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My Ethics

Everyone, especially photographers, have their own opinions when it comes to the rights and wrongs of photography. This is particularly true in nature photography. Many people believe that an image of nature should not be edited in any way else it won't be considered an image of the real thing. I have absolutely no problems with this and I completely agree. In most situations.

However, and I'm sure many nature photographers will agree, sometimes an image has to be edited to actually show what was seen at the time the photo was taken. Due to mechanical limitations a camera will not always be able to capture what the eye sees. For example, in a situation with too little or too much light a photo may have to be taken at a different setting than would be prefered, otherwise it will turn out blurry or unclear. In my opinion there should be no problem in slightly manipulating that image later so long as it is stated that the image was edited (see example below), though I will not force others to agree with me. However, I fundimentally disagree with the adding to or removing of features of a photograph, and then pretending that the final image is the real thing.

 Editing example: This photo was taken with the winter sun almost directly overhead. The second image simply had lowered midtones and highlights. Needless to say, to my eyes at the time the bear looked black not silver. The second image is a more accurate representation of reality. 

                                          Before                                                                        After
(Spectacled Bear taken at Chester Zoo, UK; [1]clean [2]edit)

 Wild Photos has a very good basic outline of nature photography ethics:
click here to see declaration

Finally, the following is my own ethics declarations for anyone who's interested.

        I will:

  • never feed an animal (plant, live, or dead food) solely to get a photograph
  • never edit an image outside of basic editing (i.e. simple contrast manipulation)
  • always state when an image had been edited other than simple cropping
  • always give credit when/if a displayed image is not my own
  • always indicate if the subject is a captive animal (i.e. with the name of the place taken)
  • always prioritise the welfare of the environment and the animals over taking a photograph