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Thread: APPA : Ken Duncan finally says what a lot of us have been thinking

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    APPA : Ken Duncan finally says what a lot of us have been thinking

    Ken has decided enough is enough and that photography should be about photos taken, not manipulation

    https://www.facebook.com/kenduncanph...type=3&theater

    If you are unable to see FB, then here is a copy of Ken's post:

    **************************************************
    Ken Duncan

    As an honorary life member of the AIPP I am concerned about the regulations and judging criteria of their Photo Awards after seeing the results from this years competition.
    Congratulations to Lisa Saad for winning the 2016 Australian Professional Photographer Awards with a series of illustrations.
    With no disrespect to Lisa who is obviously a very talented person I just personally don't get it. How these illustration could be considered photographs as lovely as judges may think they are.
    The word Photography comes from the Greek words Photos: Light and Graphos: Drawing so photography is 'drawing with light'.
    This illustration and the others from the series have little to do with reflected light but more about creation by manipulating and creating pixels.
    I believe the AIPP have lost their way with the APPA awards as they seem to be hijacked by manipulators. Now I don't have a problem with post processing to a degree but when it gets to to point of having no connection to reality it then enters the world of illustration. If this trend is going to continue unchallenged and not looked at then may be the awards should really be renamed. The initials obviously no longer stand for the Australian Professional Photography Awards so maybe they really need to call them what they have become the 'Australian Professional Photoshop Awards'.
    *********************************

    And here is a link to the 'photo' he is talking about. It is the top left image (click in it to see it in full). However Ken's article refers to all the winner's images and how he sees them as illustrations. Not photos.

    Thoughts?
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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I'm with Ken. I don't get it either.

    And looking through the various categories, I don't get them either.

    Glad I'm not alone in my confusion.

    I think it's taken Ansel Adams quote (per Gazza), "You don't take a photograph, you make it" just a tad too far.
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Me also - did those pictures even start as a photo - looks more like an artist created them in some graphic program.
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciate

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Maybe a new category - Pixelography?
    Andrew




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    Interesting i think categories with clear lines of delineation are appropriate. I find purist arguments tiring and dated, ironically most proponents like me own a computer which takes photos, a DSLR, which filters light, interpolates etc etc.. before it even hits the camera memory.

    Yes before i get smashed, i know theres levels and a range, categories for me






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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Wayne raises some interesting points. Photography is an art and art is subjective. Where is the line between photography and illustration?
    Last edited by Hawthy; 07-09-2016 at 8:21pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Ken has decided enough is enough ................ snipped a big bit out........................................
    However Ken's article refers to all the winner's images and how he sees them as illustrations. Not photos.

    Thoughts?
    So does this include the documentary (single image, real life, minimal manipulation) categories
    These categories are all documentary
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    So does this include the documentary (single image, real life, minimal manipulation) categories
    These categories are all documentary
    Birth
    Sport
    Documentary
    Travel
    Science, Wildlife, Wild Places
    No, he is talking about all the photos that were entered by the winner (overall). See the link, it shows the entries of the winner of the APPA overall photographer of the year. The question is, do you feel they are photographs or digital illustrations?

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    To me thing winning "shot", and the 3 other shots on that page, are graphic art, and very reminiscent of advertising art works from the 30's-60's.

    Doesn't seem like there was a "starting image" that has been worked on/with

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    I agree far more with Ken than I disagree.

    For me, a photograph represents something that has existed in the real world, in some way or another. I have no problem with people who take manipulation to extremes, however, the resulting thing may be a form of art, but it is no longer photography IMNSHO ...
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    It's funny, I've been saying a similar thing having followed the WA competition and now the national. Don't get me wrong, as Wayne says, I view landscape photography as art not documentation, I have no problem altering colour, tone or even cloning out aspects, but until recently I never realised the extent of the manipulation in the landscape section. I was talking to Aaron Dowling only last week about his entries and he was telling me how they were created. But created is the appropriate word rather than taken. That's not to say I don't like the results, I love them. The thing that I think is a shame is that there is now no credit given for actually capturing a moment. Having the skill to time things so there is a bird in the right part of the sky. No need, one can be inserted later. The judges spent ages debating whether one of his had a texture added (it didn't, but was manipulated in other ways). In the state awards I heard judges taking points off for something that wasn't perfectly aligned and also for something that was too perfectly positioned. All with the knowledge that neither was captured that way.
    I think there should be a category for landscapes where minimal cloning and no added elements are permitted. These days I think that's called travel photography.
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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I have to confess I enjoyed looking at all the "images". To me most of them belong in a Creative/altered reality section.

