Pay to shoot wildlife getting out of hand

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the black fox
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Jeff
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#42
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
Totally no idea stu , as stated apart from rspb membership and a couple of visits to gigrin my shooting is as found in situ , it seems from the general response that more than a few peeps are willing to pay to get the shots they think they want , I think your example of paying to shoot owls from a public spot is along the lines of what I mean .. I’m now in my 70’s and over that time span have been involved with various hobbies through the years ,and the one thing that I have noticed is that every time a hobby matures it gets taken over by those that can see a way to make a fast buck out of it ,that eventually leads to a elite of the more money you throw at it is best , and the starters get pushed to the wayside . This is the danger point I now feel that wildlife photography is at . Where conservationist groups who are always money hungry are being approached with offers that can’t be refused , but pricing out the grass roots supporters that initially helped them to grow .. it also gets to the point where no longer shooting wildlife but tame trained tame animals or birds that come in at a set feed time
 
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#43
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.
Not going to slate you, but just point out that not everyone who does photography has all the time in the world to spend on it. If you work five days a week, have a family, have other commitments... You may only be getting a few hours a week to do your photography, and there's no guarantee they're going to be the best hours. I can't count the numbers of times that the light has been fantastic during the week when I'm at work, then come the weekend it's dull and overcast; in a similar vein, when I used to have longer commutes, there's no chance I'd want to get home at 8pm, still have my 'evening stuff' to do before I sleep and then get up at half four the next morning so I can get the best of the light.

I can completely understand how someone that really wants to get a kingfisher photo might not want to spend their two hours a week of photography for weeks on end getting nothing but LBJs, and would see £50 to dramatically increase their chances of getting the photo they want as a worthwhile way to use that money. If you don't want to do that, then don't, but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the option existing.
 
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Dale.
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#44
I'm one of those with nothing against paid hides, I've used paid 3 times in the last 2 years but I think the thread isn't about that. Even so, it's not easy, it still takes hours and there are no guarantees, but that's an aside.

A buddy of mine runs a few set ups, long story short, it's quite obvious about his passion for wildlife and still keeping it short, the kingfisher population is now much stonger in that area than it would've been. It''s not just kingfishers either. Again though, this is an aside but worthy of a mention.

One thing I feel is overlooked and one that really grinds my gears when paid hides get slated is the fact that some people are unfortunate enough to have disabilities, which means they can't climb up hill and down dale, people who can only access wildlife through hides and some of the operators are now now begining to provide disabled access to some hides. It's still not practical to provide this at some hides due to location of course but it's nice to see this aspect being addressed, at least in part. (y)

A point I'd like to make though, there really is nothing like going out and getting your own, putting the time in, researching, spending hours in the wild, often days, which become weeks, weeks become months (or I'm just no good at it:LOL:), maybe even setting up your own hide nearby to an active spot. Last Sunday as an example was an epic day for me. I've been working with kingfishers locally and it's taken me over 2 years to find a site they regularly use, it has become a bit of an obssession. Here's the killer though, the buggers have decided to nest there, this week, which means that as I'm not in possession of a Schedule 1 licence, I can't be anywhere near the nest. Well, correction, (I know, I've been looking into Sched 1 all this week), I can be near it, anybody can as long as you don't cause disturbance, but trust me, they are kingfishers, they will be disturbed, so I'm trumped. It's £5000 fine or 6 months in prison and instant confiscation of my gear if I'm caught. It's not worth it. More importantly though, it's the species that matters and I would never do anything to compromise them, period! So with that in mind, the fines etc don't matter, because I won't be caught, beacuse I won't be there whilst they are nesting. The buzz I got last week was incredible, my very own kingfisher site, which was going to be kept top secret but I can't and won't go there until they've finished nesting, so probably August/September onwards.

