As my podcast listeners are probably aware, one of the topics that we discuss frequently on the podcast is the challenge of keeping locations pristine while photographing them. I think we all want to enjoy these amazing locations for generations to come, and I want to do whatever I can to play a part in that. I have put a great deal of thought into how I might be able to do this. In conversations with many landscape photographers, we have struggled to think of ways to reduce the impact all photographers have on the environment and on the locations we love. As we all know, social media, the increased popularity of photography as a hobby, and the proliferation of workshops all play significant roles in driving traffic to these locations and, in turn, creating problems. More importantly, this problem is not just caused by "others" - it is caused by us. All of us.
Many locations are over-crowded, have damage to the flora, rocks, other surroundings, and more. The impact of human traffic to some locations is significant.
I'm no fool, I understand that landscape photography only plays a small part in this impact; however, I believe as landscape photographers, we have a duty in doing whatever we can to mitigate and minimize our impact on the locations we love to photograph.
As such, I am creating this $1,000 award, which I hope to increase the size of over time and give out on an annual basis. This award will have strict criteria for selection (to be determined later) and photographers will be nominated in the future by the public. The idea here is to motivate and promote the writings, teachings, and ethical behavior that advocates and furthers the ideals of conservation and ethical preservation of landscape photography locations.
To fund this award, I intend to use the proceeds from my Patreon page here. When the podcast reaches $1,000 / mo in donations from patrons, I will use that first month's proceeds to fund the award and begin the selection of an awardee.
In addition, I hope to do further activities in the future to help with this. Perhaps by collaborating with workshop leaders to develop some criteria or by creating photo contests with awards that are funded by the podcast. The possibilities are endless.
To do this, I need your help. Even $1 / mo will help. Sharing this article with others will help. Telling people about the podcast will help.
Thanks for collaborating with me to help with this important cause.