Master of Photography is back

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Keith
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#41
Just goes to show how taste differs so much, I thought the best image was the hand shadow through the cracks in the wall - and I honestly believe if she had stuck to her guns on that she'd still be in. I did like the statue 'portrait' but I thought nothing of the winning image this week. There was zero effort put to that, he got lucky and stumbled across that broken statue and took a snap shot IMO. Ok, he saw something in it and was selective about which part to focus in on, also had some good spiel to throw on top. His other idea, the rubbish ... was just that to me too.

I agree that it's unfair someone gets the boot right away, but it happens on other shows too like Masterchef - they could be sending the best chef packing after the first challenge because they were unlucky and mucked up by under or over cooking something

Seems the spiel you spew out to the judges can have as much impact as your image, the successful contestants know how to play to the judges pretentiousness, it's part of the challenge. They know this going in
 
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#42
One thing that has always got to me is the format of the show. So, we lost a budding photographer at stage 1, maybe because the brief is so left field for her. Why can’t they let all the contestants shoot the first 4 projects, then send home those that didn’t reach the standard?

To me that seems a much better way of levelling the field, and you also have a chance to get to know the character of all of the contestants.

I’ve watched it every year, but rarely do I agree on winning images, although the 2 that came out on top this week were miles in front of the others.
I strongly suspect that the reason we don't always think the judges have made the right choice is that they're judging more than the 2d image we are led to believe.

The first sent home has been watched and interacted with for a couple of days - there's already production notes from the sift process before we get to the first show.

I don't believe the elimination process is as black and white as appears - and that probably explains why sometimes the judges decisions don't match our expectations.

Or put simply - - how would you do it, if you had to create a narrative of x number of shows and provide a jeopardy every week ;)
 
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#43
Just goes to show how taste differs so much, I thought the best image was the hand shadow through the cracks in the wall - and I honestly believe if she had stuck to her guns on that she'd still be in. I did like the statue 'portrait' but I thought nothing of the winning image this week. There was zero effort put to that, he got lucky and stumbled across that broken statue and took a snap shot IMO. Ok, he saw something in it and was selective about which part to focus in on, also had some good spiel to throw on top. His other idea, the rubbish ... was just that to me too.
I thought the rubbish idea was excellent, but just terribly executed, and as for the idea of writing "SOS" with it, that was just stupid.... A trail of rubish left along one of the avenues would have been great....

Seems the spiel you spew out to the judges can have as much impact as your image, the successful contestants know how to play to the judges pretentiousness, it's part of the challenge. They know this going in
Not sure about that, on a couple of images the judges said "If you hadn't explained it, I never would have thought it" (or words to that effect).
 
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#44
I thought the rubbish idea was excellent, but just terribly executed, and as for the idea of writing "SOS" with it, that was just stupid.... A trail of rubish left along one of the avenues would have been great....



Not sure about that, on a couple of images the judges said "If you hadn't explained it, I never would have thought it" (or words to that effect).
More the execution than the idea, my prediction is this guy won't last - he talks the talk but I saw nothing special about his approach. Of course now I've said that he'll go on to win the damn thing :D

It helps if the image pleases them to begin with of course - some of the images were just bad this episode, I mean the woman sat on the stones ... looked like a snapshot to share with family on FB
 
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#45
I have always assumed that the programme is like "The Apprentice". Alan Sugar has indicated that he has no say in who are chosen as contestants and I have always wondered if he has always chosen the weakest contestant to fire each week. He does say that he insists on the final choice as it is his money and I believe him. Pressures are coming from the company who produce the programme to achieve maximum entertainment so why get rid of the most controversial but entertaining characters early. I also agree that I would prefer that contestants were not eliminated for at least 3 weeks. It may well be true that the judges are not choosing based just on the image alone but that is not made very clear.

I know from my own club, if we set a straightforward title for a set-subject, the results can be fairly predictable. Where we set ambiguous subjects, it can result in marmite results and is then very judge dependent. I think this is also why the programme uses ambiguous briefs. It is also better suited to professionals who may be used to working to a brief and trying to understand what the client wants rather than photographing what the photographer likes.

