View Full Version : Photographer thrown out of contest in America: "Altered and Misrepresented Images"

Bibhav Behera
07-11-2009, 01:10 PM
Washington DC- The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) has withdrawn “Semifinalist”

recognition from five images in the 2009 Refuge Photo contest after a close review

raised questions about the integrity of several images submitted by photographer Maxis Gamez

of Sarasota, Florida.

“The NWRA appreciates the hard work and artistry of the many photographers who submitted

accurately-represented photographs taken on national wildlife refuges, and will be vigilant to

protect the integrity of its contest,” said Evan Hirsche, President of NWRA. “Photos submitted

by Mr. Maxis Gamez were confirmed to have been in violation of contest rules and have been

removed as a result.”

Five images submitted by Mr. Gamez received “semi-finalist” recognition by contest judges, and

were placed in the “Winning Image Gallery” on NWRA’s website. Shortly afterward, contest

staff became concerned that several images were potentially in violation of contest rules

regarding significant digital alterations as well as the stated location of the images. NWRA

promptly investigated the matter, and Mr. Gamez admitted to digitally altering one image and

misrepresenting the location where another was taken. The photographer declined NWRA’s

request to provide the original photographs as evidence in support of his claims, and asked that

his images be withdrawn from the contest.

Contest rules stipulate that photos “must be taken at a refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge

System or at a refuge-associated Waterfowl Production Area,” and prohibits digital alterations

that “add any elements or objects that do not exist in the original scene.”

The winning images from this years contest can be seen here:


Submission requirements for the 2009 Refuge Photo Contest can be viewed here:


The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge Association is to conserve America’s wildlife

heritage for future generations through strategic programs that protect, enhance, and expand the

National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries

that secure its ecological integrity.

The original press release can be found here:

Mrudul Godbole
07-11-2009, 08:13 PM
These days people are becoming more and more digital artists than photographers.
In order to project themselves as good photographers, they are focussing on photoshop
hence ethics becomes the biggest casualty.

Sabyasachi Patra
08-11-2009, 02:06 PM
Though is is not related to Indian wildlife, it is important to discuss the ethics or the lack of it in nature photographers.

I am copying the article in Washington Post on the subject.


The urge to cheat can be overpowering for some
By Gene Mueller on Nov. 7, 2009 into Inside Outside
I can understand scoundrels trying the cheating game during a fishing contest, but now people are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of judges in outdoor photography contests.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association a few days ago withdrew semi-finalist recognition from five entries that had been entered in the 2009 Refuge Photo Contest.

It appeared that after a close review, several images submitted by a Sarasota, Fla., photographer raised more than one question.

Five photos that were submitted by the Floridian received semi-finalist recognition by the contest judges and were placed on the Winning Image Gallery on NWRA’s web site, http://refugeassociation.org/contest/ContestHome.html. But soon thereafter, the contest staff discovered that several images might be in violation of contest rules regarding digital alterations. Not only that, they found that the locations the photographer said the photos were shot in actually came from different places.

The man eventually admitted that he had altered the images and misstated the locales of his photo shoot.

Since there were no big prizes promised to the photo winners, why try to pull a con?

However, it’s a different story when it comes to sport fishing. The stories about cheating attempts during cash-for-cast bass fishing tournaments are almost common.

Ever since the 1960s when Ray Scott founded the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) and saw the growth of fishing tournaments – they used to be called fishing derbies -- grow from neighborhood gatherings to huge national events that promised fat checks to the winners and runners-up, the urge to cheat was overpowering for some.

To Scott’s lasting credit, the few times contestants tried to cheat in one of his BASS contests they were caught and barred for life.

I can recall one attempt back in the 1970s. A fellow was caught red-handed when he already had some fine bass in his aerated livewell inside the boat -- before the contest began. He didn’t know that the holding tanks in each boat would be checked by tournament officials before the gun sounded.

Incidentally, the cheater turned out to be a used car salesman when he wasn’t fishing.

In another bass tournament that Scott was not involved in, a contestant was seen by a lake shoreline resident pulling a wire mesh basket from the water near a boat dock. He emptied the basket that had four or five large bass in it. The lakeside resident who witnessed the cheating snapped a few photos and then showed up at the weigh station to pass along what he’d seen.

The tournament officials questioned the culprit who eventually broke down and admitted his sin.

There have been stories of bass tournament cheating from all over the country, but none more serious than those from Texas where bass fishing is almost a religion. In one sad case some years ago, when a contestant was accused of cheating, the shame of it drove the man to suicide.

The link to the original article quote here: