European Wildlife Photographer of the Year
November 14, 2008 4:40 PM   Subscribe

I wonder what wine pairs well with burnt monkeyhead. Maybe I'll go AskMe.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:45 PM on November 14, 2008

Ouch, that's awful. How did it win?
posted by wei at 4:47 PM on November 14, 2008

Why is a decapitated monkey head NSFW?
posted by fire&wings at 4:51 PM on November 14, 2008

Maybe "disturbing" is more accurate.

I'm not sure how it won, but here's what the photographer had to say:
In preparation for the bush meat trade, monkeys are thrown onto open fires to burn off their fur prior to being sold “naked” at food markets throughout central West Africa. Despite being banned, the consumption of bush meat remains popular and presents a serious threat to both wildlife and Humans: The wildlife is threatened with extinction and Humans run the risk of contracting deadly diseases like Ebola and HIV. This is an endangered Gabon Black Colobus monkey, Colobus satanas anthracinus being prepared at a food market, Libreville, Gabon.

This is a vision of hell on earth. I was unprepared for the shocking reality of how the “naked” carcasses I had already seen for sale in the local markets had come to be this way. One minute an exquisite animal in the rainforest canopy, the next thrown onto an open fire to flay it for eating. As consumers it is all too easy to put out of our minds how meat in any country is prepared. I love these monkeys and it was a very difficult and emotional situation. I took the picture because it documents the interface between old ways of subsistence hunting and modern commercialization which, if not balanced, will lead to extinction.
posted by Korou at 4:58 PM on November 14, 2008

Some of the photos are great, but it seems to me (as a photography philistine) that some of them are really obviously and heavily post-processed. Is this a feature of this particular competition or of nature photography in general? I think that some of these might have been a lot better with a little lighter touch in the editing. Still fascinating, though.
posted by Jakey at 5:01 PM on November 14, 2008

posted by gman at 5:01 PM on November 14, 2008

Ouch, that's awful. How did it win?

It was tied early on. But then pulled a head.
posted by hal9k at 5:17 PM on November 14, 2008 [4 favorites]

I like this one by the (I'm guessing) late Manuel Presti.
posted by stargell at 5:25 PM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

European Wildlifedead photo of the year.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:48 PM on November 14, 2008

The winning photo is unreal. Like something out of an Indiana Jones movie gone wrong.
posted by andihazelwood at 6:19 PM on November 14, 2008

"If only that goddamned dirty ape would hold still so I could get its picture..."

"Well, sheeee-it, Chuck, just shoot the damned thing!"
posted by nosila at 6:26 PM on November 14, 2008

Oh, and RIP Badass Moses and all that.
posted by nosila at 6:27 PM on November 14, 2008

Art or Meat?
posted by not_on_display at 6:48 PM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

(I was hoping for boobies)
posted by ryanrs at 7:58 PM on November 14, 2008

What. The. Hell.

That took me by surprise.

Also, I understand different cultures and all, but how can you eat something that looks so much like you (another primate)?

Guess I've just never been that hungry.
posted by patrick rhett at 8:00 PM on November 14, 2008

Patrick: there was a pretty acclaimed book about that very subject a couple of years ago:

Eating Apes, by Dale Peterson

(Not a cookbook.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:29 PM on November 14, 2008

Thanks Ian, I hadn't heard of that. I'll check it out.

Also, Ian is my brother's name, so (irrational) point to you.

Also, (not a cookbook) - funny and informative. Two more points.

Also, I don't like odd numbers, so one more point.
posted by patrick rhett at 8:51 PM on November 14, 2008

Jakey: There isn't a lot of post on any of these pictures. Just exquisite timing and understanding of how light works- both natural and introduced light. You can do some amazing things in-camera if you know what you're doing. Not everything is 'shopped these days.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 12:00 AM on November 15, 2008

Wow, thanks Ian. I followed the link and there is an excerpt of the first chapter. The author writes in an engaging and easily read way. This quote demonstrates how some differentiate ourselves from apes (and thus might see them as food rather than siblings).
Daniel Abrou, a gaunt man of middle age with a small mustache and receding hair, to give his opinion: Was the shell breaker and snail eater animal or human? He examined the flat rocks and the shell heaps, and then shook his head and declared (in an African French where viande, the usual word for meat, sometimes also indicates wild animal): "Only meat eats meat raw."
posted by Librarygeek at 5:11 AM on November 15, 2008

Thanks, TheGoldenOne. Told you I was a philistine. It did seem a little odd to me that a heavily processed photo could win such a comp, so I'm glad to see that's not the case.
posted by Jakey at 8:47 AM on November 15, 2008

wow - good to see something which isnt an eagle flying over a lake ......
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2008

Ouch, that's awful. How did it win?

From a PDF I found on the site:
The competition aims… ….to highlight the excellent quality achieved by European nature photographers and wants to present the innovative and distinct style they use to focus on the living things around us. The photographs entered in this competition shall contribute to the European idea of protecting wildlife and habitat and will hopefully evoke responsibility and understanding in the public.
Seems like they went for shock value.

It did seem a little odd to me that a heavily processed photo could win such a comp, so I'm glad to see that's not the case.

Agreed - and it looks like the rules are against heavy post-processing:
(3) Digital photos. We attach an importance to unmanipulated nature documents. Therefore later modifications of the photographs or of their statements are not allowed. Adjustments of tonal value, contrast and sharpness are allowed only. Photographs may be trimmed, but the result must not deviate from commonly used measurements. Common formats are: 3:2 (small format), 4:3 (four-third standard), 1:1 (square), 2:1 und 3:1 panorama). Panoramas which have been assembled from different unmodified photographs by means of a software programme are admissible.
Although, I would imagine that last part about assembling panoramas could leave a lot of wiggle room for how much processing you do to blend and stitch and such.
posted by Bort at 8:18 PM on November 15, 2008

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