Rules are often there for the safety and benefit of everyone but when you’re a photographer they can often feel constraining to what you’re trying to do.
And as more and more of us become photographers with the popularity of smartphones, it seems like the restrictions in popular, Instagram-ready locations are proliferating just as rapidly.
Such is the case with Zion National Park in Utah, a favorite of wildlife and nature photographers, which has announced even more stringent rules for the craft starting in 2019.
As FStoppers points out, this isn’t the park’s first attempt at changing up the game for photographers making a visit to the nature preserve: Earlier this year the park tried to restrict photographer tripods to paved and designated areas only a rule that, as you can imagine, went over about as well as a swear word in church. It did at least start a dialogue, and one that was much needed.
But for its part the park is apparently very receptive to outside feedback about its policies. Hence why the proposed 2019 regulations have evinced such attention in the community.
Part of the sticking points for many photographers seems to be the park’s bend towards being protective of its most photogenic areas or those that are also most prone to disruption from human interference. Further the park is trying to make the experience for all visitors a pleasant one and the policies it is attempting to roll out are meant to balance everyone’s experience.
Whatever happens with Zion National Park it is good to keep in mind that the more restrictive rules are not made with a general but rather specific population in mind. That said, it’s probably only going to get more restrictive as time passes unless we all do a better job of being aware of our surroundings and the sometimes fragile nature of wildlife preserves.
After all, with the growth of Instagram tourism and the explosion in popularity of photography in general, it is probably only wise that Zion attempts to formulate an adaptable and fair policy now.