Photography in General

Environment: a Photographer’s Contribution

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Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

How to change one mind at a time, solve one problem and still have fun doing it.

So this is it. October 15th, 2007. The Blog Action Day is here.

Just in the improbable case you haven’t heard about it before, the Blog Action Day initiative was (is) organized by three heavy-weight bloggers and aims to get every possible blogger writing about one single issue. The 2007 edition focus on Environment.

With over 15 thousand blogs reaching over 12 million readers it’s expected to make an impact or, at the very least, make blogger’s voices heard in unison around the web on this so important issue. Hey, even this year’s Nobel Prize for Peace awarded environmental efforts.

This is a little idea on how photographers can contribute. There are no world changing ideas here, but every little contribution helps.

From a photographer’s point of view, writing about the environment is not an easy task (at least for me, in a way that is directed for photographers and photography enthusiasts). Of course that the easiest way would be to share beautiful photos of landscapes and how they can be a rarity in the years to come if no commitments are made to change the way people think towards the environment. It’s one way I think… but not mine.

If we were not on the digital age, I could also talk about how to properly dispose of your lab chemicals and ways to reduce their use. But we are on a digital age, and these principles don’t much apply anymore.

I’m going to start thinking smaller here.

How to change one mind at a time, solve one problem and still have fun doing it

As years go by, new cameras are introduced on the market at an amazing pace, ever with higher specifications and better features. With this, and depending on the photographer’s budget, it’s normal that people tend to upgrade more frequently and, even for amateur photographers, the “life expectancy” of a camera is drastically reduced.

This poses a problem…

What to do with your old cameras? And if you decide it’s time to switch brands, what to do with all the old lenses?

  • Try to trade it in when you buy the new one (only viable if your “old” one is still quite new);
  • Sell it on ebay (many are doing this, and unless your camera is still barely touched or, on the other hand, an old rarity, you’ll end up loosing a lot of money, selling it by a small fraction of the price you paid for it);
  • Let it die undignified on some cupboard shelf or storage room (your camera deserves better);

Since cameras on the normal waste are a big NO NO (remember that you have both metal and glass components inside, not to mention the battery, and of course all the accessories that come with it) you can always send if for recycling but again, your camera wouldn’t do that to you, no matter how bad a photographer you are, and you might even (depending on your country) end up paying for it to be properly disposed of.

So, what’s the alternative?

Make someone happy and help change a little mind.

Look around you, on your neighborhood or group of friends, and I bet you’ll find some kid who, for one reason or other, can’t afford to buy a camera but is interested in photography. Someone who has shown an interest on your work and really listens when you talk about photography.

Give the camera to that little someone. Share your passion for photography with him, teach all you know, take him with you on your photowalking hunts. Then, show him those photos of beautiful landscapes and mention that they can become a rarity if nothing is done to protect the environment, and most probably you’ll have helped change a mind. Believe me, that little someone will listen…

In conclusion, you got rid of one problem (what to do with your old cameras and how to put them to good use), you have made someone happy (take a photo of the person holding their first camera on their hands and share it around, it’s probably going to come out a beautiful one) and you have found someone to join you on your photo hunts and you’ll have more fun on them. It’s just a tiny little thing in the big wide world concerning the environment, but it’s a start…

Final note

I hope that this little idea is welcomed by you. I know some will find the thought of just giving outrageous but in reality it isn’t. And speaking of giving, as suggested by the Blog Action Day organization, all the revenue generated by this blog during this day will be forwarded to one Environment Organization. So, do your thing… It’s free to you, all it costs is a click…


6 Comments

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  6. Rachel

    November 26, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I did just that recently! An additional bonus is now I get to see this friend’s amazing photos. Old camera + pleased friend = added beauty to look at.

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