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Old Apr 23, 2006, 12:11 PM   #1
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Today I went to a gallery of a professional landscape photographer and he had a book displaying the award winning photos from the Australian Professional Photographers Awards. I was interested to see that the majority of the award winners in the "Landscape" category were seriously post processed, often with colours enhanced or changed completely, with extreme contrast and exposure modifications, with all sorts of "artistic" filters applied, and even with multiple overlaid images.

To me, these images (they had long since ceased to be photos) were digital art, even abstract art. Call me a purist, but they were a long way from "landscape photography" which I regard as the art of a photographer capturing the best possible composition and lighting of a natural landscape.

Comments anyone?

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Old Apr 23, 2006, 2:26 PM   #2
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On the other hand, digital art doesn't necessarily have to be a manipulation of a photograph, right?

Ansel Adams did quite a bit of manipulation of his world famous landscapes. His most famous were not in color, meaning that it wasn't what you would see if you had stood beside him when he took the shot.

There is probably no commonly accepted definition that would draw the line over which a landscape photograph (or any other for that matter) would have to be categorized as digital art.

To me, a photograph that is post processed (and which ones aren't) has to be done in a way that leads the viewer to accept it as a "natural" scene. But, that's just my opinion.

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Old Apr 23, 2006, 4:47 PM   #3
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This could get interesting.It isa question I have mulled over myself pretty often.

I"think" it was Ansel Adams thatwas credited with saying..you don't take a photograph..you make a photograph. (or something similiar)

What I question most isMANUFACTURING a photo and then letting everyone believe it was an original scene. Not to say that beautiful photos can't be "made".

I certaintly believe in basic adjustments and often that doesn't do many of mine much good It is neat to be able to remove distracting objects and dust smudges and functions of that sort. What it boils down to, if Photoshop is all it takes to make beautiful photos.....why spend the money on all the cameras and other gear? Just take a copy of PS CS2 and a good computer and "snap" away:-)

Don't get me wrong, digital art is interesting (the kind that appeals to me) and fascinating in a way. Just identify it as such!
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Old Apr 24, 2006, 3:16 PM   #4
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Oh boy this topic could run and run :-)

Personally I'm not into extreme manipulation, and I don't think it has any place in a landscape photography competition. But.... I believe you should be "allowed" to do anything in digital that you can with chemistry on film. That includes the hightened colours that you get with films like Velvia, b&w conversion, filtration applied digitally rather than optically (warm up, graduated levels adjustments etc), and changes to contrast and levels (after all different film stocks have different responses to light).

I guess what I'm saying is, it doesn't matter if it did look like that in real life, as long as it could have: had you been able to stand in the right place with just the right light etc.

But even that isn't a true reflection of the situation: the human eye corrects for colour casts without us even realising, if we wanted true to life then we'd colour correct all our sunsets so they weren't nearly so warm looking, after all that would reflect what you actually "see". And who is going to do that? :-)

As for competitions, ha! Don't get me started! I had good news this morning: third prize in a local competition run by the national park. But you know what, I didn't like any of the shortlisted photos much, even the one of mine they picked was the one I liked least of those I submitted. I only included it as a banker in case they wanted cheezy tourist shots :lol:

So... it probably all comes down to "taste" whatever that is!

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