Every tourist in Hawaii wants to see the honu, or sea turtles, swimming in the ocean. And if he or she is lucky, like I was, you may be able to see them napping on a black sand beach, wake up, then return to the sea. My family and I were able to witness this event with a handful of other people on a beach in Hawaii last year. It was amazing and I completely geeked out with my camera.
Contrast that with my most recent trip to the islands earlier this month. My wife and I went to a popular botanical garden, one where many Instagrammers photograph a woman walking down the middle of a road bordered by palm trees while steep, volcanic mountains fill the background. The area is absolutely gorgeous and photo worthy. And now the road is lined by orange cones asking visitors to keep driving and not take pictures because too many people were just showing up to take the same picture everyone else was taking. Has originality died?
Whether it is finding an iconic wild animal, a beautiful landscape, ancient pictographs, or any other historic or natural wonder, too many people are geotagging the exact location of these places on Instagram and other social outlets so that their followers can go to the same spot and take the same photo.
Why would a serious photographer want to reveal their secret spots?
What ever happened to the wonder of exploration and discovery?
Are "likes/followers" now more coveted than silent moments of wonder?
If you are passionate about the outdoors, public land, photography, or exploration, please consider how you geotag on social media. I really appreciate pros like Chris Burkard and others who geotag using locations such as "Planet Earth," the "Pacific Ocean" or "Hawaii." Geotagging is a small detail, but it is one which separates the pros from the amateurs.
So going forward, geotag responsibly my friends.