I lately wrote an article asking photographers to cease tagging areas of out of doors images. This is a follow-up to that piece, with an incredible supplemental video from Vox. 

After writing the preliminary article asking photographers to cease tagging particular areas on social media, I used to be truthfully surprised whereas studying the feedback. First, this is not a brand new concept or proposal: Go away No Hint, a middle for out of doors ethics, lately launched social media tips as a framework for serving to to guard the good outside. Moreover, there gave the impression to be a couple of 70/30 cut up of opinion inside those that commented on the unique article, the bulk leaning towards the concept that this can be a made-up difficulty and that not tagging areas will not do something to assist the difficulty of overcrowding and misuse of pure and public areas. 

As panorama and nature photographers, I used to be truthfully shocked that most individuals did not view geotagging as a difficulty. With so many people continually outdoors photographing the pure world, I am genuinely in awe that extra individuals do not discover the impact now we have on public lands. I used to be particularly shocked that most individuals did not see a correlation between posting areas on social media and the quantity of those who subsequently go to stated areas. 

One basic consensus inside the majority of people that disagreed was that myself and others who withhold particular areas on social media are elitists and even smug, entitled, or condescending. However that is removed from the reality. As somebody who has spent and spends extra time in my life between the pines than on metropolis streets, I really feel an innate sense of obligation to assist shield the pure world, as a result of it means a lot to me. I’ve hiked for my whole life within the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, and have labored on an expert path crew for 2 summers in the exact same park to assist in giving again to the place that has given me a lot. Additional, I’ve traveled to many nationwide parks and public lands in america, together with however not restricted to Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Nice Smoky Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and Acadia Nationwide Park. All through all of this, I’ve seen firsthand the impact we have had on the land in a fairly quick time period.

I do notice and may perceive why others are mad or aggravated on the concept of not having a location handed to them. Everybody ought to have the ability to go to a location and get the photographs they take note of, particularly locations on public lands. All myself and others that share my mindset are asking is that we expect twice earlier than sharing precise areas as a result of this will have detrimental impacts on the land and may eternally negatively change and form landscapes. In addition to, so as to discover a spot, many people have needed to pull out a map, do our personal analysis, or simply serendipitously come across a location. Many people additionally didn’t have the precise coordinates of the areas handed to us. 

This video created by Vox displaying what occurs when nature goes viral does a improbable job explaining the detrimental results that geotagging particular areas on social media can have. Vox makes use of Horseshoe Bend as its prime instance, explaining how geotagging on social media has eternally modified the customer expertise and the panorama at this explicit location. Vox interviews locals at and close to this location to get firsthand accounts of how the explosion in recognition as a result of social media geotagging has affected the panorama. 

One other facet to this video that’s price discussing is the truth that so as to compensate for an rising variety of guests, the Park Service and metropolis officers close to Horseshoe Bend are planning to construct a big car parking zone and welcome middle. They’re additionally planning to construct a brand new path and security railings to assist shield the pure panorama. Whereas the constructing of recent trails and obstacles is commendable, I’m wondering what the impact of this will likely be. If extra individuals proceed to go to the realm, will the Park Service and different officers proceed to construct extra parking areas to accommodate these friends? Or will a allowing system seem? How many individuals and footprints can the land realistically deal with? As a park official states within the video, this can be a troublesome steadiness. 

Being a photographer who shares work on Instagram and different social media platforms, I am all the time acutely aware of the catch-22: how will we promote individuals to have their very own out of doors experiences, which can hopefully make them grow to be future stewards of the land, whereas additionally not loving pure and public locations to dying? Therefore, Go away No Hint’s social media tips. Once I do publish areas on Fb, Instagram, or any variety of on-line apps, I am positive to not tag a particular location, however fairly the park or state, if one in any respect. Additional, I do my finest to share Go away No Hint ideas, reminiscent of packing in what you pack out, staying on a mountain climbing path, respecting wildlife, and many others. It appears like a miniscule effort and alter, however similar to if each particular person individual stopped throwing their one piece of trash on the bottom, this alteration can have lasting penalties.

As Go away No Hint states: “social media, if used the correct manner, is a strong software that may encourage a nation of out of doors advocates to enthusiastically and collectively care for the locations we share and cherish.” Please take a couple of minutes to observe this informative video that additional explains why we should not be geotagging our nature images. 


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