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Wednesday, 03 August 2022


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"Most tourists take photos from the same spot": Nice images; I liked them. Interesting to read the comments on the original post, 11 years ago.

One thing, though - I think that in some of the images there's a compositional reason why tourists pick that spot; it's the obvious one to use. Let me take just two of them.

The images of Tiananmen Square - they all have Mao's portrait in the centre, and you have to have that in your image.

Then there's the Brandenburg Gate images. I've been there, and everything about the location pretty much presses you to take the straight-on image. First, that's the direction from which you've got a long, uninterrupted view of the Gate, along Pariser Platz which is pedestrianised and therefore you're not at risk of getting run over taking your shot; and secondly, if you move sideways more than a little, the view between the columns gets obstructed and it's a much less successful image.

So I have a feeling there are some understandable reasons why "most tourists take photos from the same spot" when it's an iconic sight that they're looking at. They're not just sheep; those spots are where you will get the most recognisable image so you can look at it and say "I was there".

Hah - If you're ever in Yosemite, checkout Tunnel View. If you can find room between all the tripods, you'll be lucky.

Fun story about Justin Watt. Not sure I need to comment this, but I'm not as surprised, given that a good photographer's visit photo was used, that that photographer also discovered it was being used. I figure, especially with photographers that love to visit certain parts of the world, that they will make a return trip to their favorite places.

It's still very much a great story, and he had every right to be happily perplexed by it. Probably in 2011 we were all still getting used to how things we post on the internet can have an unpredictable life of their own. That past innocence is interesting to me in 2022.

Interesting, music copyright seems to have evolved in the opposite direction. The use of minutes sample in recordings requires both acknowledgment thru the songwriting credit, and royalties. More disturbing, songwriters have sued over song that have any sort of similar element in the recording: rhythm, a few chord changes, etc.

I find the former appropriate and latter abhorrent.

When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, my family went to Walt Disney World in Florida. I remember that they had signs posted at spots where they suggested that people take pictures of iconic places inside the park, like the Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom and the Spaceship Earth at Epcot. The signs said they were sponsored by Kodak.

I've seen photo suggestion signs at other tourist places since, and in recent years I have seen "Selfie Spot" signs! Here's one outside the oldest restaurant in my hometown; Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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