Some of you may have followed the recent discussion concerning Ashley Vincent’s picture ‘The Explosion’ snatching the Nature category as well as the grand prize in the 2012 National Geographic photo contest. The entire discussion revolves around the captive vs wild discussion to which I happen to have a very clear opinion. The 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year wolf shot was a hoax, since the photographer failed to mention the shot was picturing a captive animal, while at the same time the rules don’t allow for shots of captive animals. In that sense there is no comparison to Ashley’s work: the rules allow for pictures of captive animals to be submitted and his caption tells the full story, so I honnestly don’t see what people are nagging about! As long as you don’t start pretending captive animals were actually wild and as long as you don’t refrain from mentioning the truth, there is absolutely no issue in my book! And for those of you who feel NatGeo should only focus on wild animals, they should enter into a discussion with National Geographic instead of running this discussion on the back of Ashley’s picture (it was after all not him defining the rules of the competition).
Whilst we’re at it, check out the latest Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #8, amongst which you will also find a color version of my sleepy vervet monkey shot.
All this being said, I can only say that I admire Ashley’s work (check out his 500px portfolio here) and that I am stoked he agreed to share his personal thoughts in a guest blog on this page. Till then, I invite the laptop critics to go out to a zoo and get the shots Ashley is envisioning and creating and I leave you with a shot of an elephant orphan at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. To avoid any confusion, it considers a rescued elephant, which is now being taken care off at the Trust and which will be reinserted into the wild in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya.