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Old Comments:

2010-10-28 15:32:19
Hey guys, I am totally new here, but I do not think that this photo is legit. As I type I am looking at "Life Platinum Anniversary Collection" 70 Years of Extraordinary Photography, and there is a picture in there on page 160 by Jim BRandenburg much like the picture above. The picture in the book has a few minor differences than the picture above that are hard to notice unless you can see both pictures at the same time. It looks as if someone has tried to do a "mockup" of Brandenburg's photo.
2010-05-12 14:30:14
Isn't is good to see Jim Bradenburg's image vindicated and to know that some great photos are simply that - great photos - the perfect image captured at the absolutely right second. Wonderful!
2010-05-12 13:27:06
: )
2010-05-12 09:56:07
Hmmmm...well, isn't that much for the expertise of the so-called and self-styled experts who think they know every damn thing and who were, as it turns out, totally full of baloney.
2010-05-12 09:21:47
And I should add that Gilbert Leiter does not work for Jim Brandenburg nor does he work at any Brandenburg Gallery, he never has. hb
2010-05-09 12:54:25
I have been asked for my comments on this photo, and I am glad to comply but am unable to provide all of the answers. This photo was used for a poster in 2000 and was based on Jim's 1988 photos on Ellesmere, Island. However there is no evidence of it in the 1988 galleries and it bears Jim's copyright dated 2000. Quite likely then, it was taken from movie footage shot in 1988. Thus it's absence from the 1988 archives of still shots. Jim always did a lot of adjusting with his photos, both film and digital, in order to make them look their very best. This action being almost as important as the original shot itself. But never, to my knowledge, did he fabricate any images by adding any elements to them or combining two or more. It is very likely then that this photo was shot from quite a distance, tightly cropped, had the dynamic color range changed, had some colors selectively brightened and others darkened, and that a great deal of sharpening was applied. But, I don't think that it was fabricated from two or more photos. It is also most likely that this photo was not on the shore of the Beaufort Sea, as has been suggested above, but rather was on one of the fjords on the west coast of Ellesmere Island. I may get some more specific information from Jim later on, and, if I do, will pass it along. Gilbert Leiter Jim Brandenburgh Gallery Ely, Minnesota
2010-05-08 11:38:52
It would seem, Patito, from your story above that it is not a fabrication but a serendipitous sequence due to Snowflake's eagerness for chicken scraps.
2010-05-08 00:13:41
Well, Gabrielle, most professional photographers do tweak their pics to some extent, greater or lesser depending on the effect they wish to achieve. One of my ex-wives was a professional photographer and she spent more time fiddling around with prints in the darkroom than she did taking photos. The big question here isn't so much whether this photo has been tweaked as whether or not it is a complete fabrication, with the critter and/or his reflection lifted from another photo and imposed on another. Unless and until Jim Brandenburg himself offers to clear matters up my explanation above makes about as much sense as any other.
2010-05-07 18:13:06
Good work Patito, a very interesting story, but it does not yet answer the original debate - photoshopped, digitally enhanced, tweaked, fiddled with etc. or a "straight" photo. Whatever, it is a truly striking image.
2010-05-07 11:37:20
Very interesting, Arctic Wolf. Thankyou for the info. Enjoyed reading about you. I think you're a beautiful wolf..... :)
2010-05-07 11:16:23
Here is some pertinent information about me, PictureGirl. The arctic wolf is very similar to other wolves. Arctic wolves differ from other wolves mainly in their habitat, appearance, and prey. Arctic wolves live primarily in the arctic. They have white fur, more-rounded ears, shorter muzzle, and shorter legs than other types of gray wolves. Like other northern wolves, they also have hair between their toe pads and long, thick fur to keep them warm. Arctic wolves live and hunt in packs, have a social hierarchy, and hold territories well over 1,000 square miles, much larger than their southern relatives. They prey primarily on musk oxen, Peary caribou, and arctic hares. Arctic wolves are much larger than their southern relatives and hold territories well over 1,000 square miles. ■
2010-05-07 01:28:02
Okay, I got Jim on the phone and here's what he said . The animal in the photo isn't a wolf at all but a large white dog named Snowflake belonging to one of the Inuit guides. The party had just finished lunch and the guides were throwing the scraps into the water when a large piece of partially eaten fried chicken landed onto a passing ice flow. Before he could be restrained Snowflake leapt across several smaller floes and scarfed down the chicken scrap. He then swam back. "Snowflake like to swim in ice water...he good dog but not real smart .." the guide is reported to have said.
