some seriously interesting trends in there

Sony World Photo Awards 2017 – the “Open” section, which means not just for those who get paid for photography.

Let me get it off my chest first: I’m not happy that one of the winning entries from Russia features a small child in model getup. If you ask me, children should not be dragged into anything resembling showbiz, the whole glamorous lifestyle and all. Never. Period. But – it’s a quality shot. It’s just that the model should’ve been way older.

Thanks for bearing with me. Rant over.

So, the trends. It seems that we’re really getting to the point where photography is content with not being “photorealistic” – you can see how much most of these entries have been processed. HDR is the norm, coupled with unorthodox editing that, for example, leaves a natural sky/sea background almost uniform white (look at the photo with all the birds). The compositions are purely decorative – the object/subject doesn’t have to be recognisable much anymore, supposing there is an identifiable subject at all. And when there is one, these are most often portrayed as hanging in a sort of vacuum (like those birds, again, but it’s not just them). Even in “street” photography, subjects aren’t always grounded in their environment. They’re elevated to some Platonic sort of existence.



5 thoughts on “some seriously interesting trends in there

  1. I feel like there’s a new measure among the criteria for “what a good photo is”: it’s if the photo can be used in web design. Something hanging in the vacuum means you can add an inscription there.
    HDR is totally fine with me, I’d do a lot of it (not with my current camera though: it doesn’t allow for anything remotely resembling what I want to see), but, as you know, I tend to deal with night shots and don’t have much use for HDR outside of that. Unorthodox editing shows quite clearly that there’s a need for more separate contests; if people don’t like “photoshopping” one, it can be “creating images” or something (just so the artists who draw things won’t get offended, and so on).

    The problem is, like we used to have to many “economists” and “lawyers”, now we have way too many “designers”. With more or less the same disproportion between the amount of the “so-called” and the lack of the properly qualified.

    1. Makes sense, yeah. Kinda whacky that this purely commercial requirement is bleeding into “artistic” kinda [SEHT], but hey, artists are probably inspired by mass culture these days… glossy mags can’t be wrong, eh?

      I guess the word is “image manipulation”. So maybe a “manipulated” contest and a “vintage” one?

      What bugs me the most is that those who aren’t qualified will often be the ones with actual design degrees.

  2. You know, you’ve nailed the reason why I pretty much dropped all efforts at professional photography. It’s almost all seriously fake now!!! I do very minimal processing with my photos, and that makes my work less competitive these days. One example that totally made me angry as a wet hornet is a local Denver guy that advertises on his website exactly how he fakes–er, manipulates–his photos, and he gets (or got, this was a while ago) a thousand bucks a shoot. Grr! He would do ridiculous things, like make the colors way too intense, blow up the moon to enormous sizes, make the mountains look like they’re practically right in the middle of downtown… Stupid. And that’s apparently what people want.

    1. I totally don’t get it why anyone would pay any photographer a thousand bucks per shoot. It’s a monthly wage, to me. But I’m seriously retarded in many social ways. *sigh*

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