The Dark Side of Photography: When Getting the ‘Best’ Shot is Just Plain Wrong

I firmly believe that photography is a powerful force for good in this world.

As reportage, it opens our eyes to tragedies we might otherwise ignore; as landscape or wildlife photography, it reveals a beauty we too often take for granted, and encourages us to treat the planet with the respect it demands; as portraiture, it reminds us that each person has uncharted and unfathomable depths to their humanity that we may never truly understand.

But there is a line. Cross it, and the art of photography is twisted into something that does harm—into vandalism, and animal cruelty, and doing outright harm to the environment in the name of a pretty picture.

This post is about the dark side of photography.

Three Stories


Abusing Your Subject

Jimmy McIntyre recently captured a photo he’s been dreaming of for years. In China, standing waist deep in the Li river, he finally shot a portrait of the famed cormorant fishermen.

But the experience came at a cost. Continue reading