I got this email from a reader named Charlie:

“Recently a group of friends and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to see the exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures. My wife and I had been before but this visit was at night so we could see the pieces lit at night. As you might expect this type of event brings photographers out like moths to a flame. During the previous visit I’d taken my camera got a few very nice photographs of some of the interesting pieces. This visit I packed up my gear including my tripod as this was a night shoot, however, since we were delayed at dinner and wanted to see the entire exhibit before closing I decided not to slow the group down with my photography and left my camera in the car.

During our visit I began to notice how inconsiderate many photographers were to the non-photographers who were simply trying to enjoy the exhibit. I can’t tell you how many times the best view of a piece was totally blocked by a photographer with his/her tripod spayed out across a narrow path or even lying on the ground as they worked to get the best shot. There were also the many point and shooters popping their flashes and obliterating the lighting effects of the exhibit. Since most all the attendees honored the field of view of the photographers and so could not themselves get the best view of the glass.

This gets to the thrust of my comment/question: Where should amateur photographers draw the line between working to capture a shot of an interesting subject and consideration of others around them? I’m wondering if I should evaluate my own photography behavior?”

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