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Thread started 25 Oct 2016 (Tuesday) 19:18
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Shameful News in OKC

 
rgs
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Oct 25, 2016 19:18 |  #1

Martin Nature Park in Oklahoma City is an oasis in a large metropolitan area. It's primarily a wildlife refuge / nature preserve but there are hiking trails and it's a great place for a peaceful walk and lots of photographs. And the wildlife are plentiful - at least early in the day. It's one of my favorite local places.

Today as I walked into the park I saw the sign below. I spoke to park personal about their concerns. They assured me that it wasn't nature or wildlife photographers causing the problem. It was portrait photographers who bring in big lights (one even tried to bring in a generator) with large modifiers, and won't stay on the trails. Instead they trample sensitive areas with session after session in the same fragile, off-trail area. They try to bring in dogs (clearly marked as not allowed) and generally make the park difficult for other guests and the wildlife. And some of them do this all day long several days a week. They have even begun to wear new trails into the areas they want to use.

This behavior is unprofessional at best. Destruction of public lands for a private artistic purpose is indefensible. This makes all photographers look bad and is, I'm sure, why we have some of the regulations we do at our national parks and wildlife refuges.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. I hope no one here is involved in such behavior and, if you are, I hope you will stop immediately.


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Hogloff
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Oct 27, 2016 17:22 |  #2
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I've seen many photographers going out of their way to get a better composition, straying off marked trails and trampling sensitive areas just for the shot. This occurs on a regular basis and I can see somewhere in the future there will be issues with photography in some sensitive areas. I trek through the Rockies a lot and I have personally witnessed photographers off trail trampling lichens that take years to recover. Talking with them about what they have just done...does not seem to sink in. Basically...its not their backyard so who cares attitude.

Same can be said about photographers trespassing or going over barriers to get a better shot. Sometimes I get the feeling that because they spent 10's of thousands of dollars on their gear, they feel entitled or above the law.

Lets not even get into the nature photographers that try getting too close to their subject, stressing them and even putting themselves or the animals into danger. I've seen photographers baiting game so they could get a closer photo of their subject. I've seen photographers getting too close to nests, scaring away the parents and who knows if the parents return. I've seen photographers use mice to bait owls so they could get that shot.

The list is endless.....




  
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DreDaze
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Oct 27, 2016 17:46 |  #3

this last year i was photographing peregrines at an overlook, there were 3 young, and the adults. there's a sign saying not to go over a fence because of the nesting falcons. i watched tons of people go over the fence for selfies and everything. then i started to walk down and there was a guy doing a couples shoot, and they are all getting ready to go over the fence...so i comment to them that the sign is there for a reason and to not go over...the couple looks at me, then at the photographer...and he tells them to still come over

when they came back over and were taking shots along the lookout trail...i just happened to be in between the photographer and the couple at every instance...


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Oct 27, 2016 18:31 |  #4

There seems to be a section of society that thinks that rules are for everyone else. The idiots who went off the boardwalk at Yellowstone being a particularly egregious example.


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crbinson
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Oct 27, 2016 19:22 |  #5

I used to enjoy going there frequently (especially in the cooler months) for wildlife. The last few years have seen it decline to the point I don't even go there anymore. Kinda sad.


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Sibil
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Nov 04, 2016 06:04 |  #6

Hogloff wrote in post #18168802 (external link)
Sometimes I get the feeling that because they spent 10's of thousands of dollars on their gear, they feel entitled or above the law.

The same goes for people with expensive cars.




  
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Nov 04, 2016 07:40 |  #7

Welcome to the "It's All About Me" era. Millennials, Centennials, and even some Gen-X'ers. They're here to stay. Get used to it.


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JonQCanon
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Nov 08, 2016 08:44 |  #8

It's just that busy time of year for family photographers when every family wants their Christmas card photos done outside in nature, so every park within city limits is crowded. I'm South of you in Norman, and the park/refuge down here is crazy crowded every night around sunset. The parking lot is way too small, so people park all over the place around it.

I do though think it's funny that the sign says to "stay on the trail" but also "don't block trails." I think parks should get proactive and set up a photography area. The issue of families wanting outdoor pictures in a setting close to their home is not going away anytime soon.


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rgs
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Nov 08, 2016 15:38 |  #9

JonQCanon wrote in post #18179141 (external link)
It's just that busy time of year for family photographers when every family wants their Christmas card photos done outside in nature, so every park within city limits is crowded. I'm South of you in Norman, and the park/refuge down here is crazy crowded every night around sunset. The parking lot is way too small, so people park all over the place around it.

I do though think it's funny that the sign says to "stay on the trail" but also "don't block trails." I think parks should get proactive and set up a photography area. The issue of families wanting outdoor pictures in a setting close to their home is not going away anytime soon.

