Pay to shoot wildlife getting out of hand

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Jeff
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#1
Don’t know if it’s just me ,but I’m noticeing a sharp rise in places to photograph wildlife starting to charge and in some cases substantially over charging ,,I do realise that with the long reach lenses available these days it’s becoming a very popular side of the hobby , but I have just been told that one particular hide that gives limited views of ospreys is charging between 30 to 40 pounds for a two to three hour session take fuel etc into the equation and it starts to get silly , kingfisher hides are also joining in this as well , I know that some of these places have to be built and developed but I think the expression is “ keep it real “
 
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Darran, Daz or ****
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#2
I totally agree with you.
There is a kingfisher hide, they charge 150 quid!
I wouldn't mind paying a fair price but not silly money.
 
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the black fox
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#5
Their property, their right to allow access as they wish.

Maybe the reverse is true? That photographers have had free access to areas that cost their owners to upkeep, for too long?

there's always one , the mind boggles , mark I'm not on about paying a couple of quid or a fiver even entry to a site but there are some ludicrous prices being bandied about at the moment with one or two individuals charging people for the privilege of walking around a reserve with them i.e £50 to go round a RSPB reserve where entry fee is about £4 for non members or free to members .
we all know that with wildlife nothing is guaranteed so you could indeed be paying out that £150 for staged kingfisher shots that never happen and lets get it right these are staged shots not truly wild birds or animals .. and you might well find that the builder of that k/f hide was quite happy charging £40 a day but now some one else is taking a block booking for 3 days paying the £120 quid fee then charging £500 just because he can ,the power of facebook
 

simon ess

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#6
I've said it before, I'll say it again...

It's market driven capitalism at work.

Most people seem to like market driven capitalism, on the whole.
 
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Gremlin

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#8
Probably going to get slated here, but those prices are for people too lazy to do their own research and
show some patience
I've spent hours in the local reserve, sometimes to see very little except the most common birds I could see
in the garden.
You can't guarantee anything where wildlife is concerned you just have to be patient and hope something
turns up.
 
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#10
Perch and bait type venues cover a range of species and in the case of the woodland birds, many of which are seen in many folks gardens they can be encouraged to 'flock' near the feeders........................to be photographed against backgrounds that very few residential gardens have or could be literally grown. (NB @Dale. Dale's hide project garden being a notable exception ;) )

Probably going to get slated here, but those prices are for people too lazy to do their own research and
show some patience
I've spent hours in the local reserve, sometimes to see very little except the most common birds I could see
in the garden.
You can't guarantee anything where wildlife is concerned you just have to be patient and hope something
turns up.
FWIW I went to a Kingfisher hide this Monday of the baited variety................as for hours spent in the hide, I was there 7.5 hours (it was 1.5 hours before the first visit) and they visited the perch 6 - 7 times during that session. Yes, the food was there but that is not a guarantee that the birds will come let alone remain long enough to photograph. It was expensive but in my case it was part paid with a birthday gift voucher.

PS chatting with the organiser ~ it would seem that there are indeed some people with more money (& gear?) than sense about the nature of wildlife behaviour, suffice to say I got the impression that some folk expect the birds to form an orderly queue and if they take too long to arrive and don't come often enough..............!!!!!
 
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Rob
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#11
Another way to look at it all is that is gives a safe environment for many photographers who want the shot but may feel they don’t have the time or patience to put in the work into their own site. It’s not a bad thing once you think of the potential damage the volume of wildlife photographers could cause on a species. Kingfishers is a great example. A schedule one bird that not all photographers may follow the schedule one protection requirements there to protect them. Whether you feel it’s right or not it could save potential damage to a species occurring if it weren’t providing this service. The real problem is digital has made photography feel cheaper and now everyone is a wildlife photographer.

Over the years Ive gone to a few paid (3 in total). I can see the draw of them but it felt too much like I was trying to capture a shortlist rather than get something more original. Now I try to visit less well known places and try to avoid crowds of photographers. Personally I feel it’s each to their own, just do what makes you happy and don’t worry about anyone else.

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for a few years on this subject but I just can’t write it without sounding an arse!
 
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Robert
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#12
there's always one , the mind boggles , mark I'm not on about paying a couple of quid or a fiver even entry to a site but there are some ludicrous prices being bandied about at the moment with one or two individuals charging people for the privilege of walking around a reserve with them i.e £50 to go round a RSPB reserve where entry fee is about £4 for non members or free to members .
I don’t understand the issue here ? Pay the small entry fee and walk round on your own ? Or pay for the time of a possibly more experienced person who knows the lay of the land ? Sounds like paying for a guide ? £50 gets you how many hours with a pro
Photographer today ?

