October 22, 2009

"Leaping wolf snatches photo prize."

A headline that had me picturing the wolf doing a dramatic Kanye West move on some awards show.

22 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Lupus non facit saltum.

I'm calling hoax.

Fred4Pres said...

It is a cool image, but it sure does not look like it was natural. How did he know a wolf would use that particular path and gate? Still, a very nice shot.

Peter V. Bella said...

"Hey there little Red Riding Hood..."

chickenlittle said...

P.S.
Not to cry wolf or anything

Bissage said...

Snatches?

We don’t need no stinking snatches!

Joan said...

The article said the photographer set up some kind of "trap" with an infrared sensor to capture the image. I don't know enough about the technology to understand exactly how it worked, but I can guess. The photographer observed the wolves for several days in this particular location, and figured out a way to capture the image he wanted.

My reaction to the description of how the image was taken made me think of less of it -- the guy didn't take the picture, the camera did. He wasn't looking through the lens, snapping the shutter. Should that matter? He's the one who set the trap, after all. It just seems less legitimate.

dbp said...

It would be great if there was video of the wolf right after the flash dazzled it. It probably missed its landing, tumbled, shook its self and then dashed-off.

Maguro said...

Photographers have been using infrared rigs for a long time...it's really the only way to capture a night-time image like that. He figured out the wolf's behavior, visualized the image in his mind and set up the gear accordingly. It's a great shot.

Bissage said...

Gee. It looks like I was wrong. All the good names have not been taken. See what I mean?

Meade said...

Yo Grey Wolf! I am really happy for you and Imma let you finish but... Eagle is the greatest super predator of all time. OF ALL TIME!

Peter V. Bella said...

David Letterman after learning new interns are in the building!

AllenS said...

"I wanted to capture a photo in which you would see a wolf in an act of hunting - or predation - but without blood"

He should have been disqualified.

WV: costs

Joan said...

He figured out the wolf's behavior, visualized the image in his mind and set up the gear accordingly. It's a great shot.

I agree, Maguro. It was interesting to me that my initial reaction was to downgrade the achievement of it as somehow "less" because the photographer's eye wasn't peering through the lens when the image was captured. I quickly realized the photographer didn't "cheat"; there's simply no other way to get a photograph like this.

I wish I could curb my natural tendency to react negatively, but at least I know about it and can examine those initial reactions and see if they hold up.

bagoh20 said...

"I wish I could curb my natural tendency to react negatively, but at least I know about it and can examine those initial reactions and see if they hold up."

See, now where would we all be without the Althouse commenters making us better people?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Leaping Wolf is Sacheen Littlefeather's brother. Letting Indians into your awards ceremony is always a bad idea.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

My indian name is Dancing with MILFs.

Chip Ahoy said...

Those photographs are fantastic. Two observations: Three of the featured photographs are taken in the snow, enjoying the snow while it's still possible to do so, I presume. Did I ever show you my award-winning photograph of a polar bear and her cubs suffering a late Kaktovik blizzard?

The second observation is the wolf and the jaguar appear to be lit with straight-on camera flash. Tsk tsk tsk. With all that is available today, and the ease of its use. Whatever.

The third of my two observations is "best taxidermy ever!" I'm still not recovered from the sadness of my older friend blowing my misapprehension about James Audubon's mad skillz and eidetic memory.

bagoh20 said...

"the wolf and the jaguar appear to be lit with straight-on camera flash. Tsk tsk tsk."

It would be cool to see those shots with different lighting, but the straight on flash in night shots may be the most affecting and natural since it gives the impression that you just came on the scene with a flashlight in the night and were surprised by the subject. Lets call it the Blair Witch effect.

Kylos said...

I'd have to agree with bagoh20. Using direct flash can produce amazing images with stark motion capture appearance. Playing with the shutter speed to achieve subtle background tones while popping and freezing the foreground with a flash is a simple way to produce captivating images. The background should be left underexposed to avoid motion blur in the subject. I'm sure more creative lighting could be employed, but I like the look.

Joan, to understand the trap, think of a garage door safety beam.

Jeremy said...

Only the losers here would spend their time criticizing a man for how he took the picture, whether he really took the picture and whether it was really that good of a picture.

You fuckers just can't go a day without whining and bitching about literally something.

What a bunch of babies.

Iapetus said...

"You fuckers just can't go a day without whining and bitching about literally something."

Whining about other people whining is still whining. How about taking your own advice and lead by example?

chickenlittle said...

OK I take back what I said earlier about the photo being a hoax. Instead, it is probably one of the best nature photos I've ever seen and I'm glad the photographer won such a prestigious award.

The photographer caught the animal at the very apex of its vault. Taking into account that the bulk of the animal's mass is in the head and thorax, and also taking into account any parallax error, it appears that the photographer captured the exact moment when the animal's upward thrust and momentum was met and balanced by the force of gravity pulling it back down. The only motion is the forward momentum of the animal. Taken another split microsecond sooner and the complete animal would not have been visible and the perfect balance between the animals force and the force of gravity would be out of balance; taken another microsecond later and the animal would have appeared on the downfall, overwhelmed by gravity, pulling the animal (and literally the artistic value of the photo) back to earth.

The harmony suggested by the photo upon second thought leads me to want to consider the photograph as the best nature/animal shot of all time, if there can be such a thing.