Over-cooking a good thing - the future of nature photography?

October 29th, 2010 § 9 comments - add yours

Recently I helped judge the New Zealand Geographic Magazine Photographer of the Year awards with Andris Apse, Arno Gasteiger & James Frankham. Some interesting things stood out, but one in particular really surprised.

I’d guess 50% of images submitted in the landscape / scenic section had overly heavy use of HDR (high dynamic range) or some other overworked tonal mapping technique. For me it’s becoming the ‘graduated tobacco coloured sunset filter’ of the 80’s; obviously fake, overblown and often used pointlessly. It knocked how I felt about current landscape photography for a number of reasons…

Nature blesses us with remarkable beauty. We should seek to be good enough to do her justice in a photo. Sure, it can be tough dealing with the light she gives us, but we should rise to the challenge and learn how to capture it with strong technique and novel ideas when you’re out in the field, and then maybe touch it up with a light hand back home on the computer. We learnt good field skills before digital was invented.

Now it seems many just bracket shots, run them through an HDR program, wiggle a few sliders and output a terribly… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

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