Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time.
I really like this line from the post shared via one of PetaPixel’s article. It’s about a landscape photographer’s decision to stop sharing the location of where his photographs were taken, in the aim to avoid the influx of mankind rampaging to these places and ultimately… destroying them.
Through the years, we have seen how the world of photography changed, and as more and more pictures were shared on minute basis, people started to ask for more pictures and perhaps different pictures. People started to explore more and more places, and when a new location was discovered, everyone flocked to it and started snapping away. The same goes for the Instagram-generation and also the traditional photography community. I shared my sentiment on this phenomena in one of my previous post. But has things changed since then?
Well, yes. It get worse, sadly. The invasion of smartphone camera, not to mention drones as well, has created a huge impact… both good and bad. The good thing is that someone got rich… the bad thing is the social aspect and the Mother Nature got suffered. I used to believe that social medias like Instagram and Facebook was at fault for such a chaos… perhaps they are. But when I think deeper after reading the article, perhaps there are something more.
These social medias provided a platform for people to share their stuffs. They probably knew that it’s what we wanted, hence everyone got hooked on easily. When people started sharing, some started to crave for more likes, while some started to think of a way to monetise what they shared. These thoughts caused people to share more, to go beyond others, to outdo everyone, to be the first to discover a new location, to be the first to gather all the fame. Maybe… the real problem was all along… the people.
There are two sides of people, the creator and the audience, and both are equally liable for all the problems we are facing now. For example, Creator A travels to unknown places, trespassing along the way so that his post will be “different”. And by doing that, the audiences reacted by giving Creator A a lot of likes and shares. What happens next? Creator A will continue to do more of those trespassing so that he can continue to get more likes, of course. And when Creator A run out of places, he will probably start exploring places that are higher in risk, more remote, more dangerous etc., which is a never ending cycle. Best case scenario is he gets away with it and lives on to tell the tale. The worst? Well, probably caught by authorities, or perhaps damaging the nature along the way, and maybe got the attention of the mass and people starts rushing to the same spot, which ultimately destroyed the place altogether.
It’s time for a change, really. And it all needs to begin with us, the people, the photographer. Yes, we are all “photographer” today because we all have a camera with us all the time, be it DSLR, mirrorless or our smartphone. We need to be responsible on what we do, about to do, and the consequences of our action in the future. For the name of photographers, for the sake of Mother Nature, we really need to stop doing things that will harm us all. Stop applauding acts, videos or pictures that causes more harm than contribution to the photography community. Small action like this may not mean everything, but hopefully with a small steps like this, we can at least get something out of it.