Lighthouse Ventures and a Criticism of Recreational Photography

...preferably one in Cape Cod.

I should retire into one of these things.

As a kid, I wanted to work at a lighthouse for a living. Nothing beat sitting up there turning the mirrors, lighting the fires, and letting the salt of the sea blow in your face. That dream died quickly when modernization kicked in; ever since automation and GPSs arrived on the scene, the only purpose the humble lighthouse might serve today is nostalgia.

Nonetheless, that didn’t dampen my experience visiting one this summer. Right beside a beach in beautiful Rhode Island stood the antique Point Judith Lighthouse, where the light still burns for tourists. The lighthouse itself was off limits, but I did get to see one close up for the first time.

Okay, so here’s the serious part. When it comes to vacation, the first priority really should be the experience, the joy of physically being somewhere new. The memories are important, of course, but those shouldn’t overshadow the trip. That’s my complaint with recreational photography. The stereotypical American tourist wears a Hawaiian shirt, a sun hat, and an expensive camera around his neck that he uses every five minutes.


Sorry about that filter. I just couldn't resist.

Man, this place has seen a lot.

At some guaranteed time, he asks his friends to pose in front of some grandiose object (a lighthouse, for instance). Those friends stand there, ad lib a smile, stay still for a minute or so, and all the while anticipating the flash and trying not to blink during it. I understand it’s not my business, but those guys were on vacation; there’s better things to do than photograph something every few minutes.

I personally would rather sit down and enjoy the breeze than to wait for a shutter to close five times. For the next hour, I decided I would put down my cell phone camera and head to the beach, where the waves shimmered and the seagulls pecked at the sand. Enough pictures for today. It was time to see the world the way it’s supposed to be seen.

I also picked up a new seashell from the sand to add to my collection. Looks pretty, huh?

... along with a hundred more.

Might be a clam shell?

Wait, drat.



About shooterboss

Canadian blogger and software engineer. Hopes to live in a lighthouse near Cape Cod in retirement.
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3 Responses to Lighthouse Ventures and a Criticism of Recreational Photography

  1. Bobby-C says:

    For a person who is critical of recreational photography, you ironically have several photos on your blog.

    I am a recreational photographer. I do no town a Hawaiian shirt, or a sun hat. I do, however, take a lot of pictures. It is my hobby. It doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the experience, it is an essential part of my enjoyment of the experience.

    You see things through your lens (reference intentional), and that’s great. But that isn’t the only lens. As long as the people gathering to take the pictures aren’t interfering in some real way with your enjoyment, then why is it any of your business? by real way, i mean getting in your way, being obnoxiously noisy, etc.

    You said, “I understand it’s not my business, but those guys were on vacation; there’s better things to do than photograph something every few minutes.”

    Well, you are right on the first bit, it’s none of your business. But the second part where you say there are better things to do is purely your opinion, and not one shared by others. You have a lot of “shoulds” in your post, and they are all based on your perception of what makes for a great vacation experience. I encourage you to consider that others have a different viewpoint than yours.

    • shooterboss says:

      Hey there Bobby-C, and thanks for reading! My apologies if I have offended you. You are correct; these are nothing more than my personal opinions that I do not intend to force upon anyone else. This post was written toward one of my friends, who seemed to enjoy sharing photos on Flickr more than traveling.

      I’m glad we both share a common interest in lighthouses, though. Have fun and good luck with your hobby.

  2. Pingback: Lighthouse Ventures and a Criticism of Recreational Photography | The blog of COOPER APPAREL. Find us at

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