photo by helivideo via iStock
As landscape photographers, we are naturally concerned about the environment. Nature is beautiful, nature is full of surprises, and nature is affected by our own actions. We can learn how to be an environmentally-friendly landscape photographer by implementing thoughts and ideas from around the web.
My number one top tip in any list of eco-friendly photography tips for landscape photography is to ride a bike. Not too surprisingly, this is also near the top of my general landscape photography tips.
One of the reasons photography trekking is such a great choice for environmentally-friendly landscape photography is that you get to see nature in front of your lens instead of zipping by everything but your destination at 75 MPH.
Many times while riding my bike to a spot where I’m expecting great views for my landscape photography, I will come across a scene or a subject that is just begging me to take its picture.
It’s not that I can’t build up some speed while biking, but the up close, personal visit to nature that photography trekking gives you could be missed from a car or SUV windshield.
Photography Trekking Limits Pollution
photo by nazar_ab via iStock
Photography trekking is also beneficial to the environment by limiting pollution and the consumption of natural resources. If we added up all of the costs to the environment of a 40-mile round trip in an automobile, it could be surprising.
Gasoline production and consumption adds pollution, regardless of the level of environmental protection the companies work under. Rubber from our tires, the road building and maintenance materials, even making batteries and charging them up in an all-electric vehicle has environmental impacts.
But if you #GoByBike the environmental impact is obviously far less. Under your own power, you can explore the world around you knowing that you’re helping preserve it and save it for future generations. What’s not to like about that?!
Photography Trekking Is Fun, Too
Just being out in nature, searching for awesome photographic subjects, and exercising your mind and body is totally enjoyable.
While any bike will get you outside, riding a high-end specimen like the Trek Remedy 9.9 picture above is a true treat.
I picked up this bad boy last year after having ridden Specialized bikes for quite some time. And while I enjoyed my Specialized bikes, this Trek kicks it up a notch…
It’s lightweight, yet strong thanks to the carbon frame. It also has a FOX factory fork and Bontrager carbon wheels that add to the strength and durability of the bike while also keeping the ride ultra-comfortable.
From the ride quality to the build, this is the real deal - a complete package that you can use for some photography trekking adventures of your own. Just visit your local Trek dealer and they will help you find the ideal bike for your needs.
The act of pursuing the art and craft of landscape photography is also an enjoyable adventure in itself. Putting photography and biking together is almost too much fun. Seriously, though, the mental and emotional exercise of creating Art blends well with the mind and body workout of biking.
Take Only Memories...
photo by AlenaPaulus via iStock
Or photographs, you can take photographs! The quote “Take only memories, leave only footprints” is attributed to Chief Seattle of the Native American Duwamish Tribe. What it means is to leave no trace of your visit which is the essence of how to be an environmentally-friendly landscape photographer.
With photography trekking, you’re doing this. The evidence you leave behind is limited to bike tracks and footprints. Riding responsibly, you will also take care not to damage the natural elements you are riding through. It should go without saying that a landscape photographer would not purposefully litter and would also take special care not to litter accidentally, either.
Taking photographs creates and preserves memories. Taking souvenirs could be illegal besides being damaging to the environment. Look up local regulations covering this, as some state and national parks won’t even let you carry out a stone.
For good reason, too. Consider this as an environmentally-friendly landscape photographer, if everyone visiting a pristine beach, waterfall, or other scene were to take something from the scene, in short order the scene we cherished so much to bike to and photograph could be gone.
Invest In Durable Gear
If you buy a cheap bike, you will only get so much use out of it before it breaks down unrepairably. And then you have to buy another bike as a replacement, causing more manufacturing-related environmental impacts and leaving behind more trash.
Think of buying a bike as an investment. To maximize that investment, opt for something that is well-made and durable and that will give you years and years of performance - like my Trek Remedy 9.9!
The same principle applies to photographic gear, including the camera, lenses, tripods, and bags we use. You aren’t required to break your personal budget, but better, more rugged gear lasts longer and can be more economically friendly to you in the long run.
For bikes and photographic equipment, it often pays off in the long run to purchase the best you can afford than to look only for the bargain choice.
Buy or Sell Used
photo by Budanatr via iStock
Quality equipment will often last longer than someone needs to use it. Which is why the used camera and lens market stays large despite dozens of great new releases each year. There is a thriving used bike market as well, often run by the dealers of new equipment.
If you are purchasing a new bike, camera, or lens, consider using your older gear as a trade in or selling it outright. This gives someone else the opportunity to invest in quality gear without busting their personal budget wide open.
Consider it also as a form of recycling. You are recycling big ticket items. That way, they still get used, you feel good about being an environmentally-friendly landscape photographer, and someone who is possibly just breaking into photography trekking gets to use high quality gear.
Photograph a Cause
photo by VisualCommunications via iStock
This eco-friendly photography tip has a potential of turning an avocation into a vocation. There are many nature photographers who are also involved in efforts to preserve the environment we photograph.
Some of the most fulfilling work we could engage in can be enjoyable to us and truly beneficial to others. As photographers, we have an opportunity to show people what is special about the world surrounding us.
If we have an audience due to our photographic business or hobby, using it to highlight what is important to us just might make a difference. If enough people tried, the natural world could survive and thrive. Showing the world of man the world around us is one avenue open to environmentally-friendly landscape photographers.
Stop Driving So Much
photo by vm via iStock
Bike instead. It’s fun, you can find wonderful subjects for your amazing photographic skills, and you are stomping less with a smaller eco-footprint. Remember…#GoByBike is the way to do it!
As you go out photography trekking with your bike and camera gear, look for all that matters to you as a person as well as what you love as a photographer. Reach out to me, too, I want to see your pics and hear your eco-friendly voice!