Muuuh Wildlife Photography

Rules and Ethics

Last modified on 2023-02-03. This page is dedicated to nature lovers and wildlife photographers. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in and around Montreal.


These is the page I consult whenever I am about to leave the house to take photos in the field. If you are looking for details about the gear we are using or production and post-production settings and workflows: Gear, Settings, Workflows.

Photography Rules

  • Plan the Photo at Home - Prepare your backpack with all items you need for that particular photo you are about to take.
  • The Closer the Better - Finding a way to be as close as possible to the animal without disturbing it and without feeding it. Doesn't apply to dangerous animals and hazardous environment! The animal should fill at least 1/6th of the frame.
  • Get Dirty or Wet or Both - To take a photo lay or kneel on the ground. A low angle versus top down shots are nicer in most situations. Then get closer by crawling towards the animal. Looks funny but who cares?
  • Exposure, Exposure, Exposure! - Make sure in the field that you got the exposure right. Check after the first shot, apply exposure adjustment when necessary.
  • Keep the Camera Straight - What a disappointment when you get home and notice that the video recording of those cute Mallard chicks on the pond is tilt.
  • No Waste! - Hit the trigger fewer times. It is a waste of time copying all these crap shots over to the hard disk and then having to delete them.

Ethics of Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is a beautiful and fascinating activity that comes with an ethical responsibility to the subject being photographed. Different photographers have different views on what constitutes ethical wildlife photography, and what steps should be taken to minimize the impact of the photographer on the natural environment and its inhabitants. Here our guidelines:

  • No Feeding - Never lure close or bait wild animals with food.
  • No Calling - Don't call birds, any animals in that matters, with recorded sound.
  • No Stressing - If an animal shows signs and behaviours of stress, back off.

Busted Myths

  • You don't need a professional camera and lenses for Wildlife Photography.