Last week, Wall Arch in Arches National Park, Utah collapsed. This is one of those places photographers loved to visit. I personally made images there four times.
I distinctly remember one of my associates remarking to me that photographing such places was a waste of time. He said “been there – done that – everyone has that picture.”
Oh really? Well not anymore. Nobody will ever again take that picture. The opportunity is gone for good. These arches took millions of years to form, but they take only seconds to fall. And when landmarks like these are gone – they are gone.
Whether it was the Twin Towers in New York City, the Landscape Arch, also at Arches National Park, the famed West Side Road in Mt. Rainier National Park or just some local historic building that’s since been destroyed, passing on an opportunity to photograph an icon may be a big mistake.
While other people before you may have made a nice image there, that doesn’t mean they’d make the very same image you would make. More importantly, there is another important distinction.
Your photograph, made using your effort, gear, artistic eye and skill is yours and yours alone…as is the special memory of having been there and done that yourself.