Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
That seems a little unreasonable Brian. Just saying. If Macchu Picchu isn't worth trying to take pictures of, I don't know what is. Sometimes it's a matter of working people into the picture. But then again, I completely understand the desire to have the APPEARANCE that you were the only person there - even though in many cases that isn't feasible.
My point isn't that sites overwhelmed by tourists are not viable places to take pictures of - my point is that if you're taking pictures of these places, you're not original. And thus, you have to deal with the fact that there are a ten (a hundred? a thousand?) other people doing the same thing. Taking a picture of Asakusa during golden week should reflect what Asakusa looks like during golden week. If you're taking pictures just for the memories, then you're cheating your memories by taking people/tourists out of the pictures. If you find a perfect morning moment and no one else is there, then your picture should reflect that pleasant moment.
My point is that if you don't want people in your pictures, you need to go to places where there aren't people. Photography is a reflection of truth. Always has been, always will be.
Saying that its not "worth it" to take pictures of something that many other people have taken pictures of is sort of bogus in my opinion too, on the basis that because it may be a ubiquitous or common thing to photograph, you are wasting your time. Do you wear chucks? You know how many other people wear chucks? Taking a picture of something that other people have taken a picture of is a way of making it "yours". It also doesn't necessarily mean that you are copying, or imitating anything either. With the nearly infinite possibilities presented by conditions both outside and inside the camera, its unlikely that any pictures are going to be exactly the same.
This shot has been taken millions of times, by millions of people. Does that stop it from being any less gorgeous? Does it mean that I should not have taken it and just been satisfied with the pictures that other people took?
You tell me. I don't see it that way.
I never said anything bad about the aesthetic quality of ubiquitous photos. It may still be beautiful, but it's also boring. I only have so much time in my life to spend taking pictures, and I'd rather make something unique. You may not want to. That's fine.
One may wish they had a chance to see Times Square (or whatever crowded locale) with just one lonesome man wandering the streets, but wishing doesn't make it reality.
My only beef with the pro-film anti-digital argument is that the pro-film people always come off as elitist and have some sense that their medium is the only "real photography." Otherwise I couldn't give a shit. I learned on film. I like digital better, so that's where I'm sticking.