As a whole, I believe that landscape and travel photographers are good people with equally good intentions. We are all eager to photograph the beauty of nature and go to great lengths to protect it… for the most part. Unfortunately, the groundswell of social media ego and a general lack of values localized to a subset of people have resulted in myriad negative effects on nature. Rather than appreciating the privilege of shooting at these locations, some people see it as their right, with the expressed interest of getting that new post on Instagram.
The resulting general consensus has been to prohibit, or discourage, sharing locations or tagging them on social media posts. The idea is that by making it harder for others to find those locations, the odds of them being destroyed or overrun with tourists will decrease. The problem I see with this tactic is that it doesn’t do much to raise awareness and educate people. Tucking this info under the carpet may be a decent stopgap solution, but the real effort should be in empowering everyone to take greater care of our precious natural environments.
That’s why I’m very excited about a brand new project that my guest, Luka Esenko, is announcing: PhotoHound. Native to Slovenia, Luka is a fantastic photographer and guide who has traveled to over 50 countries in Europe and SE Asia. He believes that we, as a photo community, can do amazing things when we not only share all the beauty and variety that this world offers but also practice common sense, responsible photography. Instead of keeping location information proprietary, Luka wants to address the issue head-on and equip photographers with the knowledge and tools to preserve these locations. I’m a big fan of this plan and can’t wait to see what he does with PhotoHound.