My point? It's a great feeling to find your own and I won't give up, sometimes, you just have to bide your time and it's free (gear aside). 'My' site is quite remote, will soon be covered in dense brambles and should be left in peace and will be if I have naything to do with it. However, if I fancy the notion, I would use my buddies' hides again in the meantime and I wouldn't mind giving him something for his trouble, within reason, I've seen the work that goes in. I can always sit in my own hide too, that is free (now) but I'm yet to see a kingfisher on my feeders. ;):LOL:

Back to the thread, the prices vary wildly, from £3-£4 for a red kite feeding station or RSPB hide at a reserve for example, to the hundreds even. I have a figure in my head that I would never go over and it's below £100 but now and again, I will pay, just as a treat, in the knowledge that the wildlife, at least at the places I go to, will be benefitting too. ;)(y)
 
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Nightmare
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#45
Now you know how the pros feel when you guys wander in and tell us that it's fine to photograph stuff for free (when what is being talked about should be a paid job).

Photography costs money. Providing the setting for decent photographs and the subjects costs money. It's a fairly basic formula.
All fair and wide words, until you get into fire straits of agencies paying out peanuts, and direct licenses way down because they can get it cheaper from crapperstock. Magazines want it all free and everything is so f***ed up that the whole game is like Airbnb for kingfishers catering to overpaid dentists and taking away from everyone else.
 
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#46
All fair and wide words, until you get into fire straits of agencies paying out peanuts, and direct licenses way down because they can get it cheaper from crapperstock. Magazines want it all free and everything is so f***ed up that the whole game is like Airbnb for kingfishers catering to overpaid dentists and taking away from everyone else.
? care to explain in English so most of us (or at least me) can understand.
 
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Robert
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#47
All fair and wide words, until you get into fire straits of agencies paying out peanuts, and direct licenses way down because they can get it cheaper from crapperstock. Magazines want it all free and everything is so f***ed up that the whole game is like Airbnb for kingfishers catering to overpaid dentists and taking away from everyone else.
Are you friends with Eric Cantona? :)
 
OP
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the black fox
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Jeff
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#48
This has moved from my original post ,I’m not against paid hides per se , they have been around for a long time and generally do a good job , but certain individuals are starting to do block bookings of some of them and charging exorbitant fees in the process sometimes double or treble what a individual would pay .. but as with everything it takes all sorts and I do see that if your working that it might be a way forward. Seems like the old adage is true thars gold in dem der hills
 
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Glynn
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#49
Like many others, I personally prefer to get all of my shots genuinely 'in the wild'. I spend day's in my hide waiting for my subject to turn up and strike the right pose for me.

Having said that, I am visiting the UK next month for a few days and have booked my space at Gigrin Farm, to ensure that I am almost guaranteed to get some decent shots of the Red Kites. I'm only in that area for a few hours, so don't have the time to shoot 'naturally'. - Now, I already know, that I will feel as though I have cheated and every time I look at those shots, it will be on my mind. BUT, at least I will have some shots.

Hopefully, I might also get some 'natural' shots whilst travelling through the area, but that can't be guaranteed.

I guess that all of these 'pay' locations have their place in the market, for many different reasons!
 
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David
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#50
Like many others, I personally prefer to get all of my shots genuinely 'in the wild'. I spend day's in my hide waiting for my subject to turn up and strike the right pose for me.

Having said that, I am visiting the UK next month for a few days and have booked my space at Gigrin Farm, to ensure that I am almost guaranteed to get some decent shots of the Red Kites. I'm only in that area for a few hours, so don't have the time to shoot 'naturally'. - Now, I already know, that I will feel as though I have cheated and every time I look at those shots, it will be on my mind. BUT, at least I will have some shots.

Hopefully, I might also get some 'natural' shots whilst travelling through the area, but that can't be guaranteed.

I guess that all of these 'pay' locations have their place in the market, for many different reasons!
For red kites there are villages in the Cotswolds where you can see them quite easily.

Some people say this is good - it was closed when I was there.
https://www.chrisscafe.co.uk/

I think I photographed them while waiting for my food at this place

http://mowchak.com/stokenchurch/

https://flic.kr/p/Jwiz4n View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/14586608@N08/27909907247/in/photolist-26FEdP7-Jwiz4n-25qcigm-285iRdy-25qcn4b



Sadly the light was awful that day.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#54
I'm one of those with nothing against paid hides, I've used paid 3 times in the last 2 years but I think the thread isn't about that. Even so, it's not easy, it still takes hours and there are no guarantees, but that's an aside.

