Author Topic: Conservation via photography  (Read 5304 times)

Online Fulk

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2017, 10:19:46 pm »
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Niether formulaic, or with a simpering model:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Photo/Bloo-And-Red-Stoo_89726/

And nothing much to do with caves, as far as I can see.

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But if you don't publish the photographs, what's the point in taking them (other than for your own selfish pleasure).

How come that taking a picture to stick up on your wall is 'selfish'?

It strikes me that there is room for both approaches – the just-take-a-snap-for-the-recored approach and the 'arty-farty' (sorry) approach.

But you know what – if I was choosing a picture to stick above the mantelpiece on a permanent basis, I imagine that I'd go for a well-composed, well-lit shot by an acknowledged expert such as Chris Howes or Robbie Shone, rather than a quick snap taken on an exploration  trip. But hey, that's merely my opinion, and I guess lots of others differ.

So what? We're all different.

By the way – what does 'Anhodiccca' mean?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2017, 10:38:15 pm »
Sorry Fulk, I think we are at cross purposes. This thread was specifically related to photography as a form of conservation and my comment was made entirely within that perspective.

From the perspective of recording/ conservation of a new discovery, a personal photograph that isn't published doesn't benefit the wider caving comunity, therefore it is for ones own personal benefit, therefore selfish.

I am not suggesting taking photographs for yourself is in any way a bad thing to do, more that witholding a photographic record defeats the point of the photographic record as a form of conservation. Just as surveying a cave and not publishing it does not benefit anybody.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2017, 10:40:55 pm »
Pete,
Those are good questions. There is another alternative too, which is to publish photographs without revealing the site.
But if access will be open, photos should always be taken, because damage will be inevitable. And these do not need to be published immediately. They can be archived for later use, or shared between a specific group, there are many possibilities. Even if the photos are not shared with anyone, they will have value. You can call it selfish if you want. But compare cave photos to family photos and maybe this sort of use is easier to understand. Until a few years ago, we didn't feel compelled to share our family photos with the world, and no one thought us selfish. They were still meaningful and valuable to us. Cave photos can be similar, especially if our use of the caves includes fidelity.

Anyway, a cave's being preserved for an audience of few (or only one!) seems nearer to conservation, in my mind, than its being destroyed for an audience of many.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 10:50:13 pm by Kenilworth »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2017, 10:58:03 pm »
I don't disagree with you Kenilworth. There are many alternatives, some more satisfactory than others.

It all depends why we want to conserve the cave I guess and what we want to conserve.

Some consider it important to phtograph induvidual formations with a scale, for a scientific record, with no care for good lighting or artistic composition. Others feel it more important to record the atmosphere, beauty and overall effect of a cave.

Personnaly, I think if something primarily has aesthetic value, it is an injustice to record it without trying to capture its beauty.

If something is beautiful and we preserve it in such a way as nobody can see it's beauty, again, I think we have defeated the point of conserving it.

Take your family photos for example, you may enjoy looking at them on your own, but do you not enjoy them more by sharing them with the people who also care about them (ie. your family). Is it not the same with caves?
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2017, 11:04:46 pm »
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Take your family photos for example, you may enjoy looking at them on your own, but do you not enjoy them more by sharing them with the people who also care about them (ie. your family). Is it not the same with caves?

Certainly. And it may be that cave photos mean the most to people who personally know the cave, and the history of its use.

Offline droid

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2017, 04:21:21 am »

The caver's motto does not put the caver in the right mindset..

Oh yes it does!
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Offline NewStuff

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2017, 06:44:39 am »
publish photographs without revealing the site.
these do not need to be published immediately.
shared between a specific group,
Yet again, Who decides if you should only photograph a cave, not share those photographs, or to delay the sharing? This is assuming that no-one else explores it under your ridiculous "stop caving" ideas, which you deny having, but...

