Shouldn't a Photograph look like a Photograph?
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  1. #1
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    Default Shouldn't a Photograph look like a Photograph?

    Okay this observation is not to set off a firestorm, nor is it a scarlet letter on any ones work, but Should not 'Professional PHOTOGRAPHERS Association' print competition be about photographs?

    What am I talking about? I just went to see the the loan collection of print competition. Over 50% of those have been So manipulated that you cannot even tell they started out as photographs. Shouldn't extreme manipulation be in an Adobe Photoshop competition? Print Competition should be about photography, not who can totally layer, paint, blend and distort and graphic design a photograph. If you cannot tell that it started out as a photograph whats the point?

    Do not get me wrong, I use photoshop daily, but when I am done it still looks like a photograph.

    Honestly I think Print Competition should be about Great Photographs with just enough manipulation to improve color etc, but should look like it came out of a camera and not Photoshop.

    AS ALWAYS JUST MY OPINION, not meant to get anyone's undies in a twist

    Wendy Burk

  2. #2

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    Do a search on this topic and you'll see some of our past discussions of the topic. We've all got our own opinion on this issue . I might agree in many cases but competition has to generally allow for a broad range of styles and approaches. Then again we might also complain about the styles and approaches that aren't recognized by comp, but that's another argument.

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    REICHMAN
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  3. #3
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    I personally prefer my photographs to look like photographs--I painted portraits and went (back) to photography because I simply prefer the illusion of reality that a photograph provides.

    But I would always argue that anything that starts in a camera and ends up as a two-dimensional image is "photography."
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkDarling View Post
    I personally prefer my photographs to look like photographs--I painted portraits and went (back) to photography because I simply prefer the illusion of reality that a photograph provides.

    But I would always argue that anything that starts in a camera and ends up as a two-dimensional image is "photography."
    I agree Kirk is why I am in no hurry to enter. The other issue is when a photographer enters a print that's heavily manipulated and they had an artist do all the manipulation. (Oh no here comes more analogies like well most photographers don't print their competition prints blah blah blah.)
    Rob Wilson
    Rob Wilson Photography
    (800) 757-3491
    rwilsonphotography.com
    rob@rwilsonphotography.com

  5. #5
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    Rob, but a superior photograph with minimal manipulation still merits. I suspect that if it looks like heavily "artificed" photographs seem dominant, it's more because of the proportion submitted than a bias either way on the part of judges.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  6. #6
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    You won't get any argument from me. Sadly, though how can you classify or differentiate them? You really can't. Creativity should never be stifled.

    But I hear ya. Anyway, there are so many hyper-realistic images in print competition that could never have happened in real life. Look at the Loan Book.

    I only hope that high quality imagery always gets its due... whether it's been heavily manipulated or not. Conversely I hope that overdone hyper-realism is criticized for its lack of believability.
    Last edited by Fuzzy_Duenkel; 03-13-2009 at 05:23 AM.

  7. #7
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    I just wanted to point out that there is a seperate contest for Digital artwork, It is the EI catagory. I just did a quick flip through my loan book and I did not see a huge ratio of over manipulated images as suggested. KEEP in mind that the EI Loan images are in this book as well. I am sure there are some of the images you are talking about are in the PO catagory but I believe the majority are in the EI catagory (though I did not go though counting and getting acurate numbers, just my impression).

    I just wanted to suggest that there may be a misconception that the loan book is all from the PO catagory. Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  8. #8

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    I'm with Wendy on this.

    While I'm not anti overly painterly, lucis'ed, nicked, whatever etc looking images, I feel that we are slowly loosing sight for straight looking images.

    Don't worry though, as Kirk mentioned superior photographs that look like there's very little manipulation still gets rewarded. Might not win top category or top overall but they're still rewarded.
    -Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
    marcbenjamin.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc_Benjamin View Post
    I'm with Wendy on this.

    While I'm not anti overly painterly, lucis'ed, nicked, whatever etc looking images, I feel that we are slowly loosing sight for straight looking images.

    Don't worry though, as Kirk mentioned superior photographs that look like there's very little manipulation still gets rewarded. Might not win top category or top overall but they're still rewarded.
    It's like Jeter play without roids (hopefully) and A-Rod playing with roids, it should be a total seperate league. Again the biggest problem for me is that the images that are submitted I bet most of the times they had somebody else do the manipulation which maybe 70 percent of the effect of the image which means to me at least it's not their work and shouldn't get credit for it.

    Brings up another point, when I go on sites in my local area and see people with a Master Photography degrees I am surprised how poor their work is on the most basic level like l harsh sunlight on the faces outdoors. I wonder how they got this far with their degrees. However, I can't help but admire the work that is published in the loan books even before digital took over.
    Rob Wilson
    Rob Wilson Photography
    (800) 757-3491
    rwilsonphotography.com
    rob@rwilsonphotography.com

  10. #10
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    Keith, you're right. I made an assumption without checking it out first. My mistake. Thanks for correctting me on this.

    Rob, many portrait masters get their merits on travel pix and scenery. Great.

    At the last PPA big wig gathering a motion was voted down to allow a new category (weddings I think) for a master degree. It was felt that that would start a movement to fragmenting the degree into many different "Master of...xxx" degrees. Hey, I would be in favor of that!
    Last edited by Fuzzy_Duenkel; 03-13-2009 at 02:43 PM.

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