Copyright Notice

All images © 2010-2016 Hee Jenn Wei unless stated otherwise. Reproduction of any content without permission is prohibited.
Contact for requests. Refer to the Image Use Policy.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pseudo-nature Photographers

Content updated on 19th August 2013, to include Alex Wild's article

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: added 22nd August 2013
This article had gather a series of trending photographs, coincidentally these photographers are from Indonesia.

We should not be stereotype, this is pointing towards a certain group of photographers- Pseudo-Nature; regardless of race, nation and border.

Please take note that i do not own the idea, write up and analysis of this article original content from here, written in Chinese ( or here magazine here. I merely translated it. 
I tried to contact the rightful owner of the content through weibo but still no reply from their side. 


There are series of trending photos, and they actually seem cute and amazing.

Indonesian Tree Frog holding an umbrella, a rare occasion with great impact. 

When people are hiding indoors avoiding the summer heat, this resourceful frog holding an umbrella under the rain. This tree frog is photographed sheltering under a leaf in the rain for 30 minutes. The photographer is Penkdik Palme, 27. He said this riveting image was captured at his neighbor's garden.

Ohh wait! Isn't it holding a leaf for 30 minutes? Why is the leaf changed in the last photo? A frog's skin, in its natural state, need to be moisten. Raindrops to them are an enjoyment, why would they need an umbrella? And it seems to be an Araceae planted on an aloe vera. The rain is too uniform and could possibly reproduced from a watering can. Look at the frog, it doesn't really look in good condition. The red bruises on its legs show it could've been injured; a defenseless frog that is been posed by others. This is undoubtedly a set of staged and posed pictures.

Moreover, the photographer is from Indonesia, I am even surer that these photos are posed. There have been a lot of posed animal photos that crop out on the internet, and most of them are the works of Indonesian photographers. Their traits, they claimed their photos are captured naturally but that's a far-fetched reality. A nature enthusiast can easily tell that these animals are staged and posed, some animals are suspected to be abused. When I look at these photos, i can only say I am really amused.

Let's take a look at a couple more photos.

A crazy frog giving the fingers.

According to The Sun's March 12 article, Shikhei Goh from Batam, Indonesia recently captured a rare photo of a frog giving the fingers. He said he found the frog was beautiful. So he spent 3 hours following the frog. Fed up, the frog turned around and gave the fingers to the photographer.

Analysis: Did he just bump into a leprechaun of some sorts? It is a miracle he didn't pee his pants. The frog is actually a red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas), it inhabit in the rain forests of Central and South America. They're not found in Indonesia rain forest, but they can be bought from pet store. Posed photographers like using pets as their subjects; you'll know when you look closer. A tree frog can't give the middle finger; its muscles don't allow it physically. I suspect Shikhei used a thread to force the frog to pose in these photo and removed the thread with Photoshop, because these animals seem to be arranged on a straight line when they're upright, as such:

There are a lot of similar photos, like:

Look, Bruce Lee kung fu frog!

Shikhei from Batam (AGAIN!), Indonesia said: "I like insects and animal, and i find it interesting to observe them. When this frog shifts its center of gravity to its left, it lifts its right leg up. It's swift as lightning and was gone in a blink of eye, but thank God, I managed to capture it.

Analysis: Nice try, it wasn't anything close to swift movements.

The cool dancing lizards.

These are some sick moves, these lizards sure know how to party! The owner of these dancing lizards, Shikhei Goh puts them on a reflective surface and observes them as they enter a trance-like state. They would use their limbs to stomp on the ground and shake their bodies. One of the photos show a gecko uromastyx doing the legendary pose by Travolta with one arm suspended mid air.

Indonesia-based Shikhei said: "Capturing them is difficult because they won't stop moving. But these fellas' movements are like dance moves. One of them look like it is doing a kick in Kung Fu."

Analysis: This is leopard gecko uromastyx (corrected by josefek) naturally found in Central Asia North America, Middle East and Iran. Anyone who's had them as pets know they won't be able to pose like this even if they took ecstasy. All these are with the help of a simple thread.

