Truth and Ambivalence in Photography

Osprey Mama + Chick - ©ingridtaylar

The issue of photographing predator/prey interactions is one I struggle with as a wildlife photographer, and I suspect it puts me in the minority. Whether or not it affects a person emotionally probably depends on how pragmatically they view the processes of wild existence in the context of their own emotional life. There is no […]

Please Brake for Birds

Fledgling crow with blue eyes and pink gape

It seems like common sense … to slow or stop the car if you see an animal on the road. But, in recent weeks, I’ve had several incidents where birds were clearly in harm’s way and people refused to either stop or take even 30 seconds off their commute to let an animal exit the […]

The Deafening Sound of Man

~soundman

My title here derives from a quote in this article about Dr. Bernie Krause: “A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening. Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened. There has […]

Best Behavior Beach Pledge + Other Signs

~beachpledge385

I love seeing signs like this … Two such signs were posted at Point Robinson Lighthouse on Vashon Island in Washington, one of the few public-access beaches in the area. It’s the same spot where I photographed the large flock of Brant Geese foraging along the shoreline earlier this year. On a crystal day, this […]

The Benefits of Anthropomorphism

booze

If you work with or care about animals, the nonhuman ones, eventually, someone will say something like, “shouldn’t you care more about what happens to people?” That question doesn’t faze me anymore. Given our predominantly anthropocentric world view, I’d actually be surprised if people didn’t ask it. I have plenty of answers for why it’s […]

The Sac Bee on USDA Wildlife Services

~385wildlifeservices

I knew about some of the lethal practices used by Wildlife Services, but I had no idea about the extent of usage and implementation. This three-part series from the Sacramento Bee is a really tough read (as in painful), but I think it’s information worth knowing: The Killing Agency (Part 1) and Part Two by […]

How Do You Feel About Wing Tags?

Red-tailed Hawk at Union Bay Natural Area

Edited 4/4/12 to add: I got a note from the biologist associated with this study, who gave me some background on the hawk pictured here. It’s a juvenile female who was tagged last August 2011 at SeaTac Airport. She — along with the other hawks who are trapped and tagged — was taken up to […]

Staging “Nature” Shots

stagednature300

A friend of mine recommended 500px as an alternative to Flickr. Between Flickr, Facebook, Linked In and my inactive Twitter account, I’m maxed out on social networking, something I’ve never been all that hot on, anyway. But, I meandered over to 500px because the interface is supposedly beautiful, and the community gets rave reviews. The […]

Snowy Owls, Boundary Bay & Rethinking My Own Motivations

SnowyOwlTrio

Snow Owls on driftwood, shot from the dike trail at Boundary Bay – ©ingridtaylar – Click for Larger Image My only intent in visiting Boundary Bay was to get a glimpse of Snowy Owls. I’ve never seen them in the wild, and although I brought my camera, I didn’t expect to be close enough to […]

First … Signs of Snowies

Snowy Owl Warning Sign at Boundary Bay

Boundary Bay, British Columbia Edited to add (2/17/12): Since I posted this, I’ve had animated discussions with photographers who disagree with my stance on this owl/space/ethics issue. They’ve told me it’s acceptable for photographers to be out in the marshes, as long as they don’t flush the owls. I wanted to find out what the […]

Wildlife Photography Ethics Matter

johnbiehlerphoto300

Edited to Add (2/12/2012): This was posted to the local birding list today, about the situation at Boundary Bay where the video below was shot: About 4:30pm a woman from [a rehabilitation society] up the road was seen walking out to the various groups and very kindly asking them to retreat back to the dike. […]

Ahimsa at the Tidepools

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve - ©ingridtaylar

I swear, if I have to ask one more kid to stop throwing rocks at animals . . . It was an imperfect plan to begin with: super-low tide on a Sunday at the gorgeous but hardly-secret Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. I’ve been waiting for a daylight minus (-) tide for a few months. I’d even […]

Marine Mammal Viewing — From a Distance

Sea Lion Harassed by Tourists

Hugh and I had another knucklehead-versus-wildlife encounter this past week with a family on the Mendocino coast. We hiked over an unpopulated bluff and saw a mom and kids chasing a young sea lion across the rocks for a photo op. Their actions were forcing the young animal away from her resting spot, as she […]

Wildlife & Nature Photography Ethics

Juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron

“Responsible wildlife photographers observe a strict code of ethics. The cardinal rule: if anything you do directly or indirectly endangers, restricts or harasses an animal, stop and leave the animal alone. The integrity of a wildlife photograph evaporates if the subject was not free to come and go, if it shows fear or anxiousness, if […]

Admiring – But Not Feeding – San Francisco’s Wild Parrots

Illegal Feeding of Parrots in SF

All photos taken at a respectful distance with a 70-300mm Zuiko lens: effective reach, 600mm. I was meandering toward Market in San Francisco when I saw them in my peripheral vision. It was cluster of rambunctious humans, a large family with children. It shouldn’t have seemed out of the ordinary on a San Francisco summer […]

Witness to an Elk “Hunt”

Recalling a sad confluence of elk (wapiti) and hunter in the enclaves of Colorado — in Estes Park. We weren’t expecting harm to come to these elk, meandering through a residential neighborhood of Estes Park, just blocks from the Stanley Hotel where the elk herds draw tourists with cameras, not lethal suburban adversaries.