where it was, what the context was and what the conservation implications were.

        As you know, I provide lots of photographs on my blog with often detailed comments, usually of wild remote places. I know some people use it as a basis for planning some trips. But even if they go to the same places they won’t take the same photographs; the light will be different, the skill levels will be different, the possibilities will be different, the personal context will be different.

        For me, my purpose in photography is to produce images to the extent of my capabilities, not just at the picture taking stage, but the whole process ending with successful subliminal communication. I don’t agree at all with the person who said that everything original has already been done; I think it’s the other way around – for me, originality is inevitable.

        I’m very little inclined to copy anyone else and I doubt I would be concerned if I found that others were copying me. A copy is seldom as good as the original. I suggest that your friend should take it as a compliment.

        August 14, 2015
      • If you couldn’t keep to yourself the details of where the photo was taken then perhaps it is a good think that you aren’t allowed to publish it anywhere.

        I don’t have a problem naming most of the places I go to, but there comes a point where some places I want to keep to myself, at least for a small amount of time, until I’ve explored it myself. There aren’t many that I do that with.

        I don’t have a problem with people copying me, but the person copying my friend has gone beyond the just copying, it is copying everything she does, it is almost stalkerish, and does it with everything she does. That is not a good thing and she is finding it really hard. Copying one or two things is nice, copying everything is too much.

        August 14, 2015
      • If they’re being followed from online posts, perhaps she should throw in a few bogus locations, coupled perhaps with suitable modified GPS locations.

        August 14, 2015
      • That isn’t a bad idea, or they could stop saying where they go. I suppose there is no easy answer.

        August 14, 2015
  7. I think much of this is the result of photography going digital. And, with more people having a camera, whether as a standalone camera or phone, you’re going to run into this. I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, but it’s very close to one. Public spaces, next to impossible to be protective of the location. Private spaces, where you need to ask for permission to enter, that belongs to the purview of the property owner. That gem of a place you found on your own, and hard work, I would say you only disclose on a case-by-case basis. If that place is special, keep it special – not everybody needs to know the exact location. Besides, other photographers and picture-takers need to do some work of their own.

    August 14, 2015
    • I tend to keep private about private property, I don’t want the owner to be inundated with people arriving there to ask for permission because I was allowed to go there. I think you need to respect the owners at times. I like the way you think, I know a friend and I want to keep some places to ourselves because we want to get our photos before everyone else. Especially before the human element of rubbish and stuff takes over. I like to leave a place so that you can’t tell I was there. Thanks for your thoughts David.

      August 14, 2015
  8. I do tend to protect areas I find from other photographers. There’s a heavy dose of them in my area, and every one of them goes to one local park for pictures. I have gone myself for a few sessions. I have one place though that has a little of everything. Woods, fields, river and waterfall. I’m in love with it and don’t want to share my little oasis with anyone!

    August 14, 2015
    • It is a similar story here in Melbourne, you get them all going to the same places. Hard to find areas that are special to you. I know exactly what you mean, it is nice when you get areas that you feel like are yours. Thanks for your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
  9. The last photo looks like a scene in Britain!

    August 14, 2015
    • Possibly because much of our architecture was done with Mother England in mind, especially at the time that was built. Thanks Gypsy.

      August 14, 2015
  10. What an interesting topic. It is not something I have ever considered before. I am not a professional photographer so protecting my source material is not something I have ever had to contemplate but I can see that photographers exhibiting and selling their work would want to keep the location unidentified in order to keep their photos special. One thing that did cross my mind while reading your post was that some places that are special because they are remote and untouched might not remain that way for long if people start beating a trail there in order to visit as photographers or tourists so maybe a little obscurity is also an act of preservation. Then, on the other hand, if they are public spaces then how much control can ever be exercised by individual photographers or visitors anyway? Thanks for the thought-provoking post – even though I have no clear answers.

