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by Richard B. on Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:30 pm
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNrg4tXPWCA

This link is to a video decrying the impact of thundering herds of Instagram / phone photographers at iconic national park sites. I've read of the overcrowding in Zion and other places, but I was still surprised and put off by the crowd scenes presented.

I realize that most people here are of a more serious view to photography but the impact of our work and others is most likely contributing to the problem. And we will be subject to whatever "solutions" are presented. Unlikely that much can really be done about it as long as people feel the need to show that they have "been there" as have many others - a need to fit in. Perhaps we might try to post good creative photos of more everyday ordinary locations.

It's somewhat ironic that this video is presented by REI (a very nice place for outdoor gear), when they present numerous instructional videos and classes on nature photography.

Richard
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:39 pm
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Great intentions on her part, but no way anything is going to get better. As long as people have money to travel and access to location info, they will go to the places they want to visit. You can’t stop the flow of information that’s already out there. Seeing a place online can’t compare to seeing it in person. We also can’t stop the idiots who trash a place like the sandstone carvers and trash throwers.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:08 pm
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It's one of the reasons, actually the main reason, why many of us no longer include precise location information and make sure that any GPS based metadata is stripped from anything we upload.
 

by Richard B. on Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:19 pm
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No, you certainly can not stop the flow of information, but in my experience, NPS will cut off access to places that are problematic. They don't have the staff or budget to police thousands of people at one location. Deaths from risky selfies will add to the pressure to eliminate access to "dangerous" spots.

One solution might be to stop making it easy to get to a special location. But that presents a number of legal problems especially with a public property funded by taxes. Did they have to put a large parking lot at horseshoe bend? Katahdin state park in Maine limits the number of vehicles entering the park to go to the popular Moose watching areas. They let in only enough cars as they have parking spots available. Of course that presents a line of cars at the gate at 5:30 in the morning waiting for a six o'clock gate opening. One measure! I think we may be coming to that in more areas. It wasn't that long ago that people were bemoaning the drop in attendance at the National Parks and positing that video games were at fault. My only real hope is that this need to see yourself on social media in the great outdoors fades as a fad. Back to photographing dinner. I'm fine with that (as long as it doesn't happen at my table).  :evil:

Richard
 

by archfotos on Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:22 am
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personally I see the open social media being a fad of the Millennial generation so hopefully they don't ruin access for all.  Having spent time with my niece and nephew - facebook, instagram, and any other social media that broadcast to the whole is out - its back to what selective group you belong too, with time limits on how long their silly posts last.  They know they're silly posts and that parents or college administrators can be watching.

As far as crowds in national parks, growing up next to Yellowstone this is nothing new - people from the city don't know where to go so they go to the star on the map. Before digital Yosemite had signs promoting spots where Ansel Adams took some of his famous photos.  I think the real question is how much new land is being added to park or wilderness status to be enjoyed by our increasing population?
 

by Richard B. on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:59 pm
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Archfotos,

Good point, NPS maps do tend to steer and concentrate people at the icons. Maps, facilities, and rangers could disperse people to more varied locations. My sister and brother in law were in Yellowstone this summer and hiked to Steamboat geyser which takes a little more effort to get to I guess. They were fortunate enough to see a full irruption and not as many people were there compared with Old Faithfull.

Now about those funding bills.
 

by WJaekel on Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:40 pm
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The headline is somewhat misleading because it's not (serious) photography per se that ruins outdoors but mainly the change of the society in consequence of the social media hype and cell phone industry that pushes a narcissitic and self-regarding attitude solely focused on attention, clicks, ads and influencers so that many see their pointless selfies and postings of a proof of their presence at location as an important aspect of their personality giving them the satisfaction of being part of the circus. Of course, that's combined with an increasing number of people being able to travel everywhere - even to the remotest places (see the caravans at Mt. Everest). I'm pessimistic that there's a chance of a rethink and change. So we all have to accept the consequences of increasing limitations and even the closing of great places accessible in the past, unfortunately, because of the need to protect the nature. I'm glad that I could see some of the attractions prior to the invasion of the mass and have decided to stay away from the social media train up to now.

