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Skullduggery in the Wildlife Photographer Comp


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#21 Tom_Kline

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:14 AM

I really think there should ... Or a separate category for remote controlled shots...

Dive safe

DeanB


This is kind of a Pandora's box. Remote control is but one technique. Having a special category for just one technique could lead to requests for those doing other techniques to also have their own category ....

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#22 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:32 AM

I have no problem with remote shots, I think the wolf shows that these shots are just as much of a challenge as if the photographer was there. They should be judged as images.

I do have a problem with last year's snow leopards, not because they were remote shots, but because I did not rate them as images. The snow leopard looks inanimate in all the frames, it looks like a stuffed snow leopard from a museum (I know it is not). I think the wolf is a beautiful remotely triggered shot. Shows what can be achieved with the technique.

I know that there are complaints about not having the photographer looking through the view finder and composing exactly before firing, but we have that in underwater with images like the lemon snaps at tiger beach. I believe the images should be judged as images, all techniques have opportunities for excellence, difficulty and creativity.

Alex

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#23 Tom_Kline

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:51 AM

I know that there are complaints about not having the photographer looking through the view finder and composing exactly before firing, but we have that in underwater with images like the lemon snaps at tiger beach. I believe the images should be judged as images, all techniques have opportunities for excellence, difficulty and creativity.

Alex



I have now tens of thousands of salmon pix where I did not actually look through the finder but was standing, squatting, etc. nearby and shot the pic by estimating my subjects location within the frame and shot the frame using a cable release (a.k.a. remote control).

A spin-off approach is to do this in motor drive mode. This works best when there is no strobe being used. I used this FPS approach for available light pix at f/1.8 with a Sigma 20mm. In this case I guessed that a fish was entering the frame area and started a 4 FPS burst. I posted an example a couple days ago in the available light thread (strobe etc. sub-forum).

Besides error in getting the shutter to fire at the optimal time, surface conditions can interfere with composing by looking down from above. Lots of rain hitting the surface is most problematic, followed by waves. Flat calm conditions are ideal. I have used a second camera to take a snap of the other to see if its position was OK as a solution to the wave problem.

Obviously a fisheye lens works best for this! I have many many outtakes where part of a salmon is cut by the frame edge. A few of these however are keepers nevertheless. :lol:

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#24 bvanant

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:49 AM

I'm thinking your are right ... I need to install my 'across the pond' joke translator !!!

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Not so necessary, some of us over here in the colonies actually got it.
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#25 DeanB

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 12:01 PM

This is kind of a Pandora's box. Remote control is but one technique. Having a special category for just one technique could lead to requests for those doing other techniques to also have their own category ....


Granted ... And remote shooting as Alex said can be a challenge as well ... Especially with 'wild' subjects. Without prior knowledge Predicting were they will pass is a difficult thing...

Personally I still think it should be a different category ... Manned or unmanned sort of thing ... I'm not trying to take away any kudos as I know each has their own skill but Being there and getting the shot would be a greater achievement than being tucked up in bed 3 miles away waiting for the results... Kinda like have a submersible underwater taking your shots while you drink a cold one onboard ...

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#26 Tom_Kline

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 12:22 PM

Granted ... And remote shooting as Alex said can be a challenge as well ... Especially with 'wild' subjects. Without prior knowledge Predicting were they will pass is a difficult thing...

Personally I still think it should be a different category ... Manned or unmanned sort of thing ... I'm not trying to take away any kudos as I know each has their own skill but Being there and getting the shot would be a greater achievement than being tucked up in bed 3 miles away waiting for the results... Kinda like have a submersible underwater taking your shots while you drink a cold one onboard ...

Dive safe

DeanB



How do you know they were in bed? I would be carefully watching the set-up to make sure nothing bad happened to it (at least if it was something expensive such as a dSLR).

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
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#27 DeanB

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 01:01 PM

How do you know they were in bed? I would be carefully watching the set-up to make sure nothing bad happened to it (at least if it was something expensive such as a dSLR).


:lol: ... Obviously I don't on this occasion ... But I know some do leave remote cams going over night on other shoots ...

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#28 Tom_Kline

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:09 PM

:lol: ... Obviously I don't on this occasion ... But I know some do leave remote cams going over night on other shoots ...

Dive safe

DeanB



I guess they can afford to have something happen to their gear.

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#29 randapex

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:33 PM

And with remote photography, you can honestly say: "Wow, your camera takes nice pictures".... :lol:
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#30 Tom_Kline

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 04:09 PM

And with remote photography, you can honestly say: "Wow, your camera takes nice pictures".... :D



ROTFL!!!!! :lol: ;)

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
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Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
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#31 ErolE

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:30 PM

Alex,

You mentioned that past pictures have been proven to be outside the rules. Out of interest do you happen to have any examples?