2010-05-06 22:28:59
Newsman came across to me as a self-important , hyper-sensitive prima donna who responded with a snarl to having fun poked at him and who, when an inconsisteny in his statements was pointed out, said to hell with all of us, picked up his marbles and stomped off in a hissy. Gee..too bad..we'll really miss all the great photos he posted ( a total of 9 ).
2010-05-06 17:13:28
I have made contact with the manager of the Brandenburg photo gallery in Ely, Minnesota, USA. He has promised to send a comment to this site soon. Interestingly the Brandenburg wolf photos from Ellesmere Island were taken during his visit there in June 1989, but this photo does not appear in any collection of Ellesmere wolves before the year 2000. Also prior to 2000 (or at some time close to that) Brandenburg always photographed with film and had not converted to digital photography. As a matter of fact Brandenburg favored Fuji Velvia film and for many years used it almost exclusively before he converted to digital photography. In 2000 this photo suddenly emerged as a "poster addition" and it was later added to the National Geographic series as well as others. Jim Brandenburg copyrighted this image, with a 2000 copyright date, when the poster came out. The poster was done with digital imaging, meaning that whatever original images had been involved had been somehow scanned and converted to digital. This is very evident in looking at the poster, or this image, as it is composed of pixels. If the poster had of been printed via color separation, the image would have comprised the characteristic colored dots from color separation (4-color) printing.
2010-05-05 16:04:39
Good photography includes digital enhancement. The comments for or against were polite, intelligent and informative. I found it all very interesting. It's unfortunate that a troll always has to crawl out from its rock and stir up trouble. I don't think you're being fair to tell all Pixdaus users to go to hell. You are judging us all by one or more trolls (they often crawl around in packs). These immature children get a kick out of down-voting comments. It was not a downvote against what you wrote; I was simply immature children getting a kick out of downvoting - it makes them feel important and powerful. And, you are giving in to them by leaving - giving up.
2010-05-05 16:01:49
This is incredible. The question should not be whether this image was digitally enhanced or not, it should be why does anybody care? Of course it has been digitally enhanced and anybody with an IQ over 50 should certainly realize that. Professional photographs are 100% digitally enhanced including all of Jim Brandenburg's. Photography is a competitive business and any photographer knows that he must take advantage of any technique available that will give him/her a competitive edge.
2010-05-05 14:54:34
Sorry to see you go Newsman. Of all of the comments on this page, yours seemed the most informative and to the point. I wonder if that is what many of these people are looking for. I uploaded this image as essentially a "throwaway" in the first place and never expected to get all of this discussion. My initial comments, that only indicated where the photo came from, have been downvoted to -6 as well, so you are not the only one that Zippy dislikes. It is a shame that Zippy, whoever he/she is, can drive somebody away from the site without even identifying themselves to others. The reality is that whenever somebody does identify themselves that they open themselves up to retribution by others (the Zippy's among us) that will then take extreme and downvote all of their photos. If things keep going the way they have been, I might likely be the next to leave Pixdaus. But, unlike Zippy, I will use my nominal Pixdaus ID rather than a troll name.
2010-05-05 14:34:16
Well, Pixdaus users, go to hell, all of you. Any group of people that not only would put up with utterly stupid comments from Zippy, but that would upvote those comments are not for me. I gave up on this site once before and only returned reluctantly a few days ago. I am remembering why! Goodbye
2010-05-05 14:13:52
Newsman claims he never said the photo was not an actual photo. Zippy cites chapter and verse where in fact Newsman did say it wasn't an actual photo. Newsman then tells Zippy to zip it. Very glib and clever but doesn't alter the fact that Newsman babbles incoherently. To Connie: the comments stopped being polite when Newsman called Zippy a complete and utter idiot whose comments are stupid. Whether the comments here were ever intelligent and informative is a matter of opinion.
