The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019

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    Topic: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 Read 625 Times
  • Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
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    Posts: 41
    New Article Announcements & Discussions
    on: August 28, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Good day, everyone!

    Once again we are presented a photography competition with no separation between Traditional Fine Art Photography and Digital Fine Art alternatives. I am adamant as a group, including photographers, curators, online competitions, museums and judges, we insist software manipulated work be categorized separately.

    There is no place for a “Topaz” (or other like software) altered photograph to hang next to a photograph created through camera dynamics and basic alterations to luminance and chromatic variables, (i.e. most of the tools and tricks used in traditional wet darkrooms, for examples).

    Yes, the one and serious caveat is how to honestly differentiate between the two: well, heavily manipulated versions are easy to see, but the more important issue – artists need to be trustworthy in how they present their work. Its all about integrity. Unfortunately, this is not the case and I have (as well as other photographic artists, some, members of the NANPA) have called out those who refuse to acknowledge using digital software for the majority for the artistic creation of their piece – and only admit to it once they are called out.

    Alternatively, I am very happy to announce, I recently curated my first photography exhibition (Gilmer Arts National Juried Photography Exhibition 2019) and Call for Entry included two categories and two judges. At the Opening (150 people) I was met with sincere support from both patrons of the arts and the competitors: ‘its about time‘ and ‘your our hero‘ was the two overwhelming comments from the crowd. In another event, just 3 weeks prior to the one above, I gave a talk to mostly a group of painters, sketch artists and the like – the discourse focused on the disparity between painters and the new art of photography in the 19th Century and how it is similar to some of the friction we see today between the arts and the need for more consistent categorization of photography genres. Again, a lot of one-on-one discussions after my presentation similar to the above.

    Sorry to ruffle a few feathers, but seems very few people or groups speak about this – and I will take every opportunity to do so. I respect everyone’s view on the subject and hope we can continue the civilized conversations we have so far enjoyed on Kevin’s new website.  Thank you, everyone.

    Lance A. Lewin

     

    Lance A. Lewin

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
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    Posts: 230
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #1 on: August 28, 2019 at 9:10 am

    You don’t need to apologize – at least not to me – because you are not ruffling my feathers. These kind of opinions about digital manipulation have been dissected and contested long ago, ignoring as they do the fact that photography has been an exercise of tonal and chromatic transformation since its birth – just in different ways depending on the technologies of the times. The main distinguishing characteristic of digital technology is the ways in which it has opened up far more potential with far greater ease for creating beautiful, imaginative imagery – or a bending of the senses in ways that some people may like, others not. Photography was never meant to be confined to someone’s notion of slavishly imitating “reality”, as if that too were an objective circumstance devoid of perceptual interpretation. The moment you aim a camera and make a composition you are being selective, and that is only the beginning of the process of creative transformation. Frankly, I don’t see any need to create and categorize “photography genres”. It serves no useful purpose that I can think of, in the context of appreciating a photographic work of art because it is always going to be an artificial construct with hard boundaries in a domain where none are possible. Photography is art in many of its uses, and much as I can appreciate both a Rembrandt and a Picasso, I can appreciate different intellectual approaches to photography if the quality of the work deserves appreciation – of course another subjective judgment that may be based on emotional response or certain criteria, or a combination. I don’t need any one telling me what is or isn’t photographic legitimacy. But of course, you are free to try! And I promise my feathers won’t be ruffled because I think it’s an issue that’s been hollowed-out.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Keymaster
    Posts: 549
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #2 on: August 28, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Lance, actually a lot of groups are asking about it and many are trying to figure out how to deal with it.  Looking at an Instagram feed is a prime example of so many nice images that aren’t real, but garner likes.  A lot of debate whether you are a digital artist or a digital photographer.  Many organizations are sorting it out.  Many ask to see the original RAW file to determine eligibility.  So, I know organizations that are addressing this and some have managed well and others are trying to figure a way to accommodate both.

    There a couple of digital artists (really good photographers and also good digital artists) that are writing some articles for us. This will be. part of the conversation in those articles.  Difficulties arise when one must answer – how much is enough and when does it cross the line?  The discussions I have had on this topic are not always easy and very opinionated.  So approach with caution as we all try to understand where to set the parameters for defining what is what.

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Participant
    Posts: 230
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Kevin,

     

    That B&W of the Faroe Islands is outstanding. Worth entering in the competition.

