Chris Burkard Photography

Photographer

Photographer-Director-Speaker-Author
I use Photography as a means to inspire others to travel, find joy and seek experiences out of their comfort zone.

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I have a pretty thick skin. I’ve learned the subtle art of not really caring what people think & just being myself over the years. But yesterday as sweat dripped off my hat & soaked my shirt during the 4,000 ft of elevation gain on the hike up Coromandel Peak, I had a moment where it was actually hard to enjoy it’s beauty. Years ago I read an article that talked about the overuse & popularity of this location after my 1st visit. In essence it had “blown up” so to say & I’m sure some of my images played a role. I definitely wasn’t the first person to photograph this spot nor was I the first to be drawn to its beauty, grandeur & feel the urge to share the incredible experience of looking over its surreal vista. But like many things where a finger needs to be pointed sometimes people with a large following can be an easy place to point it. Today on the trail I paid close attention. I couldn’t find a single piece of trash, there were less trails that led off route. Families and people of all race & color were going up to experience all 8 miles of its beauty & steepness . At a certain point it dawned on me, “isn’t part of reason we share nature is to inspire people get out of their cars & tour busses, stretch their legs, and earn these beautiful locations?” An undertaking like this hike is bound to leave a mark on someone’s memory bank. Even if just for a photograph... these experiences where you have to suffer a little bit mean so much more than any roadside pullout you can drive to. And although the “secret is out”, I think it’s better to have these places appreciated by many, rather than a select few, because that is how they become protected for the long term.
2 days ago