Wednesday 14 January 2009

Views - Subject comes before Photo

Now clearly for the majority of wildlife photographer this is stating the blinking obvious, but trawling forums and other places in web land, there are a remarkable number of people who are not aware of the Laws, certainly here in the UK.

The Wildlife Photographer's Code of Practice is compiled by the Royal Photographic Society Nature Group in conjunction with the RSPB and the three Statutory Nature Conservation Councils. So it is worth a reminder that many bird species, including such birds as the Kingfisher and Barn Owl are Schedule 1 species and require the appropriate consideration of the Law when photographing at certain times of the year. Ignorance of the law is no defence as we all know so please familiarise yourself with the relevant points as we head towards nesting season in the next couple of months or so.

Last year on Mull, a photographer disturbed one of the White Tailed Sea Eagles nests, resulting in the bird abandoning the nest and subsequent failure for that pair for the year. More details here. This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and causes more problems for other photographers afterwards.

Mull is a fabulous place to visit, with wonderful wildlife throughout the year and a place that I try to get to every year to see my friends Pam and Arthur Brown who run Discover Mull Wildlife Tours.

Anyway, I'll step off my soapbox now, but if we do really care about what we are trying to photograph, we will make sure that their welfare comes first, tempting as that shot of lifetime might be.


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