Using workshop created images in camera club competitions

OP
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I love the sash idea! Would make workshop images rather obvious, although perhaps a little difficult to get a kingfisher to wear one!

The problem with any competition is cheating and I’m going to come right out and say that any and every workshop image is the result of another photographer regardless if you think you chose the shutter speed because let’s be honest if you got the shutter speed wrong somebody would be along to help you. It’s painting by numbers.

With that in mind no they shouldn’t be used in camera club comps but policing that is too big a job.
Yep!
 
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Does it matter? I started the thread looking for opinion. There have been a fair few of those offered and I'm grateful for that. I don't expect sycophantic replies and I'm happy to accept alternative views. If someone has a convincing argument either way then I'll listen to it.

However, if I may say so without being rude, your posts come across as you seeming more intent on being controversial than actually discussing the topic in question. You keep coming back to "If it's in the rules then you can't argue" etc and seem to have the opinion that I am an aggrieved lone wolf with an axe to grind because my pictures don't get top scores. Now if I've got that wrong then I apologise in advance. It can be difficult to ascertain tone from the written word alone!

The truth is far from that though. I am merely interested in listening to people's opinion on the matter. Perhaps posting here has made a few photographers think about the point and that in itself is useful. I believe that it is important to raise the subject as, without doubt, a large number of club members audibly groan when these pictures are viewed at a competition. If it pricks someone's conscience then fine, if it doesn't then keep putting in your workshop pictures. At least you know now that others may not join you in rejoicing at your top score achievement!
I think it does matter, as it would give me an idea of where you are coming from.
If questioning your assertions and voicing my opinion is controvertial, then I plead guilty, however your posts do come across as you having made your mind up as to the answer and are not really receptive to the contrary views of others.

For me the matter is simple ... the club you belong to has established a set of rules, which you and "a large number of club members" are clearly unhappy with, as you think they allow unfair competition. So surely it is for your club to resolve this issue to your satisfaction or for you all to either concede defeat in changing the status quo, stop entering the club competitions or leave the club and find another club that agrees with your views ... or indeed set up your own club.
 
D

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If you enter a camera club comp your going to get judged by other camera club members.

When your done with camera club try your hand at Photography ;)
Rereading first seeing this now
I totally agree. I also found a difference in photography vs photoclubgraphy. There is a certain signature to images coming from that invironment at least images from members of some local clubs members are very alike and looking at the yearbooks from the Danish Society of Photography also reveals that flavour.
Not so done apparanly :LOL:
 
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OP
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I think it does matter, as it would give me an idea of where you are coming from.
If questioning your assertions and voicing my opinion is controvertial, then I plead guilty, however your posts do come across as you having made your mind up as to the answer and are not really receptive to the contrary views of others.

Seriously? This was my reply to you:

I started the thread looking for opinion. There have been a fair few of those offered and I'm grateful for that. I don't expect sycophantic replies and I'm happy to accept alternative views. If someone has a convincing argument either way then I'll listen to it.

You, OTOH, are obviously VERY receptive to counter argument:

For me the matter is simple ... the club you belong to has established a set of rules, which you and "a large number of club members" are clearly unhappy with, as you think they allow unfair competition. So surely it is for your club to resolve this issue to your satisfaction or for you all to either concede defeat in changing the status quo, stop entering the club competitions or leave the club and find another club that agrees with your views ... or indeed set up your own club.

So, in your opinion, I, and others at the club, that perceive a problem should just cut & run? Go form our own club somewhere else. Not unlike the kid playing football in the street that runs off with his ball when he doesn't win. Yeah that's really an adult way to deal with the situation isn't it? Why waste time canvassing opinion, discussing things in a clear calm way and trying to agree to a sensible resolution when you could just run away and play down your own end of the street.

I was unsure previously if your posts were deliberately acidic but not anymore!

Rest assured we will discuss it and whether we agree to change or not we will all abide by the decision, like adults.
 
