Ecotourist Photography 101

photographing ladyslipper

UK blogger and photographer Rachel Rawlins has been visiting the USA, including Plummer’s Hollow (whence this photo)…

Wilderness Area

…and the wilds of West Virginia, where she joined me and my hiking buddy Lucy for five days of camping, tramping and photographing, not to mention taking in some of our southern neighbor’s unique cultural offerings. It’s always fun to see one’s favorite spots through the eyes of a first-time visitor.


I’ve also been quite impressed by her camera gear and expertise. She has multiple lenses and she knows how to use them. So naturally I’ve tried to capture some of her characteristic behaviors on camera. Who needs wildlife when you have ecotourists?

photographing Jack

Plants such as Jack-in-the-pulpit do their best to elude the casual curiosity of tourists, hiding under the lips of their pulpits. Once recognized, however, these celebrities of the wildflower world cannot forever escape the persistent paparazza — nor, indeed, the paparazza’s paparazzo.

photographing in old-growth forest (Cathedral SP, WV)

Trees might seem to be more tractable subjects, but if the forest is too dense, again the ecotourist may have to contort herself into various unusual positions — a behavior much to the advantage of the patient ecotourist photographer.

photographer's yoga

Even without a blind or other special equipment, being in the right place at the right time can yield spectacular results for nature photographers and photographers of nature photographers alike.

enormous, ancient tulip tree

It’s worth remembering, however, that as shy and elusive as the ecotourist may be, she is still dangerous and unpredictable, and may turn the tables at any moment.

13 Replies to “Ecotourist Photography 101”

  1. I first came across R. R.’s blog through Via Negativa, and she and I have swopped dog-tales from time to time ever since. I’ve greatly admired her writing and photography… not to forget her knitted pooches… so how lovely to see this post where she’s been transplanted from her usual patch to Dave World. I love this universe of bloggers who get to know each other through sites and comment-boxes, and then meet up to make corporeal the friendships forged in cyberspace.

    Sorry I’ve been a stranger here Dave. It’s been a turbulent time recently for us, and it’s been difficult to find the energy to keep going as usual on all fronts. Things still tough and in flux, but at least we’re more accustomed to the conditions of being ‘under siege’ and are dealing with them rather better. I shall try to resume more regular commenting at Via Negativa. This by way of an explanation for my absence. Didn’t want you to think that I’d stopped being in love with your world and your work.

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