Peregrine [CA3, PC1]
Some time ago, aspiring professional wildlife photographer, Peter Moonlight, sent me his and Sam Waldron’s proposal for a clearer captioning system to give the user and viewer a better understanding of the circumstances behind the final picture. My feeling is that while the categories defining a creature’s status are helpful, those concerning picture editing may be a little precious. To coincide with Peter’s interesting article about disturbance to grey seals by photographers at Donna Nook in the October Outdoor Photography magazine, here is his proposal. Let’s hear your views, please!
© Peter Moonlight 2010.
Preserved Trade Secrets
We understand that photographers are highly reliant upon trade secrets to produce interesting and unusual images in their own distinctive styles, and that images are more powerful while they retain an air of mystery.
The Exposing The Wild Captioning System aims to allow photographers to retain these trade secrets while simply and unambiguously sharing potentially technical information with viewers.
Trade secrets preserved under the Exposing The Wild Captioning System include:
Locations are the most important asset of any wildlife photographer, and many photographers do not share their locations for good reason; for example, to protect venerable sites from damage.
While the Exposing The Wild system explains the situation in which each image was taken, the photographer need not disclose locations.
Camera, Flash, and Studio Technique
Exposing The Wild feel that it is right that any camera techniques, flash usage, or studio setups, to remain as a photographer’s trade secret if the photographer desires.
While we feel it is important that photographers are open about the level of editing applied to each image, we feel that that the exact workflow and editing procedures do not need to be disclosed.
For example, it is enough for a viewer to know that lens defects were removed without knowing what the original defects looked like and how they were removed.
Neither sharpening nor cropping are included in the Exposing The Wild Captioning System. These may be disclosed at the discretion of the photographer.
WA – Wild Animals
WA1 – Wild Animals As Found
Wild animals whose behaviour has not been deliberately altered.
WA2 – Baited Wild Animals
Wild organisms that have been attracted to a certain area.
Animals who have been attracted with live or dead bait, and any other resource (e.g. water baths, nest holes, fishing perches.)
WA3 – Habituated Wild Animals
Wild animals that are no longer concerned nor affected by the presence of humans (e.g. Grey Squirrels in an urban park and recently released captive bred animals.)
WA4 – Temporarily Captured Wild Animals
Wild organisms moved within their environment for photographic purposes.
Wild organisms temporarily removed from their environment (e.g. Field Studios.)
CA – Captive Animals
CA1 – Captive Animals Living as Wild
Animals that live and behave as wild, but whose range is deliberately constrained by large enclosures (e.g. deer park deer.)
This DOES NOT include other animals living in the same area, such as foxes in a deer park.
CA2 – Dependant Captive Animals
Confined animals that that rely upon humans for their survival (e.g. zoo animals and animals scheduled for wild release.)
CA3 – Controlled Captive Animals
Animals whose behaviour is controlled by humans (e.g. Pets, Trained Animals, and Falconry Birds.)
Captive animals temporarily released into the wild.
PC – Pixel Creation
Edits that result in the addition, removal, or relocation of pixels within an image.
Tools that cause this include: the clone tool, the heal tool, the patch tool, and transformation tools such as the warp tool.
PC1 – Removal of equipment defects.
Pixel creation edits used for the removal of equipment defects
Equipment defects include lens flare, lens dust, and backscatter.
PC2 – Removal and editing of minor subjects or backgrounds.
Pixel creation edits that affect neither the main subject matter nor the overall scene.
- the removal of a distant fencepost from landscape photographs.
- the removal of bright pieces of bokeh.
- the removal of stray pieces of grass from macro shots.
- the removal of jesses from birds of prey.
PC3 – Editing of major subjects and backgrounds.
Pixel creation edits that alter the main subject or the overall scene.
It is up to the discretion of the photographer to decide whether a pixel creation edit constitutes a major or minor edit.
PA – Pixel Alterations
Edits that alter the tone and colour of existing pixels.
Tools that cause this include: brightness, contrast, exposure, levels, curves, exposure, hue, saturation, black and white conversions, colour balance, channels, blacks, highlights, colour replacement, and red-eye reduction.
PA1 – Minor Global Pixel Alterations
Global pixel alterations are alterations that alter all pixels across the image equally.
A minor pixel alteration does not change the feel of the scene compared to the scene captured by the camera and envisaged by the photographer.
PA2 – Minor Local Pixel Alterations
Local pixel alterations are alterations applied specifically to parts of the image through the use of graduated filters, masks, or brush tools.
A minor pixel alteration does not change the feel of the scene compared to either that captured by the camera or seen by the photographer at the time.
PA3 – Major Pixel Alterations
Pixel alterations that significantly affect the look of the scene compared to the image captured by the camera and seen by the photographer.
It is up to the discretion of the photographer to decide whether an alteration constitutes a major or minor pixel alteration.
PM – Photomerges
An image may fulfil two definitions in the photomerge category; for example, an image may be an exposure composite and a stitched panorama. In this case the caption would be displayed as PM1/3.
PM1 – Stitched Panoramas
A series of images that have been stitched together, either manually or by specialist software.
PM2 – Focus Composites
A series of differently focused images of the same subject combined into one to produce an image with a wider depth of field. This may be done manually or automatically.
PM3 – Exposure Composites
A series of differently exposed images of the same subject combined into one to produce an image with a higher dynamic range. This may be done manually or automatically.