Obviously this is an open ended question that depends on where you are etc, but what have you done in the past that you would or wouldn’t do again? I thought it might be interesting to start a thread discussing what you think is appropriate or not while taking landscape photos.
If the thread goes somewhere, I’d like to hope that it doesn’t turn into any personal attacks and that folks can feel that they can be honest about what they have done in the past to ‘get the shot’.
The reason I thought about this was that I was recently in Yellowstone in an area that is away from the main crowds and does not have boardwalks etc… I’m not going to say where because I don’t want to encourage people to go there if they don’t already know about it. But you can walk around and close to the thermal features at least semi-legally.
While doing this I’m very careful not to step on a feature, or even close enough to leave footprints that could take away from the visual enjoyment of the feature.
Anyway, I was taking this shot below which I thought I could do without any damage to the runoff channel, but ended up putting a foot wrong and leaving quite a foot-mark in it. Unexpectedly the tripod also left some small marks. I did some repair, but it was still pretty obvious. I felt pretty bad about it although I know from seeing where people have stepped off boardwalks that it will self-heal in a couple of months.
So I like the shot and might even print it. Was it worth doing some non-permanent damage to the runoff channel? Would I do it again? Honestly I don’t know but maybe not. Usually my ‘damage’ to the environment I’m shooting is limited to a bit of gardening – removing some tall (living) strands of grass and the like. In areas like this I do leave footprints too (it was quite wet at times), although like I said not close to the thermal features themselves.
Probably the other worst thing I have done is contributing to erosion on some steep slopes while hiking around looking for a shot.