2010-05-05 13:18:43
Damn it newsman - You beat me - I was going to write that ;-) ZIPPER - The above comments are polite, intelligent and informative. If you have nothing intelligent to add, stifle it.
2010-05-05 13:06:42
Zip It, Zippy!
2010-05-05 12:46:35
Newsman's reply to comment by Zippy.."This is an actual photo, just when did I say otherwise?" Newsman's reply to comment by Gabrielle "This cannot be an actual photo, Gabrielle.."
2010-05-05 11:46:54
Zippy, whoever you really are, you are a complete and utter idiot!!! Why don't you comment with a name that might be recognizable to others? Is it easier for you to make stupid remarks when you don't have to own up to them and be accountable for them? This is an actual photo, just when did I say otherwise. Actually I think that it is two, or perhaps more, actual photos that have been blended as layers. If this is the case, the shadow could be real. While it is unlikely that the wolf was there in the first place, I never said that it wasn't possible. I did say that it was impossible for the wolf to have produced that shadow at that time and place. As for speculation and talking off of the top of my head. I am a professional photographer although, and I would be the first to admit, not as talented as Jim Brandenburg. But I do know that nearly 100% of professional photographs are digitally enhanced before any sort of publication. As for reflections. It is easy to see the reflection of the sky in this photo and this sky reflection, like all reflections, is in color. One real curiosity with this photo is if Jim Brandenburg took it when he visited Ellesmere Island in June of 1988 why didn't he publish it along with the other photo of Ellesmere wolfs at that time? It is clearly more striking than the others. But instead this photo remained hidden for 13 years when it resurfaced with the other wolf photos taken back in 1988. It seems likely to me that the photo was derived from other photos taken back in 1988 sometime during the 13 year lapse.
2010-05-05 11:35:11
Why the sarcasm Zippy?
2010-05-05 10:04:06
It sounds to me as if you're both dealing in speculation rather than facts. It couldn't be an actual photo. Oops, it is an actual photo, but it couldn't be a shadow. Oops, it's a reflection, not a shadow, but it couldn't be a reflection either. And there couldn't be any such animal there at that place. But if there was such an animal there he wouldn't be doing what this one is doing. All just pure speculation and talking off the tops of your heads.
2010-05-05 09:22:09
Quest, I think that you are dealing more in speculation than in precise facts since you are not citing any sources for your information. However, I do pretty agree with your conclusions.
2010-05-05 09:20:37
Some examples of 'good photoshopping' is underwater photography. There is so much crud and what have you down there , that the only way to show the true colour of a marinelife (fish, nudibranch, or seaworms etc.) and to make them stick out is to photoshop. What I don't like is if the scene is so photoshopped that it's beyond recognition - it's not real at all.
2010-05-05 09:15:50
Gabrielle, please note my response below to Professor Smartypants. National Geographic photos have all been digitally enhanced, if not by NG then by the photographer himself. It is in the best interest of NG for these photos to appear at their very best. National Geographic's photos ARE the "real" thing, meaning that they ARE REALISTIC, but you can be sure that they have been digitally enhanced in order to make them look their very best.
2010-05-05 09:11:47
Point taken, Newsman. Many thanks for the correction and the information... :)
2010-05-05 09:10:13
For your information Professor Smartypants, every single image that National Geographic publishes has been digitally enhanced to some extent and that includes mine. It is in NG's best interest that each image appear at it's best and that ALWAYS includes digital enhancement. They start with the simple step of cropping (and I think everybody realizes this) but never stop just there. They then go to color optimization, even to the extent of breaking it down into red, green and blue channels, they, in most cases, mildly saturate the colors and may even completely alter some colors, for portraits they apply skin smoothers. They, if helpful, will dodge or burn selective areas to either soften highlights or to bring out details in shadows. If needed they will do a certain amount of image cleanup by removing distracting elements such as small scraps of paper lying on the ground. Selective blur is often added to select areas to make the non-blurred areas stand out more. Steps are usually taken to remove any visible film grain and the images are usually sharpened, even if by selective sharpening. Sometimes vignetting is even applied. So please don't think that National Geographic or any other photo publisher will eschew digital enhancement of a photo. In complete contrast they live by it. And no photographer objects, as anything that will make his photograph appear better is in his best interest. Unfortunately when most people, including the average Pixdaus user, thinks "photoshopping" a photo. They are thinking photoshopping in the extreme in order to produce an otherwise impossible image. However, the primary use of photoshop is to digitally enhance a very realistic image in order to make it appear brighter, more distinct and more memorable without it being evident in any way whatever that this has been done.
