Untolerable behavior observed at Mandai Orchid Garden


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kcuf2

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Dec 29, 2005
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#1
I was at Mandai Orchid Garden today and I had a shock of my life. More than 5 Cameras with long lens and flashes (think canon 1d series with 500mm f4, 580ex with quantum batts) were set up, all pointing towards a sunbird nest. In it, stays a baby bird.

Everyone was waiting for the adult sunbird to fly back to the nest to feed the baby, so that they could shoot the procedure of the adult feeding the baby thru the mouth.

Indeed, it was a wonderful scene and a scene not to be missed. However, during the short time frame of the mother feeding the baby, the flashes were flashed continuously.

One particular lady and 2 guys (all 3 above 40+ years old) used the continuous high speed function and flashed at the sunbirds. Each of these flashes are bursting >5 flash per second into the adult sunbird and babies' eyes! These bursting procedure lasted approximately 10 seconds before the adult fly off to search for food again.

To put things in perspective, 3 flashes x 10seconds x 5fps = 150 flashes for that feeding moment!

The whole gang just sat beside the bird nest and waited for the adult to return before they resume their aggressive behaviour of bursting the flashes on the birds AGAIN!!

Quantum batts may be powerful and aids in the fast recharging of the flash's capacitor, but that doesnt grant the user the right to wilfully and ignorantly use the flash on animals!

These ppl by all means look mature to me, but I just could not comprehend why would they perform such aggressive action on the birds. Their behavior is simply a mirror image of a gang of well built bullies rounding up a severely underweight kid.

I really wonder if these ppl could tolerate me flashing my SB800 at 1/1 power into their eyes at 8fps? Do you like to be flashed continuously the whole day? I bet you will be seeing stars after 1 second of 8fps and you couldn’t tolerate it.

Put yourself in the shoes of the baby bird. The birds can’t even fend for themselves and yet they have to tolerate rounds of flashes after flashes. If I m the bird, I would be scared the hell lot out of my ass but I couldn’t do anything.

So to all those avian photographers who proclaim to love birds, please practice social responsibility and love the birds! Please behave in a mature manner and put yourself in the shoes of the birds and use your mature brain to think about whether you could tolerate your own actions before you unleash your ruthless behavior on the birds.

Please treat them the way you would treat your own child. And to all those who have been shooting birds by flashing at high fps, please stop that ruthless practice.
 

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phazed1

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Jan 19, 2009
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#2
Very true. The birds would not know what a flash or a camera is, and their first instinct is fear. Same for other animals too.
 

Garion

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Nov 26, 2002
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West side of S'pore
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#3
Sounds very familiar.....all I can say is that this has been happening many times in the past already. Its sad that this is happening, but with the flood of new and enthusiastic nature photographers, it seems ethics has been shoved out the window in favour of wanting to "get the shot". Its not new, and its been happening for years now....sighting of rare birds, nesting birds etc....seems to immediately trigger a swarm of photographers to the scene with big gear and long lenses and flash extenders, all wanting to get the shot and not caring two hoots about the wellfare of the animal in question.

Well one fine day the local scene might become like what is happening in the UK where you need to obtain license to shoot rare or endangered birds.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#4
what to do, everyone is only concerned about the legal aspect

they forget that humans are more than just law-abiders.. there is something more than that, i would like to think.

if we cannot even respect each other, no need to even talk about animals.
 

liarliar

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May 13, 2007
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#5
:think:

So we need flash in broad daylight after all even with all those asspensive high end equipment?
 

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Daedalus Trent

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Apr 15, 2008
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#6
:think:

So we need flash in broad daylight after all even with all those asspensive high end equipment?
yes, in a blunt, cold and practical sense, they do need the extra light :sweat:


Anyway, thanks for sharing kcuf2. That must have been a really nasty experience ;( Just a question though, would popping just a single flash (or two) be acceptable? :think:
 

liarliar

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May 13, 2007
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#7
Nature photographers. I personally feel not to judge people by what they wear. A nature photographer also know better two is usually the greatest number for a nature shoot most of the time. Animals are usually intimidated by humans, especially when they come in a group camping their cams out in the open taking no measures to blend themselves withhin the environment. Nature photographers usually wear rugged clothings and gear suited for getting mud and dirt on them:bsmilie:

I have seen many times guys birding in small groups or alone. They are able to shoot with long lens without machine gunning flashes 50~100mm approximately away from the subjects.
 

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Reno

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2005
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#8
Thanks Kcuf2 for pointing this out. I have seen worse case like the surrounding environment of the nesting area was "renovated" so that the photographer could get the perfect shot. This is very sadding as by changing the surrounding environment of the nesting area, you will stress the parent bird which might abandon the nest and chick.
 

alreadym3

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May 4, 2009
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#9
:angry::angry: Is those people sadist or what, they ought to be gun down!

