Daily Archives May 17, 2021

The Importance of Wildlife Ethics

Hi there, I’m Juan Pons. I’ve been a Wildlife Photographer leading workshops and seminars around the world for the last twenty years. I’m so honored to be one of the featured instructors at this year’s Outdoor Photography Conference on May 18-19th.

One topic I will be focusing on during the conference is fundamental to my work as a photographer and outdoor enthusiast- always exercising respect and protecting wildlife and the environment while capturing a memorable image.

No image, no matter how unique or special it may be, is worth stressing, endangering, or otherwise harming the wildlife or the landscape. As wildlife photographers, it is essential to be advocates for the environment and to lead others through our own actions and diligence.  If we as the storytellers, who love to photograph and observe the wildlife, do not prioritize protecting them, who will?

In my presentation, I will discuss a few of the areas of focus I always follow to ensure wildlife and their environment are being protected:

  1. Understanding Your Subjects
    The most beautiful wildlife photographs originate from natural behavior. We need to prepare ourselves to capture those critical moments, and the best way to do so is to research and understand our subjects, their behaviors, social structures, diet, migratory habits, and more. You can never really predict what wildlife will do at any moment, but by familiarizing ourselves intimately with our subjects, we can be ready to create those once in a lifetime images.
  2. Leaving No Trace
    The foundation of all wildlife photographers’ ethics should be to always leave no trace. This concept extends beyond the landscape- the wellbeing of your subject must be your priority at all times. We must never alter, modify, disturb or harm any habitat, food source, or surroundings. I advise all adventurers to understand they are a guest in the landscape they’re shooting. You should always consider the welfare of your subject first and foremost- ask yourself if the next action you are about to take will bring any harm in this moment or even in the distant future.
  3. Being In The Moment
    Oftentimes, we become engrossed in making images and neglect to fully appreciate the environment we’re in and the beauty we are witnessing. Take a moment to put your camera down, take a breath, and observe your surroundings. This practice deepens our connection and strengthens our appreciation of the environment and our subjects. As Baba Dioum well put it “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”

All of these topics, and many more, are imperative to our success as photographers and wildlife ambassadors. When we commit to the wellbeing of all wildlife, we create a symbiotic relationship with the environment.  I look forward to expanding on these topics during our time together in my seminar this week.

Juan Pons
Juan Pons Photography


You can learn more about Juan’s workshops, upcoming seminars, and newly released educational videos on Youtube, and check out his website at JuanPons.org

But it’s not too late to join us and get in on two incredible days of education and fun. There is a first-timer orientation today followed by a pre-conference session with the one and only Rick Sammon on “What makes a great Outdoor Photo.” Please watch official trailer below (it’s short) and see if it’s right for you.

Hope you can join us — we’ve got an incredible team of instructors, and I’ve got some really cool post-processing techniques to share, too! Here’s the link for tickets, along with the full conference schedule.

“The Grid” is on Hiatus This Week

The conference will still be in full swing on Wednesday, so we’ll have to skip this week’s episode of “The Grid” but we’ll be back again next week, so thanks for hangin’ in there with us while we’re on break this week.

Get on The Love Train!

Want to start your Monday off right? Take just a couple of minutes and watch this video below. It’s the O’Jays appearing live on the TV show “Good Morning America” doing their awesome 70s hit “Love Train” “and the theme for the show is the 70s, and the crowd is all dressed in 70s outfits and doing 70s dancing, including a Soul Train line, and it’s just a blast. Also — check this out — these guys are around 80-years old, but they’re dancing and singing and living their best life. Give it a quick watch — it’s just the best way to start the day. :)

I wish you all good health, happiness, and good health. A big welcome to everybody joining us for the conference, and we’ll see you online. :)

-Scott

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