Big Universe, Small World: Photography, Social Media, and Modern Connection

To us, social media is not a place to show off and create a false identity. It's a place we can share the beauty in this world and meet wonderful human beings that we would have otherwise never met.

By: Yin Wu
July 16, 2016

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We were on a spontaneous trip from our campus, UC Santa Cruz, to Joshua Tree National Park. All three of us are Instagram photographers, we post most of our photos on Instagram to share the beauty that we see along our adventures. There are many other Instagram photographers who we admire, and Andrew, a 20 year old landscape photographer, is one of them. His photos of the connection between nature and humanity are just breathtaking.



One our way back from Joshua Tree, we were planning to stop by somewhere before heading back to school. We learned from Andrew's snapchat, that he was in Trona Pinnacles shooting. We thought maybe he would want to meet up and shoot photos together so we contacted him through Snapchat. Just hours later we met him in Trona Pinnacles. 

All night we were out pointing our cameras to the sky and to the incredible rock formations. The sky was completely dark, we could see the Milky Way clearly. As the Milky Way rotated above us, the moon rose and covered the valley with blue light. A couple of hours later, the sun came out and the night was over. It was like experiencing the passing of time in an astronomical scale.



Andrew is one of the many who we met through social media. To us, social media is not a place to show off and create a false identity, it a place we can share the beauty in this world and meet wonderful human beings that we would have otherwise never meet. This connectivity of the 21th century is binding us closer together as a specie and at the same time expanding our world through each other's eyes.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.