POP QUIZ! How are these photos below captures? Who is the photographer?

Oh, by the way, a red-eyed tree frog supposed to look like this.

Photo from Jan Sevcik. (

So do you still think these "amazing" photos funny?

These photographers are quite fond of snails as well, their favorite: East African land snail (Achatina fulica). They're native to African and have been introduced to a lot of countries including Indonesia. They can be found at pet store, dining table and around the houses.

Tiny snail climbs aboard mother's back crossing a puddle.

According to Daily Mail's June 6 article, Uda Dennie, 33, captured a snail carrying a baby Mollusc to cross a puddle. The tiny snail occasionally takes a peek at its reflection.

In fact, this series of photos by Dennie was not an easy task. He added, "In face it's quite a challenge, as I had to wait for a unique moment. The most important thing is patience, sometimes it takes hours to capture the moment. I was really surprised when I spotted the baby being carried by his mum on her shell- I've never seen this kind of behaviour."

Analysis: First thing first, they are not related. The larger one is an East Indian land snail and the smaller one, after examination from conchologist (Gondwana) is an Ariophantidae, a family of air breathing land snail. With this depth, it'll drown under prolonged times. Snail won't actively cross a river; their tentacles would retract when come in contact with water. So they will seek an alternative route. The river in the photo is just a thin film of water, because of angle, the water surface becomes reflective so it's hard to judge the depth. Don't believe me? Look at this:

Indonesian photographer captures exquisite insect shots.

According to Daily Mail's October 9 article, amateur photographer Nunu Rizani from Indonesia captured a series of crystal clear shots of insects taken after the morning dew had settled in his garden. Insects are on his marble table are playing with water or dangles on the tip of a plant stem and appears to gaze at its reflection. There is also a spider that realized the water wasn't deep, it started to revolve around the marble quite happily.

Analysis: See! He admitted the water is shallow and it's also a marble. Judging from previous pattern, he could easily say it is morning dew, but where did the spider get happier? The spider can be on its net quite happily, you put it on a puddle of water can scare it. And "revolve around the marble quite happily?" Really, that's called drowning! A normal spider will tip top when it walks, and this one is half-sunken. Admit it, you just beat it up, didn't you?!

Putting two animals together is very common as well. They'll make up a very interesting story; a surprised photographer is key to a good one.

Snail crawls over a frog.

Indonesian photographer Lacy Sebastian recently captured an interesting image of a snail crawling past a frog. He said it took the snail 8 minutes to finish the journey.

Analysis: 8 minutes?! Snails are slow, but definitely not that slow! Judging from the photo, the snail was moving at full speed at it could easily crawl past the frog in 15 seconds, maybe even 10 seconds. Oh Sebastian, can you guess why isn't the frog moving? Cause it is tired and been treated like a puppet. You're putting all sorts of things on its head, how can it not feel your hostility?

Moving on befuddled, I opened a new tab and saw a reversal: the frog is taking a lift on a snail.

Snail picking up a lazy passenger.

The snail was slithering on the rock when the frog saw the snail.

They both stare at each other for a while, and the lazy frog hopped on the shell of the frog.

Nordin said: "I laughed when I first saw it and then quickly grabbed my camera to picture it."

According to article by Daily Mail on 15 January 2013, Indonesian photographer Nordin Seruyan captured the cartoonish scene outside his home near a pond. He spotted the frog leap on to the shell of a snail and hitched a ride.

Analysis: I said: "I laughed when I first saw it and quickly pointed at Nordin and yell, you're crazy!"

Okay okay I'd calmed myself, let's move on. Wait what? New discovery? Lizard? Let's find out!

Indonesian photographer captures lizard's lightning fast feed!

According to an article by Daily Mail on 25 October, Shikhei Goh, 39, a photographer from Indonesia has recently captured an amazing sequence of pictures that shows a lizard feeding on. He said: "I was walking through this grass field. All of sudden, I stopped in my tracks because I saw this beautifully colored chameleon clinging to a long shoot of grass. The chameleon saw this cricket landed on a grass nearby and all of sudden it shot its tongue out caught its prey."

