My wife and I spent a day in the country in October. The leaves were turning. The air had the perfect bit of autumn coolness. And I was loaded up with cameras, including a Ricoh Diacord that I was shooting for the first time.
One of the places we visited was a family farm that offers pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. They also offer heirloom pumpkins from a nearby grower. These pumpkins were the main reason we were there.
As I wandered about the place, seeking photo-worthy subjects, I noticed a man watching me. He had some sort of big-assed digital camera hanging around his neck and resting on his prodigiously protruding gut. He observed me taking some shots with the Diacord of my wife sitting on a hay bale in front of a barn. I bit later, he observed me as I selected heirloom pumpkins.
As I stood in line to pay, I looked up and saw these baskets and boxes in the hay loft. I instinctively reached for my Nikon FM2 loaded with slide film that was destined to be cross processed. I took several shots, paid for my pumpkins and looked around for my wife so we could leave. That's when I saw the man stand in the same place I had stood. He was taking the same shot that I had.
I can't deny that this pissed me off. I knew I had a good shot or two in my camera, but this guy was taking advantage of my work -- my eye. I imagine him proudly showing his friends and relatives this great shot he had made. I was reminded of the way my two dogs follow each other around and pee on top of each other's pee. I know I don't "own" the subject of this photo and he was not doing anything particularly wrong, but it feels like it violates some sort of photographer's code.
Okay, I said it. I'm moving on.