Artists Being Paranoid

Andy and I decided to visit the Art & Wine Fest in Cave Creek today to enjoy the mild winter weather before the rains set in this week.  I took my camera with me, hoping to get some shots of the landscape on Cave Creek Road, and maybe some shots of the festival atmosphere.  I know better than to just start shooting photographs of the artists’ work, since many of them are protective of their creative ideas (as they have every right to be).

After paying our $3 entry fee, we began strolling through the festival, enjoying the beautiful designs and unique media applications that the various artists were presenting in their booths.  I left the camera in the case as we walked along because I was more interested at the time in actually examining the artists’ wares than in photographing them.

After we stopped for lunch, I decided to just take a few shots of the festival grounds.  After last night’s mad crunch at the Glendale Glitters festival, it was nice to be able to maneuver through the streets and approach each of the booths without being jostled and hemmed in.  There were just so many things to look at.  Then we came upon an artist who had a display of some wall hangings as well as some sculptures that were done in a beautiful Southwest style.  I thought the colors and design were so appealing.  She was sitting outside her booth working on one of her sculptures, adding beading to some fringe work on the front of the figure.  I approached her and asked if she minded if I took some photographs, and she graciously consented.

I took about eight or nine photos of her work, strictly for my own enjoyment, and thanked her for allowing me to do so.  We then started walking toward the next booth, when behind me I heard a man’s voice saying “Excuse me, excuse me, ma’am!” in a decidedly British accent. We turned to see a man in a Crocodile Dundee hat with a half-eaten sandwich in his hand approaching us.  In his Brit accent, he said, “Would you please remove the photos of me from your camera?”  I told him I didn’t have any photos of him in my camera, and that I would be happy to show him the photos that I had taken.  Andy quickly jumped to my defense and told him that we had only taken photos of the artists’ work where we had specifically asked for and had been granted permission.  He quickly apologized and said that some woman had told him we were taking photos of his work. You can count on there being at least one busy-body when a lot of artistic types get together.

So even though I had done nothing wrong, the encounter kind of ruined the atmosphere for me.  I didn’t ask any other artists for permission to photograph, even though there were some beautiful pieces of sculpture and unique art pieces that I would have loved to have recorded. I know that artists of all crafts today are so protective of their rights, from recording artists trying to stop free downloading of music to software programmers trying to stop the sale of pirated software.  I get it. But artists need to understand that when they ruin the experience for their consumers by being so anal about their rights, they lose customers and fans, and that type of attitude will hurt them in the long run.

So, instead of spending more time around the artist’s booths, we wandered over to where the fountains and permanent art sculptures were installed, and I shot a few photos there.  I didn’t use the tripod, just took some hand-held shots with both the normal and the telephoto lenses. I was trying to play with the settings to get different effects of the water flowing over the rocks in the little waterfall at the base of the fountain.  The sky was partly-to-mostly cloudy, but there was still enough sun to cast some harsh shadows.  Some of the shots came out fairly decent given the subject matter I was shooting. The one below was one of my favorites, especially after I used Paint Shop Pro to add some contrast and saturation to the photo.

The forecast for this week calls for rain…all week.  Imagine that!! So I probably won’t have much of a chance to use the camera in the dark, wet, cold evenings. Instead, I’ll probably spend some time getting familiar with Paint Shop Pro’s editing functionality, as well as reading some of the books and magazines that I’ve collected in the past week to learn more about my hobby. So far it’s fun, challenging, and expensive (can’t forget that one!).



  1. Ok, so far the last two posts were great except for one thing. Each one you have said that you left the tripod behind. The tripod is one of the tools of the trade and I think you are going to have to get used to carrying it around. If you don’t start now, you never will. 😉

    • Yeah, yeah….I do carry it when I’m not going to be in a huge crowd of people or when I’m in a situation where most likely photography won’t be allowed at all, much less tripods. It was in my car where I could get to it easily if I needed it. 🙂

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