Taking an Earth Friendly Approach to Photography
Shutterbugs can’t skirt the consumptive nature of photography. From picture-taking to storage to display, it can be a resource-intensive hobby and doubly resource-intensive profession. What you can do, however, is work to mitigate the waste that goes into producing your stills. Here are five easy ways to help you be a more Eco-friendly photographer:
- Green your surroundings by capitalizing on energy-efficient technology. If you’re taking indoor shots, try lighting the scene with CFLs or LEDs rather than incandescent bulbs. If you’re taking outdoor shots, take advantage of natural sunlight. If you’re doing a particularly long and demanding shoot, be sure to bring along your own water rather than purchasing it in a bottle. Little changes to your accoutrements are an easy place to start.
- If you’re not doing things digitally, it might be time to start looking in that direction. While many will acknowledge the authentic, earthy essence of photochemical processes, it’s tough to deny the speed, convenience and adjustability of a digital camera. You don’t have to abandon film altogether; just think about the instances in which you could afford to snap with a digital device instead. Film processing can be pretty tough on the environment when you consider the toxic chemicals involved and amount of water used.
- Equip yourself with rechargeable products. With rechargeable technology getting better and better, it only makes sense to choose them over disposable items which you’ll end up dumping in the trash every time. Take rechargeable camera batteries, for example. Even though they require some electricity to get powered up, many models have longer lives and fewer harmful chemicals involved in their construction. Even if they cost a bit more up front, they could end up saving you money in the long term while reducing your environmental footprint.
- What type of camera are you using? Certain brands and models are more environmentally sound than others. Pay attention to a camera’s packaging and what it’s made out of. Canon, for example, has manufactured cameras which are made in part from used mobile phones. Depending on their composition, some devices will be easier to recycle once they’ve run their course.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Eco-friendly photography clubs are sprouting up all over the United States. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if there’s one in your hometown or nearby. Link up with one and get some advice from photographers who have already taken real strides to green their camerawork.
How you decide to go green with your camera is up to you – these are just five recommendations. If you have some better ideas, by all means go for it! Any way we can green our photographic practices as a whole is a good idea no matter if it’s part of a numbered list or not.