The Dangers of Photography “Wanderlust”

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At home, if I’m not reading my fantasy books, exploring Hyrule, or hanging with my family, I am online with my tablet reading articles and websites about photography (or Nat Geo). Recently a topic came up that really hit home, how “wanderlust” is destroying photography….and the planet.

This isn’t the wanderlust that drives you to go and see the amazing places we all have access to. This is the wanderlust that has people going off trail to get that one shot to put on social media.

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This is the THOUSANDS of people going to see a super bloom of poppies only to trample and ruin nature as they are trespassing on areas that are clearly marked to keep out of.

I have never been a fan of trespassing, there are reasons for people not to want you in certain areas. Images of waterfalls that are located on private land are commonly posted, videos of people sneaking into buildings at night that are heavily decaying, just to get a reaction from people online. Some are for safety, others are because they are trying to rehabilitate the area.

Also, I’m sure you all have hear of “treat others how you want to be treated”. I dont like people trespassing on my property or leaving trash all over it, so why should I do that to someone else?


Is jail time really worth it? Is destroying something rare and unique worth that one extra follower? No. It never is.

Also, with more people accessing an off-limits area, it brings attention to other areas that may see an influx. In turn, this can create stricter rules and more expensive permits for all. This situation really is just a selfish act.

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Easily accessed shot as the trail ended right at the stream bed.
Want access to a special area? Contact the right people! There have been some instances where filming or photography has been denied (here is looking to you Shanghai Tunnels), but really if you go through the proper channels, most people are appreciative that you asked and are doing things right.

Ready for your next adventure? Great! Here are a few ideas that will help next time you’re out and want to create some Instagram worthy pics using the spots that are highly photographed.

  • Find a new, creative angle that utilizes the existing paths
  • Nature is there 24/7, wait for some different lighting, or bring your own!
  • Speaking of lighting, watch for harsh light. That is the midday sun that brings out super bright highlights and really dark shadows. Try to have your subject in full sun or shade, but not both.
  • Learn about long exposures. Definitely make your images stand out.

Another way to really enjoy the spot you spent all day hiking to for that one image? Put all technology away, sit down, and breathe the air. Actually take in where you are.

We get so busy trying to capture it with our cameras and phones, but forget that sometimes we forget to actually enjoy it.

But remember, in all of this, PLEASE stay on the trails and hike out everything that you brought in. Nobody likes to see trash or hundreds of years of forest and fields vanish for a quick moment of “fame”.

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