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Thread: Misrepresentation in Photo Contest

  1. #1
    Alfred Forns
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    Default Misrepresentation in Photo Contest

    Replacing previous post with a direct link to the Wildlife Website showing a PDF of the release.

    http://refugeassociation.org/new-pdf...ud_Release.pdf

    This is the text copied form the site

    For Immediate Release Contact: Evan Hirsche
    November 6, 2009 ehirsche @refugeassociation.org
    (202) 292-2429
    Altered and Misrepresented Refuge Photo Contest Images Withdrawn
    Washington DC- The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) has withdrawn “Semifinalist”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    his images be withdrawn from the contest.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:
    http://refugeassociation.org/contest/ContestHome.html
    Submission requirements for the 2009 Refuge Photo Contest can be viewed here:
    http://refugeassociation.org/contest...estRules2.html
    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.
    ###

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    BPN Viewer Rocky Sharwell's Avatar
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    To quote Homer Simpson, "D'oh"

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    In order to give Mr. Gamez the benefit of the doubt we waited to post the press release until we could confirm it's validity.

    Here is the reply from Evan Hirsche, President of the NWRA.
    'Hi James, thanks for being in touch. The press release is valid. Feel free to post and let me know if you have additional questions about it.

    Best,


    Evan

    *************************
    Evan Hirsche
    President"
    Last edited by James Shadle; 11-15-2010 at 05:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Fabs Forns
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    News made it to the Washington Times:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblo...ring-for-some/

  5. #5
    Roman Kurywczak
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    Well this is certainly a warning to others but it is sad that Maxis took that approach. His reputation is certainly taking a hit (deservedly so) and I have seen the image that was manipulated and his response........I find it hard to understand that he didn't consider that going against the rules! No idea as to the other alleged violations.

    What is even more disturbing is that the regular media is now picking up on the story and this now puts another black eye on photographers.....as if it wasn't tough enough already at some locations. Good news is that this was dealt with openly and quickly so the NWRA should be commended for that.

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    Only 4 responses despite 379 hits to this thread! I am wondering why so few responses on this topic? Are we shy of discussing because one individual has been identified? Or are we not concerned about this ethical issue?

    In this forums we have discussed whether to disclose cloning or not. Link to one such discussion is given below:
    http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...ranch+eternity

    So I was definitely expecting a discussion on this issue.

    Unfortunately this issue is going to impact the perception about photographers, which anyway was never great. There have been a few unethical photographers in all era; however, their numbers seems to have increased with the availability of digital tools. It has become easier to manipulate as each indiviudual has got the equivalent of a darkroom in their workstation as opposed to the film era. The proclivity to cheat is perhaps increased due to the ease. I know atleast two people who have won on the basis of digital wizardry in photography competitions that allow prints.

    However, I am not suggesting that only ease of digital alterations is the reason for people violating rules. It is a question of ethics as well. Often photographers have been blamed, at times rightly, for unethical practices.

    It is often said that photographers who love their subjects won’t try to harm their subjects. Unfortunately, it is not practiced by the majority of the photographers. The Washington Times header for the related news is damning "The urge to cheat can be overpowering for some". In the body of that article the author writes "Since there were no big prizes promised to the photo winners, why try to pull a con?" It appears to point out that some people are kind of habitual offenders. In this case, there would have been some recognition of winning a prize.

    The expectation to produce superb images and share in the online forums at rapid frequence becomes taxing on a few individuals and they resort to unethical means. People know of instances where a photographer photographed a rare animal in a zoo and passed it off as a wild one. In the NWRA case, one or few images by the photographer are not from the state location. Does that mean images of some captive subjects have been labeled as that from a National Refuge? Any idea?

    I believe acquiring skills at digital alterations is fine as long as one uses it for personal use and not enter into competitions, or send it to magazines etc thereby violating their policy. It is a good practice to disclose if any addition or deletion of elements from the scene were done.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
    Only 4 responses despite 379 hits to this thread! I am wondering why so few responses on this topic?
    I think two earlier responses I saw somehow have disappeared.

