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Author Topic: Death of Iceland  (Read 2829 times)

DeanChriss

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2017, 10:49:00 AM »

Absolutely! I saw that when I was last time in the Canyonlands in Utah and everybody was gathered around Mesa Arch and elsewhere at that wonderful view there were nobody. So took quite a number of shots and then went down besides the arch and talked with some of the photographers after the sunrise and they said that you really almost have to come with a sleeping bag to reserved your spot to shoot the sunrise :)

Thirty or so years ago it was usually possible to have Mesa Arch and the area around it completely to yourself at sunrise, though sometimes there would be another person or two. You could also show up in Moab whenever you liked without reservations and have your choice of motels. There have been truly enormous changes and those "old days" will never return. It is still possible to find some solitude and nice shots if you're able and willing to do some hiking. IMO the popular locations are not worth the "zoo factor" no matter how nice the photos can be.
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Mjean

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2017, 11:19:30 AM »

Having traveled extensively when I was much younger,  I notice the change in so many of the areas that I have returned to after 40 years.  Unfortunately that is the ugly truth of progress.  Tourism creates jobs, brings in money, creates opportunities for people to have business that they might otherwise not have been able to have. Right now, Iceland is cashing in on its newfound popularity and it has changed, and maybe there are many there who lament the number of tourists who trample through their country, but at the end of the day, the Icelanders are bringing home a paycheck, and I doubt that they would like to see that go away, having already been in a financial crisis.  While in Newfoundland some years ago, photographing the area that I was in, and complimenting a Newfoundlander on the beautiful scenery and how I hoped that tourism wouldn't ruin the Province,  their answer to me was “You can't feed your family off of a beautiful view!”
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MattBurt

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2017, 11:32:51 AM »

Thirty or so years ago it was usually possible to have Mesa Arch and the area around it completely to yourself at sunrise, though sometimes there would be another person or two. You could also show up in Moab whenever you liked without reservations and have your choice of motels. There have been truly enormous changes and those "old days" will never return. It is still possible to find some solitude and nice shots if you're able and willing to do some hiking. IMO the popular locations are not worth the "zoo factor" no matter how nice the photos can be.

I feel the same way about the "zoo factor". I really can't stand it and avoid those scenarios as much as I can.
When I was in college in the late 80's and early 90's here in colorado we would go to Moab a few times a year, usually in the spring or fall when temperatures weren't bad. We'd just all pile into a car, drive down there (4 hrs) and then just pick a spot somewhere out of town and just camp right there. Sand Flats was probably where we went the most but all along the river near Hwy 128 we could just stop and camp and maybe a car or two would pass during the night if it was a busy weekend. 
Boy, things sure have changed there. I haven't been to Moab in probably 4 or 5 years and when I do go I have to plan it much more carefully. If not planned well you can end up in the middle of something like their big Jeep festival which makes camping and riding bikes in the backcountry there a lot less enjoyable.
It's a shame but I also have to realize I'm part of the problem which complicates blaming it on everyone else. :) Although I do practice more "leave no trace" style camping than a lot of the more motorized crowd do but we all contribute to the zoo one way or another. Just some more than others.
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DeanChriss

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2017, 01:01:32 PM »

...
It's a shame but I also have to realize I'm part of the problem which complicates blaming it on everyone else. :) Although I do practice more "leave no trace" style camping than a lot of the more motorized crowd do but we all contribute to the zoo one way or another. Just some more than others.

Absolutely. I think that's what makes the whole predicament so frustrating, regardless of where on earth it occurs. Everyone has as much right to be at a given place as I do, and together we make the place not worth visiting. As photographers we even help popularize these spots to various degrees. I feel lucky to have visited lots of great places before they became "zoos". At the same time I feel sad that young people today do not have those same opportunities. The "hot spots" became "hot" because they are truly exceptional. The places remain but they can never be experienced in the same way again. It will only get worse and spread to less exceptional places. After all we are taking it there when we're off looking for photos in less crowded places, and in about 13 years there will be a billion more people than there are now.
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MattBurt

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2017, 01:08:32 PM »

Absolutely. I think that's what makes the whole predicament so frustrating, regardless of where on earth it occurs. Everyone has as much right to be at a given place as I do, and together we make the place not worth visiting. As photographers we even help popularize these spots to various degrees. I feel lucky to have visited lots of great places before they became "zoos". At the same time I feel sad that young people today do not have those same opportunities. The "hot spots" became "hot" because they are truly exceptional. The places remain but they can never be experienced in the same way again. It will only get worse and spread to less exceptional places. After all we are taking it there when we're off looking for photos in less crowded places, and in about 13 years there will be a billion more people than there are now.

I'll strip the GPS info if I find anything really good and seemingly undiscovered!
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MattBurt

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2017, 05:52:51 PM »

http://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/nature_and_travel/2017/04/05/icelandic_farmer_outraged_as_tourist_poops_next_to_/

This is a problem in natural places in North America too, sadly. I thought this was interesting:

Quote
He has suggested to the district council that a public toilet should be put up in the area. "But then the question is why should the county put money towards people that leave nothing behind."  Well- that is to say, nothing but poo.

