We need new perspectives for landscape photography within the Instagram age

A glance through Instagram hashtags shows over 90 million images tagged #landscape, with around fifty million sunrise photos and more than 180 million photos tagged with #sunset. There are more than 40 million #trees nea,rly 90 million clouds, and the same number of #beach photographs.

However, our use of social media platforms like Instagram has not just changed our relationship with nature (some users have even perished when taking selfies in hazardous locations),. Still, it is also altering how we think about and feel about nature.

In the spring of this year, same year, a man died after falling off a rock in Western Australia in the desire to capture an image. In July, three social media stars passed away from falling into a Canadian waterfall.

While deaths like this aren’t common, the majority of travelers and adventurers seem attracted by more remote and secluded natural experiences instead of the tourist tracks that are often abused, which is why they use Instagram as a resource for stunning and captivating websites. Police are warning the public to beware of a falling rock in New South Wales, while amateur photographers continue to disregard warnings and fences.

Read more: The deadly selfie game – the thrill to end all thrills.

Just as nature can harm people, people can harm wildlife. Two of the social media personalities who died in Canada had spent a week in jail for violating US national park regulations. In Tasmania, professional photographers have warned of the damage that could be done to the environment by hordes of people chasing views they have seen on social media. And in Esperance, Western Australia , people are trying to figure out how to capitalise on an influx of visitors driven by its discovery by Instagram users.

In the course of my research, I’ve been looking at the way we communicate our the natural world through modern technologies or social networks. Many photos exhibit characteristics that we could call “a social media aesthetic”. Think of paths with leaves and mountain views sunsets, sunrises and sunrises often using filters or the same types of compositional photos.

Svalbard From Norwegian Sublime, Ellen Marie Saethre McGuirk 2018. Ellen Marie Saethre-McGuirk

In my research-based art project which is the exhibit Norwegian Sublime, I used these “Instagram standards” to take pictures of different places in Norway as well as more well-known locations like Svalbard as well as less well-known islands such as Tomma from Tomma in the Helgeland archipelago. While they may appear distant and difficult to access, I intentionally chose locations that were often visited and in areas where tourism was strictly controlled and also areas that were located near major highways and highways, demonstrating how the ideal photograph of pure wilderness can be accessible to anyone. Actually, the more remote locations are likely to conceal many of the more beautiful nature.

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