Anyway, a cave's being preserved for an audience of few (or only one!) seems nearer to conservation, in my mind, than its being destroyed for an audience of many.
Seems pretty concrete that you would like everyone, bar a few to photograph them, stop caving immediately. At no point have you explained a practical implementation, the paople who decide, and why it's them who decide any of this. It's all very well shouting about something, but you have no idea how to replace the "bad caving" you seem to think we're doing now.

You still need to explain what a Professional Cave Photographer that take salon quality pictures is.
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Online Fulk

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2017, 08:42:03 am »
Thanks for clarifying that, Pete.

Offline wormster

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2017, 05:05:21 pm »
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Niether formulaic, or with a simpering model:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Photo/Bloo-And-Red-Stoo_89726/

And nothing much to do with caves, as far as I can see.


Quite right it isn't in a cave, its in Drakelow Underground Shadow factory! AND is underground - my other thing is Mines and Quarries, and WW2 history, but there again this is a CAVING site, so I'd hardly expect you to understand........(YES I'M JOKING)

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By the way – what does 'Anhodiccca' mean?

Just a made up word think of the whole as Who, Where, Why, etc....

My main reason for not plastering 'fasands of photos, (either underground, or family, or anything else related) is that in the past I've had my snaps stolen from me and passed off as somebody elese's work! - I think that is called copyright theft, and having been down that road IMO its better not to tempt fate again!
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Offline wormster

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2017, 05:28:55 pm »
Why not forget the photographs and just tape off any pretty bits far enough back that nobody can even see what's there, removing temptation and that way it stays pretty so the bats can enjoy it the way it's supposed to be. In fact, better still just wall it up. (is there an ironic emoji anywhere?)

Has been done in the past in at least one Mendip Mine/Cave that I know of, the way that the particular individual walled off these 17th Century artifacts actually protects them, whilst keeping them on view at the same time, conservation in itself is a tricky enough subject, there are other threads available to comment on......so I'll not bother saying 'owt else on that subject at the moment!
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2017, 11:17:14 pm »
One of the first things I did with Unterstein was documentation photographically as well as set up tape lines and routes.

Sad to say the mud floor has already been walked across (out and back, across the tape line, in blatent disregard) marring the once-pristine floor of "mud-flowstone"

Two pools of cave pearls are also buried in mud from routes not being followed.

This all happened within 5 months of it being "public". Not to mention the trash and left articles of clothing I and others have pulled out.

Unterstein is a vertical multidrop and while not super difficult, not easy "pit bounce" either. It takes competent vertical caving, two bits are technical (for here, since rebelays are uncommon).

You can bet this will be brought to attention in a conservation article. I have before and after photos of each location. There is no doubt of damage. To me it is extremely disheartening, and epitomises the problem of American caving. We mantra "leave no footprints, take nothing but photos, kill nothing but time". I call bullshit. And yes mistakes happen right? No one of us is 100% guilt free, a small corner of a wrapper lost into mud here, a hairtie that breaks and falls out unbeknown to the wearer. But this many, in such a short time? And blatant damage? If it does not make one think, and take on extra responsibility and carefulness, one does not need to be a caver.

I have thought a lot about your post today Amy. I wonder if you might share some of the before/after photos here? They would be useful to the point being made.

If you do write a conservation article, I hope you will spend the time on deeper things than complaint about the damage done and insistence that cavers observe flagging etc. I'm trying to say that this was partly your fault, partly "Caving's" fault, and partly the fault of the particular cavers who did the damage. Work out where all the blame lies, and why, before submitting an article, and I think the results will be much more meaningful to yourself and to the readers.

