Most Animal Photos are Staged

sneaky

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that's been going on for a looooong time

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robby denning

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It was one of the big mags of yesteryear (OL, F&S, or SA) that was shamed when a reader noticed that the big cat on the cover actually had a chain collar on.

It's pretty hard to get a wild 200" buck to pose properly, within lens' range, when light is the best and no precip flying. If that is all the mags published, I'd guess they'd have to pay about 30K for a cover shot as those photos are pretty rare.
 

tipsntails7

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That's not uncommon or surprising. If you've ever shot animals with camera gear you realize really quick how close you need to be to get some of those shots especially with how sharp some of them are, even with 800-1200mm glass.

A lot of guys really bust their ass in the woods to get great shots, wether it's in an NP or at red rocks or whatever, which I view as completely different then this nonsense.

I don't like a lot of what National Geographic puts out but I respect the hell out of most of their photogs.




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TheCougar

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I'm shocked... said no one ever. Probably why everyone these days seems to think that 200" deer are the norm. "My first elk hunt ever. My expectations aren't high. I'll shoot any 6x6 or better..." I'd love to see some realistic animals on the cover of some magazines. Everyone loves a big rack, but that isn't why we hunt... right?!?
 

colonel00

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Yeah, not surprising at all. I always think of it like most other photos you see. Those swimsuit models, while no doubt quite attractive, usually don't look that fantastic in the "wild".
 

Murdy

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More evidence I'm an idiot: I just assumed modern cameras with telescopic lenses were really, really, really good. Never actually thought about it I guess.
 

Gr8bawana

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It's been going on for a very long time. You guys remember "Wild America" by Marty Stouffer? He finally got booted off the air when it was revealed that many of his wildlife scenes of hunter and prey were staged.
 
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paleraider

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I honestly had not know it was going on for so long. I was, like others on here ,just assuming modern photography equipment + dedicated outdoor photographer was capturing some amazing images. I am disheartened to know that many photos I found inspiring were fake. On the other hand I am somewhat inspired as it makes my own photography seem less crappy now for some reason!
 

ArrowForester

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Yes, it's true. Makes me appreciate the photos on this site that much more.

I was in WI for work years ago and found myself with a free evening to explore. I hit the back roads looking for deer and any other critters I could find. I came upon a tall fence along the road and soon saw a herd of whitetails in a field behind the fence. I stopped to snap a few pics and as I was watching I heard an ATV headed toward the old barn about 100 yards away. The guy saw me and came out to the gate and invited me in - turns out he wanted some help so I agreed. Once back at the barn he rattled a feed bucket and poured grain in a trough. We waited almost 2 minutes before three bucks in excess of 200" trotted in. He promptly shot one with a tranq dart and I helped him weigh, measure, and give it a few shots. After reviving the deer he invited me to the lodge. There were deer all over the walls and under each big buck was an engraved name plate, a few years of shed antlers and framed magazine covers featuring that specimen. The coffee table held two photo albums full of magazine covers featuring deer from the farm - many of the covers I recognized. I also looked through the photo album full of autographed hero pictures and thank you notes from "famous hunters". I had always kept my suspicions tucked away but haven't looked at commercial wildlife photography the same since that evening.
 

R_burg

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Hmm, i knew this existed and I know about game farms with deer and elk, etc... but I still follow a few photogs on Insta who seem to be putting in work and getting great shots of muleys and elk consistently. It can be done.
 
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