    August 14, 2015
    • I think that is it, if everyone is taking photos of the same place then your image is one of hundreds. Yes, I think some places do really need to be protected, you don’t want the hand of man becoming very heavy on them, rubbish springs to mind, or vandalism. Not much you can do about public well known places, might as well let people know about them then. You’re welcome Laura, it is conundrum. Thanks.

      August 14, 2015
  11. What a great topic for conversation. I look forward to what others have to say. My take on this has increasingly swung toward holding favorite spots close to the vest for the reasons you’ve cited above. And then there are a few select photos I’ve taken cruising country roads and I’ll be darned if I can find those same locations again!

    August 14, 2015
    • I like the way you think Julie, I feel the same way, though I try to use the excuse that I can’t find some places again, but those that know me know I have a sense of direction, darn it. Thank you.

      August 14, 2015
  12. Interesting Serie. I like the first, third, seventh, ninth and the tenth.

    August 14, 2015
  13. Interesting post, I don´t really care just now, but once I find better locations and take even better photo´s I guess I will try to filter out any information that will give the exact location. Now I dont really mind. 😀

    August 14, 2015
    • It is an interesting idea, when is it special and when isn’t it. I used to always share, but recently I’ve been questioning whether I should. Thanks.

      August 14, 2015
  14. When I look at a beautiful photograph, I am always disappointed when the photographer doesn’t say where it was taken. This is NOT so that I can go there a take the same shot. I just want to know where in the world the spot is. I always make it a point to tell the exact location of my shots. If anyone is inspired to go there a give it a try, that is great! Often, I think that if I returned to a spot I would shoot it differently anyway. But that is just me and I travel fairly widely. I might feel differently if I had one special place and had developed a special look that others were copying. If that were the case, I might get secretive.

    August 14, 2015
    • I find the same, but I am happy to know the rough where abouts, but giving specific details on how to get somewhere is where I like to hold off. As others have pointed out if you have a place that is not well known and then you start advertising where it is, then other photographers will go there, and tourists and then the area that is special to you because ruined through that. It is hard to know. I think you have to take it on a case by case situation, especially if it is private land. Thanks Pam,

      August 14, 2015
  15. The whole point of taking photos of my lovely village Bagni di Lucca is to share it with the world.

    August 14, 2015
    • That is good, though how would you feel if suddenly hundreds of people started doing the same? Not that I am saying it would happen here, though the person I was talking about who doesn’t share places has that problem, hundreds then go there. Thanks Debra.

      August 14, 2015
  16. -N- #

    As far as not telling people where something is . . . I think delicate, natural zones need to be protected from idiots or fanatics. Public buildings, as you say, are fair game. Ruins are potentially dangerous, and should be held to a few. Religious spaces of ancient people should also be protected.

    August 14, 2015
    • That’s a great way of looking at it, and really they are the areas I want to protect. Nothing worse than going to a place and it as graffiti all over it. Thank you so much for that.

      August 14, 2015
  17. Many years ago New Zealand used to be so isolated and untouched, and unphotographed, it was an absolutely beautiful place to travel around. They have worked very hard promoting tourism, and now that unique feeling has gone, camper vans travel around in the multitude, wherever you go you will now find a plastic wrapper or some sign of humans. I think it’s just the way of the world there are very few special and isolated places left on the earth. Iceland seems to be on every photographers to do list. (And I’m fed up with seeing the wanaka tree in the lake shot ha ha )
    I always if I can post the location, because I really don’t care if they go and photograph it as well. I just try and make my image special to me and unique to my style.
    Having said all that, apparently with the surf shots I post the surfers would rather I not include the exact location. So I just give a general one. They don’t want heaps of surfers in these places. So I guess it’s worth considering the locals of an area.
    Phew what a long comment … Also and I’m not using flattery!!! But your shots Leanne would be ten times better than theirs anyway, I’m serious you have a unique style and I really like it! And I reckon that’s what makes a good photographer sticking to their own vision and style.

