I was this close to titling this post “Nature Photographers Deserving Of A Can of Whoop-Ass”, but I refrained.
This week much debate has ensued regarding a photograph posted on Facebook of a photographer behaving badly climbing on fragile tufa formations at Mono Lake. G. Dan Mitchell took the lead in the comments of this post regarding the law surrounding these formations, but honestly wouldn’t you think common sense would be enough for most people… and especially a nature photographer?!
The photograph in question was taken by Deryk Baumgärtner. He just observed this and documented it by his account. I believe him, he’s always been a stand-up guy from what I can tell of viewing years of his work posted on various photo forums. What baffles me is this is just one case of photographers behaving badly. Nature photographers of all people should be less caught up on getting the shot and more focused on enjoying nature. If someone is not following proper etiquette while in the field we owe it to them and to others to point out how their behavior is inappropriate. I’ve experienced my share of people behaving badly including: people vomiting on NPS signs, photographers walking dangerously close to wild animals that could easily kill them in a matter of seconds, kids in plain view of their parents ignoring signs and walking on thermal crust at Yellowstone, etc. I’ve even heard of other photographers (Gary Crabbe if I recall correctly) commenting on finding used diapers in the middle of Yosemite’s Cook meadow.
I put it to you what stories do you have of people behaving badly in protected areas? Did you say anything? Did you photograph it?
[tags]photography, Mono Lake, ethics, nature[/tags]