2017 Photographer of the Year - 2017 (Discussion)

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Marc

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#1

Welcome to the discussion thread for the Talk Photography Photographer of the Year 2017

So, what's changed from 2016? What was NATURE Photographer of the Year is now WILDLIFE Photographer of the Year. As a result of this, CREATIVE has been removed from this year's competition to be replaced by PET Photographer of the Year

Rules & Guidelines (can also be fond HERE):

Rules

· Members may enter in as many of the above categories as they wish and up to 2 images in each category
· Images must be taken on or after November 1st 2016
· Images can be in film or digital format
· All images will be subject to the general forum rules on decency etc
· Images must NOT be watermarked or otherwise identifiable to maintain anonymity
· The closing date for entries will be midnight October 31st 2017
· All entries will be displayed online, shortly after the closing date
· Judges will decide on a short-list of up to 10 entries for each section by November 30th 2017
· The final results will be announced by Christmas 2017

Submissions

. Entries may be submitted from 1st January 2017
. Images must be sized at no larger than 1600 pixels on the longest side
. Entries must be in jpg format and emailed to poty@talkphotography.co.uk
. In the subject heading of the email, you must state 'POTY' only.
. In the body of the email, you must include the following:

USER NAME:
SECTION:


NOTE: Once you have submitted an entry, you will not be able to change it.
 
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Len
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#2
Is it too late to suggest an additional 'General' category to accomodate Still Life, Flora, and other images that doesn't fit into the other categories?
 
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#3
Why would creative be removed as a result of nature being added. Dropping one of the categories that actually required some imagination to be replaced by pet photography, of all things, just seems to be a dumbing down of the whole thing.

Maybe replace portrait section with "craggy old person in black and white" while you're at it. Or maybe a "smokey water" and colour popping category

Although maybe going by the complete lack of interest in the changes since being posted, no one cares.
 
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#5
It's always good when you make an effort, try to give something back, give up your spare time to the forum and then some tosser comes along to try to tear it down.......again!
 
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#6
Why would creative be removed as a result of nature being added. Dropping one of the categories that actually required some imagination to be replaced by pet photography, of all things, just seems to be a dumbing down of the whole thing.

Maybe replace portrait section with "craggy old person in black and white" while you're at it. Or maybe a "smokey water" and colour popping category

Although maybe going by the complete lack of interest in the changes since being posted, no one cares.

It's always good when you make an effort, try to give something back, give up your spare time to the forum and then some tosser comes along to try to tear it down.......again!
I had missed this change somehow, probably as I hadn't looked very closely at the announcement as I didn't do anything specific for these awards until much later in the year last time. I'd agree with the question although maybe not worded in quite the same way, I am interested why the creative award was changed for a pet one.

There were some photos that I really enjoyed last year in the Nature section (some of the leaves/moss shots for example) that wouldn't seem to fit in Wildlife or Pet section now, also it seems a shame to lose the creative award which would maybe pick up some of these types of shots as well as the shots like this years creative winner which definitely deserve to be recognised. Maybe, as Len suggested, some sort of general category would work.
 
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#7
People, Places, Things, Events.. would cover pretty much everything.

Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Wildlife, Pet.. sorry I know it's meant well and a lot of appreciated volunteer effort goes into organising this, but this categorisation misses out huge genres that are actually quite popular on the forum. Lots of really excellent images on the forum from last year would have no place in this categorisation.
 
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#8
What was NATURE Photographer of the Year is now WILDLIFE Photographer of the Year. As a result of this, CREATIVE has been removed from this year's competition to be replaced by PET Photographer of the Year
I really do appreciate the volunteer effort that goes into running this - as a moderator on another forum I understand what a thankless task it can be - but I genuinely don't understand the logic of this change. Were there a massive amount of pet photo's in the nature category and hardly any interest in the creative category last year?
 
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#9
Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Wildlife, Pet.. sorry I know it's meant well and a lot of appreciated volunteer effort goes into organising this, but this categorisation misses out huge genres that are actually quite popular on the forum. Lots of really excellent images on the forum from last year would have no place in this categorisation.
To expand on my observation above, genres and interests not feeling the love in 2017 include..
  • Transport - unless it's motorsport
  • Astro - unless it's got a chunk of landscape or a building in it
  • Photojournalism - unless it's now a sub-genre of Portrait
  • Zoos and wildlife parks - it's not wild and free and they're not family pets
  • Interiors - be that urbex or creative real estate
  • Table-top and still-life - a very popular creative genre on TP
  • etc.
 
