Firebellied Newt PP3 CA3
I wanted to write something poetic and inspiring about the integrity of photographs and images regarding how we (as photographs) portray our work. I have however been out done by Mr Moonlight yet again :-). But I will explain quickly the reason why we set up this system, how I think it will help, the consequences and of course what it is!
Why? Quite simply we wanted to try and find a nice system that sorted out the ‘wild’ from the ‘captive’ and the post-edit from the original. We think it has become necessary, certainly in recent months due to the new software available and the integrity and honesty of some photographers. The most publicized is certainly the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 winner being disqualified.
For me, I feel that photography of captive animals and the post-edit process is completely acceptable as long as the animals in question are handled in a way that causes no stress. As a photographer, I will always strive to get an image where the animal is completely wild and there needs to be no post-editing, then I will call myself a wildlife photographer. But realistically and economically for many nature photographers including myself it is not possible and until I can achieve my goal I will post edit and use captive animals.
So how is this system going to help? The system, which is outlined below, aims to give clear and concise information about the photo. This information consists of whether or not the animal is wild, captive, etc. and explains the amount of post-editing work, (in my view, if you are honest about your post editing, then the amount of editing is negligible and should be seen as an additional skills set rather than a ‘cheat’).
The Exposing The Wild Captioning System is aimed at the industry and anyone interested, including hobbyists, etc. We hope it goes some way if not the whole way to clarifying what methods were used in creating the final image. It would not (necessarily) reduce the commercial value of an image as the lay person would not know the system, unless of course they looked it up. This in turn would not be a bad thing as it shows the consumer that, as nature/wildlife photographers we are trying to clear things up, so to speak.
So here it is!
Images are split into one of four categories depending upon how much they have been edited:
PP0 – photographs that have undergone no post processing.
PP1 – photographs that have been subjected to global edits*.
PP2 – photographs that have been subjected to local edits**.
PP3 – photographs where subjects or backgrounds have been added moved or removed.
*Any edits that affect the entirety of the image, e.g. colour balance, curves, or contrast.
**Any edits affecting only part of an image, e.g. graduated filters, dodging and burning.
Captive animals (including captured wild animals) are split into three categories:
CA1 – Captive animals that behave as wild in large enclosures.
CA2 – Captive animals whose behaviour is partially controlled.
CA3 – Captive animals whose behaviour is completely controlled*.
*e.g. trained animal models, falconry birds, and studio animals.
Wild animals are also split into three categories:
WA1 – Wild animals whose behaviour is not affected by humans.
WA2 – Wild animals baited or attracted by humans.
WA3 – Wild animals habituated to the presence of humans.
Here is an example below
We left the chocolate for him! (PP1 WA2)