Historically, nature photography has been a force for good. Conservation photographers have promoted the preservation of many ecologically sensitive and magnificently beautiful places. Nature photographs have motivated scores of people to experience nature for themselves, and in many cases become advocates for the preservation of wild places. Photography also offers a personally meaningful way for many of us to engage much more deeply with the natural world and then share those experiences with others through our photos.
In recent years, this positive legacy has been upended. It is now easy to make the case that pursuing and sharing photographs of nature has much darker consequences. Nature photography has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last five years with the rise of platforms like Instagram, easy access to detailed location information online, and technology advancements that make photo-taking much easier. These trends are leading to the irreparable destruction of some special places, overcrowding in places that can’t handle the volume of visitors, and a sharp increase in injuries and deaths from people seeking to “get the shot” or see the view they saw featured in a super-popular Instagram post.Read More