Critterwatch! Tourists

The Mount Hagen Show is a photographer’s dream. Unfortunately, it attracts serious photographers.

We are happy to take a few photos, but we try not to let it become the raison d’etre of our travels. Not so the loathsome critters that flood into Hagen armed with massive telephoto lenses, bulky camera bags, hugely over-engineered camera mounts and deeply offensive attitudes – nothing is allowed to get in the way of their perfect shot. Don’t get me wrong, we met some really lovely and deeply interesting people in Hagen, but we were slightly ashamed of some of the antics of our fellow tourists.

A few guidelines, in case any of them are reading:

  • You have a 300mm zoom lens on your camera. This means you don’t need to stand six inches away from a performer and jam your camera in their face. If someone you are photographing is visibly flinching from the physical intrusion of your huge optics, you are probably a little too close (I got into one or two “little discussions” after jamming my own camera right in the face of someone who had just jammed theirs in the face of a performer)
  • If there is a group of performers dancing in a circle (facing inwards, as many of them do) it is a little rude to push your way into the middle of the circle to take photos outwards
  • Similarly, if a performance includes walking forwards and backwards (which many also do) try not to stand physically in the dancers’ way
  • If you can, avoid physically manipulating someone whose language you do not speak to get them to pose for your best shot. Grabbing someone’s chin and angling it this way and that is a bit obnoxious
  • The people you are photographing are people, not animals. If someone has posed for a photo for you, say thank you. Do not look at the photo you have just taken on your viewfinder, shrug and walk away
  • Please try to be less ugly

We had an amazing time at Hagen. Apologies, therefore, for this little piece of vitriol. However, by carving it out and putting it here we can avoid it impacting our memories of (and posts on) the rest of the show.

[Please note: the last photo above is actually Rolf – a very nice German guy. The photo I took of the obnoxious Australian who had the most intrusive photographic manner got deleted, as I didn't want to remember his face]

3 thoughts on “Critterwatch! Tourists

  1. Egad, sorry that some of those tourists were being rude with their cameras. Sometimes when you hand someone a camera, suddenly they become an artiste of the highest caliber.
    I’ve had to do that a bit here in NYC, even. “Hey, just back up a few feet and we’ll all be okay”

  2. *lolz* Awesome blog! Just returned home and had a look at my Mt. Hagen stupid-tourist-pics, then found your blog and laughed my bum off :D Hope you’re still having fun on your trip! Best, Simone

    • Thanks Simone. We think of you and your “ugly tourist hunt” whenever we see ungainly tour groups struggling round the sights. The Germans! The French! The Italians!

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