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10/20/2008 12:18:00 PM · #101
Originally posted by PhotoInterest:

Originally posted by scarbrd:

Originally posted by SaraR:



Wildlife photography is a specific genre in its own right, with unwritten rules and assumptions regarding the methodology used - and a zoo shot does not fall into the category.


Care to share what those unwritten rules and assumptions are?

Here's my take.

There are no "real" natural environments anymore. Whether it's a zoo, a man made garden, a city park, or a nature preserve, all of these environments have been touched by human intervention. Is a shot taken in a wildlife park where the animals are fed and populations controlled any more or less set up than a shot taken in a zoo? To the animal that was born and lived its entire life in a zoo living it what it perceives as its natural environment, that IS its natural environment.

The challenge description did not say "Take a wildlife picture in the wild".

I believe in sticking to the rules, but also acknowledge that they are sometimes open to interpretation.

If you want to see some wild interpretations, check out any of the Environmental Portrait challenges.


I think that the interpretation of "In their natural habitat" is being "shoehorned" into this challenge this time because so many of us can misunderstand just what was orginally meant. To say that a tiger, lion etc. has a natural habitat of concrete and iron walls and fencing, built by man in a zoo somewhere in Toronto, or Los Angeles, is not exactly "natural". It may be their "habitat" now, but it is definitely not their natural habitat by any means of the words.

However, a wildlife park is a slightly different story. Usually, the wildlife inhabitants to that park are indigenous to that particular area. They are simply being "protected" by man in living in their natural environment. A zoo does NOT fit this category as most of the animals in a zoo are definitely NOT indigenous to the area that the zoo is placed and not living in their natural enviroments.

In any OTHER challenge, if someone were to have photographed something even remotely outside of the challenge criteria or a more subtle version of it, voters would be leaping with comments to let us know that our shots do not fit within that framework/criteria! Think about that. Why then, does THIS particular challenge differ? Why is it ok to stray from challenge description on this one and not all of the others?

How does someone who has taken a shot of a squirrel for instance (I do not have a squirrel in mine) compete against the majesty of a lion or tiger? How does one who doesn't live near a zoo, compete with majestic bison or moose? (don't know what the plural is to that one. LOL) It isn't fair and WHOMEVER set up the challenge criteria (doesn't matter who), should have been more clear about it ie: NO ZOO shots! or, simply called it Wildlife (end of story). That would have made it more abundantly clear. However, to say "in their natural habitats" and THEN, on another thread (that not all of us obviously saw), say...zoos are acceptable as natural habitats is just plain "shoehorning" in interpretation. :)


The problem with your logic is that anyone can get by your requirements if the environment just looks natural.

There is a wildlife preserve in North Texas that has giraffes, zebras, cheetas, african antelope and much more. It looks like their natural habitat but it is no less controled than a city zoo.

I took this shot at Fossil Rim in North Texas. Looks native, but it isn't.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/708/120/550401.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/708/120/550401.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Also, by your obvious predispostion, you would naturally assume that a shot of a white tiger, no matter how natural, was taken in a zoo.

This one wasn't even alive. My guess is it would have passed as not being a shoehorn

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I agree it's splitting hairs, but it's one I am willing to split since there is no way to tell for sure the context of the shot.

And if you are only looking at that one aspect of the photo, you are missing some really cool shots.

My humble advice for folks who think that voting down a shot is what you should do to make a point, is try looking for ways to vote an image positively rather than looking for the first thing that gives you an excuse to vote the image down.

Just a thought.

Message edited by author 2008-10-20 13:49:29.
10/20/2008 12:19:27 PM · #102
And since this a scores thread, here's mine

Votes: 55
Views: 117
Avg Vote: 6.0182
Comments: 8
Favorites: 0
Wish Lists: 0
10/20/2008 12:19:49 PM · #103
Originally posted by PhotoInterest:

Originally posted by scarbrd:

Originally posted by SaraR:



Wildlife photography is a specific genre in its own right, with unwritten rules and assumptions regarding the methodology used - and a zoo shot does not fall into the category.


Care to share what those unwritten rules and assumptions are?

Here's my take.

