Tonje Lilleås

Why landscape photographers should go green

Everyone that knows me, knows that I’m very passionate about nature. And it really makes sense to me that my love for nature means that I care about preserving it. In this post I will share my thoughts on why I think landscape photographers should go green.

Want to see a selection of my landscape images? Check out the “Selected landscapes” portfolio.

Climate change is real

I hope that by now most people can agree that climate change is real. I’m not going to spend a lot of time debating wether or not the changes are man made. To me it is a given. We have been living without consideration of how our lifestyle is harmful to nature for such a long time. Even though I can understand that it’s hard to take in the fact that we are changing something so big and crucial as the climate, I don’t understand how it’s possible to be willing to risk it just to keep our ways of life. Man made or not, climate change is real. Let’s agree on that being the starting point.

It might be too late to turn it around?

For years and years we have heard activists talking about how we can turn the developing changes in the climate around. However if we want to be able to do something about it, we have to act now they’ve said. But most people have kept moving forward in the same way. Constantly chasing fame, fortune and a “better way of life”. We’ve all been chasing the American dream. Even the ones of us not living in America.

The last few years though, something has indeed changed. More and more people are starting to question why glaciers are melting at such a rapid rate. Or even why we are finding plastic bags inside the belly of beautiful whales. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many families trying to save the bees and bumblebees as I have these last couple of years. And I do think the engagement is real. However some of the activists and scientists are suggesting that we woke up too late. They might be right, I know. Nonetheless I choose to believe that our efforts still count. I choose to believe that if we act NOW, we can still save some of what we stand at the risk of loosing if we keep going.

Why landscape photographers should go green

I firmly believe that landscape photographers has a special responsibility to do what we can to preserve nature. Just like wildlife photographers has to help get across the message about endangered species, landscape photographers need to help show the landscapes and nature we will loose if we don’t act. And a lot of landscape photographers probably agree with me. Even so I find that there’s something really wrong with the way we work these days.

With the growth of Instagram, landscape images have become vastly popular. We are travelling the world seeking the next great image of breathtaking locations. Always striving to make images more jawdropping than the last one. However this mass hunt for the next image that goes viral has taken its toll on the very locations we want to show off.

In Norway for instance people living close to popular locations are begging Visit Norway to stop promoting the locations to tourists. They are doing it because they see that nature just can’t handle the masses without getting severely damaged. A lot of tourists are here just to get that Instagram shot, and sadly don’t show enough respect and care for the nature they are photographing. In the U.S. tourists have been reported to break national park regulations to get the very same image they have seen someone else post on Instagram. To me that is totally twisted. Not to mention the fact that our travels all over the world, largely by plane, is contributing with massive pollution every time we go.

So why should landscape photographers go green? It’s as simple as the fact that there is no alternative. We have to preserve and save what we can for generations to come. And we have a special responsibility because we have gotten to enjoy all these beautiful moments in nature while capturing our images.

The video

I spent a weekend in the mountains thinking about this post. Thinking about how there’s still so many places yet to discover, so many places where you can shoot beautiful landscape images without traveling far or contributing to damaging the popular spots. And I hope that the main thing you take from this post and the video is that there’s always more to explore locally.

If you want to get some tips on how you as a photographer can go green, make sure you subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel. I post a lot of my images from my local explorations on Instagram, and would love it if you would follow me there as well. And I would love to hear your thoughts on what you think we can do to make sure that the natural wonders of the world will be around for many generations to come. I wish you the very best of days!



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