Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by barry_scott, Apr 22, 2017.
I couldn't disagree more. Pictures should be judged on their own merits, not on prejudices about equipment; there should surely be no place for snobbery, inverted snobbery or fanboyism in this. Photography IS an art; what you're effectively saying is that better cameras take better pictures, which is very insulting to all photographers.
And exposure details are utterly irrelevant, aren't they?
How can the exposure details be irrelevant? The give an indication of decisions made by the photographer and hence his or her skill when creating the image because lens aperture and shutter speed both influence the nature of the image.
The less expensive the hardware used, the more I am impressed by a great picture.
Then why were they required in all previous APOY competitions?
Because unless you know the light conditions at the time, subject movement speed etc the settings tell you nothing. The actual picture tells you how good a job the photographer did, nothing else does.
So you're prejudiced; that's all that tells us. That and the fact that you think the equipment counts more than the photographer. Pardon me if I think your views are total rubbish, then.
Who cares? They've seen the light.
That information is useful to help someone analyse an image for faults in technique. However, I don't see how the information by itself helps understand how a result was arrived at. You would need a detailed methodology explanation of how the shot was made. Adding 500 words to each entry is a bit over-the-top.
That's as maybe but better equipment by itself doesn't guarantee better results. There is likely a correlation between results and equipment because those who devote the man-hours to perfect their technique are perhaps more likely to use more expensive equipment but it is the underlying effort that makes the difference.
It is not just that, AP is about giving education, guidance and advice to photographers
Showing lens and exposure choice from the APOY winning images does that.
If a low end camera wins or gets good marks then it show with the right skills what that camera can do.
This is why APOY in the past gave those details IMHO.
I agree with you Nick is not about kit.
But seeing great images from low end kit gives encouragement to new shooters that they stand a chance in APOY
Also it supports the mission statement of AP that is about the photography if a a shooter with a 5 year bridge camera gets published in AP.
But if AP only put in images from high end kit on every page then if you are say a compact, bridge or 2nd hand camera owner you could be put off reading the magazine.
I think this sums up AP's problems: is it aimed at beginners (who make technical queries that could be answered from the camera's user manual), or at those who have hardware that costs many thousands of pounds and upgrade it regularly? I am neither of these, having used affordable or used SLRs since 1973 and then 'consumer' DSLRs since 2007, but continue to subscribe even though I often believe that AP now has little interest in readers like me.
NO! That's EXACTLY what it DOESN'T do, and why it really shouldn't be there. The problem is that inexperienced photographers think that all they have to do in a similar situation is copy the settings to get the same result, but that doesn't take into account actual light levels, subject/cloud/anything else movement, relative distance from subject, (often) precise focal length - in fact anything that actually allows the settings to mean anything. So it's actually counter-productive to give the settings. Now if there's an article about how to take the picture, giving reasons why the settings were chosen, then perhaps that can be useful, but in the case of giving settings for pictures with no other info, it's worse than useless, it's actually unhelpful.
Far better in competitions not to say what kit is used; he photographer should be allowed to believe that they can get results if they are good enough, not if their camera is. Listing the kit for competitions sends out entirely the wrong message, that the kit is what matters.
When we're judging APOY we are looking at thousands of entries and have limited time to go through them, in between all the other tasks involved in putting a weekly magazine together. The pictures are anonymous and there is no EXIF data, we're looking only at the images. As it should be. We certainly have neither the time nor ability to look into the background of every picture, check to make sure it was taken on modest equipment (eliminating anything taken on pro gear), that no photoshop was used and do a background check on each photographer to ensure they don't earn any money on the side from their photos. Just to make sure we don't upset anyone. The winners are chosen purely on the strength of the image, and we don't get to find out anything else until the judging is completed.
