Neil outlines his commitment to ethical photography in the following statement:
“In producing my work, I aim to adhere to the stringent ethical standards expected of a practicing conservation photographer.
The subject’s wellbeing and needs always come before my own need to capture a photograph.
I do not live bait my subjects. If I aim to attract an animal for photographic purposes, I aim to use scent baiting, which involves the careful placement of a strong-smelling naturally-occurring food derivative, such as honey or oils (depending on the subject). This practice limits the impact on my subject’s actions, expectations and, importantly, relationship with people other than myself.
I only photograph subjects that are captive (usually temporarily due to rehabilitation or translocation) when their own circumstances add to the conservation or environmental message of my story.
I use flash sensitively and only when necessary. Wherever possible, I use off-camera flashes placed widely so as not to trigger directly into the eyes of my subject and at greatly reduced power output. I do believe that flash use has its place in photography but only when used considerately and with knowledge of the specific subject in mind. I also remain open to learning from scientific findings around the impact of flash use in photography, both underwater and terrestrial.
I process my digital images within with the accepted guidelines and expectations of leading photography institutions, publications and competitions. I aim to process my images using digital software in a way that reproduces a faithful representation of reality, keeping cropping to a minimum and only cloning out dust and noise artefacts.”