Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Photographers Tale.


The photograph above is thanks to David Cookson (DC) around who this tale is written and whose website I recommend you visit if your interests are in birds and photography where you will find excellent examples like....

This brilliant Little Stint, and....

This equally brilliant Curlew Sandpiper beginning to show signs of its brick-red underpart breeding plumage, both birds stopping off to fatten up presumably on their way to far off places to breed, in the case of the latter on its epic journey from Africa to Arctic Siberia.  

What follows is not intended to be seen as my opinion about bird photographers who no doubt do step over the mark on occasions in their quest for 'a better shot', but then....don't we all step over the mark from time to time. The post would perhaps in my view be better called 'Dictatorship off the rails'.

DC has been a regular contributor to a website which has a Photo Section, indeed DC has won the award of 'Pic of the week' on at least one occasion that I'm aware of on this website. This tale is centred around the brilliant photograph of the Avocet and very young chick above, which was submitted to the website only to be informed it had been rejected on the grounds that it goes against their policy and appears to have been achieved at the risk of disturbance to a breeding bird close to its nest site, and as I did - on the face of it - you may well be inclined to say 'rejected and rightly so'. However, DC promptly defended himself in order to put the administrators right and hopefully have the picture accepted, by explaining the location the photograph was taken and that it had been achieved from the unobtrusive cover afforded by the hide he was in on a nature reserve accompanied by up to fifty other people, DC also pointed out that as other examples of photography - which clearly indicated close approach to breeding birds and nests - had been on display on this very same website he could'nt understand why this particular photograph had been rejected, DC quoted three examples in question, being images of Sand Martins in and out of nest holes, images of Blue Tits actually photographed inside a nest box with gaping mouths waiting to be fed, and the best of all, images of Kingfishers clearly illustrated at the nest site.

There DC's case rests and the photograph remains in the reject tray at this website who have as a consequence lost one of their best subscribers because of - in my opinion - this 'Dictatorship/Censorship' gone off the rails. I think we all 'suffer' at the hands of some heavy handed 'dictators' within the birding world who like to put on their uniforms and caps and tell us where we can do our birding, what records we should submit and those we can't, what birds they'll report to us, and those they won't....Oh please!


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Knowing D.C. well and the situation he has found himself in re his super shots from the hide at Marshside I feel I have to make some comment. Bird Guides are obviously not fully aware of the set up at Marshside where avocets have nested happily for many years right under the noses of watchers and photographers without any stress or disturbance. Bird Guides will lose one of their best contributors as a result of this and I can only hope that they will eventually see that no disturbance is caused in this particular case and will publish Daves excellent images.

Pete Woodruff said...

We'll talk later about this Brian.

Thanks as always for your input here in particular with the subject matter.

David Cookson said...

Thanks Pete...and BR for his support too. I heard yesterday that I'm not the only one to be rejected and also shots from World's End were eventually banned.
The last email from BGs stated that I was encouraging nest photography, what tosh.
Thanks once again for raising the subject.

Geoff Gradwell said...

Not the place to have the debate but what nonsense.
DC gets my vote too.

Gary Jones said...

And mine...... what a load of rubbish, I know Marshside well and have photographed the Avocets often as many more have done, I am sure the RSPB would have done something about it by now if they were being disturbed, dictatorship gone mad!! BG obviously have never heard of zoom lenses.... keep up the good work DC

Phil said...

Spare us from the "experts" Pete who always think they know better than people on the ground.

Pete Woodruff said...

Some excellent responses and my thanks to all, I've note the 'silent ones' yet again!

I reckon its worth elaborating more on this one which in my view is nothing more than utter nonsense on the part of Birdguides given other published images illustrating nest site disturbance which - as it happens - the one in this case didn't.

My Word Verification to post this comment was 'DENSE'.