Analysis: Taking a walk and spotting a chameleon? Ho ho ho! After examination from Ricky SD and Saffron Von, this is a panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis), native to Madagascar. This cricket can be bought at a pet store as usual live bait.

Shikhei said he had to wait 40 minutes after spotting the lizard.

Analysis: Serves you right!

This Shikhei Goh is rather interesting. After some researches, he's apparently a winner of some world-class photo competition Nut Geo in the nature category. The winning shot:

Shikhei said, " I was taking my macro-shots as usual that time. I had other subjects in my mind and didn't notice this dragonfly. When I'm ready to snap a shot of it, the storm is coming. I was hesitating whether I should continue shooting, but the light was unbelievable. So i decided to keep shooting and the result was amazing.

Editors’ Note, January 12, 2012: This caption has been edited to accurately reflect how Goh took the picture. The original caption said that Goh had taken the picture in a sudden rainstorm, which he has done in previous occasions—but not for the winning photograph.

Analysis: Storm, sunlight and strong wind, and a dragonfly that refused to give up: 4 unrelated elements coming together are pretty rare. But Shikhei's album has a couple more.

This is a miracle in meteorology; a palm size storm cloud raining at 5-25 degree on the dragonfly's face. And another storm raining heavily while the dragonfly is chilling under it. All these are captured by Shikhei?! I just have to learn from him.

Shikhei is not only a photographic maestro. He is also a Qigong master who can manipulate the weather. He says rain, rain is what you get! Really!

Note: A raised tail is a leopard gecko's defense mechanism; it means it is in a state of shock.

I'm getting a little fuzzy; I could only subconsciously look for other Indonesian maestro's works:

The ultimate of macro: little world, big story.

Indonesian photographer Fahmi Bhs's works are known for the story and he's skilled at creating dramatic tension, which is visually arresting. After the visual impact, it brings an intellectual experience, which will then elevate into an emotional experience.

What's up for the praying mantis flipping the toad over?

Battle between the praying mantis and atlas moth larvae.

Photographer captured a fire ant standing on one leg in an Indonesia village.

Robertus Agung Sudiatmoko, an Indonesian photographer was doing macro at Sebilong Village, he captured an army of ants' bizarre behavior. The most shocking was when one of them stood on one leg, "That ant suddenly stood on one leg and it looked like it is breakdancing. This is the first time I've captured something like that, I think it'll be hard to top that."

++ Content Update: to include Alex Wild's article ++ 

A Fake Makes it to the Smithsonian's Photo Contest Finalists

Alex Wild was surprised, I was astounded, my friends are flabbergasted! Biologists, Entomologists can bluntly tell without further investigation that this is faked, posed, staged, ants don't behave this way. These images were captured by Eko Adiyanto, West Java, an interview on Daily Mail 6 May 12, Adiyanto had described how incredible is the strength of ants putting onto a parade of defying gravity, balancing seeds above their heads.

Analysis from Alex Wild: Oecophylla smaragdina, the Asian weaver ant, is not shy about attacking intruders to its treetop territories. The scene can be set by taunting guard ants, who stand to attention and look around for something else to bite. If you hand an ant something into which she can sink her toothy jaws, she will grab and hold; this species is unusually tenacious and the guards will cling to offending items for some time. The strategy works well to deter attack by other ants, for example.

Weaver ants are strong- that part isn't faked. The ants build nests by pulling living tree leaves together and binding them with larval silk. The strength and grip involved in bending leaves and stems is unusual even among ants.

The patient observer can cajole the anry-but-not-terribly-bright insects into a pattern like that seen in Mr. Adiyanto's photo. It's clever. And I'd be fine with the image if photographer weren't trying to pass off a manufactured pose as natural ant behavior.

Mr. Adiyanto's circus ants might have a place in Smithsonian's "Altered Images" category. But they certainly don't belong among the "Natural World" offerings.

Between me and the photographers, one of us must be nuts.


