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:bulletred::bulletred:Wildlife Photograph Ethics:bulletred::bulletred:

This is an article I have wanted to write for awhile, and I finally found the time to do it.

:bulletred: Wildlife Photography  -  There are many reasons wildlife photography is so addictive and fulfilling. We love the challenge of locating and successfully photographing the wildlife, and we love nature and the wildlife in it. Wildlife photography can be the most rewarding medium one minute, and then the most frustrating and disappointing the next.  Some days yield no useable photographs, while some yield twenty. Wildlife photography takes studying locations and the species within them, and little to no sleep.

Battle at Katmai part III by Nate-Zeman

:bulletred: Your Responsibility - Giving yourself the opportunity to photograph creatures normally not seen by many people, comes with an important responsibility, a responsibility to have little to no impact on the wildlife while photographing them.  We are out there to enjoy these animals in their natural settings, not to interrupt their lives or manipulate their surroundings. Negative practices, although they may yield impressive looking results, could physically harm the animals, cause them to abandon feeding locations and young, or become dangerously habituated to humans. There is definitely a right and wrong way to go about wildlife photography, and in this journal I will address both.

:bulletred: The Wrong Way  - There are many types of unethical things some photographers do in order to get the shot they want. I will list some of the most common unethical behavior I have seen and heard about.

1. Intentional Spooking </u> - By far the most common unethical behavior I have seen in the field is intentional spooking. This is when a photographer intentionally scares an animal out of a location in order to get an action shot, or make the animal move to a more photogenic location. Every time I see this, it infuriates me. Examples I have seen are photographers throwing rocks in the direction of hunting herons to make them fly, honking a car horn under an osprey nest for a flight shot, and running through a tern colony on the beach. Spooking a mammal or bird away from a location can cause it to abandon young or give up on a feeding location. With coyotes in all 50 U.S states, and an abundance of other predators on the hunt,  abandoned young don't last very long in nature.

Here is an example of this written by Iamidaho for inclusion in this journal:

"From about 200 yards away in a small meadow in Yellowstone I saw two photographers, both with professional grade lenses. Curious as to what they had seen I stopped my vehicle and watched through my binoculars.

The photographers were egging something on in the grass just a bit in front of them. Judging by the angles of there lenses the matter of there focus was very close to them, but I could not see what it was. You could see them waving their hands in aggressive mannerisms and hooting and hollering at whatever was just out of sight in the grass.

One of the photographers turned around and left his camera, and began wandering through the brush, only to find a large rock about the size of a small watermelon. He returned to where his camera was and flung the rock in the general direction. It crashed through the brush and stopped just short of where the lenses were pointed. Just than, a young newborn pronghorn antelope burst up and in a frightened panic ran in a confused circle, saw the photographers and in utter fear bolted again. Finally, in a clumsy newborn run, it took off over the ridgeline.

I could not believe what I had just seen.
Likely this behavior lead to the death of the baby. Pronghorns are commanded by their mother to stay still and silent, the mother cleans them religiously to the point they are odorless than she goes and forages for the nutrients needed to nurse the baby. She will return every five hours.

Here is one more example, written by fubecando for this journal:

On a very cold, rainy May afternoon, I set out to find some wolves. *Iamidaho had told me about an elk carcass that was in the middle of river that he had seen a wolf eating from a few days prior. After driving around most of Yellowstone to some of the wolf hotspots, I saw nothing, so I decided to give this spot a chance.

The carcass was visible from a pull-off but unless you knew what to look for, you'd miss it. I finally found it and decided to watch the carcass from my car, as animals in Yellowstone are much more accustomed to not worrying about cars. I waiting for close to two hours until I finally saw something.

A large Bald Eagle landed right on the carcass and I had the pleasure of watching and photographing it pick at the rotting, bloated elk for nearly fifteen minutes. It was a brilliant sight to see. One of America's most elegant birds of prey in action.

The event ended very abruptly when a tourist from Utah noticed my white lens sticking out of my window aimed at something. He slammed on his brakes and immediately got out. In his hand was a point and shoot camera. After his first shot, he realized he didn't have near the focal length to get a close shot so he proceeded to walk directly for the bird. When the idiot ran directly for the eagle, the eagle spooked.

