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Foodporn, the environmental sow?

Dear PHOTOPIA family,

Digital Minister Dr. Volker Wissing recently officially exposed smartphotography, of all things, as an environmental sow: In the Q&A session of the closing press conference for the G7 digital ministers' meeting on May 11, he recommended doing without (quote) "superfluous photos of food" as a valuable contribution to solving our energy problems. So it can't be long before climate activists stick themselves in front of drawn smartphones - instead of on streets - to prevent the worst from happening.

It's clear that the digitization driven by Wissing and others costs energy. Exactly how much of this is accounted for by so-called food porn was left unanswered by the press office in response to an official inquiry until now (about a week later). But: Wissing was personally impressed by the dimension, from which one can conclude that there is hardly a larger item in the energy budget than, of all things, photos of food. Can't be imagined...

Sure: More photos have long been taken every single day than in the entire 19th century, i.e. in the first 61 years after the photographic process was announced in 1839, when photographers not infrequently died as a result of handling the photographic chemicals of the time. However, it is difficult to imagine that harmless smart photos could be partly responsible for the death of polar bears in the Arctic today, in the scope assumed by Wissing (and so far not further substantiated). In view of the comprehensive plans to transform our society for the purpose of climate protection, it may be reassuring that Wissing's press office emphasizes that there are no concrete plans to curb "superfluous photos." So digital photography will not be banned - at least not in the foreseeable future - nor is there an approval process in the pipeline that must be gone through before pressing the shutter release.

Before that happens, it is to be hoped that Wissing and his G7 colleagues will first take care of the effective containment of spam e-mails, misdirected online advertising that no one wants, or the mining of Bitcoins, instead of wanting to spoil the joy of photography.

In any case, without a guilty conscience, you can photograph what exhibitors, events, conferences and exhibitions have to offer the photo community at PHOTOPIA Hamburg in October, as long as it's not food, of course ...

Yours sincerely

Christian Popkes

Image: @helena_wlt

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