/ Winner of the 'Landscape Photographer of the Year'
However this annual competition is not without controversy as it appears that he got the original idea from this photographer http://www.monolandscapes.talktalk.net/lindisfarne.htm
So is this ethical or cheating? From a personal perspective I am always striving for something original and different when seeking an image to point my camera towards. Sometimes I go out with a venue/image in mind, and another time the picture just reveals itself as I pass by. Strange to relate that this overall winning photo did not feature in today's Sunday Time when the other winning photos were published. There is however a stunning image of the Buttermere pines printed for our enjoyment!
Unethical? I'm not sure, however it is definitely plagiarism which wouldn't really matter so much had it not won the photographer a prestigious title and £10,000!
They're both stunning images but the decision will, I think be a controversial one and I wonder if the judges were aware of Peter Clark's 'original' before they gave David Byrne the award?
Interesting blog post here...
By the way, how did you get on? I got a commendation and made it into the book so as far as I'm concerned I hit my targets for this year ;)
That's one way of putting it!
Great picture (much better than the original) but a total rip off.
Ummm I suspect Mr Byrne along with the comp judges are feeling a little uneasy to say the least. I haven't read the blurb about this yet so my comments are based on first impressions alone,but from where iam looking...it's a beautiful award winning shot....that,s a copy of another's work?
I suspect the can of warms this problem will open might be own the large side?
I love Alex Nail's stuff, I will hopefully do one of his courses when I'm next back in the UK.
Tricky stuff. I prefer the rip off version
Its not easy. I don't suppose Ive ever taken a landscape photo that hasn't been done before.
I'm sure I've seen versions of this in other peoples portfolios
so I can't really see what can be done about it
I agree, in general, but perhaps a greater degree of originality re: subject and composition should be required to win a major competition?
I'm sure Mr. Byrne is more than chuffed with the £15k (think that was the prize), plagiarism? most of it is regurgitated calendar fodder anyway.
Couldn't have put it better myself.
Obviously Mr W makes a few £ out of the whole circus as well. Kerching.
It's alright being a bit sniffy about the whole thing but if I were to win it (not likely) I wouldn't give a crap what 'serious' photographers thought about it. I'd be too busy capitalising on it!
Fair play - no harm in having a punt. I just think a lot of comps are so huge now that the odds are stacked against plus there is a 'house style' - this is one example as is the Taylor Wessing Prize.
I thought I liked the winner better until I seen a high quality copy of the original.
The original should collect the award, stunning detail and far better balance.... for me anyway!
> By the way, how did you get on? I got a commendation and made it into the book so as far as I'm concerned I hit my targets for this year
No joy this year Nick, but I am pleased that someone on UKC has had some success. Which image of yours was succcessful? I liked the one of the striking light in Cwm Glas (about a mile from where I used to live!)
If you plan on buying the book wait a few months and the price drops by 50%!
I think that those that criticise the competition as hosting a certain type of image are possibly shortsighted. Flicking through last years book there are certainly a few dozen images I would be glad to have taken myself. And the main point of this comp is that it focuses on the British Landscape. And indeed there are many opportunities to achieve succcess via all the different categories. Also, and this is very important, the copywrite remains with the photographer. How many other comps can say that? There are too many so called photo comps that are actually getting a wonderful catalogue of images for free! Very unethical but business is business as they say.
Very happy to hear that Sean, there are, as you say, far too many comps that are just royalties rights grabs for very often poor prizes.
I don't know what the criteria were for judging images in this competition (and I've never entered one) but I'd like to think that a prestigious competition - which this seems to be - would take account of the individuality and hence originality of a photographer's "vision".
In other words, I agree with you about "striving for something individual and different". And hence, at an extreme, no profile shot of Crackstone Rib, however technically accomplished, strikingly lit and well-processed should ever win a competition.
On this score, the winning image is a nice shot, but not a winning one. Winners should be those who offer inspiration - new ways to see - to lesser photographers, not technically accomplished photographers who draw obvious inspiration from others.
