So my January Popphoto came in the mail on Thursday. I'm guessing that they couldn't have picked a more "controversial" grand prize winner if they tried. I would have the thought the "digital photography isn't really photography" thing had died down, but some of the letters that were printed in the issue show that it probably hasn't.
I personally thought the winner's photos were really amazing, though the Canon Beach photo seemed a little cartoonish--at least at the scale presented in the magazine. I like that the winning photographs were picked (at least mostly) because of their impact regardless of exactly how they were made. That can only be a good thing I think. An amazing photo can be made by combining great elements into a great photo or by simply having a point and shoot pointing at the right thing at the right time. Certainly both have these occured with film or digital cameras. It doesn't bother me in the least that the winner used 30 or more photos in his composites, or "extensively worked over" the photos with Photoshop. If anything, it inspires me to keep working to be able to do something similar to make my own photos. Even more reason for his photo to be the winner.
P.S. I am curious, though. Were the winner's photos submitted in the "Landscape" category or in the "Photo Art" category? There was a landscape photograph in the Photo Art category that was a composite of "only" two photos.
I haven't seen it yet; however that doesn't stop me from feeling compelled to make dismissive comments about what the judges were thinking.
Specifically, I'm speculating that I'm wondering what in the heck they were thinking with Sports/Action 2nd place, 1st place travel, and wait, let me just go out on a limb here and complain about the digital retouching in the grand prize winner, and the 3rd place Glamour category.
Oh wait, nevermind, they got rid of the glamour category a few years ago...
I won't spoil it for anyone, but I'm pretty sure the judges are all crazy. I'm talkin' downright looney.
Popular Photography and Imaging
Can we quote you on that?
Well, I thought the winner's images were spectacular in the small size, and my disappointment is that PP*I didn't print the winning image on a fold out so we could see it bigger. It's a good example of the power of compositing to produce a very artistic interpretation of a scene, and to me represents "fine art" photography at the highest level. Since the original images were captured using large format equipment, you sure can't accuse the artist of snapping a few quickies with a point and shoot and stitching them together or cutting and pasting scans and images stolen from magazines and books. With the technique shown, the artist can probably produce a huge print with excellent detail and tonalty.
This is the best grand prize winner I've ever seen in this contest, and I'm happy to say that it is a far cry from some of the past winners, which were pitiful examples of digital for the sake of digital. Well done !!!
ALL in all I thought that most of the photos were very good. But what the #@$% were they thinking with the selections for the candid/humor category? I found the winners were neither candid or funny. I thought they looked like cheap snap shots.
As one that has complained that there is not enough ''photography'in Pop Photo, I'm happy to see these pictures. It doesn't matter if I agree with the judges or not. If it's controversial, OK.
I also like the fact that the photos are made in many ways, film, digital, combined, photoshop. It just shows there are a lot of ways to show your vision. Keep putin'in the pictures Pop Photo! Maybe, someday, one will be on the cover!
If the ''grand prize'winner took 30 shots to make one, the average isn't very high. I grant that the result is pretty eye-catching, but does the place REALLY look like that??? No. 30 shots from three viewpoints??
Digital is in, and the editors ae going to go with the crowd. Few of the contest photos published were without some form of manipulation. Ride with the crowd, and keep putting cameras on the front cover. (The editors have totally deaf ears on that one.) We're pushing equipment, not photography.
BTW, I have a Maxxum 7D. Notice the "D" there. We all know what that means!