I believe these are just a minority amongst the Indonesian photographers but the damage done is hard to fathom. In the context of not harming the model, posing fun is all good. But fabricating stories to mislead the public to believe the unnatural behaviors is plain wrong. Winning awards and gaining profits with deceit and animal abuse is unfair for the real nature photographers. There’re also(posed) photographers like these in China; in order to capture the moment of bird feeding a chick, they would take the chick out of the nest and stick it onto twig. To capture the flight of the migrating birds, they would scare and prompt the tired birds to fly. Nature photographer should capture the true essence of wildlife, not forcing the poor animals to hold an umbrella, dance or do kungfu. The nature is beautiful and interesting as it is. We believe in the true beauty of nature, not fabricated, posed photo at the expense of animal rights. My best regards to the photographers above.


I know you may find these images funny, interesting and beautiful, but these are staged, experts explained that these creatures do not behave like this in nature. The ONLY thing about nature photography is to show the beauty of life surrounding us, its complexity and divergence. It's important to remember that you can really hurt an animal if you pull it away from its habitat. Life of the undergrowth are very much depend upon the plants you find them on, so even when you replace them for a shot, put them right back on the same kind of plant when finished. The same goes for amphibians, and practically any other kind of animal.

Animals can't speak for themselves but that doesn't mean they don't have feelings.


Article also discussed on:

  1. PetaPixel
  2. Gizmodo


Unknown said...

I think most of the subjects in the photographs are pose or the subject are being sedated or even dead !! It is very hard to believe that the subjects will posed in such a good way!!


Unknown said...

"sedated or even dead"... fuck you Francis, you're too idiot to understand how it staged. It is very easy and harmless, I can reproduce 1000 times if you will. Setting up is not something uncommon. You shoot a jumping around dog chasing a ball is also a set up. A woman riding a horse is another example. You only like to accuse to satisfy yourself, which has no different with masturbation. Gay !

Oscar Blanco said...

Well, I do two kinds of macro photos:
1- Live animal nature shots. Where the only alteration I do is try and get the subject onto a easier place to photograph, but don't pose them, force them (just nudge) or torture them in any way. And when I'm done, place them where I found them. It might add some stress to the subject, but I try to be gentle and if the subject is too unwilling, I'll go on my way.
2- Posed shots with DEAD animals, which I DON'T KILL. I do it when I'm lucky enough to find one that is not too deteriorated, or, when I visit a museum and have access to collections.

Anders said...

The lower frog in the picture of leap frogging frogs is the same picture as the frog giving fingers. Must be a photoshop montage.

Oscar Blanco said...

BTW, Nicky Bay wrote something on the same subject, it's very well written:

HeeJW said...

thanks Oscar, yes, very well thorough write up from Nicky. In fact, i'd talked to Nicky as well, we will be doing this from 2 different approaches, a rounded perspective of nature ethic; and an offensive gesture translated from the China blog.

Ultimate goal is to spread the word about unethical nature photography, and hopefully, put a stop to this.

josefek said...

Excellent post. One thing: the second "leopard gecko" pic isn't a gecko - it's a uromastyx.

HeeJW said...

thanks Josefek, i already corrected in my post.

Unknown said...

the easiest way of spotting a fake on the water reflection pictures is the actual reflection. It needs to reflect the belly or underside of the object, not the object itself…
source: I teach photomanipulation for a living.

Unknown said...

Have a look at this bloke from Indonesia. Utter cruelty:

Joe Daniels said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I was amused at seeing some of these photos in the Daily Mail, but had no idea how the animals were being used. The frogs must have been in a lot of discomfort if not pain.

Unknown said...

all the reflection is easy to create, bring a small table glass aquarium, put a stone on it..put water as tiny as possible.put grass a little then put a mini godzilla...some lighting will help you for dramatic nature light..then shot it...done..

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for this post. It angers me to think that someone is deceiving me for their own commercial purposes. These creatures are incredible in their own right, and should be appreciated for their marvelous adaptations in their natural environments.

Joe Bauwens said...

I suspect the pictures of the lizards dancing on the reflective surface could be done without wires. Simply place the lizard on a glass surface, place the reflective surface behind it, pushing it into the lizard somewhat to make it look like the lizard is standing on it, then photograph from below. Still cruel, but less elaborate.