D

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>SNIP
So, in your opinion, I, and others at the club, that perceive a problem should just cut & run? Go form our own club somewhere else. Not unlike the kid playing football in the street that runs off with his ball when he doesn't win. Yeah that's really an adult way to deal with the situation isn't it? Why waste time canvassing opinion, discussing things in a clear calm way and trying to agree to a sensible resolution when you could just run away and play down your own end of the street.

I was unsure previously if your posts were deliberately acidic but not anymore!

Rest assured we will discuss it and whether we agree to change or not we will all abide by the decision, like adults.
In order to make a change youll have to take responsibility and the anual general assembly meetings is a good place to do this if the board is reluctant to listen during the general discussions.
You may even have to run for board yourself
 
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Seriously? This was my reply to you:




You, OTOH, are obviously VERY receptive to counter argument:




So, in your opinion, I, and others at the club, that perceive a problem should just cut & run? Go form our own club somewhere else. Not unlike the kid playing football in the street that runs off with his ball when he doesn't win. Yeah that's really an adult way to deal with the situation isn't it? Why waste time canvassing opinion, discussing things in a clear calm way and trying to agree to a sensible resolution when you could just run away and play down your own end of the street.

I was unsure previously if your posts were deliberately acidic but not anymore!

Rest assured we will discuss it and whether we agree to change or not we will all abide by the decision, like adults.
Well you said that you are "happy to accept alternative views" but to me it just seems that you argue against them.

Where did I say you should "just cut and run"?
I said that it was for the club to ammend the rules OR you concede defeat at changing the staus quo OR you stop entering the competions OR you leave the club.
Of course there are other options like picketing the competitions or othwise fighting to get your own way.

The only entity who can resolve this issue is your club ... I don't see how that is "acidic", to me it is just a statement of the obvious.
 
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I was comparing your example with the person not knowing to set the camera to people using full auto only, not knowing or caring about the tech stuff but just clicking away and still getting good images
Well aaalrightiie Im done :)
What's the difference between using Programme mode and the old 'f/8 and be there' used by many press/war/street photographers over the years? None, other than the camera will select A as well as S. To be honest, I think looking down on using P mode is often little more than snobbery.

Harsh? I don't think so; does the person sneering at 'P' not use aperture priority and shutter priority, letting the camera select one of the other? Do they never use auto focus? So what's the difference between letting the camera do three jobs for you, rather than just two? After all, for things like street or documentary photography in changing light conditions, the camera will probably get it right a lot more quickly and often than the photographer will. So why make your job harder than it needs to be?

Before anyone takes issue with the above, just think for a moment... how many times have we read that some people totally dismiss film photography with an old manual focus camera (whereby the photographer has to do everything) these days because they can get 'better' results with a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera? If so, who's relying on the camera's technology now? :whistle:

Yep, I've screwed the exposure up on that, but never mind, I can put my incompetence right using computer software because I shot it in Raw and my digital camera gives such wide dynamic range! Yes, I get a much better hit rate now my camera has eye tracking AF. By comparison, using 'P' mode seems minor in terms of the camera doing all the work now, doesn't it? ;)

No, I don't think we can honestly compare using 'P' mode as being in the same category as having your shots set up by a third party during a training session.
 
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OP
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In order to make a change youll have to take responsibility and the anual general assembly meetings is a good place to do this if the board is reluctant to listen during the general discussions.
You may even have to run for board yourself
Who mentioned the board being reluctant? Sorry but where are you both (grumps) getting this from? This post is a debate about the subject of workshop images being used in camera club competitions. No one at our club is at loggerheads (unlike here!) in fact quite the reverse. We are discussing it like adults do & canvassing opinions from different sources, this isn't the only place, with a view to deciding what will best serve our members. I am fully conversant with the correct way to go about such matters.

Can we please get back on track and discuss the actual intent of the post rather than hypothetically starting another club!
 
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I suppose it’s a bit like these fish farms that offer ‘fishing’. You still have to set up your tackle, bait your hook and cast in. Then brace yourself as a thousand fish make a dash for that bait and within seconds one will hook itself.

