Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

Ethics in bird photography


  • Please log in to reply
57 replies to this topic

#41 Geoff

Geoff

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,681 posts
  • Local time: 04:25 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Victoria, Australia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 11 September 2015 - 04:09 AM

 

 I recline on my outdoor patio couch, camera to one side, mug of coffee to t'other, and ipad tuned into safaritalk on my lap... 

 

 

@ZaminOz  I'm impressed by your idea of 'setup' photography!!


  • ZaminOz likes this
Geoff.

#42 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 11 September 2015 - 06:13 AM

@Peter Connan

well, you seemed to have opened a can of worms!!!

 

I believe that part of the fun is taking position, waiting for that perfect moment...and then finding that your settings were wrong!!!

seriously,  to each his own. If it gives you pleasure, by all means do so.

Having said that, i raise some points that have been troubling me:

  • To take a photo of an owl landing to capture that snake is great....... but what if the snake was tied down??? ( as i have heard some great photographers have done) is it cheating? If so, cheating whom?
  • To take photos of birds who are naturally jittery, but have become comfortable in a protected environment- is that the same thrill of capturing that of a bird in its natural surroundings?
  • why do we go to Africa to photograph lions? why cant we do so in a protected environment like a zoo? is it because it does not give us the same thrill? a sense of achievement?

 

i could go on. in conclusion, take photographs that are nice, gives one pleasure to look at...but be honest in declaring the "settings" . settings are only part of the issue. taking good photographs is an art. 


  • ZaminOz, Peter Connan and TonyQ like this
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  

#43 ZaminOz

ZaminOz

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,984 posts
  • Local time: 01:25 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Perth, West Australia
  • Category 1:Born in Africa
  • Category 2:Conservationist/Naturalist

Posted 11 September 2015 - 07:08 AM

 is it cheating? If so, cheating whom?

 

The snake, I would venture ;)


  • Peter Connan, Earthian and TonyQ like this
*******
Warning, if any safari camps wish to employ me as a guide, I expect a salary far, far, more commensurate than my actual experience!

#44 ZaminOz

ZaminOz

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,984 posts
  • Local time: 01:25 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Perth, West Australia
  • Category 1:Born in Africa
  • Category 2:Conservationist/Naturalist

Posted 11 September 2015 - 07:12 AM

 

  • why do we go to Africa to photograph lions? why cant we do so in a protected environment like a zoo? is it because it does not give us the same thrill? a sense of achievement?

Personally I like to include the natural habitat as part of the backdrop to the photo for larger mamals. So the zoo backdrop doesn't do it for me. Yes you can take nice lion portraits in a zoo. But that is only one style of photography.

Obviously bird photography though is different.


  • pault and Earthian like this
*******
Warning, if any safari camps wish to employ me as a guide, I expect a salary far, far, more commensurate than my actual experience!

#45 Peter Connan

Peter Connan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,967 posts
  • Local time: 07:25 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gauteng, South Africa
  • Category 1:Resident in Africa/Former resident
  • Category 2:---

Posted 11 September 2015 - 05:03 PM

@Earthian, I tried to point out in my first post that the harder you work for a photo, the more personal satisfaction you get out of it. Or at least, that's true for me.

Also, I agree with the concept of full disclosure (except that I try not to let on where the Rhinos are), but on the other hand, it doesn't bother me as much as it used to either somehow.

As for tying down snakes, this for me is beyond the pale. Photos should in my mind be taken without deliberately harming any animals.

Again, I realise that others do not agree and may have compelling arguments of their own, but that doesn't mean I have to follow their example...
  • ZaminOz, pault, Earthian and 2 others like this
Ek oefen skelm.

#46 Peter Connan

Peter Connan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,967 posts
  • Local time: 07:25 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gauteng, South Africa
  • Category 1:Resident in Africa/Former resident
  • Category 2:---

Posted 17 September 2015 - 04:33 AM

https://iso.500px.co...st-plain-wrong/

....
  • Tom Kellie likes this
Ek oefen skelm.

#47 Tom Kellie

Tom Kellie

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 6,475 posts
  • Local time: 01:25 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central CHINA
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 17 September 2015 - 06:01 AM

 

~ @Peter Connan

 

It happened that the link you posted is one which is available here, therefore I was able to read it.

 

Thank you for posting it.

 

Sobering.

 

The examples given are to-the-point. 

