View Full Version : modern photo competitions

13-01-13, 05:58 PM
A lot of photographs are obviously so heavily Photo-shopped they must bear little resemblance to the original picture. Aren't the skills being judged more likely to be influenced not by ones ability with a camera but by ones knowledge of Photoshop?

14-01-13, 06:51 AM
hi and welcome i do competition photography and to be honest you cannot second guess a judge i have seen what you describe as photoshopped images do very well, as long as its the authors work i dont really mind. i have also seen seen pictures that do not have any photoshop work done on them except a crop and a little sharpening. dont for get a lot of what we see in photoshop was done in the darkroom of old.

14-01-13, 05:34 PM
Hi, Over the years i have entered a few photographs into competitions but never won any thing, I dont use photo shop or any other system other than
NX2 to open my raw files,nor have i particularly wanted to win,only to share some nice images. If others wish to do this it is fine by me.
Another string to my bow is I am an amateur water colourist when i paint what appears on my paper is not a copy of what I see but an interpretation of the light and the emotions of what I See, and I think this is what others try to do with Photoshop etc, this is art and not cheating in my book,and if they have a winner then they succeeded.

15-01-13, 10:51 AM
Image manipulation isn't new, Photoshop just makes what was doable in the darkroom easier and available to all for then price of the software.

15-01-13, 06:52 PM
I think it's a bit of both to Photoshop a photo i have to have a good photo to start with. Most cameras now do a bit of photo editing , unless you shoot in raw... Graham

Nigel Atherton
25-01-13, 12:50 PM
Having judged too many photo competitons to count, not just in WDC but eleswhere, I think most judges not only accept a bit of photoshop but expect it, but draw the line when it looks like the image is more photoshop than original capture, or when it looks like the truth of the image has been changed – especially so with competitions such as Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Landscape Photographer of the Year, both of which have had to controversially disqualify winning images in recent years for crossing the line in excessive manipulation either of the image or the subject itself.

Unless its a one-off reportage type image, almost no image would win any competiton straight out of the camera, because that's only half of the image making process. Most images require some kind of brightness, contrast, colour and sharpening adjustment, if nothing else, but many more benefit from selective dodging and burning etc - but that's no different to what Ansel Adams did with his Yosemite landscapes (which were very heaviliy worked on in the darkroom). Those who object so strongly to photoshop clearly see the camera as some kind of miniaturised photocopier, whose role is to record a plain facsimile of the scene (which cameras can never really achieve anyway, do to the technical limitations of sensors etc) whereas most photo competitions are more about photography as an art form, and place more emphasis on interpretation, emotion, creativity etc. Black and White, for example, is about as far from reality as you can get, but few seem to object to it, and indeed b&w images remain very popular in most competitions.