    August 14, 2015
    • That is another very important point, as these places become more well known then there is the aspect of what humans tend to do, leave rubbish, or put graffiti everywhere. It is a problem trying to keep places pristine. Oh yes, everyone wants to go to Iceland, and I know what you mean. Haha.
      I think the surfers are being like us too, you don’t want all the surfers going there, and you don’t want lots of photographers as well. I will give general location details, but not specific ones, unless they are well known places that anyone could find.
      Thank you Wendy, lovely thing to say.

      August 14, 2015
  18. This dilemma comes up in all areas of life. Where did you buy that dress? Where did you get your hair cut? My feeling is to freely share things with people because no one has the same eye as you. They can try, but they just don’t have it. There are so many photo opportunities in the world that I have not yet discovered, I know there will be many more special places for me, and my unique eye. I think sharing is my way of saying I trust the Universe to replenish my supply of inspiration, and myself to see the opportunities. But that’s just me.

    August 14, 2015
    • I think the problem comes when you start sharing places, you have to be careful if they are on private land. If you owned property and it had an old house on it and then I took some photos of it and told everyone where it was, would you like a whole heap of photographers and tourists coming to visit it, and potentially destroy it? I think it is about the responsibility of the photographer as well. It annoys me so much too when you go to a place and there is rubbish lying around, or kids have got in there and vandalized them as well. It is a tricky one. Thanks for your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
      • Of course there are proprietary concerns, and yes, people who leave rubbish or destroy things are not people you want to share with, but how do you know? It is a difficult one.

        August 14, 2015
      • I hate it when you get somewhere and there is graffiti ever where, or people have carved their names in rocks or walls, so annoying and so unnecessary. I think in the end it has to become a judgement call. For most of the places I go to I share and do it willingly, but sometimes, especially if it is a place that I am really excited about, I like to keep it to myself for a while.

        August 14, 2015
  19. Interesting topic – i think private places and fragile places need protecting from undue intrusion, but public places are public. You raise a different issue: that of protecting the location of places we photograph so the copycats don’t go and make a carbon copy of our work… I do keep quiet on the exact wheteabouts of some places sometimes… But I feel very lucky to get to places through sailing that not too many people can get to! I think the challenge for photographers is finding ´angles’, interpretations, moods that are unique even if a place has been photographed a lot. It’s the difference between happy snaps and images that are creative and individual.

    August 14, 2015
    • I agree, I think there are places you definitely have to be protective off. I feel that way about the Mallee I think. It is an interesting topic and it’s been good to hear what others think. Thanks Chris.

      August 14, 2015
  20. To my way of thinking, there’s no simple and easy answer, as with many important things in this world. If I’m in a well-known location, then it’s not an issue, but I love to get off the beaten path, and if I come across something unique, I feel perfectly justified in however much “protection” (secrecy?) seems necessary to keep it as I found it, without a twinge of conscience. I might well share it with a special friend or family member, but some places are best left unspoiled—there are certainly few enough of them. It’s rather like an intimate little hideaway restaurant that gets “discovered” and its charm is suddenly a thing of the past. It’s up to the photographer’s conscience and sensibility.

    August 14, 2015
    • I like what you have said and think it is mostly the way I think about these things as well. Thanks for sharing that.

      August 14, 2015
  21. I think it’s ok to protect certain areas as others have said due to the fragility. It really is a judgement call there are certain areas I go to that someone with little or no experience should go. Like areas with dangerous wildlife such as alligators. When other photographers ask me where that gator was I will not tell them. Yes they get mad and I simply explain why I cannot tell them. Most are ok with that.

    August 14, 2015
    • Fragility always has to be something to consider, and if it is on private land as well. I definitely get the safety thing, and I totally agree there as well. thanks Steve, great thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
  22. Nothing worse than someone going to where you have just been taking the same photos. I know in some places its inevitable (as with us) that you will get the same scene but when it happens time and time again, shouldnt the copier be more original and find their own muse?

