There are many techniques and methods employed to photograph wildlife, landscapes, nature et al, and like many photographers, I have strong feelings about how I approach my craft. My beliefs are important enough to me that I feel compelled to state them so that others may understand my “dogma.”
In the acquisition of photos, I will not endanger subjects, notably wildlife, but also flora or habitats, in general. I feel that if one must do harm, then the image is not worth obtaining. At best, we are stewards of the lands where we photograph, and in most situations, we are merely guests in these environments. As such, it is incumbent upon us to leave these habitats as unspoiled as we found them. In that way, the flora and fauna that we photograph can utilize these environments for their very existences, and others can enjoy these places in their unspoiled and clean states.
I also believe in presenting things as closely as possible to the way in which I observed them. I do not physically cut or weed extraneous foliage, “Photoshop” out unwanted details or create unrealistic colors in post-processing to present something wholly unrealistic. I believe that most unwanted details can be cropped through judicious composition at the time that the image is captured. Further, I feel that most of these details present a more realistic interpretation of the environment as it actually existed. That said, I will adjust colors, saturation, etc., in post-processing to more closely represent what I saw when I composed the photograph.
In a similar vein to my feelings about physically or digitally removing unwanted details, I also do not believe in presenting work that is not in the wild unless I specifically state it as such (and would never present such work for sale.) To be clear, what I am referring to are images of animals photographed at zoos, game farms, safari parks, and other similar locales. There is nothing wrong with such images, but my preference is to photograph wild animals in the wild.
Lastly, I do not promote baiting animals to obtain photographs. Baiting can create problem behaviors and, in some instances, can endanger animals. As stated previously, if I cannot obtain an image through natural means, then the image is not worth obtaining otherwise.
I welcome any feedback or insights about my philosophy as stated. Thank you.