I’ve known a lot of photographers in my time. Some are very successful, others not so much. Some shoot for a living while others just shoot for fun or to document the places they’ve been. Personally, I have lots of quirks. Some would even consider me weird.
Take location sharing. I know some photographers who, when asked about a particular image, would rather kill their own mother than disclose any information about the image. If you ask them about the location of a particular image their eyes go glassy and they start chanting “Redrum….Redrum” or something to that effect. They simply don’t want to share information with anyone else. The fear that someone is out to duplicate their image borders on paranoia. There are even instances of whack job photographers making an exposure then destroying the subject so nobody will ever be able to recreate the shot. There is an instance where a photographer made an image in Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs then whipped out his chain saw and cut down a tree that he used for a foreground object. Crazy. There’s another instance I heard from a very reliable source that a famous photographer once encountered my source and 2 friends near a particularly dense patch of wildflowers. The famous guy encouraged my source and friends to move on since he was already set up on the flower patch. My source and fiends moved on and when they came back to the patch later found all the wildflowers had been trampled to the ground, presumably so nobody else could photograph them.
These are, obviously, extremes and cases of photographers unwilling to share locations with anyone else. There are other reasons that photographers don’t share information. I know some photographers who spend a great deal of time searching for and photographing ancient ruins in the southwest. They won’t share location information under any circumstances but their reasons are much different. They are concerned about too many people having a negative effect on the ruins in question. Knowing that there are a lot of cases of theft and destruction and knowing that some humans have an overwhelming need to carve their names in stuff, I understand and agree with these reasons for non-disclosure.
Personally, I don’t have a problem sharing locations…..most of the time. If someone I know and trust asks me about a particular image I’m usually more than happy to share information. I know that most of the locations I visit are pretty close to the highway and easily found by almost anyone. Heck, I was able to find them! So it’s not usually a big deal for me. Not to say I’ve been reluctant to share info previously. There are a couple of locations I’ve been to in Utah that I will only share with people I trust will respect the location and not do any damage. If a stranger or someone I don’t know well asks about these places I’ll politely smile and nod and tell them to ask the ranger.
Knowing I was heading out to San Diego for a meeting and would have some time to kill I took the bold step of asking a photo buddy about one of his recent locations. Keep in mind this is a person I’ve known for several decades and have a good relationship with. He was very forthcoming with information even sending me GPS coordinates of the place. I found it pretty easily and despite the lack of a great sunset I managed to find some images I’m pretty proud of. If someone wants to know the location I will probably share it….If I like you.