Some may think that its not that big of deal. It was spring and the eagle probably had a lot to eat anyway, right? In the world of nature, there is no guaranteed next meal.

Unethical to the max.


2. Cornering </u> - Cornering an animal is all too common, and one of the worst things a photographer can possibly do to stress out a wild animal. This is when a photographer gets way too close to an animal and either is so close that the animal is afraid to move, or has cut off all the animal's possible escape routes. Different species of animals have different responses to fear and being cornered. For example, when confronted by a human that gets too close, the northern saw-whet owl’s initial response is to freeze. With this species, photographers who get too close often think they have come upon a “tame bird.” I had the misfortune of seeing a photographer bust out a macro lens and hold it mere inches from a poor saw-whet owl’s eyes. Don’t get too close, and don’t corner an animal.

3. Capturing</u> - Reptiles, amphibians and insects, are small, skittish and difficult to photograph. Some photographers think it is okay to literally capture them, and pose them how they like.  This is disrespectful and unethical, as the strain and distress it puts on these creatures is not worth the photograph. When confronted, these photographers counter that the animal wasn’t physically hurt, and was released after the photograph. How do you know it wasn’t hurt, did it tell you? Here is an actual comment from DA, about one photographer's technique of photographing a wild snake –    “I chased the male for about 15 feet and then lost him in the tall grass, so I snuck up on the female and nabbed her, she put up one heck of a battle, bit me 3 times, one drew blood!... but after shooting a couple of pics, I put her back near the male and off she scooted!"   - This type of practice is unacceptable. Would you trap a wild fox or bird and pose it for some photos? It's the same thing.

4. Feeding</u> - Feeding wildlife or luring them with food in order to get them close enough to photograph is a dangerous and unacceptable practice. Some animals around the country are so used to receiving food from humans that they get dangerously close to campsites and hikers. These habituated creatures are more likely to be struck by cars in human areas, shot by police because of their proximity to people, and many other negative things. Also, an animal that has been habituated to humans is much more likely to strike at a human rather than flee.

5. Dens and Nests</u> - This is a simple one. If you know the location of something like an owl nest or fox den. Enjoy it from a considerable distance and keep the location of it to yourself. The absolute last thing you want is hordes of photographers stressing out the animals.

Oriole She-male by DGAnder

6. Dishonesty</u> - If your photograph is not of a wild animal, and is of a captive animal at the zoo, say so. Nothing against zoo photographers, because zoo photography does have its purpose, but be honest. The wild animals gallery here on DA is becoming full of zoo animals, and some even claim these animals to be wild. A zoo photography gallery would really help. Also, game farms are awful. Trained animals are greatly mistreated and kept in unbelievably tiny cages. They are transported to natural locations for a photographer with a large checkbook. Some photographers then claim these images of tigers, cougars and other elusive animals to be wild.

7. Exaggeration</u> - Don't exaggerate your settings or methods. If an animal was very cooperative and didn't make you work for the shot, don’t say you stalked it for 3 hours and climbed eleven thorny trees barefoot  to get the shot.  Finally, don’t exaggerate the elusiveness or skittishness of an animal. Don’t say a common and easily approachable animal is seldom seen, and that it was a once in a lifetime chance that you managed to find it. An animal’s rarity does not determine its beauty. As another photographer once told me, although a specific species may be common in your area, it may not be common in others. Appreciate the time you have with any animal, not just the rare ones.


7. Local Laws and Regulations</u> - Most locations have rules and boundaries that dictate where you can and can’t go. Follow them! Also, some locations have rules as to how close you can get to wildlife. These are important also, as the people who made these rules, made them for a reason. Just because no one is looking, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to do whatever you’d like. I know sometimes the, “area beyond this sign is closed” signs throughout our national parks can be frustrating; but remember, they are there for your safety, as well as to protect the wildlife.  Remember, the more people that break the rules, the more strict the rules get in following years.

