The 2018 International Landscape Photographer Of The Year Contest

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by weltweit, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

  2. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    Love the first - A deserved winner for me. I also love the dead tree in front of nighttime city and shooting star, but the amount of PS is really taking the reality away.
     
  3. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    Some beautiful shots there, but I think that one of the requirements in these competitions should be that you have to submit the RAW file in additional to the processed image. Too many of those pictures look waaaaaaay overprocessed, to the extent that they resemble paintings or video game landscapes. I prefer a more natural look, and I'll bet plenty of those photos would look just as good with a much lighter touch on the Lightroom or Photoshop controls.

    One of the reasons I like the #1 shot is precisely that it doesn't appear too heavily altered in post-processing.
     
    gawkrodger and FridgeMagnet like this.
  4. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Sorry but basically all of those looked like dull CGI to me. Standard practice in landscapes seems completely broken to me now.
     
  5. kropotkin

    kropotkin libcom

    Agreed- they look beautiful but too many look overdone
     
  6. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    Agreed. However, where do you draw the line?

    Personally, I want to see a continuous relationship between creator and light at all stages. As soon as a photograph becomes a file of numbers it also becomes wide open to unseen corruption. I always want to see a truth, and reality.

    Digital is a different medium. It should be recognised as such.
     
  7. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I watched a demo by a successful landscape photographer at my club. They had a photo of a lakes scene with light filtering down through partial clouds.

    They decided the filtering light would form the basis of an improved photo, enhanced the light streaks and highlighted the pieces of ground on which the light fell. It was an enhancement of the image rather than a complete makeover but I was interested that it took a competent landscape shot and made it into a rather more striking picture.
     
  8. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    This group of sentences, collectively, makes basically no sense.

    You want a continuous relationship between creator and light. I don't even really know what that means, although it seems to suggest that the photographer gets to make adjustments however he or she sees fit, both in camera and in computer. But in addition to that continuous relationship, you recognize that digital files are open to corruption (by which I assume you mean subjective alteration?), and yet you also want to see truth and reality. This set of criteria is basically a sort of idea salad, with no coherence, unless you actually explain what on earth you mean by each of the components who have listed, and how they relate to one another.
    Again, this is a rather nebulous concept. I understand that we might never arrive at any objective set of standards for what constitutes a properly processed photograph, and we all have different preferences, but my line is drawn well short of where most of those photos end up. Basically, if a photo looks to me like a CGI creation or a video-game landscape as much as it does a rendering of a real-life scene, then I lose a lot of interest in the image.

    Like I said above, I think that photographers in these contexts should have to submit the original RAW image file, and perhaps even a list of the PS/LR settings they used to achieve the final result.
    Absolutely.

    I've tried to improve some of my landscapes by making adjustments and enhancements, but at the back of my mind is generally the idea that the final result should present something close to the scene that I saw when I was standing there with my camera, rather than a fairytale painterly version of that scene. As I said, I understand that this is a subjective issue. Adjustments and enhancements represent a sort of continuum, and we all have our stopping place at different points on that rather long line. But for me, some are so clearly past my own reasonable stopping point that II lose interest in the images.
     
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Personally I draw the line at flipping landscapes.

    My view is that if a tree or building was on the left of the shot, there it should remain.

    It worries me how easily some people I know suggest flipping.

    :)
     
  10. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    I am writing within the context of this thread and forum. The debate has been going on for over 20 years now. If your knowledge needs filling in, search the archives here and elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  11. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  12. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Incidentally, I bet the first picture on that page was made with focus stacking.
     
  13. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    Definite possibility, although an ultra-wide stopped down to f11 or lower can give some pretty great depth of field.

    I understand that this might seem somewhat arbitrary, but to me focus stacking seems somewhat less objectionable than some of the extensive color and light adjustments made in those other pictures. Funny thing is, in terms of the techniques involved, focus stacking isn't really that different from HDR. They both involve putting together multiple images taken with different settings. But focus stacking, to me, doesn't alter the image in quite the same way as an overdone HDR, or some of the other lighting and exposure adjustments.
     
  14. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I don't mind digital post-processing as such - that would be weird, everything is post-processed somehow, whether it be by the RAW importer or in Photoshop. Even on film there has always been a huge amount of post work, perhaps even more.

    What I object to is the results. I don't get a sense of being in a place, the light looks weird and artificial, and the scene depicted is not so beautiful or rare that it couldn't have been computer generated (in fact CGI can create far more unusual situations). I might intellectually know that a person was involved in going out and taking the photo but it doesn't mean anything to me. If someone had been pranking us and replaced half the images with CGI ones I doubt I'd have noticed the difference between them.

