Preserving our Beautiful Landscapes Through Conservation
How can fine art landscape photography help conservation efforts? What is the impact of conservation photography on our beautiful natural environment? How can fine art landscape photographers play a role in promoting landscape conservation? These questions and more will be discussed in this article.
What is Conservation?
First, let’s define what I mean by conservation. According to Meriam Webster’s dictionary, the term conservation is defined as the careful preservation and protection of our environment. It includes the planned management of our natural resources to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect. Conservation activities include the protection of natural resources such as forests, waters, and soil. Conservation efforts also focus on wildlife and plant life.
What Motivates Conservation Efforts?
Conservation efforts occur because individuals or groups are concerned about the impact of human activity on the environment. They want to preserve the Earth’s natural beauty for future generations. Another important reason for conservation is to protect the Earth’s biodiversity. Biodiversity refers to the variety of different species in an area. The more biodiverse an ecosystem is, the healthier it will be. A diverse biosystem will also be more likely to adapt to change.
The Negative Effect on Landscapes Impacted by Human Activities
No matter your political beliefs, there is no doubt that the activities of humankind on this earth can harm our natural environment, especially our landscapes. There are many examples of this—from the past and today.
The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was a period when severe dust storms occurred in the Great Plains area. These storms were caused by many factors including the overuse of land for farming. The soil was damaged by a severe drought and farmers overusing the land. This made the topsoil loose and dry. The strong winds could easily pick up the soil creating dust storms that could last for days. This was a life-changing event as many people left their homes.
Rainforests play a vital role in regulating the global climate. But today rainforests are under threat due to deforestation. This has serious consequences for the plants and animals that depend on the rainforests for survival.
Coral reefs provide a variety of benefits. They help protect coastlines and support various marine life. But they are facing many challenges. Many coral reefs have been damaged or destroyed due to pollution or overfishing. Some have been closed to protect them. It will take a combination of multiple conservation efforts to address the various threats to their survival.
The Role of Landscape Photographers in Conservation Efforts
Photos have power. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” truly sums up the power of photography. Photography can inspire and motivate people to become involved in conservation issues. A landscape photographer can capture the beauty of the natural world as well as show the damage caused by human activity.
For example, landscape photographers can capture with their camera lens the progression of damage to the environment. Over the last several years, you have probably seen photos of melting glaciers or disappearing beaches. These photos can document in a visual way the effects of humankind’s actions on our environment. They make a strong statement versus just reading an article. The visual appeal reaches deeper into the mind and heart of the viewer.
Landscape and wildlife photographers can also partner with conservation organizations to help promote their cause. They can be used to also educate the general public about the work of the organization. Their photos can help raise awareness of the importance of conservation.
Landscape conservation photographers can also promote the beauty of our natural world….. which is of worth in itself. For me personally, my photos are a way to showcase the beauty and diversity of the world we live in. You may never see in person the coast of Oregon or the Smoky mountains. But the beauty seen in the photos of these places should make you appreciate the landscapes. They will also hopefully create an interest in looking for ways to preserve the beauty of these areas.
Finally, landscape and wildlife conservation photography can also be used to help advocate policy change that encourages and supports environmental protection. A dramatic montage of photos showing the changes in water levels in the Western United States lakes could persuade those in power to implement strong environmental policies.
Landscape Photography – To Inspire and Encourage
Landscape conservation photography is a means to raise awareness of current environmental issues. Photos can be used to document the changes to our natural environment – including landforms, plant life, and wildlife. Without a double, landscape conservation photography can make a meaningful contribution to our efforts to protect and preserve the beauty of our world for future generations.