Unknown said...

are you talking about Indonesian Photographer? Indonesia Wildlife photographer? or Shikhei from Batam?
I've photograph indonesian animals for 8 years, made 3 books about indonesians wildlife, and 1 more next year. but I have never did like this and either my indonesian photographer friends. if you saying about Shikhei then he never representatives indonesians. maybe he's a photographer, but I'm sure he's not wildlife photographer.

HeeJW said...

Hi Obral, i hope you know this is a translated piece from a Chinese blog, i translated the blog and posted it here.

i already amended the title today afternoon.

Thanks for the head up and appreciate your love for the nature. Sorry if this article had misrepresented, and fallacy as a generalization, like i said, this is a translated article.

Unknown said...

It's only the second lizard which is not a gecko - all the others are.

Thanks for the eye-opener!

Unknown said...

Hii HeeJW,

I know you just translated this post from weebo, but some details on frog pictures are not accurately true as the caption from the photographer...they just mislead almost all caption to show that they don't know how familiar this frog with human.

I think this post already blast as a bomb for Batam Photographer..but the truth, we didnt mean to cheat all photos to representing our "idea" to the world,..

The "Idea " that uncommonly for many photographer...

If there is something that would change the world...I know that word must be an "IDEA".

No offense, but we live our idea alive without harming any animals at all.

Best Regards from Batam,Indonesia

Unknown said...

Dear friends, here is Goh's facebook stat in translated version:

"Concerning about article written here, I’m Shikei Goh, inform you all of my friends not to believe everything what you hear or see from the media, especially without any confirmation from the subject (in this case, from me). The frog wasn’t a wild frog I took from wild life, since we all know that kind of frog doesn’t exist in Indonesia. Its habitat originally came from neotropical rain forest around central America. I have it from a pet shop, since it can be bred and live among us, even treated as a pet. Pet frog wasn’t “surprised” anymore with human existence, since as a pet, they used to live and interact with humans. In its origins, this frog lives on trees, that’s why they love to climb. When I let my fingers close to it, it climbed up my finger, and it climbed again when I give it my other finger.

Seeing that, I came up with the idea to make photos of it in climbing pose. I tried to give it something (a thread) as a media for the frog to climb. And the frog raised its body and tried until finally reach it, . And that moment I started to take pictures, put it in Photoshop, clone stamped the media to make it look like the frog was posing itself.

Those photos of frog posing “unnaturally” were made in 2011.
There are no forms of torture, force or anything that potentially harm, or even kill this beautiful creature when I took those pictures, since I’ve learn its characters before I push the shutter button.

About the caption, I’ve never make up stories on the process, it is what it is. I have explained a fact, its just sometime online media change the caption to make it more interesting story, without thinking about the photographer’s feeling when being discredited. I knew about this, since I’ve read it published with different caption with the one I gave.

*He is a friend of mine, I post this to clarify your article

HeeJW said...

thanks Martin.

HeeJW said...

thanks for the comment Haryadi,

No offense, but i would like to counter your remark on Frog comments, before i decided to translate this article from Chinese to English, i already search all the interview and comments.

Also look at here, an interview with Daily Mail, 15 April 2012 (

'He lifted his right leg up while shifting his weight to his left and kicked out. It was lightening quick and over in a second. But thankfully I managed to capture it on my camera.'

If this was posed or staged, why don't just tell the truth?

Also look at another interview from Daily Mail as well, 12 March 2012. (

‘The frogs near my home are beautiful to photograph but this one caught my attention because he kept hopping off every time I tried to snap him.

But Shukhei's perseverance paid off and he got the striking images after 'a bit of a game of cat and mouse'.

‘It was very funny when I looked back at the images,' he said.

If you have time, perhaps you can share this amazing piece by Nicky Bay on Macro Ethics with your friends as a reference.


HeeJW said...

thanks for the comment luky nuryadin on behalf of shikhei goh.

just wondering is this interview piece on Daily Mail dated 25th October 2012 is "altered" comment as well? (

Because we all know that this is a panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis), native to Madagascar, it wouldn't be possibly wandering in the field of Batam.