Right...ok its got to be down the pub the copier buys the creator a few beers and slips him £5000 for artistic sevices renderd, lets hope the OPOTY crew make a better job than LPOTY
have....who,s having a bash at OPOTY?
A real mate would take the pints and rue not putting his own in.....
Interesting post (and comments) on Tim Parkin's blog:
I don't have a huge problem with this, and he was entirely open about following Peter's idea. I think the fact that it's such a superior image to the original also helps allay any discomfort I might have had about the whole thing.
It wouldn't have been such a dramatic shot without all the darkroom dodging.
Here's a real photographic hero, and legend in the real sense of the word.
:-) Just about...
The key point in Tim's blog is this -
"The main problem for most people is that the competition is billed as “Landscape Photographer of the Year”. If you care about landscape photography in the UK and the way it is perceived around the world this “label” is important. The competition has a huge amount of coverage and influences the whole countries perception of what great landscape photography should be."
That's the problem - its an award for over manipulated mainstream pictorial landscape images. I wonder how the previous winners would cope with shooting on film and only being aloud to submit a print produced in the darkroom.
Also there is nothing for ideas based landscape images or bodies of work that look at the landscape in a more thought provoking way. Most of all its a cash cow for those behind it.
Am I the only one that doesnt like it that much? For me there is far to much evidence of photoshop, particularly in the left third of the shot (sky over-darkened, building over emphasised thus ruining the depth and looks false) I do like the texture of the boats and the shadows they cast.
As I'm on my soap box I'll also add my other gripe.
Its named " Landscape Photographer of the Year" - but in only in so far as, and in the opinion of, Mr Waite and his cohorts. Its not as though the grandly titled prize is sanctioned by some august body is it. How many national photo comps have a landscape section - plenty I'd imagine.
Its all a game.
Rant over :)
"Many thanks to my friend Peter Clark whose image made me go to Lindisfarne and take this photo and for his good wishes sent to me on winning this award, cheers mate."
The photographer of the 'original' is clearly fine about this, so surely this makes it ok. Personally, I think I'd feel a bit uncomfortable about winning if this was me, but he did go and take the picture himself! Not, in my opinion at least, the same as plagiarism. Those boat sheds look pretty distinctive so I'm pretty sure every man and his dog has a photo like that, even if it's not as dramatic as this one.
The scene is an obvious one if you're there. Just like the standard view of the Buchaille with Black Rock cottage in the foreground.
If it weren't for the processing I wouldn't have been at all surprised if David Byrne hadn't seen the original image. Even then, removing the colour doesn't seem like a particularly imaginative thing to do if all you have to do is press a button in Photoshop to have a quick look at how it comes out.
Perhaps what I'm saying is that the picture may be dramatic but didn't require a great deal of imagination so perhaps should not be winning any prizes.
Sorry to have to disagree on this one but B&W conversion is an integral part of both the creative element of photography and its history. So many of our greatest photographers of the past only experimented with the medium via B&W. So we have the choice with Photoshop, but in the past when using film I used 2 camera bodies (B&W & Chrome) for just such an eventuality. Not only that but when working with the image in PS lots of tweaks can influence the final rendition within the image. I often check the effect of different filters within PS to see the influence on both snow and clouds. OK in film times it meant physically changing the filter over the lens. Today it's mainly an UV or Pol that I place in front of the lens. In fact when I sold my film gear, I included about 60+ Cokin filters. Big mistake!
As we don't normally view what we shoot in B&W (unlike some other mammals) it is difficult to immediately assess the impact and potential of any B&W image until processed in PS, just like it did when the image first magically appears on the bromide paper in the darkroom.
As originally stated, my primary concern was with the evident plagerism found in the winning image. There is a lot that's good about the LPotY, it's British Landscape for a start. We certainly can't choose who the judges will be. THe comp has 2 sets of judging and Waite is not involved in the initial selection. All photos are awarded points and the best 170 or so make it into the book, with the top awards going to those with the most votes. There are about a dozen involved in the two rounds of selection & voting from a cross section of the media world.
