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Author Topic: Environmental impact  (Read 4296 times)

Derryck

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Environmental impact
« on: December 04, 2013, 03:23:27 am »

I am currently considering the environmental impact of my work especially related to the large amount of air travel my team do. Is this something that other photographers here have thought about and if so have you found effective ways to offset that impact however small.

Derryck.



« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 10:24:03 am by Derryck »
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dumainew

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 02:09:45 pm »

Derryck,
This is a profound question you ask: What responsibilities do we landscape photographers have to the well being of the natural world? Are we celebrating the beauty of the world while simultaneously degrading it with an extravagant carbon footprint ?
And this is also a timely question as you're at the beginning of a long and hopefully full life of taking good fotos. I'd like to see you have as fine and vital a world to observe in your camera as I have.
It's not necessary, not necessary at all, to travel long distances to find compelling subjects. No more so then it's necessary to eat foods imported from half way around the world to enjoy a good meal. I live in the midst of an estuary, where the light is often soft and the reflections are full of mystery. And I can get there in less then an hours drive, using no more then 3 gallons of gas in my compact car. I've learned to portray it by witnessing it often.
Taking fotos of your own place, your own landscape, can make for highly original work. If you look at many of the fotos on this website you'll notice a propensity for taking the same subject, be it The Grand Canyon or the craggy islands of Scotland- shutter bugs traveling thousands of miles to duplicate a scene we've already seen over and over again. I for one can hardly tell any significant difference between them. It's a paucity of originality.
I urge you to take your camera and go for a walk to a place that intrigues you. Do it many times. The light will never be quite the same, your mood will never be quite the same, but you'll return with fotos that will reveal a depth of understanding and a degree of proficiency that no long distance junket can ever match.
I wish you well.
Richard
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 11:51:20 am »

I wonder about this every time I see an ad for an expensive  photo safari led to someplace like the Atacama desert in Bolivia, Iceland, New Zealand,  and Antartica. Especially Antartica where there is also inevitably direct pollution of the water from the ship and zodiacs chartered to  ferry the phototourists around.
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Isaac

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 05:49:10 pm »

"For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10."


What can I do?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 05:50:55 pm by Isaac »
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Rob C

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 03:56:04 am »

If you are young and healthy, buy a bicycle; if not, take up still life or a very small powered bike.

Forget a car. City snapper or view-popper, you can almost never park it where you want to shoot, and the frustration of driving past something that might look good in two dimensions is worse than sitting at home - and that's bad enough sometimes. If your desire takes you up mountains where only goats have any reasonable claim to rights, then don't worry: when the time comes, the mountain will dispose of you all by itself.

dumainew wrote: "If you look at many of the fotos on this website you'll notice a propensity for taking the same subject, be it The Grand Canyon or the craggy islands of Scotland- shutter bugs traveling thousands of miles to duplicate a scene we've already seen over and over again. I for one can hardly tell any significant difference between them. It's a paucity of originality."

There is a small solution available for people shooters: go to Paris, Venice or Rome and you can do it all from the same café table over a few expensive and indifferent cups of tourist java...

So much for hobby photography and carbon footprints.

If it's your job, do what you have to do, happy in the knowledge that your tax bill is also paying for research.

;-)

Rob C

Derryck

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 08:20:39 pm »

Thanks for the replies. I wasn't sure if it was indeed something that many think about.

I find myself in a bit of a bind. On the one hand I'm fortunate enough that as a commercial photographer I'd be one of the few here who could say that I've got 2014 pretty much fully booked. But it's mostly servicing areas of excess, mainly in the form of five star hotels and high end furniture. On the one hand I'm happy with the knowledge that I'm making plenty of money doing what I love but it comes at a cost to the environment. Of course the reality is that these projects are going to be shot whether I do it or some one else does it (quite often by someone flown in from overseas).

In China few people really know or care about climate change. They don't really see the link between the desire to own a car and and that it's use is part of the reason they and their children need to wear face masks. Over the past week we saw some of the worst recorded pollution in Shanghai. A month before I happened to be shooting up in Harbin where they recorded a PM2.5 reading of over 1,000. It was so bad that when the hotel driver picked us up from the train station I had to use the GPS function on Google Maps to get us out of the car park.

At the moment I'm going to try and align myself with clients that have similar thoughts and practices, calculate our combined footprint then pay the cost through donations to various effective charitable organisations and then pro bono work for causes that help educate about the effects of man made climate change. Then take trains and other forms of public transport to locations when practical.

The image below was taken last Friday about 200kms off the coast of China.

 




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dumainew

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 05:52:20 pm »

Derryck,
Sounds like you're on the right path.
No one by themselves can effect a lot. But many of us together, supporting each other, can bring about the transition we need to keep this world healthy and inhabitable.
Keep it up !
Richard
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telyt

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 11:22:31 am »

I am currently considering the environmental impact of my work especially related to the large amount of air travel my team do. Is this something that other photographers here have thought about and if so have you found effective ways to offset that impact however small.

This is the elephant in the room few of us are willing to acknowledge let alone discuss.  Richard (dumainw) responded much as I might have if I were more articulate.  Thanks for bringing this up.
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Rob C

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 02:18:17 pm »

Thanks for the replies. I wasn't sure if it was indeed something that many think about.

I find myself in a bit of a bind. On the one hand I'm fortunate enough that as a commercial photographer I'd be one of the few here who could say that I've got 2014 pretty much fully booked. But it's mostly servicing areas of excess, mainly in the form of five star hotels and high end furniture. On the one hand I'm happy with the knowledge that I'm making plenty of money doing what I love but it comes at a cost to the environment. Of course the reality is that these projects are going to be shot whether I do it or some one else does it (quite often by someone flown in from overseas).