:bulletred: The Right Way  - Observe wildlife from a distance. Don’t attempt to interact with, feed, distract, taunt, or spook the animals. Keeping to these rules is much more fulfilling in the long run. You know your photographs aren’t contrived in any way, and the animals in them are going about their business undisturbed. Because distressed animals or animals in retreat look different from undisturbed animals, a keen observer can usually spot an unethical wildlife photograph. In the end, an undisturbed animal in a natural setting will look much better than a captive wild animal or a frightened animal in retreat. The goal of a wildlife photographer is to photograph animals in their nature habitat, capturing their natural behavior. The unethical practices listed above yield the exact opposite.

:bulletyellow: Acknowledgements - Thanks fubecando, Iamidaho, PeterJCoskun, and Nate-Zeman for giving me their input on the topic and reading this for me before I posted it.
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watchumacallit Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Student General Artist
wow i didnt know people did that! very enlightening article thanks for writing it :)
pagan-poetess Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011  Professional Writer
i am so happy to see someone writing an article like this!
a few weeks ago i went to visit a northern saw-whet owl who i'd seen the week before in a local bird sanctuary, and found photographers had gone in and destroyed his favourite spot because there were branches in the way of their shots of him. he had moved further back into the bramble because of this, and the plant itself was partially destroyed.
thanks for a great article :heart:
Yslen Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Great article, I hope lots of people read this!

As someone who specialises primarily in captive animal photography myself, I agree there really needs to be an appropriate section on DA for Zoo Photography. I can see why they set it up as they did, but there are so many captive animal shots compared to wild animal shots now that it's difficult to tell one from the other!
I always make sure to state that an animal I have photographed is captive, and in most cases say where the photograph was taken and/or provide a link to the organisation website - after all, Zoos provide funding for conservation projects for so many treasured wild species. :)

I wonder if there's a way to petition for a new category in the galleries?
Robin-Hugh Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010
Thank you for writing this !

I just hope that many people will stop to read this.

So many photographers do not even question themselves about "what they wanna show other ?" making their pictures.

I live in a place with many snowy owls. I am glad that winter is over for them : right now, they are back to their peaceful tundra. So many photographers do not realize the chance they have. They keep feeding them with live mice to get hundred "great shots" in a short time. So easy with the camera we have... They do not wanna wait... but wildlife photography is precisely about waiting. They just come to buy the behaviour of snowy owls with their live pet-shop mice... It makes me think about the occidental society where we live... Those guys unconsciously come to consume the wildlife as they would buy some goods in a supermarket !

Well said Birdman !
FrostbittenAngel Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010
wow I never thought about this stuff before, I'm not a photographer or anything but, this is very informative. I never thought before about whats happening behind the scenes in these pictures and how it might effect the animals... Thank you!
ferretallica Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2009
I pretty much stopped reading after this point:

"This is disrespectful and unethical, as the strain and distress it puts on these creatures is not worth the photograph. When confronted, these photographers counter that the animal wasn’t physically hurt, and was released after the photograph. How do you know it wasn’t hurt, did it tell you?"

What makes YOU so much more enlightened? Are animals telling you something they're not telling anyone else?

Regardless of what valid points you may have made throughout the rest of the article, hypocritical and ignorant comments like that just peg you as a wanker.
Nate-Zeman Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Professional Photographer
this little rant you just went on is probably the most ignorant thing I've read in a while. It doesn't take an enlightened person to realize capturing an animal distresses it. Stick to bat wings and ferrets, and leave stuff you know nothing about to people who do.
Ryser915 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
You called it buddy, I'm freaking doctor doolittle. How did you know? I've been talking to animals for years, I can't believe someone finally knows my secret.

Are you honestly trying to tell me that if I capture an animal from the wild , and hold its squirming body down (squirming in an attempt to ESCAPE), that there is even a remote possibility that the animal was not distressed by the experience?

I was not talking about pet photographs, zoo photographs, or other non-wild animals. I was talking about chasing down a WILD animal and capturing it.