There are no "real" natural environments anymore. Whether it's a zoo, a man made garden, a city park, or a nature preserve, all of these environments have been touched by human intervention. Is a shot taken in a wildlife park where the animals are fed and populations controlled any more or less set up than a shot taken in a zoo? To the animal that was born and lived its entire life in a zoo living it what it perceives as its natural environment, that IS its natural environment.

The challenge description did not say "Take a wildlife picture in the wild".

I believe in sticking to the rules, but also acknowledge that they are sometimes open to interpretation.

If you want to see some wild interpretations, check out any of the Environmental Portrait challenges.


I think that the interpretation of "In their natural habitat" is being "shoehorned" into this challenge this time because so many of us can misunderstand just what was orginally meant. To say that a tiger, lion etc. has a natural habitat of concrete and iron walls and fencing, built by man in a zoo somewhere in Toronto, or Los Angeles, is not exactly "natural". It may be their "habitat" now, but it is definitely not their natural habitat by any means of the words.

However, a wildlife park is a slightly different story. Usually, the wildlife inhabitants to that park are indigenous to that particular area. They are simply being "protected" by man in living in their natural environment. A zoo does NOT fit this category as most of the animals in a zoo are definitely NOT indigenous to the area that the zoo is placed and not living in their natural enviroments.

In any OTHER challenge, if someone were to have photographed something even remotely outside of the challenge criteria or a more subtle version of it, voters would be leaping with comments to let us know that our shots do not fit within that framework/criteria! Think about that. Why then, does THIS particular challenge differ? Why is it ok to stray from challenge description on this one and not all of the others?

How does someone who has taken a shot of a squirrel for instance (I do not have a squirrel in mine) compete against the majesty of a lion or tiger? How does one who doesn't live near a zoo, compete with majestic bison or moose? (don't know what the plural is to that one. LOL) It isn't fair and WHOMEVER set up the challenge criteria (doesn't matter who), should have been more clear about it ie: NO ZOO shots! or, simply called it Wildlife (end of story). That would have made it more abundantly clear. However, to say "in their natural habitats" and THEN, on another thread (that not all of us obviously saw), say...zoos are acceptable as natural habitats is just plain "shoehorning" in interpretation. :)


Seems to me you've answered your own question. The reason
the powers didn't limit the challenge description is because the limits you're discussing don't exist.
We went through This last time almost post by post and I'm sure that if the challenge was meant to be limited in the way you suggest, it would have been. These folks are pretty good at what they do. If you DO take ã peak at the last forum, take ã minute and check out some of the other threads, such as 'please refrain from trying to influence opinion during the voting
10/20/2008 12:31:18 PM · #104
I've kind of changed my thinking on zoo shots as I was voting on this challenge. First off, a zoo animal is not "domesticated" -- it is a wild animal, captured and caged and put on display. Now, in the old days a lion in a 12 x 12 cage could hardly be said to be in its natural habitat. But these days, many zoos spend millions of dollars trying to recreate a natural habitat for their animals ... manmade jungles for their apes, natural grasslands for their big cats, etc. So I came to the opinion that a picture of a gorilla in a jungle meets the challenge, whether or not the jungle is manmade or not. To my mind, there's not a whole lot of difference (other than the price of admission) in taking a shot at a zoo or going to a an unfenced manmade park where animals are known to congregate. So I went back and looked again and voted based on who made the best pictures of wild animals in what appeared to be their natural habitat.

Oh, wait, sorry. This is the scores thread. :>)

Votes: 53
Views: 96
Avg Vote: 5.6981
Comments: 3

About what I expected going in. (And, no, I did NOT enter a zoo shot ... though I thought about it, I was just too lazy to go to the zoo this weekend!).
10/20/2008 12:39:08 PM · #105
Originally posted by EstimatedEyes:

I've kind of changed my thinking on zoo shots as I was voting on this challenge. First off, a zoo animal is not "domesticated" -- it is a wild animal, captured and caged and put on display. Now, in the old days a lion in a 12 x 12 cage could hardly be said to be in its natural habitat. But these days, many zoos spend millions of dollars trying to recreate a natural habitat for their animals ... manmade jungles for their apes, natural grasslands for their big cats, etc. So I came to the opinion that a picture of a gorilla in a jungle meets the challenge, whether or not the jungle is manmade or not. To my mind, there's not a whole lot of difference (other than the price of admission) in taking a shot at a zoo or going to a an unfenced manmade park where animals are known to congregate. So I went back and looked again and voted based on who made the best pictures of wild animals in what appeared to be their natural habitat.

