Is Ethical Wildlife Photography Becoming A Trend?
Ethical wildlife photography is not only about rules or right or wrong, but is all about the subtleties and developing good judgment in every time we are out on the wildlife trail. It is about being aware of what we are doing and how others see us at the same time.
Wildlife photography is the pursuit of beauty and fun and for some people the joy of it is the best thing about photography. For others it is a matter of keeping our children safe. The question I have is, “How can you be sure that your photographs will not harm or kill wildlife?” There are so many variables involved and one should really know the rules first before they engage into such activities. It will also help if they get themselves trained with the basics and with more advanced techniques, if they do not have it already.
Wildlife photography is often considered an art, however it is not considered a form of art. The reason being is because there are no rules to follow and no boundaries where we must leave our animals. It is a non-threatening, non-aggressive pursuit of beauty and sometimes beauty is more important than life.
It is hard to convince professionals as they do not believe in these kind of things, but I think this may change in the future. If it is true that a photograph taken without harming an animal does not show any form of aggression or is less threatening, then maybe this will be a trend setter in nature photography. It is also true that some animals do not want to be photographed. In most cases they just wish to live their lives peacefully. They do not wish to be the center of attention or the subject of our artistic and creative pictures.
When a wildlife photographer is photographing a mother with her baby, it is always the mom who gets the most pleasure. It is the family bond that is most often shared between the mother and her offspring when she is photographed with her child in this way.
Many wildlife photographers do not realize that wildlife in the wild will not pose for a portrait or a group shot because they feel that they cannot do it the correct way. Wildlife photographers are usually looking at moving backgrounds for wildlife photos, which can sometimes be quite hard to see moving animals. Wildlife photographers are also more interested in the animals than the surroundings. and will often zoom in on them or focus on their features.
When we see a wildlife photograph on a computer monitor or in a digital camera, we do not see the environment and we only see what is visible to the naked eye. Therefore, it is easy to forget the subtleties that have to be considered while taking the photograph.
Ethical wildlife photography means being aware of the animals and their surroundings. When we are out there in the field with animals, we have to be alert, keep our wits about us, but above all else be open minded and be prepared to experience the world in a whole new way.
It is a fact that many photographers who claim to be ethical are not really. This is why I am very concerned about the use of certain wildlife photography techniques on the internet. I would advise people to look through the website of a wildlife photographer who has been in the field for several years and ask questions of them before buying any of their wildlife photos.
Animal rights groups like PETA and Humane Society of the United States are very active in stopping the use of certain photographic techniques. We need to keep the world safe for our wildlife and for future generations. I hope that one day we can put an end to the exploitation of our wildlife.
I also hope that with ethical wildlife photography and education, we will have a better understanding of the different ways that wildlife can be captured. and how they can best be used to benefit mankind.