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Sky Arts has recently broadcast a series of TV programmes called “Masters of Photography”. The premise is that a group of ‘wannabe’ masters are selected (by god knows what process) to be ‘apprentices’ under a judging panel consisting of proper ‘masters’ (presumbaly) with a few select ‘supermasters’ to drop in in each episode. The photographers get challenges each week, the first of which was 8 hours in Rome to take a single picture which said “Rome!” and the second was a night in Berlin to take three pictures which said “A Night in Berlin!”. The results were fairly predictable (it took about ten minutes until the first homeless person was bribed into posing) and the judging was the usual “You are all useless, you need to get better and we can help” with the occasional sprinkle of “you don’t want to be doing it like that, do it like I do!”.
My gut feeling says that there should be no such thing as ‘competition’ in photography but I’ve changed my mind recently and think that as long as people know there won’t be a ‘winner’ as such, just someone whose photographs satisfy the judges most then I don’t see a problem. What I do see as a major problem is the whole idea that the “Masters” know best and that any creativity must be stamped out in the cause of conformity.
Why can’t a program be about inspiration and development? Why can’t the “masters” be masters of communication and empathy? I would envisage a landscape photography version where the leaders help the ‘contestants’ find out what they would like to acheive and everyone wins. If there has to be a single winner, let the contestants work it out between them. Or perhaps I’m just a big hippy and wouldn’t have the strength to say “You’re fired!”. Well we know where that ends up don’t we...
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In summary, we have spot meters that take a reading of a specific small area of a scene and incident meters that measure the light falling on a scene. more
Endframe: “Deciduous Beech In Winter, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair, Tasmania” by Peter Dombrovskis. 1993
The composition is truly exceptional for such a chaotic subject and makes me admire Peter's great eye for these type of scenes. more
Our 4x4 feature is a set of four mini landscape photography portfolios from our subscribers: Carla Regler, Andy Ford, Daniel Secrieru & David Driman. more
I’ve often stumbled upon swathes of wild flowers and grasses but my favourite time of year is around the middle of May when the hawthorn trees and bushes fill with white blossom. more
It seems odd that, at a time when photography is more popular and more widely practised than ever, and on the heels of some of the greatest advances in photographic technology, some adamantly proclaim that photography is dead. more
This issue we're chatting to someone who has only recently given landscape photography a concerted effort (his oldest photo on Flickr is from 2014) but he's done pretty well in that short period of time. more
After spending a week in Andalusia you get back home with images from untouched fog forests, the wetlands of Doñana, photogenic coastal areas with the Moroccan mountains in the background, desert areas, mountain views from Cazorla and Grazalema. more
Agreeing to stage a solo exhibition always seems like a good idea at the time. It is flattering to be asked. The request often comes many months, if not a year or more in advance and so all the work involved seems so far away as to be inconsequential. more