View Full Version : How much Hand of Man?

john jackson
01-15-2008, 07:12 AM
I've been looking at the Avian, Wild and Free Birds and the Avian, Captive and Hand Of Man forums, and I'm a little confused as to which images belong where.

Does a wild bird on a fence or wire really belong on the same forum as a captive bird?

For me, the human stamp is firmly placed on almost any landscape, so any non-restrained bird is wild and free, whether or not it is placed by a human artifact.

For example, I posted my picture of a grackle in Hand of Man because the background is man made, but when I see images of birds attracted by feeders in Wild and Free I think I was being too strict.

Where is the boundary? Where should it be?

Pete Woods
01-15-2008, 07:14 AM
I think Hand of Man relates to photograph manipulation in the processing stages (ie in CS3 etc)

Alfred Forns
01-15-2008, 07:26 AM
Hi John I understand your point about the "human stamp" What we are trying to do is to place all captive birds and birds that show the hand of man in one gallery

By hand of man we are talking about fences, structures, bands etc Should be fairly easy Looking for the obvious

john jackson
01-15-2008, 02:57 PM
Hi Alfred

It seems a little strange to me to be lumping in one forum a captive bird and a wild bird that happens to be sitting on a fence. Photographing the latter is just as challenging as photographing any other wild bird.

I wonder if a separate forum for captive birds, falconry birds and so on might better reflect the photographic challenge?

To illustrate my point, do Snow Geese in a corn field at Bosque belong in the same forum as the ones with clipped wings at my local zoo? And in a different forum to Snow Geese flying over an out of frame corn field at Bosque?

I'm not trying to be awkward, I just don't see how come the dividing line falls where it does at present.



Jim Neiger
01-15-2008, 04:01 PM
Hi John,

I think that the captive and hand of man images were combined in one forum because there aren't enough of these images posted to warrant a forum for each. Images with mand made elements and captive birds do have the human factor in common. Your corn field example could go in the wild and free birds forum if there were no man made objects visible. If there was a fence in the image, that would be a different story.

Peter Hawrylyshyn
01-15-2008, 04:53 PM
hi jim -
that may have been the intent, but i think the "Hand of Man" twist has just created more confusion as too many contributors either don't understand or just don't realize the difference

what's worse, moderators aren't enforcing the guidelines and moving photo's into the appropriate intended forum.

If a bird lands on a moss covered branch i position as a perch - i can post in AWF, but if i put up a fence railing as the perch, it has to go into HOM. If a HB photo shows a feeder, it should go into HOM, yet if i clone out the feeder in PS - i can post in AWF.

Multi-flash photo's of HB's posted in AWF ( eg - the hermit post ) are made against a poster background - isn't that a mand made element visible in the photo.

One contributor today posted in HOM because they moved a natural flower against a vine BG to attract a hummer for their exceptional photo, yet the photo showed no man made elements.

What if the human element is blurred in th BG - at what level does it become permissble to post in AWF?

I would tend to agree that boundary between AWF and HOM as now presented is too broad , and worse yet, not being regulated

Alfred Forns
01-15-2008, 05:15 PM
Peter I understand your concerns I agree there is a thin line between the two categories We are not going to regulate how much it has to be blurred to fit in one cat or the other Obvious will be moved Look a the the large picture We need a place to put our captive birds and added the hand of man I think it fits btw I find images of birds with a fence etc more challenging than the bird on is own and hold them in the highest regard !!!

James Shadle
01-15-2008, 07:28 PM
I wonder if a separate forum for captive birds, falconry birds and so on might better reflect the photographic challenge?


We, as a forum community are very young. As a group we decided for the time being we would combine HOM and Captive birds in one forum.

As we grow and have members come onboard who are willing to volunteer as moderators, we will be in a position to start splitting some of the forums making them more specific.

Thanks James

Keith Reeder
01-16-2008, 07:18 PM
On a related tack (and I appreciate that this might be a sensitive issue to raise as a first posting, but this bothers me immensely): what about photographs where a bird of prey is "baited" to perform by the photographer feeding them live, store-bought pet mice?

Such images clearly have a "hand of man" in them - tempting them with live "freebies" the birds are being provoked into acting in a most unnatural way, coming within a few yards of people (a very bad thing to habituate a bird of prey into doing) in order to get them close enough to photograph.

Personally I find the practice distasteful in the extreme and yet within five minutes of my first visit to this site, this evening, I find a snowy owl image where the photographer actually admits that the bird was baited.

Is there an official site policy on baiting?

There's something fundamentally questionable about the idea of bird photographers - we're nature lovers, yeah? - feeding live mice to snowy owls et al just to get a photograph.

Aside from the cruelty argument that can be made (I'm no naive, head-in-the-clouds animal-rightist, but I see no justification for this: if mice are OK, why not puppies and kittens?) but there are real issues around the risks implied by releasing - in effect - non-indigenous species into delicate ecosystems.

Christine Hudnall
01-16-2008, 08:29 PM
I won't touch the baiting question here, it's not the thread for it. I will however touch on the Avian Captive/Hand of Man forum. This is MY perception of what the forums are:

If your image is of a captive bird, then it goes into Captive/HOM forum.
If your image has obvious HOM items (a bird feeder, a fence, a tripod, a tractor, a plamp holding a flower, etc.) then it goes into Captive/HOM forum.

If you do a setup of a flowering branch, a bare branch, a flower, a nice blurred background (hummers!), then I see no reason it cannot go into the regular avian forum (Wild and Free), because there is nothing obvious about human element in the image. Now, if you took image and it shows the clamp holding the branch/flower or background, that is different, that is HOM.

Just my thoughts on it. ;)

James Shadle
01-16-2008, 09:44 PM
At BPN we will not set ourselves up as anyones conscience. Everyone must decide for themselves what is right and wrong.
We have a thread going that presents both sides of the argument. http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=675
I can tell you this for sure. No member of our staff would ever knowingly do anything to harm our subject.
We encourage debate as long as it is civil and respectful.

Love your subject more than your photography and you can't go wrong.

Kenn Christensen
01-16-2008, 10:53 PM
perhaps Im wrong.. (well I often am).. but I dont sense any implied (or real) stigma between catagories of wild vs hom/captive.. I think they are just a way to split photos into groups that help us sift through them a bit better. It seems a natural break.. if your setting up a shot and you want it to look wild you can do that.. some wild shots are dead easy to get... some are very hard.. but again I dont think there is a stigma for easy vs hard.. perhaps more respect is given for hard.. I dont know.. but respect is always earned... it has to be earned somehow.. but I dont think its earned by what catagory you place your shots in ... I really dont understand why there would be a problem as to where you place your shots... Id expect some misunderstandings... in fact I think right away I put a shot of a bird on a post in the wild forum.. oops.. I didnt have a problem when a moderator contacted me and explained politely that it should be in the other forum and asked if I minded if he moved it.. no problem there!.. and since then I try and keep my stuff in the right area... and give all the information needed to help people assess my shots and help me in my future endeavors.... this is a great place...