But hey it's cool, I'm just hypocritical and ignorant.
ferretallica Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010
Simple facts. You say:
"How do you know it wasn’t hurt, did it tell you?"
Then arch up when called on it yourself.
So yeah, despite the sarcasm in the last line, your reply highlights just what a hypocritical wanker you are.
Ryser915 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
You are so ignorant it's borderline humorous.
ferretallica Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010
I'm not the one missing the plainly obvious fact here :)
kkart Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Professional Photographer
lol 10- says that guys is on the next Animal Cops
ferretallica Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2009
Gotta add one more thing from what I noticed at the end.

"The goal of a wildlife photographer is to photograph animals in their nature habitat, capturing their natural behavior."

Who are you to dictate what the purpose of a photographer of ANY kind is? Unless I'm mistaken, photography is primarily an ART. Caring for wild animals is one thing, but you've saddled your horse just a bit too high.
Cristian-M Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I couldn't agree more... :)
razberri Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009
I think people often understimate the effect stress has on animals. Ideally, a wild animal should never be aware of a human's presence. If it sees you, chances are it's stressed, and that extra expenditure of energy could cost it its next meal or breeding opportunity.

On another note I have to admit most of the "wildlife" photography I have done has been animals that I myself have captured, then photographed upon release. However, the aim of the trapping was a research degree and not a photograph ;). So I must put a disclaimer here: my photos of possums are all photos of possums escaping from me, most likely stressed out and wondering why they were munching on peanut butter oats one moment, trapped the next, manhandled a bit in the morning, and are now free without getting eaten by their captor. If it had been a natural situation, they'd be asleep as they're nocturnal animals ;)
carterr Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2009
Thanks for this - a fabulous article and one that sshould be read by all.

Almeruve Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2009
That's a fantastic article!Thank you for writing it. I totally agree with you and I hope this will make some people say that what they're doing is wrong :hug:
madrush08 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Hey man, great article. Is it okay if I link/post this in my journal? I am considering writing an article about how to do research for wildlife scouting?
Ryser915 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
madrush08 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I will let you know when I am finished.
Q-tipper Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2009
What an absolutely wonderful article that you have written and agree that animals and their habitats must be respected at all times and if it means giving up that perfect shot then so be it!
jennLLoh Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009
I was hoping I wasn't one of those people.
But I am guilty of putting a picture of a bald eagle under wild...except..this was at a bird place where they take care of birds and then release them into the I don't really know what to put the pictures under...eek.
But I would never put an animal in harms way like the people in those horrible stories!
Ryser915 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
With the way the current galleries are set up, the photo you are talking about is in the right place. What I was talking about were people who put up photographs of captive animals, and claim they are wild.
jennLLoh Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009
Oh okay. Whew!!!!! By the way I always enjoy your articles.
They always have a lot of useful information in them.
I was getting bored with my camera because I really didn't know how to use it to it's full advantage.
I read your last article and I look at my camera in a different way.
Ronon94 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009   Photographer
This is a wonderful article.
Thank you for taking the time to share this with us...
SoCallMeNothing Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
The sad thing is that the people who don't have any moral code when dealing with nature and photography are usually the people who lack it in everyday life. It's outright ignorance (not stupidity) that these people possess, and IMO, if someone sees this behavior in the field, especially in a protected area, he/she should be a good Samaritan and say something--either to the person committing the wrong or to park authorities.
forlorn-faerie Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009
Agreed! I once saw a group of tourists crowding around a couple of elk to take a picture WITH them, which is bad enough, but they also were holding a baby at the time. Seriously. They're lucky nothing happened, the idiots.
StringOfLights Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Great article, Ryan! :)

I think at the end of the day, a good rule to live by is that altering an animal's natural behavior in any way is wrong. I know there are obviously times when that's completely unavoidable, especially for people who spend a lot of time out in the field, but it's certainly an ideal to strive for.

Every time we change their patterns of behavior we're altering the ecology of the area, we're forcing unnecessary energy expenditures on wildlife, we're preventing animals from getting proper nutrition, pushing them out of natural and effective cover - we're degrading the very system we're trying to capture.

If we see integrity and value in the existence of an animal, we need to see its behavior and natural history as equally valuable. That's my two cents at least.

