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Up for Discussion – Environmental Photography

LeanneCole-mallee-20140125-7858

This weeks guest post is by me, I won’t introduce myself and I hope you don’t mind me doing one of these posts. I have always had ideas of what to write about, but I have enjoyed letting other people write posts for me, gives me a day off.  I hadn’t organised anyone for today, so I thought I might talk to you about something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.

Environmental Photography

Rock_island_bend

Peter Dombrovskis, Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, National Library of Australia, Canberra

Those of you that have been with me for almost 4 years will know that my photography has changed a lot over that time.  I am not going to go into how, but more recently I’ve started noticing that I am doing so much more landscape work, which 15 years ago, I would never have considered. I am always looking for places to take photos that I think are interesting. I don’t know that what I want to do falls under the umbrella of nature, though it is sort of like nature, however I don’t really want to photograph the animals or the birds.

So where does that leave me, I have started thinking it leaves me in the world of environmental photography, is that such a thing? I thought first we should explore what environmentalism and what it means to be an environmentalist. I looked up those words in the Wikipedia.

Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environ ment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements. Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity. For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, enviromental ethics, biodiversity, ecology and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly.

and

An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, “a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities”. An environmentalist is engaged in or believes in the philosophy of environmentalism.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140125-7858If that is what an environmentalist is, then can a photographer be one?

This is a question I keep asking myself, especially when you consider that in the past photography has been so harmful to the environment with all the film and chemicals.  It is one thing that I do love about digital, it is so much better for the environment, though I have heard that it is still bad because we keep upgrading our gear. I don’t know about that, I do upgrade, but I always seem to hang onto my old gear, just in case. So now the question is, what or how can we be an environmental photographer?

The most famous photographer I can think of that has been called this is Ansel Adams and how he photographed theLeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0525 world around him.  Did he change things?  I don’t know, but I do know an Australian photographer that stopped a dam. Peter Dombrovskis took the first image in this post and it has been credited with helping to stop the Franklin River dam.  What the photo depicted would have been under the dam if it had happened. How many of us would like to take a photo that could have that much impact?

I have to admit I like the idea, but a check with reality makes me realise that in todays world that is going to be a lot harder. Though I do believe that our climate is changing, and in the years I’ve been here the weather has changed a lot. Our environment is changing constantly and perhaps it would be good to start taking photos of what is here now, and then what is here next year, and the year after.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140125-7864So I find myself asking, can I be a “greenie”, or do I want to be one! I really like the idea of taking more environmental style images.  I like going into my local park to see what I can get, in all sorts of conditions.  I also really like going to the Mallee for the same sorts of reasons. The Mallee is an area that has changed a lot over the last 200 years, and it continues to suffer from what we are doing to the planet. I know since I was child growing up in the area things have changed there, farmers have become a lot more knowledgeable about sustaining the enviroment and things I saw as a child, you no longer see.  Though we haven’t gone far enough.LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0532

One of the things that I have enjoyed doing is going to the national parks up there and looking around them, then seeing what is happening. They say the desert area in Australia is getting bigger all the time, and when you go up there it isn’t hard to believe.  If the original settlers, well the English ones found what is there now, I don’t know that they would have stuck around.  The land there has been changed so much, and many of the lakes that had water, now have none. It is very different now. Who knows what it will be like in another 100 years, and all I can do is photograph it and show everyone what it is like.  I do hope that my photos help people to lake-albacutya-sand-dunes-1understand what is happening.

I suppose that means that I want to be an environmental photographer, and I think I’m fine with that.  I really look forward to my trips up to the Mallee and to areas around me.  It is fascinating seeing the areas and talking to people about the areas, I love hearing the history of the areas as much as I like taking photos of them. I think for me, the idea would be to make people aware of what is around me and around the country.

If I go and take photos of what is here, and in other places, then I put them up here on my blog, then you and others become aware of those places.  You might make a connection and then help to protect it.  I think there is land worth saving, and worth protecting.

What do you think of when you think of Environment photography?  Do any particular photographers come to mind?

