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The Scourge of the Selfie

I took this at Lipan Point at the easternmost end of the Grand Canyon one December morning. It exemplifies what I call the “scourge of the selfie.” Over the past few years I’ve watched countless people who don’t appear to travel to see someplace new, but to take their picture taken, usually with a selfie stick. They pay scant attention to the sights.

Yes, I’ve taken selfies, but I don’t put national parks or famous landmarks in them. If I want a photo of the Grand Canyon, I take photos of the Grand Canyon. Obviously, you don’t need to see me in the photo to know I was there.

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Mario DennisOpinion
The Noisy Photographer: Stop Talking

A couple years ago, I spent several days shooting in the Moab area at Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Unfortunately, the sun played hide 'n' seek, and it was mostly "hide." On two mornings I was at Mesa Arch, hoping to capture the glow that comes with sunrise as I had on a previous trip. It was not to be. The sky remained overcast and I didn't get any memorable shots like the one I captured a couple of years earlier (above). Not surprisingly, there were 8 other photographers there (typical for Mesa Arch, although I had it to myself a couple years before) and we were tripod-to-tripod, waiting for sunrise. It was December and very cold, but that's we signed up for.

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Photographing Thor's Well (Sort of)

Cape Perpetua is a particularly beautiful part of the Oregon coast, and it attracts photographers who want to capture Thor’s Well at high tide. So, of course it was at the top of my shot list. Mother Nature had different ideas. A huge low pressure system had sent wave after wave of rain, wind and storms during my first few days on the coast. When I arrived at the Cape the ocean was still angry and it was blowing 15-20 knots with seas crashing against the rocks surrounding the Well.

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Mario DennisOregon
The Wreck of the Peter Iredale

Everybody photographs the Peter Iredale. Everybody.  So, I shouldn't have been surprised when I arrived at sunrise to find about ten photographers practically swarming around the wreck, trying to keep out of each others' way. More frustrating for me was the fact that they left tripods standing around, making it extremely difficult to shoot a clean frame. I finally asked the leader to round up the hardware, and gradually the tripods disappeared. A little self-awareness would have been nice.

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Photographing Heceta Head Light

Easily the most attractive lighthouse on the Oregon coast, Heceta Head light also gets my vote for the easiest to visit and photograph. Heceta Head is about 15 miles or 20+ minutes north of the town of Florence, located on a point next to a small cove (Cape Cove).

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Mario DennisOregon