Pity the poor person stuck behind a camera hog. You know the type: They’re the passengers who dominate the best views in port and block traffic at the coolest attractions so they can nab the “perfect photo” — while you wait and wait and wait. I asked on the Cruise Critic Facebook page if this was a problem for many people in port, and Amy Badon Gray fired the first salvo. “I cannot stand camera hogs, I am there to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells. I am so over waiting for people to take pictures.”
The question arose last week when I was on a shore excursion from Corfu to Albania’s Butrint, a famous Greco-Roman site. There was this one guy who constantly disrupted the tour. It wasn’t that he moved too slow or asked our guide too many pesky questions. The problem? His camera kept getting in the way. At every interesting spot – and there were many – this Ansel Adams wannabe would plant himself squarely at the most perfect viewing spot so he could snap the best possible vista. Hundreds of snaps.
It was hard for anyone else to get a clean look much less take his or own photos. And I wondered: Was he unusually annoying or are camera hogs taking over our shore excursions? Hence, the Facebook discussion.
Some had experiences to comparable to mine. Sue Adam reported that “on a very small … whale-watching boat in Lahaina last spring, each time the whales would show up on the opposite side of this small boat, those directly in front of the whales would jump up instead of taking their picture from where they were sitting.” And John Adams, who noted that he doesn’t take many pictures himself, sometimes becomes a photographer’s piñata. “My only problem,” he shared, “has been with people elbowing in front of me to get their own photos while I’m looking at something.”
True, there were a few who joined in on the Facebook conversation to simply say “No, they’re not a problem.” Heck, if you really aren’t bothered at all by camera hogs, all I can say is you’ve achieved a far superior Zen state than mine. But I was moved by the folks who say they try hard to let photo hogs have their space – and apologize if they’ve walked through a photo — and those by photo enthusiasts who try to find offbeat outposts onboard or onshore if they want to snap.
What was telling in the discussion was how far apart the two camps – photo hogs and the travelers they annoy – really are. I agreed with Amy and her statement that she was “so over waiting for people to take pictures,” but then she got herself into trouble with this comment: “Move on with your camera, you don’t need a thousand pictures. And really at the end of the day, what are you going to do with all those pictures? Take a picture with your eyes and store it in your memory.”
The photo brigade shot back.
Wrote Cindy Rolfs Kasten: “I just read Amy’s remark above. I can (am able and am allowed) take as many photos as I please.” Bob Cumiskey concurred: “I have been known to take 500+ pictures and videos on a cruise and I don’t think I’ve ever blocked anyone’s shot. I try [my] best to be courteous and have lots of patience for those that don’t.”
But even the travelers they annoy aren’t angels. “I can’t stand camera hogs,” writes Jan Lederer. “I usually give them a hard elbow — they move then.”
Are you a photo hog? A traveler they annoy? How do they coexist?
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Read other Sea-Mail columns on duty-free-shopping ripoffs, saving tables at the buffet, the death of cruise traditions and bad balcony behavior.
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