Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Ethics of Wildlife Photography - Part 2: dishonesty

The most famous example of wildlife dishonesty. Photo by José Luis Rodriguez

Following my previous post on the damage that wildlife photographers can cause, this one will focus on what happens after the photos have been taken. Photography can be very competitive; this isn't much of a problem with a lot of photography, as a good photo is a good photo regardless of how it was taken. With wildlife photography a large part of the contextual information that is not included in the photo is just as important as the aesthetics of the picture.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Ethics of Wildlife Photography - Part 1: Damage

Wildlife photography is widely considered one of the most difficult genres of photography. Getting a good picture is often as much luck as it is skill and failed attempts are all too common. Many photographers also treat it as challenge, where a good picture of an animal is considered a trophy. This being the case it is no surprise that many photographers take short-cuts trying to get good pictures. Some of which may cross into unethical areas, but where exactly does the line lie?

Wildlife paparazzi. Photo Credit: Ryan Kilpatrick

The fundamental point of photographing wildlife is to show animals in their natural environment, uninfluenced by humans; a point most would agree on. However, human disturbance comes in many forms and is impossible to eliminate completely, so the issue boils down to what is an acceptable level of intrusion?

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Something strange is happening...

Though it's been shown that a few animals are capable of using electromagnetic fields to navigate (such as birds that migrate long distances), the idea that the Earth's magnetic field has a large influence on animal behaviour is still a bit of a tin hat theory. But every now and then science throws a spanner in the works, and strange patterns are uncovered...

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Life Cycle of a Jellyfish

Photo Credit: Lisa Williams
Though they're arguably one of the simplest groups of animals on the planet today (though simplest does not equal simple) jellyfish have a surprisingly complex life cycle, combining both asexual and sexual reproduction stages, in multiple different forms.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

What has scales, teats, and is considered a delicacy by the Chinese?

Photo Credit:  Ehsan

Covered in thick scales from the head down to the tip of it's tail, the Pangolin resembles something from a fantasy, or at least a very strange reptile. Instead it's actually one of the strangest mammals alive today.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Regarding porcupine quills...

I recently came across these pictures which really show why porcupile quills are much worse than they seem (to people like me who live far from their natural range anyway)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Humans are Hunters

Banksy's Trolley Hunters.

Earlier this week a story broke about a few Kenyan villagers that caught a pair of cheetah that had been killing their goats. They didn't do this by trapping or tranquillising them, instead they chased them until they gave up. At first this may seem a bit startling, how did a bunch of bipedal primates manage to run after and catch the fastest land animal alive? However, when you consider that humans evolved for a hunting style exactly like this, it makes a bit more sense.