My Photographic Journey: Episode 9 (Secrecy & Landscape Photography)

In this episode, I discuss my view on secrecy of locations with landscape photography.

9 Responses to “My Photographic Journey: Episode 9 (Secrecy & Landscape Photography)”

  1. bob Says:

    I watched both videos great job, I like that

  2. Iluminado Delgado Says:

    For the first time since we met I disagree with you. Is not about saving the environment. It’s about not sharing the location with others. What gives some photographers exclusive rights to benefit financially from these sites and not others? I’ve been hitting this wall since I was in photography school when our instructors used to tell us to talk to other photographers, to pick their brains, if you will. I’ve never met a more selfish and secretive people than photographers in general, which is really sad.

    You are one of only a few hundred photographers who is willing to share your experience, technique and art with others. Very rare in deed!

    • Ben Horne Says:

      There have been many incidents over the years that have caused me to change my opinion on this topic. I use to feel that it was selfish for photographers to not reveal shooting locations, and that they were trying to keep these locations secret because they thought others would steal the image. However, I’ve seen many cases over the years where “secret” places become well known, and the low-lifes of society ruin it for everyone. This includes vandalism, littering, trampling fragile areas, etc. It’s very sad to return to an area that was once beautiful, only to see that it has been “loved to death” by photographers, and downright vandalized by others.

      I think it’s our responsibility as photographers to protect what we feel is special, and many people underestimate they power we have in this regard.

      And just like I mentioned in the video, I’m not suggesting that I somehow have the right to go there and others don’t — it’s that I worked hard to find some of these special places, and I have a lot or respect for them because of the work I put in to find them. If I simply said where to go to find something, it would be impossible to have the same level of respect. Likewise, if someone else put in the same effort to find the location that I did, they too would have respect for it. It’s a matter of human nature.

  3. Bev Says:

    Hi Ben. Instead of being intentionally misleading (which would only send people on a wild goose chase, causing frustration, perhaps wasting their time and money, and probably trampling a different remote area), and now that you’ve admitted to it anyway, why not simply tell those who ask that you don’t want to reveal the location for the precise reasons you mentioned in the video?

    • Ben Horne Says:

      I clarified my position on this in Episode 11. You’ll notice that I never really say where I am in the videos, unless it’s a very popular place such as the narrows or badwater. I simply omit the information, or beat around the bush by being very vague. The misleading information has more to do with the video editing process. You might see me walk through a particular area, then the video will cut to a scene where I am shooting a photo of a particular subject. These locations might in fact be many miles apart, but by watching the video, people might assume they are related. This is the sort of misleading information I’m referring to. I don’t blatantly lie about where I am, but it’s more about omitting certain details.

  4. Iluminado Says:

    I’m with Bev. That’s the most outrageous explanation I’ve ever heard.Why watch the videos, why contribute to the site? To keep finding trips to places we’ll never go?

    • Ben Horne Says:

      I never said you can’t go to these places. I said that people will appreciate them more if they find them on their own. It’s simple human nature. It’s easy to take the last little bit I said out of context, and assume that I am blatantly lying about where I am.

      I clarified this in the beginning of Episode 11. To sum it up, you’ll notice that I never really say where I am unless I’m in a very popular place. I simply omit that information. Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen a video where I said exactly where I was? I beat around the bush, and avoid giving specific details if I feel it’s a place I shouldn’t be. When I was referring to giving misleading information, it was in the context of my videos, and how they are edited. You might see me walk through a particular canyon, then find a shooting location. These locations might in fact be 5 miles apart, and many hours later. If you were simply watching the video and trying to trace my footsteps, you would be misled. This is simply my choice with the video editing not to explain every GPS coordinate of my whereabouts.

      It’s very depressing going to place that was once very beautiful, only to find that many people have trampled the plants, discarded trash, and otherwise vandalized the location. I feel that it is our role as landscape photographers to protect the areas we find to be special. I share a lot about my trips, but quite frankly, it would be irresponsible for me to share the exact details of every location.

  5. Says:

    I love the photos! Being a digital photographer I understand it may be difficult to
    choose the best shots but they are fantastic.
    I use several Lightroom presets to keep some consistency throughout my own.

  6. Landscape Photographers: Protect Delicate Locations! Says:

    […] of online photography communities such as G Dan Mitchell wrote an article on the subject, and Ben Horne recorded a video. Both opinions received much criticism from fellow landscape photographers, and each has a slightly […]

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