    August 14, 2015
    • I agree Karen, it is annoying when it happens and you start to feel very protective of your spots. Thanks Karen.

      August 14, 2015
  23. Great question and discussion! Throwing in additional thoughts for consideration….

    Is it really about protecting a place or an image? A photograph involves exercising control over an image to communicate an emotion or a message. The act of taking a photo implies some ownership over the image, not the place. This is why some cultures traditionally forbade photographs of individuals and it is why some locations (like the Biltmore in a North Carolina) forbid photo publication for commercial purposes….and it is why some photographers (like Kate) assert copy rights over an image.

    I (Kate) agree with those who say your photo could never be copied successfully because you are such a marvelous photographer. But the instinct to protect a location from others….is that more a commercial decision or a conservation decision? It’s a very tough call, particularly in a world that worships the open source sharing economy. We think it is very fair and appropriate to keep secret locations that are key endangered habitats and commercial backdrops. As travel bloggers, we are happy to share our locations because we want to encourage others to visit fabulous places with their kids…and we don’t travel to off-the-beaten-path places that cod be adversely impacted by more attention.

    Thanks for posing such an excellent question for discussion!

    August 14, 2015
    • Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.
      the first point is a good one.
      I think for me it is becoming more of a problem with having people following where I’ve gone and taking the same images. It just becomes annoying really. Though I do believe you should protect some areas, especially if they are on private land or sensitive areas.
      I am happy to share many of the places I take photos, and I do share them, but some places I like to hold close for a little while, just until I’ve had time to absorb and do what I want there.
      You’re welcome.

      August 14, 2015
  24. Taking aside the fragile places – Donna’s fragile buildings and natural wonders, Murray’s protected species – how is there a difference between sharing the location and sharing skills and equipment required in taking the photograph?

    August 14, 2015
    • You could say how is there a difference between a chef sharing a secret recipe or not sharing it. Why do we have to divulge where we go, the location? I think that is what I am getting at as well. It is the same thing with sharing processing secrets, there is an expectation that we should share everything. Thanks for your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
  25. Here is the opposite of keeping a location secret: Check out the book “Yosemite in Time” by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit and Byron Wolfe. As best they could they rephotographed Yosmite from the exact same spot, day of the year and time of day as the famous photographers Muybridge, Watkins, Weed and Adams. I found it VERY interesting!

    August 14, 2015
    • That is a different tact Doug. Is the book online, do you have to look at the book?

      August 14, 2015
  26. johnholding #

    If one looks around it becomes obvious that any site that one chooses to photograph has already been done. For instance look on google earth and see how many photographs have been taken from a place that you and I have visited. This why photographers such as Murray Fredericks go to such extremes to get a photo. It’s all been done. Now as an artist one must accept that and work more on how ones photo can be different.

    Even Henri Cartier-Bresson copied one of his heroes work for a period. The thing is copy by all means as ideas are free but go one and make it your own by whatever means your personal stamp is.

    August 14, 2015
    • That is another topic though John, we all know that everything has been done, and nothing is original, but are you obligated to tell people where you go to take photos?
      It is one thing to copy one image, but if you have a situation of people following you everywhere you go it gets a little annoying. It feels like you can’t do your own stuff.
      Thanks.

      August 14, 2015
  27. Wonderful shadows and contrast.

    August 14, 2015
  28. I think you work really hard at going out to shoot, Leanne, and it your selection of subject is part of your art. You don’t owe anyone a location. I say share when it feels good and maintain the mystique when it doesn’t feel good to share. That’s for public places. For private, what you said. It’s essential to keep that quiet. I never thought of it. Yikes. Love the collection and as someone up there said, love the perspective shots.

    August 14, 2015
    • Thank you Nicci, I think the same, I don’t always understand why we have to tell people where we are going or have been all the time. I share so much so surely it is okay if I leave something to myself. Yes, private property is another thing altogether. You have to protect the privacy of the owners there.thanks again.

