TL;DR – Don’t be a dick (gender neutral) to your fellow photographers and human beings.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting up with my good bud, Matt Kloskowski, at Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, for a few days of scouting and photographing. Matt was there with two video crew from Kelby One, prepping a new course that will surely be a hit for all you landscape photographers.

Towards the end of my stay (I had to leave early for work purposes), we were scouting a potential sunrise shoot at Myrtle Falls, which is found in the Paradise area of the park. Because it was blazing hot out and because we were just scouting, all of us decided to simply carry one camera and one lens while leaving the tripods and heavy gear in the car. The only addition I had was my Formatt-Hitech 105mm Circular Polarizer.

When we got to this location, I started setting up my shot and immediately realized that I could have really used an additional 3-stop ND filter due to the sun blaring tons of light. With my current setup, even at ISO50 and the aperture set to f/22, I couldn’t quite get my desired 1/2″ exposure to capture the motion of the little waterfall in the foreground. To my left was an older man donned in that prototypical photographer garb (no offense is meant here, but I defy you to debate me on this): he had his NatGeo safari vest, his Nikon safari hat, and what I think was either a NatGeo or Domke camera sack with all the add-on packs and accoutrements that go with it.

I really could have used a 3-stop filter, so I walked over to the elderly photographer and asked him if he had a 3-stop ND filter that I could use for 2-3 photos. It wouldn’t have taken more than 3 minutes tops. He looks at me, looks down at my camera, and asks:

Will this be used in any commercial publication?

[oh man, what did I just get myself into]
I answer, nope.

He follows up with
Will it be posted on the internet?

I reply, absolutely.

Then I don’t have one for you. was his reply, stated purely matter of fact.

Jaw slightly agape, I thanked him and immediately walked off to get a few photos with the gear that I had, resulting in the image you see here. Even as I type, I’m shaking my head at how tawdry people can be with their misplaced, overprotective behaviors as it relates to photography. At first, I felt rage. Then I felt pity. Then I knew what the topic of today’s post would be. :)

The long and the short of it is that I really hope if ever a time comes when you have the choice of being such a dick to your fellow photographer in such a situation, using such warped rationale, you choose not to be one and thus make a nice deposit into your karma account. 

As for the photo itself, I used my Sony A7r and Sony FE 24-70 lens with the aforementioned Formatt-Hitech 105mm CPL, handheld. The sky was pure blue and boring so I comped in another one for effect and then stylized in Analog Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection by Google.