For this post, with the exception of the first image, the photos are mine and they have been taken over the last couple of years, though most of them this year.  I wanted to show the different situations where banyule-flats-fog-parks-trees-9change can happen, one of them being a dry summer, and the other being fire.  When the Black Saturday fires happened here over 5 years ago I was sort of told that I shouldn’t take photos, I wish I had though.  I took photos after the Mallee fires and now have been able to go back and see how the land is regenerating, now I will be able to continue doing that and to show you.  At the end I have included a video that I just did recently of the Pink Lakes from the photos I took there.

I have included a video here that I just did recently of the Pink Lakes from the photos I took there.  This is something else that I want to do more, using my photos to tell stories of areas, and so I am working on getting better at doing these video presentation.

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95 Comments Post a comment
  1. Interesting development :-)

    August 5, 2014
  2. Recently a school of photography has grown up in the work of photographers like Canadian Edward Burtynsky, photogrphers who focus on large-scale human made environmental disasters. I think they have captured the label.

    August 5, 2014
    • I knew there were others Victor, I think it is a great thing, and something I would like to explore more, thanks for the name, I will check him out.

      August 5, 2014
  3. Edward Burtynsky comes to mind. He does both film and photography. Just give a Google.

    August 5, 2014
    • Second person to mention him, thanks Elen, I will check him out.

      August 5, 2014
  4. Oh now cool! How often does one see kangaroos that way. I mean those of us that don’t live in kangaroo land! :-)

    August 5, 2014
    • Out in that area around dusk all the time apparently. I don’t get there much, so don’t really know. We see them around where we live often, which is always nice. Thanks. :)

      August 5, 2014
  5. I can’t go for all that green stuff but there is nothing wrong with helping keep the place clean.

    August 5, 2014
    • That is a shame John, there is so much evidence out there to support, we are killing the planet. 99% of scientists can’t be that wrong. I don’t want to leave an environment for my children that means that life for them will be too hard.

      August 5, 2014
  6. I think that photographs of the environment over a period of time tell a story. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. I hope when the story is bad the photographs stir people to try to reverse what has happened (if appropriate). A very good writer will be able to convey the message just as well but photographs can share the story more easily with fewer words.

    August 5, 2014
    • I agree Gary, it can tell a story, though sometimes that story can simply be to help protect it. So very true, thank you Gary.

      August 5, 2014
  7. The photo of Rock Island Bend is just breathtaking! Thank you for sharing :0)

    August 5, 2014
    • You’re welcome, so nice to see it again after all these years, thank you.

      August 5, 2014
  8. Reblogged this on dunjav.

    August 5, 2014
  9. I think we are all environmental photographers. Also the landscape will continue to change regardless of us. And yes we can also help and show awareness

    August 5, 2014
    • Yes, perhaps we are, though many aspects of the landscape will change because of us, which is sad. Thanks Luis, I like that idea.

      August 5, 2014
      • I agree with you. Keep shooting. I like your idea too

        August 6, 2014
      • Will do Luis, thank you.

        August 6, 2014
  10. Great post, Leanne. I have always been an environmentalist, trying to improve things in my own little world. And with some of my photos, I have gotten some feedback regarding Lake Erie, how improved it has become. Now, I wasn’t into photography like I am now when this Lake was a filthy mess and now I sort of wish I had been. But to hear some of my friends say how good it is to see how clean Lake Erie is, makes me feel so good that I am showing this to the world at large. I have a post coming of Niagara River, which I hope will stir the same reaction. Our waters here were SO polluted due to all the industries that lined the Lake Front, but over the years, those industries have closed. Again, I really enjoyed this post. Thank you. Love, Amy

    August 5, 2014
    • We have had similar things happening here Amy, though more our rivers, so then they would take the pollution out to sea, so not good at all. They have done a lot to help clean it all up, but still, it is happening again, because people get complacent. When I was growing up there were a massive campaign to clean up Australia, and it has sort of disappeared now, so young people are so used to their parents cleaning up after them, or people getting paid to do it, they just throw litter on the ground, someone else’s mess. It is so sad to see.
      I am glad you enjoyed the post Amy, wasn’t really sure what I was writing, so I hope it made sense.