      August 14, 2015
  29. I love your photos and could never dream of doing anything half as fantastic as you. As for not sharing, I think it would depend on your preference. If it has a child in it, then surely I would do nothing more then give the name of the country that it was taken in maybe the region depending on how big it is? Or if a place is really special to you, not sharing it then.
    For me, honestly, that’s more then enough information when I ask where it was taken.
    With me not being a photographer, I don’t really have much of an opinion on it I guess. I’m sorry for not being of any more help.

    August 14, 2015
    • What a lovely thing to say, thank you. it is a hard thing to work out, I think there is this attitude that you are obligated to share locations and I don’t understand it. thanks for chiming in.

      August 14, 2015
  30. Ah yes this is a really good subject..i think respect should be the main point…i do share p;laces i go but then i am not really anywhere that has not been covered before..i think for me originality is the main key..i like to try places that have not been seen in the same way..with wildlife i prefer to be less open..i know i respect nature and to think a lot of people might just want to grab a picture without regard to respecting animals bothers me…i do not lure animals i do not harass them..what is not to say somebody else does not have the same idea..so some spots i keep to myself..and i think that is fine…we all get in our cars and go adventuring..it would be nice to think others put the ground work in also…and not just added our ideas to a must do list.

    August 14, 2015
    • Oh yes, always respect. I share most places I go to, but for some I like to keep the location to myself, at least until I’ve had time to explore it.I totally get you with the animals,you can’t be too careful. I’ve seen you with them and you don’t harass them, I think you have a great deal of respect for them. You better be careful or you will get known at the crazy roo lady. Thanks Bev, great to hear your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
      • Too late…think i already am…and as with you i think some treasures are lovely to explore for yourself for awhile 🙂

        August 14, 2015
      • lol I’m not at all surprised. That’s what I think, some I will keep to myself. 🙂

        August 14, 2015
  31. Hey Leanne .. I just love that convent, your pics of it are fab. Most of my pics are of Frog Pond (I need to get out more 🙂 ). I’m with Steve .. protecting spots because of their fagility is important. I must admit, I don’t mind sharing though – it works both ways doesn’t it?

    August 14, 2015
    • It is a pretty cool place to take photos, I think. Yes, maybe you should, but I know how busy you are. I don’t mind sharing most places, but some of them I like to protect and keep as mine, the special ones. Thanks Julie.

      August 14, 2015
  32. tlr #

    I’ve seen quite a few Eiffel tower pics and once shot my own ridiculously amateurish photos.
    Despite the over-exposed(pun intended) topic I have found Eiffel Tower photos where the photographer placed his/her
    “essence” inside the shot, something pertaining only to that photographer, that is something intangible that can never be copied. These pics always pique my interest.
    However, if you have found a place simply filled with character and you feel a kinship to that spot there is no need to share, especially if it is off the beaten track.
    Lately I have shared some of my drawings’ framework structures in my “digital doodles”, for sake of reference. If somebody wants to copy that and make it better I say go for it.
    At least they have no idea what I will come up with next! That they can’t copy 😉

    August 14, 2015
    • There are always going to be places that are like that, here in Melbourne the building that comes to mind is Flinders Street Station, but places like that you don’t need to tell anyone anything, everyone already knows about it.
      I think it is the unknown places, or not well known, nice to keep those to yourself. that is true, I can keep ahead which is good. Thanks for that.

      August 14, 2015
  33. I’ve never had a problem with telling people where I’ve taken my photos and when I post pictures of places on my blog or anywhere else online, I generally say where the place is. Plus, sometimes it’s really obvious anyway because of landmarks included in the pictures.

    I’m not sure if my openness about it is down to the fact that I tend to photograph people in places, or small details, so the thing I consider the photo to be ‘about’ is rarely the location itself. I also think that even if loads of people went to the same place at the same time, they’d probably all still have unique views of it and create photos that were different from each other.

