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Talk #2 Somewhere Else

The way by Nathalie Houdin

In recent years, landscape and nature photography has become very popular, so much so that it started to impact the welfare of our planet. We share our photographs and vision on social media and indirectly encourage people to travel to pristine locations. Natural beauty inspires us all, not only photographers, so it would be naïve to think that if photographers stop taking pictures, the gigantic travel industry would collapse and environmental preservation would bloom. It is more complex than that, but a little more active engagement of photographers in promoting ethical guidelines and practices may help to neutralise the impact of photography.

There is also another way that we photographers can help. Before we capture all the beauty of the far away places and honey pot locations (and as a result be partially responsible for the increased number of people travelling to them), we can take pictures ‘somewhere else’. What do I mean? There is so much beauty close to home, no matter where you live, without the need for extensive travel. If you are prepared to open your eyes and search for details, you will not need to travel to pristine locations, as nature nearby could be a great source of inspiration.

Take ‘The Way’ image by Nathalie Houdin - a delightful pattern of ice that could have been taken anywhere (obviously cold climate needed). This well-balanced intimate landscape is a great example of rewards that awaits photographers when they engage more closely with the environment on a smaller scale. The surrounding natural chaos has been turned into a perfectly organised visual treat. Small could be the new big, let’s try to awake in people an appreciation of beauty on their doorstep, without polluting the air and creating the need for costly clean-up operations. We can show our viewers, that there is plenty of natural beauty away from the famous locations, one just needs to look and care.

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