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Pictures of animals, wild or tame?

Espen Amdahl , Nov 08, 2006; 03:24 a.m.

Hi! My question is quite simple: How about a checkbox with "animal captured in the wilderness"? I think it is important to know the effort behind a photography when it comes to give critique to a picture. Some pictures reveals themselves quite easely as Zoological ones and it does not impress me to take an aesteticly correct picture of an captured animal. This might seem unreasonable to certain photographers, but I think it has alot to do with skills and the crave for a good photography. Don`t slaughter me for this, it`s just my opinion.

Wish all a great day and replys are welcome!

Best regards, Espen


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Christopher Handisides , Nov 08, 2006; 04:05 a.m.

If people fill in the location tag completely as they post the photos, that ought to be a big clue. Snow Leopards aren't native to San Diego, and so forth :-)

Espen Amdahl , Nov 08, 2006; 05:31 a.m.

Well, if you do have studied fauna all over the world and memorized it then. My point is that a wildlife photographer should be aknowledged for his work and recive credit for wandering hour by hour in various climate instead of paying a ticket and be praised for a simple "snapshot". I put it to an edge ther, but only to simplefy it all.


Robert Taylor , Nov 08, 2006; 09:14 a.m.

Although I applaud photographers who share how they create an image (so that others may improve their skills), I don't believe the effort made or skills used should have any bearing on how we judge a picture. That the subject of an animal photo was in a zoo or in the wild seems irrelevant, unless the photographer chooses to make that obvious. For the purposes of judging or critiquing a potential work of art, the photo should stand on its own...

Tony Bynum , Nov 08, 2006; 10:17 a.m.

The standards are simple, everything is considered wild, unless otherwise stated. "Captive" is the word of choice that should accompany any captive shot, no matter how "wild" it may look in the photo.

If your shot does not say "captive" and it's a captive animal, and you publish it, you will soon have a reputation.

I've never shot captive wildlife. I dont mined people that do, and in some cases it's really the only way to get the shot. It's all good, so long as a captive animal is labeled "captive."

Keith Van Hulle , Nov 08, 2006; 10:29 a.m.

Why do you all insist on having some unwritten set of rules that YOU determine to be valid that must be applied to other's photography? To the OP - so you're not impressed with zoo pictures - such is life, but don't think your imposing your aesthetics on others will make photography better.

Please spend a few minutes to read the archives; it's not like this issue hasn't ever come up before. It's been beaten to death and no one is ever going to agree on it. How does the location, if it's not identifiable in the shot, determine whether a picture is good or not? I get the impression that some people feel this way because others have better shots and there's this sense of "cheating" and "fairness" involved. A healthy does of jealousy too maybe?

JD Rose (Glen Canyon) , Nov 08, 2006; 02:45 p.m.

Is it a great picture of the animal or not? What else matters?

Christopher Handisides , Nov 08, 2006; 02:59 p.m.

Should street photographers get less "credit" if they're urbanites that can scope out good photographs on the way to the grocery store than someone that has to venture out of the suburbs to get the same shot? What about nature photographers that happen to live near the subjects they photograph?

Besides, sometimes it's just as hard to get a photograph of an animal in a zoo without making it look like you're photographing an animal in a zoo.

Douglas Stemke , Nov 08, 2006; 03:06 p.m.

Yes, this issue has been discussed at some length.

I am one of those people who whole-heartedly believes a captive image should be noted as such. Why? I am a naturalist and scientist first and a photographer second. When I see an image made of wildlife there is inate information in that image. A behavior, a habitat, the niche that organism occupies is important natural documentation of that organism.

That is not to say that there is anything generally wrong with captive animal images. In fact one of my favorite self-taken photographs is of a Golden Eagle taken in the St. Paul bird re-habilitation center. If I didn't note that the image was taken at the center it could easily be passed off as being taken a rockface somewhere, there really is nothing in the image, save that I'm only a few feet away. As a beautiful and impressive image I have always been very pleased with the photo. But I personally would never try and pass it off as a true nature photograph, because it isn't. In fact, the bird is blind in one eye, a feature that is hidden in the profile of the bird.

Keith Van Hulle , Nov 08, 2006; 03:56 p.m.

"pass it off as a true nature photograph"

Who cares? The photo police? This is Photo.net, not a Zoology (or any other type of) web site. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ART AND TECHNIQUE OF PHOTOGRAPHY. Nothing else.

Why does this bother people so much? Do you feel like you are losing out because you don't have all the details on a given photo? What difference does it make? IS this causing you distress in some way? I've heard the what, I'd like to hear the reasoning for the WHY. Preferrably valid reasons with some thought behind it, not just "because I want it that way."

Might as well throw in the arguments about manipulating photos with PS at this point too. Same basic issue.

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