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#10
I had missed this change somehow, probably as I hadn't looked very closely at the announcement as I didn't do anything specific for these awards until much later in the year last time. I'd agree with the question although maybe not worded in quite the same way, I am interested why the creative award was changed for a pet one.

There were some photos that I really enjoyed last year in the Nature section (some of the leaves/moss shots for example) that wouldn't seem to fit in Wildlife or Pet section now, also it seems a shame to lose the creative award which would maybe pick up some of these types of shots as well as the shots like this years creative winner which definitely deserve to be recognised. Maybe, as Len suggested, some sort of general category would work.
People, Places, Things, Events.. would cover pretty much everything.

Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Wildlife, Pet.. sorry I know it's meant well and a lot of appreciated volunteer effort goes into organising this, but this categorisation misses out huge genres that are actually quite popular on the forum. Lots of really excellent images on the forum from last year would have no place in this categorisation.
To expand on my observation above, genres and interests not feeling the love in 2017 include..
  • Transport - unless it's motorsport
  • Astro - unless it's got a chunk of landscape or a building in it
  • Photojournalism - unless it's now a sub-genre of Portrait
  • Zoos and wildlife parks - it's not wild and free and they're not family pets
  • Interiors - be that urbex or creative real estate
  • Table-top and still-life - a very popular creative genre on TP
  • etc.
I appreciate what people are saying but the format was never intended to cover every genre of photography. Previous formats (monthly themes) didn't either and, in some cases, were more restrictive.

@Alastair One thing that judges have fed back over the years is that it's difficult to judge images of different genres against eachother (particularly when the theme is "Open", something which came to the fore in 2014 when there were 4 such monthly themes). The 4 genres that you list above (People, Places, Things, Events) would indeed "cover pretty much everything" but, taking Events as an example, different interpretations would lead to a very diverse range of entries which could lead to the need to judge a wedding photo against a show jumping photo against a motorsports photo. In fact, any photo where something happens could be considered an event. As for things? Well, that could literally be anything. Might as well not have any sections and just get people to enter whatever they like into one big pot.

End of the day, there are 5 sections people can enter. As proved by one person winning 3 of those sections last year, you don't have to specialise in one area.

As for the list of those "not feeling the love in 2017", well most didn't in 2016 either. We could have a section for each but, IMHO, that would make things rather unmanageable. The sections we have are arguably the most popular and I really can't see why people who specialise in those genres listed above couldn't use those skills to enter one or more of the POTY sections.

On the note of the Creative section, the 2 sections which had the least entries were Creative & Sport. It was always the intention to have some rotation of genres within the POTY and it came down to a choice between these 2 as to which would go for 2017. The decision was made after a discussion with the judges and site staff.

I really do appreciate the volunteer effort that goes into running this - as a moderator on another forum I understand what a thankless task it can be - but I genuinely don't understand the logic of this change. Where there a massive amount of pet photo's in the nature category and hardly any interest in the creative category last year?
There weren't a massive amount of pet entries in the Nature section but that may well have been down to people not thinking that they fell into that category. The vast majority of the entries would fit into this year's Wildlife definition, hence the change. The decision to have a Pet section is in order to encourage more entries. As already said, most people have, or have access to pets.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the adage "you can't please all of the people......". In 2016, we had the best part of 300 entries. Hopefully, we'll have more in 2017 but we'll have another review at the end of the year.
 
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#11
On the note of the Creative section, the 2 sections which had the least entries were Creative & Sport. It was always the intention to have some rotation of genres within the POTY and it came down to a choice between these 2 as to which would go for 2017. The decision was made after a discussion with the judges and site staff.
Thanks for the clarification @fabs, I'm fairly new on the site and last year was the first time I had looked at the POTY section, I read this years announcement as the pet section being a replacement for creative due to the narrowing of the criteria of nature to just wildlife, which didn't seem to make much sense, however, I can understand the decision to remove one of the less supported sections and try something different. Although it is a disappointment to me personally as I enjoy the creative section, as you say it's impossible to please everyone and I do hope there are more entries and interaction with the competition this year.
 
