Monday, June 26, 2017

Daily Create 1995

I like to photograph wildlife, and when I do I naturally try not to disturb the animals that I'm photographing. I'm not great wildlife photographer, and I'm unlikely to ever sell a photograph or win a prize, but that doesn't stop me trying to make the best photographs I can. A few years ago I went on a one day photography course organised by the RSPB, and the professional wildlife photographer running the course gave a few hints about selling photographs. He told us that the animals in photographs should always look perfect, and we shouldn't bother photographing a bird that is moulting, or which has a couple of bent feathers. He also told us that if we wish to sell photographs we should never have any visible human artefacts within the photograph, so no pictures birds on feeders, or even on a mowed lawn. But perhaps most important of all, he told us that most of the time for the great shots the professional photographers will use trained animals.

I disagree with all that. When I take a photograph I aim to documents nature, and also nature's interactions with humans. The wildlife around me is living in a very human defined environment and it would be silly to pretend otherwise, so I see no harm in photographing birds on a feeder, or having houses in the background.

And so to this daily create, where we were asked to tell a story about some pictures of a tree frog sitting on a rhinoceros beetle. Before I had any ideas, I went and read Mariana Funes' blog post about the photos,  which got me looking at the photos properly. I'm not an expert on amphibians, however a bit of research has told me that Indonesian tree frogs do not have opposable thumbs, so there I think there is something very wrong about the frog in these images. I am a rather more expert on arthropods, and I'm fairly sure the beetle is either dead or anaesthetised - the positions of it's feet do not look right. My guess is that both animals were not in a healthy state, and are supported by threads, and very probably glue.

So the story for the daily create. Sadly the success of the occasional genuine amazing animal photograph has led to other people faking them for a wee bit of Internet fame, and this regrettably involves cruelty to animals. Like Mariana I do not wish to further share these photographs.

So my photograph for today, I often share photographs of puffins or drawings I have based on them. Here is a photograph of humans and puffins together. The puffins know they are safe, because the only humans that ever visit them on their remote island are there to admire the puffins, and the humans are enjoying seeing beautiful wildlife in its natural environment, and being careful not to go so close that they alarm the puffins.


Unknown said...

Humans and puffins together! I love that. You have added further data to what was already a distressing bit of research about what some humans will do for a bit of internet fame. So Sad. Thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

Hmmm.... not sure why comment was posted an 'unknown' as I signed with my gmail account. Anyway, it's Mariana here brought here by John who sent me the link to your post.