  8. #8
    Alfred Forns
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    Hi Desmond There was only one that disappeared, Mike Tracy asked something about the release so I took the thread down and found direct link and confirmation from the site.

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    Hi Folks!
    I must admit that I do not usually weigh in on these discussions, but am always fascinated to read the opinions of fellow BPNers.
    I have to agree with Sabyasachi - I was expecting a far bigger response to this thread. Could it be that many of us are stepping back in alarm - I for one (in my inexperience) am not at all sure as to what would pass for an acceptable level of PP for a competition shot. I fully understand the statement from the article about not addng anything to the scene, but when I found Maxis' images on another site and compared them, it seemed to me that he had removed, not added. Whilst I do not condone cheating, am I missing something here??
    Can anyone tell me - if an image is entered in a nature competition what exactly is permitted in terms of PP? If some artistic licencse is taken (ie, using levels or curves to create a sillouette, for example) would this be considered cheating. Is minor cloning or use of the patch tool also not OK?
    As always, I look forward to your responses!
    Best regards to all,
    Nicki
    :)

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure that most folks know my basic position on these matters: do whatever you want to an image, let folks know what you have done, and always obey the contest rules. (Nicki: there are not "set rules" for contests; each contest has its own. Levels, Curves and dust spotting are pretty much universally OK."

    The fact that Maxis refused to provide the requested RAW files pretty much sums things up for me.

    Robert O'Toole told me last week that he had learned that Maxis was doing a complete program on Quick Masking for a local camera club. Another nice touch.
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    Nicki, as Arthur said, each contest is different but the amount of post-processing allowed for the big ones is pretty minimal. I've only entered Nature's Best (for the first time this year), and if I recall cloning was not allowed and only a slight amount of cropping was allowed or at least recommended. I know one of the judges of the BBC competition last year (not sure if he was on the panel this year), and he told me that the judges there certainly will take into account the purity of the RAW file, giving more weight to a photo that they know or supsect has not been cropped or otherwise altered from what the camera captured. Of course, in the final stages of a big contest, you might be asked to submit RAW files as a matter of course or to prove validity, and so the BBC judges at least apparently will have the RAW file to verify their evaluation. This judge told me that they really do place a premium on the skill of a photographer to produce a RAW file that essentially stands on its own.

    While it seems that cloning, cropping, and selective background adjustments beyond NR have become pretty standard tools for many nature photographers, I totally agree with Arthur that a photographer needs to realize that the contest rules will often be different. Even if you could rationalize it inside your own head, this incident shows so clearly that it's just not worth it. I suppose those of us who make a living with our cameras can understand the pressure to produce but this is a big lesson that when it comes to contests, it's best not to submit images that have work above and beyond the contest rules. And as Arthur mentioned, it's important to disclose PS work on the forums as well, both as a disclaimer and for people to learn.

    Cheers,
    Greg
    Last edited by Greg Basco; 11-08-2009 at 07:57 AM. Reason: typo

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    I too have been following this subject, here as well as on a few other forums. I think many are not responding or weighing in for several reasons. For me, I am always hesitant on "piling on" someone without seeing the proof or the images that are alleged to be manipulated outside the rules laid out by the contest.

    After seeing Maxis reply to this matter on Naturescapes, and offer an image to show his side...many questions still remain. It was reported that 5 images were thought to have crossed the line. Maxis showed one image and what he did, but what about the other 4?

    THe part that really throws it for me is when they asked him for the original raw files and he would not comply. That action speaks volumes and I believe does the most harm to his reputation and sadly enough, casts a wide shadow across all photographers in general.

    As far as working over an image I fall into the camp do what you want, but reveal that it was done. For contest submissions, follow the guidelines completely and have no worries. In all things in life that we do...some basic principles must be the foundation upon which we build or in other words, how we live. Speaking the truth, living it, etc...is among these basic principles. Failure to do that has great consequences...and now Maxis is dealing and will deal with this from here on out. The damage being done to his reputation is going to be very tough to overcome, if at all.