A buddy of mine runs a few set ups, long story short, it's quite obvious about his passion for wildlife and still keeping it short, the kingfisher population is now much stonger in that area than it would've been. It''s not just kingfishers either. Again though, this is an aside but worthy of a mention.

One thing I feel is overlooked and one that really grinds my gears when paid hides get slated is the fact that some people are unfortunate enough to have disabilities, which means they can't climb up hill and down dale, people who can only access wildlife through hides and some of the operators are now now begining to provide disabled access to some hides. It's still not practical to provide this at some hides due to location of course but it's nice to see this aspect being addressed, at least in part. (y)

A point I'd like to make though, there really is nothing like going out and getting your own, putting the time in, researching, spending hours in the wild, often days, which become weeks, weeks become months (or I'm just no good at it:LOL:), maybe even setting up your own hide nearby to an active spot. Last Sunday as an example was an epic day for me. I've been working with kingfishers locally and it's taken me over 2 years to find a site they regularly use, it has become a bit of an obssession. Here's the killer though, the buggers have decided to nest there, this week, which means that as I'm not in possession of a Schedule 1 licence, I can't be anywhere near the nest. Well, correction, (I know, I've been looking into Sched 1 all this week), I can be near it, anybody can as long as you don't cause disturbance, but trust me, they are kingfishers, they will be disturbed, so I'm trumped. It's £5000 fine or 6 months in prison and instant confiscation of my gear if I'm caught. It's not worth it. More importantly though, it's the species that matters and I would never do anything to compromise them, period! So with that in mind, the fines etc don't matter, because I won't be caught, beacuse I won't be there whilst they are nesting. The buzz I got last week was incredible, my very own kingfisher site, which was going to be kept top secret but I can't and won't go there until they've finished nesting, so probably August/September onwards.

My point? It's a great feeling to find your own and I won't give up, sometimes, you just have to bide your time and it's free (gear aside). 'My' site is quite remote, will soon be covered in dense brambles and should be left in peace and will be if I have naything to do with it. However, if I fancy the notion, I would use my buddies' hides again in the meantime and I wouldn't mind giving him something for his trouble, within reason, I've seen the work that goes in. I can always sit in my own hide too, that is free (now) but I'm yet to see a kingfisher on my feeders. ;):LOL:

Back to the thread, the prices vary wildly, from £3-£4 for a red kite feeding station or RSPB hide at a reserve for example, to the hundreds even. I have a figure in my head that I would never go over and it's below £100 but now and again, I will pay, just as a treat, in the knowledge that the wildlife, at least at the places I go to, will be benefitting too. ;)(y)

Fantastic post. It must be really frustrating to find that all your carefully made plans come to nought when the kingfishers decide to go and nest on your hide's doorstep. But if you've seen them there regularly on a long-term basis and there's suitable habitat maybe it shouldn't be that much of a surprise?

Maybe there will be a bit of a grey area once the young fledge but are not yet independent. They will probably still use the area but you stand far less chance of actually disturbing them. I'm not recommending that but it might be worth a thought.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#55
Like many others, I personally prefer to get all of my shots genuinely 'in the wild'. I spend day's in my hide waiting for my subject to turn up and strike the right pose for me.

Having said that, I am visiting the UK next month for a few days and have booked my space at Gigrin Farm, to ensure that I am almost guaranteed to get some decent shots of the Red Kites. I'm only in that area for a few hours, so don't have the time to shoot 'naturally'. - Now, I already know, that I will feel as though I have cheated and every time I look at those shots, it will be on my mind. BUT, at least I will have some shots.

Hopefully, I might also get some 'natural' shots whilst travelling through the area, but that can't be guaranteed.

I guess that all of these 'pay' locations have their place in the market, for many different reasons!

