First let me say that I am not a metal-detector guy. To me that just looks like some obscure and weird hobby. Anyhow I’ve been reading this story on Rawfile. Not sure why it was posted here because I see Rawfile as an extension to but focused on photography – and there seems to be few in this story that is directly related to photography in the first place.

Dennis Wilson, Treasure Hunter

Not related to photography… hmmm … really ?

They are the metal-detector guys. The archetypal loners. Sealed off from the world by giant headphones, happy to reward young tagalongs with a bottle cap.

Sounds somewhat familiar, doesn’t it  ?

“It’s my Zen,” says Alex Kelley, President of the Bay Area Searchers. For many, like Kelley, the hunt itself is a meditative experience, a way to escape from the daily grind. (…) The activity hits a sweet spot in the Venn diagram of escapism, community, imagination and outdoor strolls. Behind the metal-detector stigma are thoughtful people seeking some atypical thrills.

… Actually what strikes me here is that the profile of these hobbyists, their routine etc… share many similarities to that of street photographers. The “success” ratio also is about the same:

Asked to guesstimate the ratio between relics and garbage, his hunting buddy Mike Ziakas chortles, “A thousand to one.”

Indeed both activities are somewhat about accumulation, background noise and the occasional gem.


In the name of conservation, government agencies have cut off access to many beaches and parks that were once favorite destinations. Though treasure hunters think environmentalists are acting in good faith, many believe that they have been overzealous. The occasional hole in the ground, they say, isn’t going to have much of an effect.

… sounds like the usual discussion about street photography facing a more and more restricted environment.


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