Important Book, Important Discussion

Today, I want to put in a plug for an important book I’m reading right now: “Shooting In the Wild” by Chris Palmer. It is about wildlife film-making, its history, and its impact on conservation. But its most valuable contribution, in my view, is the book’s discussion of ethical behavior. Palmer, who has been involved in the wildlife film industry for 25 years, discusses some crucial issues – working with wild animal subjects, the use of captive animals and simple honesty in the presentation of images. Yes, he is talking about film-making, but these are all issues that also bear directly on what we, as still photographers, do.

Frankly, there are far too few voices like Palmer’s, that reflect on the implications of our own behavior – what is acceptable, or not, and how what we do in the pursuit of images squares with the love of nature and wildlife that informs our work. It is a discussion well worth having, and I, for one, am grateful for this ground-breaking book. I recommend it highly.