Ethics in photography.

As I have previously said I like to take pictures but strictly as an amateur. I just love trying to capture animals in the wild, big and small. But when I do it, I always to it in a safe way and more importantly, in respecting the animals independence. I especially do not use artificial means to get the pictures that I want. I do not try to attract the animals.

Last week I had met a photographer that I knew who told me about his new app which reproduces the songs of birds. When the song is played the chances of attracting that bird are higher. I immediately told him of my disapproval of that method. He reacted rapidly by saying that he only used it if after a while he did not see any birds. I supposed that I half-believed him. But now I know better and I have lost all respect for him.

This week I meet the same guy but I noticed that he was behind me, having arrived later in the area. I had walked in that area before and he was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly I began to hear bird songs out of the blue. I turned and saw him with his phone, calling the birds. Evidently he lost patience rapidly and used this gadget to attract the birds that he wanted to see.

Instead of confronting him I simply ignored him and continued on my way. It was obvious to me that he did not understand the harm he could be doing to the birds in the area.

A bird that is attracted to the song will exert energy to come and see what it is all about. This energy will have to be replenished sooner or later. If many people use these apps this will simply amplify the problem. It is akin to using bait to attract bears as one cook I knew used to do in a wooded area where he worked. Of course he had great pictures of bears rummaging in the area but at what cost to the bear? And the danger to humans in the area?

There is no difference to me between someone using an app to attract birds and someone giving seeds to them, or feeding the ducks or the foxes or bears. Except that using an app is not illegal while feeding wild animals is. It may not be illegal but it is unethical to say the least.


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