Wait, I'm in the UK. So maybe that's my two pence?
Hi Ryan,, it's been a while since I have stopped in here,,,,excellent write-up,, hope you had a great summer,,,, I have seen some interesting stuff in my travels. I have waited for hours for "that shot" and there are others that I have take from inside my vehicle,,doesnt sound very exciting, but it happens. When I am out in the field I use 400-500mm lenses, dress in full camo, sit under a camo sheet and a tank cover and this allows for some shots that you wouldnt get just walking down a trail. Some people dont understand that because you have managed a "close up" you have stalked your subject. I have had a Virginia Rail walk over my feet and a Spotted Sandpiper walk between my legs. I have had a Great Gray Owl land 2 feet from me and warblers land inches from my head,,hummingbirds as well,, I have had a mink walk right up to me and a deer walk so close that I could reach out and touch it,,,moose, foxes, otters as well as bears. There are so many times I have missed shots because the subject was too close I have lost count,,,,not because I was stalking,,,I was well hidden. I have had people walk by me and not know I was there,,,one guy was even talking to himself,,,felt kinda wierd listening, scared the crap out of him when I said hi,,,lol,,
I will be perfectly honest,,as a wildlife photograper, I can understand how easy it is to get caught up in the moment, but I have learned over the years, that if you choose your spot carefully, cover up,,wait there,, dont move,, your subjects will come to you. It is far more rewarding as well, it's awesome to watch your subject in it's natural environment. As far as the zoo thing goes,,,I cant believe that people take zoo photos and pass them off as wildlife photographs..they should be listed as "Captive Wildlife Photographs":):)
little79bear Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Well written article.
meihua Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Wait, there are coyotes in Hawaii?

This is a great article, very informative read! I'm not sure if I'm dedicated enough to this philosophy to go back and make sure all my zoo photos (as the bulk of my animal photography is) say that they were taken in a zoo though. In the future, though, I'll make sure to mention it :XD:
Ryser915 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
haha actually no, there are not. I made a mistake in the article, I meant to write "each of the 50 states except Hawaii".

If you don't describe your zoo animals as such, that's perfectly alright. It just gets to be a problem when people directly describe them as wild.
Sagittor Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009   Photographer
Wonderful article and choices Ryan :wow: Great Work :clap: :faint:
Glasperlenspielerin Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009
I've got nothing to say but "take this, print it out and staple it to the forehead of these individuals"... honestly, this should be so obvious to somewhat sensible people...
anyway, it's a great article and I can only thank you for taking the time to flesh it out like you did :)
akitatoma Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009
Ahh, so Zoo animals don't belong in the 'Wild Animals' category? I mean, when I posted my pictures, I put them there, but I did state they were from a zoo.
Iamidaho Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009
they do under the current guidelines. what the author is trying to get after are the zoo photographers who take a photo of a captive animal and than say I found this in the wild in there description
akitatoma Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009
Hah, okay. I'm good on that. :D I made it obvious that I took my picture at the zoo. P: I even mused how it looks like I was sitting in front of the animal, but I really wasn't.

To add to the article, when I went to said zoo, I saw tons of people tapping and slapping the glass to get animals to look at the camera. D: I felt bad enough because some animals I took pictures of looked because they probably heard the shutter.
Selladorra Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I never imagined myself doing such a thing just for a shot, so for some strange reason I thought other people were like that too. This is shocking, really :( I can't believe people can do such things.
Great article :thumbsup:
RandomTechie27 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009
This is great, probably the most comprehensive of any wildlife ethic articles or journals I've seen on here. :clap:
TVD-Photography Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009  Professional Photographer
It's a great read that's for sure, I can't believe some photographers are that disrespectful it's disgusting!
In regards to the wild animal category, if there was a zoo or captive category I'd gladly post them there as a majority of mine are from my local zoo :)
cONNECTED2THELENs Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009
This is a fantastic article and something everybody should read from "Aim and Shoot" photographers to "Professionals" alike. :)

