One of the things we hear over and over again is photographers destroying spots. This happens sometimes, there are always black sheep.
You are visiting photospots as well. Why don’t you destroy them, even if its only by chance? Because you know how to behave in nature.
Therefore, the problem is not “people” or “other photographers except me”, instead the problem is ignorance.
Instead of trying to keep people away from nature, we should teach them how to behave. If it’s possible for you to visit nature without destroying it, why can’t other people do the same?
The Solution - Awareness
In the VIEWFINDR App we integrated protected areas in nature for everyone to check all the time. When uploading a photospot we ask if the photospot is in a protected area and if so, you can provide a website to read about the local rules of nature protection.
Then there is social pressure. You won’t be able to upload images to VIEWFINDR which are taken by disregarding nature because the community is aware. By putting every spot behind a paywall, we keep it a secret to anyone who doesn’t see it to urgent to get access to spots. People who are willing to pay for spots in nature should have a much more respectful behaviour as people who don’t.
The problem - Secret spots will be overrun
This problem generates a question: Why is not every photospot overrun?
Everyone knows a dozen “spots” around their home but nearly no one visits. On the other side there are places so crowded with photographers that it’s hard to find a place for your tripod.
The most crowded photospots contain places in nature which are so beautiful in such a common way that you can get a nice composition without any skill.
Most of them are easy to access tourist spots. They are so easy to shoot and to research on the internet, that anyone will go there.
If you have a extreme remote spot with stunning landscape , you don’t need to worry that this spot will be overrun anytime soon. Also, the small unknown spots around your home will stay mostly unknown forever, even if a road goes there, because no one thinks it’s beautiful enough to put effort in visiting.
The Solution - Social Pressure and weather
Instead of just keeping things secret, make it public and put social pressure on it. If a spot is being destroyed by too many visitors, openly tell anyone in the VIEWFINDR App that the spot is overrun.
For professional photographers, it seems easy to find new spots. If you are a beginner working full time with a family, it’s not. Beginners follow the mass because of the lack of knowledge.
If every photographer can choose from a dozen different spots around his home and VIEWFINDR provides the information which photospot to visit at a time for perfect weather and light, there is no reason to travel far. Small, local spots gain more attractiveness through the right conditions. And let’s be honest, shooting a small unknown spot with great conditions is a by far more honourable thing to do than shooting a tourist hotspot with grey weather.