Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: World Press Photograph of 2013  (Read 1240 times)
kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« on: February 15, 2013, 07:04:10 PM »
ReplyReply

This just won, for a Swedish photographer, Paul Hansen. Powerful and moving, certainly, but to me at first glance it looked a touch staged, even almost painterly, probably because of something about the lighting. What do people think?
Logged

amolitor
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 08:55:06 PM »
ReplyReply

I think he's applied fashion style processing (contrast to the midtones, desaturate, cool color temp) to a tragic scene, which nauseates me, slightly.

As for the light, I assume he shot as they came down the alley, and picked out the one where the light was good, and maybe dodged a bit.
Logged

- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5860


When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 09:01:23 PM »
ReplyReply

I think he's applied fashion style processing...

I sincerely hope that whoever is organizing journalistic competitions (as the title World Press implies) is not allowing any kind of post-processing beyond very basic. Certainly not any kind of fashion style.
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 09:26:20 PM »
ReplyReply

I think it is the actual impact that counts. I wouldn't object to extensive post-processing per se. For example, if the photographer wanted to convert a colour shot to black and white, to increase the impact. There is nothing sacred about the digital file that comes out of a camera. In this case, I was maybe a tiny bit nauseated, but mostly I felt that the smooth look diminished the impact.
Logged

Michael West
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 340



« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 09:49:51 PM »
ReplyReply

" a touch staged" thats the first thing I saw upon encountering the image.

Logged
amolitor
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801


WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 06:37:34 AM »
ReplyReply

As for staging of this sort of thing.

When things of this sort happen, the people involved know perfectly well that -- among other things -- they ARE on stage. The feelings may be, and probably are 100 percent genuine, but by now everyone knows that some of these things are going to make the international press. It's going to color and shade behaviors, likely into a more camera friendly shape. So, yeah, it's almost certainly "staged" in some sense.
Logged

- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 07:16:33 AM »
ReplyReply

.....So, yeah, it's almost certainly "staged" in some sense.
True, although being staged is one thing, looking staged is another.
Logged

petermfiore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 517



WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 07:37:03 AM »
ReplyReply

So, yeah, it's almost certainly "staged" in some sense.

Just like W. Eugene Smith's classics.

Peter
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 08:12:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Strikes me as perfectly valid work. Just because the subject matter is well presented doesn't mean it's staged anymore than had it been shot on film - which for all I know it might - but I doubt.

The presence of a photographer has resulted in as much amplified violence as the absence. People always play to the camera, for whichever side of a situation they represent. Accentuated violence can make an army or guerrilla force look more fearsome by intent; more a force with which to be reckoned. In the same manner, grief can be manipulated to express almost anything the printers or viewers choose it to represent.

The strange thing, if anything, is that photographers choose to put themselves in those situations.

Rob C
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6235



WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 09:12:39 AM »
ReplyReply

The strange thing, if anything, is that photographers choose to put themselves in those situations.

What's strange about it, Rob? They do it because they know their editors will eat it up, especially if the political message is what the editor wants to see.
Logged

RedwoodGuy
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 417


« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 09:46:36 AM »
ReplyReply

These photos get more gruesome and gaudy each year, it seems. At this point they owe more to R. Crumb than journalism. Of the million ways to capture this photo, this is surely the most pretentious and transparent. These are propaganda photos and are very effective, which is why they receive such honors. The photogs are just serving up what the boss wants, so I place no judgment on them. Guys bringing home the bacon. Good for them. But as a photograph for photography's sake, I could care less. I'd just as soon look at war posters which are usually done by really accomplished graphics artists, or illustrators.

It would be nice to say the world can always use more photographs, but this stuff might be an exception. I see very little importance to the art of photography in these photos. You look because it is like a car wreck. Then you turn away and wish you hadn't. If you see it too often, it begins to haunt you. I don't care which political side it supports - that holds no interest to me at all. They are all the same no matter who it glorifies or who it defiles.
Logged
David Eckels
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 980


Paris sidewalk cafe


WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 10:45:52 AM »
ReplyReply

The light is coming from behind and to the right in the photo, yet the front left of the men's faces are lit. Almost an HDR effect. IMHO, as much as I like artistic manipulation, I think photojournalism (if that's what this is) should be limited to basic adjustment: exposure, contrast, cropping for example. Of course there are nuances and personal opinions as to how far one can go. I think back to some of the very graphic images in LIFE magazine. This is not to detract from the human drama of this scene.
Logged

Peter McLennan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681


« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 11:10:26 AM »
ReplyReply

Do the heavy manipulation and multiple artificial light sources add to or detract from the image's impact, veracity and message?

Logged
David Eckels
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 980


Paris sidewalk cafe


WWW
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 11:16:30 AM »
ReplyReply

Do the heavy manipulation and multiple artificial light sources add to or detract from the image's impact, veracity and message?



