Read this interesting post the other day which talks about how photography becomes so cliche thanks to social media. I get it, when someone took a very nice picture, people will just flock to the same location and take the same picture from the same angle.
Like it or not, this reality has probably been around for ages, its just that social media has elevated it to a whole new level as information is shared instantly. Landscape is the genre that is affected most by this “me too” trend. Not to forget those who photograph birds, when rare bird was spotted, a bunch of the photographers will camp their big lenses and tripod around and keep firing.
Personally, I do browse through websites or social media to get inspiration, and most importantly to scout for potential locations to shoot. However, when on location, I’ll try to do something different from the pictures I saw. It might work out well and it might not be. But that’s the whole point of having photography as a hobby, you go through the learning and experimenting process, and then you become better.
A few concerns were raised in the interview. First was the originality and creativity of photography. Next was the environmental impact. Yes, as people flock to a location, I’m guessing there will be those irresponsible people who throw rubbish anywhere they like, who cross the restricted zone just to shoot a different picture, who harm the nature by disturbing them and so on. Taking the bird photographers for example, having a bunch of people camping in close distance could have ended up scaring the birds away to seek for new location to stop. Imagine the impact on migrant bird species?
Of course there’re always those responsible photographers who take care of the nature, who follow the rules, who keep a safe distance from the nature and preserve them. But it really just need one single person to crash the party and end the game. At the end of the day, did social media ruined photography? Well, I would say no, but it did catalysed it for sure. At the end of the day, it’s really up to each individual to play their part, be it ensuring photography remains creative, or ensuring we don’t tarnish our nature while we fulfil our desire in capturing them. Though I really don’t have much hope on mankind, but all I can do is just hope and pray this will eventually be alright in the future. Till then.