PJJ205 wrote in post #18470175
I lived in 29 Palms from 1991 until 2009. My mom and younger sister still live out there so I try to visit the park every time I go out there to see them. The first and last time that I tried to shoot at the arch, I got so annoyed that I packed up and left after waiting around for a few hours to try to shoot. I was one of the first people to show up there so I didn't think it would be too bad, but within an hour and a half or so, it was pure mayhem... a ton of people piled in and bunched up in the same spot, some showed a lack of courtesy/warning with light painting, some stereotypical "im a pro photographer" guy talked endlessly about his photography skills, who has posted his photos before, what settings everyone else should be using, and when others were to follow his rules so he could shoot... all-in-all a horrible time. I ended up picking up my entire setup, all still attached, and walking straight back to my truck haha. Wandered west to try to find a spot not too inhabited but failed miserably. After about an hour, I gave up and went back to my moms place. Photography is definitely crazy popular out there, but this was the first time that I had been overwhelmed by the presence of others EVERYWHERE... I was shocked. I'll be waiting for winter to roll around because its always quiet there at night.
Wow, yeah, I'm about to start using headphones and saying I dont' speak english in order to get people to go away!
I experienced some huge crowds at our local Japanese gardens yesterday, and it wasnt' even peak fall color or close to it. I'm lost on how on one hand it's "Hey! lets create some gardens so people can come and reflect/observe and enjoy peace and quiet..." then fast forward about 40+ years: "Hey, lets just get as many people as possible in here @ $15 per person so we can not build more trails and expand the actual gardens, but lets expand more administrative buildings and have a snackbar instead!!!" You also get punched in the face for an additional $5 if you want to use your tripod. Then they have additional parking fee's...
So this goes back to the actual EXPERIENCE, and that for me atleast is hard to deal with. It's difficult to come up with new photos when people are rushing around you, and then they have a 30+ person tour going on top of the regular overcrowded visitation.... and yet, nobody seems to notice a thing, everything just goes on as usual, and I'm sitting there waiting for five minutes for people to walk by just so I can get a simple shot and move on. They then want to punch you in the face with $135 "membership" for photographers only, which I would totally pay, but part of me says no, that's just encouraging bad behaviour because it goes back to the point of it allegedly being a relaxed place to enjoy, which is what could be cultivated simply by limiting the number of people in there at any one given point in time, rather than a free for all, unless you want to buy your way out of it, in theory, however, then it may just be the case of more photographers camping out in the same places doing the same shots of the same trees... I'm not convinced nor confident enough to give them $135 to find out!
So am I alone on this? I just see more over commercialization occurring, making it simply less enjoyable to photograph in certain places anymore. Maybe some day I'll be deaf and blind and it wont matter?
A little more: They spent $33,500,000 as a "non profit" and spent exactly ZERO dollars on expanding the acres of gardens. Nope. That would make sense. Instead, it's more of everything that isn't needed...
It just has money grab all over it in my opinion <--- are we still allowed to have those anymore?