      August 5, 2014
      • It made total sense, Leanne. Speaking of garbage, I have this one photo that I is wonderful until I went to view it and saw the litter in the photo. It makes me so sad to see the disrespect for Nature, for people, and everyone just expecting the next person to clean up. Frustrates me to no end, when I am the type of person who tiptoes in a garden, making sure I don’t disturb anything. You have put some thoughts into my head, as I now am more aware of the environment and how I can bring that to my photography. Thank you so much! xx Amy

        August 5, 2014
      • I know just what you mean Amy, it saddens me too.
        That is great to hear Amy, I look forward to hearing how your explanations go. good luck.

        August 5, 2014
  11. Awareness is I agree, the first step to making people want to halt changes which are detrimental to the environment – maybe Groups of photographs would have even more influence

    August 5, 2014
    • I hope so, though things like blogs and such that can reach so many people are also a great way of doing things too. Thanks Diana.

      August 5, 2014
  12. I don’t see why you shouldn’t have photographed after the fires. After all, didn’t television crews and newspaper journalists do exactly that?
    I went through Kinglake about a year or so after the fires there and photographed some of the area. It is wonderful how quickly regeneration takes place. I also photographed part of the Blue Mountains a few weeks ago. Since the fires have been through and cleared so much of the undergrowth, many of the rock faces are now visible from the road. I think it would be wonderful to photograph the progression and regrowth. We live in a harsh (but extremely beautiful) country. I think that someone needs to document that beauty.

    August 5, 2014
    • I wish now I had, it isn’t that far from here. There seemed to be an attitude that it would be insensitive. I did take some of Marysville about 2 months after it happened, and it is good to see how much it has grown since then. I agree, it is nice to see how we adapt and survive, not just the plants, but the humans as well. Thanks Suz.

      August 5, 2014
  13. Great photos… So unlike any terrain we see here in UK. Environmental photography sounds like a really worthwhile focus.

    August 5, 2014
    • Oh yes, I could believe that, the terrain is so different, though parts would be similar, but the Mallee would be like nothing there. Thank you, it could be an interesting path to try out.

      August 5, 2014
      • Good luck… Not that you need it.

        August 5, 2014
      • Oh I do, I seem to have no luck when it comes to things, it is quite depressing.

        August 5, 2014
      • Failing luck, we shall have to depend on grit and determination :-)

        August 6, 2014
      • I think we shall, :)

        August 6, 2014
  14. Sounds daft but there is a guy on Instagram that photographs litter that he has found, his profile is Litterati, that might be an interesting environmental viewpoint. Looking at the way we treat our local environments

    August 5, 2014
    • Doesn’t sound daft at all, it is a shame that he can find so much to photograph.I haven’t looked for him yet, but will. Thanks for the suggestion.

      August 5, 2014
  15. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    The music and video were excellent; it’s a great environmental documentary. You also capture the decay of years past. Ansel Adams does come to mind the way he documented the western U.S.

    August 5, 2014
    • Thanks Jackie, a good start with making them I hope, I do hope to get a lot better. Yes, he certainly does.

      August 5, 2014
  16. I don’t know if it’s any longer possible to maintain an amoral stance when undertaking any endeavour, even photography. Certainly many people would like to maintain that there is actual meaning behind what they do, and I don’t know that such meaning can exists outside the particular “moral” realm. But apart from that, the notion of a pure objective stance is long gone out the window. So, landscape photography becomes more than just pretty pictures, it at the same time active in its defense of such places. So many photographs are motivated by the notion that what you see before you won’t be there to see again.

    August 5, 2014
    • I think having some meaning behind what you do gives you reasons to do what you do. I usually have some idea of what I want to get out of a photoshoot, what sort of photos I plan on trying to get, why I want to capture them. They are for different reasons. I think it is true that what you see before you want be there again, whether the weather is different, or something happens. You rarely get the same image twice. Things are always changing, sometimes for good, sometimes not.

      August 5, 2014
  17. I’m not sure where landscapes and environmental photography part ways – I’m thinking that for the environmental part you almost need a before and after shot of something that has gone bad in the environment to show the point of the image. If I remember my art history, part of the move in painting from the depiction of things in reality to modernism was the thought that art could change man’s perception of his world. “Guernica” certainly changed the way we look at art, but it did not really effect the way we see war – so I laud your efforts to sort this out and help to change things for the better.