Still fishing right?
The skill is not in the hooking, but in the landing..... ;)
 
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David
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I am one of a panel who set the competition rules in my club but so far we have not tackled this issue as no one has yet complained. Yes a number mutter about it but then many attend events which might be categorised as assisting. The PAGB of which most UK clubs are affiliated have published a thought provoking article on this topic this month (issue 246). One comment was when a group of photographers attend a "workshop" those that were previously more successful still tend to return with the best images. Some are particularly touchy about Nature workshops but may themselves attend Timeline Events. Others may attend a studio session where they do little but press the shutter. I myself attended a studio session run for a few club members where everything was done for us including lighting, model, settings etc. Afterwards, we all agreed that we had learnt much but none of us would use the images in competitions. I was also offered a chance of photographing a Kingfisher catching a fish. The artificial set up guaranteed success and the pro running this event offered to lend me his long lens. A friend and I turned this down as we did not feel that we would own the images. Sadly, after another ten years I still do not have a shot of a Kingfisher. At a studio shoot a few weeks ago, I was able to indicate in advance what type of shot and clothing and showed the model what I had in mind. I did have some help in setting up the lights but this saved time. The model chose most but not all of the poses. I have now some good ballet shots but do feel that a lot of the input was mine. I have also attended two timeline events one of which allowed plenty of individual photography. There is no simple answer.

Dave
 
OP
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I am one of a panel who set the competition rules in my club but so far we have not tackled this issue as no one has yet complained. Yes a number mutter about it but then many attend events which might be categorised as assisting. The PAGB of which most UK clubs are affiliated have published a thought provoking article on this topic this month (issue 246). One comment was when a group of photographers attend a "workshop" those that were previously more successful still tend to return with the best images. Some are particularly touchy about Nature workshops but may themselves attend Timeline Events. Others may attend a studio session where they do little but press the shutter. I myself attended a studio session run for a few club members where everything was done for us including lighting, model, settings etc. Afterwards, we all agreed that we had learnt much but none of us would use the images in competitions. I was also offered a chance of photographing a Kingfisher catching a fish. The artificial set up guaranteed success and the pro running this event offered to lend me his long lens. A friend and I turned this down as we did not feel that we would own the images. Sadly, after another ten years I still do not have a shot of a Kingfisher. At a studio shoot a few weeks ago, I was able to indicate in advance what type of shot and clothing and showed the model what I had in mind. I did have some help in setting up the lights but this saved time. The model chose most but not all of the poses. I have now some good ballet shots but do feel that a lot of the input was mine. I have also attended two timeline events one of which allowed plenty of individual photography. There is no simple answer.


Dave
Dave, many thanks for an honest, succinct & thought provoking post. No, I agree that there is no easy answer & that is one of the reasons that I posted here seeking opinion.
 
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Snip:
There is no simple answer.

Dave
I think you're probably right. I think it should really be a matter for the photographer's own conscience and sense of fair play, but, then again, opinion on what constitutes fair play, conscience and humility appears to change over time. For instance, these days there seems to be an increasing trend when people are complimented on an achievement and asked how they feel, for them to reply "I was very proud of myself".

When I was young that would have been a complete anathema... you'd never admit to feeling proud of yourself! In fact, being proud of oneself was usually reserved for a witheringly sarcastic telling off, as in "Well, I hope you feel very proud of yourself!" How things seem to change.
 
OP
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I think you're probably right. I think it should really be a matter for the photographer's own conscience and sense of fair play, but, then again, opinion on what constitutes fair play, conscience and humility appears to change over time.
Agreed.
 
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Coming in a bit late on this one, but an interesting and thought provoking thread.

As a keen camera club member myself, and someone who both enters all their competitions and also (from time to time) attends workshops/courses aimed at broadening my skills, I agree with previous comments about policing any such "rule". I have served my time of the committee of my club and know how hard it is to formulate fair rules which allow for broad interpretation and artistic licence whilst still ensuring as level a playing field as possible for all members.