 

One wonders if it's truly worth to obtain images at such costs.

 

In the last couple of safaris Anthony and I have abandoned several specific photo situations as obtaining the most impressive shot would require undue disturbance of the subject.

 

We're able to leve without such an image but unable to live with the memory of heavily disrupting the life of a treasured animal.

 

We feel no such restraint with regard to trees, rocks or rivers!

 

Tom K.


  • Peter Connan and Earthian like this

#48 Soukous

Soukous

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,987 posts
  • Local time: 06:25 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:It's flat, it's windy, it's Suffolk
  • Category 1:Tour Operator
  • Category 2:Resident in Africa/Former resident

Posted 17 September 2015 - 08:39 AM

I'm coming late to this, but thanks for starting the thread @Peter Connan

 

Up until recently I was a member of 2 photography sites and something that I always struggled to understand was the different standards that people had about bird photography and mammal photography.

 

mammal photographs had to be shot in the wild. Photos from zoos were not allowed. 

But wild birds it was entirely different - so many people had set up feeders in their gardens and then set up elaborate '6 head' flash units, tripped by a sensor to capture birds like hummingbirds.

 

Some of the photographs were stunning. 

 

From my perspective, a good photograph is a good photograph. If I enjoy looking at it I do not much care whether it was taken in a zoo or in the wild - as long as the photographer is honest about where they took it and the animal or bird has not been made to suffer.

 

Like any other skill, photography is something you need to practice to get better - few of us can afford to be on safari all the time - so we need to look elsewhere for our subjects. Personally I find it hard to get motivated by the birds in my own garden, but I am full of admiration for those who make the effort to photographs the birds they see every day. 

 

And, to come back to Peter's initial question, I see nothing at all wrong with creating a more pleasing background for photographing the birds in your garden.

I have a bit more of a beef with the folks who insist on using the bird calls on their iPad or smartphone to try and attract birds when they are on safari.


  • pault, Peter Connan, KaingU Lodge and 2 others like this

"if you think you're too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito."

Martin Dunn FRGS

 

website: www.wildlifephotographyafrica.com

facebook: Wildlife Photography Africa

twitter@wildphotoafrica


#49 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 17 September 2015 - 02:06 PM

@Peter Connan

 

Thank you for that post. Was appalled though i have been reading worse. i believe Cormorant's necks are tied with string so that they cannot gulp down the fish. Coming back to the ethical issue, while we all agree that harming an animal is wrong, what about photographing fishermen using Cormorants? Even if the photographer got a natural shot?


Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  

#50 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 17 September 2015 - 02:11 PM

While i am at it...

 

 

 

 

 

But wild birds it was entirely different - so many people had set up feeders in their gardens and then set up elaborate '6 head' flash units, tripped by a sensor to capture birds like hummingbirds.

 

 

@Soukous

 

The "art" of photography has changed. We have an elaborate set up, remotely triggered by movement while one is snoozing. kind off removes the thrill for me.


  • Peter Connan likes this
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  

#51 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 17 September 2015 - 03:17 PM

Reports www.sanparks.org

 

It is time for all the nature-loving shutterbugs out there to submit their finest photos in our Annual SANParks Photographic Competition 2015 which is open for submissions as from today, 15 September 2015 until 18 October 2015.

 

There will be seven (7) categories for both Digital Compact and Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras. We will have a winner in each category and an overall winner. The overall winning image will be published in the SANParks Times. The categories are as follow:

 

To find out more, click here.

 

Will you be entering?

On perusing the rules, this cropped up:

You must declare at the time of submitting if a picture has been taken in captivity or conditions that are unnatural (eg if live bait has been used). Details of the subject and location must be provided in the file info.

Seems that using live bait is acceptable. Disturbing.


  • Peter Connan likes this
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  

#52 Peter Connan

Peter Connan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,967 posts
  • Local time: 07:25 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gauteng, South Africa
  • Category 1:Resident in Africa/Former resident
  • Category 2:---

Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:37 AM

@Peter Connan
 
Coming back to the ethical issue, while we all agree that harming an animal is wrong, what about photographing fishermen using Cormorants? Even if the photographer got a natural shot?[/size]

My first reaction would have been that people have been using animals to help them hunt for millennia. Most of our domestic dog species were bred for some or other hunting activity.

