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10 Things To Photograph Before They’re Gone

- 6 years ago

10 things to photograph before they’re gone: There’s something valuable about capturing photographs of certain items, business environments and social situations that may not be around for too much longer. Not necessarily for the potential monetary value, but we live in a culture so devoted to shared experiences that pretty much everything has been photographed and recorded to date. That is, you’re not likely to be the only person with a picture of a white rhino should the species ever go extinct [needless to say, we hope it never does!]. Still, by focusing on objects, places, or aspects of nature, you can build up a special collection that will one day be a vintage a series of snapshots that freeze a moment in time and that could document a historic and precious moment in history.

At the very least, taking a view on what these photographs could comprise of could become a fun photography project to you, so read on for some suggestions to get you started.

10 things to photograph before they're gone


When we think of everyday objects and possessions that may soon be obsolete, wallets should definitely be near the top of the list. Many people are already opting for clips or pouches for credit cards, and others are almost exclusively using their phones for transactions in what is becoming an increasingly contactless world.

These trends are likely to continue, which means photos of wallets in cases or on racks at stores will one day showcase something that’s no longer considered an ordinary product.

Retail stores

10 things to photograph before they're gone
Maplins consumer electronics stores bit the dust in the UK in 2018.

We don’t mean to say all shops are going to bite the dust. Rumours of the entire concept of retail collapsing in the face of internet shopping are likely significantly exaggerated. However, it’s becoming undeniable that some major chains just aren’t competing with bricks-and-mortar stores any longer. We only have to look at the recent collapse of Toys ‘R’ Us, Maplin and House of Frazer, to see the trend. Just this week, the traditional UK mega-store, Debenhams, announced losses of around half a billion pounds in just 12 months!

A number of others have announced closures, too, which means we could have a whole new round of Blockbuster Video-like situations still to come. One day, a photo of a Subway or perhaps even a high street branch of NatWest bank may be emblematic of a surprisingly brief era.

Montana’s Glaciers

We could simply state broadly that climate change is going to result in a lot of places and aspects of nature disappearing over time. It’s a sad but undeniable truth that even if we do curb the effects, some damage can’t be stopped. But we’ll also point to a couple of specific ideas in this piece, starting with the glaciers and snowcaps of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Simply put, they’re not expected to be there for too many more years. 

10 things to photograph before they're gone
Montana Glacier National Park Mountains Cracker Lake

Delivery Trucks

It’s not something you think about consciously, but FedEx, DPD and UPS trucks are part of our everyday existence. We see them out on the road and around our streets and likely on a very regular basis. But a combination of drone deliveries and potentially even a ride-sharing type of delivery service could render these services unused, or at least rare in the coming years. Thus, these trucks could go the way of some major retail stores.

10 things to photograph before they're gone


It’s not just the presence of online casinos that could make the bricks-and-mortar versions disappear. It’s how appealing those online options have become. The market is extremely competitive which means, as one site put it, that every player is considered a huge bonus.

That in turn leads the sites to deliver all kinds of perks and fun features designed to attract attention, which ultimately makes for a very appealing, player-oriented environment. So far real casinos have actually held up surprisingly well, but as the online versions get better and better, the real ones could, over time, become antiquated.

Struggling sports fanchises

It’s hard to predict a specific sports franchise that could collapse. But it does happen. Franchises either disband [albeit rarely] or pack up and move to a new town to find greener pastures. A US team like the Buffalo Bills in the NFL or the Miami Marlins in the MLB that simply cannot find sustained success is always a possible candidate to move. Photos of game action from a team and stadium that are no longer active could prove to be really cool and poignant archive to own in the future.

Traffic Jams

This might be a bit of wishful thinking on our part, but between improved infrastructure, ride sharing, public transportation options, and the promise of autonomous vehicles, there is some expectation that the traffic situation across the globe will improve significantly over time. That could mean that a shot of a major traffic jam may completely foreign to your children or grandchildren one day in the futur.

10 things to photograph before they're gone
Slowdown Highway Traffic Traffic Jam Freeway Slow

Wild Polar Bears

Here, we’re back to climate change, and we hope we’re wrong.

National Geographic recently wrote that polar bears have survived past warming, in part thanks to whale meat, and they could just do it again. But right now these magnificent creatures are endangered and the climate outlook doesn’t look good.

It may be very valuable move to snap them while you still can!

10 things to photograph before they're gone
Polar Bear [Sow And Cub], Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Specific Forests

We don’t mean to point out specific forests. Most of the famous or protected ones on the planet should be alright [in theory], at least for a while. Rather, we mean to consider your local area. Construction is constant in our world and there may be a part of your town where a development project is soon to knock down some forest land. So for your own purposes, or for display in a local area, a photograph of a forested area that could soon be a housing development or shopping centre could be valuable.

10 things to photograph before they're gone


Finally, there are pennies. The one pence coin is practically obsolete already, with many recent calls to abolish them once and for all. They may well be on their way to being taken out of circulation.

There are still innumerable pennies out there in the world, so it’s not as if they’ll simply disappear from the surface of the planet, but they may trickle into collections and recycling centres faster than we might expect. Pictures of heaps of pennies could be cool to have in the future as a result. 

10 things to photograph before they're gone

So go shoot – send us your results and leave further suggestions in the comments below.

About the author

Read 10 Things To Photograph Before They’re Gone

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.