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#12
Thanks for the clarification @fabs, I'm fairly new on the site and last year was the first time I had looked at the POTY section, I read this years announcement as the pet section being a replacement for creative due to the narrowing of the criteria of nature to just wildlife, which didn't seem to make much sense, however, I can understand the decision to remove one of the less supported sections and try something different. Although it is a disappointment to me personally as I enjoy the creative section, as you say it's impossible to please everyone and I do hope there are more entries and interaction with the competition this year.
Thanks Steve and yes, it's all about trying different things. As I said, we'll take stock again at the end of the year and see where we go for 2018.
 
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#14
First time Ive looked at the POTY for a few years now, notwithstanding the debate of different section (there's always been such debate) one thing i notice is the lack of mention about posting your picture online elsewhere? There used to be a rule NOT to post it anywhere online until after judging. Have I missed it?
That rule was not in last year, I used a photo that I had done for the 52 project on here and there were others that I had seen on here before. I assume it will be the same again this year.
 
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#15
First time Ive looked at the POTY for a few years now, notwithstanding the debate of different section (there's always been such debate) one thing i notice is the lack of mention about posting your picture online elsewhere? There used to be a rule NOT to post it anywhere online until after judging. Have I missed it?
That rule was repealed last year. Entries are now accepted if posted here or anywhere else. (y)
 
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#20
Hi - apologies if this question has been asked already but if you submit in two categories on the entry email you put the 2 photos for each category in the same email or do a separate email for each category? Thank you x
 
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#21
Hi - apologies if this question has been asked already but if you submit in two categories on the entry email you put the 2 photos for each category in the same email or do a separate email for each category? Thank you x
All in the same email is fine, makes it easier for me. ;)
 
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#25
Good morning Fabs

A bit confused with the entry to the competition

I says to do the following:

In the body of the email, you must include the following:

USER NAME:
SECTION:


I going to enter into more than 1 section and need to attach the photos to correlate.

Can you please advise what I need to do to cover it all?

Regards

Steve
 
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#26
Good morning Fabs

A bit confused with the entry to the competition

I says to do the following:

In the body of the email, you must include the following:

USER NAME:
SECTION:


I going to enter into more than 1 section and need to attach the photos to correlate.

Can you please advise what I need to do to cover it all?

Regards

Steve

Morning Steve

Best way would be to send a separate email for each section.
 
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#29
First time I've entered a photography competition and received two emails today with ' Delivery Status Notification ' failed - delivery time expired - I sent them about 5 days ago - would anyone at Talk Photography know what happened to them ?
 
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#30
First time I've entered a photography competition and received two emails today with ' Delivery Status Notification ' failed - delivery time expired - I sent them about 5 days ago - would anyone at Talk Photography know what happened to them ?
I've not had anything from you as far as I can tell. Can you PM me the email address you sent your entries from please.
 
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#31
Hi Fabs - many thanks for your message - first thing , I am unsure how to send a pm [ is it ' start a conversation with ' or do I need to do something else ?
 
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#37
With all due respect for the people who have made it through the shortlist for the landscape section I appreciate these things are subjective, and you will want to be looking at aesthetically pleasing images that hold your attention and 'work' emotionally or as a storytelling device, but surely to be shortlisted the images should all achieve technical perfection?

I mean there are a lot of technically perfect images that didn't make the shortlist and without pointing out the specific failings there are a lot of technical errors, both in camera and post production with some of the images in the shortlist. I would have taken it as a given, that the images would need to be up to scratch, then judged on their content.

Here is my shortlist;

16
17
23
28
34
36
47
49
51
58
59
68
71
78
86

I also thought 30 was a good photograph, but should haver been in the portrait category primarily, not the landscapes.