Dave
 
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Brian
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#46
Eos R. If it's Canon it had to be the new one I guess. First assignment, contestants using 50mm and 24-105.
One significant difference between this and the previous series seems to be that previously the contestants had their choice of the available gear, whereas now they are all supplied with the same kit. Having said that, I couldn't see the point of giving them a 24-105 and a 50mm prime, surely an alternative covering a different focal length would be more appropriate?
For me, it's a load of pretentious twaddle - it's so bad, I've got to watch it!
As regards judging, it brilliantly proves the point that one man's meat is another man's poison.......
On the other hand, some will feel it's great - we're all entitled to our own opinion.
The subject of judging will be familiar to most club members, where a regular quote from a visiting judge will be "This is purely my opinion and someone else may have a different opinion." Unless the visiting judge is "on your wavelength" there will always be a disparity between your results and the judges opinion.
Quite like that the judges go with them now.
By the way they were talking, I don't think this will always be the case.
If the judges cannot intervene or make suggestions, what advantage is there of having them present?
Plus their presence is likely to embarass the contestants.
Yes, the guest photographer was far too influential in this show.
I think s/he should comment on a photo the contestant picks, advise on post-processing, and maybe help choose between two photos if the contestant really can't decide, but not literally pick one from four or five.
And, yes, pretty painful to see someone come up with a BS story/meaning after they've shot the pic.
Anyway, look forward to next week's... :D
In the past they have said that the guest photographer is there to "mentor" the contestants.
To me, this would best be done before they set out on an assignment.
Some guidance on approach would be very useful, particularly to those contestants who are working in an area in which they are inexperienced, but then of course, there is the risk of the "mentor" influencing them to produce images that are in the mentors style.

I find the whole program, and particularly the "judges" very annoying.
So much so that I will continue to watch it.
 
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#47
With Oliviero Toscani’s beneton portfolio he does seem to have the credentials, however it does seem that it’s a bit of a lottery with the photos each week and how the judges are feeling. Sometimes they do seem to be able to extract deep arty meaning in the contestants submissions and sometimes they just outright rebuff them. I think they got it right with the contestant leaving in week 1 as the image did seem to have nothing to offer, apart from some elaborate narration from the contestant in an attempt to drag some sort of art into it.

It’s odd because the contestants portfolios shown when introducing each of them seem quite good, but when it comes to the assignments they frequently struggle. I guess this is what the contest is all about, getting the contestants to “see” an image in a location that might, on the face of it, have nothing interesting at all.

What I did get from this is how it is possible in a location that looks boring as sh*t and seemingly offers nothing, to be able to get a shot, that might SOOC still appear still to be droll, but with a little PP can invoke stirrings of plaudits from such distinguished and celebrated world renown art photographers. Whether that’s the pretentiousness of the arty photography world or not, who knows.

What I would be intrigued at seeing would be if something like this years Sony World Photo Awards were given to the judges and they weren’t aware that the were in the SWPA how they would critique them.
 
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#48
It’s odd because the contestants portfolios shown when introducing each of them seem quite good, but when it comes to the assignments they frequently struggle. I guess this is what the contest is all about, getting the contestants to “see” an image in a location that might, on the face of it, have nothing interesting at all.
Thing here is, is this realistic? I mean, you would hardly expect Ronaldo or Messi to play a blinder in goal, or Clapton to play drum solos like Bonham? Surely, it should be a wider look at stuff, if you are a portrait photographer and day 1 you get a landscape assignment, is that not destined to fail?
 
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#49
One thing that has always got to me is the format of the show. So, we lost a budding photographer at stage 1, maybe because the brief is so left field for her. Why can’t they let all the contestants shoot the first 4 projects, then send home those that didn’t reach the standard?
There was a similar show which I watched via youtube which had this premise - a small group shot 3 or 4 briefs and were scored for each one which created a sort of leaderboard across the various genres and then the top 2 or maybe 3 went through to shoot the final brief. Was a good watch and not half as pretentious as MoP.
 
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Steve
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#50
There was a similar show which I watched via youtube which had this premise - a small group shot 3 or 4 briefs and were scored for each one which created a sort of leaderboard across the various genres and then the top 2 or maybe 3 went through to shoot the final brief. Was a good watch and not half as pretentious as MoP.
That format would make a lot more sense. You could lose a potential winner in this method. Still, it's a European based show, so getting rid of a Brit early will make the Europeans more comfy :LOL:
 
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#51
Thing here is, is this realistic? I mean, you would hardly expect Ronaldo or Messi to play a blinder in goal, or Clapton to play drum solos like Bonham? Surely, it should be a wider look at stuff, if you are a portrait photographer and day 1 you get a landscape assignment, is that not destined to fail?
True, however as it’s series 4 the contestants know what will be expected of them and if they’ve done their research they’ll know the judges are arty types and each photo they take will need to “speak” to the judges if they want to progress. Unless you’re streets ahead of the other contestants it does seem in part to be a bit of a lottery each week.
 
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Jonathan
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#52
What I would be intrigued at seeing would be if something like this years Sony World Photo Awards were given to the judges and they weren’t aware that the were in the SWPA how they would critique them.
They'd dismiss all the landscapes out of hand as 'Postcard Shots', for a start...
 