    August 5, 2014
    • Maybe they don’t part ways Robert, the same with Nature photography, I don’t know about the before and after, but I like the idea of images over time. I want to be able to do something to stop a potential freeway from being put through or near the swamp near my house. I know the best way to do that is to take photos that people can relate to, and feel an attachment to, so they want to help preserve it. I don’t know that images can have the same impact, but perhaps through a series of images, it can become like a person has been there and wants to be there. I don’t know, I just like the idea of trying. Thank you Robert.

      August 5, 2014
      • We all have to try – it is better than doing nothing – because by doing nothing the money always wins – good luck!

        August 5, 2014
      • That is so true Robert, I hate it when that happens. Thank you.

        August 5, 2014
  18. Leanne, I love your work and enthusiasm. It is about making people aware .. Thanks for caring and sharing

    August 5, 2014
    • Yes, that is what I think too Julie, the more people are aware and feel a connection, the more likely they are to want to help protect it. YOu’re welcome, and thank you.

      August 5, 2014
  19. I like your POV. And I will admit that I love seeing the kangaroos. :)

    August 5, 2014
    • I thought people might like seeing those again, :). thanks Laura.

      August 5, 2014
    • Me too. Would love to see one in the wild, what an amazing sight.

      August 5, 2014
      • me too! HEY WAIT! Paul???? Aren’t you on G+? lol

        August 6, 2014
  20. Excellent post, Leanne. Well done on the video.

    August 5, 2014
  21. Hi Leanne, your photos are wonderful, and your blog post thoughtful and thought provoking. Like you and others I am not sure how landscape photography and environmental photography are different but one site you might be interested is http://news.msn.com/world/ciwem-2014-environmental-photographer-of-the-year
    some great photos and I took this from their site
    The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year is an international contest which celebrates photographers’ images of environmental and social issues, sharing them with global audiences to enhance our understanding of the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, climate change and social inequality.
    it sounds like it something you and some of your readers might be interested in.
    I will also recommend you check out Edward Burtynsky’s work, I have one of his books, he has received some big awards for his environmental photography.
    again great post, love your dedication.

    August 5, 2014
    • Thanks for the link to that site, it is interesting to see what qualifies, or what one particular body thinks qualifies.
      I am interested and I appreciate you leaving the link, so thank you and I am sure others will be interested as well.
      A couple of other people have mentioned him and I have been checking his images out, quite amazing.

      August 5, 2014
  22. Leanne, it’s so strange to read your discoveries and perceptions of the evolution of your work. I say strange, because the other day I realized much the same about my own work. It’s a subject that I’ve been contemplating with gusto and even quiet. I’m a backyard steward for our local nature society where I assist homeowners with their gardens: turning them into wildlife habitats by using (mostly) native plants. It’s a program that educates the public about their role in sustainability. I adore this volunteer work, and have noticed a subliminal spell over into my work. It may be subtle but it’s there. As you do, I certainly do not limit myself to nature photography, but it is increasing week by week. There are many photographers who have emerged with a mission to help document and bring awareness about the state of our planet. I read about a new publication today where a photographer has focused on one goal that documents an aspect of nature’s changing spectrum. I will mention it soon in my Tip of the Week. There are so many dimensions to the wave of changes occurring in nature that I’ve thought about specializing, just need to contemplate the pluses and minuses. What are your thoughts? Your post was marvelous and heartfelt.

    August 5, 2014
    • It must be going around Sally, or it is the weather, LOL. That is fantastic what you do, I would like my garden to be like that, though not sure it would work here very well. I think it is a great thing to be involved in, I like the idea, and want to pursue it here in my state. Thanks Sally, send me a link when you do it.

      August 5, 2014
  23. Hi Leanne, I think you should give this some serious consideration, you might be onto something. I gave up landscape photography about 10 years ago, partly because I live in a region where people come from all over the world to photograph (Yosemite to Death Valley plus A LOT of COMPETITION) but mainly because I found I would rather sit and enjoy the landscape rather than worry about always getting the picture. I chose historic artifacts and locations not because of the high client demand (believe me here) but because it fills me. It is always working with the mindset of photo-documenting something I enjoy – receiving the input about my subject is as fascinating as photographing. From what I’ve read on your post & G+, you like receiving the stories about your photo subjects too. There might not be as many clients or high demands but stuff does come around (I just signed an agreement for the Shay #10 series.) People who know you are interested in their interest will seek photo documentaries. Great photos and it shows this appeals to you – give it a good look, documenting the environment could be you.