Rant over :D
 
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#38
With all due respect too - If only it were as simple as getting out the proverbial 'ruler' to measure correctness, but it isn't is it. An image with blown areas may fail some but be acceptable to others where it adds or at least doesn't detract, same with blocked up areas. An over-sharpened or blurred image is more in the eye of the beholder, as is a noisy one; yet both can be a feature of the author's vision. Correct colour doesn't exist either, not least because we all see colour differently and then so do our phones, screens & monitors. Even the point of focus can be open to interpretation. Surely composition is simple enough though you'd think - good & bad should be obvious? Errr nope, the best view of 'correct' or good composition I've come across is merely to answer the question "Does it work?" and that's again a personal decision more than a rule

What we always end up with is 'How much do I like it?' and there's no arguing with that, especially where the 'I love it' factor outweighs another's technically wrong issues

As it happens I'm a little surprised at some of the choices (not mine obviously lol) but at this stage its just a shortlist anyway, so what its shown is that others have different views to me - what a revelation :D

Dave
 
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#39
For me a photograph isn't about capturing the technical perfection since, as yet, I don't think there has been such a photo taken?

A photograph should ignite a response in the viewer. This might be a "wish I was there" or a "look at that scenery", "wow - those eyes" or "fantastic pose". Each response will be different based on the viewers likes and dislikes and even their biases.

Craig, you are right that a shortlisted entry should be "up to scratch" I think a few in the long list stood out for the wrong reasons but the shortlist shows a wide breadth of entries that capture the spirit of what photography is about and given their time again a few could be improved technically but would it improve the actual shot and the response it invokes? I don't really think so.
 
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#40
With all due respect too - If only it were as simple as getting out the proverbial 'ruler' to measure correctness, but it isn't is it. An image with blown areas may fail some but be acceptable to others where it adds or at least doesn't detract, same with blocked up areas. An over-sharpened or blurred image is more in the eye of the beholder, as is a noisy one; yet both can be a feature of the author's vision. Correct colour doesn't exist either, not least because we all see colour differently and then so do our phones, screens & monitors. Even the point of focus can be open to interpretation. Surely composition is simple enough though you'd think - good & bad should be obvious? Errr nope, the best view of 'correct' or good composition I've come across is merely to answer the question "Does it work?" and that's again a personal decision more than a rule

What we always end up with is 'How much do I like it?' and there's no arguing with that, especially where the 'I love it' factor outweighs another's technically wrong issues

As it happens I'm a little surprised at some of the choices (not mine obviously lol) but at this stage its just a shortlist anyway, so what its shown is that others have different views to me - what a revelation :D

Dave
Fair enough, it is all a bit of fun and the judging is being carried out on a 'do I like it' basis. For me personally, you can critique and as such judge a photo objectively as well as subjectively. It is pretty obvious when technical shortcomings are accidental and when they are utter mastery of the craft and deliberate which do work.

Blown areas in landscapes nearly always looks bad, over sharpened is called over sharpened for a reason. Noisy is just an instagram style filter most of the time, especially when the photographer leaves in obvious modern aspects to the scene, undoing the 'old' photo feel because the story telling does not match the scene. Colour, I agree we all see it differently, but we should all be on calibrated monitors and the colour picker in Photoshop tells you everything you need to know anyway. There is such a things as pleasing colour which is not entirely subjective, and clearly there is believable colour/levels of saturation. I totally agree with your assessment of composition though, forget the rules, it either feels right, or it doesn't. But we know that repeating patterns, curves and lead in lines all form part of the composition as well as the overall balance and it is easy to asses the edges (border patrol) of an image to see what should have been left out.

For me a photograph isn't about capturing the technical perfection since, as yet, I don't think there has been such a photo taken?

A photograph should ignite a response in the viewer. This might be a "wish I was there" or a "look at that scenery", "wow - those eyes" or "fantastic pose". Each response will be different based on the viewers likes and dislikes and even their biases.

Craig, you are right that a shortlisted entry should be "up to scratch" I think a few in the long list stood out for the wrong reasons but the shortlist shows a wide breadth of entries that capture the spirit of what photography is about and given their time again a few could be improved technically but would it improve the actual shot and the response it invokes? I don't really think so.
Technical perfection was the wrong terminology I guess. I suppose being a competition, and knowing this forum encourages critique rather than just 'great photo mate' comments, that the judging would have weeded out the images with obvious failings. Unless it is being done by a handful of photographers on this forum then artistic licence is a get out as far as I'm concerned.
 
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