The image was taken by amateur Shikhei Goh, 39, from Indonesia, using a Canon 7D camera.

He said: 'I was walking through this grass field in Batam Island, Indonesia. All of a sudden, I stopped in my tracks because I saw this beautifully coloured chameleon clinging to a long shoot of grass.

'The chameleon saw this insect land on a shoot nearby and all of a sudden it shot its tongue out caught its prey at the speed of lightning. It was all over in the blink of an eye but I had to wait for around 40 minutes to capture it.

'After that, the chameleon climbed down satisfied with its hunt and wandered off.'

Perhaps some actions needed to be taken on Daily Mail?

Unknown said...

I think better you read details here..but do not copy the caption half part only like above...thats unfair

HeeJW said...

thanks for sharing this Haryadi. please take note that, Shikhei Goh's images are only makeshift part of the article, this also address to the specific group of pseudo-nature.

HeeJW said...

Exposing subjects to artificial elements

Some photographers choose to create artificial scenes to make the photo unique. I am categorically against such methods because of the tremendous amount of undue stress and potential injury imposed on the subjects. Some of the methods are listed here as examples, but the list is definitely not limited to this. Before praising the photographers for their artistry, please consider how the shots were made.

Spraying water to create artificial rain - unnatural rain means the subjects may not know how to escape from it

Artificially placing 2 or more subjects together

Exposing terrestrial subjects to water mass and possibly drown them, often used to create reflections and additional drama

Forcing subjects into extreme unnatural poses, sometimes using strings or wires to control the subjects like a puppet

Gluing or clamping subjects in place to stop them from moving (most cruel of them all)

Refrigerating subjects so that they are incapable of movement - it leads to potential tissue damage and over-freezing til death

This is quite a touchy topic. The images may look spectacular with such manipulation, and you may get lots of "likes" and "shares" on Facebook. I do not find this to be worth imposing the subjects to what I term the above as torture. To the general public: Before you decide to share such "art" in the future, consider what went on behind the scenes. Nature macro photography is about bringing the beauty of nature to the viewer, lets just stick to that shall we? :)

Quote on Macro Photography Ethics

Unknown said...

You just keep posting ethics ethics and, why don't u take a seat as NG jury with those ethics.....

Thats good ethics, but there is no straight rules in photography, many famous photographer use to break the rules to live their imagination, their idea....just google it.


IndyDoc said...

Funny the frog with the snail crawling over it doesn't seem to be on the same place on the branch. The branch also had different amounts of moisture on it over that "8 minutes".

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Sure about the storm when shooting the dragonfly in the rain?
There's a video out there he shared

HeeJW said...

That was his initial caption during dragonfly shot submission. Later altered in 2012, also stated in natgeo shots. Changed to splashing, friend sprays water.

Unknown said...

This is an artificial rain .... A photo from the GN winner Mr. Shikhei Goh ....

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

The winning shot of the dragonfly was in an issue of National Geographic. The photographer admitted to using a spray bottle of water to make "rain"!

Tim Cray said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tacio philip said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tacio philip said...

The same (the (not) flying fly)

Unknown said...

Hi, I would like to mention that the picture of an ant doing the 'handstand' is probably not a fake picture. I used to take macro shots of ants with my canon powershot A720 and managed to capture them doing some pretty amazing 'acrobatic' movements. Of course, the ants will not remain in thier acrobatic position for long, only for about few micro seconds or lesser than that. It's not easy though. You need a lot of patience and a few lucky shots.

You can view my ant pictures here.



Flees Photos said...

Its very difficult as a nature photographer to see images such as these. When we capture an animal picture we should consider the potential harm to the animal if we pose or manipulate the animal in any way. If we want a funny pic of an animal take a natural image and manipulate the image in photoshop and not manipulate the animal itself into the pose we want.

Unknown said...

There are about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects on earth at any given moment and you are frustrated when you see a dead one or even killed used for a photograph? I agree that the nature photographer should capture the raw state of things and in some way these photographer with posed insects are misleading us but don't talk about animal cruelty for some ants.