You may have better luck at Gigrin now than taking pot luck. Although red kites (and buzzards) are incredibly common now around parts of mid-Wales, it's amazing how few and far between they seem to become once the eggs are laid and incubation starts. Random sightings have plumetted in the last 10 days although clearly the birds are still around.

I've subscribed to your blog too. looking forward to reading the next one.
 
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#56
That is a lot of money.
Each to their own I guess.
It's taken me a year and five sites to find a kingfisher but I am more than happy as finding widlife gives me great feeling.
I know about a Buzzard hide where the owner charges £30 and I am more than happy to pay it as to me it's a reasonable charge.
Members have posted some good reasons for using paid hides and as pointed out, it's ideal for disabled people.
 
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Dave
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#57
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?
My first thought too

Seems there's general disgust at folk wanting to make money, even a staggering £50 for a few hours, for folk to turn up with high probabilities of using their £10,000 of camera gear to soot something they'd otherwise maybe never get the chance of

A 'fair price' is whatever people are paying assuming enough pay it, this is simple market forces

My perspective as a camera club judge is a little different, in that I see images taken at paid events all the time now, and many are truly brilliant, but if someone has taught a bird/animal to come to a certain spot, then positioned a hide in the best place, tidied the background and is giving advice too on how to shoot it.... its NOT your photo - its cheating - IMHO that is - so moaning about the cost is crazy when you've already spent many thousands of £s on the gear to do it

Which might also be why I won't judge nature competitions any more lol - sadly they do sneak into 'Pictorial' too so I can't avoid them :(

Dave
 
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#58
Someone earlier on in the thread mentioned paying £4 to the RSPB for using a hide. If there are any bird photographers out there who are not already members of the RSPB they should have their kit confiscated!

I used to be sceptical about the RSPB having worked for them in the past but they do SO MUCH for wildlife conservation it should be a criminal offence for anyone interested in birds not to be a member......:bat:
 

Nod

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#59
RSPB membership is £48 per annum so if a non member visits more than once a month and pays their £4 per visit, the charity are better off.
 
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#60
My perspective as a camera club judge is a little different, in that I see images taken at paid events all the time now, and many are truly brilliant, but if someone has taught a bird/animal to come to a certain spot, then positioned a hide in the best place, tidied the background and is giving advice too on how to shoot it.... its NOT your photo - its cheating - IMHO that is - so moaning about the cost is crazy when you've already spent many thousands of £s on the gear to do it
That is an interesting perspective. How can you tell if the photographer has used a paid set-up? There are obvious ones like the osprey hide at Aviemore (Is it Rothiemurchus?). You do see quite a few images that are obviously taken at baited set-ups but how do you know that it's not the photographers own? The images that really bug me are the ones taken at "mirror pools" but there again they could be the photographers own.

RSPB membership is £48 per annum so if a non member visits more than once a month and pays their £4 per visit, the charity are better off.

That's a minimum. There are RSPB staff who say that membership fees are flexible "so how about £12?" They mean a month not a quarter! Their reserves have targets for number of visits and number of memberships obtained. Just one of the reasons why I...........(bites tongue and remembers previous post......).
 
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#61
Someone earlier on in the thread mentioned paying £4 to the RSPB for using a hide. If there are any bird photographers out there who are not already members of the RSPB they should have their kit confiscated!

I used to be sceptical about the RSPB having worked for them in the past but they do SO MUCH for wildlife conservation it should be a criminal offence for anyone interested in birds not to be a member......:bat:
I have been an RSPB member for years (though have never managed to get to that many reserves :( ) and I have worked for them between August 2016 until I retired last year.

Like you IMO I perhaps have some reservations about aspects of policy but the good outweighs all. I am also a member of my local Surrey WT and lapsed member of WWT.

Regular payment RSPB membership funds long-term plans, ad hoc paid reserve visiting is great but makes those longer term projects harder to plan for.........: steps off soapbox: ;) The minimum yearly subs equate to cost of approx a cup of coffee a month ~ surely most can afford that.

PS nearly forgot I bought a 12 month ticket for Warnham Nature Reserve last year for £12........such places and charities, as photographer users need our support!
 
