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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Unethical photography set ups
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05/09/2021 10:21:21 PM · #1
I hope that you can open this link https://1x.com/photo/2061327

It's on the front page of 1x right now listed as 'most' popular. It is a set up where a snake is about to decapitate a domestic
white mouse. It is difficult to look at and even more difficult to read the comments lauding the photographer for such a great capture.

It is exploitive and sadistic really and I hope that people will comment on it and insist that set ups like that can never be published nor
encouraged.
05/09/2021 11:01:32 PM · #2
Many of the comments agree with you.

To me the photo looks fake. That mouse doesn't look like its life is in danger.
05/09/2021 11:17:50 PM · #3
I dunno, my kids have snakes that they have to feed. This looks more like a set up shot. I have thought about doing it, but 1 was so fast it was impossible to do, and the other ignored the mouse.

I mean logically, if you stick a mouse on a lovely twisted vine in the wild and just wait for some snake to come along, and then you shoot it and get it all in focusthat is impossible.

Snakes have to eat, why not get a shot of it.

Kinda like your cat will eat a mouse, your dog will chase and kill a lizard.

05/10/2021 09:14:45 AM · #4
That screams composite to me, frankly.
For what it's worth, if we assume it is real, it's just the natural predator/prey relationship. While we may pity the mouse, the snake has to eat too. Were it not for snakes, we'd be overrun by mice!
05/10/2021 09:21:51 AM · #5
Originally posted by kirbic:

That screams composite to me, frankly.

Yeah. There's nothing that makes me think it isn't.

Originally posted by kirbic:

For what it's worth, if we assume it is real, it's just the natural predator/prey relationship. While we may pity the mouse, the snake has to eat too. Were it not for snakes, we'd be overrun by mice!

Even if it were setup, you're correct. The snake needs to eat.
05/10/2021 09:29:12 AM · #6
Originally posted by Venser:

Originally posted by kirbic:

That screams composite to me, frankly.

Yeah. There's nothing that makes me think it isn't.

Originally posted by kirbic:

For what it's worth, if we assume it is real, it's just the natural predator/prey relationship. While we may pity the mouse, the snake has to eat too. Were it not for snakes, we'd be overrun by mice!

Even if it were setup, you're correct. The snake needs to eat.


I don't hear anyone feeling sorry for Me!!
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05/10/2021 09:36:17 AM · #7
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Originally posted by Venser:

Originally posted by kirbic:

That screams composite to me, frankly.

Yeah. There's nothing that makes me think it isn't.

Originally posted by kirbic:

For what it's worth, if we assume it is real, it's just the natural predator/prey relationship. While we may pity the mouse, the snake has to eat too. Were it not for snakes, we'd be overrun by mice!

Even if it were setup, you're correct. The snake needs to eat.


I don't hear anyone feeling sorry for Me!!
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It's cus your nope rope has no teeth
05/10/2021 10:00:13 AM · #8
Yeah -- usually a mouse doesn't go and look into the mouth of a snake like that. Playing doctor? Open wide and say "ah"?
05/10/2021 10:01:25 AM · #9
Most photo contests now refuse live bating shots.
05/10/2021 10:30:23 AM · #10
There is no ethical concern about the "set up."

There is an ethical debate to be had about the aesthetics of the photo, and why it is considered pleasurable to view such a thing.

There is an ethical debate to be had about having a snake as a pet and feeding it live mice.

There is an ethical debate to be had about having pets at all.

And yes, that is obviously a fake photo anyway.

It is possible to be unethical while setting up a photo, but this ain't it.

05/10/2021 11:11:55 AM · #11
My thing is why would someone take pleasure in creating a photograph of an animal that is about to be decapitated, be it real or fake?
It was a set up! Someone spent time finding the props, buying the mouse, setting up the background, branch, then lighting..for what?
It's Jeffery Dahlmer in training.

That 1x published it and 50 people loved it is another story. The good news is they removed it.
05/10/2021 11:28:57 AM · #12
Originally posted by MeMex2:

It's Jeffery Dahlmer in training.

Slight hyperbole.
The snake eating the mouse is nature in action, setup or not. The other killed humans and ate them. Nothing remotely alike.
05/10/2021 11:39:25 AM · #13
Originally posted by MeMex2:

My thing is why would someone take pleasure in creating a photograph of an animal that is about to be decapitated, be it real or fake?
It was a set up! Someone spent time finding the props, buying the mouse, setting up the background, branch, then lighting..for what?
It's Jeffery Dahlmer in training.

That 1x published it and 50 people loved it is another story. The good news is they removed it.


Why someone would create a composite like this is beyond me... I guess to create an image that evokes a natural averse reaction. I don't see it as being sinister. In bad taste, certainly.
05/10/2021 12:13:20 PM · #14
Originally posted by Venser:

Originally posted by MeMex2:

It's Jeffery Dahlmer in training.

Slight hyperbole.
The snake eating the mouse is nature in action, setup or not. The other killed humans and ate them. Nothing remotely alike.


What the snake is doing may be nature in action, but that doesn't change the fact that the photographer setting up the photo might have been seen as engaging in cruelty to animals if the photo wasn't a composite. And before they become serial killers, some people like Jeffry Dahmer start out by being cruel to animals. Not saying that the photographer who set up the photo will ever become a serial killer, but it's not good to encourage animal cruelty regardless.
05/10/2021 02:14:54 PM · #15
Originally posted by MeMex2:

My thing is why would someone take pleasure in creating a photograph of an animal that is about to be decapitated, be it real or fake?
It was a set up! Someone spent time finding the props, buying the mouse, setting up the background, branch, then lighting..for what?
It's Jeffery Dahlmer in training.

