There has been a story in the news recently about someone being disqualified from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition because he faked a scene using a stuffed anteater. The photo was a winning entry, but the photographer was found out when he couldn’t provide photos taken either side of the winning one. He claimed not to have any as the animal had moved away and his camera settings didn’t allow him to take other photos. Hmm. Experts looked more closely and agreed that the photo had been faked. Apparently he’s still contesting the decision, but it doesn’t look like he’ll prove his case.
Removing a few shadows with a digital computer programme is one thing, but this is in a different league……
Anyone who has ever taken wildlife photographs will know that you end up with more missed/blurred shots than useable ones – as an animal artist, these are usually the ones I find most interesting when I’m taking photographs at conservation parks. That’s just as well as it’s not always easy to get the perfect photo. I always sketch the animals too as reference material for my wildlife paintings, and although I love it, it is a challenge when they won’t stand still!
There could be a lengthy debate elsewhere on whether the anteater taxidermy specimen was recently obtained, how the animal died, or whether it was a historical specimen, possibly obtained in what could be termed less enlightened times. All of these issues aside, the rules for this wildlife photography contest stated that “entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to misrepresent the reality of nature.”
I’m glad I don’t have to follow these rules (unless I enter an art competition with similar terms) – I rarely paint wildlife in their natural colours, as you can see from my anteater painting!
You can see the full news story and the photo here. The Anteater photo in the heading of this blog is not connected with the competition.
Have you signed up to my Newsletter? – I’m launching a new British Wildlife art collection at the end of May 2018, and there will be a special offer just for my followers (sorry, no anteaters this time!)