Notes - Ethics In Wildlife Photography

February 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Gray WolfGray WolfMexican Gray Wolf, in winter, in the snow at the StoneZoo, Stoneham, MA. I'm pretty sure he sees me! Now I know what a rabbit feels like. #wildlifewednesday #winterwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios.

Mexican Gray Wolf, StoneZoo New England. Available here:


Ethics, Morality and Wildlife Photography

Recently, there has been a discussion over on Audubon's website, and a poll, asking photographers to weigh in on the Ethics of Wildlife Photography. 

Check it out here:

In order to have a similar frame of reference, I found this definition from The Photographic Society of America.

Definition of Nature Photography (from the Photographic Society of America website)

"Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, in such a fashion that a well informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify as to its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements enhance the nature story. The presence of scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals is permissible. Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, or obviously set arrangements, are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. No techniques that add to, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural. Color images may be converted to grayscale monochrome. Infrared images are not allowed."



  • The real goal of a wildlife or nature photographer is to photograph your subject so that your viewers will fall in love with the place. Or the Bird. or the animal. Make sure you shoot with the least amount of intrusion to your subject's environment. Don't cause destruction; don't destroy plants; don't hurt the animals. 

    Don't try to get too close. These aren't pets. Don't feed them or bait them. Observe. Not interact. Your goal should be to shoot what you see and bring it back so others can see it in it's natural surroundings.

    It's their home. Not Yours

    More On Wildlife:

    Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I

Great Wildlife Photographers


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