E187 Discussion - Tara Workman

Last week on the podcast we had on Tara Workman - she’s a “hobbiest” photographer living in Portland. She has a great eye! We talked about the advantages of being a hobbiest and how that has informed her vision as a landscape photographer. Worth a listen!

I enjoyed hearing a discussion with a thoughtful hobbyist. As a hobbyist myself, I found the topics quite relatable.

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Thanks Brent, glad you enjoyed it! A lot of my guests are hobbyists but we don’t really talk about it much, so it was cool to bring attention to it here.

Hi Matt, really enjoyed this discussion, especially highlighting some of the differences between a hobbyist and professional. Between this episode and your latest with Photo Cascadia, I had a question regarding a big problem i struggle with as a hobbyist in Oregon.

Like many others I got into the hobby after recently moving to Oregon, and at first I think i got swept up with the Instagram thing and too focused on trying to perfect everything. I thought Tara’s comments were perfect, being a hobbyist i don’t need to rely on the stress and time required that the pros put in. So I’m learning to balance that.

However, one thing that still bothers me is how difficult it is to find and share good shooting locations and I’m wondering if you have any advice there. For example it is more and more common for pros and even everyone to hide location details. Forums generally at best have trip reports. I understand why many like to hide location data now, but it also feels like a huge roadblock to those of us who are not only new to the hobby, but to the area (or any area) in general. It’s not about wanting to comp stomp, but about more easily learning about the exciting areas that are available to us, without spending countless hours researching trips - one thing I’ve found has killed much of the fun in everything.

Do you know of any resources or forums where people more openly help and share with each other, specifically related to landscape photography?

Maybe best off for another topic of its own, but i just thought it fit your two recent podcasts!


Most photographers that have found unique images put in the time to research maps. I would suggest looking on GAIA GPS at USGS maps and Google Earth. It can be time-consuming for sure but I think if you put in the work to research a place, you’ll have a greater appreciation for it when you arrive.

Fair enough. I’ll have to check that out. Currently i use a mix of a few different books, trail reports, and photopills.

I just think it’s strange that landscape photography is one of the few hobbies or activities that i can think of that people tend to hide certain things from others looking for help. Go on reddit or any other forum and you will find hobby forums filled with people just there to learn more and help others. There’s definitely a degree of that with photography, but it tends to be more limited to gear.

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It did not always used to be that way though. Many photographers used to willingly share locations with the public (and many still do); however, those of us that have been around awhile started seeing the rapid deterioration of our favorite locations due to popularity and large workshops. I know of countless examples where this has happened. To make it worse, some people learn about a place from friends or a forum and then a few years later they start to take large groups to those spots, making them less enjoyable and hard to photograph. This and lots of other reasons is why I helped form Nature First…


Oh yeah, totally understand the difficult topic there, and i know that topic comes up often. It’s hard to balance the two opposing ideas of wanting to preserve and wanting to share and invite more to enjoy. I think that’s one of the big problems with social media and how accessible things are now. Photographers have to be much more careful about what and where they share, but that also leads to newer people feeling left out of this “exclusive club”. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read and give your opinion, keep up the great shows!

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Nailed it there man… it is such a difficult one to wrestle with. I would totally share all my locations if I knew the person receiving them had similar ethics or would take the time to get the education/knowledge about how to keep a place great. The problem with social media sharing, as you mention, is that it has no way of ensuring the recipient also learns those other aspects. Basically, if someone tells me they are a fan of Nature First and can share some of my viewpoints, I’m happy to share a location with them.