    I get really excited when I see photos other people have taken of my favourite spots to shoot 🙂

    August 14, 2015
    • I’ve done that a lot in the past as well. I have always said where I go or have been. It is good to do, but sometimes there are places that you can’t really tell people about, like they are on private land or land that needs to be protected and respected.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      August 14, 2015
  34. Some interesting perspectives here. The only reasons I would not share a location is if it’s private property or a habitat for a popular creature that would be disturbed by many people. Twice in the past month I have seen an almost exact copy of some photos posted..both by coincidence rather than intent. But it is startling. Overall my photographic purpose is to engage folks and inspire them to appreciate nature the way I do.

    August 14, 2015
    • Yes private land has to be protect and habitats, I totally agree with that. Very public places are not worth trying to keep to yourself, people will find out about them. I like to share my images, and I share nearly all the places I go, but sometimes, it is nice to keep some spots to myself, like a favourite fishing hole, but eventually I tell people where they are, when I’ve got what I want, if it isn’t those that we just spoke about. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

      August 15, 2015
  35. I have no problem with telling locations as far as being concerned about someone trying to copy my work – however, some pristine Urbex spots I have not given the locations out due to fear that more damage may be done to the spots – which is why I’ll have someone email me regarding a location…I’ll try to investigate if they are legit (as best I can online).

    August 15, 2015
    • I can understand that, especially with the places you go Robert, I imagine the biggest problem would be vandals. I haven’t been like this before, but there are a couple of places I want to keep to myself, not forever, but just for a short time anyway. Once I’ve got what I want I will share. Thanks for your thoughts, interesting topic.

      August 15, 2015
      • BTW – a favorite Urbex spot of mine (since the 90s) was just destroyed by arson the other night.

        August 15, 2015
      • OMG that is terrible to hear, I hate that sort of thing, so disappointing.

        August 15, 2015
  36. I think there’s something magical on only the photographer knowing where the photo was taken, it fosters my imagination when I see the pictures!

    August 15, 2015
    • I like that Lily, very nice, thank you.

      August 15, 2015
  37. Living as I do on the other side of the planet, I look and wonder where I can go locally to get something similar. Regardless, inspiration is inspiration, even when it comes from very far away.

    August 15, 2015
    • You must have some place Marilyn, though you are going into the wrong season now for wild flowers, but if you start working it out now when spring comes around you will know where to go. Thanks

      August 15, 2015
  38. agcreationsnz #

    Great discussion, I tend to be disappointed if people don’t say where they took photos, as I love finding new places to explore, not necessarily to copy the images. I think at the end of the day if a lot of people are going to the same place that will then challenge us to find the unique perspective and style to set our work apart from others. This is what sets us apart as artists in the end. Of course this is outside of the need to protect a place for privacy or environmental reasons.
    PS. I love the depth and mood you create in your photos to give a sense of atmosphere

    August 15, 2015
    • Glad you enjoyed it. I think it is good to share, but if you have people going to the same places after you all the time it can be tiresome. I think it’s nice to save some special places and share them when you are ready too.
      Thank you so much.

      August 15, 2015
  39. Very interesting post with wonderful photography. I share my location and include geotags in my photos. The reason is that I often wonder where pictures were taken and I want to provide the answer for those who may ask the same of my photos. I am still learning so I may in fact want to try to reproduce an image I see, not to sell or for profit, but more as a student of photography.

    That said, I can completely understand if someone does not want to share the location. I think it is personal data and the right to disclose your personal data lies with you. I can also understand how someone would want to protect a site. There is no right or wrong here, just a very personal decision.

    August 15, 2015
    • I wonder too, but I also think you have to be careful, if you are constantly being copied it is very hard. It is okay to do that for learning purposes, but you never pass it off as your own original work. You also wouldn’t copy the work of one photographer, good to mix it up.
      I think it should be up the individual photographer and if they choose not to share where they have been, they shouldn’t be chastised for it. Thank you.

