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Author Topic: National Geographic trashes digital  (Read 6509 times)
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« on: January 13, 2003, 06:34:53 PM »
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Now let's see...

Who was it that moved one of the pyramids on a cover photograph quite a few years ago, causing the first major discussion of what digital imaging could do?

Humm? I wonder which magazine it was?

What a load of silly crap.

Michael
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Emery
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2003, 07:24:04 PM »
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Correction..the image was taken with the 1D..not the 1DS which I currently use.
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erik hansen
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2003, 12:09:44 AM »
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national geographic has long been known as one of the worst publications for photographers to work with.  they have no regard for photographers' rights.  now i think they are just trying to cover their asses due to the whole pyramid moving scandal from a few years ago.  i'm sure they want to be viewed as a magazine that only publishes "real" photographs.  of course there is no such thing as a real photograph.
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2003, 11:30:39 AM »
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I guess the question arises: Are any of you guys or girls selling to National Geographic? If not then their policies don't have any impact on you.

There are still many magazines and publications that will not use 35mm - negatives - digital files and who knows what else.

It is their prerogative to publish their journal the way they wish. I know that there is prestige to being published in NG. Knowing how tough it is to crack a company with cold submissions it may be quite probable that the submitted images refered to, would have been rejected if shot with film.

The old saying "The pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs". I guess that's what we expect if we are progressive and eventually through education things will loosen up.

By the way this 'other side of the coin' opinion is not for those with the strong opions posted but for vulnerable readers who might be thinking that these are big issues. They're not and they will have no effect on the vast majority of pro or amateur photographers. They will still be able to produce and sell their work with persistence.
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Nop
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2003, 11:31:34 AM »
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I am not sure if National Geographic Magazine will never take digital file? Last October while shooting photo in Glacier National Park I ran into Daniel J. Cox(who shot cover for Geographic last issue) and we discussed the issue of digital images(he shoots some with D100 and D1X). I am myself still shoot extensively with slide film although this will change in a few years(but I shoot 100% digital at my newspaper with D1H). Dan did memtion something very interesting. He said that Joe McNalley(who shoot for Sport Illustrated, National Geographic) shot entire article for Geographic last year with a new Nikon digital camera(I assume that they will publish the article once Nikon annouce their new DSLR this coming March). However, we both have no idea about what camera? I am sure their policy will change as more and more photographers now use digital camera. It is a new tool and there is nothing change how we photograph, just how it capture? My photo in the National Wildlife Magazine this issue was taken with a Nikon D1. Many magazines now change their policy how to use digital images and as digital cameras now come out with more megapixles.    
www.nopnatureimages.com
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Joe
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2003, 06:16:39 PM »
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I first saw this story at dpreview board then checked out the article myself in last months NG Traveler magazine.

Apparently NG refuses to accept digital images taken with digital cameras for its photo contests citing the ease of manipulation among the 'amatuer world'.

To paraphrase the article.......

"We saw a dramatic increase in digitally altered submissions ...This kind of visual trickery, aided by the mushrooming of digital cameras is becoming increasingly commonplace and as a result entries are limited to wet [slide(film)] proofs....In the end we eliminated all the digital duplicity...The eventual winners are the real deal. At National geographic we support the art of great photography, not technical sophistry" .

The editor further goes on to blast digital imaging as something not suited for the fine art of nature photography and insinuates digital imaging is for the photojournalist, sports photog, and amateur crowd with enough money to spend on "expensive toys".
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Emery
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2003, 07:22:56 PM »
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I know National Geographic refuses to accept digital by first hand experience. Last year I attempted to enter a travel photo from Glacier Park taken with hikers against a backdrop of the setting sun and a mountain valley. Every year they have an anual photo contest. The image was taken with the 1DS and all I did was some minor cosmetic adjustments with contrast and sharpness that one would do in standard development in the wt room. They refused to accept the image-they told me any entries must be on slide and shot with film and that images taken with a digital SLR are not open for consideration and they do not and will not accept them. They also told me the slides must be the original with no touch-ups. Anything film scanned to PC then done digitally on a computer was also refused and  they also noted nothing would be accepted that was a digital image transferred to a slide. They were very snooty when I questioned them and the reply basically said they are looking for 'real' photographs taken on film and they don't work with 'pixels'.
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Emery
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2003, 07:31:48 PM »
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sorry one more thing..is there a way to edit posts??

If you got to the NG main site and look up their assignment photographer criteria and submissions they explicitly list what they will and won't accept. Among the litany of thigns they refuse to consider are:

- Images taken with a digital SLR or digital imaging device.
- Images that have been scanned then transferred to transparency or slide.
- Images that have been edited digitally by means of a [personal computer or other digital computing device].
- Film Images scanned then transferred back to slide or edited digitally.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2003, 11:11:36 AM »
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This is unbelievable stupidity.  Just as many of the most talented PJ, wildlife, and landscape photographers are starting to move towards digital cameras, National Geographic sticks it's head in the sand and tries to pretend that we live in a static universe.  I wonder how long this moronic policy will last.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2003, 01:06:58 PM »
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Hmmmm, National Geographic has devoted the bulk of several issues to digital images. Does anyone remember the issues devoted to the Voyager flybys of Jupiter and Saturn, or the various probes that went to Mars? All of those images are digital, and so are the images from Hubble. What a bunch of hypocrites.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2003, 06:35:24 PM »
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Surely this is all a joke.  Somebody, somewhere, tell me this is all just flame-bait.  

Please?
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Brad Hiltbrand
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2003, 01:59:09 PM »
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This is a very interesting discussion and one I find particularly amusing given than Bruce Dale, an exclusive photographer for NG for over thirty years, has completely abandoned his wet darkroom for digital processing in the past six years. He still uses various film cameras, but is also doing lots of digital imaging in the field as well. He states clearly on his site that cameras of all types are simply tools. He chooses what he thinks are the best tools for making particular images.

National Geographics contest editor displays a lot of arrogance and bias in the statements quoted in this thread. No matter, his attitude towards scanned or digitally created images will certainly not last too much longer. It is nice to imagine oneself a purist, but there is no such thing as a perfect rendition of reality in any form of photography. Ansel Adams is a great example of someone who made that evidently clear with his comment that a great photograph is made, not just taken.

As newcomer to medium format photography, and someone on a tight budget, I find that I can produce very nice images by scanning my 645 slides with my Epson 2450 scanner. The scans are almost never perfect renditions of what is on the slide, and some digital post processing is almost always required. But I like the ability to control that process myself, instead of having to pay someone else to scan and print, or to optically print my images. It is far less expensive, and because I care more, I think I can produce better images compared to some anonymous person in a lab who is working against the clock.

The website of Bruce Dale is worth perusing: brucedale.com
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