    I was looking at the sponsor’s shop re the books of previous competitions they are offering for sale. Possibly gorgeous publications, but I may never know because the cost of international shipment is so high. For local customers the book costs $79 (they don’t say whether AUD or USD) but for us in North America each volume would be $165. I.E., the shipping doubles the cost of the book, plus any applicable taxes at the customer end. I should add we have similar issues with commerce-destroying shipping charges for merchandise transacted between Canada and the USA. For many things, shipping is probably the biggest single barrier to international trade we have, and it isn’t the fault of trade laws. Anyhow, in this context, if there were some way of making an arrangement to bring the shipping costs of these books way down, it would be a welcome development. I, for one, would be keen to buy at least one if the total delivered cost were considerably lower.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Keymaster
    Posts: 549
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019 at 9:24 am

    I am talking to a number of Australian photographers about shipping books from our e-store.  Stay tuned.  Also, the competition releases a full set of winners in PDF versions which we will share here.  I have last years winners but it is a bit out of date being announced while we were still developing this site.

     

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Participant
    Posts: 230
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019 at 9:44 am

    …………… This will be. part of the conversation in those articles. Difficulties arise when one must answer – how much is enough and when does it cross the line? The discussions I have had on this topic are not always easy and very opinionated. So approach with caution as we all try to understand where to set the parameters for defining what is what.

    This is exactly the problem. Why “must” one answer how much is enough, which I believe is unanswerable, and when does it cross what line? How do you define “the line”? That too I think is unanswerable. It’s all rabbit holes and quick-sand – one can always set “parameters” but they will always be artifacts, because there is no hard line between what is “enough” and “not enough”, unless you can define with some precision and certainty what the meaning of “enough” is. When did Picasso cross “the line” when he evolved from being a figurative painter to the originator of Cubism – the deconstruction of the image and one of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century. It is instructive in this respect to read Sabartes book “The Maids of Honor” and Douglas Cooper’s “Les Dejeuners” to appreciate that in art there are no “lines” between radically different approaches to the same subject matter – just differences – as pronounced as they may. Some people have a huge heave of indigestion looking at a Picasso, but history has had its say on this matter. Why should photography be any different?

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
    Participant
    Posts: 41
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #6 on: August 28, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Hey, Mark, Kevin – appreciate the feedback.

    Mark, I hear your voice and understand art is subjective and also, appreciate the wide variety of interpretations in photographic art, and separately, in digital art (or composite photography).  Thank you for your kind words and hope my articles which focus on dynamics from behind the lens, including camera dynamics, weather and natural lighting, serve as alternatives to post-production oriented creativity we see more often.

    The main reason I push to present both types of creativity to the masses, well, more often than not, digital creativity is in the forefront while more traditional methods are lagging in the shadows.  When I present traditional photography ideas (including the discussion of film and general camera/lens/lighting dynamics to young students of photography at middle and high schools), they are very receptive and not surprising – have very little knowledge of the significance of utilizing Dof, lighting, lens choice and the like, as central criteria for photographic art. They become enlightened.

    Kevin – you just stated you have articles coming that continue this conversation – indeed, as mine is part of that space: my pieces address visualization and creating from behind the glass. Hope to see my work soon. I have others being completed and hopefully soon to send them your way for review.  Thank you, guys!

    LAL

    Lance A. Lewin

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Participant
    Posts: 230
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #7 on: August 28, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Hey, Mark, Kevin – appreciate the feedback.

    …………. and hope my articles which focus on dynamics from behind the lens, including camera dynamics, weather and natural lighting, serve as alternatives to post-production oriented creativity we see more often.

    The main reason I push to present both types of creativity to the masses, well, more often than not, digital creativity is in the forefront while more traditional methods are lagging in the shadows.

    …………

    Again, I see here an attempt to creation opposition where there should be synergy. Yes, we do what we can behind the lens, but then we are liberty to complement that with what we do in post-production. It’s part of a continuum, not an alternative. The principles of lighting and composition haven’t changed, but the technologies for expressing them have, and we can marry all of that into creative work, which most serious photographers do as a matter of course. I simply don’t believe there are “two types of creativity” – I think again this is an artificial construct. There is creativity, period. One thing morphs into another, one thing succeeds another. Different photographers handle that blending of pre/post capture creativity in different ways. Michael Reichmann explained much this and his approach to digital technology in the front flap of the cover to his 20-year Retrospective book. It’s a classic, well worth a read.

     

    And yes, “digital creativity” is at the forefront because “the masses”  – whoever they are – aren’t using film any longer. They are using digital cameras and computers, and some – indeed quite a number –  are being very creative with it.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
    Participant
    Posts: 41
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #8 on: August 28, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Mark – I understand and appreciate your stance on this subject, but will continue to disagree with some of your assessments.

    For one, I suggest we should not separate the methods used to photograph between Film and Digital cameras: I stress, this is an important point. Capturing by film or with a digital camera, in its basic form, are the same – especially when creating from behind the lens. There are some differences in dynamics as they relate to ISO characteristics and also pixel/lens diffraction, for two examples, but on the whole its the same machine. From here we enter post-production: considering today’s options to Scan film negatives, we must realize both film and digital image files utilize similar workflows in the digital darkroom. As such, artist’s using film or digital equipment have access to the same “digital” creativity, or close to it.

