Ethics for Nature Photography

The Edinburgh Photographic Society Nature Group firmly believe in the statement;

There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times. The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.

It is important that the photographer respects the subject and takes every effort to minimise disturbance to the subject and to its environment.

Every member should make themselves aware of the laws that govern the photography of Nature & Wildlife wherever they are taking images.

Scotland’s wildlife, the law and you

This is a useful reference leaflet giving guidance on the laws affecting wildlife in Scotland.

Most bird photography doesn’t need a licence. But a licence is required if photography:

A licence isn’t required to photograph Schedule 1 birds that are well away from the nest. But many such species are more prone to disturbance during the breeding season and may be disturbed even from great distances. You must be very careful to act within the law.

NatureScot issues a small number of licences each year to allow specific Schedule 1 species to be photographed and disturbed at, on or near the nest. We only grant licences to experienced individuals able to show their skill in photographing breeding birds.

Bird welfare is the most important factor when we assess any licence application.

Links for information on other subjects.

©Edinburgh Photographic Society and individual photographers 2024