Offline Amata

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2017, 01:16:19 am »
I'm trying to say that this was partly your fault, partly "Caving's" fault, and partly the fault of the particular cavers who did the damage. Work out where all the blame lies, and why, before submitting an article, and I think the results will be much more meaningful to yourself and to the readers.
Bwahaha I would wonder how this is possibly my fault that someone not on my trips and who I do not cave with how I could possibly control their conservation ethics and make them muddy things up or step beyond tape, but thanks.  :bow:

I cannot assign blame, I can figure out with deductive reasoning who the likely culprits are - assuming they signed the cave log - and that is all. Even still, I would never publicly call them out especially having no direct evidence. Witch hunts do zero good. Article is in progress of being written and it is a tricky thing, to word things so people think, without losing people. Because here *most* people honestly in my experience don't give a f*k about "little things" - spraypaint and mud handprints on walls and carving names in rock is about the only thing people get upset about, in my experience. So trying to explain why we should care about more than blatant vandalism is difficult. It's like trying to explain empathy to someone who has none.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2017, 04:35:49 am »
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Bwahaha I would wonder how this is possibly my fault that someone not on my trips and who I do not cave with how I could possibly control their conservation ethics and make them muddy things up or step beyond tape, but thanks
Think a little harder.

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it is a tricky thing, to word things so people think 
Don't I know it.

It sounds like you're missing an opportunity.

Online Leclused

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2017, 07:26:27 am »
I'm trying to say that this was partly your fault, . Article is in progress of being written and it is a tricky thing, to word things so people think, without losing people. Because here *most* people honestly in my experience don't give a f*k about "little things" - spraypaint and mud handprints on walls and carving names in rock is about the only thing people get upset about, in my experience. So trying to explain why we should care about more than blatant vandalism is difficult. It's like trying to explain empathy to someone who has none.

Amy,

Do you mind providing me a copy of your article when published (Or a link to it). I'm Always interested in conservation articles.  ;D

BR

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Offline droid

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2017, 09:57:53 am »
Kenilworth: you might get further in your argument if you phrased it in a more accessible manner.

You are writing in a Forum, not a paper publication, and hence your audience may be different. I've asked you for concise clarification and it has bee refused, as has newStuff's requests.

If anyone needs to 'think harder' it might be you.

Think about your presentation of your ideas. Think about your target audience.
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Offline NewStuff

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2017, 05:34:46 pm »
Given that he's told Amy it's her fault a cave, that she taped up and photographed, got damaged, I'm firmly on the side of Troll. No-one can be that mentally deficient and still remember to breathe on occasion.
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Offline Amata

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2017, 05:54:31 pm »
Leclused - Sure I will. I put it away for a bit, some friends told me I was too nice, another said I sound too emotional and will lose people because of that. So it will be a WIP for a few weeks, I expect. As I need to write bits and then revise (which I have a friend helping me do, to help with the emotionally-charged language I tend to result to when writing on the topic for longer than 10 minutes, ha). I really do want it in accessible language that even those who did the damage, or have done other damage maybe they didn't perceive as such at the time, can receive and integrate into how they cave and view conservation. That conservation is more than just not breaking formations, and not spraypainting, and not treating open air pits and sinkholes as trash dumps. It's the little things too, because the little things add up.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2017, 02:03:02 am »
Amy, after taking Droid’s wise advice, I realize that I probably could have worded things more carefully and kindly. I certainly didn’t mean to imply any intentional negligence on your part, and I realize that you actively attempted to protect your discovery from damage.

However, it seems that the conservation measures that you took may not have been adequate in this case, and that caving culture and your own desire for recognition might have influenced you to make decisions that doomed the fragile features whose loss you are now mourning. This example relates both to this thread and to some of the points made in the locked “stagnation” thread.

I might as well ask point-blank if you at any point seriously considered leaving the cave unreported. My guess, based on your posts here and your “caving career” so far, would be that you did not. I am not saying that you should necessarily have kept the cave a secret. However, if you have paid attention, which I believe you have, you should have realized that to publicize your discovery would automatically be to compromise its aesthetic integrity. And you should have realized that flagging tape would accomplish nothing. I have never seen flagging used to good effect in a US cave. It is indeed garbage.

