Good Bad Landscape Photography (aka Desperate in Deadvlei)

deadvlei photographer damage - good bad landscape photographers

Landscape Photography requires you to not only be respectful to the environments you have had the privilege of entering but it also requires you to be respectful to other photographers. This photographer dragged a piece of deadwood through Deadvlei leaving deep scrape marks in the surface.

Good Bad Landscape Photography

If I had to say I was shocked at this sight when I entered Deadvlei in Namibia one day I’d be lying, it’s cot actually a place you ever expect to experience shock. Well I was utterly dumbstruck. It seems a photographer had been unable to compose a shot worth anything, despite the millions of possibilities, and instead dragged this piece of deadwood across the surface of Deadvlei leaving deep scrape marks which will remain there for a very very long time.

I studied every possible angle on where this person dragged this deadwood to and not one of them resulted in any shot that was actually worth having created this damage that other photographers and visitors to Deadvlei were left to deal with. Scrape marks like these in the surface at Deadvlei could remain there for years but clearly some people are not worried about that or improving their craft as a landscape photographer.

Desperate in Deadvlei

It’s not the first time I have seen those calling themselves landscape photographers destroy natural environments to try and improve their shots. It’s simply quite disrespectful to the environment and to other photographers to behave in this manner and certainly one should not be calling themselves a landscape photographer if they do stuff like this.

A landscape photographer is one who “photographs the landscape”, just as it is, without any modifications. If you are unable to compose good shots and you think breaking a branch off a tree or kicking plants and shrubs out of the way is the way to go, think again.

If you are a budding landscape photographer please be respectful to the environments you have been allowed to enter and to other photographers who must share those locations after you have been there. If you find yourself wanting to move things around, stop and recompose your image and work harder to get your shot without touching a thing. Move your camera around do not move nature around.


  1. Well said Mitchell. Most people don’t care about anything but themselves. That is why the world is in the state it finds itself in.

  2. totally agree Mitchell. Each picture can tell a different story, its up to the photographer to see it and capture it. Very sad that people think they have the “right” to do as they please in such areas. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to comment on Ethics (a subject close to my heart). It’s great to see reputable photographers take a lead.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read this William, Ethics is something I feel very strongly about and I will continue to reveal things like this.

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