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    I didn't comment on this thread (until now) for two reasons:
    1) If the thread was a discussion on whether or not you needed to follow the contest rules when submitting images, there would really be nothing to discuss.
    2) I didn't quite understand the purpose of singling out the individual, unless it was to shame or embarass him. I think the message could have been delivered without identification of the individual. If we want to get into name-calling, I could name a couple prominent photographers on this forum and NSN that were deliberately breaking posted rules at North Chagrin Reservation last month. I'm much more concerned about violations that potentially harm the wildlife and end up affecting access to the area for other photographers.

  14. #14
    Roman Kurywczak
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    I think taking out an entire bird or 2 would go beyond the "Limited image modification" by anyones standards or at least it should. Most contest will not allow it except for digital creations or something similar. Many will also ask for the raw original. I agree with the others above that not providing the other image data speaks volumes. Since the NWRA wasn't going to ask for a RAW file, maybe he felt he could get around it. The question I have is why? Does anyone feel that removing an entire bird......per the contest rules......fall into the minimal modifications? The naturescapes image is what I saw....even if I take into account the crop....he removed an entire bird if you add the BG birds head! That to me is more than "minimal". It will be interesting to see how others feel.
    Remember that Maxis's actions have an impact on us all as it reflects poorly on photographers. It's a shame that a talented photographer such as him went that route. I for one have lost a great deal of respect for him.
    Last edited by Roman Kurywczak; 11-08-2009 at 09:27 AM.

  15. #15
    Roman Kurywczak
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    PS to Ed....as I was typing during your post......his actions affect us all (as do the others you mention)....difference is that this was a national event and if the contest wanted to retain it's credibility.....they neded to take that action.

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    I have thought about this for the past day. I have always stated clearly what was done on any image that I have posted. I have read the rules from several contests and although I have never entered any, have always thought that PS work on such images would/should be limited to minimal cropping, sharpening, and perhaps levels or saturation......all to enhance what was actually seen....not what the photographer "wanted to see". Cloning of the level that I saw in a before/after image was clearly over the line. As a stretch....one might want to give the benefit of the doubt. Someone might want to dispute that the rules stated not "adding" anything to an image but neglected to mention "removing". But....what about those images that were withdrawn due to location issues which have not been addressed in his NSN post. I'm no Rhode scholar but......what part of location don't you understand?

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    Artie, thanks for the clarification on contest rules - I do appreciate that they might differ from one competition to another. Of course the fact that he would not reveal the RAW files does indeed speak volumes and Roman, of course I agree that to remove an entire bird and claim it as a minimal modification is clearly ludicrous. It is good to know (from Greg's post) that the purity of the RAW file is so highly prized in the big competitions. And I agree that this does cast all of us in a poor light.
    Best as always,
    Nicki

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    I am by no means defending Maxis disregard for the rules. Personally I think he knowingly went over the line. I have shot with him on two occasions this past spring. He is a dang good photographer who has a body of work with images that could have won with no false representation. Why he chose to do what he did is beyond me.

    I have entered several prominent competitions in the past few years and have done well in them. Each contest as stated by others has their own guidelines and I elect not to push them so I won't be the public sacrificial lamb Mr. Gamez has become. I am confident he is not the first who has cheated and won't be the last but was the one who was caught this time with his hand in the cookie jar.

    The reason for this post though is that as much as we are criticizing him on this forum I don't think he is a member in good standing here and is no longer allowed to post. Shouldn't the owners make a exception and allow him to state his mindset at the time here on BPN ? I doubt it will change our attitudes and conclusions but it would be only fair to give him the opportunity.
    Last edited by Mike Tracy; 11-08-2009 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Can't spell

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    Rules are rules, you always roll the dice when you decide to break them. What is expected in a sale of fine art will be different from a competition.

