Attn wildlife photographers: to feed or not to feed?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by limr, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    See this is something I dislike when the subjects of baiting, captive and trailcamera discussions come up in wildlife photography. Mostly because it isn't actual cheating unless said photo is being miss-represented as to how it was taken.

    Some consider any form of captive non-domestic animal photograph to be "cheating" but its only cheating if you claim it was non-captive.

    Trailcameras are said to be cheating because you weren't there to press the shutter, regardless of the fact that placement of a trail camera requires skill if you're to get the shot you want (or indeed any decent shot) and also often allows photographing very elusive or dangerous animals that might otherwise be very hard or dangerous to perform. Plus some animals just won't come near people what so ever which means you'd be highly unlikely to ever get sight of them.

    Baiting again isn't cheating, in my view, as all you've done is bring an animal already within an environment into a slightly controlled situation within its environment to facilitate a photograph. It could be as simple as the earlier example of getting a bear to turn from showing its back end to its front. Or with high-speed predatory birds it could mean getting them to actually come close enough to photograph more than a dot if you don't have a 1000mm lens




    I totally appreciate that many prefer wildlife photography to be a bit akin to the idealistic view of hunting. That of man and beast in the wild together; of the challenge of the "hunt" as it were; with the prize in this case being the photograph. I also appreciate that if you've spent weeks getting a single photo that can be gotten in seconds at a baiting site it can be VERY frustrating - because whilst a photo says 1000words it only shows the instant and doesn't tell the story leading up to it.

    But I'd try to shy away from calling alternative methods cheating. Cheating is only valid if you pre-define what standard and methods are allowable. And since this varies person to person I think casual statements of it being "cheating" is wrong. Now present a competition with rules or some standards to measure each other against and then we can bring cheating to the table.


     
  2. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    I agree with most of the above and couldn't care about how others get their shots providing it doesn't present any danger to the subject.

    The only reason I dislike baiting has nothing to do with the fact someone got an easy shot but the fact that most people that bait are unaware that they are exponentially putting the bird/animal at risk of coming into conflict with the worst creature on the planet. Man.

    Man is that creature that wants to get the close up pictures of the pretty animal. Man is also the horrible creature that kills the same creature when it encroaches on us for exhibiting the same behaviour we taught it.

    Now am I saying people that bait are killing the animals? Indirectly yes. They are teaching the animals to be less afraid of humans which does increase the chances of them becoming a casualty of man.

    Am I saying people that bait do this on purpose? NO, I doubt a lot of them even gave it a second though.

    Because it is legal here where I am I will never tell anyone they can't bait. I will watch to ensure they are not trying to bait an animal across a dangerous path, or give guidance for those that trample across a field. But here it is their legal right to bait and mine nor anyone else's rights doesn't trump theirs.

    Edit: None of the preceding post beyond the first sentence was directed at anyone. Just rambling.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
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  3. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think you make an eloquent case for why it's not a good idea. Please ramble some more. Not everyone can ramble intelligently.
     
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  4. MSnowy

    MSnowy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hey I really believe "to each their own". I'm just offering my opinion on baiting. Hey if someone isn't good enough to get a picture of their subject the natural way go ahead and bait or better yet go to a zoo at feeding time. Throwing rocks in the general direction of wildlife to get them to move isn't against any rules either but it still a crappy thing to do to get "The Shot". Oh and I think this is cheating too.
     
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  5. ZombiesniperJr

    ZombiesniperJr Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah i have watched photographers make herons and things fly like eagles just for the shot i will admit when i began for the first two weeks i did but then i remembered that they are trying to hunt and in scaring purposly i make it harder for them to find food if they keep having to fly around so i have since stopped and will not do it again by the way that was the summer of 2015 when i did that
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. TheNevadanStig

    TheNevadanStig No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No "bait" in the wild, but blinds and electronic calls. I do have a bird feeder at home and occasionally snap pics of the birds in ky own backyard, but dont think that really counts.

    Sent from my SM-T237P using Tapatalk
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Animal calls must be carefully used.

    Since many can be territorial or mating in nature they can cause issues. Even light use of some can result in species leaving territories due to potential competition (most animals will avoid fights rather than engage in them; thus sometimes competition or pressure will cause them to abandon sites or to not breed/nest for a year); or can result in abnormal behaviour of a detrimental nature.

    If anything calls are potentially more damaging in the short term than food provision (over short time scales).

    A key to any system is to understand the species and to read up on what is advised practice. Remembering that if you're in the wilds and in an area that is not heavily managed/monitored by officials there might be little to no restriction on activities. So your 1 call might be fine; but the calls made by others before and after when added to yours, are what causes the problem.

    This second point is where good networking within photography circles is very important to help self-manage methods that can achieve what all want, but without detrimental impact to the wildlife
     
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  9. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Similarity here, people move out along the edge of civilization, into the shrub and chaparral areas, which in summer is as flammable as a box of matches. Then when a fire pops up, (it is not 'if' but 'when), they expect that the fire departments paid for by city-folk taxes, come to their aid. There is a bit of a tax revolt out here resulting in some privately owned fire organization being funded via homeowner associations.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  10. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Properly funded, they could really do some good by educating the rural homeowners on what types of plants to keep and which ones to get rid of.

    When I worked in the SF Valley, I made a run once a week to Castaic. One of the residents there had run sprinkler piping along the roof of his house.

    WHEN a fire got close, all he had to do was run his pump and open the valve, making his entire roof wet.
     
  11. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I try not to judge ... but for "me", I agree with the man in the snow suit, baiting is cheating. And, as a lover of Mother Nature, I agree with zombiesniper that teaching wild beasts that man is benelovent is a prescription of an early death for that beast.

    But we all have our own code to live by.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  12. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A homeowner paying for a private fire company, will learn real quick how to lower their dues and minimize their fire risk.
     

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