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Thread: Prize-winning images - or not?

  1. #1

    Prize-winning images - or not?

    On the Beeb news site there is an item about the Wildlife Photographer of the Year - and
    I couldn't help but wonder why they had details of the equipment, but no info re the amount
    of processing done to the image... I have no wish to impugn the photographers involved,
    but frankly these days it is surely accepted that such images will have been well and truly
    'doctored' before being released?

    This is probably the last place to raise such matters (!!) - but some images in the media
    have all the attraction of one of those unappetising lumps of (equally) processed imitation
    cheese in the supermarket; sooo, I shall now don my bullet proof vest (complete with new
    revolutionary knife-repelling back panel...) release the Siberian hamsters to prowl the estate
    and return to my knitting... before anyone can suggest I do just that! :-)

    B

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunter View Post
    On the Beeb news site there is an item about the Wildlife Photographer of the Year - and
    I couldn't help but wonder why they had details of the equipment, but no info re the amount
    of processing done to the image... I have no wish to impugn the photographers involved,
    but frankly these days it is surely accepted that such images will have been well and truly
    'doctored' before being released?
    I know that the likes of Natitional Geographic insist on RAW originals - knowing the works of the likes of Joe McNally I suspect that they's need very little (if any) PP work (probably just the basics).

  3. #3

    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Hi Colin


    Reassuring, and not too surprising, to learn that publications such as NG etc.
    would do this - but I still think there is an obligation for other publications
    which specifically concentrate on showcasing photographic images to also
    include the processing (if any) that was done by the photographer.

    Looking at this from another point of view, it might assist/encourage those
    still learning - or do you suspect it is more a matter of 'professionals' not
    wishing to divulge their 'trade secrets' etc. - unlike on these forums! :-)

    cheers
    B

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunter View Post
    Hi Colin


    Reassuring, and not too surprising, to learn that publications such as NG etc.
    would do this - but I still think there is an obligation for other publications
    which specifically concentrate on showcasing photographic images to also
    include the processing (if any) that was done by the photographer.

    Looking at this from another point of view, it might assist/encourage those
    still learning - or do you suspect it is more a matter of 'professionals' not
    wishing to divulge their 'trade secrets' etc. - unlike on these forums! :-)

    cheers
    B
    I think you'd be surprised at how LITTLE post-processing goes in to the work of top shooters like Joe McNally (that was one of the things that struck me in his book "The Moment it Clicks) - he DID Photoshop ONE image ... and there was me thinking - holy heck - does this mean that he DIDN'T Photoshop any of the others!

    Think to keep in mind it that full-time professionals like Joe are at the top of their game - they understand lighting and camera techniques - they have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment - and in many cases they can spend months setting up a shoot.

    Just for fun, point your browser here and here and tell me what you think.

  5. #5

    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Colin, thank you so much for those links! I've been a fan of Joe McNally for some time but I've never seen that Google talk before and I loved it

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Hi Colin,

    Yeah, the talk was good, I'd not seen it before either.
    Didn't know Youtubes lasted that long!

    Cheers,

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by GillR View Post
    Colin, thank you so much for those links! I've been a fan of Joe McNally for some time but I've never seen that Google talk before and I loved it
    No worries GIll - there's a few more from Joe there too - if you're keen, check out ...

    - Gag reel

    - I'll light ya for it

    - Da Grip

    - The Desert - part 1

    - Empire State Building

    - The Swap

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Hi Colin,
    I'll be heading to LA to watch Joe McNally speak live Nov 6. That should be quite something. Even if it means I'll probably hear the same stories over, I think it's going to be even more memorable.

    The really good teachers don't just tell you how but they also tell you why in their very own personal way. Great stuff.

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Great stuff Pete - say "hi" to him from me in NZ if you get the chance!

    I've got a lot of respect for the guy - totally different style to me, but he works hard for his images and the results always speak for themselves.

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I know that the likes of Natitional Geographic insist on RAW originals
    Actually, National Geographic had to learn the hard way. Back in February 1982, they wanted to put a photo of the Great Pyramid of Giza on the cover. But, they ran into a problem, the photo they were going to use did not match their vertical magazine aspect ratio. The fix, instead of sending the photographer back to Egypt, was to digitally alter the image. This little detail only came out publicly by complaints of the photographer after the issue went to print and was circulated everywhere creating a scandal and giving National Geographic a black eye for altering photographic content.

