Friday, 30 December 2011

The Photographer's Tale

Following recent comments on this blog about some poor behaviour at Exminster Marshes, and to present a balanced picture, I thought it might be good to publish this account from Seb Loram...

'I have always loved wildlife and over the last few years developed a passion for photography.  Two weeks ago I was at Exminster Marshes hoping to see a Short Eared Owl with the intention of photographing it.  So, as most ethical photographers will hopefully tell you, I started planning my shots and hoped to use my knowledge of the bird, a bit of luck and most importantly fieldcraft.

So, I walked to an area I identified as a good place with nice light, background etc etc and hunkered down in full camouflage near a post I had seen a bird perch on regularly.  I waited for 6 hours, froze to death, then suddenly the bird came across the reeds and alighted on the post about 10 metres away. The next 20 mins it sat there preening before floating off to quarter the reeds.  I waited until it had gone to the other side of the marsh and darkness fell before getting up and leaving.

The next day I came back and at 2pm a bird (the same?) was sitting on that same post.... I was so chuffed.

The feeling you get when you capture images of that nature with the subject unaware of your presence is what wildlife photography should be about, not chasing a bird around the fields just to get a photo..... its only a photo.'

This is a bird news blog, and I can't help wondering if several recent posts (this one included) have strayed a bit too far from that remit. Perhaps circumstances have demanded it though? Anyway, as a final remark on this topic can I just refer any would-be photographers to the link on the right entitled 'Bird Photography Code of Practice'. It has been there for some time, and if everyone who includes a camera in their birding kit were to read and apply it there would be a lot less bad press aimed at photographers.