Usually the Exif data is missing because it was lost in the photo editing. I don't have access to all the entry data as I'm currently on a train, but I do remember that the winner of the first round shot his winning image on a Nikon 1 J2 - a modest mirrorless camera with a 1" sensor. Elena Paraskeva, who has come in for a lot of stick on here, only took up photography three years ago. She clearly seems to earn enough from her business interests to be able to buy nice kit and spend a lot of time on her photography. But on the other hand she has not had the benefit of decades of experience in which to hone her craft.
Wouldn't it be better to stop obsessing over the perceived advantages that those who win these competitions have over everyone else? There will always be people who have more money to spend on equipment, or travelling to nice destinations, or even simply living somewhere photogenic. Until we achieve a communist utopia, anyway.
Just to change the subject slightly how did contestants in the days of film record the exposure details? Did they write down the details of every exposure or did they just go home and make them up?
Wellllll - now you come to ask...
Certainly some people made notes for each exposure. I was never patient enough. Exposure notes would also go with developing notes.
My reason for wanting to know more about hardware used and exposure details is that, in the days of film photography the quality of the camera's 'sensor' was determined by the choice of film and a particular film cost the same for everybody. But now the quality of the camera's sensor depends on how much you can afford. Knowing what film and lens I had used, I could make reasonable estimate of the aperture and shutter speed because this was in the days before the latest 'must have' (and expensive) image-stabilised lenses so the options were more limited.
But what about the 'pay and display' concerns of some readers and contributors to this forum thread, that APOY entrants can now make multiple submissions if they pay? And how much of this money does AP get? (If none, why bother?)
At least please consider returning to the rule about one entry per person for each round of APOY.
The difference in sensor results is minuscule these days for well exposed photographs. The only differences you can really see are in images pushed to compensate for poor light or cropped (or enlarged) to the point that resolution matters but that's not really the domain of this competition. My old G10, which had the worse sensor Canon ever put into a compact, could give really good results.
There is no point to recycle old moans. The fact that the better photographers happen to submit multiple images and score highly with each (two photographers getting 3 placed pictures each this round) just shows how good they are and how closely they caught the mood of the judges for this topic.
Stop yer whining. Vote with your feet if you must. I'm not happy with the format. I didn't enter this year. It's that simple.
I never suggested that judges should know what kit has been used. Of course it should be image only judging.
But helps as evidence when saying to new shooter that you don't need high end or brand name kit to create winning art.
In the past examples have been seen in APOY. There have been 1st, 2nd or 3rd place shots produced on consumer compacts etc
I have even seen that at the Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition.
We had this at our society when we try and recruit new members they do sometimes say "oh you need a expensive pro camera".
So we point out the winning shots and those that have been successful with judges but shot on low end kit.
Nothing works as well than SHOWING that is not true. LOL
As I have said on occasion APOY has shown that too when the results have been revealed LOL
Nick what forget is exposure contains shutter speed and the f stop which create artist effects in combination with the lens.
A new shooter can learn from that. ie certain shutter give a type of blur or freeze in a subject.
When I was watching MOP on Sky it was useful see that info from the shoots.
Anyway makes no difference to me entering.
Because I have won over against high end kit at my society and we have some quite good shooters with deep pockets LOL
Not sure how many times I have to say this, but no, they can't - not without knowing the relative speed of the subject to the camera, the light levels, any filters used, ISO, exact focal length, sensor size, focus distance etc etc and above all, knowing how they relate. A technique article can give them all that; but if they think they can duplicate an image simply by using the same settings, they're deluded and will be ďisappointed.
May I make a point, then you can all tell me to go away. When I was working I was often asked/expected to take photographs some were published and distributed world wide. Did that make me a professional? No, it didn't because I was employed as an engineer and I was using my skills as an engineer to capture photographs of engineering activities. Even if I were classed as a professional, I would have described myself as an industrial photographer, as far as I am aware there is no "Industrial Photography" round in this year's APOY so would I have been eligible to enter? In any other round my skills, such as they might be, in industrial photography wouldn't necessarily have been any help.
Taking that one step further, I take photographs for the love of it, not for the money. By definition that should make me an amateur.
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