A Chat With Another Photographer During The Hike
Here is yet again a hiking path photo. I shot the photo today and I met another photographer on this path and we had a long talk about photography. He had a big dog, and I also saw that he had DSLR camera on the shoulder and I asked him if he has seen roe deer in the direction he came from, and he replied “No, not yet, but today I just went into the forest to take portraits of my dog”, and that’s how our conversation started. Often when I meet other photographers, it can happen that we get into a talk for 10 minutes or less, but with this guy I talked for a much longer time in the forest, I believe we talked an hour or so. Some people are not too talkative, and to be honest, I am not always talkative as well, but maybe it also depends on both dialog partner, and how they stand each other. Often it’s about the first minutes, and I often notice quickly if I can get into a deep conversation with someone or not. In this case, it was clear after some minutes that we both could talk for a while, and that happened.
I think this guy became very talkative when I asked him a second question, I said “Pet portraits are cool, I do this with my cat too, are you into portraits of humans as well or is there something else you do with you camera?”. If someone is truly into his hobby, he will tell you all the details, and that’s how he started. He said that he started with pet portraits and he replies that I would be right, he started with portraits in general and he started to take portraits of family members and friends. He went on and said, apart from that he is into lost places photography, and I told him that I like old buildings overgrown or taken back by nature, and he said “Yeah, I’m into this type of photography!”. He asked me if I know one particular abandoned buildings in Lübeck, and I replied “Yes, I am from Lübeck, I know this building!” and he laughed and said “Cool, and today you drove to Reinfeld to walk in the forest?” and I explained him that I am here to help a family member who was in the hospital, and he replied that this would be very kind of me and I said thank you and then we went back to the photography topic.
Then he bent forward and looked at my lens and asked if this would be the Tamron 70-300mm lens, and I said “Yes, do you know this lens?” and he replied that he once borrowed the lens from a friend and that he used it for a while too. When I asked him if they would do photography together, he replied that he literally infected his friend with the photography hobby, and that they started to do the lost places photography together. His friend became interested after they have been in Berlin together when they visited an old manor-house and a couple of World War II bunkers. He said, that his friend liked these creepy places so much that he didn’t only wanted to find other lost places, but that he also thought about taking photos of these places as well, and since then they both visit the places together. He said to me, it’s an advantage, because with this type of photography, it’s less dangerous if you are not alone. Of course, I had to ask him how he meant that, and he explained and gave me two examples. Some architectures are so rotten that it could be dangerous, but he has a better feeling if he is not alone, because if something is happening to one of them, the other person could call help. Next he said, it happens at times that there are junkies in old abandoned buildings, and he said “Nothing happened so far, but you never know if some of them want to grab your expansive gear to exchange it for heroin”, and I laughed and said “Yeah, that’s a good point, you never know, I understand these thoughts!”.
After that, I was curious what kind of lens was attached to his camera, and he said it would be the Sigma 70-200mm lens. He said he wanted to buy the Tamron 70-300mm at first, but after his friend borrowed him the lens, he was not very impressed with the sharpness at the long end but only up to the 200mm , and he added that he don’t want to say that my lens is bad, but I did interrupt him friendly and said “No problem, it’s ok, I got the same impression after using the lens for some time”. He said his Sigma lens did cost 900 Euro, and I wondered if this lens would do a good job with a teleconverter, but he couldn’t give me the answer as the 200mm are enough for him and that he would only use the long end for portraits. He trusted me and said “The Sigma has a little bit more weight, hold my camera and my lens to see”, and he was right. But he laughed and agreed when I said “With the photography hobby I do gladly suffer with a little bit more weight if the lens is doing a good job”. I saw he has a Nikon camera as well, and he wondered which one I have, and I told him that it’s the D7100, and he said his Nikon is the D5200. BUt even at this point, our conversation could not find an end, we started to talk about photography accessories now, about tripods and filters. He seemed to have a lot of experience with long exposure photography at day time, in this particular subject was very interesting because I want to try this too at some point, and I liked to listen to his experience with neutral density filters, and he suggested me to check out the neutral density filters of the company B+W, even if they are more expensive than others.
Of course, he was interested what I am up to with my camera, and I told him that it’s very mixed as well. I told him that I did some landscape and nature photos, but also flowers but without macro lens, and that I did portraits for the family as well, and with my cat. I also told him that I am recently into bird photography, and that I have fun with birds but that I’d like to purchase a fixed focal length lens at some point with a teleconverter, and we bot laughed again after he said “Yeah, there is no end, you can sink money with photography and it’s addictive”. As I did, he started with the Nikon 18-105mm kit lens. I told him that all people told me to get the camera without the kit lens, and that I can’t understand this up to this day, because this lens taught me which focal length direction I go the most, and he replied that he liked that lens for the same reason as well and that he is still using the wide end of the lens even if he already owns a couple of other lenses. So, we had the same opinion in many cases, and some things in common, and apart from that it was nice to hear his perspective and I got the impression he enjoyed to listen to my perspective too. Sometimes I really meet some interesting people if I go hike, and this was one of those cases as we had a lot to share. At the end he showed me some of his photos on his smartphone, and these were impressive, especially his pet portraits, and the photos he took in abandoned buildings, so-called lost places. Then I showed him some of mine, and he liked my bird photos and was surprised that I would get that close with 300mm, but I told him that most of them are heavily cropped, with the result of quality loss, but we looked at them on the small display anyway where this is not apparent. Since we literally covered the whole photography subject, we did end our conversation, and he told me that he is walking in this forest almost every morning with his dog, and that he’d like to have a chat again if we meet each other again. I like this, it makes hiking even be more worthwhile than it already is, and I hope you liked to read my story.