1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Wildlife/Natural history

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Seven, May 6, 2011.

  1. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Any Wildlife/Natural History photographers amongst us?

    Wonder what your feelings are on photographing animals/birds with human intervention ie feeding and passing it off as a Natural History shot?

    It's one area I've never tried but if I did and did research areas to go and wait patiently for 'that' shot or not as I imagine the case often to be, I'd be pretty miffed to open a publication only to see 'farmed' animals/birds passed off as natural history shots.

    Also wondering if an animal lives in the wild but was hand reared or tamed to come on call with food, would be a Natural History shot?

    As a viewer I at least like to look at shots and think they are truthful but current trend seems it's not always the case. Perhaps this has always gone on, I know it has in other genres.

    Any way just wondering what others thoughts are on this?
  2. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    This is an issue that's been tackled before on here - for my money it depends on what you are doing with the image. For sharing via Flickr, I don't necessarily worry too much, but that said, it's pretty obvious from my shots which ones are captive and which are wild. Where I do have a problem is if a shot is trying to be passed off as wild when it's not. I don't always reference my shots but if asked I will always be honest about where, when and how they were taken.
    I feed the birds in the garden, but they are still wild - they choose to eat the food and they are free to go at any time. I still have to use some sort of skill to get close enough without causing them distress or affecting their behaviour, so they qualify.
    As another example, a captive wolf (such as the one banned from the wildlife comp a year or two ago) being passed off as wild is a big no no for me. Fine if you want to take the picture but don't make false claims or enter it for a competition, or any other arena, where it doesn't qualify.
    That's my view.
  3. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    I shoot a lot of wildlife for my own enjoyment. Part of that is watching and understanding the animals behaviour and habitat, I'll then look to photograph the animal without having an impact on it. So from my point of view the wildlife needs to be wild and free. I have photographed captive animals but it wasn't the same experience and you can't always be sure how they are cared for. I feed garden birds and have set up perches in order to get better pictures of them but I've never baited birds of prey.

    The RPS Nature Group have their own guidelines
  4. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    It's for wussies;)
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    You've never fed midges when taking their close-ups? ;)
  6. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Unfurtunately I have....

    But at the same time they feed on mammal blood and I think I qualify as one of those. It was a bit flatter after it was disturbed;)
  7. Rustyknight

    Rustyknight Well-Known Member

    Interestingly, the "British Wildlife Photography Awards" competition allows entries of photographs of captive animals, on the proviso that they're identified as such.

    Personally, I'm in agreement with Richard. All the "natural history" photos I have on Flickr are free to come and go as they please. Using feeders to attract birds at home in the garden is acceptable to me, but that's all.

    People do bait for raptors in the wild, people also bait for foxes, and people also use ground-bait to attract fish into specific spots for kingfishers. No doubt many other little tricks get used too for other species, but......
  8. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Something that was being discussed on Andy Rouse's Facebook page was the trophyism that has crept into wildlife photography, where getting the shot has become the most important factor, no matter what the cost.
  9. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    I'm lucky enough to make trips to Kenya to visit family and this gives me the opportunity to photograph animals in the wild. There is such a difference in photographing wildlife compared with tame/captive etc animals that a good record shot that often results from hours waiting (days or weeks for serious togs) is more of a bloody miracle than a mere snap. I've no problem with the tame animal shot so long as the photographer is up front about it and it can be evaluated accordingly.

    I know this cuts across the concept of an image for its own sake but how one gets to the image matters to me.
  10. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    That's a relatively easy trap to fall into and is certainly demonstrated by some of the 'wildlife tifosi' I come across at some reserves. They are the photographic equivalent of twitchers who dash here and there scrambling to get a view (often, but not always) regardless of the impact / implications.
    I enjoy being out and about - if I happen to get a result photgraphically, then brilliant: if not, I've still had a great time away from it all.
    How much sweeter the feeling of having a glimpse into th life of an animal, without it realising - to get it in the wild is a real buzz.
    Just ask Richard how he felt when that Sparrowhawk arrived....!!:cool:
  11. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    I s**t myself :cool:
  12. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    I know what you mean, but I still enjoy photographing animals at a zoo, for me, because I love them. It does give a little buzz, when you get a moment or expression and for me it's the only chance to get a shot of some species ( not many tigers on the Canterbury marshes!).
    Apart from the fact it's obvious, I would never attempt to pass these off as anything other than an interesting (usually only to me) shot of a fantastic animal.
  13. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    But you got the shot!
  14. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Apologies wasn't aware this had been discussed before.

    Good to hear your views and to know that there is a morality.

    There has been a recent publication of an image that isn't all that it seems but I have yet to see if the photographer has owned up to the fact.

    Our camera club exhibitions are fast becoming hosts for these images under the guise of 'natural history'

    Shall take a look at links later, thank you.
  15. Dave_Cox

    Dave_Cox Well-Known Member

    As we don't all have the luxury of being able to take time out from real life to wait hours or even days hoping to see an animal, let alone get the shot; I have no problem with shots of captive animals. To get good photos of some of these still takes hours of waiting, and getting to know the creatures and their evirons. Everyone is well aware of where my photos are taken and I don't claim that the subjects are anything other than captive.

    So long as no false claims are made and the photographer is up front about the location, no problem.
  16. Rustyknight

    Rustyknight Well-Known Member

    I recently read a small discussion about ethics on the Wild About Britain forum, which might be of interest....


    Those forums recently had threads on topics such as using "ground-bait" to attract fish into selected locations for photographing Kingfishers, and which was the best foodstuff to attract foxes into a location.

    The link at the bottom of the first post linked to above lead to a small poll, which again might be of interest (link below).

  17. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    In a recent AP there were a couple of delightful shots of a harvest mouse by the very talented Heather Angel. They were taken at some animal sanctuary or other and the mouse was kindly 'arranged' on a seed head for Ms Angel by a helpful keeper.
    She made no effort to conceal where the photographs were taken and I really enjoyed both the images and the accompanying text. So I guess my answer to your question is that I'm not opposed providing honesty is maintained.
  18. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Well I try to be as intrusive as I can, with little or no 'gardenng' but something Ive yet to try is setting up some honey or jam on a piece of wood or similar to attract moths/ wasps etc. I know many have had success this way!
  19. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

    I have bird feeders nest boxes bird table etc plus a large bird food bill each week and I never manage to get any decent shots but I love watching the birds and taking pictures of them even the rubbish shots make me smile. I aint to try my hand at macro but not being able to move much I will have to manipulate my subjects so I may have to put up a moth trap or similar. I see nothing wrong in this so long as no harm is done to the subject.
  20. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

    My wife just rushed in and grabbed the camera to get some shots of two magpies in the garden as I was typing the last post. When I learn how to add pictures to posts I will put some piccies on here. I am technologicly challenged and finding it difficult to sort out how to post pics.

    Last edited: May 7, 2011

Share This Page