Share or protect photo locations?

The world of photo­graphy has changed drasti­cally in recent years. With the ever-growing popu­la­rity of social media plat­forms like Insta­gram and Flickr, the hunt for the perfect photo has become a kind of compe­ti­tion. Espe­ci­ally in nature and land­scape photo­graphy, photo­graphers are faced with the ques­tion of whether they should share their disco­vered photo loca­tions or whether they should rather protect these secrets. In this article, we take a look at the advan­tages and disad­van­tages of these two approaches. 

You can find the VLOG to the BLOG below, at the end of the blog post. In this YouTube video you can learn how I took the pictures for this post and what made me decide not to share the loca­tion in this case. 


Sony a7III
Sony FE 2.8/16–35 mm GM

Sony a7III + Sony FE 2.8/16–35 mm GM @ 20 mm, f/8, 2/5 Sek., ISO 800

Why do I come to this topic?

Actually, I wanted to find beau­tiful loca­tions in the Black Forest for my blog posts, photo­graph them and share them with you. By chance, I came across this rather unknown and some­what hidden water­fall. Full of euphoria, I set out to create a VLOG for you and share this place with you. 

Once on site, I quickly got to work. As always when I am out in nature, I am very careful of the vege­ta­tion. I try to stay on paths as much as possible and if this is not possible, to use stones and rocks so that I don’t leave any foot­prints. This is one of my basic rules for being out in nature. I do not step on plants or moss under any circumstances. 

Unfort­u­na­tely, I am also aware that not ever­yone is so careful in nature and leaves their rubbish lying around or tramples plants. Even in the local forests, which are quite unknown to me, one or the other spot was trampled, for example for the wild garlic photo­graphy this spring. Many people are not even aware that people who are so negli­gent in this area damage one or the other plant so irrepa­rably. Espe­ci­ally in these times, when nature is having an incre­asingly diffi­cult time due to drought, heat, etc., we should be aware of this. 

Sony a7III + Sony FE 2.8/16–35 mm GM @ 16 mm, f/13, 1/4 Sek., ISO 800

Advan­tages of sharing photo locations

Of course, not ever­y­thing is bad, there are always pros and cons. I myself like to share photo loca­tions and also benefit from others sharing beau­tiful loca­tions. Several points come to mind:

  1. Commu­nity and exch­ange: By sharing photo loca­tions, photo­graphers give others the chance to also discover and photo­graph the beauty of nature. A commu­nity is created in which expe­ri­ences and tips can be exchanged.

  2. Promo­ting nature conser­va­tion: paradox? I think not. By photo­graphers sharing breath­ta­king land­scapes, this can lead to people deve­lo­ping a deeper under­stan­ding and appre­cia­tion of nature. This can ulti­m­ately lead to increased enga­ge­ment in nature conservation.

  3. Inspi­ra­tion and crea­ti­vity: By sharing photo loca­tions, photo­graphers can inspire others and stimu­late their crea­ti­vity. Viewing the work of others can provide new ideas and perspec­tives that lead to a higher level of artistic development.

Bastian Werner, a well-known weather and land­scape photo­grapher in Germany, even argues that sharing as many photo spots as possible and making them available free of charge reli­eves the burden on the indi­vi­dual spots, as the number of people is spread over more loca­tions. But even this opinion is not without contro­versy. Because so-called hot spots can still emerge that attract a parti­cu­larly large number of people due to their special nature. If it is a place with nature that is parti­cu­larly worthy of protec­tion, this is of course critical. 

Disad­van­tages of sharing photo locations

That’s why we should also be very aware of the disad­van­tages of loca­tion sharing. 

  1. Over­c­row­ding and inter­fe­rence with nature: When certain photo loca­tions become popular, they attract more and more people. This can lead to over­c­row­ding that affects the fragile nature. Foot­prints, worn paths and rubbish are possible nega­tive effects.

  2. Protec­ting endan­gered species: Some land­scapes are home to rare or endan­gered species that can be disturbed by exces­sive visitor traffic. Sharing photo loca­tions risks endan­ge­ring these species.

  3. Compe­ti­tion and commer­cia­li­sa­tion: When photo loca­tions are shared, this can lead to increased compe­ti­tion. Photo­graphers compete for the best angle or the perfect light, which can lead to increased commer­cia­li­sa­tion. Some loca­tions might be rented out for photo shoots, which could affect the original character of nature.

In general, I think that nature and land­scape photo­graphers who are really serious about their hobby actually know how they should behave in nature and espe­ci­ally in nature reserves. And the vast majo­rity do. Unfort­u­na­tely, I have also seen nega­tive examples with my own eyes. 

Sony a7III + Sony FE 2.8/16–35 mm GM @ 34 mm, f/8, 1/4 Sek., ISO 800

This and all other shots of this post you can request under “Prints” as an art print for your wall at home directly from me. 


The debate about whether photo loca­tions should be shared or protected is complex and there are good argu­ments for both sides. It is important to find a balanced approach that takes into account both the needs of photo­graphers and the protec­tion of nature. Photo­graphers can share their photo loca­tions but act respon­sibly by showing conside­ra­tion for nature and the needs of endan­gered species. At the same time, photo­graphers should also reco­g­nise the value of protec­ting some loca­tions and not give them away lightly. Ulti­m­ately, it is about finding a harmo­nious balance between photo­graphy and conser­va­tion in order to preserve the beauty of our nature for future generations.

Pictures from the VLOG

In this gallery, I have compiled all the photos from the VLOG so that you can view them at your leisure. Have a look on Youtube and leave a comment or a like. If you liked the video, you can also subscribe to my channel so that you don’t miss any new videos.

VLOG to the BLOG

In my Youtube video “Share or protect photo loca­tions — water­fall photo­graphy in the Black Forest” I show you a beau­tiful spot of nature. A small, hidden water­fall in the middle of the Black Forest. While I was photo­gra­phing there, however, I realised that I will not share this place. See the video for the reasons why. Feel free to comment on how you feel about this diffi­cult topic and leave a subscrip­tion! I am looking forward to it!

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