      August 15, 2015
  40. TPJ #

    There are places that need protection. We try to be careful and respectful of the places we visit. Not so with others. Birds leave nesting places, plants are trampled, and general havoc occurs. Pubic sites are shared always, some private spots….not so much to preserve them.

    August 15, 2015
    • I think that is the best way, respect a place and leave it as you found it. Public places no point keeping to yourself, people will know. Private places, or places not well known it really should be up to the individual. I know someone who was heavily criticized because she wouldn’t tell where a place was, that should be allowed either. Thanks for your thoughts.

      August 16, 2015
  41. The majority of the places I take my camera to are parks and forests here in my current city of residence. They are well known preserves and national forests – no point in protecting them from other artists of any medium. My thing is: I am likely not the first to photograph this area, and I wont be the last. I don’t have GPS on my photos, but whenever I do a shoot for a family or with kids in it, I make sure it is alright with those involved if I use them in my portfolio and/or on my blog. I also don’t worry about different photographers working with the same people – my artistic vision, my eye, is unique to me. My post-processing is also unique to me. I more worry about the special places I find being destroyed by inconsiderate people, artists and non-artists alike. Our paintball community here in Southern Arizona really likes to destroy stuff. :/

    August 16, 2015
    • I get all that, but how would you feel if everywhere you went someone else then went to, and then posted photos as well, that is the problem, the idea that people are following you that much. It has been happening to a friend of mine, and it is terrible, she doesn’t know what to do. You know that other people go to where you’ve been and others will follow, but sometimes you just want to hold tight that information for a short time so you can get what you want first. I don’t do it with many places, but there’s been a place lately that I love and I don’t want to share it just yet.
      Paintball, really, I thought they did in special places? Thanks

      August 16, 2015
      • Yeah, paintball. And not here. Pretty much, you can paintball anywhere. :/ And I guess there was a time when I wanted to keep some places secret, but I realized quickly that that would never happen, and getting worried about it was actually messing with my creativity *shrugs* I do completely understand the desire to hold tight to some places.

        August 17, 2015
      • that would be so terrible for the environment it is horrible. We are lucky here there are places that aren’t that well known, so you can keep places to yourself, but I don’t mind sharing, once I’ve been there a few times.

        August 17, 2015
  42. Maybe it’s because I do not find the “secret” places where I photograph, but I think it is part of the experience for the viewer of a motive that I openly inform where and when I have been there capturing the image.

    August 16, 2015
    • I’m not sure Truels, I’ve never had problems sharing before, but just lately and with only a couple of places I’ve wanted to keep them to myself. I think I should be allowed to do that. Well for a little while. Thanks.

      August 16, 2015
  43. Aubrey #

    Hi Leanne, reading the above comments it appears most people agree that protecting the location of rare species or endangered environments is of high importance but when it comes to general photography locations the opinions are more widely varied. Anyhow I found many of the comments very interesting. Regards ……. Aubrey

    August 16, 2015
    • I think you really should do that, it is important to respect the area you are in too, leave it the same way you found it. I’m glad you found them interesting Aubrey, it has been an interesting discussion all round and many different opinions, always makes for a good discussion. Thanks

      August 16, 2015
  44. An interesting point. I think there are valid areas where it is important to not share the location – i/e environmental issues and the need to respect privacy of landowners etc. I always share the location of my photos simply because I am showcasing the area where I live. I also make a point of not really taking notice of location, but simply to enjoy the photos for what they are and that they are the property of that photographer. I think some amateur photographers get so hung up about amazing photos from amazing locations and think that in order to take the same shots that they need to visit that spot. I disagree with that for two reasons, one is that traveling to that spot doesn’t necessarily mean that you will produce the same amazing photos and two there are some great areas around your home that provide interesting and amazing photos. It is about developing your own style and genre.

    August 16, 2015
    • I do the same if I am showcasing where I live, and I do share many of the places I go, and I agree, some places you have to protect for various reasons like sensitive habitat. I most definitely agree with you in the last parts, so very true. Thanks Raewyn.

      August 16, 2015

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