Tag Archives: hike

The Restorative Effects of Landscape Photography

17 Jun

The newest article on the restorative effects of landscape photography is out in the current issue of On Landscape. Big thanks to Matt Payne over at F-Stop Collaborate and Listen podcast for his interview of William Patino. That was what sparked this article. Also, big thanks to David Pasillas, James Crouch of The Eye of the Mind Photography and Jennifer over at Art Therapy Nest in NY for helping me shape this article.

Give it a read, and let me know what you think! 😊

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Falling :: CT

6 Jun
Falling :: CT

Falling :: CT

One good thing about all of the rain we’ve been having? The waterfalls are flowing nicely!

Nature First

30 Apr
Nature First :: WA

Nature First :: WA

 

Last week, Jennifer Renwick and Sarah Marino (both spectacular landscape photographers and humans!) approached me with a new initiative they are working on called “Nature First”.

In some ways, landscape photography is a double edged sword.  I think most of us get into this field because we love nature and want to celebrate and share the beauty of the world with others, in the hopes that we might inspire them to embrace nature as we have.  However, with the evolution of social media, and the affordability of travel, it’s become easier than ever for people to visit locations they’ve seen beautiful photos of…and without proper education and restraint, things can quickly get out of hand.  For example, a few weeks back, California experienced a super bloom of poppies – one of the most prolific years they’ve had in quite some time.  People flocked to see the flowers, to disastrous effect.   Tens of thousands of people descended on Lake Elsinore, and the popular Walker Canyon had to be shut down, as they could not accommodate the volume of visitors.  And the tourists themselves lacked the caution necessary to preserve such fragile locations, often straying from paths, disturbing wildlife (at least one rattlesnake bite was reported) and trampling huge swaths of the very thing they’d come to see.

In a similar example, just this past week, Panther Falls in Oregon closed the route to the lower falls because someone fell trying to see it.  That location was made popular by landscape photographers, and now, access is being restricted.

I cannot say that in my time as a photographer, I have never been careless, thoughtless or broken a rule I didn’t agree with.  But over time, I’ve come to realize that if I am to be a good steward for this planet, then I need to place its needs over the desire for a pretty shot.  I cannot assume that simply because I did the rock walk around fragile alpine that someone else will.  I can’t assume that because I know to keep a massive distance between myself and wildlife, and have access to a large zoom lens that someone else will.  I need to be more thoughtful in what I do, and just as importantly (if not more) in what I share, and how I share it.  Do I use my photos as teachable moments?  Do I use caution when posting fragile locations?  Am I doing my best to protect our green spaces?

To that end, Nature First has come up with a list of guidelines specifically for landscape photographers, in conjunction with the Leave No Trace principles.

 

1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.

2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.

3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.

4. Use discretion if sharing locations.

5. Know and follow rules and regulations.

6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.

7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Nature First movement, or better yet, joining, you can read about it over at https://www.naturefirstphotography.org
 
Every single one of us has the ability to make a positive difference and use our voice for change.  What will you do with yours?

Nirvana :: Ireland

25 Apr
Nirvana :: Ireland

Nirvana :: Ireland

Earth Day. A day when we remind each other to be good stewards, to protect the planet, to take care of our home – our only home. But in reality, those should be our goals for every day.

It’s easy to get discouraged, to think your efforts don’t matter. I’ve heard stories of people being berated: “You think recycling matters with the amount of polluting other people do???”

But change is slow. It’s not just about changing habits, but about changing society, and about placing our value on the longevity of the planet over the easy, cheap, and dangerous practices we have now. So while you may feel like your decision to avoid straws, or plastic bags, or to turn the water off while you brush your teeth, or to eat less meat, or to vote for responsible environmental laws are minuscule efforts in the face of a Herculean problem, remember that it’s just the beginning. Someone is watching, someone is learning from your decisions, and you are part of a domino effect for the better. So you recycle that container (etc) with pride, you trend-setter, you!  And know that you’re contributing to the health and well-being of our planet, and our species.

Slip :: WA

12 Mar
Slip :: WA

Slip :: WA

Wonderland :: CT

20 Feb
Wonderland :: CT

Wonderland :: CT

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus

Tumble and Drift :: CT

6 Dec
Tumble and Drift :: CT

Tumble and Drift :: CT

“I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose.” -RJ Anderson

One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself is to rule out who you’re not, so that you can focus on who you are meant to be. In doing so, you find a voice you didn’t know you had, the motivation to work towards your goals and the strength of character to weather any storm.

For me, that has often involved saying yes to opportunity, or following a blooming interest. Sometimes you find you’re not all that passionate about xyz afterall, and that’s ok. You haven’t failed, you’ve learned a lesson, and in doing so you’ve taken one step closer to finding your passion and purpose in life.

And once you discover what path you are meant to walk? The possibilities are endless. Cultivate with that purpose a strong sense of morals and ethics and you will be a significant force for positive change in this world.