Unknown said...

There are about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects on earth at any given moment and you are frustrated when you see a dead one or even killed used for a photograph? I agree that the nature photographer should capture the raw state of things and in some way these photographer with posed insects are misleading us but don't talk about animal cruelty for some ants.

Jan said...

the photos look good......
but have you ever thought how these animals would have actually experienced while you where making them pose in some of the worst poses (though it looks good as a photograph) .

a good photographer never harms his subjects.

you dont deserve to be a photographer for you acts in those pictures.

su toro said...

hmm awesome pics visit my site

Unknown said...

"I tried to contact the rightful owner of the content through weibo but still no reply from their side" but you still carried on and breached their copyright :(

btw I also question the ethics of portraying dead animals in poses.

wefi said...

What a wake-up call this blog is - thanks for shining a light on this problem.
Any comments on this one:

Unknown said...

the sad thing about this i think is that, yes the pictures are staged, that is not uncommon for nature pictures.. but when it comes to small animals and insects, you deal with very fragile little beings.. for big human to come in and place them in various positions just to please his ambitions for "nice pictures" is just messed up.. too many of these, especially when it comes to insects and spiders, you see that they have been hurt.. and why? because it is not easy for a human with very limited control and sensibility over muscles to handle such small and fragile lifeforms.. what you think is gentle, tend to be brutal force to smaller animals.. so when it comes to nature photography, i expect that the person behind the camera has enough respect to have the best interest of the animals in mind, and it should go before his goal of enhancing his career with nice pictures.. if there is such a lack of respect towards animals, personally, i would not want to even watch the pictures... and then there is the dishonesty, far too many pretend that their pictures were a real and natural occurrence, a once in a life time picture.. and they get praised by people as if they were real, they depend on people thinking it is real for them to seem like much better photographers than they were... i can understand that someone does not want to share that it was staged, or that they think it is irrelevant to the picture.. but here is also the problem, nature photography should help educate, it should not help spread ignorance, and that is exactly what is happening.. you see these kind of images get posted on science sites and people expect what they see to be genuine. they do not expected to see staged images get posted as if they were real.. and that is why it is important that the people taking the images are honest enough to tell it like it is.

Arno said...

This is undoubtedly a set of staged and posed pictures. Moreover ...

Unknown said... ...

Matthaeus said...

This is undoubtedly a set of staged and posed pictures. ...

Domenikus said... August 20, 2013 ...

Wolfram said...

Hi Obral, i hope you know this is a translated piece from a Chinese blog, ...

Hild said...

all the reflection is easy to create, bring a small table glass aquarium, ...

Unknown said...

Here is another fraudulent photographer who stages his pictures.

Unknown said...

Another fraudulent photographer.
Even manages to stage several different setups on the same branch..

daily llama said...

I don't think that Shikhei Goh is trying to pass off his shots as real postures. I once asked him why he sometimes signed his pieces as Shikhei Goh and then as, simply, CK - I think he likes the not-so-subtle-joke that his name sounds like CHICAGO!
Nevertheless, his photos are excellent macros and I'd like to see proof that he claimed prize money for his shots as real & true postures....

EleNikė said...

Dear commenter Fahmi B, please, pretty please, do not reproduce at all.

Kurt (OrionMystery) said...

Great post, JW. Thanks for sharing and exposing these!

I also came across this interesting page on FB just yesterday: Truths behind fake nature photography.

Unknown said...

Amazing photo shoot.. I like it so much!!

Cotton Bud

Blacklister said...

I think you have too much time on your hands, and, who gives a dang? Really, so he posed some frogs, so what? You've also got a lot of conjecture in there, what with the lines you draw, and your conclusion that the red marks on the frog's legs are bruises. How do you know they're bruises? Are you an expert in that type of frog? Do you have first hand experience bruising frogs? Your research is highly speculative and mostly inconclusive. If the photographer is trying to pass these off as "nature" then yeah, that's bs, but no reasonable audience needs you to tell them that.

mippy said...

Hi! Are these faked?