It may well be that this cave was not remarkable enough to warrant secrecy as a conservation measure. It may be that you could best honor its features by a thorough photographic documentation, which, hopefully, you have done. My point is that NSS conservation standards and our inherent egotism do not often give proper consideration to even the possibility of secrecy. Instead, we fall back automatically on token measures such as taping, and then set about lusting after glory on the internet and in magazine articles. I have fallen into this trap myself, and it was caving in TAG that introduced some desperately-needed humility into my outlook on cave discovery.

There are more than ten-thousand known caves within a half-day’s drive of your home. If adequately motivated, you could easily be discovering new caves or passages every single week for the rest of your life. I have never failed to visit TAG without discovering a virgin or undocumented cave. The vast number of caves in your part of the country forced me to realize that in finding new ones I was not doing anything noteworthy or special. This freed me to approach discovery with an eye toward the singularity of each cave, and with a heart inclined toward doing what was best for each one. So while I believe strongly in the value of documentation, and while I am a TCS member and have added new caves to their files, I have also kept my “best” Tennessee discoveries quiet. Some are outstanding visually or archeologically, but the recreational and chest-beating slant of TCS and caving culture do not allow me to release them into the influence of Caving. I know what will happen.  While these caves are in a sort of limbo as far as other humans are concerned, they are at least not lost.

My suggestion (and it is only that) is that an article dealing with the damage in Understein Cave would be most valuable if it explored honestly the responsibilities of the discoverer to the virgin cave. There are enough post-mortem laments already. Our national and grotto publications are saturated with them. They are a waste of time. As I’m sure you perceive, our caving culture will not be changed by internal pleadings. It is a direct extension of American culture, which is far beyond the influence of conservationists. If we want to protect things, we will need to think beyond the canon of caving, and devise a language by which we might be truly useful to one another and our places.

Offline Amata

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2017, 03:56:27 am »
Yup. Totally my fault that I expected better of people.  :thumbsup:
Totally my fault for saving a mountain from a construction project that would have destroyed the cave totally without anyone ever seeing it, ever.  :thumbsup:

I dont believe in hiding discovery. There is no point in exploration then. You say it is egotistic to publicize  new cave finds. I say its egotistical to think the only discoverer and maybe their closest friends are the only one worthy of visiting.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2017, 04:13:41 am »
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Yup. Totally my fault that I expected better of people.

With respect, yes. You should have known better by now.

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I say its egotistical to think the only discoverer and maybe their closest friends are the only one worthy of visiting. 

I have never thought or said this. I often doubt my own worthiness to visit some places. However, since there are many disrespectful cavers, there must be sacrifices. Sometimes the cave is sacrificed, sometimes the caving. It is not self-centered to forgo publicity for the sake of protecting something of value. Quite the opposite.

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I dont believe in hiding discovery. There is no point in exploration then.
I disagree strongly. Caving culture has reduced exploration and discovery to a sort of social currency, but it is much more than that.

Offline droid

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2017, 06:09:25 am »
That last post, Kenilworth, explains your philosophy very well, better (to me at least) than any of your previous posts.

And I thank you for that.
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Offline NewStuff

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2017, 06:34:07 am »
With respect, yes. You should have known better by now.

There's no respect in that statement. You immediately talk down to someone.

I have never thought or said this. I often doubt my own worthiness to visit some places. However, since there are many disrespectful cavers, there must be sacrifices. Sometimes the cave is sacrificed, sometimes the caving. It is not self-centered to forgo publicity for the sake of protecting something of value. Quite the opposite.

You *have* said this. You said it until you realised no-one was biting.

I disagree strongly. Caving culture has reduced exploration and discovery to a sort of social currency, but it is much more than that.

Exploration is an act, not a fantasy story from a book.
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Offline owd git

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Re: Conservation via photography
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2017, 08:56:37 am »


[
I have never thought or said this. I often doubt my own worthiness to visit some places. However, since there are many disrespectful cavers, there must be sacrifices. Sometimes the cave is sacrificed, sometimes the caving. It is not self-centered to forgo publicity for the sake of protecting something of value. Quite the opposite.

Please do consider such, ie. within the area of this forum. :coffee:
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