Landscape is a very popular category in the UKC galleries and probably features more often in the PotW. Most of us undoubtably have some Landscape pictures on our walls. Obviously a true measure of any photographers worth or talent, relies on a body of work as evidenced by the Top ten galleries on this site. So perhaps judgement and award of such an esteemed title might be inappropriate for only a single image. Nearly every single outright winner on the LPotY has been controversial. But then again not as controversial as the 'Wolf Man' in the Wildlife PotY award a few years back!
Fortunately I think that most would agree that the top photos on UKC are top photos. Well they must be as you all voted for them!!
Looks like this one will run and run....
David Byrne's website no longer has 'Landscape Photographer of the Year 2012' at the top of it, at any rate...
was that the one which mentioned this illustrious site? I take it was for photo manipulation.
Seems somewhat of a mess.
I think it was the boy in question, whether it was the top prize or another that was accused of manipulation we'll find out when Waite puts out a PR. Seems there has been a lot of tripodheads out with protractors, SOHCAHTOA and google earth aiming to get medieval on the boys arse.
> I thought I liked the winner better until I seen a high quality copy of the original.
> The original should collect the award, stunning detail and far better balance.... for me anyway!
A lot of detail about the disqualification has been added to this blog linked to above.
It's official now, have a look at http://www.take-a-view.co.uk/New_Landscape_Award_Winner_021112.pdf
This is what happens when people try and do art as a competitive sport. Best avoided is the lesson learnt here.
The whole culture of photography through magazine articles, camera clubs and competitions is "making" nice pictures. When I was in a local camera club one of the leading lights was openly proud of a pic of an Indian woman walking down a Himalayan valley; he was only too pleased to admid having copied and pasted the woman from another part of India. My view that being able to say "yes I was there it was really like that; what at awesome planed this is" was met with total bemusment. One of my best landscapes was marked down becuse a small cloud was in the wrong place implyinf I shoud have shopped it out.
The whole culture sucks
Indeed. As stated I'm not a fan of the or many other awards - that said like you I'm flabbergasted by the time and effort some folks have gone to to prove images are 'faked'. That said rules is rules.
Alas people don't want to represent a 'lived experience' or use photography as a means of exploration - they wish to create an idealised utopian idyl.
Thats the problem with this competition it just perpetuates the view that the picturesque is the only way to see the landscape. Landscapes do not have to be ‘places of delight’ - scenery as sedative, topography so arranged to feast the eye and delight the viewer.
> Indeed. As stated I'm not a fan of the or many other awards - that said like you I'm flabbergasted by the time and effort some folks have gone to to prove images are 'faked'.
ey up Henry! Long time no speak... Fortunately for me I make my living out of writing about landscape photography now so time not wasted hopefully.
I'm going to be writing a few conclusions for the http://onlandscape.co.uk magazine about the dilemma of manipulation but let me put a scenario to you all to see what you think.
Photoshop and it's plugins are getting easier and more powerful over time. In addition, 3D rendering plugins are getting better and better too. Very soon I can imagine a scenario where someone can get a picture into photoshop and then ask it to mask out and regenerate the sky and make some basic guesses on relighting subject matter (perhaps given a few hints on basic shapes).
So we can now potentially have a picture where only a few elements are from 'reality' and the rest are automatically generated *under the control of the user*. The system could even just use the original photograph as a colour and texture source, not for it's subject matter.
Does anybody think that images created in this fashion should be judged against images that portray an implicit truth (i.e. nothing taken away or adding, merely lightened, darkened, toned etc)?
> Alas people don't want to represent a 'lived experience' or use photography as a means of exploration - they wish to create an idealised utopian idyl.
> Thats the problem with this competition it just perpetuates the view that the picturesque is the only way to see the landscape. Landscapes do not have to be ‘places of delight’ - scenery as sedative, topography so arranged to feast the eye and delight the viewer.