However, if these guys are now fishing mostly for the pay they get from photographers, then perhaps that's a different situation?
  • Earthian likes this
Ek oefen skelm.

#53 Kitsafari

Kitsafari

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,731 posts
  • Local time: 01:25 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 19 September 2015 - 05:03 AM

since this post is about ethics in bird photography, I had to share this horrifying practice that is arising in Singapore. how much truth there is, I'm not sure, but I haven't found anything to dispute the post. 

 

http://10000birds.co...ered-eagles.htm


  • Tom Kellie likes this

#54 pault

pault

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 4,081 posts
  • Local time: 12:25 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bangkok
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 19 September 2015 - 06:24 AM

Why not just use stuffed birds on wires, which can be photoshopped out, You can get the appropriate natural poses for your taxidermist from a nature documentary. Could even have the fish or mouse dressed in a t-shirt and posed on tail or hind legs in an "oh no!" pose straight out of a Pixar movie. Cracking shots, no doubt. The Internet would break with love for them.

Seriously I like a lot of captive shots and appreciate how they can allow a photographer to use his or her creativity to set things up beautifully. It's no easy task at all. Baited shots could be the same, but while I am sure most baited shots are done with thought and ethically, or do not harm... and I won't forget inyathi's example from close to home showing that baiting (or waterholes) can facilitate appreciation of nature- personally I rarely offer more than faint praise for any such shots because there are too many stories, and too many photographers (and remember there are an awful lot out there now, so this is a tiny minority) seem to be fine with other people doing a lot of stuff that they would never do themselves because it would feel wrong or they would worry about censure.

What did you do today Mummy?
Oh, I tied up terrified mice in a field so that owls could glide down and butcher them, and then I took pictures of the carnage so people on the Internet would say I was a good photographer.
........Mummy?
You'll understand when you are older and more disappointed with life dear.
  • ZaminOz, Peter Connan and Earthian like this

Waiting again... for the next time again


#55 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 19 September 2015 - 02:30 PM

@Kitsafari, @pault, @Peter Connan

 

i am appalled, shocked and angry after seeing that post of the photographers of Singapore. But hang on. Don't we all have double standards? Using live bait, as long as the bait is an insignificant life form, is ok with us. So we protest when say a gazelle is used to catch that stunning photograph of a cheetah chasing it. But using worms for photographing birds is ok? As i mentioned earlier to Peter, this debate has opened a can of worms.


Edited by Earthian, 19 September 2015 - 02:30 PM.

  • Peter Connan likes this
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  

#56 Kitsafari

Kitsafari

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,731 posts
  • Local time: 01:25 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 19 September 2015 - 03:24 PM

@Earthian what Im appalled about is that the photographer stuffed styrofoam into a live fish. You surely don't stuff the impala with styrofoam to bait a leopard or cheetah?
  • Tom Kellie likes this

#57 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 September 2015 - 12:41 AM

@Kitsafari

Yes, it is absolutely horrendous. I was admiring a beautiful photograph of an owl on the verge of grabbing a snake. The photograph was perfect from al counts and i marvelled at the tenacity and patience of the photographer, I was also envious that luck seemed to have favoured him. Till i found out that actually the snake was tied down and its constant attempts to get free attracted the owl and viola! There are many such stories.

 

The issue that i am raising here is that where do we draw the line?

 

  • using live bait, but unrestricted?
  • live bait, restricted ( tying down, confined)
  • live bait, restricted by horrendous means. (styrofoam, nailing a rodent)

 

food for thought: most of us are more concerned about what would happen to the eagle that ingests that styrofoam, rather than the fish that was left helpless and violated by stuffing styrofoam.


  • Peter Connan likes this
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  

#58 Earthian

Earthian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Local time: 10:55 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ahmedabad, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 September 2015 - 01:03 AM

My backyard bird photography is totally natural.

Naturally... I recline on my outdoor patio couch, camera to one side, mug of coffee to t'other, and ipad tuned into safaritalk on my lap... should a bird natually futter in and land nearby I will endeavour to take a snap of it before my dog (see avatar) leaps up in indignant surprise and with a "guruph" quite naturally sends the avian invader fluttering back out of his territory...

@zaiminoz

 

When oft on my couch i lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood;

They float upon that inward eye,

Which is the bliss of solitude.

and then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the avians...

(apologies to WW)

 

Can almost see you thus....


  • Peter Connan likes this
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time.
  





© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.