As a landscape and nature photographer that has an impact on the environment, I believe it is important to have a code of ethics that is practiced each time I head out into the field and educate others that may accompany me, through workshops, photo tours, or just out for fun.
Here is a list of my code of ethics that I follow:
- I practice L.N.T Leave (No Trace) ethics. Pack out all waste and trash, leaving nothing behind. Leaving areas in better condition than I found them if at all possible (bringing a trash bag along to pick up garbage I find)
- I educate myself about an area before arrival, including weather patterns, rules and regulations, fees and permits, and both natural and man-made dangers.
- I seek permission when photographing on private property and do not disclose locations of abandoned buildings, rare or sensitive wildlife, or any other information that could be impactful to nature or landscapes.
- I leave the landscape how I found it. I try not to move objects such as logs, rocks, etc that could potentially impact the ecosystem or wildlife.
- I always try to use the main trails when hiking. In some cases, to get unique, original photos, I may need to veer slightly off the beaten path, but the goal is to disturb nature as little as possible.
- To be aware and respectful of other photographers, non-photographers, hikers, etc that are sharing the same space.
-To recognize my physical limitations and those travelling with me, to not put anyone in danger and always make safety a priority.
-Be aware of what the photographs I produce represent in regard to real-life situations and science. In the rare event that I create an artistic/composite unnatural representation of a scene, I will always be honest and upfront about the altered perception of reality.
-When photographing wildlife, quietly observe and not disturb wildlife as much as possible. To quickly shoot and move on, never baiting or calling out to wildlife and having as minimal of an impact as possible.
-If I see someone disrespecting the environment and blatantly disregarding the well-being of nature or wildlife, speak to them in a calm, courteous and educational manner if it is appropriate and safe to do so.