    One thing that always makes me laugh is when you hear about how photoshop allows so much cheating and unethical behavior. Everyone knows the work of Ansel Adams, is there a greater grandfather of landscape photography anywhere? You certainly wouldn't read Gene Mueller writing about his ethics or calling him a cheat. Mr. Adams was a wizard of the darkroom and even considered the film to be his composed music and the final print to be his performance of it. One of his most manipulated images is Moonrise Over Hernandez. He heavily burned the sky and dodged the ground. The resulting image was a night sky even though it was exposed in the late afternoon. Mr. Adams was not cheating, his ethics are not questioned. He was an artist of passionate vision making magic.

    If you are not a PJ or bound by a particular set of rules why place a fence around your options? Dream a little, yes?
    Last edited by Kevin Hall; 11-08-2009 at 12:45 PM.

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    Fair point Mike, especially as I am certain that you are right that he is hardly the first to have knowingly crossed the line.
    Is he no longer allowed to post on BPN as a result of this contest? If he cannot defend himself then it does rather feel as if we are condemning him behind his back. I am sure that all of us here, if accused of something, would appreciate the chance to tell our side of the story.
    Best,
    Nicki

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    Kevin, we must have been typing at the same time.
    Dream a little? Oh, I couldn't agree more - essential to me personally. But I guess not for a nature photo contest...
    Best,
    Nicki

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    Hi Nicki

    I whole heartedly agree, rules are rules and I never was much of a gambler. I think the breaking of the rules is where the legitimate conversation of ethics takes place here. But not in the use of photoshop and darkroom techniques. And so many who started with digital overlook the manipulation that took place in chemicals.

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    Keniv I completely agree with everything that you have said.
    By the way, I am sure that I remember hearing it said (can't remember where) that it is possible to permanently alter a RAW file. Does anyone know if this is true?
    Best to all,
    Nicki

  24. #24
    Roman Kurywczak
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    I agree with Mike.....it would be nice if Maxis could answer as I for one would like to ask him; What were you thinking?!!! I have seen many great images from him.....so I do wonder like Mike as to the why???

  25. #25
    john crookes
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    Just another reason for Photographers to take it upon themselves to state no matter where the photo is shown whether or not the image has been manipulated beyound traditional practices

    It is easier to instill that in a photographer at the beginning then the expell and denounce a photographer when it is discovered that they manipulate a photo for whatever reason.

    We are too quick to judge as a society and denounce the person when it gets encourage to do the same in everyday life
    Look deep at your own comments here and see how many times one is told that to make the imafge better they should clone or remove items or add wing tips and such

    We should educate at the same time that if you choose to do so you should also state that you did

    Judge others as you would judge yourselves

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred Forns View Post
    Hi Desmond There was only one that disappeared, Mike Tracy asked something about the release so I took the thread down and found direct link and confirmation from the site.
    Thanks for the clarification, Al ! I noticed the removal and so I thought no response was allowed to this thread :o


    I still like what is said in this article:

    http://www.naturescapes.net/docs/ind...otojournalism-


    So if you are to use your photo in a competition, you follow their rules. It's not really about if it's immoral to manipulate your images. It's your image, you decide what you use it for and make it accordingly.
    Last edited by Desmond Chan; 11-08-2009 at 01:37 PM.

  27. #27
    john crookes
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    The bottom line

    You have a right to express yourself, no doubt about it. And you can alter your image in any way you choose. But if you want to sell your work in the editorial arena, you must understand the rules and know the expectations of your customer. By doing this, you’ll maintain your credibility and reputation. It is always best when the photographer, buyer and viewer all understand how an image was made.
    this is the last part from the naturescape article

    could not agree more with the last line which so many here have a hard time agreeing to

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    BPN Viewer Rocky Sharwell's Avatar
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    I wonder about the images with location issues--I can imagine some confusion at Merritt Island where as far as I know, the causeway and the ratty looking beachish area after the marine patrol station are not in refuge bounds. I would also have to look up to figure out if Canaveral Seashore is considered part of the national wildlife refuge.