So, Jon, are you defending this behavior from photographers? Trampling sensitive areas and hauling around big gear - including a generator - for commercial purposes in a park that is first of all a nature preserve? Will Rogers park, Myriad Garden, or any other large, traditional park would be a much better choice.

I think the two statements are only superficially contradictory. Asking photographers to stay on the trail relates to not harming off trail areas while not blocking the trail is simply a request to respect the rights or others in the park.


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Nov 08, 2016 16:00 |  #10

I agree with Jon, unless there is going to be somebody on site guarding the trails all day, which is unrealistic, then it's going to happen, in which case the reasonable solution would be to minimize the general damage by creating staged areas. Alas we live in a world where we have to ***hole proof the planet, this of course sucks and shouldn't have to happen, but there we go, the world is full of ignorant people. Same goes for speed limits, do not smoke signs in petrol stations, hot liquid warning signs on hot drink dispensers etc etc....


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Nov 08, 2016 16:29 as a reply to  @ rgs's post |  #11

No way am I defending them. Photographers like that are the reason that new rules are issued and permits required at some places. I'm saying that Martin Park, and others, should be more proactive and anticipate the spike in family photography in the fall. Setting up a photography area or even requiring a photography permit for a nominal fee would go a long way to keeping the pristine nature of the park.


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rgs
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Nov 08, 2016 22:24 |  #12

JonQCanon wrote in post #18179529 (external link)
No way am I defending them. Photographers like that are the reason that new rules are issued and permits required at some places. I'm saying that Martin Park, and others, should be more proactive and anticipate the spike in family photography in the fall. Setting up a photography area or even requiring a photography permit for a nominal fee would go a long way to keeping the pristine nature of the park.

One of the staff's complaints was photographers who, back to back all day long, lead clients off the trail to a particular tree they want to use. So much so that new, unwanted trails are being formed and sensitive areas are being damaged. Doesn't sound like a "designated photography area" would work for such people. Even so, Martin Park - unlike most others - is meant far more for the preservation of native wildlife and plantlife than for human use. Such a designated area seems to me to be inappropriate for such a park. They have issued some tickets for the most egregious violators. Perhaps a permit contingent upon acknowledging the park regulations would be a good idea - especially if it was revoked if any violation occurred.

The one that really got to me was the guy who wanted to bring in a generator. They apparently stopped that before it got too far.


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Nov 10, 2016 07:59 |  #13

DreDaze wrote in post #18168828 (external link)
this last year i was photographing peregrines at an overlook, there were 3 young, and the adults. there's a sign saying not to go over a fence because of the nesting falcons. i watched tons of people go over the fence for selfies and everything. then i started to walk down and there was a guy doing a couples shoot, and they are all getting ready to go over the fence...so i comment to them that the sign is there for a reason and to not go over...the couple looks at me, then at the photographer...and he tells them to still come over

when they came back over and were taking shots along the lookout trail...i just happened to be in between the photographer and the couple at every instance...


So photograph them and call the cops. Very simple.


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Nov 14, 2016 08:45 as a reply to  @ Deardorff's post |  #14

In a little town east of me is a textile mill that was burned when Sherman had his little march to the sea. The only thing left is the brick walls The city added a covered bridge and walkways and of course it is at the base of a waterfall. Because people were bringing in light stands and such and blocking the walkways for the common folk, the City instituted a fee for pro photographers. $50 I think for the year. Now, I have not been there in a while so I don't know if I showed up with a Senior and a reflector if they would say anything (not sure "who" would say anything) as long as I was respectful and did not hinder the normal visitors. But, going back to the original thread, this is what happens when a minority screws it up for the rest of us who try to be mindful of others and the location.


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Mar 03, 2017 09:26 |  #15

rgs wrote in post #18179470 (external link)
So, Jon, are you defending this behavior from photographers? Trampling sensitive areas and hauling around big gear - including a generator - for commercial purposes in a park that is first of all a nature preserve? Will Rogers park, Myriad Garden, or any other large, traditional park would be a much better choice.

I think the two statements are only superficially contradictory. Asking photographers to stay on the trail relates to not harming off trail areas while not blocking the trail is simply a request to respect the rights or others in the park.

I've learned never to expect anyone to know any of my rules that I have not publicized.

Looking at the website, I see nothing mentioned about commercial photography in the park. They should develop rules and post them on the website. There should be signs at the entrance that alert photographers to go somewhere for literature or a briefing on photography limitations. They may need photographers to get permits--not necessarily paid, but to block out appointed slots to limit the amount of commercial traffic during the day or week.

This is no different from the rules many communities have about commercial photography, and although it's chafing from the viewpoint of a commercial photographer, it may be necessary.

But if all this park has is that hand-printed sign, then they haven't done their own due diligence to make sure their sensitivities are made known.


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