Now I am it commenting on the value of that persons servies that’s for the person paying to determine.

On the overall point of paid hides, if people are willing to pay and the people running them are 100% ethical then why not, many are farmers diversifiying etc.

I don’t agree with the unethical ones that put the wildlife in danger and I guess this is the overall challenge as there is no regulation.

Rob
 
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Mark
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#13
Another way to look at it all is that is gives a safe environment for many photographers who want the shot but may feel they don’t have the time or patience to put in the work into their own site. It’s not a bad thing once you think of the potential damage the volume of wildlife photographers could cause on a species. Kingfishers is a great example. A schedule one bird that not all photographers may follow the schedule one protection requirements their to protect them. Whether you feel it’s right or not it could save potential damage to a species occurring if it weren’t providing this service. The real problem is digital has made photography feel cheaper and now everyone is a wildlife photographer.

Over the years Ive gone to a few paid (3 in total). I can see the draw of them but it felt too much like I was trying to capture a shortlist rather than get something more original. Now I try to visit less well known places and try to avoid crowds of photographers. Personally I feel it’s each to their own, just do what makes you happy and don’t worry about anyone else.

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for a few years on this subject but I just can’t write it without sounding an arse!

Very, very good points.
 
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Mike
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#14
I wouldn't mind paying £30-£40 for a session.
Up here in Scotland, Glen Tanar are charging £280 for an evening session with Golden Eagles.
Also available for £100 you can photograph Black Grouse from 04:00 to 08:30.

A few years ago for a birthday present, my wife paid for me to attend a Red Squirrel and Crested Tit photo shoot.
Thoroughly enjoyed and I learned quite a bit.
 
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#15
My whole point in this is not to slag off paid for locations as they have been around for a long time and mainly successfully , but the rising cost to visit some of them is getting totally out of hand . I can categorically state that apart from my membership of the rspb and a couple of visits to gigrin farm I have never paid to shoot wildlife . But if that’s the way it’s heading it’s up to the punters I suppose .
 
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#16
Nothing wrong with paying for an opportunity at a 'private' venue, or indeed going to a 'public' venue with a guide/instructor if that's what you want to do. A couple of years ago I paid for a workshop on Skomer Island, the reason being that it gave me the opportunity of having someone else get me guaranteed tickets and to be on the first boat out and the last boat back, something I couldn't arrange myself so I had a reason and it was worth the cost to me.
I've paid for sessions at Gigrin Farm, which was a reasonable charge for the facility and the enjoyment it gave me to photograph the Red Kites.
Otherwise I have membership of WWT & RSPB and spend most of my time at their reserves and occasionally visit the likes of Bempton Cliffs & the Farne Islands, under my own steam.
It's all personal choice of how you want to spend your money (or not) and how much you personally get from what is on offer.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#17
I tend to agree with the original post. I'm not in the market for paid opportunities so I wouldn't know if prices are increasing. But the whole idea goes against the grain for me.

I had a pretty good knowledge of birds long before I started photographing them and in my opinion that's how it should be.
 
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Jasmine
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#18
It's not limited to wildlife subjects alone. Look at the workshops for landscape stuff. So many peoples just want to be lead around, take a shot and move to the next location and so on, they will pay crazy money for it too.
 
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Craig
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#19
It's not limited to wildlife subjects alone. Look at the workshops for landscape stuff. So many peoples just want to be lead around, take a shot and move to the next location and so on, they will pay crazy money for it too.
This.

Just wait until popular landscape photo locations in the lakes or Durdle Door for example realise what money they are missing out on (whether publicly or privately owned) and start hiring security to walk around like they do in some 'privately owned' locations in London to stop people taking photographs unless they pay at the ticket booth.

It's market driven capitalism at work.
 
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Rob
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#20
I can understand it’s not for everyone. They do provide a service to people who want to use them. Regarding prices I guess there is an investment in the facilities and cost of time for the guide to meet, greet and provide assistance. Prices generally will be as high as they can get away with and there will likely be a capacity charge built in (it’s very unlikely they will be full every single day so there will be a cost built in there too-just like holiday let’s).