    On the other hand if an image was taken at Ft Desoto there is no close call as to weather it is part of national refuge

  29. #29
    Robert Amoruso
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Sharwell View Post
    I wonder about the images with location issues--I can imagine some confusion at Merritt Island where as far as I know, the causeway and the ratty looking beachish area after the marine patrol station are not in refuge bounds. I would also have to look up to figure out if Canaveral Seashore is considered part of the national wildlife refuge.

    On the other hand if an image was taken at Ft Desoto there is no close call as to weather it is part of national refuge
    Rocky and anyone else that might be wondering, Merritt Island and Canaveral National Seashore are kind of a abnormality in that combined with the refuge portions under NASA control are all managed co-jointly. Of course you are not allowed on the closed to the public portions of the refuge under NASA control. If you look at the maps for MINWR and CANA you will see that the refuge boundary includes the seashore. Canaveral however is managed by National Park personnel and the other parts of the refuge are managed by USFWS. I once asked a National Park ranger at the seahsore its boundaries. I was told that the area immediately around the entrance station, the roads to the beach and the beach and its parking areas are in the control of NPS. The areas to the left and right of the entrance road are dealt with by refuge personnel (BTW hunting is allowed in these areas near the beach access).

    Two links below for maps of both. Note that on the CANA map the green area is marked as seashore/refuge.

    So, an image I took of say the scrub jays at the entrance station is, to me, seashore and not refuge - an image of them at scrub ridge trail is refuge. An image on the beach is seashore and an image on Bio Lab Road or from the seashore access road on either side is refuge.

    As I understand it though, NASA owes all the property. That is why they were considering commercial launch platforms on refuge property a few years back.

    http://www.nps.gov/cana/planyourvisi...d/cana_map.pdf

    http://library.fws.gov/Refuges/Merrittisland_map.pdf

    BTW: I have gotten some excellent images at the "ratty looking beachish area after the marine patrol station" area you mention Rocky. :)

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    What John said.. if you are selling it as a FA print go for it, but most of the contests frown upon this.

    I was really strict about the images NWPLI would send into NB for just such reasons. The last thing I wanted was to have to justify an entry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason G. Harrison View Post
    After seeing Maxis reply to this matter on Naturescapes, and offer an image to show his side...many questions still remain. It was reported that 5 images were thought to have crossed the line. Maxis showed one image and what he did, but what about the other 4?

    The part that really throws it for me is when they asked him for the original raw files and he would not comply. That action speaks volumes and I believe does the most harm to his reputation and sadly enough, casts a wide shadow across all photographers in general.
    As I said above, Maxis refusal to submit the RAW files as requested says it all. Period. Pretty much all of the big contest rules state that photographers will be required to submit the RAW files for images that have made it to the final judging. There simply is no defense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Erkes View Post
    2) I didn't quite understand the purpose of singling out the individual, unless it was to shame or embarass him. I think the message could have been delivered without identification of the individual. If we want to get into name-calling, I could name a couple prominent photographers on this forum and NSN that were deliberately breaking posted rules at North Chagrin Reservation last month. I'm much more concerned about violations that potentially harm the wildlife and end up affecting access to the area for other photographers.
    Mr. Erkes wrote me about the Chagrin incident a while back and I asked him why he did not walk into the visitor center and report the offending photographer whose name he knew. He said that he had thought about it but decided to do nothing.

    If we cannot police ourselves who is going to? When I see someone breaking the rules I photograph them in the act if possible and report them to the proper authorities. If I judge it to be safe to do so I confront them on the spot. In my 27 years I have done this about four times. To me this pretty much belies the perception that nature photographers are as a whole a damned well behaved group.

    Seeing someone break the rules and then doing nothing is to me unconscionable. And folks who do that should quit whining about it. If Mr. Erkes were so concerned about the birds and about photographic access why did he choose to remain quiet at the time?

