Power of photography implies a duty to protect and preserve

February 15, 2022 / 12:10 PM

Sharjah 24: As our planet reels under the impact of climate change and global warming, photography can play a key role in preserving and documenting ecosystems, as well as bringing attention—through visual communication—to targeted climate and social issues to educate and inspire real change, asserted five internationally renowned photographers at a panel discussion held at the sixth edition of Xposure International Photography Festival.Hosted by celebrated travel photographer
Elia Locardi, panelists on ‘The Power of Photography’ session included Jordan Hammond, Daniel Kordan, Chris Rainier, and QT Long.

Chris Rainier, Director of the Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation which aims to protect biodiversity and cultural heritage, observed that photography is a very powerful weapon in an age where 6 billion images are uploaded on the Internet daily.

“However, just putting pictures on Instagram is not enough; you need to get a hold of whoever is making the decisions to act,” he argued, adding that posting pictures of wildlife or cultural places on social media often has the detrimental effect of attracting unwarranted tourism that takes away the privacy of the subjects of these images.

“We have a responsibility to be part of the solution, not the problem,” said Rainier, who has photographed indigenous populations from Papua New Guinea to Africa. He added that he is optimistic in seeing the revitalisation and renaissance of indigenous cultures.

Landscape photographer from Russia, Daniel Kordan, who is participating at Xposure for the second time, said his journey into cultures started three years ago and has led him to photograph indigenous people not only in his home country but also in Kenya, Indonesia, and Mongolia.

Describing photography as a “therapy”, he said the medium is also a tool to make “a visual noise”. Discussing the need for tourism regulation, he stressed: “As photographers, we are also responsible for what we open to the public. Humans must learn to love nature and resolve to respect it.”

Jordan Hammond, 28-year-old British travel photographer, who took to photography as an escape from his teaching job, said people are ready to support good causes when given an opportunity. He said: “More efforts are required to turn our large social media following into something beautiful for nature.” 

French-Vietnamese QT Luong, a scientist-turned-photographer whose work on the US National Parks has received accolades, said: “My advice is to first give your attention to local issues in your immediate environment and see where it leads you.”

Concluding the session, Elia Locardi said: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
February 15, 2022 / 12:10 PM

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