The winner of the 2009 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has been disqualified. Why? The competition organizers have learned that the winning image was a trained wolf and not a wolf in the wild. This is a major deal, and one that tarnishes the reputation of all wildlife photographers. It really frustrates me to see captive wildlife being photographed for competitions, and José Luis Rodríguez should be ashamed of himself for the deceipt.
There is a great writeup about the background of why the wining image was believed to be under suspect circumstances. Here is a link.
As you may recall, I have had two winning images in the past few years in the competition. In 2008 I won the Landscape category with my aerial image of the Skeleton Coast off of the Namibian cost of Africa. The recent events really ticks me off, and I hope the photographer goes and crawls into a hole and never comes out. It puts all of us hardworking photographers that have morals into a position where we have to defend our images as people may suspect that they were taken in circumastances that are not so honorable.
Really pisses me off. Way to go, 'winner'. You need a kick in the ass. Big time.