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#62
That is an interesting perspective. How can you tell if the photographer has used a paid set-up? There are obvious ones like the osprey hide at Aviemore (Is it Rothiemurchus?). You do see quite a few images that are obviously taken at baited set-ups but how do you know that it's not the photographers own? The images that really bug me are the ones taken at "mirror pools" but there again they could be the photographers own.
In truth, you can't know, only suspect. So I have no option but to award an awesome image the highest of marks

To date though, and yes I do ask, EVERY winning image where I suspect it was shot in a pre-prepared venue where they just turned up and shot them WAS shot that way

Shooting like this for your own wall is fine btw, even if I do feel its a bit 'fake', its just entering them into comps where others have put in far more effort & skill and still not achieved such a cracking image is the problem for me; its not really a level playing field - again all in my opinion. Oh and don't get me started on folks going on Landscape Photography Holidays to Iceland either lol

Dave
 
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#63
Each to their own I guess.
It's taken me a year and five sites to find a kingfisher but I am more than happy as finding widlife gives me great feeling.
I know about a Buzzard hide where the owner charges £30 and I am more than happy to pay it as to me it's a reasonable charge.
Members have posted some good reasons for using paid hides and as pointed out, it's ideal for disabled people.
That is a lot more reasonable where is it?
 
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#64
RSPB membership is £48 per annum so if a non member visits more than once a month and pays their £4 per visit, the charity are better off.
As I say in my post above, a subs membership means planning is more "plannable". As a member if you go more often, in regard to your thought, there is s cash box to increase your contribution ad hoc :)

That's a minimum. There are RSPB staff who say that membership fees are flexible "so how about £12?" They mean a month not a quarter! Their reserves have targets for number of visits and number of memberships obtained. Just one of the reasons why I...........(bites tongue and remembers previous post......).
Suffice to say ~ I had oh so many folk tell me "you would get more money if you had a collection box.......than signing up members....". The flip side was how generous some folk were with their monthly subs!
 
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#65
Their reserves have targets for number of visits and number of memberships obtained. Just one of the reasons why I...........(bites tongue and remembers previous post......).
I find that very interesting - but unsurprising for a business like RSPB.
 
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#67
My perspective as a camera club judge is a little different, in that I see images taken at paid events all the time now, and many are truly brilliant, but if someone has taught a bird/animal to come to a certain spot, then positioned a hide in the best place, tidied the background and is giving advice too on how to shoot it.... its NOT your photo
Interesting view from the aspect of "your"

If it were a copyright discussion it would be "your" but in this particular aspect/perspective NOT YOUR. I assume this is because the lines are blurred between WILDlife and TRAINEDANIMALlife photography?

Rules of competition should cover this off i suspect.
 
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#68
Interesting view from the aspect of "your"

If it were a copyright discussion it would be "your" but in this particular aspect/perspective NOT YOUR. I assume this is because the lines are blurred between WILDlife and TRAINEDANIMALlife photography?

Rules of competition should cover this off i suspect.

Interesting point!

Probably most professional wildlife photographers AND filmakers use baited hides at some point. It would fascinating to know some of the techniques they use. We'd probably be surprised......

But amateurs and professionals using paid-for baited hides do throw up some interesting dilemmas.
 
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#69
This has moved from my original post ,I’m not against paid hides per se , they have been around for a long time and generally do a good job , but certain individuals are starting to do block bookings of some of them and charging exorbitant fees in the process sometimes double or treble what a individual would pay .. but as with everything it takes all sorts and I do see that if your working that it might be a way forward. Seems like the old adage is true thars gold in dem der hills

Now that's a complaint I can understand. It's effectively ticket touting.
 
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#71
Yes. But then most event and performance tickets have the same codicil. Where the agencies get around this (as opposed to illegal touts) is by charging an admin/transaction fee.
 
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#72
Interesting point!

Probably most professional wildlife photographers AND filmakers use baited hides at some point. It would fascinating to know some of the techniques they use. We'd probably be surprised......

