1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

One of the things I hate.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bob the Spiderman, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. http://www.bobjensenphotography.com
    If there is anything in this world that causes me to go absolutely ape sh*t it is the type of thing that I have just come across on this man's web site. Apparently he is off to some Entomological Fair within the States where is is going to be selling his 'Prize Winning Photographs.'
    Curious I looked and guess what? All but one of his butterfly pictures are of DEAD SPECIMENS that supposedly show these species in flight or settled on a flower. I am not saying that he states they are alive, but nor does he say that they are posed and manipulated to give the impression of live butterflies; however I am pretty sure that the intention is there.

    All I can say is that it is a damn good job I am not going to this Fair, and if he turns up at the ones we have in Europe, then heaven help him.

    Sorry, but this type of thing gets right up my nose.

    BW. Bob F.
  2. Bob, you are right. By not stating the condition of the butterfly's he is misleading the buying public and is guilty of deception. I'm with you.
  3. Sorry, but I'm not sure I agree. What type of deception is he guilty of? If he claimed these were live shots and they weren't then it would be a flasehood.

    On what do you base your claim that all but one were posed dead insects? Is it that he killed the insects in order to pose them? I see no harm with this either. I think it's safe to say he used some sort of humane method or their carcasses would show physical distress. He is showing the beauty of these creatures to others, which certainly can't be a bad thing, can it?

  4. I don't need to base my observations on anything except that the images are so obviously of DEAD butterflies, and that it is blatantly obvious to anybody who knows anything about the subject in question. However I bet that a number of buyer's of these images think that they have a picture of a live butterfly in flight.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with him trying to show off the beauty of the subject. It is what is NOT SAID that makes me mad.

    BW. Bob F.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2005
  5. dagored


    May 4, 2005

    This is real and was moving:
  6. Talk about insects; have you looked at Jukka Ankanpaa's work? Hand held with a D70 and a SB-600 flash and some cardboard "make do" hardware. His images are stunning. The depth of field is very deep for insect shots I've seen.

    Nobody told him that he coudln't get such good shots with what he has...and no one should. I think it's the best macro inset work I've see.

  7. Sorry but I do not know the name, although I may know his images if I were to see them. Do you have a link?

    BW. Bob F.
  8. Right here at the cafe. His latest thread is title "Encore". Check New Posts above.

  9. Now you are talking. Those are really nice images.

    I have just spent the last 15 minutes examining the offending images and others that he has under other series. If you know what you are looking for then you will soon spot the pin through the thorax, and the fact that some have 4 or 5 legs missing. Enough said!!

    Bob F.
  10. huskey8


    Feb 22, 2005
    Bob you are really off base here Mr Jensen is a very honorable man who would not intentionally deceive anyone. He has done much to advance the science of entomology and is held in high esteem by many in that field. Only the pictures that are labeled soft focus are of dead specimens. IF you or anyone takes the time to contact him he will tell you that.
  11. Bob, calm down.
    Although I understand your point - if I knew I could make good money this way I would do the same. As a professional entomologist, though, I would try to prepare the insects so that it's less obvious the pics are fakes. I have recently prepared fighting stag beetles for an exhibition and our boss was delighted because it looked so life-like.
    Also, most of the award winning documentaries on insects made 90% of the shots in a studio. We have a film-maker in Austria (Kurt Mündl) who won several awards (in the USA) for his documentaries and insiders know that almost all his shots were done in a studio and what bugs me here is that most of his "actors" do not survive his treatment (that is why I refused to supply him with life beetles for his film on bomardeer beetles). But admittedly, in the film it looks great. His most famous documentary, however, about "Oetzi" (you know, this man they found in the ice of the Alps) is complete BS, but the audience is easily deceived.

    Actually, most of our everyday life is about deceipt (commercials, politics). It's the same in art. Art is usually in the eye of the beholder, or the art lies in the capability of the artist to promote and sell his products. One of the most renowned Austrian artist creates most of his "art" by spilling buckets of blood on a canvas. Another one even received governmental support for his art of arranging human excrements on canvas :confused: 
    This could go on and on and on.

    To come back to the insects pics that upset you - what I would criticize is that his pics aren't even of outstanding quality and are in no way innovative or creative. But you can either spend a lot of time creating outstanding stuff and try to live on the positive comments (like in this forum) or (like many pro's do) produce acceptable quality with the least possible effort (which seems the only way to make profit).

    Summary - I am happy that I don't have to make a living on photography (or music :smile: ).