Wolfgang
 

by WDCarrier on Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:11 am
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Having reached the 80 age-level I can attest to having witnessed these changes. In 1948 my Dad hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and never saw another person. Today you have to get in line to scale Mt. Everest. Pete and I were alone early one morning at Delicate Arch in May, 1982 and I was alone taking pictures at Horseshoe Bend on a weekday as late as 1991. Today? Look at the video. We have met the enemy and it is us!
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:08 pm
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WDCarrier wrote:
Having reached the 80 age-level I can attest to having witnessed these changes.  In 1948 my Dad hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and never saw another person.  Today you have to get in line to scale Mt. Everest.  Pete and I were alone early one morning at Delicate Arch in May, 1982 and I was alone taking pictures at Horseshoe Bend on a weekday as late as 1991.  Today?  Look at the video.  We have met the enemy and it is us!

Similarly in 1987 I was at Bosque del Apache the day after Thanksgiving and I was literally the only person in the refuge...
 

by OntPhoto on Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:03 pm
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WDCarrier wrote:
Having reached the 80 age-level I can attest to having witnessed these changes.  In 1948 my Dad hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and never saw another person.  Today you have to get in line to scale Mt. Everest.  Pete and I were alone early one morning at Delicate Arch in May, 1982 and I was alone taking pictures at Horseshoe Bend on a weekday as late as 1991.  Today?  Look at the video.  We have met the enemy and it is us!


Congrats on having reached 80.  That is an accomplishment even if in today's world, more and more people are living longer.  To reach 80 means you escaped so many things that could have taken people down (disease, accidents, etc.).  

The crowds you talk about, that is just the inevitable result of progress, the more affluent world we live in with higher wages, better jobs, more discretionary income, increase in population and the sharing and promotion of places to visit thru various media (TV travel shows, nature shows, magazine articles, social media including Facebook, forums, etc.).  The comments you made above are like the comments some of us have heard about how a loaf of bread used to cost a nickel, how the land where the new housing division sits used to be a farm field, etc.  It's life today :-)

It's kind of late to keep iconic locations quiet as most are so well publicized by now.  I still recall reading on a photographer tour leader's blog where it sounded like he was bragging, "this is not like the old days where only a few people knew about a location and kept it quiet and didn't share...nowadays you can find out about locations because many people share".  
 

by Ed Cordes on Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:24 pm
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Yup! It's getting harder and harder to find times and seasons when the iconic sites are not overwhelmed with people. I guess they have a right to be there just as much as we do even though we think our intentions and ethics are "better". I think the biggest issue is not the number of people, but the number of people who do not respect the land or animals and end up causing damage and or harm. For example, writing your initials in the wave is just disgusting.
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by Mike in O on Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:27 pm
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Still lots of space between photographers in Eastern Oregon....something to be said for being in the middle of nowhere. Sony holding their Kando here last week didn't help.
 

by sdaconsulting on Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:51 pm
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WDCarrier wrote:
Having reached the 80 age-level I can attest to having witnessed these changes.  In 1948 my Dad hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and never saw another person.  Today you have to get in line to scale Mt. Everest.  Pete and I were alone early one morning at Delicate Arch in May, 1982 and I was alone taking pictures at Horseshoe Bend on a weekday as late as 1991.  Today?  Look at the video.  We have met the enemy and it is us!



The one time I went to Horseshoe Bend there was only one other photographer there.

Can't imagine it now :(
Matthew Cromer
 

by DOglesby on Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:53 pm
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I can't believe what's happened to Horseshoe Bend and other places. I was there about 12 years ago and had the place to myself. It's getting really crowded out there and it's not just photographers. For example, I was in Yellowstone a couple months ago and it was a guaranteed 30 minute delay every evening - both ways - in Hayden Valley due to people going bonkers over a herd of bison near the road. I don't remember that happening 10 years ago. The south rim trail for Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was so backed up (spilling onto the main road making it a traffic nightmare) that they closed the road. It's insane out there. And not only the traffic but people don't have any respect for the animals. They are getting so close it's just insane. 5 feet from giant bull elk and bison. It is so aggravating. I even admonished a group of people that were clearly harassing a couple of elk. I feel old...I'm yearning for the old days. LOL
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by yetiman on Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:49 pm
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Note that she doesn't blame the retailers who sell all these people hiking shoes, water bottles, backpacks and tents that make it so easy for them all to congregate out there... ;^)
-Chuck Terry-
 

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