I shoot predominately natural history and this has a certain amount of responsibility to it, listed below are a few examples.
Document the natural world correctly and truthfully
If shooting a staged set up of a particular species and/or an environment due to it not being safe for the photographer to be in, or for the safety and well being of the species, then this needs to be stated clearly so as not to mislead the viewer
Safety of the environment, habitats, myself, camera gear and the wildlife themselves
To the landowner-gain permission to access the land, so as not to break laws by trespassing
To create images that engage the audience, keep their interest, evoke dialogue
To capture the natural world accurately and preserve it for future investigation
The audience viewing images of conservation issues are answerable to their own conscious. The photographer intends their images to trigger your conscious to the issue being portrayed, to tell a story and get a reaction.
There was a discussion in 2001 regarding Frozen Planet a natural history document made by the BBC natural history department.
An article from The guardian debates the issue of fake filming.
I think if the production company had stated that they had staged it for what ever reasons they did it for then the public would have been more understanding, because they didn’t they got annoyed. I believe you should state if you have had to stage an environment , it still shows the life of mother and cubs when first born to the best of their understanding and experience of this subject it just wasn’t shot in the wild. It’s just the lying that didn’t sit well with the audience, it make the viewer question ‘what else is staged’.
Posted on November 5, 2017