That 1x published it and 50 people loved it is another story. The good news is they removed it.


sorry, I am a stickler for terminology. Here are two examples of where the *setup* was possibly unethical, or at least some said it was:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/photographer-run-amok-won_n_126566

https://slate.com/culture/2013/08/jill-greenberg-end-times-crying-children-photos-became-a-headache-for-the-photographer-photos.html

What's funny is that I thought of both of these examples without realizing they were both the same photographer!
05/10/2021 03:23:03 PM · #16
Agreed Don, that photographer is manipulative, deceitful and aggressive or unethical.

The snake/mouse photographer is manipulating the animals for shock value and if the mouse
was not decapitated, to arouse and deceive the viewer. The difference is animal abuse. John McCain and
the children's parents can mount a defense. Not so that little mouse.
05/10/2021 03:27:54 PM · #17
Originally posted by MeMex2:

The snake/mouse photographer is manipulating the animals for shock value and if the mouse
was not decapitated, to arouse and deceive the viewer. The difference is animal abuse.

You do realize that if you have a pet snake, this is how they're fed. Throw in a live mouse for them to eat.
05/11/2021 10:58:34 AM · #18
Originally posted by MeMex2:

Agreed Don, that photographer is manipulative, deceitful and aggressive or unethical.

The snake/mouse photographer is manipulating the animals for shock value and if the mouse
was not decapitated, to arouse and deceive the viewer. The difference is animal abuse. John McCain and
the children's parents can mount a defense. Not so that little mouse.


Not to hurt your feelings or anything, but there is no decapitation at all when snakes eat. They crush them, paralyze them , swallow them whole. Blind snakes decapitate the heads to swallow, but they are termites, I am thinking you might not be that objectble about that eating practice.
05/12/2021 12:14:16 AM · #19
You are not hurting my feelings. I am just not interested in snakes as "pets". I do not get it and do not want to.
05/12/2021 06:06:45 AM · #20
<-- *hides half of his portfolio from MeMex2*
05/12/2021 02:50:31 PM · #21
1) - Mice, especially pet mice, are sometimes seriously oblivious to the danger of a snake ... so the mouse could possibly have sat there like that. Alternatively it could be in the "freeze" mode in its reaction to danger.

2) - however, I don't understand the hoo-ha about the shot, even if it were a "real" shot (after over an hour of research, I think it may be real - check out Trimeresurus insularis). You have a gazillion bird pics with their catch, be it insect or fish, all over the net (incl. here I think to remember). There are tons of large African predator images and video and TV documentary catching their prey (lions, cheetah, leopard), loads of bear pics catching fish, wolves hunting, etc. As someone said - snakes have to eat, that's what they eat if they are in captivity - why is this so horrendous, and other images are OK?

And for the record, I personally dislike all of the above. I merely object to singling "cute mice" out as being different to "cute grasshoppers" or "cute antelopes" (especially the baby ones ..), or "cute fish", etc. (and yes, I do like mice and used to have pet mice way back but no pet snakes ;-)).

05/12/2021 02:53:22 PM · #22
Originally posted by MeMex2:

You are not hurting my feelings. I am just not interested in snakes as "pets". I do not get it and do not want to.

Jane, this may be a zoo, or a reptile farm, or a facility where they harvest snake poison. It does not have to be a "pet".
05/12/2021 03:47:18 PM · #23
Originally posted by kasaba:

1) - Mice, especially pet mice, are sometimes seriously oblivious to the danger of a snake ... so the mouse could possibly have sat there like that. Alternatively it could be in the "freeze" mode in its reaction to danger.

2) - however, I don't understand the hoo-ha about the shot, even if it were a "real" shot (after over an hour of research, I think it may be real - check out Trimeresurus insularis). You have a gazillion bird pics with their catch, be it insect or fish, all over the net (incl. here I think to remember). There are tons of large African predator images and video and TV documentary catching their prey (lions, cheetah, leopard), loads of bear pics catching fish, wolves hunting, etc. As someone said - snakes have to eat, that's what they eat if they are in captivity - why is this so horrendous, and other images are OK?

And for the record, I personally dislike all of the above. I merely object to singling "cute mice" out as being different to "cute grasshoppers" or "cute antelopes" (especially the baby ones ..), or "cute fish", etc. (and yes, I do like mice and used to have pet mice way back but no pet snakes ;-)).

Plus Infinity on this one :-) When I think of all Roz's "Snacking Robberfly" images, which are a heck of lot more primal and gory than this snake/mouse shot, I have to chuckle at what rings peoples' bells sometimes.

I don't much care for the shot, but it's not a philosophical or ethical issue with me: it just looks fake & contrived as all get-out. LIke a panel a kid with cartooning talent would draw in one of his early works. I can say that with certainty 'cuz I have a nephew who grew up drawing monsters devouring monsters, snakes eating mice, whatever along with tamer stuff, and now works for Dsney/Pixar at a very nice salary :-)
05/12/2021 04:22:35 PM · #24
The aquarium I work for doesn't use live animals for feed. It's frozen mice, chicks, etc.
05/12/2021 05:02:40 PM · #25
Originally posted by vawendy:

The aquarium I work for doesn't use live animals for feed. It's frozen mice, chicks, etc.


So... how did they become frozen?

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