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Don’t Feed the Bears: Ethics in Wildlife Photography and Filmmaking

by Jennifer S. Holland.

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Photography sure ain’t what it used to be.

Not that that’s a bad thing. Today’s improved access to the world and ever-changing technology allows image-makers to reveal the invisible, to capture more intricate detail and more unanticipated moments than ever before. But access and technology also allow for a whole new level of manipulation.

Wildlife photographers, for example, have always had the choice, ethical or not, to set up a scene (e.g., using a captive animal or baiting a wild one) or heavily interfere with an animal’s life to get the best shot.

Nancy Black, a U.S. marine biologist, made that choice when she fed killer whales on a video shoot in 2004—and will pay for it. This week, Black was fined $12,500 and put on three years probation for luring the marine mammals closer to a boat for filming in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Read the rest of this article from National Geographic.

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