In China few people really know or care about climate change. They don't really see the link between the desire to own a car and and that it's use is part of the reason they and their children need to wear face masks. Over the past week we saw some of the worst recorded pollution in Shanghai. A month before I happened to be shooting up in Harbin where they recorded a PM2.5 reading of over 1,000. It was so bad that when the hotel driver picked us up from the train station I had to use the GPS function on Google Maps to get us out of the car park.

At the moment I'm going to try and align myself with clients that have similar thoughts and practices, calculate our combined footprint then pay the cost through donations to various effective charitable organisations and then pro bono work for causes that help educate about the effects of man made climate change. Then take trains and other forms of public transport to locations when practical.The image below was taken last Friday about 200kms off the coast of China.

 


But don't you realise that, in effect, you're only paying conscience money? No amount of good thinking and paying out of cash makes the slightest difference unless it results in dramatic reductions of movement.

Throw in all the natural or pyromaniacally inspired forest fires that rage on all continents every summer, and trying to stop a few runs to the supermarket means nothing, even if you could managed to convince Mr and Mrs Whoever to buy their needs once a week instead.

Genie fled the glass corset decades ago, and she ain't got no mind to jump back inside.

Rob C
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 03:23:45 pm by Rob C »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 02:32:39 pm »

#humblebrag

Rob C

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 03:25:32 pm »

#humblebrag



Can you © a neologism? This one sounds worth the doing.

;-)

Rob C

fredjeang2

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 03:32:49 pm »

The day when not changing human behaviours and values
Will cost much more money than not doing anything
You'll see how fast the ww machinery will suddenly
Bring global solutions that might or might not come too late.
But for the time being, it is still way more profitable
To keep going as we've been doing so far.
Of course, we all know that we are going to face huge
Chalenges in wich the human race might not recover
But there will also be a lot of money to make into a global
Cleaning effort. Our deciders (the banks) couldn't care less about polar
Bears and mega cyclons. They actually don't give
A damn about life in general, included the human's ones
Because for the moment it's affecting mainly the poorest
Areas, people that can be sacrified. All they care about is profit. When problems will heavily hit the richest part of the
Planet too and the bills will start to be unsustainable,
You'll see. It's coming, we're not far, but not there yet.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 03:38:01 pm by fredjeang2 »
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Derryck

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 09:52:51 pm »

Rob,

I certainly can't disagree with what you're saying. There's plenty of hypocrisy proposing to off-set the impact of how I work or live without actually making meaningful changes to either. I'm still figuring out what is going to be the best way forward that still keeps me in business.

DM.
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telyt

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 10:36:37 pm »

I agree that there will be little if any meaningful change in behavior until it affects the wallet.  With this in mind I'm totally in favor of stiff taxes on carbon-spewing energy consumption.

The wallet is something people pay attention to no matter what their political inclinations or environmental consciousness.  This was very clear a few years ago when we had a sharp spike in gasoline prices.  The bus I was taking to work was suddenly standing-room only, and once the prices dropped to near pre-spike levels transit ridership also returned to pre-spike levels.  Gasoline consumption dropped during the price spike.
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Rob C

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 04:17:55 am »

I agree that there will be little if any meaningful change in behavior until it affects the wallet.  With this in mind I'm totally in favor of stiff taxes on carbon-spewing energy consumption.

The wallet is something people pay attention to no matter what their political inclinations or environmental consciousness.  This was very clear a few years ago when we had a sharp spike in gasoline prices.  The bus I was taking to work was suddenly standing-room only, and once the prices dropped to near pre-spike levels transit ridership also returned to pre-spike levels.  Gasoline consumption dropped during the price spike.


I think you live in the States; in the UK - probably in most of Europe - taxes on gasoline are by far the single highest factor in the extortionate cost of the product. Governments cry crocodile tears whilst stealing more from our pockets at every fill-up than do the makers of the stuff! At least the makers offer us a product we decided to buy - we didn't decide to pay the governmental highwayman a penny - son-of-a-bitch helps himself to it with the full might of police and state right behind him, and nodding sagely the while from behind its wig. Don't blame the Arabs, the South Americans, don't blame the geologists, the refineries nor the little family outlets, most of whom gave up the battle to stay open years ago: blame the leeches that contribute nothing positive but only a huge chunk of the blood-let.

Rob C

fredjeang2

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2013, 07:57:56 am »

Agree Rob.
To fill a car tank is 60-150 euros!
And do you think that those taxes are
Goin to funds destined to environement care?


 To try to answer the OP concern,
Is there something we can do
Profesionaly to minimize environemental impact; I think very little.
Maybe back into some sort of Melies set, all studio and sotwares
Imagery. Now with things like Terragen, Nuke, Maya etc...and a studio, local talents who use bicycles....mmmm, low consuming lightning...but that will cost megawatts mainly obtained by
Nuclear plants. So saving kerosen but consuming more electricity.
Or you got solar panels on the rooth of your studio...but the irony is that the state does not allow to be independant and taxes have been created to use your own solar plant...no comment.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 08:18:55 am by fredjeang2 »
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Derryck

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Re: Environmental impact
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2013, 08:15:21 pm »

That's true from a small business point of view there's going to be very little impact in the changes I make. While we as a studio produced about 60 tons of carbon this year mainly from air travel, the real environmental impact is that my product clients ship a few thousand containers of goods to the other side of the world each year that I've helped persuade consumers to purchase. The answer may be to start doing really crappy photos  ;D

Though happy to say that so far both Herman Miller and Haworth are already on board to collaborate on CSR projects.

D.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 08:16:58 pm by Derryck »
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