**Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here) | High Sierra Topix  

**Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

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Re: How much post-processing

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:56 am

Thanks Eric, I understand how hard it is to get ahead of this issue and that it can indeed be contentious. Nice to get some consensus just to level the playing field for one, and to see what kind of great pics the Sierra can provide without all the lipstick. As an example here are some of the rules from the "Unaltered Landscapes" group on flickr that might apply:

1. No post-processing allowed except for cropping and framing
2. No artificial monochrome backgrounds
11. No HDR, Orton, cloning, adding textures, IR, vignetting, adjusting contrast or saturation

Anyway, just some thoughts. Thanks for all your work on this site btw.
Last edited by mokelumnekid on Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Flycanoe » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:16 am

One thing I would like to suggest and that has been done for photo contests at other sites is to have 2 different entry categories. One category is for point and shoot cameras only, the other category allows any camera. This encourages more participation from a broader range of skill and equipment levels.
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Re: How much post-processing

Postby daverave » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:38 am

mokelumnekid wrote:Thanks Eric, I understand how hard it is to get ahead of this issue and that it can indeed be contentious. Nice to get some consensus just to level the playing field for one, and to see what kind of great pics the Sierra can provide without all the lipstick. As an example here are some of the rules from the "Unaltered Landscapes" group on flickr that might apply:

1. No post-processing allowed except for cropping and framing
2. No artificial monochrome backgrounds
11. No HDR, Orton, cloning, adding textures, IR, vignetting, adjusting contrast or saturation

Anyway, just some thoughts. Thanks for all your work on this site btw.


I sympathize with your thoughts mkid as I try to limit the DEGREE of post-processing in my photos to make them reflect as best as possible the reality of the scene. However, you must realize that your first rule would practically eliminate ALL of the great wilderness photographs ever done by all of the great masters. Hence Adams' Zone System, etc., etc. No photographer should have to submit the photo as it came right out of the camera, whether digital or on film. The problem is that the overuse of saturation has created wilderness ****, IMHO, and even people like Galen Rowell strayed into that area sometimes. It's worthwhile to browse around his shop in Bishop and compare the original slides with the prints that are produced from those slides.

A difficult quandary to manage but I would still take issue with your first "rule."
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby mountaineer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:40 pm

Wow! This is a tough crowd. I had a photo that was selected by the editors as one of the top 60 finalists out of 4000 entries in an Outdoor Photographer contest and it didn't even make the top ten here. LOL!

By the way, NO processsing would be fine by me.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Windwalker » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:50 pm

Pretty tough to regulate the "no processing", folks would just shoot .jpgs and crank all of the camera settings up to get the same effects (contrast, saturation, , etc., etc. can all be manipulated in camera as well as in post processing). There are tasteful limits to post processing...some folks have taste and others, well... take it to extremes. Personally I shoot all of my photos in RAW....which means they have to be converted (processed). Then there is still the whole "documentary vs art" debate.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby mountaineer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:26 pm

However, if you are like me, 90% of your shots are still slides. The one I submitted here was a scanned E100VS slide.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby ERIC » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:45 pm

mountaineer wrote:However, if you are like me, 90% of your shots are still slides. The one I submitted here was a scanned E100VS slide.


Savage... ;)
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post-processing thanks everyone

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:13 pm

Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to start too much of a debate here. I think most people understand the point I was trying to make, and most seek a balance between an image that is representational but still evokes some of the emotional content of the moment. I'm not a strict reductionist in any sense, but I do know after a lifetime outdoors in a wide diversity of environments (I'm a volcanologist/geologist), when nature images are 'real' and are not; kind of a sniff test thing. I guess it is like cooking or wine- the more I understand it, the more subtlety one seeks.

Just my two cents, I appreciate the thoughtful responses (and yes, I've seen the images in the Bishop show-room and confess to cringing. I vote that we all pay Galen our respects and kindly move on to a different esthetic in the work, one that while less accessible is perhaps less prone to schlock...).
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby mountaineer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:19 pm

mokolumnekid speaks wisely.

In the Outdoor Photographer contest I mentioned before, a majority of the photos in the finalist category looked really cool, but they also looked heavily manipulated. Either in PS, or heavily filtered at the lense. I HATE that.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:21 pm

I remember a similar conversation several months back.
I agree that some types of processing may not appeal to a lot of folks who are
purist.
I to believed that any processing beyond the norm for raw photo's was heresy, but
I have changed my mind $ speaks and some buyers like that look, one of my pic's
sold 4X as many with the color-enhanced/vibrant look than the natural look!
Some photo site will tear you apart for using HDR, while others embrace it and prefer
it saying it gives the photo's a new look, different stroke for different folks.
One look is not better or worse than the others, photography is an art and the
last thing we need to do is stifle one's artistic visions.
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