The following is an email to Ranger Rick Photo Editor Susan McElhinney from the former Editor of Ranger Rick, Gerry Bishop:
"I was thinking of you a couple of weeks ago when I got the latest issue of Outdoor Photographer. On the "Last Frame" page (p. 130) they show what they describe as a swarm of butterflies on a eucalyptus tree in San Francisco. What the editors didn't realize is that the butterflies in the photo are blue morphos from the tropics and couldn't possibly have congregated in 'Frisco. I checked the photographer's website, and apparently he created this image, using mounted specimens, for a ad campaign he was commissioned to do. I don't know whether he intentionally misled the editors, or whether they just made up the caption, but it's a major screw-up.
I wrote an e-mail and a letter to the editor, and after I got no response, I called and talked with the managing editor, Kim Castleberry. She acted as if I was bothering her with something trivial and clearly didn't want to deal with it, but I told her this is the kind of thing that degrades the integrity of a publication and that she should at least talk to those involved, including the photographer. (I also had e-mailed him but got no response.) Seems no one really gives a damn, or perhaps in the case of the photographer doesn't want to fess up to a fraud."
Too much of this goes on without the appropriate outrage from the natural nature photo community. Speak up folks if you value the work you are doing or are we all Dodo birds! — Susan McElhinney
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