The thing i've found about the workshops I've attended is that all participants use different gear/lenses, stand in different places and "see" the subject with their own eyes rather than those of the tutor. This leads to images which, although all of the same kingfisher/eagle/landscape/historic building, are all a slightly different interpretation of the subject. They then go home and are pp'd (or not) according to the wishes of the photographer, so it would be fair to say that workshop images are largely the work of the photographer, even if he/she was standing exactly where they were instructed to stand before pressing the shutter button. The final image is a creation of the photographer, from a combination of the original RAW image and what was done with it subsequently.

The other issue, is that, at my club we are allowed to enter three images in any competition, with the winner being the person with the highest score out of a possible 60 (20 x 3). I feel it would be unlikely that anyone would enter three images from their kingfisher/landscape workshop. I'm sure the judge would pick up on the similarities.
 
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Now I’ve only skim-read the comments, but it still took me about 15 minutes, but Interestingly no one seems to have touched on the post-processing which takes place. Taking ‘Nature’ out of the equation due to the restricted scope for post-processing, but at portrait workshops we would typically get a well-versed model, maybe some complementary props, and a relatively suitable lighting set-up. The attendees might be advised of workable camera settings, but they would decide what works for them; being able to tweak the lighting; what focal length to use; what angle and composition; what directions they might like the model to follow, etc. However, when they get home they would hopefully perform their own editing, giving the image the look and feel unique to the photographer.

There are many factors involved in producing an image, and post-processing is a huge part of the process. Give 10 people the same image to edit and you’ll get 10 very different outcomes. The idea that images from workshops should be excluded is ludicrous in my opinion, but at the end of the day it’s just a hobby for most of us - no one dies as a consequence...I hope! One very important by-product of the whole experience though is that we all become more capable photographers and image editors as a consequence.
 

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steve lythgoe
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not everyone has studio lights , or even access to space for a studio, so workshops fill this gap, as long as the photographer press the shutter , its there work, so they can do what they want with it. and also if someone else suggests a better angle , that also valid.
 
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Now I’ve only skim-read the comments, but it still took me about 15 minutes, but Interestingly no one seems to have touched on the post-processing which takes place. Taking ‘Nature’ out of the equation due to the restricted scope for post-processing, but at portrait workshops we would typically get a well-versed model, maybe some complementary props, and a relatively suitable lighting set-up. The attendees might be advised of workable camera settings, but they would decide what works for them; being able to tweak the lighting; what focal length to use; what angle and composition; what directions they might like the model to follow, etc. However, when they get home they would hopefully perform their own editing, giving the image the look and feel unique to the photographer.

There are many factors involved in producing an image, and post-processing is a huge part of the process. Give 10 people the same image to edit and you’ll get 10 very different outcomes. The idea that images from workshops should be excluded is ludicrous in my opinion, but at the end of the day it’s just a hobby for most of us - no one dies as a consequence...I hope! One very important by-product of the whole experience though is that we all become more capable photographers and image editors as a consequence.
Sounds to me a bit like shooting fish in a barrel and then each shooter decides how to cook their own fish when they get back home! ;)
 
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Sounds to me a bit like shooting fish in a barrel
Or Fieldfare in a tree?
Or Gulls on a cliff?
Or Ducks on a lake?
Or Warblers on reeds?
Or Deer in the park?
Or people in the street?
Or cars on the track?
Or runners on the moor?
Or ......

It's all a nonsense really, "my photo is better than yours because my shoes are dirty". :rolleyes:
 
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Or Fieldfare in a tree?
Or Gulls on a cliff?
Or Ducks on a lake?
Or Warblers on reeds?
Or Deer in the park?
Or people in the street?
Or cars on the track?
Or runners on the moor?
Or ......

It's all a nonsense really, "my photo is better than yours because my shoes are dirty". :rolleyes:
No those do take a modicum of skill it’s not like you can just turn up at a park and be given deer and camera settings.
 
