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Welcome to Images & Issues : Kevin Schafer

Thanks to Christopher Robinson at OP for the opportunity to be involved with this new Blog project.  I hope to make it a meaningful, interactive forum for the discussion of photography and  issues that affect photographers and those who love nature photography.  I will show pictures, of course, and talk about what I’m up to – but I will also talk bluntly about things that concern me.

To start, below is a post from my own blog that I wrote earlier today.  This may give you a taste of where I hope to go with this.

In the past, I have been accused of having taken this beluga picture in an aquarium (too close, too perfect) instead of – as it was – freezing my head off, hanging upside down, in an icy river in Manitoba.

I mention this as an introduction to the idea that the power of nature photography – its greatest gift – is being undermined by unethical behavior on the part of some photographers who take short-cuts, or feel comfortable passing something off as real that isn’t – be it through digital manipulation, staging or other forms of misrepresentation. For what may be one of  the most outrageous – and obscene – examples of this, take a look at this “news story” now appearing in papers across the UK:

“Incredible Cat Pictures!” (link)

Simply said, this is the sort of visual fraud that cheapens what we do and undermines the impact and value of genuine photography.  Keep this up, and no one will believe anything they see anymore.  On the subject of ethics, meanwhile, have a look at the timely article this month by my friend Mark Carwardine in BBC Wildlife magazine. In it, Mark talks bluntly about ethical behavior, and the value of integrity, in a way that is very refreshing. Since many people in the US will not see the story, I suggest having a look at it here.

You can read more about this and other issues at my blog : (link)

I hope to hear from you.         Kevin