Some Contest Winners

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by sandyv, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    A few more from the Daily Mail. Hope you enjoy them.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3897870/An-exploding-volcano-nosy-killer-whale-brave-skier-new-photo-contest-setting-EXTREMELY-high-standards.html
     
  2. Many are technically very strong, others unique moments of capture, each laudable quests, but most appear to be too perfect, aseptic, over focussing on detail, and lacking enigma. No doubt that was in many cases their purpose, but I feel there is something more to be said for more imperfect and casually natural images.
     
  3. Many very extraordinary shots. The last one in the series is the one that stays with me !
    Arthur, I tend to agree with you: Too perfect ! But that leaves us with the question on what imperfection does to an images and whether all types of photos can benefit.
     
  4. As to the photos, for me they lack soul, breath, intimacy. I think I know what Arthur means by the drawbacks of perfection,
    and I'll try to describe why I don't find them penetrating or terribly relatable.

    I'm left mostly cold by these shots because they all seem over-the-top in being iconic, idealized, or universalized. Not one
    of them feels close, individual, grounded, or down-to-earth. They all attempt to soar, which becomes exhausting after a
    while.

    Visually, they all have, for me, an off-putting glossiness, which also creates emotional distance.

    Passion and intimacy are often important to me and can be conveyed not only via content but via the flouting of visual
    norms and expectations and the willingness to take visual risks (not risks in terms of putting yourself in physical danger
    but risks in terms of using the medium expressively by being willing to explore the unorthodox use of photographic
    qualities and characteristics). The photographic approaches to these photos are overwhelmingly safe. In their polish, they
    lack desire, longing, uncertainty, all qualities that challenge rather than satisfy and sedate me.
     
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Fred -- Ask Anders. I never start political discourse here, but I will respond.
    Mod: Please don't. Instead email a moderator.
    As to the photos -- they are what they are. Each of us has a an individual artistic appreciation. I also value high end professionalism and competence.
     
  6. Yes, they're too perfect and sterile, but if I ever took one of those pictures I'd sure as heck hang it on my wall!
     
  7. Definitely contest material. When you stop dancing and start racing, there's different criteria at work.
     
  8. That's some sweet eye candy there. I'm getting cavities looking at them.
     
  9. Accepting these as contest photos (which encompasses, and agrees with, the comments made by Arthur, Fred, Julie, and Gordon) the photos which struck me the most were the unusual looking woman with the sphinx cat (definitely has the "glossiness" that Fred mentioned), and the immigrants climbing under the barbed wire. The glossiness works with the surreal nature of the former, but the latter seems posed and forced, like a propaganda piece.
     
  10. Nice array.They open windows to the world of which I don't get to see enough. I enjoy looking at images that are relatable but wildly uncommon, dynamic, expose the extraordinary variety of our planet. Take the relaxed mother and baby pose as well as the wild and wooly Mother Nature shots . Sure it may be openly appealing to a basic and unambiguous cross cultural instinct. But it works for me. Plenty of places to see a perch for philosophical introspection if one so desires. Often, for me, uncommon beauty and exploration of the wild nature is enough to win my interest and gaze. I like a buffet of the familiar and unambiguous- and also a surprise confection now and then. Stirring the pot idea clearly differs from person to person. ( I prefer 'stirred' to 'shaken.') Glossy does not always mean uninteresting. Enigma does not always mean fascinating. So it goes.
     
  11. After having read everyone's comments, I was expecting to think the same, but I don't. Some are extraordinary and all are very striking with tons of impact - which is precisely why they are "winners" of course. It really goes without saying that this is not what all photography is about though.
     
  12. +1 Steve Gubin. These are, for the most part, pictures that "look digital". (Many pictures taken with digital equipment do not have this look.) They appear to be processed to fit the current trend for "bright, clear pictures". For me, at least, this creates a total emotional disconnect. I know what they are pictures of but not what they are about. There is, for want of a better word, no disorder about them.
     
  13. Les, I wish I could understand what you mean by current trend for bright clear pictures and a counter trend of disorder or whatever you call it. More emotional display, but yet less display of "plumage/ bright color?" If on the one hand we seek the lens that gives that magic sharp as a tack and the imaging source that yields super resolution, and TV that has UHD, well then we could take a step back in buying equipment. Use uncoated lenses for flare. Shun lens shades. Go back to heavy diffusion filters. Voila, emotional connection. It is said in audio that a little "noise" makes sound more agreeable. And there may be some valid science in this viewpoint. Photography may be heading away from the sharp as a tack. Gradations of tone may be going for high contrast. Color may be too saturated. Monochrome thrives. Blur may be making a name for itself- again. Food for thought by comments on the contest winners. Popularity says popular, but not avant garde enough? I really do not know. as I ponder the query.
     
  14. I really don't think many of these shots are any more sterile than many old Velvia 50 shots. They are sharper, because we are viewing them on a monitor and also because there is no grain and they are generally higher resolution. Yes, they are not harping back to "the good old days of film", but isn't it time to move on? That phase has passed and why should we consider that a gold standard, beyond which we should not pass? I am no fan of the over saturated other-worldly landscape shots that we see all too often, but I don't in general feel these fit into this category.
     

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