Have you ever gone on the net and looked at other taxidermists work? I see some unbelievable mounts. Some I see are so good that I just cant believe it. I even download many of these pictures and use them as references they are so good. Then again I run on to stuff that is supposedly from award winning taxidermists that look like rags. I have seen birds that have won awards that look like they should be burned instead of used as part of an internet site advertisement. I am not and don't claim to be any better then just pretty good. On the other hand im probably my own worst critic. Im learning all the time, and I have never entered a competition, but I find it hard to believe that there weren't better birds entered in some of these cases. My first birds looked better then some of these. Just an observation, but if you have a site put your best work on it, and as you get better you need to update. If you have an award winning bird that you did as a youth, or an amateur don't display it as your award winning work. In some of these cases the term award winning used as an advertisement scheme becomes meaningless.
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Nothing compared to TAXIDERMISTS
Green ribbons with dead presidents pictures on them. (Looks like old @ has found his niche into hemmorhoidism). Your points are valid by everyone as long as you're referring to others. But have you ever met a mother of an ugly baby?
The only thing I have to say is never use a mount as a reference I don't care how good it is. No one and I mean no one can mount them like god did!
i dont use them as references in the sence that I think your thinking. I like to look for attractive poses, and new ideas for composition. I know its like im a copy cat, but there are so many that are so good. Many of my customers actually bring in photos of work by other taxidermists and ask if I can mount thiers that way. Thats cool, I dont mind it at all. There are really not enough good reference books with flying poses in them, and my photography isnt that good. When it comes to actual feather placement and colors I refer to my reference books of the real thing.
some of Breakthroughs, WASCO's, and others can make excellent reference pictures. i recently mounted a moose for a very perticular customer and google, yahoo, msn, northern wildlife, did not have near as good as reference as some of the major suppliers
I get some really good reference pictures from Fair Chase magazine from the boone & crockett club. Lots of good close-ups on all big game, not just whitetails like most magazines.
"Never use taxidermy work for reference". What a load of crap. All of you do it. Otherwise none of you would ever attend a seminar. You want to know how Bill Yox paints his deer noses, how Gary Bruch reproduces his fins, or how Cally Morris mounts turkeys. And THEN you have the gall to make a stupid remark like that. If you believed it, you wouldn't want yours to look just like Bill's. I'm not proud. I use them all the time. I use them a reference for poses, positions and attitudes. I've got reference pictures of foxes licking their butts but I don't mount them that way (any longer -LOL) and cross eyed deer and fish with torn fins. Remember when Scott Brewer won everything with "Winter Warrior"? Thousands of people copied that mount. "Everything in moderation". If Frank Kotula mounted a World Champion fish and I used everything he did and did it just like he did, I could get some self satisfaction in knowing that I could be just like Frank (Don't lose sleep Frank, I ain't that good). But the point is, that's a stupid statement and we should all stop repeating it.
George you are 100% right and wrong. Paint, pose, and position copy from anyone you can that is a great idea. Never use a mount to taxi skin is what I meant. I don't care how good the best of the best are when it comes to skin positioning they did it wrong! You can win all the blue ribbons in the world but I never to this day saw a mount that was as accurate as the live animal. I too use paint schedules and as a matter of fact I paint deer noses according to Bill Yox Breakthrough issue 59 spring of 2000. It is an awesome realistic paint job. I would never consider using the picture of that deer's mounted eye as my reference when mounting the hide and none of you should either. I have reference photos of the live animal for that work and George you do too! George, I also think that you are wise enough to know exactly what I meant but used it as an opportunity to prove a point about how we all copy the work of others. In this you are 100% correct. Seriously though, how in the world would anyone know by looking at a painted fish exactly what was used to get the color right if they didn't have the schedule? Once again to hammer a point home you don't need a schedule to taxi skin. You need a picture of the living animal not a mount to get it as close as possible. By the way I will put this disclaimer on my above statement. George can mount a deer much more realistically than me trust me on this I never won a ribbon. In fact I never competed in my life nor would I yet. I am still embarrassed of the work I do. With that being said how much worse do you think my mount world turn out if I duplicated all the mistakes other taxidermists made and compounding it with some of my own. Good lord it would be an abomination LOL! I would like to thank you George for all the help and scoldings you have given me over the years I have been on this sight. Honestly you old bear I hope you never change.
ribbon and they would leave you their bird.