Nature Photograph of the Year’s Authenticity Questioned

December 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

Critics are insisting that the Storybook Wolf photo by Jose Luis Rodriguez is a shot of tame wolf, making it ineligible to win the world’s largest nature photo The winning shot.competition. Judges give preference to wild animals, so if a tame animal is used in a staged photo, the photographer must declare it prior judging. Rodriguez is a Spanish photographer, and a group of his countrymen colleagues have taken up the investigation as they’re concerned about their own reputations.

Rodriguez is claiming innocence. This is the explanation of the shot from the Natural History Museum’s website:

José Luis visualized this image many years ago, when Iberian wolves first returned to Ávila in the Castilla y León region of northern Spain, and cattle ranchers declared war on them. His idea was a picture that would symbolize the ancient conflict between humans and wolves, while showing the beauty and strength of this fabled animal. But it took a long time to find the ideal location, let alone a wolf that would jump a gate. His chance came when he found a landowner who was happy to have both the wolves and José Luis on his property, and also had the ideal setting: a copse and an ancient, disused cattle corral.

This shot compares the background from Rodriguez’s shot to a Spanish private natural reserve.

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