    Thus, digital creativity is at the forefront because of the attention it receives because so many are introduced to digital cameras and subsequently, directed to the digital darkroom to explore, and not because, ‘whoever they are – aren’t using film any longer’.  However, once they are introduced to traditional methods of post-production, students of photography appreciate its value and enjoy the alternative perspective (though more classic) it provides.

    Its a small group, indeed, Mark, but I think its important to promote both methods to the masses. Who ever they are.

    This all said, and as a business owner – I understand from both a practical (volume of digital users) and the subsequent affects on photography businesses – the prominence in promoting “digital arts”, their products and philosophy.

    LAL

     

    Lance A. Lewin

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
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    Posts: 230
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #9 on: August 28, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Hi Lance, for clarity, we agree that whether using a film or digital camera, the pre-processing stage is largely the same. And having written a 380 page manual on the subject, I agree that scanning film or digital capture open similar workflow characteristics.

    And of course the people who aren’t using film any longer, if they are making photographs, are using digital. That’s obvious. If you mean by “traditional methods of post-production” the chemical darkroom of the 20th century, I know a number of students are instructed in that technology as a matter of historical interest and gaining perspective, and they appreciate it, much as we did way back when. But I don’t see this being either important to the future of photography or consequential in the broader scheme of things.

    Actually, if you want to focus on what the real consequential schism is amongst makers of photographs, it is the one separating the people who make prints from the people who only display their photos on devices. Many of us were brought up on the notion that a photograph is only what exists on a piece of paper. The digital revolution has thoroughly cannibalized that notion, to the extent that countless billions of photos are made every year that never land on a piece of paper. That fact has the print industry in a tizzy. A whole other talk-show!

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
    Participant
    Posts: 41
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #10 on: August 28, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Oh, yes, Mark – now that is another whole mini-series!

    And at this point, I feel we are both on similar pages – with maybe a couple of lines or paragraphs of difference scattered about. Until we meet again.

    Thanks, Mark!

    LAL

    Lance A. Lewin

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
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    Posts: 456
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #11 on: August 29, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    An intriguing discussion, folks. I’m not really qualified to weigh in, but there are some basic questions at the heart of it. For one, what is computer art? If you give someone who does pencil sketches (for example) a stylus and a Wacom tablet and they draw in Photoshop, is that computer art? How is that different from the analogue version? Taken to extreme you encounter people like Bert Monroy, who are creating digital photo realistic art using a stylus and tablet. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it a duck or is it a digital animation of a duck?

    As far as digital manipulation, I agree that the question (if there is one) is unanswerable. Too many shades of gray. We can point to extremes (like overly-Photoshopped models) and say that’s a bridge too far, but if we shrink the hips by 8% instead of 10%, is that still too far? 5%?

    Alain Briot wrote a post some years ago related to digital manipulation titled, “Just Say Yes.” Every digital image and in truth every photograph has been manipulated by something as simple as exposure, composition, lighting, time of day, the particular day… some of this is intentional and some not. I still shoot 120 film because I like my TLR camera and I shoot digital. I do have a challenge with the APUG-type people who say, “I don’t shoot digital. I shoot film…and then I scan it.” As soon as you scan it you have a digital image, no matter the source. There’s really no right/wrong when it comes to chemical darkroom film processing and printing or digital image capture and inket printing. The choice of chemicals and processing times, the choice of software and (in either case) the choice of papers are all factors. They’re just tools used to create a chosen result.

    Mike.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Participant
    Posts: 230
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #12 on: August 29, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Yes, all of that makes a lot of sense to me. It’s all just different paths and different tools to achieve a result in the mind’s eye.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 456
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #13 on: August 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    This conversation reminded me of a recent post by Julian Caverly: https://www.juliancalverley.com/blog/2019/6/11/lotus-cars-from-norwich-to-nevada

    It’s important to note that this is commercial work and not for a photo contest, but since the vehicles were shot in studio and then grafted onto carefully selected backgrounds it demonstrates some of what’s possible. Is this still photography? How is it different in intention from say sandwiching two film images together? Photo contests – not just in the future but today – need to determine whether photography is in fact a representational form of expression. Guidelines get blurry…

    Mike.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Andrew Molitor
    Andrew Molitor
    Participant
    Posts: 34
    Re: The 6th International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019
    Reply #14 on: August 31, 2019 at 12:36 am

    To be honest, all those Lotus Car shots read instantly as renders. They could all be screen grabs from any recent edition of Gran Turismo, and in many cases the video game would look more convincing.

    Someone went to a great deal of trouble to make actual photographs, albeit composites, look like video game captures, for some reason.

     

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