Fair question. Honestly, I could go either way. If you insisted I "vote" answering "no" to your question, I feel it borders on propaganda or at least a certain bias. If "yes" then I think a lack of manipulation contributes to a certain ambiance of photojournalistic objectivity that, IMHO, would not undermine the drama of the shot. This may have to do more with my own sense of what photojournalism "should" be.
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5860


When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 12:22:52 PM »
ReplyReply

If the contest is a Fine Art one, anything goes. If photojournalistic (in the sense of news reporting, not editorial story-telling), in my humble opinion, it is an absolute NO, NO to engage in anything but the most elementary and modest adjustment of exposure, contrast and white balance, with a minor cropping. Any cloning, or post-processing for "impact," has already cost many photojournalists their title or even their job, and rightly so.
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
amolitor
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801


WWW
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2013, 12:38:38 PM »
ReplyReply

I understand the desire for standards for photojournalists, but mostly they're a sham to create the illusion of adherence to the truth.

Any decent photo editor should be able to lie with a crop as well as with an erasure, so saying that one is "ok" and the other is "wrong" is really just a posture. Photographs no more capture the truth than an essay or a painting does. They are in fact more dangerous, since they give the illusion of capturing truth, being taking "directly from" reality, as it were.
Logged

- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
David Eckels
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 980


Paris sidewalk cafe


WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2013, 12:48:58 PM »
ReplyReply

They are in fact more dangerous, since they give the illusion of capturing truth, being taking "directly from" reality ...
...especially in the digital age.
I agree with your sentiment. But I also agree with Slobodan that re photojournalism anything beyond minor manipulation should be a no, no. Amolitor, I do realize it's a slippery slope. It is also a propos of a unit I have in the New York Institute of Photography course I am doing, photojournalism. I am dredding it.
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5860


When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


WWW
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2013, 12:51:52 PM »
ReplyReply

I understand the desire for standards for photojournalists, but mostly they're a sham to create the illusion of adherence to the truth.

Any decent photo editor should be able to lie with a crop as well as with an erasure, so saying that one is "ok" and the other is "wrong" is really just a posture. Photographs no more capture the truth than an essay or a painting does. They are in fact more dangerous, since they give the illusion of capturing truth, being taking "directly from" reality, as it were.

That is why I deliberately said "minor" cropping, ie, getting rid of distracting edges. Cropping that significantly alters the truth is not minor cropping.

In general, I strongly and fundamentally disagree with your approach. Just because some photographs are maliciously manipulated, that does not change the fact that they are fundamentally truthful. Just because a photograph might slightly change the reality, it does not make it a lie. Just because we (most of us, at least) jaywalk or speed (thus breaking the law), it does not make us law-breakers in the same sense as serial killers, for instance. The degree matters.

Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
amolitor
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801


WWW
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2013, 12:59:29 PM »
ReplyReply

There's a pretty well known (?) sequence of, I think, three crops of the same photograph. My memory is fuzzy, but I think it's a photograph of a kneeling or seated prisoner (or someone who looks like a prisoner) in front of a row of soldiers, heavily armed. One crop emphasizes a rifle that happens to be aligned with the man's head, and gives the impression of the man about to be executed, another crop eliminates that soldier and emphasizes another one who is (perhaps?) offering the prisoner a drink giving the impression of a simple errand of mercy. The third is, again my memory is suspect, the "original frame" and shows the looming mass of soldiers, the aligned rifle, and the offered drink, creating a more neutral impression.

The crop is always on the list of "permitted" items, as it must be for surely we "crop" reality when we shoot.

Ultimately, we must rely on the integrity of the journalists. Personally, if they choose to use HDR or create composites or erase inconvenient elements, I don't much care. Perhaps the created image is truly closer to "the truth" of the situation than any single frozen instant in time. Perhaps it is not.

Probably, whatever the process, the image and whatever piece it is attached to will be more about the agenda of the media organization than anything else. There is no media without bias, any outlet that claims otherwise is either deluded or lying (and since they all DO, I guess they're all deluded, lying, or both?) There's no particular road to "truth" except to go and see for yourself, and even then you'll see the situation through the lens of your OWN biases. Failing that, I suppose you can try to adjust for known biases.

Any news photo that matters to you should be looked at with skepticism. What could lie just outside the frame that would make you realize that you're completely wrong? Imagine that it's there, and chew on that a bit before you get too excited.
Logged

- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
amolitor
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801


WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2013, 01:03:08 PM »
ReplyReply

You're absolutely right, Slobodan, while I disagree with your conclusion!

Radical crops occur when the shutter button is pressed. Virtually the entire universe is cropped out Wink

I do take your point about degree, certainly. One can lie more, or one can lie less. Lying less is better. It doesn't sell newspapers for the New York Times to say "we lie less!" but it's the truth, should they care to accurately describe themselves. The DO lie less, and that DOES make them better. They're still biased and imperfect, and not to be trusted. Perhaps one has to work less hard to guess "the truth" from media outlets that lie less? I'm still trying to sort that out, but I feel as you do that lying less is certainly an improvement.
Logged

- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad