Is this cheating for Nature/wildlife shots??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mtbdudex, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #1
    A nature center where I live is having a Photography workshop in January and February.
    http://www.howellnaturecenter.org/animals/wildlifephotos.htm

    We got our Christmas tree from them and they have many fine birds there.
    My 3 kids enjoyed our walk thru their areas.

    To take pictures of those specimens and post them is considered "cheating" because not really in their true natural environment?

    I'm on the fencepost of attending.
    Would be a neat way for me to add unique shots to my gallery......
     
  2. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #2
    IMHO if you didn't tell the birds "Now you stand here, and you sit there, and you flap your wings" I personally don't see an issue and not sure what you are calling 'cheating.'

    To me, there's no difference between "XXX Bird taken at XXX Nature Preserve" or "XXX Bird taken in my back yard" or "XXX Bird taken while walking through the woods"

    To me, the proof is in the shot. "Cheating" to me would be taking a picture of the subject, cropping and pasting onto another picture.
     
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #3
    It depends on your definition of cheating. If your gallery is supposed to showcase birds you have found and shot, tethered birds is cheating. I know a lot of birders spend years looking for shots and have pride in the ultimate capture.

    If your gallery showcases nice shots of birds, then tethered shots are not cheating. You never portray that you have put in the years to get all of those incredible shots, but you did take nice pictures when presented with the opportunity.

    My vote would be take the pictures. You will get pictures you like and you will learn what you don't like about some of your shots. If you really want to be a birder and walk through the wilderness for hours to fill your collection with legimate shots, you will have more experience and will be more likely to get the shot. You can never lose by taking more pictures.

    Have fun.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #4
    It depends heavily on usage- for many editorial/publication usage it's not considered "Wildlife Photography" and would either be ineligible or need a disclaimer. Even with native species, the fact that the birds are tethered makes it not "wild." Many contests and venues don't consider it even "Nature" because it's an artificial setting with props and captive birds.

    Personally, I'd probably go if you want to support the venue and if you get some good shots, then you'll just have to figure out how to label them. Plus you may find some other local photographers who can help with venues to find the same subjects in the wild.

    Paul
     
  5. capoeirista macrumors 6502

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    Jan 21, 2007
    #5
  6. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #6
    thx for feedback, I sent the organizer an email to register.

    For now at least I don't plan on being a "birder", this will give me a few shots and possible lead on places where I can take wildlife shots.
     
  7. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #7
    Either way for now it gives you some good practice and what the outcome ends up being from meeting and learning with/about others at this point would be more important. Good luck and post back with some of those photo's.
     
  8. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #8
    These are NOT from the photo shoot, that is Jan 17, rather these are "thru the looking glass", ie, in their cages on the conservation center walking grounds Sun Dec 13.

    I'm looking forward to the actual photo shoot session, there are quite a few more than these, will post those in this thread end Jan-2010.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    And my gang observing....
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

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    #9
    I waited 8 years to photograph an eagle in the wild - they are very sensitive to man and quickly fly away - my photo is very average - but I'm proud of it.

    I can go to the local zoo but ...... for me part of it being in the wild, is the difficulty of getting the photo.

    I don't think it's cheating - its practice and then later if you feel you have the patience - get out and find these beautiful creatures.
     
  10. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #10
    I don't think it's cheating and should be a great experience for you. Looking forward to seeing the shots you get!
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    A little fill flash would go a long way to giving you a catchlight and also filling in some of the shadows on the backlit subjects.

    It depends on where you go- Conowingo Dam in Maryland, Lock 14 in Iowa and Haines, Alaska all offer relatively easy Eagle shots.

    In terms of "Wildlife" or "Nature" a tethered bird is most certainly "cheating." It doesn't mean you can't get nice shots, it's just not "natural" by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  12. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

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    #12
    Sadly where I am - they are persecuted and are hence very wary of people.
     
  13. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #13
    The Photography workshop was definitely worth $60, espically when you consider it was volunteer effort and time for good cause, the Howell Nature Center.
    Steve Gettle, http://www.stevegettle.com/home.php , did a 60 minute seminar with some modules from his "The Art of Nature Photography", he taught us Composition and Lighting.
    Lots of little pointers I took from that, and I used some techniques learned taking shots, hopefully results show it....
    (I'm downloading 400+ shots from yesterday, and after I delete the "bad and the ugly", will post a few here.)

    Side benefit, meeting and seeing other people with same hobby.
    Seeing their camera gear/lens/tripods, some have $$$$ stuff, a few like me modest beginners, all very helpful, friendly, talkative.
    Packed with 35 people, but spread out while taking the bird shots, I even saw 1 guy from a stock photo web place, he was shooting with a huge lens.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #14
    My point is that in the US it is relatively easy to find places to shoot them where they're not that wary. One of the bird magazines recently had a 14 best places to see them article, I haven't read it yet, but expect that out of those places, there'll be at least 2-3 more that are accessible. Most folks in the continental US are a day's drive away from great Eagle shooting at the most- you just need to know where to go and when...
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    Glad you enjoyed it- can't wait to see the results!
     
  16. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

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    #16
    I understood - it's remains sad that not everywhere in the world is working hard to protect these beautiful animals - so for some of us (outside of the US) to photograph an eagle in the wild remains a truly a challenge with a possible long wait.
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17
    Our economy is still down- we're a great bargain travel destination, with photo opportunities galore! ;) Best plan, save up for that new lens, fly into NYC in mid-November and go to B&H to pick it up, then travel down to Philly by train- rent a car there, and go down I-95 to the Susquehanna river, get a room and be at the dam when they open- shoot until you get tired, get some lunch, shoot until the light goes- if you don't already have at least 50 *great* shots, repeat the next day... D.C.'s a 2.5 hour drive away when you get your fill of Eagle shots, and it'll be lightly travelled at that time of year.

    It's funny, ever since I discovered Conowingo a few years ago, I'm having a heck of a time finding approachable crows- but 4-5 hours down near the dam and I'm throwing away Eagle shots...
     
  18. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

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    #18
    I would love too - sadly family commitments prevent that at the moment - but one day.
     
  19. romanticf16 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Commerce Twp. MI
    #19
    Wild Eagles

    In Arizona there is a scenic train with flatbed cars that passes within 50 feet of trees with nesting bald eagles. They are so used to the train that it is easy to get spectactacular images "in the wild" as the train slowly passes by.
     
  20. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #20
    Do you know more specifics of this?
     

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