    I don't think this is a problem with the tools, more with the style. I've seen it get worse and worse over the last few years and I'm just sick of it now.
     
    mhendo and editor like this.
  15. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    What fundamentally is the problem with adjustments? This is not an objection that's normally raised when discussing paintings. Why the different standards for photography vs other kinds of image making?
     
  16. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I really don't like the majority of them. There's no doubting the technique and cleverness but this sort of stuff doesn't move me in the slightest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    There is no fundamental problem with adjustments.
     
  18. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I know someone who makes fantasy images, now that I know that all the actors are photographed in full costume in his living room at home and then transposed into the castles and dungeons (shot at a different times and places) the finished works are both clever but somehow also lacking because I know of their mundane origins.

    As to the images you posted, I like the first and I like this below a lot. It seems underwater, but it looks almost biblical somehow.

     
  19. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    I guess we're talking more about style and and tastes, or fashion. If the new technology didn't exist, then this visual fashion of moving more towards the surreal wouldn't have evolved.

    A lot of this fashion came from artists trying digital rather than photographers using digital as a development of their established practices.
     
  20. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    All of that might be true, but the competition that's the subject of this thread isn't a competition for surrealism, or for digital artwork. It's a competition for the International Landscape Photographer of the Year.

    I've got no objection to surrealism or digital artwork, or even to extensive modification of photographs such as landscapes. Everyone has the right to do what they want with their images. But, like FridgeMagnet, for me it's not so much about the modifications as it is about the results or the outcomes, particularly in the context of what the image purports to be.

    For example, I''ve got no problems with the pictures recently posted by the editor, if their purpose is artwork or advertising, or whatever. I don't particularly like them, but I've got no beef with them. But those images don't really purport to be anything other than what they are. If it's a landscape photography contest, though, I want the pictures to look like actual landscapes that exist in real life, and not like some fantasy world of CGI.
     
  21. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    But landscape photographers, especially those entering competitions like this tend often to take their images at or close to sunrise, a time of the day rarely experienced by ordinary folk :) even in winter.
     
  22. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    An interesting thing about artists and photography I learned the other day was that Hockney (possibly one the most photographic of painters at the time) bought a quality camera, but could never get into it.
     
  23. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    Point taken, but I've been up before sunrise with my camera, even in summer. The light is certainly different, and landscapes look different than they do in the bright light of the daytime, but in my experience they still have a realism about them that is absent, or at least muted, in many modern, over-processed digital images.
     
    editor likes this.
  24. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Looking at them again it's also that loads are just really similar, and boring, compositions - particularly "superwide lens, portrait orientation, flowers or some shit in the lower foreground, mountains or some shit in the upper background".
     
    editor and Mr.Bishie like this.
  25. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    There is such a thing as fashion though, perhaps the ranking images display a bit of that.

    I remember photographing a model against a white backdrop when someone said, what about this, this is the fashion at the moment.. they shut down one of the lights so that the model's shadow was thrown across the backdrop. It was a nice effect, I have no idea where / why they decided it was in fashion, perhaps they read all the photo magazines, perhaps that is where they saw it?
     
  26. what

    what Well-Known Member

    They look like 1970s prog rock album covers
     
    editor likes this.
  27. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Most of the photography I like is all about capturing a moment, not spending hours and hours applying filers and effects to a posed scene taken on a wildly expensive camera taking a photo of something that probably cost a small fortune to set up in the first place.
     
    FridgeMagnet likes this.
  28. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    More of a visual cliche than a fashion. “Oh look there are things really close to me and also far away, like this is a picture of the whole landscape, man”. Yet the winner is that and there are a good half a dozen others which are almost identical.

    If I, not a landscape photographer at all, can pick up on a cliche, as well as see when I do it myself and think "uh that's a pretty cheesy shot, I'll try not to do that again", a major world photography exhibition should not be rewarding it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  29. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    Actually, the listing of pictures in the OP's linked piece is a bit misleading. I initially thought that the first picture (the mountain scene from Switzerland) was the competition's winning image, but it's not. It's just the #1 picture of this particular list, not the #1 picture of the competition.

    The winner of Landscape Photograph Of The Year is actually #19 on the linked page. It's this image:

    [​IMG]

    I actually really like this picture, although it took me a good 10 or 15 seconds to work out what the hell it actually is. If I were asked to describe the genre of this picture, I'd probably say "abstract" rather than "landscape," although those two things are clearly not mutually exclusive.
     
  30. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Fair enough. Yes that was one of the ones I liked too.
     

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