If you haven’t used them or don’t plan to use them in the future are you really that worried about price increases? Would they affect you if you don’t use them?

Just be happy that whilst people are using them they aren’t standing next to you!
 
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#21
It's not limited to wildlife subjects alone. Look at the workshops for landscape stuff. So many peoples just want to be lead around, take a shot and move to the next location and so on, they will pay crazy money for it too.
From what I have seen Agnes Proudon-Smith (who recently died on Harris) was quite an accomplished photographer, but she still felt she wanted to attend a workshop. So not just us amateur photographers who are prepared to pay to learn more.
 
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#22
Agreed on some points that a lot of people can’t think for themselves or due to work etc have to use guides or paid trips , BUT and it’s a ver6 big but it should NOT be to the detriment or exclusion of those that wish to do there own thing , not much you can do about set ups on private land it’s there prerogative but not to turn public spots into pay to view ..
Something I learnt years ago via another hobby , no land in the u.k is public it’s always owned by someone ,there’s no such thing as common land
 
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Ham
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#23
Probably a good place to plug the British Wildlife Centre photography days that have been running for years (no personal connection at all). I got gived one of those as a birthday prezzie and it was downright fantastic https://britishwildlifecentre.co.uk/photography/photography-days/ Possibly not the thing for an avid nature phtographer, but I'm not one of those. I came away with some great shots (at least, ones I was dead chuffed to have captured even if they aren't technically perfect), I'll try to dig some up later.
 

Gremlin

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#24
Probably a good place to plug the British Wildlife Centre photography days
Not really the same thing, these are captive animals in cages on private property and you are virtualy guaranted to see them
 
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Jasmine
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#25
This.

Just wait until popular landscape photo locations in the lakes or Durdle Door for example realise what money they are missing out on (whether publicly or privately owned) and start hiring security to walk around like they do in some 'privately owned' locations in London to stop people taking photographs unless they pay at the ticket booth.
I think they charge £10 at Glenfinnan viaduct for drone flights now.
 
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Keith
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#26
Agreed on some points that a lot of people can’t think for themselves or due to work etc have to use guides or paid trips , BUT and it’s a ver6 big but it should NOT be to the detriment or exclusion of those that wish to do there own thing , not much you can do about set ups on private land it’s there prerogative but not to turn public spots into pay to view ..
Something I learnt years ago via another hobby , no land in the u.k is public it’s always owned by someone ,there’s no such thing as common land
It's much like the fishing, landowners will say they own the land a river flows through, including the bank where fishermen will claim that 6-feet of any river bank inward is no-man's property - yet you can get prosecuted for fishing along certain banks without a paid licence. That includes open public river walkways that don't run through any private property.
 
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#27
From what I have seen Agnes Proudon-Smith (who recently died on Harris) was quite an accomplished photographer, but she still felt she wanted to attend a workshop. So not just us amateur photographers who are prepared to pay to learn more.
I am not saying in the post that it is limited to amateurs.
 
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Terry
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#28
It's much like the fishing, landowners will say they own the land a river flows through, including the bank where fishermen will claim that 6-feet of any river bank inward is no-man's property - yet you can get prosecuted for fishing along certain banks without a paid licence. That includes open public river walkways that don't run through any private property.

If you're talking about a rod license then you are paying to be allowed to fish but you still have to have permission to fish the area, lake river etc.
 
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Keith
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#30
If you're talking about a rod license then you are paying to be allowed to fish but you still have to have permission to fish the area, lake river etc.
An angling licence yeah, there's signs up on the trees along public walkways stating you will be fined if found angling without a licence. I used to fish myself, up until I was 16-17, and I remember fishermen and river/water bailiffs coming to blows along the banks. I seen a bailiff get chucked into the river one time! Not an easy job that's for sure, when you're checking licences and most of the old school fisherman would prefer to knock your teeth in rather than prove they have one
 
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#31
Agreed on some points that a lot of people can’t think for themselves or due to work etc have to use guides or paid trips , BUT and it’s a ver6 big but it should NOT be to the detriment or exclusion of those that wish to do there own thing , not much you can do about set ups on private land it’s there prerogative but not to turn public spots into pay to view.
I’m a little confused as I’m not sure we are talking about the same type of paid photography places. Are you able to PM me some examples of the places you are taking about? I understand you don’t want to put specific examples in the thread but via PM would get us on the same wave length.
 
