ExperimentalExperience

Proving The Wrong Point With The Wrong Arguments Or How Photography Competition Juries Harp On The Trivial While Ignoring The Egregious

In Photography on March 4, 2010 at 8:10 pm

There is a new tempest in a teacup, but ironically its the wrong tempest!

A major award competition has had to ‘disqualify’ one of the winning works, and you can follow their thinking here:

This was the original photograph submitted to a competition:

From which the talented photographer, cropped, color converted, burned & dodged, erased and re-aligned to create this:

The jury at the competition gave this photograph, or the series it belongs to, an award, until it realized that the photographer had manipulated beyond the tolerance of the jury. I quote (from the article in The British Journal of Photography):

“Following the announcement of the contest results, it came to the attention of World Press Photo that Rudik’s story had violated a contest rule. After requesting RAW-files of the series from him, it became clear that an element had been removed from one of the original photographs.” (My italics)

Really? This esteemed jury realized that ‘an’ element had been removed from the original?

In his defense, the photographer provided his original color image because, once again according to The British Journal of Photography:

Rudik provided BJP with the original photo, as well as the altered one, in a bid to show that he hasn’t “made any significant alteration nor removed any important informative detail.”

Really?

So let me understand this: its the tiny shoe that was erased that is the problem here and not the fact that nearly 90% of the original image was simply cropped, a small area of focus was then enlarged, color converted, burned and dodged and a completely ‘new’ image created for submission.

And it is a ‘new’ image, because no ‘professional reportage’ photographer, as this photographer claims he is, creates the first image while trying to make the second. Certainly not a competent one!

And what can I even say about this jury’s thought process that I have not said earlier. See my essay Creating Tempests In A Teacup Or What Else Can A Photo Editor Do where I discuss how the most egregious photo manipulation processes are ignored while trivial and irrelevant manipulations are highlighted as acts of great ‘objectivity’ and ‘concern for truth’.

Speaking of hands being wrapped, remember Miguel Rio Branco’s beautiful work from the Santa Rosa Boxing Club.

Copy Right Miguel Rio Branco/Magnum Photos

Copy Right Miguel Rio Branco/Magnum Photos

That is how its done!

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  1. [...] So let me understand this: its the tiny shoe that was erased that is the problem here and not the fact that nearly 90% of the original image was simply cropped, a small area of focus was then enlarged, color converted, burned and dodged and a completely ‘new’ image created for submission. [...]

  2. [...] got to echo Asim Rafiqui: What a laughable extreme crop and toning job. Color and tilt correction in photoshop is one thing, [...]

  3. [...] nouvelle a beaucoup fait parler la semaine dernière. DVA, BJP, Spinning Head et The Lens font partie des blogues qui ont rapidement offert leurs opinions sur la situation. Asim [...]

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