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#53
I thought it was quite interesting this week; I realise that with 3 judges that you will get three different opinions. I liked the monochrome set that they chose this week. There is still a lot of waffle, mind!
 
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#54
Does anybody else look at some of the pictures that are shown with the meta data and , like me, think - no way was that pic taken in that light with that iso, aperture and shutter speed?
 
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#55
On another note. This is the 3rd series I've watched and the scope/use of candid (in my opinion best) photography is tiny. Everything is so corny and posed.
 
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Conrad
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#56
So the photographer going home this time was the one who used the still life as their first image. This still life was one of the main criticisms levelled by the judges about the set, yet was the specific recommendation of the guest photographer, which she freely admitted.

It does seem sometimes that if you follow the guest photographer's advice, you end up losing.
 
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#57
So the photographer going home this time was the one who used the still life as their first image. This still life was one of the main criticisms levelled by the judges about the set, yet was the specific recommendation of the guest photographer, which she freely admitted.

It does seem sometimes that if you follow the guest photographer's advice, you end up losing.
Also seems with social reportage (not just in this competition but many other instances) if you can convert to a strong B&w it gives you an edge.
 
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#58
Does anybody else look at some of the pictures that are shown with the meta data and , like me, think - no way was that pic taken in that light with that iso, aperture and shutter speed?
Not really as it’s difficult to see the light levels through a tv camera.
 
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#59
Does anybody else look at some of the pictures that are shown with the meta data and , like me, think - no way was that pic taken in that light with that iso, aperture and shutter speed?
I don't think "that's an impossible shot" but I do find some of the exposure choices "interesting."
 
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#60
I think the judges made it clear from the start that this was about capturing the people in the environment so a still life does not meet this. Others have ignored the guest if they thought it was not good advice. The use of B&W for most of this assignment should not seem surprising given they were photographing in the rain and the reportage often fits this media. I did feel that some of the images seemed a little formal but we do not have the opportunity to study the images so they may be better than our quick look suggests. I think it would have been very difficult to be successful in the circumstances and there is a lot of pressure. One or two of them would have been best to submit only three images.

Dave
 
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#61
I don't think "that's an impossible shot" but I do find some of the exposure choices "interesting."
Yes the guy that shot the foot in the architectural portrait week and the pope in the lookalikes week seems to shoot wide open all the time. I think 2.8 on the foot and 2.5/2.8 on the two Pope shots.
 
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#62
I watched the first part and have seen all previous series. My background is science so I have always found technical aspects of photography easy but struggled with the arty stuff. The competitors of this programme have to master the arty aspects so being good technically may help but no more. I find it fascinating to consider what I would do if I were asked to do a similar project under the pressure and timescales they have. The equipment they have is almost irrelevant and they all have the same. For this first assignment my initial reaction was that I would wish to capture the essence of how important the port of Ostia was to Rome and have read much of the history in the past. However, from the scenes they showed nothing came to mind. Even if I were there I am not sure I could have found a shot to tell the story. I did think the ghost idea by at least one candidate was good and did consider what I would do. As they were constrained to use a single frame, I would have double exposed with a normal street or arena shot and a blurred shot of one of the statues. I would no doubt have needed to experiment as many of the candidates did. It was then interesting to see how they fared given the very difficult task; not necessarily technically difficult but difficult to communicate your idea.

It is always easy to criticise judges but, nevertheless, I agreed with their two top choices. I look forward to challenging myself with the next episode though fortunately I only have to pretend.

Dave
I am exactly the same, I know how to get a 'technically' correct photo but nothing arty and rarely interesting or something that stands out of the crowd. Technical stuff you can learn, but I'm not sure if you can learn to be creative or 'arty'? I watch these kinds of programmes and think "I'd have never thought of that idea in a million years", likewise some images I see on Flickr etc. I find that I often lose my mojo as a result as I'm trying to move past the "picture postcard" or "run of the mill" kind of photography but end up falling well short.
Sure you can learn art/composition as much as you can the technical side of photography. Buy photobooks, go to art galleries; generally study art.
Doesn't have to be photography either, look at the paintings of Edward Hopper and you can see how much of an influence he his is to some photographers.
 
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#63
Sure you can learn art/composition as much as you can the technical side of photography. Buy photobooks, go to art galleries; generally study art.
Doesn't have to be photography either, look at the paintings of Edward Hopper and you can see how much of an influence he his is to some photographers.
TBH I have tried but as yet seem to be unsuccessful. I do think some folk have a 'natural eye' for it though.
 
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#64
The guest photographer really screwed the Italian guy over lol, I thought he would be the favourite going in to this one because he knew the area and could communicate much better with the locals.

I did like the winning set though this time.
 