We are just invaders entering the world of wildlife habitats. While taking any photos or documenting them, they ought to be respect and these should be done in the most discreet manners without disturbing their life.

Their inmature behavoir may discourage these little wildlife to nest nearer to us in future resulting a change in eco :sweat::sweat:. A moment of priceless shots, A lifetime of priceless loss.

"I'm not a enviromentalist, and I still use aircon. I enjoy taking photos of wildlife around my nursery, and this is what I learn...... when they (wildlife) sense you are not a threat to them, they will be more confortable with you around taking photos of them.Leave them as how you find them unless they are pest!";)
 

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devilry

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Feb 16, 2006
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#10
i feel sad that there so such people around. they are just sadist!
 

kuanwk

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May 1, 2004
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#12
Did u take any pics of them?
With flash
Multiple times.
 

stor

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Dec 22, 2002
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#13
Infact, in many circumstances in Avian photography, flash usage is not needed. I have came across so many cases when using flash is absolutely not needed and these photographers were flashing away at the birds in broad daylight.

Sad to say that those claimed to be the season bird photographers also gunning away with flashes. The only reason that I could think of is they do not have proper basics of photography even after been shooting for many years.:bsmilie:

Whatever was seen in this incident will continue as Singaporean have great purchasing power for big guns and ready to chase for their dream shots at all expense.
 

Mar 19, 2006
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#14
I have seen worse...

A senior guy who was apparently the trainer for a school photography club...
he line up his whole club... about 20 students around the nest and all of them fire off the flashes for almost 1 hour....
not only experienced do it.... they are also contaminating the younger newer generation....

ahhh!!!!!!!
 

DeSwitch

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Oct 28, 2005
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#15
Saw them on sat morning. Lately there had been many cases of failed nesting or Chick died. In 90% of the cases, the person mentioned is involved. There is not much we can do because we got fired back when we approached them. One of them bombarded us with these phrases:

1. "Is the tree yours?"
2. "You are not my Father, I can do what I want."
3. "I'm not harassing the birds, in fact you are harassing me."
4. "You are a foreigner, this place is not yours"

We really dont know what we can do but to stop posting birds photos and not to disclose any nesting or even bird sightings.

But these are not stopping them because they can get info from a "certain" club.

:bheart:
 

tsiya

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Aug 3, 2009
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St Augustine, Florida, USA
#16
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is here, near my home, and it has a large wading bird rookery. Each day during the nesting season large numbers of people are in close proximity to the nesting birds, many of them taking flash assisted photos. The birds pay almost no attention to these people at all. The birds quickly learn that they will not be harmed. Some of them nest so close to the catwalk that you could reach out and touch them.
 

RedBawa

New Member
May 11, 2007
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#17
someone tell this to some of the underwater photogs, PLEASE..
 

#18
People will be people. Ignorance is bliss. Those of us that know better can only hope that our perspective will continue to be advocated, perhaps one day moreso than these so-called "experienced" people teaching young impressionables bad habits in photography and in life in general. Don't be discouraged by what anyone says back. Let your voice be heard. As soon as one of them asked if I owned the tree, I'd be all over them asking them the same thing. Hypocrisy, ignorance and stupidity (among other things) seem to be eternal bedfellows. When you get down to it, no one "owns" anything. It's also not the first time I've seen/heard a visitor have more respect for an area and question the accepted standards more than the locals. The human condition persuades us to take our immediate surroundings for granted over time. Let us hope that mindfullness eventually prevails.
 

Reno

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2005
2,324
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Land of the Teddy Bear
#19
Infact, in many circumstances in Avian photography, flash usage is not needed. I have came across so many cases when using flash is absolutely not needed and these photographers were flashing away at the birds in broad daylight.

Sad to say that those claimed to be the season bird photographers also gunning away with flashes. The only reason that I could think of is they do not have proper basics of photography even after been shooting for many years.:bsmilie:

Whatever was seen in this incident will continue as Singaporean have great purchasing power for big guns and ready to chase for their dream shots at all expense.
Sometimes flash is necessary and depends on how the photographers set the flash. Most of the time Fill flash is sufficient but not full power flash... The bird sure see "STARS"...
 

hongwen37

New Member
May 19, 2009
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Hougang, Singapore
#20
We should start in ClubSnap to stop such behaviour.. I see that alot of times people praised the skill of the photographer who posted photos of wildlife, and those photos were taken with flashes...

We should stop giving praise to such photographers which will encourage them to flash even more birds and animals...

We should even ban them from uploading such photos to CS!!!
 

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