    August 5, 2014
    • I hope so Paul, it would be nice. I can understand doing what you did, there is something about trying to photograph something that everyone else does, I find I often lose interest then. I do like the stories, I like hearing about peoples experiences and such, it is really fascinating. What is Shay? Thanks Paul, I hope so.

      August 5, 2014
      • Shay is a form of the locomotives I posted last month on G+. Just letting you know that though work/jobs can be slow by following these specialized routes, work is definitely out there. I think you would make a great environmental photographer (and think it is different than landscape) in the sense you are documenting and presenting for people with a like mind. Instead of just presenting photographs of the beautiful country side you visit, you already present and share the stories that accompany – fires, drying of the farm lands, gold mining history. This knowledge and these stories are what would make it more than another landscape. Even if you only shoot the location once, with your photo and the knowledge you collect with it, you have a resource others might pass by. Think of the sheep shearing shed – great photo, and in another generation who will know what it was like to live/grow up in that area and cultural lifestyle.

        August 6, 2014
      • Oh yes, I don’t know why I didn’t figure that out. I agree, it is finding the work that is so hard. Thank you, it is something I might try, though it will always be as a side interest I think. I like teaching, but I would like to stretch what I do. Thank you so much Paul.

        August 6, 2014
  24. A great post Leanne, thanks for sharing. I agree that photography should be used for progressive change, for example war photography has often shifted public opinion away from aggression and towards peaceful resolution, photos of civil rights campaigners & desegregated schools in US 1960′s helped shift public opinion towards equal rights etc. I amazed that people can willingly ‘opt out’ of environmental concern & action – if they equally use the planets resources then they also have a responsibility (& moral obligation, as the above poster notes) to be a caretaker for our environment. Raising awareness through photography is one of the many ways that we can start to fulfill that responsibility. Thank You !

    August 5, 2014
    • Oh yes, lets not forget that television had a lot to do with turning peoples attitudes away from the Vietnam war. I agree, I don’t understand people sticking their heads in the sand, it isn’t right. It is usually the people who deny it that are using more resources, and they don’t want to change their lives in any way, to be conscientious would mean giving up on things. You’re welcome Daniel, I think this is something that could be important.

      August 5, 2014
  25. Oh, Leanne, I feel the same way you do. That is exactly why I have been shooting the progression of photos after the biggest wildfire in our state – to show the destruction, but also to show the regeneration and re-birth of the forest. When I started, I didn’t have all the long-term ramifications in mind, but after I thought about it, I hoped that it might at least open more discussion about the two sides of forest management. It doesn’t necessarily have to be environmentalists vs. the forest service.

    August 5, 2014
    • That is a great thing to do, it is good then to see how much it has all changed. I hope you do keep doing it, I agree, sometimes the real problem is more that there is no line of communication. Good luck.

      August 5, 2014
  26. Leanne, some of your photos of Australia remind me of the American Southwest. 50 years ago the Glen Canyon area of the Colorado River in southern Utah and northern Arizona was dammed up to form Lake Powell. The Sierra Club and other conservation organizations fought the government but lost. In 1963 the great photographer Eliot Porter and David Brower, then the head of the Sierra Club, published a book called “The Place No One Knew.” The book was written by Porter and Brower and edited by Brower and contained 80 beautiful photos taken by Porter.The book has gone through several editions and is still available here and there. And a lot of the photos can be found on the Internet. Just google Eliot Porter Glen Canyon.

    August 5, 2014
    • That sounds really interesting, I will be definitely checking it out, I think that is another way of doing this, to show what was lost. Thank you so much for telling me about this, I will go and google it now.

      August 5, 2014
  27. I think of myself as an environmental photographer and environmentalist (though there are plenty environmentalists with whom I disagree!). My photography includes all sorts of things -they are all in one kind of environment or another, including the city and architecture – I like showing the benefits of trees with architecture. The most important thing, I think, is to help people to be more aware of their surroundings and hope that through better appreciation of it, greater care will be taken of it.

    August 5, 2014
    • Yes, I agree, that is something I would like to do, work on making people more aware, especially with where I live, there is some amazing things around here and I would love to help promote that. Thank you, it is great to hear from so many people that feel the same way.