But amateurs and professionals using paid-for baited hides do throw up some interesting dilemmas.
There was a recent "scandal" where a prize winner in the Hamdan International Photography Award staged the photo.

https://petapixel.com/2019/03/18/the-winning-photo-of-the-120k-hipa-prize-was-apparently-staged/

As a photo I don't think you can argue its very well shot (else it wouldn't have won in the first place) But as the theme was "hope" and it was described as intense humanitarian moment it is questionable whether a staged image can fulfil the characterisation of an intense ..... moment, so failed between the portrayal and the output.
 
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#73
This has moved from my original post ,I’m not against paid hides per se , they have been around for a long time and generally do a good job , but certain individuals are starting to do block bookings of some of them and charging exorbitant fees in the process sometimes double or treble what a individual would pay .. but as with everything it takes all sorts and I do see that if your working that it might be a way forward. Seems like the old adage is true thars gold in dem der hills
Now I can understand this point. I’ve notice previously and again this year with quite a few part time photographers booking up hides to run their own workshops. To be honest it doesn’t bother me that much now because there are two possible outcomes. Either it’s going to be a big success for them or a big failure. To be honest most of the places aren’t that difficult to find out about (and the price) yourself so you if you don’t want the tuition then it’s pretty pointless booking on them just to get access. The likelihood is everyone will work this out in the future and it will fail to bring in the numbers unless you are very well known.

A few years back I stayed on Skomer for 3 years running, but nearly every year I was there a photography group was there too. Their block booking made it harder to get a room and it meant it felt like there were too many photographers at times. Just think what the birders feel when photographers are taking over like they are there. The problem we had was we tried to avoid the photography groups but it didn’t work out as everyone books at the same time. There are things the trust could do, especially for the birders who have probably gone for several years before the ‘wildlife photographers’ have nearly taken over. I haven’t been back for the last few years. In the end they will improve it but I honestly think they are currently in a position where they need as much money as possible but don’t have the resources to solve it and make more for themselves. The current situation works for them.

The problem with paid hides is the likelihood is everyone who goes ends up with identical images. Whilst I’ve enjoyed some of them it has felt an anticlimax when you see the photos. I would still go on them but only where it’s getting access to something or somewhere you normally can’t yet still need to work to get your own photos. Sitting and taking the same photo as everyone else just feels like being on a conveyor belt.
 
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#74
Having done a few trips to Scotland, we have employed, or made shared use of, guides regularly. They know where to look, they know when to look, and generally they have permission to be on private land.

If it's their livelihood (and some paid to shoot hides probably are too) work goes in behind the scenes and not just the time you spend with them or at the hide needs to be covered. When we were last on Mull, we had 9 days and never saw an eagle in the air as it was raining most of the time. But getting to see wild otters, Hen Harriers, SEO's etc was fantastic..

We even visited a couple of the sites that were public, only to see the Eagles still in the trees because they were still wet :rolleyes:

It was worth every penny that we paid though.
 
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#75
Interesting view from the aspect of "your"

If it were a copyright discussion it would be "your" but in this particular aspect/perspective NOT YOUR. I assume this is because the lines are blurred between WILDlife and TRAINEDANIMALlife photography?

Rules of competition should cover this off i suspect.

Its defo 'yours' legally, but not artistically or for me ethically - and no its not covered off in club comps normally

This is the same sort of problem Wedding togs see all the time where you can easily spot a "portfolio day" shot in amongst many online portfolios, because the portfolio day shot is a stunning B&G in a great venue, posing beautifully, well lit - because the person who organised the day has set it up that way; it then stands out like a sore thumb amongst all the crap they actually take themselves !!! It'd be funny if it wasn't that they are using someone else's work to promote themselves when they are not at that standard. I've even attended a Wedding Fayre where two togs had slideshows with the same photos scrolling through !!! Idiot con artists - grrrr