    As for "singling out Maxis" there are two issues:

    #1: He was named in a public press release.
    #2: Having often been the victim of assassination by innuendo, inference, and exaggeration I feel that a photographer who is accused in a public forum should be named by the accuser in cases where folks might be able to guess the photographer's identity. At least then he is free to defend himself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Tracy View Post
    The reason for this post though is that as much as we are criticizing him on this forum I don't think he is a member in good standing here and is no longer allowed to post. Shouldn't the owners make a exception and allow him to state his mindset at the time here on BPN ? I doubt it will change our attitudes and conclusions but it would be only fair to give him the opportunity.
    Hi Mike, Thanks for raising an excellent question. The problem is that Maxis lost the right to participate on BPN by acting in violation of the posted Guidelines and continuing to do so after he was asked to stop doing so. His response was to generate a massive spam attack against the site.

    If you or anyone else would be kind enough to provide a link to his NatureScapes "defense" it would be greatly appreciated. I used quotation marks around the word defense because, as I stated above, his refusal to submit the required RAW files is indefensible. By doing so he not only indicted himself but he convicted himself as well.

    Respectfully.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post

    Seeing someone break the rules and then doing nothing is to me unconscionable. And folks who do that should quit whining about it. If Mr. Erkes were so concerned about the birds and about photographic access why did he choose to remain quiet at the time?
    I'm not going to get into an argument with Art about what I should or should not have done at North Chagrin. You can't win an argument with Mr Morris anyway (I've tried in the past). I chose not tell the park officials of the rules violation at North Chagrin at the time partly because I did not want to be seen as a "snitch" and have park personnel confront several individuals in front of a large group of other photographers. Instead I spoke to one photographer in person that day and several others the next day. Unfortunately the words became heated and had no positive effect at all on the situation. I admit I probably should have handled the situation differently, but find it strange that Art should call my behavior (not reporting the incident to officials) "unconscionable", yet he did not seem overly concerned about the rules violations in the first place. He even suggested a way to attract the ducks that did not technically break the rules (but, in my opinion was also unethical and disruptive to other photographers).
    Oh. Oh. I've just started an argument. I'll go ahead and concede defeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john crookes View Post
    Just another reason for Photographers to take it upon themselves to state no matter where the photo is shown whether or not the image has been manipulated beyound traditional practices. It is easier to instill that in a photographer at the beginning then the expell and denounce a photographer when it is discovered that they manipulate a photo for whatever reason. We are too quick to judge as a society and denounce the person when it gets encourage to do the same in everyday life. Look deep at your own comments here and see how many times one is told that to make the imafge better they should clone or remove items or add wing tips and such. We should educate at the same time that if you choose to do so you should also state that you did.
    Judge others as you would judge yourselves
    John, I agree 100% that folks need to let other folks and for editorial uses, let editors know the truth about all of their images. And we encourage folks to do just that here. As for the rest of your remarks, they make no sense to me. Maxis is an adult. Everyone who enters a contest needs to read and understand the rules before entering. It is not our job to tell folks to do that. It is simply common sense.

    I encourage folks to improve their images via Clone Stamping, Quick Masking, Layer Masking and Patch Tooling every day but I assume that they will read and abide by the rules of any contest that they enter.
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    Artie
    Here is the direct link to the Naturescapes "defense".

    http://naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewt...?f=37&t=165813

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicki Gwynn Jones View Post
    Artie, thanks for the clarification on contest rules - I do appreciate that they might differ from one competition to another. Of course the fact that he would not reveal the RAW files does indeed speak volumes and Roman, of course I agree that to remove an entire bird and claim it as a minimal modification is clearly ludicrous. It is good to know (from Greg's post) that the purity of the RAW file is so highly prized in the big competitions. And I agree that this does cast all of us in a poor light. Best as always, Nicki
    Hi Nicki, #1: There some contests that have "anything goes" and or "digital creation" categories (but you do have to read the rules to find out about them...) And in some contest anything goes is the overall rule.

