Blog - Occasional ramblings..

Ethical Photography

Do you consider yourself a Wildlife photographer?  The description is far more than simply someone who takes a set of photographs of a wild animal. 

Creating an image of an animal acting normally in its natural habitat is key.  But how you get that image is what sifts the true wildlife photographers out from the crowd.

Ethics.  Respect for your subject - that's what it's all about.  No photograph is ever worth harassing an animal, changing its habit or tricking them to 'perform' for the camera.  Always consider its welfare.  Consider what effect your presence or actions might have on the animal, now or in the future.  If necessary, stop photographing and move further away.  Be aware of the law regarding disturbance of Schedule 1 listed animals.

Fieldcraft and honesty.  Important as it is, even the best fieldcraft skills won't guarantee you good results, for in real Wildlife Photography nothing is ever guaranteed.  So many times I've sat quietly, waiting for a particular animal, and left hours later with no photos.  I may not have the shot I wanted but in all cases I come back with a bit more knowledge, and I know that knowledge will help me at some later time. 

And so, pride in your work is the reward.  Assuming you don't do this solely for money, the satisfaction you get is from taking an honest photo that caused no stress, disturbance or trickery to the animal, a photo which doesn't imply it's something it's not, a photo which tells a story of an increment of that animals life.