Oh, wait, sorry. This is the scores thread. :>)

Votes: 53
Views: 96
Avg Vote: 5.6981
Comments: 3

About what I expected going in. (And, no, I did NOT enter a zoo shot ... though I thought about it, I was just too lazy to go to the zoo this weekend!).


Don't forget that many zoos do their best to breed their critters, either for eventual return to the wild or to sell/trade to other zoos. So for a lion cub that's been born and raised in a zoo/snactuary/wildlife park, it IS in its natural setting.
10/20/2008 12:53:11 PM · #106
Originally posted by snaffles:

So for a lion cub that's been born and raised in a zoo/snactuary/wildlife park, it IS in its natural setting.

He-he. Ok, so an astronaut goes into space and delivers a baby. They go to the space station for a year...the baby is living in its natural setting?

Or, I find a baby alligator and bring it home and it lives in my bathtub...that's its natural environment?

Just food for thought. :-)
10/20/2008 12:59:59 PM · #107
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by snaffles:

So for a lion cub that's been born and raised in a zoo/snactuary/wildlife park, it IS in its natural setting.

He-he. Ok, so an astronaut goes into space and delivers a baby. They go to the space station for a year...the baby is living in its natural setting?

Or, I find a baby alligator and bring it home and it lives in my bathtub...that's its natural environment?

Just food for thought. :-)


No, the bathtub would not be its natural habitat since you brought it there.

Is a baby wildlife? Maybe in your world. ;o)

ETA: a question -

If no context is shown in a picture can you tell the difference between a zoo, game park or in the wild?

Message edited by author 2008-10-20 13:01:03.
10/20/2008 01:06:43 PM · #108
Scores thread, people!

I'd post mine but I have scores turned off. It's most likely still sub-5. I now have 6 comments and a fav. I'm delighted!
10/20/2008 01:09:29 PM · #109
Mine is sitting at exactly 6.1 at 60 votes which, if I am honest is a little higher than it really deserves!
10/20/2008 01:11:15 PM · #110
Not to sound like a wildlife natzi, but a picture of a duck or a prairy dog doesnt hold up to a photo of a majestic animal such like a lion, tiger etc. There is a disavantage for those who decided to take pictures of prarie dogs and squirrels.
10/20/2008 01:12:37 PM · #111
Originally posted by JaimeVinas:

Not to sound like a wildlife natzi, but a picture of a duck or a prairy dog doesnt hold up to a photo of a majestic animal such like a lion, tiger etc. There is a disavantage for those who decided to take pictures of prarie dogs and squirrels.


The only place I can see prairie dogs is at the zoo. . . . .

I'm jus' sayin'. . . .

;P
10/20/2008 01:15:12 PM · #112
In this challenge, the whole zoo/wild argument is rather pointless IMO. There isn't a single entry showing concrete, iron bars and chain link fences, so even a viewer bent on lowballing zoo shots has absolutely no idea whether the animal was shot in a zoo, game park, nature preserve, back yard or $10,000 African safari. Even with such cues visible, you'd have to assume it was a zoo rather than a fence or manmade structure "in the wild."

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15000-19999/17203/120/703756.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15000-19999/17203/120/703756.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Most people would probably assume this owl shot was taken at a zoo because of the close focus and obvious structure, but it was a wild owl sitting on a swing set in my back yard. It's one thing to lower the score on a photo of the moon in a pets challenge, but making an assumption of DNMC as an excuse to vote down an entry probably says more about the voter than the photographer.

Message edited by author 2008-10-20 13:16:53.
10/20/2008 01:18:48 PM · #113
Originally posted by JaimeVinas:

Not to sound like a wildlife natzi, but a picture of a duck or a prairy dog doesnt hold up to a photo of a majestic animal such like a lion, tiger etc. There is a disavantage for those who decided to take pictures of prarie dogs and squirrels.

Hadn't looked at it that way. Interesting point.
10/20/2008 01:23:10 PM · #114
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by JaimeVinas:

Not to sound like a wildlife natzi, but a picture of a duck or a prairy dog doesnt hold up to a photo of a majestic animal such like a lion, tiger etc. There is a disavantage for those who decided to take pictures of prarie dogs and squirrels.

