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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cairns Photographers- show the world we're still here!

Last week I spoke about whether or not you should go out and photograph the aftermath of a natural disaster. And I put forward the idea that if you're just doing it for yourself then maybe it's better to do something more constructive for the victims - like helping clean up or something.

I also talked about how if you have a blog or another way of publishing your images then taking pictures in order to show the rest of the world what is happening could definitely be seen as a good thing.

But photographing those kind of traumatic situations is certainly not for everybody and it takes a certain kind of tact and compassion to stick a camera in the face of people who have just lost their every possession - no matter how noble the cause. So there's another way that photographers can help.

Show the good stuff. The media tends to feed on misery. The day before Cyclone Yasi hit us one of the TV stations was playing scenes of destruction from cyclones around the world ad nauseum, all with a soundtrack of horror music. There was expert after expert saying how nothing would survive and we were all headed for Armageddon.

Well hello? We're still here. There were obviously some hard hit areas and many people have had great losses, but by some of the media reports anybody would think that everything along the far north coast of Queensland had been wiped off the map. I even heard one report that CNN was saying the entire state had been evacuated! Sheesh.

So as a photographer you can do something really positive by taking lots of beautiful pictures of the area. Sure there are leaves missing from the forest in parts, trees down in others. But for an area still so reliant on tourism we need people to visit. And to do that we need to show that things are getting back to normal. People are getting on with their lives and we need the income that tourism brings in.

So I would encourage you all to get out there and share your photographs of the beauty. Show the world that we're not closed for business. Use the power of social media to negate the misery being shown by the major news outlets. Sure it might not sell papers but it will help keep our local communities alive.

Hit the Re-Tweet button at the top of the post and let's get the word out there that Cairns and far north Queensland are doing OK. Let's not just leave it to our tourism bodies to try and tell the world what a great place this is to visit.

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