Something for bird-photographers to note

To: Syd Curtis <>
Subject: Something for bird-photographers to note
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 16:45:31 +1100
Hello all,

My feeling on this issue is that if a photographer was to sell photographs that have been taken in a particular national park then this is the best form of advertising for the good job that the National Parks is doing at conserving nature. It is in a way a recommendation and an affirmation for how important National Parks are, and it is encouraging people to take an interest in nature and in National Parks in general.

The idea of charging for this free advertising is ludicrous in my opinion. Yet according to legislation in most states that is the way it stands. It depends very much on the National Parks staff involved whether it is enforced. I don't have a problem with their being a fee involved for Home & Away to film in a National Park or the next big Silver Screen blockbuster. However, if someone is putting together wildlife films in national parks (no matter how profitable) I don't think they should have to pay any fees. After all, it is more free advertising.

I might be a bit naive for today's privatised world but I thought that National Parks were paid for by the taxpayer and they were for the benefit of all, ie their intrinsic important conservation benefit. The argument that if you want to enjoy them you have to pay for the luxury suggests one attitude to me. And that is that National Parks are not really of any conservation benefit, they are simply a theme park provided by the government that all visitors must pay to use.

I object to this attitude. The majority of the populace might not care whether or not we have National Parks but I believe that they are still critically important for conservation, for everybody, not just the nature-lovers. Making the nature-lovers pay for their existence is beyond the pale for me!

Now I have to get down from my hobby horse..... crikey its a long way down!



Michael Todd Wildlifing Images & Sounds of Nature Toronto, NSW, Australia 04101 23715

Syd Curtis wrote:

On the recommended web-page (see below) Nick Rains says:

"Most photographers that I know are not in it for the money anyway, it's all
about commitment to nature and the desire to record and share the wonders of
creation. You can count the number of rich wildlife photographers in
Australia on the fingers of one foot."

Wonder whose foot it is that has the finger to count for Steve Parish?

On a more general note, can anyone inform birding-aus how much on average an
advertising agency charges for a commercial adv. for prime-time TV?  And how
much the TV Channel charges the advertising firm for showing it?  Pertinent
surely, to any consideration of the appropriateness of any fee charged by a
park service.

Many millions of tax-payer dollars are spent annually on administering and
managing Australia's national parks.  If beautiful scenery on a N P is
filmed to provide background for advertising a product that has nothing to
do with the park or nature conservation, I have no problem with the
advertising firm having to contribute, albeit indirectly, to the cost of
caring for the park.

It is surely unlikely that any government would legislate to prevent park
visitors from taking photographs just for later non-commercial enjoyment by
their friends and themselves - if not from sweet reason, then because of the
enormous problem of checking for permits all visitors with cameras, issuing
permits, and organising the check-in and safe storage at the park entrance,
of photographic equipment belonging to those declining to take out a permit.

But where to draw the line between the two extremes?

Presumably the company that makes David Attenborough wildlife films isn't
doing so at a loss.  Should they contribute, via permit fees, to the cost of
park maintenance?  Probably, yes.

But someone taking still photographs with the hope of selling an article to
a magazine, and with no certainty of acceptance?  Difficult!

In the last case, I suggest that one solution might be to have a basic
permit of minimum cost per unit of time, to act primarily as a form of
registration of an intent to make commercial use of the photographs/films.
Then a requirement to pay a more substantial fee at the time when commercial
use is actually made of the photography, with the fee doubled if the basic
registration was not made, and some form of additional penalty if commercial
use proceeds without any registration, etc.

That's the direction my feelings run, but I can also see some reason in
arguing that the total cost of caring for the parks should come from the
public purse and no fees be charged at all for photography even if
commercial.  Those of us who don't get any income from commercial
photography simply subsidise those who do, and hope that we get other
benefits for the tax we pay to compensate.

BTW, I seem to recall that in at least some situations in the United States,
the use of a tripod is deemed to make photography "commercial" and therefore
liable to fee-paying.  So consider using a mono-pod if travelling there. :-)

Syd Curtis in Brisbane.

From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 09:24:49 +1000
To: <>
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Something for bird-photographers to note

Hi to the bird-photographers on this forum,

My previous comments on this topic were met with a high degree of indifference
and disbelief but I
do think it is worth considering if only from a point of view of being aware.

There has been a growing number of complaints that the 'right' to take
photographs in public places
without requiring a permit is being limited in a number of areas.

For one person's observation on this topic look at this web-page:

The information on this page refers to the Australian scene so could be of
interest to a number of
people on Birding-Aus.

Just remember that this is one person's view-point and experience and other
people do not see the
'problem' in the same light.
After corresponding with the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service I
can only assume that
there is a great deal of truth in Nick Rains words.

Bob Inglis
Woody Point

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