Hadn't looked at it that way. Interesting point.


Oh, I definitely had. I even said to family that my shot of , no matter how good, could never compete with swimming tigers. Sigh... I entered it anyway. :)
10/20/2008 01:30:30 PM · #115
Originally posted by scalvert:

In this challenge, the whole zoo/wild argument is rather pointless IMO. There isn't a single entry showing concrete, iron bars and chain link fences, so even a viewer bent on lowballing zoo shots has absolutely no idea whether the animal was shot in a zoo, game park, nature preserve, back yard or $10,000 African safari. Even with such cues visible, you'd have to assume it was a zoo rather than a fence or manmade structure "in the wild."

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15000-19999/17203/120/703756.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15000-19999/17203/120/703756.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Most people would probably assume this owl shot was taken at a zoo because of the close focus and obvious structure, but it was a wild owl sitting on a swing set in my back yard. It's one thing to lower the score on a photo of the moon in a pets challenge, but making an assumption of DNMC as an excuse to vote down an entry probably says more about the voter than the photographer.


Admit it, you live at the zoo!

10/20/2008 01:30:45 PM · #116
Originally posted by JaimeVinas:

Not to sound like a wildlife natzi, but a picture of a duck or a prairy dog doesnt hold up to a photo of a majestic animal such like a lion, tiger etc. There is a disavantage for those who decided to take pictures of prarie dogs and squirrels.

Wildlife I featured a meerkat (arguably an African prairie dog) in 1st place, a duck in 4th (and 19th) place, a toad in 7th place, a chipmunk in 12th, and a gray squirrel in 20th. Sure, some animals are more photogenic than others, but so are people and we deal with that in every portrait challenge. Even if you don't have a "special" animal, you can still make it LOOK special.
10/20/2008 01:31:18 PM · #117
Votes: 63
Views: 116
Avg Vote: 6.2857
Comments: 4
Favorites: 0

And the comments are all wonderful! I truly am in heaven!!!
10/20/2008 01:31:51 PM · #118
Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by JaimeVinas:

Not to sound like a wildlife natzi, but a picture of a duck or a prairy dog doesnt hold up to a photo of a majestic animal such like a lion, tiger etc. There is a disavantage for those who decided to take pictures of prarie dogs and squirrels.

Hadn't looked at it that way. Interesting point.


Oh, I definitely had. I even said to family that my shot of , no matter how good, could never compete with swimming tigers. Sigh... I entered it anyway. :)


A prairy dog swimming could be interesting, or a prairy dog visiously attacking a dandylion.
10/20/2008 01:32:51 PM · #119
Originally posted by snaffles:

Votes: 63
Views: 116
Avg Vote: 6.2857
Comments: 4
Favorites: 0

And the comments are all wonderful! I truly am in heaven!!!


Umpossible! There's nothing interesting in Ottawa =)

Grats Susan, I hope it stays up there!
10/20/2008 01:32:57 PM · #120
Originally posted by Bujanx:

Admit it, you live at the zoo!

Where else would you keep a wild animal? ;-P
10/20/2008 01:35:56 PM · #121
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

As an aside, I wish people would stop trying to be so literal about things as pertaining to the challenge description. It's a dream, I know.


AMEN to that! ;)
10/20/2008 01:37:46 PM · #122
Whooooooooooah!! Twilight Zone moment - where did K10DGuys post go?

ETA: Ahh nevermind I forgot to refresh the screen from reading earlier LOL


Message edited by author 2008-10-20 13:38:42.
10/20/2008 01:43:09 PM · #123
Originally posted by Bujanx:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Votes: 63
Views: 116
Avg Vote: 6.2857
Comments: 4
Favorites: 0

And the comments are all wonderful! I truly am in heaven!!!


Umpossible! There's nothing interesting in Ottawa =)

Grats Susan, I hope it stays up there!


Thanks Kurtis! And yeah I am royally surprised at how well it's doing but I ain't complaining...:-0
10/20/2008 01:59:09 PM · #124
Originally posted by Bujanx:

snip . .

Umpossible! There's nothing interesting in Ottawa =)



What - not even Otta's ?

So where do they come from then ??

:- P
10/20/2008 02:07:50 PM · #125
*shrugs*
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