Nature photography focuses on the landscape, wildlife and other objects in the natural environment, and uses photography equipment to depict nature. Nature photography that follows ethical norms has positive significance in enhancing cognition and aesthetic education, inspiring people’s good wishes to protect the ecological environment, promoting biodiversity conservation, and promoting sustainable development.
As we all know, in the field of nature photography, there is a flood of fraudulent “stage shooting”, the industrialization of stage photography studios, the destruction of species habitats, and even to harm and destruct wildlife for the purpose of faking shooting effects.
Therefore, comprehensively improve the accomplishments and professional ethics of photographers, establish an ecological shooting concept that respects nature, and increase people’s attention to ethical and moral issues arising in the field of photography, is conducive to protecting biodiversity and promoting the civilized development of nature photography.
On July 21, 2020, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBDGDF), the CBDGDF Group Standards Research and Development Management Center, the CBDGDF Biological and Scientific Ethics Committee, the CBDGDF Bird Watching Professional Committee, and the CBDGDF Bird Biodiversity Conservation Research Institute jointly issued (T/CGDF 00008-2020) Group Standard of “Nature Photography Ethics Code”. This standard aims at the basic principles, norms, moral bottom line and ethical guidance that photographers should follow in the wild shooting environment and when the subject is wild animals and plants (especially birds) and other natural species.
The standard believes that respect for nature is the fundamental principle of nature photography. Nature photography should reflect the objective reality, respect the life rights of wild animals and plants, conform to the authenticity of the ecological environment, and capture the authenticity of ecological relationships and the natural state of wild animals and plants. At the same time, health risks should be minimized, frequent and close contact with wild animals and other creatures should be avoided, health risks and disturbances to nature should be reduced, the probability of virus spillage should be reduced, and public health and ecological safety should be protected.
The standard believes that no matter what, nature photographers should put the safety of various wildlife and ecological environment first, followed by photography itself. When shooting, should not interfere with the natural state of the subject. Should respect, conform and protect nature. Finally, while photographic works reflect real life, they also reflect the photographer’s attitude and evaluation of life. When people appreciate works, they are also potentially influenced and educated by the photographers’ inclination and attitude. Therefore, photographs should be taken with care and respect for life, human nature, and the environment, and should promote people’s natural protection.
The standard covers six aspects including respect for nature, prohibition of studio stage shooting, animal ethics, behavior, avoiding zoonotic diseases, ethical review, and other requirements. It is recommended that photographers establish correct ethics and aesthetics, strengthen biological ethical awareness, and improve their own moral training when taking natural photography to promote the protection of natural ecology and biodiversity.
This group standard particularly emphasizes that when holding exhibitions of natural photography works or awarding activities, the organizer should invite experts in the field of nature protection to join the evaluation. The reviewers should conduct an ethical review of the photographic works and publicize the results of the review, so as to maintain a good moral atmosphere of natural photography.
The publication of this standard is on the national group standard publication platform, and relevant individuals and organizations are welcome to adopt it.
The complete “Nature Photography Ethics Code”: http://file.cbcgdf.org/T18/O125/file/20200722/20200722181514_4918.pdf
Original Chinese article:
By / Lucas Guo (Volunteer) Modified / Maggie