That description doesn't really match the new winner... thoughts?
What is the "implicit truth" Tim? I wander, walk and drive through the land continuously like everybody else. What many in the landscape community portray is a singular idealised vision of wehat the landscape is, not what we see in our daily lives and activities. If you are that selective in what you want to portray how does this differ from selectively creating that vision from scratch?
Landscape photography has becopme a bloated series of rules and regulations. Maybe it's time for a rethink on the whole genre.
Indeed - like I say rules is rules. Just amazed folks hot so stuck in to investigating!
Maybe what we'll end up with is 'Digital Art' an entirely new medium. Photography can then stand on its own with painting/drawing - the third way fusing the two can be something else.
Well 'Port Glasgow' appears to be the new winner. An image with little aesthetic merit, while following the present fashion of high contrast / saturated colours. Even if it were part of a body of work it still doesn't appear able to stand alone as a great image. Is it to be assumed Mr Butterworth is the 'best' landscape photographer in Britain and worthy winner of £10,000. This award really is begining to make itself look rather silly.
I'd have said it's entirely different.
I tend to think of landscape photography as being a subtractive process - for me it's about leaving out, as far as possible, elements which don't contribute to the image. It's often very difficult to arrange the elements in the frame satisfactorily, and I'll walk away if I can't do so.
Starting from scratch with a blank digital canvas and adding what you want artificially seems to me to be about as far removed from this as you can get.
But surely in the scenario you've described you are still approaching the process with a general idea of what you want the shot to look like. We all pre-visualise to a lesser or greater degree, what I find curious is that within landscape there is almost a set of rules governing this.
> What is the "implicit truth" Tim? I wander, walk and drive through the land continuously like everybody else. What many in the landscape community portray is a singular idealised vision of wehat the landscape is, not what we see in our daily lives and activities. If you are that selective in what you want to portray how does this differ from selectively creating that vision from scratch?
Read Tim's Post, we'd moved away from the disqualified shot.
Alas there does seem a set of rules especially for 'mainstream' landscape photography - from rule of thirds to a reliance on pictorialism, 'beauty' and a misunderstanding of romanticism / the romantic.
That said I have nothing against well crafted images of 'beautiful' places - there are some great shots on this site.
Absolute agrrement here Henry, I just have issue with that being presented as the be all and end all of landscape photography.
I'm all for making people think about the landscape - http://cargocollective.com/henryiddon/A-Place-to-Go
Of course I am! Surely everyone does?! But I can't see the parallel with that and the 'digital art' scenario described above.
Thus all the framing, exposure, filters etc would have to be done prior to the photo being taken.
Certainly not a luddite Geoff - a lot of comps request very minor adjustments such as would occur if a print were 'handmade' in a darkroom. An element of dodging / holding back and contrast adjustment is reasonably acceptable.
Sadly a lot of people these days have never seen a really great hand print in B+W let alone colour.
I like the idea of a handprint competition even though I have particularly sloppy standards... :-)
> Thus all the framing, exposure, filters etc would have to be done prior to the photo being taken.
A lot of RAW files tend to be very flat totally lacking vibrant colour and contrast, so a certain amount of adjustment is required if the image is to look anything like what was actually observed.
But I agree with Henry that there is a distinctive style of photograph that is perpetuated in magazines and similar media. One that comes to mind is the view over water with a jetty leading into the picture, exposed with a very slow shutter speed, and grad filter to enhance the sky. If ever there was a cliche in photography then this is it. Similarly, a beach scene again with very slow shutter speed to transform the sea into a kind of mist. All cliches, and not exactly what we are seeing with out eyes.
The Title LPotY is awarded for just one photograph. Is one photograph enough to evaluate the worth of any photographer? Could we really assess the greatness of Ansel Adams or Cartier-Bresson from such? It was a 'body' of work by Don McCullin that first got me interested in photography, although it was one image on the cover that made me buy that edition of the Sunday Times.
This argument will go on and on, as indeed it has since the birth of photography.
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