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Photo shoots bad for environment?

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Shooting photography bad for the environment? Pretty certain the the WWF would prefer that animals be shot with cameras and not guns.

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There are many sites where you can buy and sell second-hand fashion, and it's getting trendier to do so in response to the wasteful practice of "fast fashion," i.e. incredibly cheap clothing letting people have the latest styles for so little. but cheap clothing from the likes of Old Navy, H&M, Target and the like probably accounts for a lot more than what these sites are selling.

 

Maybe it's because I went to Catholic school in a working class neighborhood as a small child, but we were always encouraged to donate clothing to those less fortunate. I have never thrown out an article of clothing in my life (except for moth-eaten sweaters). If it's not in good enough shape for someone else to wear (I'm easy on my clothes and have some favorites still in good shape after a couple of decades), then I'll tear it up and use it for a rag. That's not to say I'm not guilty of having closets filled to the brim with stuff I don't need, but as I've been trying to live more simply and pare down over the past few years, I've started to realize the joy of a less than full closet, being able to see all that I have in front of me, but even my charitable giving and re-use, and belated attempt to simplify won't "green-wash" the waste of money and resources I'm responsible for with decades of clothes-buying. There's nothing like looking around an attic full of 20 years of stuff to make you realize how much useless junk you've bought. But rather than throw up my hands, all I can do is try to do better in future, and that's the attitude we have to take about everything concerning the environment.

 

Ironically, I've read that charitable giving of donations of clothing to Africa has hurt the indigenous clothing market - what a shame. 

 

Another irony, the whole "recycling" program in the US was underwritten by the bottling and plastics industries to make Americans feel less guilty about all that throw away plastic, and the best we've ever done is to have 10% of our plastic, glass and cans recycled! When I think of all the time and effort I spent bringing my items to our old town's recycling center decades ago before we had recycling pick up - and how much of what I thought was recycled that probably has built a small landfill on its own.

 

Let's hope saner heads prevail in America in 2020 and we get back on board with the Paris Accord and taking responsibility for some of the damage we've done. I've always been environmentally conscious, from the time I was a young teen in the 1970's and I've probably wreaked havoc on the earth despite my efforts to do the right thing. No wonder the world is such a mess, when even those of us who try to avoid harming the environment do so much damage. But my wardrobe has done more harm than my photography.

 

Irony. Unlike the rest of nature, we humans need clothes. 

Edited by Marianne
Corrected a typo

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On 13/01/2020 at 03:28, Harry Harrison said:

Pessimistic also, though at least the climate did figure in the manifestos of all the main political parties in the UK, I think that's a first. How much attention the government will pay to it now is anyone's guess. I did hear a generally climate change denying radio talk show host do a complete about turn thanks to viewing a news video of the enormous tragedy that is the Australian bush fires. He didn't seem to see any irony in the fact that he had waited literally until "the house is burning", as Greta Thunberg would put it.

 

Here in Australia we currently have a conservative government, the members of which have largely sought to thwart any meaningful action on climate change for years, and all of a sudden some of them are grudgingly now saying we might need more action on climate change. They've always pitted action on climate change against the economy, when now it is obvious the Australian economy is taking a huge hit because of the climate change situation. No doubt the visuals that have gone around the world are having an impact. To me it is like an individual human ignoring a sign their health isn't good, perhaps only a small sign to start with, and then one day they get a diagnosis of something really bad because they ignored it for too long.

 

In early 2014 I was up in the Perth hills (in Western Australia) and I was shocked to see places I had known since a child where large numbers of trees and plants were dead or dying, especially north and west facing areas that get the most sun. What told me something was wrong was not just what I saw. It was a strange sound that I realised was the sound of dead leaves rustling in the wind, quite different to the sound of living leaves. It was also the lack of oxygen in the air, like the air was stifling. It just felt wrong, and the reality of climate change hit me so hard that I couldn't sleep that night. Australia is a dry continent to start with, but it is now bone dry and in severe drought over much of the country. The plants here are extremely hardy, so when they start dying you know something is wrong.

 

As photographers we are engaging people through their senses and their feeling selves, and I think photography can communicate by how it makes people feel. This is different to just reading about something. I guess the most amazing photos communicate and tell a story. Quoting facts and figures at people can quickly disengage them, but when they sense and feel something there is a different kind of understanding.

 

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16 hours ago, Sally R said:

I think photography can communicate by how it makes people feel. This is different to just reading about something. I guess the most amazing photos communicate and tell a story.

Yes, you're absolutely right, that Matthew Abbott image has great power to inform and will be spread far and wide through Social Media. I've seen another of an emaciated wild horse stumbling into a burnt out forest which I can hardly bear to look at. Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet filming had an enormous effect in alerting us to the plastic pollution in the ocean. He has another film coming out shortly and it is very difficult for the sceptics to dismiss him as a left-leaning snowflake. Real change won't take place until the mysterious financial investors  and speculators feel that climate damaging investments are too risky for them but that can be led by public opinion and photography and film has a big part to play in that.

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