Spanish photographer José Luis Rodriguez recently received the prestigious winning title as the Veolia Environment Wildlife photographer of the year, along with £10,000 (about
$20,000 $16,000) in prize money for his image, Storybook Wolf. The photograph depicts a rare, Iberian wolf hopping a fence to enter a corral where the photographer had placed meat to attract the animal.
The contest prohibits use of a captive animal unless specified in the description, and the judges noted they would give preference to photos of natural wild animals.
The description that ran with photographer Rodriguez’s image explain the painstaking efforts he made to get the shot, baiting the wolf with meat, camping out and anticipating its entry into the corral.
Now, the photographer not only has prize money and the winning title at stake, but now his reputation as a photographer is on the line as judges decide the image authenticity during the next few weeks. However, the Guardian quotes contest judge Rosamund Kidman Cox, who said,
But until one bit of evidence can be verified I don’t think it’s possible to accuse the photographer of cheating. […] It’s not 100%.
Image credit: Storybook Wolf by José Luis Rodriguez