© Rick Sammon
We as photographers are extremely fortunate to experience, tour, and capture many unique and interesting places around the world. There are myriad benefits to both photographer and the local area/environment associated with our travels and shoots. On the flip side, we must be cognizant of any damage we could do to the location. In and of itself, photography is not a destructive process; we are normally not going to harm anyone or anything with the depression of our shutter release. With that said, we know there is more to the process of making a great image. We must consider how to structure our visits and use techniques and habit patterns that do no harm and leave little to no trace of our presence.
© Lawrence Coleman
© Diana Lewis Coleman
We were fortunate to visit an amazing and sensitive area in south east Alaska a few weeks ago. After a quick RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) ride we landed on a rolling ground moraine from a retreating glacier. At first glance, it seemed to be just rocks. Fortunately, our local guide prepared us with additional knowledge. We understood the area was nesting habitat for migratory birds (made even more complicated as the nests looked like groups of rocks and the eggs look just like small rocks) and was also an emergent area (a place where local species were just taking hold. Think of the initial reforesting process after a fire or after the deposit of volcanic ash.) With this knowledge we soon saw that we needed to apply leave no trace principles in everything we did while ashore.
For those curious, Canon 1D Mk III, EF 800mm f/5.6L, and RRS PG-02
The Arctic Tern nests on the ground in some very sensitive locations.
The images in this post were captured by our group as they toured this amazing location. It was an incredible experience to photograph this environment and I feel confident we did the best we could to minimize our impact.
For more images of this awesome place check out Rick Sammon's blog at Chasing the Light with Light.