Why do we take the tourist shots?

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flickr: M@ Kadlick

You are a tourist at heart.

alt There is a sign...you pull over, take the same picture a million other people took. Why do we do it?

You’re not a tourist, you’re better. You are an artist.

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You don’t use a camera phone. You got a DSLR for your birthday and now you are a photographer. You take it to the Grand Tetons. You arise before dawn. You arrive at Oxbow bend at sunrise with 1,000 other photographers (I have done this...there really are 1,000 other photographers there). As the sunlight kisses Mount Moran in the distance shutters pierce the morning silence.

The reason.

The reason you do it is the same reason you went to the tourist spot in the first place. You heard about it from a friend and wanted to experience what they did. Maybe you even saw the picture they took and that inspired you to go. You take the picture for the experience. You take the picture because the taking of the picture is an integral part of the experience. There may be other reasons, but this is a big one.

Most artists are still tourists.

What if you are trying to take a better than average tourist shot? What if you are up at sunrise? You are just a different kind of tourist looking for a different kind of experience.

So what?

Take that tourist shot. Entire economies are built around people coming to take that picture. I still want to see them. I may not want to pay you for them, but seeing your picture of the place where I took a picture where I saw some other people taking pictures is how I share in your experience and inspire more people to have their own.

Additional pictures of Oxbow Bend that I dig.
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flickr: davidkingham

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flickr: discopalace

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flickr: bigweasel