      August 5, 2014
  28. If you read anything about Ansel Adams, you would come to understand that he liked getting away from city life but considered himself to be a photographer first and foremost. He was influenced by what he saw and more importantly, felt. He became an environmentalist because he felt something strongly. Oh yes. He was also a piano player. Music and photography seems to blend together.

    That said, the best work comes from the inside. If you have to think so much about what you want to do, the work may be technically acceptable, but it will lack heart and soul. As my own musical miss says, “Just let it come to me.” Or, as I borrowed and say, “Don’t take the picture, let the picture take you.”

    August 6, 2014
    • I have to say when I saw the they said he was an environmental photographer, I was a bit shocked, photographer, landscape photographer yes, but I never thought of him as the first, though there are always people who are doing work and they don’t realise. I agree Ray, it does have to come from within. Thank you.

      August 6, 2014
      • He became an environmentalist because he wanted to preserve the places he saw. At least that’s what his biography says. U.S. environmentalists embraced his work because of its beauty. They two sort of intermingled. There are other current photographers like him — Art Wolfe, Franz Lanting and a couple of NGS guys. They work in color, while Adam’s most well known work is bw.

        August 6, 2014
      • I have just learned about Art Wolfe, watched him on the internet and learned so much. Haven’t heard of the other guy, but will look him up. That makes lots of sense, what you said about Adams, I think it happens to lots of photographers, wanting to preserve the beauty of a place.

        August 6, 2014
      • Franz is a little crazy. He likes to actually get in the middle of stuff. Like alligator infested swamps without a boat.I like to get in the middle of stuff too, but I usually limit it to human beings, not big toothy reptiles. :)

        August 6, 2014
      • So crazy, haha, I don’t think I would do that either, nah, no photo is worth getting killed for.

        August 6, 2014
  29. beautiful photos and post Leanne. I love the kangaroos!! I like the idea of environmental photography!

    August 6, 2014
    • Kangaroos are always popular on here, LOL. I like the idea too Cybele, thank you.

      August 6, 2014
  30. To me, environmental photography seems to be photographing the natural environment for the purpose to help preserve it in its natural state. I guess I could be considered an environmental photographer to a point as I only like to photograph landscape shots as a natural environment type of photo. But I don’t do anything to help preserve the environment with my photos.

    I do believe that we should allow as much as of the environment to evolve naturally. I think that if something happens that environmentalists don’t like, then you have to ask if it is something that was caused by man, or was it caused naturally? If it’s caused naturally, I believe that evolution has a bigger hand in what has happened. It is hard to say if climate change is caused by us or if it is just the natural state of things. I believe that a lot of the climate change is natural and if we went back in and changed things that we’ve done, the climate would most likely still be like it is today. I enjoy watching nature evolve as it provides a different photo to take when visiting the same place over time.

    August 6, 2014
    • I think that is what gave me the idea really, the fact that they want to build a freeway through the park here, or near here, and how everything is for fossil fuels and money and the environment isn’t considered enough. So I thought, I have a large following on my blog, perhaps I could use it to talk about what is happening. Photograph it as well.

      I think the evidence is fairly evident that fossil fuels and the livestock industry have a lot to do with what is happening to the planet, and I don’t believe it can be natural, it is happening too fast, think about how long everything else takes, hundreds of years, but this is happening in 50 to 100 years, it is too quick. I believe that people who feel like you do Justin is because to change what is happening would mean changing how you live and people don’t want to do that. So many scientists are saying it is man, are you saying you know more than them. How could they have got it so wrong?

      August 6, 2014
      • I understand what your saying about how it seems like environment changes are happening fast, but there’s no proof that changes like this hasn’t happened in the past. There’s a lot of speculation and theories on what it may have been like at different points in time, but there’s no way to know 100%. I think that humans have some to do with things with how much resources we are consuming, but can we actually cause drastic effects to the weather patterns that have been causing unusual weather behaviors lately? The way I think about it is that our planet is estimated to be over 4 billion years old and we have only been tracking the weather patterns a very small fraction of that time. It’s very difficult to say how much of a change we make since we don’t have enough information to really know. Some believe we make drastic changes and others small changes.

