Should Photographers Intervene in Nature?

Screen shot of The Times (UK) article about a film crew intervening in nature.

Screen shot of The Times (UK) article about a film crew intervening in nature.

If you saw an animal in the wild that appeared to be in distress, would you try to help? Would you report it to the authorities? Would you leave it alone, since it’s just nature being nature? As nature photographers, we are interested in conservation and generally love the animals we photograph. Is it our responsibility to let nature take its course, even if an animal dies? Is it our responsibility to save the animal? Or, does it depend on the specific situation?

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Should Photographers Share Location Information?

A sunflower field in Canada was trampled by hordes of people seeking a viral selfie.

A sunflower field in Canada was trampled by hordes of people seeking a viral selfie. © Frank Gallagher

Art Wolfe is reputed to have said you can celebrate something to death.  In a similar vein, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Senator Lamar Alexander penned a May 2018 editorial for CNN in which they bluntly stated that “our parks are being loved to death” through a combination of record-breaking crowds and severe maintenance backlogs. All over the world, precious, unique natural areas are under stress from human visitors.  In some places, it’s simply a case of too many people coming to too small a space.  In others, it’s not just the crowds, it’s also bad behavior.

In order to protect beautiful but fragile areas, many photographers have stopped sharing location information.  No GPS data.  No clues about where the spot is or how to get there.  Why?  Because, once a really cool photo location is out there on Instagram, Facebook or other platforms, the crowds inevitably follow.

Is withholding locations arrogance? Selfishness? Respect for nature?  You be the judge.
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Don’t Miss NANPA’s Town Hall Meeting: Creating an Ethical Field Approach

Photo of photographers and a moose.

Learn about ethical nature photography practices in this month’s Town Hall Meeting.

There’s still time to register for NANPA’s next online Town Hall on Wednesday, October 24th, at 5 PM EDT.  Jennifer Leigh Warner, NANPA’s Ethics Committee chair, will help you learn how you can have a more ethical approach to photographing wildlife and how to better label your images so you can maintain public trust in the credibility of your images. Join us for this webinar where we will discuss some basic tips to approaching wildlife and how to properly label your images. We will also discuss what the NANPA Ethics Committee has been up to this year.

NANPA Town Hall Meeting: Creating an Ethical Field Approach
Presented by Jennifer Leigh Warner
October 24, 2018, 5pm EDT
Target Audience: Everyone

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Volunteer Profile: Daniel Dietrich

NANPA volunteer and ethics committee member Daniel Dietrich.

NANPA volunteer and ethics committee member Daniel Dietrich (and some precious cargo).

Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations.  At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications.  Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.

This is the third of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.

NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask NANPA ethics committee member Daniel Dietrich a few questions about his volunteer experiences.

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Volunteer Profile: Jennifer Leigh Warner

Jennifer Leigh Warner

Jennifer Leigh Warner

Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations.  At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications.  Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.

This is the first of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.

NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask Jennifer Leigh Warner a few questions about her volunteer experiences.

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Death of Moose Prompts Calls for Safe Wildlife Photography

News report of drowned moose.

New England Cable News report on a moose that drowned because it was frightened by excited tourists. (Screenshot)

Earlier in September, a moose drowned in Lake Champlain, Vermont, because of tourists.  Not directly: people didn’t go up and kill it.  Rather, it died as a result of what people did, or didn’t do.  After swimming from the New York shore to Grand Isle, in the middle of the lake, the moose came ashore.  Unfortunately, it came onto the island near a road and tourists, excited at the sight of a moose so close, got out of their cars and started snapping photos with their phones.  Sadly, the commotion frightened the moose back in to the lake.  Tired from its swim over from New York, the moose didn’t have enough energy left to cope with wind and waves and drowned shortly thereafter.

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