    I was pretty shocked to find out that you can pay a professional photoshopper to work on your photos for these awards. In that case, why doesn't the photoshopper's name appear in conjunction with the photographers? Surely the photoshopper has had as much influence in the shaping of the finished article as the original photographer?

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    I also enjoyed looking at the images but agree with Ken Duncan's comment. It certainly seems to be more of a photoshop comp than a photography one. Also agree with farmmax's comments re being allowed to have a pro photoshopper work on the images.
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    it is interesting on FB to see the people attacking Ken for his views. They are saying it is within the rules etc, when he is saying that those rules need to change. They are attacking him for sharing the photo without permission, when 'fair dealings' under copyright allow him to do so.

    Rather than discuss the actual issue raised : Photography or Illustrations

    I hope he wields enough influence to get an intelligent discussion started within the AIPP and that the rules for entry to APPA (and the State awards) are amended due to those discussions.

    I agree with much that has been said above, that the APPA no longer represents good photography, but rather good photoshopping. Your skills (or someone else's) on a computer far outweigh your skills as a photographer when you enter APPA.

    It would be interesting to take the winning images onto the street and ask the general public if they are a photo or an illustration. Then I suppose those that argue against change to the rules would be saying the general public are not in a position to judge photographs cause they have not completed judging courses etc.

    The winner, Lisa is very skilled at what she does. There is no doubt she knows her way around photoshop. But is it photography? For me, No!

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I actually agree with him 100%. I think these awards have become a farce. Winning these awards is not longer about the best photographer, it's about the best photoshopper
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    As Keen As Mustard NikonNellie's Avatar
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    I love creativity but I have to agree with Ken as well.
    My youngest son is a talented Landscape/Travel photographer who has entered a few well known photography competitions but lately he has been discouraged to enter them because of the amount of manipulation that is required to have a winning entry. He has often commented on how the judging of "photos" has become more about the judging of "photoshopping".

    I love manipulating images whether they be a composite or single work of art. Sometimes I enjoy the photoshopping of my images more than the actual taking of the photos. Having said that, I still think that highly manipulated images belong in a "Graphic Art" competition not in a "Photography" competition.
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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikonNellie View Post
    I love creativity but I have to agree with Ken as well.
    My youngest son is a talented Landscape/Travel photographer who has entered a few well known photography competitions but lately he has been discouraged to enter them because of the amount of manipulation that is required to have a winning entry. He has often commented on how the judging of "photos" has become more about the judging of "photoshopping".

    I love manipulating images whether they be a composite or single work of art. Sometimes I enjoy the photoshopping of my images more than the actual taking of the photos. Having said that, I still think that highly manipulated images belong in a "Graphic Art" competition not in a "Photography" competition.
    Agree

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    I'd suggest this argument is coming about as a result of the new technology we all use, where because it's a 'digital file' it could conceivably (by some) be regarded as a 'photograph' I don't see them as photographs in this case, as they are obviously illustrations, no matter what they started out as.
    One thing to consider is, would they have been able to be produced using film? Other than as a photograph of the illustrated work.

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    Agree with Ken, while lisa has some great photographs, that particular image, while a beautiful piece of art, is not a photograph, it's just ridiculous that people even consider it to be one. anything thats a digital image in this facebook day and age gets called a 'photo'. I'm sorry, but that's just not the case. There is a difference between using software as a 'digital darkroom' for minor retouching of a photo captured with real subjects and light, and using software to create graphic art.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    The thing I do find sad is the amount of attacks on him for raising the issue about AIPP and saying that AIPP should rethink his membership. I'm confused as to when AIPP became a dictatorship and members were not allowed to speak their thoughts. I'm also confused as to how they see this as a personal attack on Lisa which is ludicrous


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