Friday, May 14, 2010

Ridiculous...and obscene

"Incredible" Cat Pictures  - LINK

My friend Mark Carwardine in the UK sent me this link today to a photo story that is circulating through newspapers in the UK, showing a series of "incredible" pictures of lions, tigers and leopards -- all
shot, by the way, in Montana.  (Tigers in Montana?  Oh my...)
The pictures are the usual trite stuff of snarling animals, meant to suggest they are about to attack the photographer.  But the worst part of the whole thing is the text in which the photographer "risked his life" to get these pictures of "wild beasts." "It could attack at any moment," he is quoted as saying.
I don't know where to begin in my comments:  This is so dishonest at every level  that it would be laughable... if it weren't reaching millions of people who may actually believe this crap.  The animals are nothing more than cats-for-hire intentionally harassed to elicit a "threatening" response.  I find this kind of photography truly obscene.
 The photographer (Jonathan Griffiths) should be ashamed of himself, but even more so should be the "news agency", (Solent ) for passing this off as "wild."  It does all photographers, journalists - and the public - an enormous disservice.


  1. What a sham. My god the editors must have their heads completely where the sun doesn't shine to actually think they could print this as is. Won't even talk of the photographer who is trying to sensationalize the absurd. Look, all we want is truth, just tell the damn truth. If it's a captive animal(well, we know it is) just say so. Everyone understands then.

  2. Just appalling. I saw this in the morning & could not stomach it for more than a few seconds before clicking away.

  3. I saw this yesterday and had the same reaction. While obvious to me it certainly is not to others. The hype of the "danger" involved in the article was a huge disservice to photographers and viewers. Someone who is not aware of such a place to photograph captive animals is easily duped. It doesn't take much to realize that many of these cats don't live in places where it snows... then again its a sad thing to have to say, but not many people are all that knowledgeable about the basics of nature/wildlife. I can only hope that the editors are the ones that take the brunt of the criticism. They're the ones that should know better as they manage content in their publication.

  4. You can never tame a wild animal, never trust them. There are plenty of cases out there where a trained wild animal killed or maimed its trainer/owner. Anyone that close to wild animals that size is risking their life.

  5. Sheena,

    I take your point. Yes, there is always some risk when close to any big animal. What I take exception with is the way the pictures are presented, as if the animals were truly wild. Nowhere in the text of this story is it mentioned that they are animal models trained to perform for photographers. The reader is left with the mistaken idea that he stalked truly wild cats (in Montana??).