    Here are a couple references:

    Who Moved My Pyramid ?

    Photo Tampering Throughout History

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Interesting links - thanks Steaphany

  12. #12

    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Hi Colin

    I think you'd be surprised at how LITTLE post-processing goes in to the work of
    top shooters...
    Probably not - on the basis that if they are at the top I'd like to think they were
    doing just what you described... their preparation and talent alleviating the need
    to process the image extensively- furthermore, I imagine someone with a busy
    professional schedule would regard time in front a PC as 'non-productive' - in a
    business sense.

    And I bet their gear doesn't have 'made in China' stamped on it! -)

    cheers
    B
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 24th October 2009 at 08:53 PM.

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    I would have to agree that the top professionals do not do much post production. I think this would be inline with how the shoot: They run shoots as a production, much like a video production. They control nearly everything in the scene.

    Most of us however, don't have that luxury, so we resort to PP to enhance the shot into what our minds feel is artistically correct. I feel that if the photo is not for photo journalism, then who cares if it's doctored? I'm more interested in a photo creating an emotional response than being "100% authentic".

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I would have to agree that the top professionals do not do much post production. I think this would be inline with how the shoot: They run shoots as a production, much like a video production. They control nearly everything in the scene.

    Most of us however, don't have that luxury, so we resort to PP to enhance the shot into what our minds feel is artistically correct. I feel that if the photo is not for photo journalism, then who cares if it's doctored? I'm more interested in a photo creating an emotional response than being "100% authentic".
    I utterly agree, hence my recent swan pic had quite a bit of spot healing carried out to reduce distracting splashes and remove detritus from the water where the reflection is. I couldn't afford to have the river cleaned and swans shipped in and released on cue as Joe might

    It is a different world they operate in; but there are aspects we can take advantage of in our own little ways, which is why it's great to hear/see the stories behind some of his shoots. (Thanks Joe)

    One could admit defeat and say "I'll never be able to do that because.." (many do).

    Or one could do the best they can, which at the simplest level is in PP, but beyond that, can be getting involved with something in the community that interests you and possibly benefits others. In time, you maybe able to take advantage of some 'exclusive access' priveledges and secure photo opportunities others cannot.

    All part of making your own luck...

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunter View Post
    And I bet their gear doesn't have 'made in China' stamped on it! -)
    I was watching "30 questions with Chase Jarvis" on youtube last night - one of his "regrets" was "not buying pro gear soon enough".

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I feel that if the photo is not for photo journalism, then who cares if it's doctored? I'm more interested in a photo creating an emotional response than being "100% authentic".
    Well said - why can I never articulate things like that so concisely?

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    I do very little post processing. For one, it just doesn't interest me. I was trained in the age of black and white and what came out of the developer was what you got. A little latitude if you had an enlarger and were really interested in creating firestarter material. I treat my PhotoShop as if it were my enlarger.

    However, I am beginning to look at post processing as an art form in itself. Just as the paints used by a brush artist vary according to the subject and desired effect, your post processing adds to the art. IF it is done properly.

    Pops

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    I recall a thread on Dyxum wre a pro photographer (Danish I think) had taken a shot of I think and African village from a commercial airliner and entered it in a competition The judges removed it as it had been heavily pp'd to enhance saturation, hues, etc etc. They said was so too away from the original shot.

    For The Wildilfe Photographer of the Year I'm sure the rules used to say you had to also provide the raw image with your entry so they could check any pp'ing.

    I was puzzled about the info stated in the paper for the wiining photo of the wolf. A slow shutter speed? And no signs of blurring in the photo, especially of the wolf. Please define "slow"

    Howard

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    Re: Prize-winning images - or not?

    Yes, every photo should come with a step-by-step procedure describing in extensive detail the type of post-processing performed to "doctor" it up. After all, every Ansel Adams print I've ever seen in a gallery of museum comes with such a disertation from the master himself, right? I mean, I always spend more time reading the description than admiring the image. Or was I having a nightmare?

    Please, people. Let's acknowledge that every image goes through PP (just the plain JPEG conversion in the camera is performing more PP than many like to admit), and that no PP will turn a lousy image into a winning one. Unless the PP is distorting reality in an unacceptable manner, as might be the case for photojournalism or documentary work, let's just assume there is PP of some sort and move on.

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