        Overall though, I also believe that in order to survive on this planet that change needs to happen. With the human population growth rate vs. the amount of resources present, I don’t think it’s sustainable for us to survive with the way we now live. I like it that some countries have reserved land as protected areas to preserve them which allows us to enjoy them, but more importantly to give other animals a place to live where we aren’t destroying their homes.

        It would be nice if you are able to make a change to help preserve the environment in your area. I like to visit places to enjoy the natural surroundings, not the towns or cities. If places continue to expand natural areas continue to shrink, then I’d have less motivation to want to travel. It’d be nice to know that the future generations can still enjoy nature as we can today.

        August 6, 2014
      • I really don’t believe, of course we have cause things to happen, we get droughts here in Australia like never before, why, because we pulled all the trees down to farm the land. Simple, no trees, then the gases in the air can’t be converted back to oxygen. Also it rains more where there are trees, I don’t totally understand how, but it is true. There is a massive hole in the ozone layer above, we caused that. We are not due to enter another ice age for about 14,000 years, but they are worried we are going to go into one prematurely because of what is happening to the planed, that isn’t natural. We have been only tracking those weather patterns a short term, but they can tell what the weather was like and how often things happened, and so I think it would be wrong to assume you instincts are more accurate than what scientists have found. The planet is changing, and it is happening too fast, that is what has everyone concerned. The planet will survive, but will we? No doubt man will in some form, but things will change dramatically, one day, and apparently soon, oil will run out. There isn’t an infinite supply of it, it will run out. We will deplete the planet of all fossil fuels, even though they cause green house gases, maybe it will take suffocating ourselves to realise it. Though the area that people don’t realise that is doing the most damage is the livestock industry if we all stopped eating meat that would potentially stop a lot. Well, cut down how much we eat. I eat meat, but I am the only one in my house that does, but I am thinking of cutting the amount right down and having meat free days.

        I think leaving forested areas is good, and reforesting other areas would be fantastic. I met a guy once that had some land in the Mallee, well he still has it, but he has left a big chuck of it for nature to take over, it was really amazing.

        YOu would love the area I live in Justin, we follow the green belt along the Yarra River, so there are so many parks around here, not gardens, parks and we are only about 15km from the city centre.

        August 7, 2014
  31. Hi Leanne, sounds like a great move to me !
    It’s good to have witnesses of all those changes around us (because of us … or not) !

    August 6, 2014
    • Or both, thank you Mathias, I think it is too, gives me a purpose too, I like that. Not that I will stop doing other things, but I like the work having some purpose.

      August 6, 2014
  32. An interesting article, Leanne. I have thoughts about this, but I think I’ll post on my blog later today/tomorrow, as it will be too long for here. What I can say is that we who believe environmentalism is a worthwhile cause should understand that photography has the potential to further that very cause.

    August 6, 2014
  33. My early years of photography was spent shooting birds, weather and trees. Although I shoot much less of these subject matter now I still enjoy shooting them. They are connected to my enjoyment of nature in my youth in western Canada.

    In recent years, I’ve moved into industrial photography because of the dual impact between people and industry, and the impact that industry can have on nature. It is all still very important to me.

    August 7, 2014
  34. Fascinating post and really interesting that you are moving in this direction, Leanne. Nice to see these shots again.

    August 10, 2014
    • It seems to be a good direction for me I think, I hope so anyway. thank you Richard.

      August 10, 2014
  35. “I don’t know about that, I do upgrade, but I always seem to hang onto my old gear, just in case.” Well, maybe the reason people say that the constant upgrading of high tech equipment is bad for the Earth is because of a lack of recycling. Rare earths and metals that are used in computers, cameras, smartphones, TVs, and pretty much anything electronic seldom come from recycled old parts. They come from mines. And the more we mine, the more difficult it is to find more, making the mining techniques more difficult and more harmful to the environment. The environmentalist thing to do, in this situation, would be for companies to take back your old gear for you when you upgrade, so that it can be recycled and the raw materials melted and reused for newer generations of equipment :).

    August 31, 2014
    • That is true, though I still use all my old stuff, but I think the biggest problem is that people just throw it in the rubbish, so it becomes landfill. We try to do that with other things though, phones, batteries, used printer cartridges etc. There are places here where you can recycle them. We have done the same with old computers as well, though we have been hanging onto them and using them for something different. But you have made some good points.

      September 1, 2014

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