  12. Only the pictures that are labeled soft focus are of dead specimens.

    Really. Then all I can say is that I have learnt nothing in my 50 years of studying and photographing insects.

    Hi Harry. Of course I know that film-makers do this. We do/did at it constantly at Oxford Scientific Films. Believe it or not we had a large part to play in the making of the first 'Superman' film in 'helping' him to fly over the cities on earth.Also, I use to do a lot of work for the Cotswold Wildlife Park, and one of the best loved British documentaries of all times called 'Meercats United' had quite a lot of footage shot in their Meercat enclosure. But, if you look at the credits then you will see that these controlled conditions are listed there.

    Using controlled conditions are perfectly acceptable, otherwise how would the film-makers make a lot of their films. but this is a long way from using set dead specimens and show them as though they were alive and in flight.

    I spent a long time this summer trying to do in the wild, exactly what he has depicted with this Family, and believe you me not only do I know their flight patterns but a lot else besides.

    Ha well you have got to have a good moan sometimes otherwise life gets exceedingly dull.

    BW. Bob F.
  13. I just took some time and went through all his galleries. It's actually pretty nice work, especially the birds. The insect stuff is something else - they are technically good and I think the majority of people won't recognize that most of the pics are made from dead or narcotized animals.
    It's just the minority of trained entomologists who will penetrate the fake. As you said, you have to know what to look for, like completely unnatural antenna positions, dragon-fly legs dangling loose, etc.
    But, who cares. It's his business and if he's successful that way, good for him :wink:

  14. I agree. He has some nice pictures with some lovely backgrounds although I had to stop myself from having hysterics at one dragonfly shot. The poor creature would have fallen out of the air if it flew like depicted. As regards to who cares, well probably nobody, except for those who know better.

    Do you know the name Kjell B Sandved. A very famous entomologist attached to the Smithsonian. He was a real blighter for producing books on butterflies that were either dead or very deep frozen. His work sold in VAST quantities as people liked the final image. OSF have his wingscale alphebet and numbering sequence. I think he used Leitz Protars or Luminars for this work.

    BW. Bob F.
  15. NeilCam


    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Seeing everyone seems to be getting on Bob's case about this, I thought I'd chime in with some support for his views.

    There IS a difference between science and art and while there's no reason science can't be portrayed artistically the fact that it is science means it should be portrayed honestly.

    Someone has mentioned that we constantly get lied to through media and advertising images and the line of argument seemed to be that therefore it's okay. Not for me it aint! I get increasingly pissed off that we seem to so readily accept being lied to as though it was okay and a legitimate thing to do in order to make $$$$$$$$$$$.

    I have no problem with being obviously creative or being told something is a fake, but lying either directly or by omission just plain pisses me off.


  16. A quick reminder; we're aimed at the general audience. Please, let's keep ephitets suitable for young teen agers.

    Thanks, Rich
  17. NeilCam


    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Geezzzzzzz, whatever!

    Show me a "young teen agers" who's never heard, let alone used, an epithet (let alone one as mild as I used) I'll show you someone who's never turned a TV on or been outside their own door.

  18. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    :smile: smiles at Bob, Harry and Neil
  19. Well said Neill, but the question is what is science?
    Real scientific publications usually show details of insects (or whatever), usually distinguishing features (genitals in most cases). Rarely a habitus pic is added to facilitate quick identification. Many insects, however, may be identified only by their primary sexual characters (as mentioned above).

    Field guides are something different. They usually only present a selection of easily identifiable species either by idealized drawings or by photographs, and they do not fall in the category of science (IMO) rather in what we call popular science.
    In such cases it is also legitimate to fake life-like situations with dead animals, especially in cases where life specimens are very difficult to capture, because they are so quick.
    But, since color plays an important role in identification by laymen, certain groups of insects can (and should) only be depicted alife. Such groups are all dragon- and damsel-flies, most Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets), and prayings Mantids because they all loose their original color very quickly once they are dead. Even certain beetles loose their color (although this is the exception), e.g. some turtoise beetles (Chrysomelidae, subfam. Cassidinae) have parts of their integument brilliant golden or silver which vanishes in the dead animal. The only chance to fake pics with those groups is to kill them or narcotize them and immediately arrange them for the photo. If you wait a day and decay starts, all those brilliant colors of damsel flies or the green color of grashoppers turns to a shabby brown.

    But as you said, it should at least be mentioned.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.