I suppose they leave poo and in theory, money; although this particular farmer may not be getting any of it.
The answer to the question is the same as it is here, it's not for the pooping tourist but for the place and the people there so they don't have to endure the aftermath of the pooping tourist.
Moab has had this very same issue. Public toilets help but they do detract from the "wildness" of a place IMO.
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Rainer SLP

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2017, 02:26:37 PM »

We're 7.5 Billions of people on this rock and we shall be around 10 Billions by 2050.

"Secret" places will become fewer and far between.

The only " Secret Place " will be your living room, unless you use a video camera for video chatting ...
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luong

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2017, 01:44:29 PM »


When I first went to Canyonlands National Park in the early 1980s all of the roads were dirt, canyon rim overlooks were completely natural, and you could hike all day without seeing anyone. The roads have since been paved and widened twice, most canyon rim overlooks were paved and had railings installed, and annual visitation has increased by eight times. It's the same everywhere.

You are talking here about a small portion of Island in the Sky, the mesa top with the overlooks and Mesa Arch. So that's parts of one district of the park. Canyonlands National Park has four more districts, and as described in my recent article on this site, they are quite wild, with great opportunities for solitude and adventure. Even in well-known national parks, I rarely find myself amongst crowds. It's just a matter of being willing to explore out of the beaten path, and sometimes timing.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 01:57:15 PM by luong »
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DeanChriss

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2017, 05:13:51 PM »

You are talking here about a small portion of Island in the Sky, the mesa top with the overlooks and Mesa Arch. So that's parts of one district of the park. Canyonlands National Park has four more districts, and as described in my recent article on this site, they are quite wild, with great opportunities for solitude and adventure. Even in well-known national parks, I rarely find myself amongst crowds. It's just a matter of being willing to explore out of the beaten path, and sometimes timing.
I know one can go to increasingly remote places to get away from the crowds. The point is that what was remote in 1980 is not remote today, and what is remote today will not be remote in 10 years. At some point you run out of "remote" places.

I first visited the Needles district of Canyonlands in 1984 when the visitor center was a dilapidated house trailer. Annual visitation to the needles then was 56,297. The entire place, including the visitor center and campground was virtually empty in September. That's not true anymore, but places like Angel Arch that are quite difficult to access are still not crowded. Places like Druid Arch (a few hours hike) are now seeing lots of visitation while in the 1990s you would hardly ever find anyone there.

I first visited the Maze district in 1991, and it is the only part of Canyonlands where visitation has not dramatically increased. That's because it takes most of a day in a high clearance short wheelbase 4WD vehicle just to get to the trail-head.

Most of my travel now happens in the winter because the rest of the year is so crowded. The crowds present in December resemble September crowds 30 some years ago.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 05:17:19 PM by DeanChriss »
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Osprey

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2017, 05:57:20 PM »

When are people become overwhelmed by the volume of photography coming out of Iceland? Has it already happened?
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2017, 12:34:46 PM »

I spent some time in New Zealand in the fall of 2016.  The same problem exists there.  The Kiwis have done a fair job of mitigating the effects of tourism, but they cater to its every whim.  It's a $NZ 30B a year business.

Just don't get me started about the weather.
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luxborealis

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2017, 01:24:56 PM »

In many places, you can leave the bulk of the crowds behind by walking 100m (100 yards) on a footpath.

But the tourists paradox is a significant problem from Stonehenge to Angkor Wat to Banff. Travel is cheap. Consider also, the infrastructure needed to accommodate people if only for a few weeks (or days) of the year; e.g. a cruise ship disgorging 1500 passengers for a day! They're the ones who are ruining the Golden Circle, along with the overnighters en route to/from Europe.

We really noticed a difference in March: after spending 10 days in northern Iceland we drove down to Thingvellir and Whoa! The masses were out. Thank goodness it was a bit quieter in the Skalholt-Laugervatn area.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2017, 10:45:43 AM »

In many places, you can leave the bulk of the crowds behind by walking 100m (100 yards) on a footpath.

"There are no good images more than 100 m from the vehicle"
Michael Reichman.  :)
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PeterAit

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2017, 11:13:41 AM »

And isn't that an important point! Fight over the standard spot for tripods, or walk 10 minutes and find the landscape is yours alone.

And if you win your fight for a "tripod spot" you will end up taking the same photo as 100,000 other people.
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PeterAit

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2017, 11:15:32 AM »

I have heard this this is happening to the Galapagos also. The greed for the almighty dollar always seems to win.
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john beardsworth

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2017, 11:39:58 AM »

Only the other day I was reading a blog post by a UK photographer lamenting how his photo of an obscure coastal location was commended in a competition and now means he rarely finds himself alone there. It's one thing when a location becomes better-known, but very annoying when you are responsible for popularising it - see (Ger orf my land)

And I admit, I had noticed his photo, had researched the location online and could easily have gone there myself.
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Farmer

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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2017, 05:17:50 PM »

Galapagos still requires a government approved guide and they control when and where etc.  I think they have the right approach to preserving it whilst accommodating increased interest.  At least for now.
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Re: Death of Iceland
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2017, 06:39:17 PM »

I have heard this this is happening to the Galapagos also. The greed for the almighty dollar always seems to win.

I don't think that's quite fair, Peter. I hate what's happened to the honeypot places around the world, but you can't blame people for wanting to cash in on tourism, particularly in industrializing and developing countries that don't enjoy the same quality of life we do. What gets me is what's happened in the West where people spend thousands of dollars on tourist shlock.
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