Wildlife Photographer of Year photo is a sheep in wolf’s clothing

I’ve just been sent an email about this story, published today in The Guardian.

© Jose Luis Rodriguez, dethroned winner Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez, has had his photograph of a wolf removed from the exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London (see official statement), the £10,000 prize has been withdrawn and he will not be allowed to enter the competition again. The competition is jointly organized by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife.

Why? Because the judges don’t believe that the photograph was taken in the wild and the competition rules explicitly prohibit the use of “animal models”. According to the report, “Rodriguez could not be contacted, but the competition organisers said he continued to strongly deny the wolf was tame”.

Jonathan Jones writing on his Guardian arts blog says: “We shouldn’t be too hard on the hired wolf photographer.” If you want to comment, and some people have, take a look, there are some interesting responses, particularly in relation to wildlife photography and ‘staging’ events.

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