Photography as an Expressive Tool of Environmental Concerns
Photography as an Expressive Tool of Environmental Concerns

Photography as an Expressive Tool of Environmental Concerns

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Art
  • Pages: 5 (2575 words)
  • Published: November 24, 2021
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There are several reasons why photography is important. Apart from capturing the beauty of our environment, it is used as an expressive tool for environmental concerns. It shows things that may be hidden from the rest of the world (Rancie?re, 13). One of the known photographers, Robert Adams, has used photography as an expressive tool for this purpose. Most of his photos are all about the environment and its concerns. He is trying to make people understand what is going on around the world. Robert Adams came to prominence when he was part of the photographic movement that was called New Topographics. His work has been demonstrated both in the United States and Europe. Adams has succeeded in finding words that keep out of the way of photographs and enlighten others on the photography nature.

Adams is a brilliant photographer who focused mainly on the American West consisting of the encroachment of man towards the natural resources. Adams recorded the landscape of America to reveal the sublime beauty and the malicious destruction on it. He has put in chronicle order the settlement in the west of America in places such as California, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington. He has a record of freeways, parking lots, strip malls, billboards and tract houses that have caused a lot of transformation in the landscape in the last 50 years together with orange groves of Southern California that are abandoned and the forests in the Northwest that have been spoiled.

All his life he has focused on changing the landscape, especially on the American west. For years more than forty now, he has pho

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tographed California finding the fragile beauty that endures despite our troubled relationship with nature. His photographs are distinguished not only by their economy and lucidity but also by their mixture of grief and hope. They document scenes of the American West of the past four decades revealing the impact of human activity on the last vestiges of wilderness and open space (Adams, 32). Although often devoid of human subjects, his photos capture the physical traces of human life, for instance, a clear cut forest, a garbage-strewn roadside and a half built house.

He says that he began taking pictures because he wanted to record what supports hope; the untranslatable mystery and beauty of the world. He has recorded the epic natural beauty and palpable silence, and the defilement of that beauty by industrialization, pollution, and consumerism. His photographs are kind of evidence to what has been lost and what remains. Apart from his photographs, he has written a lot of critical essays on the art of photography including the beauty in photography.

Seeing is the hardest part of taking a picture. A photographer is an individual who knows how to see and can communicate effectively. It is important to understand who can participate in the medium to support a stronger case for photography education advocacy. To describe a photographer reveals multiple definitions and qualities. It allows an individual the ability to communicate small moments in time when particular emotions or moods are felt (McLean, 22). Robert Adams communicates expressions such as sorrow, humility, joy or wonder

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and can change the way people perceive the world and promote change in the way others see.

First, photographs can expose the environmental problems like nothing else. Local photographers have a tremendous impact in getting their viewers to think about what is going on environmentally (Dewey, 42). The Robert Adams’ photographs are raising awareness to the people to be able to understand the effects the environment experiences when they are carrying out their daily activities. Secondly, they help get people care. Great photographs such as that of Robert Adams explore the totality of our world such that we never see it quite the same again. Photography has become a cacophony global today such that millions of pictures are uploaded every day where everyone is a subject. Digital cameras are helping out the environment.

Photographers have prints made up from digital photos. They can save money and lower waste but only printing out the photos they want unlike the old days of film where photographers ended up developing a whole roll of film, dozen rolls of photo shoot or big event.

There is also excess space taken up by the photo developing equipment. Photographers need an entire room of their own for photo developing. They need enlargers, trays, special lights and more of these films. Going digital can make the photographers save a lot of space. Many digital cameras do the same thing that SLR cameras do these days too. They can provide pictures of the same quality and clarity (Sontag, 44). The digital camera, therefore, is doing a lot to help the environment by producing one picture at a time.

According to Robert Adams, photography embraces the pursuit of natural and manmade landscape with the new objectivity. The landscape has been the most recurrent subject of photographic study since the invention of the camera obscures (Adams, 15). Photography rarely views the negative side of nature although historically, painters have presented and revealed the ominous qualities of nature. The growth of camera art is a byproduct of a mechanistic age and parallels our culture’s use of technology to rule the universe. Photographs are not just snapshots taken during sightseeing jaunts into the heavens but scientific maps of a terrain and topography soon to be exploited by the human race. The photographs also remind us of the technological advances that man has made in every field (Edwards, 65).

Conservation photography is another concern about the environment. The active use of photographic processes and its products within the parameters of photojournalism to advocate for conservation outcomes protects the environment. It combines nature photography with the proactive issue-oriented approach to documentary photography as an agent for protecting nature and improving the biosphere and natural environment. Adams advocated for conservation photography as it also furthers environmental, wildlife and habitat conservation or cultural conservation. This is achieved by expanding public awareness of issues and stimulating remedial action. For instance, the mission for the international league of conservation photographers is to further environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography (Adams, 10).

The current environmental problems that the world is facing are global warming, air pollution, natural resource depletion, and loss of biodiversity, deforestation,

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