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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Photography: the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip)
For years submitting photos to magazines meant submitting slides. Why slides? Quite simply, the slide is the picture. A print from a negative can be manipulated, and negatives aren’t really viewable (although in black and white it’s doable.) Slides were, generally speaking, unmodified (though you could get them duplicated easily.)
In the digital age (to which I do not yet belong in a photographic sense) it’s far easier to manipulate things. Digital cameras with white balance and easy exposure bracketing settings make it easier and cheaper to shoot more, which is what most people wind up doing. I know photographers with great eyes for composition who know nothing of basic concepts such as depth of field. Take the shot, put it on the computer, edit it in Photoshop and print it…somewhere.
There’s nothing wrong with it, but at some point an excess of manipulation makes it not a photograph anymore. It may not decrease an image’s relevance, or impact, or cultural significance…but it’s not a photograph anymore.
The international press is confronting the issue of how much manipulation is too much manipulation in its annual awards presentations.
Three photographers were told to deliver their RAW-files for closer inspection, when the three judges in January were assembled to select the winners in Picture of The Year in Denmark. This is the first time in the competition’s 35-year history that it has happened. One of the photographers, Klavs Bo Christensen, has accepted to show his RAW-files for the readers of pressefotografforbundet.dk. You can also hear a recording of the conversion between the judges about the photographer’s story.
Photo journalist Klavs Bo Christensen just landed at Kastrup Airport after a long travel abroad, when his cell phone rang. It was a representative from the Danish photo contest Picture of The Year, who asked him to submit his RAW-files from his Haiti story to the judges.