Of Ethics, Photography, and Gulls (and Other Creatures). Photography & Text by Keith R Wahl

December 05, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Gull at Nature's Raw Bar

Gull at Nature's Raw Bar 03 20230916 850_5037_displayGull at Nature's Raw Bar 03As the breeze ruffle a gull's feathers, it dines on a cracked open quahog on East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingstown, Rhode Island

Early this morning, I was at the waterfront taking photos. As I finished up and was sauntering back to my van, I saw another photographer. But this person was chasing a gull across the lot and harassing the bird to obtain the shot that they wanted.

I cast a stern look in the other photographer's direction, and they received my unspoken message. I let it go there rather than say anything further. Instead, I came back home to my studio to write and compose.

Photographing wildlife can be a rewarding and inspiring experience, but it also comes with a responsibility to respect the animals and their habitats. As a wildlife photographer, you have the opportunity to capture the beauty and diversity of life on Earth, and to share it with others. But you also have the potential to cause harm or disturbance to the wildlife you encounter, either intentionally or unintentionally.

There are many guidelines and principles that can help you practice ethical wildlife photography, and I will summarize some of them here. You can also find more information and resources from the web search results I have provided.

These are some of the main points that I think are relevant for ethical wildlife photography. Of course, there are more details and nuances that you can explore and apply to your own practice. I hope this summary has been helpful and informative for you. I also hope that you will continue to enjoy and respect the wildlife that you encounter, and that you will share your photographs and stories with others in a responsible and ethical way. 


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