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The Darker Side of Wildlife Photography

Discussion in 'Animal Photography' started by Hix, 26 Apr 2016.

  1. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Although this is centred largely in India, I'm sure it happens elsewhere around the world. But there does seem to be some broad generalisations and an attitude of tarring everyone with the same brush. Nowhere does it say this is only a small minority of the world's wildlife photographers.

    The ugly side of wildlife photography

    :p

    Hix
     
  2. Adrian k

    Adrian k Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed this type of action on some of the rare bird sightings around the UK when you have people with large lens (500/600mm) try and get as close to the subject as they can with NO thought of the damage they are doing to the habitat around them.

    I am a photographer myself and also a birder but just to make this clear there have been birders doing exactly the same just to get a better look at the subject and unfortunately it is a small minority in the UK that give us all a bad name.
     
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    I'm fairly certain it's like that all around the world, although in developing nations - like India - where greed and corruption are commonplace it is going to be worse.

    :p

    Hix
     
  4. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

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    I was watching a YouTube video recently of some photo safari in Africa where people were "freaking out" because a Cheetah had jumped up on the hood of one of the tour vehicles, of which, there were many. Being quite familiar with the way Cheetahs are, I was more interested in the fact that he'd gotten so close to them than the fact that it was a "big cat" right there.

    There are some wild horses that inhabit some areas near where I live and, for the most part, they were able to just enjoy life in somewhat silence. But then they made news because the national forest service wanted to remove what they considered "escaped livestock" and invasive animals and now there's "Swarms" of people driving around, trying to see them and take pictures and they ignore the "rules" of safe wildlife viewing. I saw one group get within a couple of feet of them , even though the guideline is 40 feet. I saw one guy try to lure a foal closer to him. It worries me when I see this large influx, including tour buses to an area that isn't built for tour buses, of people meandering about and cutting off the horses' route to water or following them as they try to move away.
     
  5. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that its a lot easier to learn how to be a photographer than it is how to become a naturalist. Indeed whilst with photography one can easily find vast amounts of resources with even the most limited of searching; naturalist and how to behave in the wild is almost barren of anything with any factual depth to it.

    Most casual advice is to stick to paths; leave it alone; shut gates and generally not to interact with nature. Actually finding out how to approach a bird nest is a closely guarded secret hidden away within books you'll never find on a common bookshop shelf; often ferreted away in the second hand or limited order areas of amazon and known by a handful of people often never to be found online.

    Indeed whilst there is often great interest in natural studies its often only very beginner level. This leaves a vast intermediate and advanced gap which results in a lot of people who push further through another interest (in this case photography) who have little idea what the heck they are doing and worse little appreciation for the damage they can cause.


    It seems in many naturalists desires to protect the wilds by keeping knowledge back seems to almost have the opposite effect of endangering through ignorance.



    Even in photography circles you can see this odd behaviour - aperture and shutter speed you can get out of many in a flash; approach, area selection or even just where they were you have to prise out harder than it is to remove a tooth at the dentist (and just as painful a process it seems).

    Even many good publications for wildlife photography are often focused upon gear; settings; apertures; shutterspeeds flashes and macro lenses and very very little space is devoted toward natural studies. About proper approaches; about being aware of your subject; about how to best research a subject before going out to photograph; about how to ensure that you don't cause lasting damage. Even elementary things like being aware of schedule 1 birds (UK) or even giving a brief listing of species you should have a licence to photograph (often at nest this is).
     
  6. Buldeo

    Buldeo Well-Known Member

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    That was a good read. In my brief experience in India so far, I want to say that it varies from park to park as they all seem to be managed quite differently.

    For anybody interested though, Conservation India has released their guidelines (as mentioned in the original article) if you care to read them.

    Stop! Don;t Shoot Like That -- A Guide to Ethical Wildlife Photography