We all want to get that stunning animal-in-the-wild shot but it's not always possible or easy to do so. That's when many photographers take shortcuts, and it's not always the best idea.
Coming in a deep dive with information from National Geographic, photographers such as Beverly Joubert and Joel Sartore, as well as scientists such as Carl Safina, the experts offer their take on the dos and don'ts of ethical wildlife photography.
There are some real surprises here, such as information from a study in Minnesota that documented how the heart rates of bears rose upon hearing a drone even though the animals didn't appear stressed from the outside.
Of course the magazine addresses the ethics of some of the common-but-questionable tactics that photographers use in the course of wildlife photography, such feeding animals or photographing them in captive and sometimes unnatural environments. There is a legitimate difference between a true zoo or sanctuary versus a game farm that is exploring captive animals for the benefit of photographers.
One of more important things the article talks about is captioning. As more photographers are making increasingly questionable shooting and editing decisions, the writer makes an excellent point that underscores the whole ethics question: If you are uncomfortable sharing the information behind the shot, was it really captured in an ethical way? (And in the name of full disclosure, the photo of the gorillas above was taken at the Bronx Zoo). Above all, the biggest takeaway is to do no harm in your wildlife photography.
It's a long read, but National Geographic offers a lot more to think about when it comes to ethical wildlife photography in their article here.