Erol
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#32 jordi

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 01:39 AM

When I first saw the wolf picture, I suspected the wolf was captive but it is difficult to demostrate. Jose Luis Rodriguez is a very well-known photographer in Spain but he is also known by using captive animals and buy creating behaviours (feeding owls with mouses) in the animals he photographs. He has amaizing pictures and he is very good using infrared barriers to trigger the camera remotely.
WPOY has given some prizes in the past with pictures of captive animals. For example the picture attached below got prize in 2003 and even in the description text was explained in some newspapers (theguardian.co.uk), and if I am not wrong it was even explained in the WPOY 2003 book


"M.S. won the 'underwater world' category with this image of a loggerhead turtle being released back into the Mediterranean off the west shore of Formentera Island.", The Guardian newspaper

The turtle was in a veterinarian center, for healing of its wounds, after been fished by bycath (longline) and when it was cured it was released again to the sea... but just before a "shooting session" in the cave.
What's the difference with the wolf?

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Edited by jordi, 20 December 2009 - 01:59 AM.


#33 DeanB

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 02:29 AM

When I first saw the wolf picture, I suspected the wolf was captive but it is difficult to demostrate. Jose Luis Rodriguez is a very well-known photographer in Spain but he is also known by using captive animals and buy creating behaviours (feeding owls with mouses) in the animals he photographs. He has amaizing pictures and he is very good using infrared barriers to trigger the camera remotely.
WPOY has given some prizes in the past with pictures of captive animals. For example the picture attached below got prize in 2003 and even in the description text was explained in some newspapers (theguardian.co.uk), and if I am not wrong it was even explained in the WPOY 2003 book


"M.S. won the 'underwater world' category with this image of a loggerhead turtle being released back into the Mediterranean off the west shore of Formentera Island.", The Guardian newspaper

The turtle was in a veterinarian center, for healing of its wounds, after been fished by bycath (longline) and when it was cured it was released again to the sea... but just before a "shooting session" in the cave.
What's the difference with the wolf?


Maybe a 'captive animal' category... :lol:

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#34 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 06:06 AM

You mentioned that past pictures have been proven to be outside the rules. Out of interest do you happen to have any examples?


Not that I am prepared to post! :lol: Captive animals are fine as long as it is declared - the declaration with the wolf makes it clear that the photographer believed it to be wild.

Alex

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#35 DeanB

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:30 AM

the photographer believed it to be wild.

Alex


Wild !!?? it was probably Livid to be captured without its permission ... :lol:

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#36 Paul Kay

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 11:20 AM

The real question which needs to be asked is that IF the animal was a 'tame' captive, is the behaviour photographed typical of a well fed, 'tame' captive, or is it behaviour which is unlikely to be typical by a wild animal at all (wild animals do, after all, have very different reasons for doing things and leaping over a gate may or may not be something that a wild wolf does). The problem is that if the animal is not a wild creature, how do we know that what we are seeing is viable behaviour within a WILDLIFE photography contest?

I know from my own experience from photographing marine creatures within aquaria, that their behaviour, and even appearance can change. I also know that the pressure to obtain ever more spectacular and unique images and film can tip image creators into 'grey' if not worse areas.
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#37 tdpriest

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 05:33 AM

So, is it unfair to hold your dome underneath, say, a jellyfish on the surface and snap away? Is it unfair to use a rebreather because other divers have to deal with their bubbles? Is it unfair to take more than one frame?

I'm sorry to say that this reminds me of why I don't much like competitions (apart from not winning, that is....)!

Tim

:lol:

Edited by tdpriest, 21 December 2009 - 08:00 AM.


#38 cor

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 06:08 AM

The only real issue is that the photographer possibly did not correctly disclose that the wolf is tame. The rules do not state that he can't submit that image otherwise, but they do state you have to disclose the fact that it is tame as it could influence the votes. If it turns out it's tame, I think it should be disqualified simply because he did not disclose that, not because it's tame. That rule is there for a reason.
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#39 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 06:51 AM

I was reading (leading wildlife photographer) Andy Rouse's blog (which always makes a good read) and his comment on this is below. He is much closer to the pulse on these matters and his website says that the judges are "meeting very soon" to make a decision and makes the point that it might be best to avoid speculation and wait for the official statement from the WPOTY:

WPOTY controversy. Some of you may have read in the past few days the storm that is brewing over the winning image of the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. I have kept quiet on this so far as I wanted to give the WPOTY judges and the NHM time to respond officially. For those unfamiliar with the story, basically all evidence is pointing to the fact that the winning image was taken with a captive wolf inside its enclosure. But I am not going to comment further on this at the moment, out of respect for the WPOTY judges whom I understand will be meeting very soon to analyse the evidence. There will be plenty of time for the witch hunt later, right now I suggest that we wait and let the WPOTY do their work as there are a many issues to consider, including legal ones, before they can issue a statement. Certainly however the evidence is compelling and if true, will be the wildlife scandal of the decade. I will update here as soon as soon as we have the official announcement as it is pointless until then. To say that I am annoyed is an understatement.......


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#40 Chud

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 08:24 AM

I know that there are complaints about not having the photographer looking through the view finder and composing exactly before firing, but we have that in underwater with images like the lemon snaps at tiger beach. I believe the images should be judged as images, all techniques have opportunities for excellence, difficulty and creativity.

Alex


You're just looking to justify trying to force-feed Emma the Tiger shark your housing etc. ;-)
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