T H E ( A L M O S T ) W E E K L Y P H O T O G R A P H
12 April 2016
Can You See The Second Reindeer?
This print earned David Evans a massive score of 97 in the landscape category of the AIPP's Australian Professional Photography Awards last year. Can you see the second reindeer?
David Evans won the 2015 Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year Award and his work features in the current issue of Better Photography magazine. One of the images that helped him win the Award (shown here) earned a score of 97 and a Gold with Distinction, but when he entered the print earlier into his local South Australian awards, it received only 81. What was the difference?
David describes more fully the thought process and changes he went through in the magazine, but the big difference was the inclusion of two reindeer (can you find the second one)?
However, what I picked up was David's approach to photography competitions and judge comments.
He was open to suggestions.
Said David, "The judges at the SA state awards provided some excellent feedback. Aside from some comments about snow detail and handling of the white tones, which were easily corrected, Alan Moyle commented that he was led nicely into the scene by the water, but ultimately there was nowhere for his eyes to rest and he ended up at the small patch of sky at the back. Not ideal and of course I could see what he meant immediately."
This is where the idea to include a couple of reindeer began.
"I had felt prior to the state awards that the image was nice, but I wanted to like it more. It needed a reference point and a counter-balance ˗ an animal perhaps. Something elegant. Alan had given me an idea to make the print really sing.
"It is actually quite a simple composite. I spent a bit of time ‘seating’ it into the landscape with some light dodging and burning on its fur and the snow underneath. The result is exactly how I had imagined it. The second, white reindeer was added as a ‘hidden’ element and also to ‘engage’ with the first reindeer’s body language."
So, the moral of the story is that sometimes those judges really do know what they are talking about (even if they don't always give you the score you would like)!
You can read the full article about David and his arctic photography in Better Photography magazine - and single online issues can be purchased here.
The amazing Daintree Rainforest - from up above. Photograph: John de Rooy
Is this art? Imagine John's photo as a two metre wide print, with every leaf in crisp focus. It would have quite a different impact to this 700 pixel image on your screen. For many years, I used to think of a photograph as a photograph, but it was only when I started working with Les Walkling that I started to understand the importance and impact of size. Les does an amazing presentation on the theory of size and I learn something new every time I listen to him. It helped explain to me why, for example, a photograph that does really well in an online competition does not necessarily translate well onto the wall of a gallery. Similarly, a powerful print on a wall can look decidedly unimpressive when reproduced on a web page.
This is the type of stuff I need to get my head around to make my photographs work. So when Les asked if I'd like to do a workshop with him in the Daintree Rainforest, and what should we teach, I was a little bit selfish. I pretended to know all about this 'art stuff' and suggested we focus on what happens after we've mastered our equipment and post-production.
The Leica SL - professional specs and mirrorless too!
The Leica SL is a camera to covet. The body will cost you around $10k, the beautiful 24-90mm zoom around $7k, so this is not an insubstantial investment, and yet it remains a camera to covet. It is also possibly the beginning of another first. Leica's Ur-Leica body is said to be the foundation of modern 35mm photography and the Leica SL may well be the foundation of mirrorless cameras for professional photographers.