    As for the purity of the RAW file comments I would need to take that judge to task for his lack of understanding of digital photography.... It is often correct technique to vastly over-expose a RAW file to produce a file of the highest quality. In the BBC contest cropping, levels, curves, and color adjustments are permitted.
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  38. #38
    Roman Kurywczak
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    OK....the main question here is to Ed....a bit off topic...you labeled it as "snitch" yet pretend to be concerned about the welfare of the wildlife....which one is it. To me snitch is cowardly (being from NJ)......telling authhorities in what you believe in....is honorable. Which one is it Ed?
    I also did ask Maxis for a clarification on NSN....so far no response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Hays View Post
    Artie, Here is the direct link to the Naturescapes "defense". http://naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewt...?f=37&t=165813
    Thanks Lana. I do not see any "defense" offered. In addition, I know of no National Park in in Florida where this image could have been created. Maybe Maxis would be glad to take a lie detector test and answer this question" "Maxis, was the image that you posted on NatureScapes in your defense created at Fort DeSoto County Park?

    Does anyone have a link to the contest rules?
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    Artie
    Here's the link to the contest rules:

    http://refugeassociation.org/contest...estRules2.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman Kurywczak View Post
    OK....the main question here is to Ed....a bit off topic...you labeled it as "snitch" yet pretend to be concerned about the welfare of the wildlife....which one is it. To me snitch is cowardly (being from NJ)......telling authorities in what you believe in....is honorable. Which one is it Ed?
    I also did ask Maxis for a clarification on NSN....so far no response.
    I simply mean that I chose to talk to the individuals involved rather than going to a third party. In my mind that is not cowardly but simply giving the offenders the opportunity to change their behavior without involving others. However, I will readily admit that it was probably not the correct way to handle the situation.
    Mea culpa.

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    I really don't have a horse in this race and I know almost no one on this board except Artie. But it does seem inappropriate to keep raising issues around Maxis Gamez without allowing him to defend himself on this board. It also seems to me that the only reason this discussion was started was to highlight this person's difficulties.

    I was raised that if I don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all. A great deal of this discussion seems very mean spirited and not in the overall best interest of this forum. I think many of the issues being raised are worthy of further discussion. But the continued abuse of someone that can't defend himself is inappropriate to say the least.

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    I just posted this at Maxis' "defense" on NSN here: http://naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewt...47691#p1647691

    There is a spirited thread on BPN regarding this issue herehttp://www.birdphotographers.net/for...d=1#post377415 and Lana Hayes was kind enough to provide a link to this BPN thread.

    Some folks are concerned that Maxis does not have the opportunity to defend himself on the BPN thread (because he was banned for numerous and repeated violations of the forum guidelines). Several folks noted that Maxis "defended" himself on this thread.

    Since he cannot participate on the BPN thread I gladly look forward to his answers to the following questions (all of which have been asked on the BPN thread) here:

    #1: Did the contest rules state that photographers would be required to submit the RAW files for images making it to the final rounds?

    #2: Assuming that the answer to that question is yes why did you refuse to submit the RAW files?

    #3: Is it your contention that the wonderful image that you have posted above was not created at Fort DeSoto County Park?

    ps: Good job on the image optimization of the image above. Looks as if you used a few Quick Masks; did you learn that technique from Robert O'Toole's APTATS CD?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Donald View Post
    I really don't have a horse in this race and I know almost no one on this board except Artie. But it does seem inappropriate to keep raising issues around Maxis Gamez without allowing him to defend himself on this board. It also seems to me that the only reason this discussion was started was to highlight this person's difficulties.

