What Is Ethical Wildlife Photography?
Wildlife Ethics, some might say what does that mean? Does it matter? In an age where we can get whatever we want twenty-four hours a day with little effort. In a time where there is great pressure on the natural world like never before we need to step back , see the bigger picture and try not to impact on the subjects life we are photographing.
For many people the weapon of choice now is the camera, use this wrongly and you impact on the lives of creatures that have no voice, that won’t be able to report your actions, it will be down to you on the ground to work in a way that gives them peace rather than stress by your presence.
As a responsible photographer of wildlife I capture my images as seen on the ground. I always put the welfare of the subjects life and care of the environment above any photograph I take. I never use flash, props, live bait or any bait that will adversely affect the behavior of an animal.
The power of Wildlife Photography rests on the belief that it represents an event that occurred naturally in the wild; something witnessed and recorded by the photographer with his camera at that given time.
Clever use of friendly animals, hot spots, bait, per-arranged perches or props, digital bird callers, along with digital technology has forced everyone to re-evaluate and question the validity of images they see now.
The Wildlife code of Conduct
As a responsible photographer of wildlife I capture my images as seen on the ground. I always put the welfare of the subject’s life and care of the environment above any photograph I take. I never use flash, props, live bait or any bait that will adversely affect the behavior of an animal.
I am always honest in declaring the circumstances under which a photograph has been taken. I never use digital manipulation to misrepresent a subject or mislead the viewer.
I don’t sell any of my images to any publication or organisation that promotes any form of hunting or killing of wildlife.
I want the public that view my photography to be transported to that moment in time I was lucky enough to see. It’s important that I change very little in order for them to believe what they are witnessing is real and how it was on the ground.
Ethical Photographer Tips
Always put the life of the subject you are photographing first, learn about them and then just sit and watch. If they trust you then you will get access to their world and this is done on trust. Your images and time there after will be so special and will show in your photographs.
Learn to read the tell tale signs of a creatures discomfort at your presence and walk or back off. The end results of all these simply things will be amazing firstly for the creature your with and secondly your own knowledge and photography.