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I have never been to a 'workshop' but it is my understanding that they are designed to teach you the skills to take a good photo. Be that setting up lights, the framing of a subject or the camera settings to use etc. Once those skills have been learned and practised then you are free to go off and use them to hopefully take good photos.

Now if the people who run the workshop allow you to use their facilities do take photos (for free or for hire) and you set everything up and take the shot then that is all your own work. Staged yes, someone else's equipment yes, subject sup up yes etc. but as you arranged it is all your own work.

Now if this image was taken in the training session where the the organises did all the planning, setting up and told you camera settings, angle etc. to use then there is no way a resulting shot can be called all your own work.

If the organiser takes you to a known wildlife area and makes suggestions of where to set up and settings to use, then leaves you do decide based on the ambient light, distance to possible subject etc. then as he has no control of what does or does not turn up, where or when it does etc. of even if you do actually get a usable shot that is all your own work. If you say 'well he took you there so it's not all your own work' then the photo of the (whatever) isn't your own work if you have at any time in the past been tole that (whatever) is often seen (somewhere).

As for post processing If you take RAW photos then you must post process them or the photo will look poor. If you shoot jpg and use them straight from the camera then IS HAS, probably by some unknown person sitting at a computer many miles from you when he guessed what post processing would be needed on the photos you might take and programmed those settings in to the firmware of the camera you use. So would a RAW image be more 'all your own work' than a jpg SOOC? If you use manual mode is that 'AYOW' and using auto settings or a program mode not?

My opinion is if you use the equipment within its parameters its your work, If you let others make the settings then it's not. If you use workshop shots, as per the OP is saying, where pretty much all you do is press the button after it has all been set up for you and pass that off as 'AYOW' in a competition where a rule states it must be 'AYOW' then you are cheating, simple as than.
 
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if you can't beat them joint them or just don't go to the club cause you will never be able to stop it
what about someone using photoshop to enhance there pics better than you
do you want to stop that as well
this is one of those threads that has no correct answer just debates
 
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This has been a very interesting thread.. with so many different opinions..

For anyone who hasn't been to a camera club... go... but give it a try for a few months before you chuck it in... I started going to my local club about 7 years ago, previously I had only ever shot Motocross for 5 years. There is such a wealth of knowledge at these clubs, so many images that will inspire you. The comps are great as they make you shoot subjects you wouldn't normally do. I am so thankful to the two clubs I now attend, its has improved my photography massively, leading me to now selling my nature work in a few galleries giving me an income. Through this work I also work for a lighting company & have written a couple of books, even give talks to local clubs on what I specialise in.... And made some great friends, so I am very grateful to club.

As for the workshops thingy, I agree in a way, if the whole thing has been set up, lighting, model, etc. But that final angle, pose, settings are all down to the photographer themselves, so it is their work. I see this at clubs, but then its down to me to shoot better and get better marks then those shots. I hire a lot of hides, not for the help, but because they have the nature I want to shoot, I don't ask for help or settings as I do shoot a slightly different way then the people that own the hides. One example, last year I went on a workshop to shoot the white horses in Camargue, Why? because it would be impossible to organise the horses myself, they have the leads, I went with a amazing photographer who actually got me selling my nature shots from a talk he gave at my camera club. We chatted about different types of shoots & ideas, like I would with any photographer, I had no help from him as I didn't need any.. I went in the view of using these to make sales in the galleries. Did I use them in a competition, hell yes and won every time, only 2 out of the 5500 I took. Was I wrong,? No. I had chose my position, did my own settings, my own processing, my own everything. Not all workshops are workshops if you get my meaning. These even went into a national comp & European comp, which I find out in two days where I came in the top 3.

We have a couple of members that enter some great images from Africa, the problem for me is that they haven't left the UK for 10 years, I don't agree with that. But if they wish to live out of an old hard drive rather then shoot new that's up to them, doesn't improve their photography, just stale & old. But it makes me push to improve my own photography to beat those images... That's a much better way to look at this whole thing...

Just my opinion..
 
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