    I was raised that if I don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all. A great deal of this discussion seems very mean spirited and not in the overall best interest of this forum. I think many of the issues being raised are worthy of further discussion. But the continued abuse of someone that can't defend himself is inappropriate to say the least.
    Hi Jeff, Maxis now has a chance to answer lots of our questions at the NSN post. See the link above. I am anxious to see what he has to say. Also as noted previously, Maxis was banned here for repeatedly violating the BPN Guidelines. And then he retaliated with a massive spam attack against BPN. He simply is not welcome here.

    If he had read and followed the rules we would not be uttering his name here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Erkes View Post
    I simply mean that I chose to talk to the individuals involved rather than going to a third party. In my mind that is not cowardly but simply giving the offenders the opportunity to change their behavior without involving others. However, I will readily admit that it was probably not the correct way to handle the situation. Mea culpa.
    Good to see that you are admitting that you were wrong. Are you stating that you talked to the photographer who was violating the rules?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Erkes View Post
    I'm not going to get into an argument with Art about what I should or should not have done at North Chagrin. You can't win an argument with Mr Morris anyway (I've tried in the past). I chose not tell the park officials of the rules violation at North Chagrin at the time partly because I did not want to be seen as a "snitch" and have park personnel confront several individuals in front of a large group of other photographers. Instead I spoke to one photographer in person that day and several others the next day. Unfortunately the words became heated and had no positive effect at all on the situation. I admit I probably should have handled the situation differently, but find it strange that Art should call my behavior (not reporting the incident to officials) "unconscionable", yet he did not seem overly concerned about the rules violations in the first place. He even suggested a way to attract the ducks that did not technically break the rules (but, in my opinion was also unethical and disruptive to other photographers). Oh. Oh. I've just started an argument. I'll go ahead and concede defeat.
    Hard to win an argument when you admit in advance that you were wrong.

    And tossing some pebbles into the pond was not a violation of the posted regulations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Hays View Post
    Artie, Here's the link to the contest rules:
    http://refugeassociation.org/contest...estRules2.html
    Thanks Lana, You are too good.

    This is the relevant portion:

    Limited image modifications are allowed. The intent and effect of any modification must be to produce a more natural looking and accurate photograph.

    Removing a turnstone and two Laughing Gull heads would seem to pretty much everyone to be more than a "limited modification." And in no way could removing three birds be considered to have made the photograph more accurate.
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  48. #48
    Roman Kurywczak
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    Hey Jeff,
    If you look at the 3rd post on NSN.....i asked Maxis to explain himself......as I remembered he was banned for breaking the rules....that IMO is offering him a chance and not being disrespectful at all and I did quote the above rule..."limited"....so my post at 12:42pm (it was actually 11:42 my time) there asking for a response directly from him......is totally appropriate...still no response from Mr. Gamez.

  49. #49
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    My $0.02

    I am understand that Maxis did violate the contest rules, he also admitted himself, but the biggest lost is I think is that Maxis was (still into my eyes) one of the best new generation photographers. I hope that Maxis learns from his mistakes and keep up producing awesome images and with time redeem himself by keep working at the best of his abilities. I also hope that with time the nature photographers community forgive and forget...

    It is hard to understand someones motivation, but, maybe ... there are some economical motivations, it seems that the photography business have become very competitive, mainly when the biggest source of income for photographers is by teaching classes, therefore winning a couple of contest can help an upcoming photographer establish his name...

    I have to admit that I have become a lurker more than an active participant since this type of discussion drive me away from this awesome site....

    Raul

    BTW: I never have the pleasure to meet Maxis, I did exchange a couple messages on this forum when I was starting on the forum.

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    Hi Roman,

    Thanks for the reply. It just seems inappropriate to me to keep asking questions and making statements about someone when they can't respond. Call it unfair, unjust, Un-American etc. Everyone deserves their day in court. It is immaterial that he was banned here for a previous violation of the forums rules. If there are questions that need to be raised and asked then do so on the forum that he can respond to. Why continue to stir the pot and raise questions here, when he can't respond? What good can come out of it? I understand that people are looking for answers, but raising the questions here when he cannot respond seems mean spirited to me.

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