When you take a picture and spread it across the international media, it gets seen by all sorts. Some of those sorts include fans of wolf photography, whether wild or captive. If the wolf is distinctive, that drastically raises the odds of recognition.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
I've only seen one of the comparison pictures, and have to admit to being unfamiliar with how distinct wolf faces are.
Just to note, it is not the panel who says it is too perfect:
Originally Posted by Andy K
"Many independent observers thought the shot just too perfect..."
And they set things in motion.
Originally Posted by Jon Shiu
Anyway. Hard to tell either way.
Interesting thing to ponder though. What can you do when your shots are deemed to be too good to be true?
As far as my photos are concerned, of academic interest only, of course.
The stunt wolf has just signed with Simon Cowell.
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Those damned trained animals. They are everywhere!!!
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
I think that trained animals in wildlife photography will be what doping is in sports.
I have some misgivings about the number of WPOTY pictures that were taken remotely (i.e. triggered by infrared sensor, with the photographer still in bed somewhere else).
No patience, no stealth - just find an animal track and leave a camera there for a couple of months.
Then you have the under 16 age group with $multi-thousand truck-loads of Image Stabilised, zillion mega frames-per-second, 600mm/f4 gear, in $multi-thousand destinations (South Georgia, anyone?)
Realising you can't compete, you back to film and a folder..... so there are some positive things that come out of it :o)
I'm saddened to hear of the controversy of the wolf, and/or that the image is sullied. I liked the image immensely upon first seeing it had won the BBC WPOY contest. Noted that it had been captured in the Spanish wilds by an IR triggering array and a Hasselblad, if I recall correctly. Such images are indeed possible with seldom-seem and rare creatures, and make a good case for the viability of MF film cameras even today.
Having myself successfully captured wildlife remotes of a wild mountain lion I'd prospected and attempted to call to the camera for many months beforehand, I can state with some authority that a subject-triggered remote is sometimes the only way to get an unobstructed view. It's not nearly as simple a project as the first-time poster above suggests.
Just to chime in: A wolf is not a wolf. As a dog owner and cat owner all my life and a watcher of documentaries I can tell you that the markings are quite unique. Even 2 black-striped tabby cats with similar size have different facial structure, different stripe patterns, etc. I've had different black labs with distinctive faces. It's all black, you say, and you're right. But there are differences.
They said that experts checked the wolf's colors, the fur marking patterns, and compared those to the tame wolf. It's the same wolf.
I'm sure that's how they also track wolves in the wild (or, used to before GPS tags). You would think sharks have next to no markings, right? Actually they look at the pattern where the upper color turns to the white belly on great white sharks to identify them, and it's a reliable method as well.
I don't take it as some spiteful attack or some false claim. It's very logical and for wildlife photographers they probably already instinctively know this. I don't quite see why some folks turn the blame on the people that pointed it out, rather than the guy that did it.
I would also say that if he was actively taking the photo, it's suspect. it's a wide angle with a flash and the wolf is right in his face jumping past. I doubt a wild animal would do that. You get anywhere near a wolf and they'll look at you. Often. They will be aware of you.
If it was on some sort of tripod or rig -- well IMO that takes a lot of the effort out of it (as mentioned by the replies above me). IMO if you're not tripping the shutter, remotely or directly, you didn't take the photo. You shouldn't win a contest for something a computer sensor did. You're just taking credit for it. Also, if this is the case the wolf is jumping for no reason past a foreign stand/tripod in the middle of open ground. I would think this is an unusual/unlikely event unless the wolf was baited somehow.
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