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Rob
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#32
From what I have seen Agnes Proudon-Smith (who recently died on Harris) was quite an accomplished photographer, but she still felt she wanted to attend a workshop. So not just us amateur photographers who are prepared to pay to learn more.
People attend workshops/holidays for numerous reasons. Some attend for the like minded company or visiting an area rather than just for the learning aspect. Lots of photography workshops are now more photography holidays, it’s not just beginners that they are aimed at.
 
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Iain
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#34
If people want to pay the price to get a quick photo of a Kingfisher or whatever that’s up to them. What I object to is when they put there’s pictures in competition and don’t state they were taken from a paid for baited hide.

Some people have worked there socks off to find the same subject then sit and wait till they get a shot just as good but with a lot more work and it’s a real wildlife shot.

Rant over.
 
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#35
If people want to pay the price to get a quick photo of a Kingfisher or whatever that’s up to them. What I object to is when they put there’s pictures in competition and don’t state they were taken from a paid for baited hide.

Some people have worked there socks off to find the same subject then sit and wait till they get a shot just as good but with a lot more work and it’s a real wildlife shot.

Rant over.
Most competitions aren't really bothered by how the photograph got taken. At the end of the day does it really matter?
 
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#36
If people want to pay the price to get a quick photo of a Kingfisher or whatever that’s up to them. What I object to is when they put there’s pictures in competition and don’t state they were taken from a paid for baited hide.

Some people have worked there socks off to find the same subject then sit and wait till they get a shot just as good but with a lot more work and it’s a real wildlife shot.

Rant over.
In regard to any competition entry.......if the terms explicitly state the photographer must include a declaration at to whether the it was taken 'in the wild' or at a baited hide and s/he misrepresents it, then depending on the type of competition (club or with prize of money/monetary value) such an action is either just bad practice or fraud in the legal sense!

As for photographing the license protected species ........I wonder do if 100% of photographers ensure they put the wildlife first. Like all walks of life not everyone complies with the law and that includes wildlife photography :(
 
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#38
People attend workshops/holidays for numerous reasons. Some attend for the like minded company or visiting an area rather than just for the learning aspect. Lots of photography workshops are now more photography holidays, it’s not just beginners that they are aimed at.
Yep. Those who pay Daniel Kordan, Thomas Heaton for a destination workshop are probably perfectly proficient and well equipped - but they want the "adventure" and camaradie of a expensive "photo holiday". These guys know their target audience and have great businesses doing what they do.

I've never understood the want to shoot landscapes with other people - I like going myself and knowing my picture hasn't been taken by someone else. I do however run workshops - but not photo holidays and "destination" type ones like The Dolomites, Patagonia etc etc. They're more tuition based ones in an area I know extremely well. If they start charging access to the famous falls, rannoch moor or kilchurn castle I'll have to pass this cost on to my workshop clients and pay it when I go myself.
 
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Martin
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#39
I have to say I make no secret of going to paid hides, but I also go out on walkabout too looking for wildlife, its all about the enjoyment of wildlife photography, despite what others may think about paid hides I'll continue to go to them without any guilt as its my choice at the end of the day, its a "each to their own " type of attitude I feel as I get a buzz from whether its paid or not, out in the field it can be as often as not a quick chance shot of a deer or fox etc, in an hide you can try out different settings etc with whatever subject is at the hide as well as the camaraderie of like minded people. Safaris, a boat trip for sea eagles off Mull, diving gannets off a boat, looking for whales/dolphins from a boat, its endless etc......One last thought before I get my lunch/dinner/tea, the man who owns the hides I have been to puts a lot of the money earned form his setups back into ongoing conservation projects he is doing, which I think we can all agree is in this day and age a REALLY good thing to put your time/money into.
 
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Stu
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#40
Jeff,i've nowt against paid for hides. At this time no huge great interest in this form of wildlife image making either,so i've never used paid for and no experience of what folks pay.

I was told that a few years back someone was charging £90 a day to stand in a public road and photograph SEO. This came from the lady whose family own the actual land, where the owls were hunting. So this type of thing has been going on a while.

Jeff what do you think is a fair price,should merit be given to hides run for example by a pro with serious knowledge,is the species available the biggest factor in how a day in a hide is priced ?

I'm quite curious to know what folks feel is a fair price . Oh and how that price relates to species. I heard £150 a day for a kingy hide also years back, I was shocked at the time but realise I have no idea what a "standard" day rate might be. It might be deemed fantastic value or horrendous.
cheers

stu
 
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