by Ron Toel
Other Articles by Ron Toel:
Almost all the feline wild life images that one sees are created at game farms. Many of the wolf images and a lot of the baby images of these animals were created the same way.
A game farm is a place like a zoo, in which the owners become very close to their animals and actually tame them and teach them to respond to certain cues. They then sell the use of these animals to the movie industry and these animals are movie stars. Each of these farms has many more animals than what appear in the movies. All of these animals have to eat, so the farm owner offers the use of his animals to the wildlife photographer.
The routine is thus……A photographer contracts with the farm owner the types of animals that they desire to shoot. The farm owner get the money and will haul the animal to a suitable site (one with a great background and interesting surroundings to create good action shots.) One gets to take as many images as can be made in a certain time frame, while the animal trainer tries to keep the animal doing interesting things. Many, many, great images have been created this way. Then when the time is up, the animal is put away and usually a different animal is brought out.
There are also places like a zoo whereby one gets to go into a large natural setting pen and the owner keeps the animal active while the photographer gets to shoot as much as he/she wants in the time frame allotted. These animals are not tame or trained as in the other version.
The down side of all of this is the expense. The rent for these animals can be hundreds of dollars per hour. However, if a photographer is actively selling their images, and creates 500 images in a couple of hours, the rewards can be outweighed by the expense.
In reality, does it make a difference as to how and where the images are created? Does it matter if it is film or digital? Does it really make a difference, if it is a photoshop created image?
I feel that one should be honest with the public and make them aware of how the image was created - but in reality: Art is the creation of beautiful objects through a process that appeals to the human senses.
With that in mind, grab your camera and create some art.