Dave
 
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#76
Go back about 30 years and the paid for hide did not exist but nature photography was not that popular and every body knew most of the other photographers, who worked their own patch, doing all the field craft and constructing hides as required. Often you would work with someone else or trade "time" in your hide for time in theirs. Money very rarely changed hands. The change really started about 15 years ago when wildlife photographers who had made a reasonable living taking and selling pictures to multiple outlets came up against firstly digital cameras which were easy and enjoyable to use and secondly the internet which allowed agencies to pile em high and sell them cheap. Some of these people then diversified into paid for hides and guided trips too improve their income streams. Such is progress and if there is a demand then rightly or wrongly someone will try to fill it. Provided its done ethically without detriment to the species then its up to the individual to decide what they are happy to pay wether its direct or inflated via a so called instructor/tutor.
 
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Dale.
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#78
Fantastic post. It must be really frustrating to find that all your carefully made plans come to nought when the kingfishers decide to go and nest on your hide's doorstep. But if you've seen them there regularly on a long-term basis and there's suitable habitat maybe it shouldn't be that much of a surprise?
How very dare they? :LOL:


Maybe there will be a bit of a grey area once the young fledge but are not yet independent. They will probably still use the area but you stand far less chance of actually disturbing them. I'm not recommending that but it might be worth a thought.
It's all a bit grey, technically, I could be there at any time, as the hides already exist and I could go in before daylight, stay the day, downwind, the kingfishers would never know I'm there and therefore, no disturbance. I wouldn't want to try proving that though and I don't condone it. I will wait, with ants in my pants admittedly, until the breeding season is over, I can observe from a distance in passing, there's a public area quite close by but far enough away. As the saying goes, "the species is more important than the photograph." (y) :)

Apologies to Jeff for going off topic.


Back on topic.,

All aspects of photography seem to be expensive and getting more so. For me it's a hobby and I accept it's an expensive one. Like my Wife says about it though, (she's a keeper incidentally) " you don't smoke, you don't drink much, so you may as well spend it on something", so photography gets my vote because I enjoy most (not so keen on the silly o'clock mornings), if not all aspects of it. That said, I do have a cut off as previously mentioned as to what I'd pay for a hide day (and a limit to how many I'd go to in any given year) as I also do for what I'd pay for a camera or lens, although that limit is considerably higher than what I'd pay for a hide day.

Jeff is right though, some places, particularly where workshops are concerned seem to be inflatng their prices recently. I think ultimately, it may be up to us as consumers of these things to vote with our feet when it all gets a bit out of hand. People will pay it, there's the problem. :)
 
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the black fox
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#79
as I keep trying to point out its not the established businesses that are the problem its the get rich quick merchants , I suppose supply and demand come into it but there's no way that I would pay a couple of hundred quid or more to take ospreys diving , or £50 for a couple of hours . if you take it that hide will be in use 10 hours a day 7 days a week that works out at around £1750 a week x 2 . even if that's pushing the limit and its rounded down to £1500 x 2 thats still 3k + a week and thats with only two people using the hide bet that gets expanded fairly quickly .. even taking initial costs for a wooden building into account the building will have paid for itself in a couple of weeks then its all profit
 
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#80
as I keep trying to point out its not the established businesses that are the problem its the get rich quick merchants , I suppose supply and demand come into it but there's no way that I would pay a couple of hundred quid or more to take ospreys diving , or £50 for a couple of hours . if you take it that hide will be in use 10 hours a day 7 days a week that works out at around £1750 a week x 2 . even if that's pushing the limit and its rounded down to £1500 x 2 thats still 3k + a week and thats with only two people using the hide bet that gets expanded fairly quickly .. even taking initial costs for a wooden building into account the building will have paid for itself in a couple of weeks then its all profit
I doubt any hides that do 2 hour slots are full in that way every hour of the day of every week. It’s likely they are empty majority of the time especially when there are only certain peak periods of activity with many wildlife species.

I’ve not been to any of the osprey hides in Scotland so can’t say what that’s like. The one in Rutland only runs once around sunrise and once near sunset. They used to provide a spotter who has a wider view to spot any incoming ospreys and radios the heads up to you so there is the additional cost of a person time there too.
 
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