In harmony with nature – or not?

Many photographers love nature, and I want to believe that most of us respect nature. Although I occasionally get off the beaten tracks, I consider myself to be in this category. I try not to crush any plants and respect the holes, nests and other residences of the animals living in the area. But there are some photographers who don’t respect nature (and if my family and colleagues weren’t reading this I would have used some nasty words rather than “photographers” ). Have you ever seen a nice picture of a frog, maybe coincidentally holding a leaf as an umbrella in the rain? Some photographers use nitrogen to freeze the frog in a nice pose, others hunt them down and stress them in to a pose.. It is horrible how far some will go to get a “great” picture.

Flying White Stork

No animals were hurt while photographing this flying White Stork.

Doing this is not just disrespecting nature, it is despising nature. It are not just (a few) photographers who misbehave and are guilty of animal cruelty. Many people unconsciously leave their tracks of trash on this planet. Sure, the ever ongoing industrial revolution and our drive to develop more and more is leading us to destroy the planet. But if we all change a little, and become a bit more conscious about our planet, we at least slow down our journey towards destruction (okay, that was probably a bit too negative).

An empty bottle

An empty bottle in the forest. Only 5 meters away from a litter bin.

Not too long ago, my parents treated the family on spending a weekend in a bungalow in the forest for a Dutch holiday called “Sinterklaas”, the original Germanic Santa Claus. As I had been photographing my family that weekend, I wanted to shoot some photos the area. While I was looking around trying to find a subject, it occurred to me how the ground was littered with beer cans and bottles, plastic diner plates, and plastic bags. Inspired by the idiots leaving their trash in the forest, I decided to photograph the traces of people.

Animals don't need plates

Animals don’t need plates – If you eat in the forest, don’t leave your trash. Again, 5 meters away from a trash can.

I know I am not a saint, but leaving my trash in the forest? No way!


Camouflaged near some moss.

The goal of today’s post is not to judge anyone, it is just a friendly reminder not to litter our beautiful planet. As I truly believe, most of the litter has been left unconsciously. Maybe the people who left their beer cans and bottles were too drunk to realize what they were doing, maybe the people leaving the plates were just acting out of habit, or were in a hurry. But please my dear people, do not give me a chance to take pictures like these!

Bronze nature

The bronze colours of Autumn…

Thank you for reading and keep on enjoying this beautiful planet with great people!

Kind regards,



  1. Tieme,

    Thank you for writing this post about “photographers (and people in general) leaving no footprints” where curiosity and travel may take them!

    I am grateful that I can photograph my subjects under as normal of circumstances as possible — no hides, no baiting, no trickery. Most important to me is that they do not feel threatened by me but are comfortable to the point that they either ignore or accept my presence as one of them.


    • Hi W.H. Sim!

      Like you, I too can take pictures without harming others or nature. I have taken photographs of deer, and I am sure that they were scared off me (as they ran away), but I never cornered them or captured them in order to take a photo.

      Thank you for your comment!

      Kind regards,

  2. Very good point about not leaving a footprint, Tieme, both as humans in general as well as photographers. I never even thought about what some photographers apparently do to get a picture… sad.

    • Hi there Kiki!

      It shocked me how far some photographers go. However, at the other hand, we could expect people behaving like that. Luckily, the majority is not like that (is what I believe)!

      Take care!


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