Planet Ark News

Using the Power of Photos for Good

Date: 30-Sep-16
Author: Marty Middlebrook

Laurence Bennell in 2016 with a tree he planted four years ago © SMH

Laurence Bennell in 2016 with a tree he planted four years ago

You don’t need a fancy camera to take a photo and you don‘t need to be a professional to make an impact.

It’s the age of the digital image and you can use them to have fun, dob in a dumper or celebrate nature.  We’ve put together 5 ideas for you to use photos to do good, for yourself and for the environment. 

1. Plant a tree and document its growth

It’s obvious to point out that trees grow. And you can use that growth to measure or celebrate events in your life. Plant a tree to celebrate a birth, wedding, death or graduation. Then come back to reflect on the tree’s progress, reflect on the event you’re remembering and take a photo to mark the passage of time. It’s a lovely way to link your life to nature.

Not everyone gets it right. “I planted a tree when my daughter was born, but didn’t take a photo – now it’s taller than I am – I wish I had taken that photo.” - Marty

2. Take a photo to bring the outdoors inside

Family Photo

Our National Tree Day Report titled What is Nature Worth? shows that seeing images of natural environments like forests, beaches and landscapes has a positive and calming effect – almost as good as being outside. Whether it’s your next family portrait or just a great day out with friends - take a moment to remember the moment!

3. Use photos to teach and learn about science and nature

Balloon in the garden for 2 years

Photos can be a great way of understanding the world around you and they are a fantastic way to get kids outside and engaged with nature.

Set up an experiment and use the photos to record progress. Maybe plant a seed and take a time lapse of it growing.  Or copy this experiment of a balloon breaking down in a yard (warning, it takes a long, long time.)

4. Use a photo to deal with dumpers

Suki hates dumpers

Dumped waste is unsightly, creates litter, presents a hazard to pedestrians and can include toxic materials like paint or chemicals that can leak into the environment. You can use the power of a photo to record the dumping and report it to your local state government agency or council. Check out our Give Dumpers A Lesson article for information and contact details for your state’s agencies.

Of course you could also send a positive message by taking photos of great initiatives and sending them with a compliment to your council.

5. Take a do-good selfie

Instagram Cartridges

Snap a selfie of yourself doing something positive and share it with friends and family (and us) to inspire others. You could get an arty shot of your Keep Cup, show yourself planting a tree or picking up litter, recycling a printer cartridge or just a happy snap out in nature. 

We’d love you to share it with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and #planetark.

Marty                                             Middlebrook

Author: Marty Middlebrook

Marty started with Planet Ark in 2012 and he manages our Information Centre, making it easy for Australians all over the country to take part in our campaigns and do their bit for the environment. "I grew up playing outside. I love that Planet Ark not only champions time in nature, but that it also demonstrates the actual benefits and positive effects for people – as well as just how easy it is!"

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