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#65
The guest photographer really screwed the Italian guy over lol, I thought he would be the favourite going in to this one because he knew the area and could communicate much better with the locals.

I did like the winning set though this time.
Sure did. I thought after she fessed up then the judges would take this into account, but I don't think they did :LOL:
 
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#66
Sure did. I thought after she fessed up then the judges would take this into account, but I don't think they did :LOL:
It was partly his own fault, he looked a bit stunned when she made the suggestion but then when you're told that she's an award winner etc you can be easily swayed. She wasn't there when he got the boot, looked a bit like she'd done a runner :D
 
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Phil
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#67
TBH I have tried but as yet seem to be unsuccessful. I do think some folk have a 'natural eye' for it though.
Like all 'skills' some people are indeed predisposed - but that doesn't mean that it cant be learned, practiced and improved.

You just need to learn to read pictures, and study composition. Quite often the people who believe its about having 'a natural eye' refuse to accept that the rules of composition are exactly the same thing.

If you sneer at 'the rules' you'll hold back your understanding of what makes images successful.
 
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#68
Like all 'skills' some people are indeed predisposed - but that doesn't mean that it cant be learned, practiced and improved.

You just need to learn to read pictures, and study composition. Quite often the people who believe its about having 'a natural eye' refuse to accept that the rules of composition are exactly the same thing.

If you sneer at 'the rules' you'll hold back your understanding of what makes images successful.
Thanks. Don't get me wrong, I won't give up and I'll keep trying, learning the rules etc etc, but I do feel (for the moment at least) I have a mental block with this.
 
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#70
Like all 'skills' some people are indeed predisposed - but that doesn't mean that it cant be learned, practiced and improved.

You just need to learn to read pictures, and study composition. Quite often the people who believe its about having 'a natural eye' refuse to accept that the rules of composition are exactly the same thing.

If you sneer at 'the rules' you'll hold back your understanding of what makes images successful.
And when and how to break the rules to produce an outstanding image
 
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#71
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Dave
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#72
...I know how to get a 'technically' correct photo but nothing arty and rarely interesting or something that stands out of the crowd.
I'm the opposite. I have never been arsed about learning how to take technically correct pictures. I know how to control DoF and motion blur/camera shake and that's about it. Auto ISO is a wonderful invention!

Technical stuff you can learn, but I'm not sure if you can learn to be creative or 'arty'? I watch these kinds of programmes and think "I'd have never thought of that idea in a million years", likewise some images I see on Flickr etc. I find that I often lose my mojo as a result as I'm trying to move past the "picture postcard" or "run of the mill" kind of photography but end up falling well short.
Stop looking at Flickr for 'inspiration'. Look at photographs by real photographers. Better still, look at ppaintings by all sorts of painters - including (possibly more so) abstract painters.

The key, IMO, is to stop thinking about making great photographs. Stop worrying that you make crap pictures. If you never make crap pictures you'll never make ones which stand out chocolate box shots. Make lots of (crap) photographs trying odd ideas and every now and then something surprising will occur which you can use as a basis to develop into a great photograph.

And don't bin all your crap. Look back on rejects after a few years and sometimes you'll find a gem which you hadn't recognised at the time, or at worst see what you were trying to achieve and work opn it with the benefit of more years of experience.

Quite often the people who believe its about having 'a natural eye' refuse to accept that the rules of composition are exactly the same thing.
They also tend to know instinctively how to 'bend' the rules. Which is a harder trick to learn.

e.g. the 'rule of thirds' isn't about exact thirds, it's about balancing two areas of the frame.
 
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#73
Stop looking at Flickr for 'inspiration'. Look at photographs by real photographers. Better still, look at ppaintings by all sorts of painters - including (possibly more so) abstract painters.
Why are you assuming that I don't? ;)

The key, IMO, is to stop thinking about making great photographs. Stop worrying that you make crap pictures. If you never make crap pictures you'll never make ones which stand out chocolate box shots. Make lots of (crap) photographs trying odd ideas and every now and then something surprising will occur which you can use as a basis to develop into a great photograph.

And don't bin all your crap. Look back on rejects after a few years and sometimes you'll find a gem which you hadn't recognised at the time, or at worst see what you were trying to achieve and work opn it with the benefit of more years of experience.

.
Interesting, thanks.
 
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#76
Flickr is a bit of all over the place for sure, but there are some very good photographers posting on there too. I've been inspired in the past by some of the images I've stumbled across, and oddly it's mostly been ones that had little to no likes, weren't shared across 100+ groups etc. Hidden gems. What tends to surprise me more on there is the images that get 100s of likes and I'm scratching my head because to me, they're poor. IG is even worse for that. Popularity Vs actual talent
 
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