Nature photography is becoming more and more popular. We see more and more people getting out in nature trying to capture the beauty of nature. A look on facebook or instagram shows a whole range of nature photos, some really good, some less. Generally, I think this is a good thing as it shows more people getting interested in nature. However, there is also a downside. People see great photos by professional photographers (or advanced amateurs) and want to make the same pictures. However, they don’t see all the effort that was put into the picture, the knowledge behind it. Not only the technical knowledge of shutterspeed, aperture and camera, but also knowledge of the subject and its environment. And lack of the latter can lead to disturbance.
Nature First is an alliance of nature photographers that focusses on responsible nature photography. The mission of Nature Fist is the promotion of the protection and preservation of the world’s natural and wild places through inspiring, educating, and uniting everyone making photographs and videos in nature; empowering them to be ambassadors of the natural world. Their main focus is on educating photographers on how to take those pictures responsibly, without harming nature.
Nature First aims to achieve this mission with the following seven principles:
- Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
- Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
- Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
- Use discretion if sharing locations.
- Know and follow rules and regulations.
- Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
- Actively promote and educate others about these principles
In my opinion initiatives like this are great as they increase the knowledge among photograhers, which will result in nicer pictures for them, but more importantly, in less disturbance. Yes, it’s nice to get good pictures, but not against all costs. That way, everybody can enjoy nature, either through photos or in the wild.