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Full Version: Wildlife - No photography allowed
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Hiya all! Just got back from my trip to Phillip Island, where the main attraction for tourists is the Penguin Parade. They've built some seating right up on the beach where the little fairy penguins come at dusk each night, to return to their burrows. It's quite a good experience, just watching the little tackers bob in on the waves, gather in groups and then march inland...

I was quite disappointed though, after bringing my tripod and long zoom lens, to find some large signs saying "no photography outside of the visitor centre". Yes, you read right. No photography period. Not "no flash photography", but rather, "no photography".

I do understand that these are wildlife and it's in very dark conditions - so thousands of flashes going off will probably have some adverse effect on the penguins. But a couple of things - people generally get there about 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset/penguins - and I wanted to get some photos of the sunset and my family, but still no photography means no photography. The other thing is that I was planning on using a tripod and no flash, but no photography means no photography.

I suppose the counter argument is that most people with point and shoots wouldn't know what long exposure means let alone know how to turn their flashes off. And as soon as one person pulls out a camera, everyone else would follow suit. But still, it's quite disappointing when people who know what they're doing get disadvantaged because of the ignorance of others...

Anyway, I did manage to sneak in a few penguin photos, so enjoy:

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IT's probably more to stop people harrassing the penguins by trying to get close to them than the flash issue. There are places around here that don't allow photography during breeding season for the Elephant seals, to discourage people from getting close to them.
Closeness is not an issue - they have specific areas for people to sit that are roped off so people can't cross onto the beach, and also rangers that are present during the whole time to enforce the rules...
I really can imagine how disappointing it was for you.... I can imagine that the use of flash may disturb the penguins, but also I think that allowing to take pictures would affect the sale of souvenirs... Sometimes the profit of those stores helps to maintain the place in good conditions... in such case they should sell permits to take pictures, and give to those people a special area to photograph where they can get a nice picture without disturbing the penguins...

must be one of those studit rules laws of no photography in a national park. you need to have a permit and contact the people in charge

also maybe the penguin get strees out and do not lay eggs. it happens with ostriches...uuhmm diferent birds.

But was it strickly followed that you'd not take photos of the penguins or was it technically possible to photograph them secretly?
They had rangers present the whole time, asking people to put their cameras away. I was pulled up for having my PDA out (no videos please) even though it didn't even have a camera on it - I was just reading an ebook to kill the time. A woman 3 rows back pulled her camera out and was told off quicksmart...

I suppose in the darkness one could have pulled out a camera and pulled off some shots sneakily, but I wasn't going to stoop to that level.
Humn, very odd. But guess they have their own reasons for doing so.
There were probably people to begin with who wouldn't respect sort of looser rules, you know how people are. When was the last time you watched a movie without someone's cellphone going off?
Sad and annoying as it is, in most cases, superstrict rules and enforcement are a response to some silly people.
I think you got a few great shots there! :-)