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Rewilding—Check Out this New Visual Trend

By Jonathon - 6 min read

A 2017 photo trend that’s all about the outdoors.

The term ‘rewilding’ made its way into photography from an unusual origin: conservation biology. There, it describes the efforts to roll back human interference with nature. The idea is to give ecosystems more room, so that the plants and animals in it can thrive.

REAR VIEW OF MAN STANDING ON SNOW COVERED MOUNTAIN

By Johannes Hulsch

Lately, we can see the term popping up in a new context: It’s being discussed in lifestyle forums and Instagram posts–there’s even a TED talk about it. Rewilding has been reinterpreted to mean that humans themselves should get closer to nature—or human nature, as some argue.

Rear view of man on beach against sky
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By Maile

High angle view of woman cooking

By Patrick Kolts

Woman drinking hot beverage outdoors
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By I C

Woman sitting in forest
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By Stefano Domenici

The idea is actually rather simple: Our modern lives have isolated us from the nature surrounding us. Contemporary city-dwellers are encompassed not by trees and fresh air, but by concrete and exhaust fumes. Spending our days hunched over laptop computers and eating unhealthy food is the norm—and something that ruins both our health and our attention spans, adherents to rewilding believe.

View of man shaking sleeping bag in forest
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By Matrīna Kežkone

They advocate spending more time outside of cities, being active, and turning off some of the technology we’re exposed to every day. Photos of the movement are all about the outdoors: Camping trips into the wild, blurring the lines between humans and nature, and showing wilderness from a first-person perspective.

Woman sitting in truck drivers seat
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By Pálhegyi Attila

REAR VIEW OF WOMAN STANDING ON MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE
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By Noel

WATERFALL IN WATER
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By Noel

Rear view of woman standing on tree stump with arms outstretched against sky
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By Steven Ritzer

Photography is often aspirational: We see things in photos and then want to do them ourselves, whether that’s following a certain lifestyle or traveling to an attractive destination. Rewilding is another spin on the aspirational return-to-nature movement that’s been gripping Western societies for the past years. But while the underpinnings from biology could be make-believe, shooting this trend could still benefit your health—if only by getting some time in nature and off the grid.

Close-up of woman holding flower on field against sky
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By Sonia

Low section of woman tying boots
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By Sonia

Close-up of woman with tousled hair
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By By the sea

Man sitting by campire
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By Dunya Novikova

CLOSE-UP OF PLANT
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By Anh Đỗ

Young man playing guitar
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By Musicmelisma

Close-up of person looking out window
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By Jason Rogers

Want to read more about the trends dominating photography at the moment? Check out our summer visual trends report!

Header image by Jason Rogers.

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