You’re in an exotic location where time seems to stand still. A farmer dressed in an outfit fit for the 19th Century walks slowly past, leading his buffalo to the field through the morning mist. Fishermen in straw hats mend their nets, effortlessly standing in the best light possible. If it all sounds too good to be true, it is, at least in Xiapu County in rural China where “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”.
If the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t closed people inside their homes, it has at least closed them inside their countries. In other words, we can only travel without crossing a border. But people in Russia are lucky to live in a huge country with lots of things to visit. And during the pandemic, Lake Baikal in Siberia turned out to be particularly popular. People from all over Russia travel for hundreds, even thousands of miles only to take a selfie at this truly incredible location.
It’s not even unusual anymore to see people risking their lives and health for Insta-worthy photos. But in the light of a recent tragedy, when a teenage boy got killed by a train, it’s saddening and alarming to see people still taking photos on train tracks.
The place that got under the spotlight lately is Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi, Vietnam. Tourists have swarmed the bridge lately, many of them taking photos on train tracks. They also weave through heavy traffic to get the perfect photo, putting the lives of themselves and others in danger.
What does it take to push a farmer to this point?
The point where, fed up of thousands of disrespectful photographers, wannabe “influencers” and narcissistic tourists, they feel the only way to get them to stop damaging their business and property, is to damage those people’s photographs?
I guess those visiting the lavender fields of Valensole, Provence – in the south of France, just found out.
Bogle family opened up their family sunflower farm to photographers on 20 July 2018. However, the mild boost to Bogle Seeds farm soon turned into “zombie apocalypse,” as the farm owner describes it. A few photos from the farm got viral on Instagram, which caused hordes of selfie-takers to invade the farm and cause lots of trouble for the owners.
Photography is and has always been a very personal vocation.
For many photographers, the process of capturing an image is just as important as the end result – the long hours of preparation, planning, overseas travel, getting to the right place at the right time and the inner satisfaction of clicking the shutter at just the right moment, knowing you’ve got it.
However, in recent years there seems to have been an explosion in tourism that has completely drained the joy out of the process of photography – from world renowned locations like Moraine Lake to simple local locations like a nearby waterfall – if it is a tourist destination it will be overrun with hordes of people and the experience of photography is ruined.