2010-05-05 08:51:27
PictureGirl, The so called Arctic wolf is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf and yes it does occur on Ellesmere Island where Jim Brandenburg did his photo study in 1988. When I stated that this was a location where you would not naturally find a wolf, I was not referring to Ellesmere Island but rather to the Ellesmere Island ice flows on the edges of the Beaufort Sea. Woves, including the "arctic" subspecies inhabit tundra and taiga habitat in North America and not arctic ocean shores. The arctic wolf on Ellesmere island is found on the tundra at both lower elevations and in the mountains, but not along the ice flows. It primarily feeds on caribou, musk ox, lemming, rabbit and various arctic ground squirrels and not on fish or marine animals. As such there is no natural reason for one to be found on ice flows.
2010-05-04 17:12:23
Not impossible at all, what you refer to as a shadow is, of course, a reflection! Do go and look at Jim Brandenburg's site, some of his pics are equally amazing. Simply great stuff!
2010-05-04 14:20:13
Wake up JSleeper, almost all of the photos uploaded to Pixdaus violate copyright laws, this one of mine did not and I have been quite careful to comply with copyright laws. I am sure that this image was originally subject to a copyright and it may still be. However, in my upload I stated where I obtained the photo (under comments). If the copyright on this photo has been violated, it was done so long before me and undoubtedly long before Lark Publications who put it on a CD with no indication of photographer or source. All that aside, there is no question in my mind that the photo was highly digitally manipulated. The shadow is extremely telling. This makes the photo an IMPOSSIBLE image from the aspect of pure photography. But of course no matter how much digital manipulation was done, this in no way effects the copyright.
2010-05-04 09:21:57
Copyrighted material, folks. Posting photos like this could get this site sued.
2010-05-04 04:16:09
It's a beautiful photo, but to me the wolf just does not look right. It looks like it was 'added' to the image.
2010-05-03 23:59:17
Gabrielle is absolutely correct. The photo is by Jim Brandenburg, one of the world's foremost wildlife photographers. It is among the photographs in "100 Photos That Changed Canada," a wonderful collection edited by Mark Reid ( Harper Collins Canada, '09 ) , and is also included in National Geographic's "100 Best Pictures" Collector's Edition, Vol 1. Were it photoshopped or digitalized or otherwise doctored up or monkeyed with, it's rather unlikely that fact would have escaped the scrutiny of the editors of those collections.
2010-05-03 15:01:34
Better still! Check out Jim Brandenburg's site where you will find many magnificent wild life pictures - none photoshopped. Lots of white wolves - absolutely marvellous stuff.
2010-05-03 14:51:05
Maybe I am wrong but I have always believed National Geographic photos to be the "real" thing - not fiddled with in any way. All straight from nature as it were. How disappointing if this should not be true! Perhaps Newsman, you could check the Nat. Geo. archives to find the story behind the pic.
2010-05-03 13:43:58
Correction Mr Newsman. You maybe right about the actual photo. I'm not an authority about how pictures work out, but there IS such a thing as a wolf in these parts. It is called an Arctic wolf. Here is some info about him that you can check out.... Have a great day... :)
2010-05-03 13:08:07
This cannot be an actual photo Gabrielle, take another look at it. If not photoshopped it is highly digitally manipulated with at least 3 layers. Look at that very dark shadow directly below the wolf. No way there is no bright sun and it is not overhead. The sun is low on the horizon, if there was any shadow at all it would be quite light and not directly below. And, this is not a location where you would naturally find a wolf to start with.
2010-05-03 11:58:36
Not photoshopped. It is by Jim Brandenburg, for National Geographic 2001
2010-05-03 10:31:31
This is obviously a photoshop creation, but I think it is quite original and very well done. Photo from Lark Publications.