It’s one of the main draws of landscape photography, being one with nature at peace away from it all. Away from the grind, gossip and insecurities that come from society. But is this solitude being destroyed by the need for a social like? By other creatives replicating what they have already seen.
I see it all the time when going to tourist spots, everyone’s out with their camera documenting their holiday reinforcing that they have been there. It’s one of the joys of travelling, to go see something with your own eyes. Because of this are remote places losing their spirits, their scarcity to holiday clone photographers?
I’m not hating on tourists, I’m not hating on people site seeing and documenting their lives. People love to tell stories and photographs from their travels do that wonderfully. But as a photographer myself, I don’t hate the people congregating at a famous location, I just don’t admire the photographs taken there. I’ve seen it before.
As a photographer, I understand the challenge of trying to photograph something knowen in your own unique style. I’m guilty of this with ‘the New Zealand Wanaka Tree or the New York Manhatten bridge, so I am a hypocrite, to say the least. But I find more joy finding my own photographs instead of cloning what has already been done.
I do get it, seeing it for yourself is amazing, but capturing it not so much. I guess it’s like art, your just creating an act of flattery through imitation. As photographers shouldn’t we strive for our own voice and perspective, explore new endeavours and locations. As tourists paying homage is fine. Needing a social media like for our own insecurities is kinda sad on a human level.
If we were only brave enough to try and fail on our own, and step beyond imitation, I belives people would admire our bravery to be ourselves. So the next time you take a selfy enjoy the moment and capture the joy. But the next time you set up a tripod at a famous landmark ask yourself why are you doing this? Whatever reason you come up with, own it even if it to honour an artist you admire. Because I would rather have that artist’s original print or memory instead of a replicated raw file.
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