A Wildlife Photographer Talks Ethics In Taking PIctures And Manipulating Images
LA Lensman Richard Wong Says Shooters Owe Their Viewers Honesty
Nature photographer Richard Wong (all images copyright Richard Wong)
By Richard Wong
I have kept this to myself for a long time but after several discussions with colleagues about wildlife photography ethics, I feel compelled to write. Digital technology makes it very easy and convenient to manipulate images however the photographer chooses to. but manipulating the trust of your audience is something that you cannot fix with a healing brush.
There are some photographers out there that would recommend cloning out the grass from the grizzly cub’s mouth. This is a topic that comes up a lot during critiques I’ve seen both in-person and online in the nature forums.
To understand why it is important to be upfront about your photography is because unless stated otherwise, the audience generally expects a nature photo to be of a scene that actually appeared before the camera.
"To understand why it is important to be upfront about your photography is because unless stated otherwise, the audience generally expects a nature photo to be of a scene that actually appeared before the camera."
Certain things like adjusting exposure, contrast and saturation are considered acceptable for journalistic standards but adding and removing elements falls under the manipulation category. Those who stand by manipulation always claim that choosing a camera and lens is a form of manipulation so therefore since it’s art we can do whatever we want but that argument is sidestepping the real issues in...
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Post Date:June 21st, 2012
'Nature photographer Richard Wong of Los Angeles writes about the ethics of wildlife photography. As crowds swarm to the national parks and other wildland areas, Wong's words have never been more timely.