royalcoaster Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
Very true, its as some people say 'common sense' not to disturb the wild. Would YUO like it if something chased you around and threw rocks just to get a photography of ya? its the same concept of "Treat others as you would like to be treated". Great article, i might just show a link to it in my next journal ;3
RachelDS Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Student General Artist
Amazing article...It's horrible what some people will do. I'm glad you brought it to everyone's attention, and thank you for respecting nature :)
perpetualfrustration Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009   General Artist
the closest i get to capture and release shots is when i have to catch some thing that got into the house.catch em in a clean container,check for cat damage,photos for id later,then outside to a sheltered spot by the back fence.
i dont get why people think they NEED action shots of terrified animals.whats wrong with showing the peaceful side of wild beauty?
InsanePandaz Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
Well put. :)
photom17 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
In reference to point 3 (capturing), I feel the need to make a couple of comments. In regards to the photographer catching the snake, I know the individual through DeviantArt. This man is a true advocate for all things nature and has gone out of his way to educate not only those he has met on this site, but all people he comes in contact with including many civic groups in his area. I have handled wild animals, including reptiles, for various reasons. I have assisted turtles as they attempted to cross roads in my area because I think they are less attractive when they have been flattened. A few, mostly snakes, I have handled to prevent them from being killed by other people in my area. Did I take a photo while I was holding one of these beautiful creatures? You better believe it. I always return the snakes to the wild within minutes, but in an area unfrequented by humans. You commented on Afternoon Snack [link] you "followed this female red-tailed hawk while she hunted for almost two hours" while taking many shots of her. Some of us might consider that to be stressing out a bird. If she did not mind your presence, she would not have flown off to "enjoy her lunch". Overall, I felt your article was well written and very informative. I mainly just wanted to speak up on the behalf of the "snake handler".
auronstalker Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, THANK YOU. I just made the same point in a reply to someone else. I pick up reptiles and amphibians for the SAME REASONS and if I have my camera with me (which I usually don't lol) I'll take a picture.

Although I have spotted a garter snake on a nature path and picked it up for a sec to take a picture. I love snakes and I know how to handle them, I've never hurt them. You know when they're stressed when they let out a bad smell, but that's only happened to me when I was rescuing one from a road and I was getting it far away from the road. The one I picked up to take a photo of didn't even get annoyed enough to make the smell.
Ryser915 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I have no problem with rescuing turtles from roads to save them from cars, or picking up snakes to prevent them from getting killed as you say. I also don't have a problem if you take a photo in the process of doing this. It sounds like you're doing everything the right way. What I do have a problem with is harassing an animal for the sole purpose of a photograph.

As for the red-tailed hawk photograph you referenced. I have 560mm of reach and that shot is cropped. If the hawk was stressed from my presence, she wouldn't have allowed me to watch from a considerable distance for 2 hours, and would definitely have not hunted right in front of me. She flew off to with her prey to a more secluded area where the grackles wouldn't bother her.
FrodoGoofball Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
I've seen people do stupid things to animals, but your examples take the cake! Obviously those people don't think very hard about what they are doing!

I have to admit, for insects and birds, I do bait, but not beyond what people normally put in their backyards: thistleseed and hummingbird feeders, butterfly bushes, etc., and the purpose for having such things is not solely for photography.
dantomkins Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
Good tips for everyone! I am an animal lover, so I would never consider using any of the above methods to get pictures of wild animals. And if the animals are in a zoo, I say which zoo. I use a 70-300mm lens, and I find that if you want nice photos of wildlife, here is a couple more tips.
1. Go by yourself!! And be quiet! Walk softly. That increases your chance of seeing some beautiful wildlife in action.
2. Don't wear perfume/cologne or underarm deodorants that have a smell. Animals have a lot better nose then we do and can smell your Old Spice deodorent half a mile away! If they are not familar with a scent, they will get away. Or they smelled that scent before, they may remember it was from a human..
Plus you won't attract bugs and bees to you because you smell like a flower.
The above 2 tips will help increase your chanse of seeing the wildlife, and you don't need to resort to unethical methods.
3. The number one rule of hiking/nature photography is this! You have heard it before, but it bears reminding!
Take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints!
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