When photographing nature subjects, there is always a certain amount of stress put on the subjects by the photographer. The Photographic Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) therefore has put together a series of principles for all members when they are photographing or even observing nature subjects, so that any stress is minimised. The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph. This applies to geological as well as biological subjects. Any local or national conservation requirements must be obeyed. This includes getting appropriate permits and observing restricted areas. Permission should be sought from private landholders before venturing on to their land. There should be minimal disturbance to the surroundings. It is most important that the photographer has a reasonable knowledge of the subject before attempting to take any pictures. For uncommon subjects this knowledge needs to be extensive. It is important that the photographer has a general knowledge of other associated subjects so that the process of photographing causes no risk or stress to them. This in particular refers to small life forms.
Compliance with the Code of Conduct
The aim of this code of conduct is to prevent any damage to the environment and subjects being photographed; members of the PSNZ are expected to comply with it. Compliance will be assisted by taking time to study the subject to be photographed so as to ensure that it is not inadvertently placed at risk. Where evidence of a serious and deliberate violation of this code by a PSNZ member is drawn to the attention of a PSNZ Affiliated Club or PSNZ member, it or they will refer the matter to the PSNZ Council for consideration.
The Final Image
Any nature picture should record the truth of what the photographer saw at the time the picture was taken and reflect the competence of the image as captured by the photographer. Digital techniques that extend the capability of the camera may be used providing that they honestly and accurately represent the original nature story or event at the time of capture.