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HDR & judges

keithh 16 25.7k 33 Wallis And Futuna
15 May 2013 2:32PM
Its not just judges. Away from camera magazines, there are a good few editors who will stipulate no hdr.
alansnap 16 577 26 United Kingdom
15 May 2013 3:19PM
I use HDR regularly, along with straightening verticals and other changes, and my aim is to make my photos look like normal shots with a wider than normal dynamic range. What I aim for is the judge doesn't know that I've used HDR. Thanks to Ade's help on a workshop I've produced pretty convincing images that have done well such as the Lady Chapel or the main Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool In both cases the judge could tell that I'd corrected things but they weren't obvious. I use HDR for high contrast outdoors too and that works well. So I guess you may like the more up front HDR techniques which give obvious effects and not many photographers (and that's what judges are) like these.
Most judges are good or exceptional photographers (people like Ron Tear) and they give up their time to try to help us. Judging is fundamentally subjective, and what some people like, others don't. I judge occasionally and I must say that an obvious HDR picture would have to be bloody good compositionally and I would want the treatment to add something to the image. If it didn't it would lose out unless it was in a specific digitally manipulated section, and even then the pictorial basics apply. Ade's exterior HDRs are over the top at times, but the treatment, in a night scene for example, adds to the image. That's what I'd look for. So ask yourself - is my digital treatment adding to the image or is it there to make something out of an otherwise unexceptional image? If it's the latter no judge will give it high marks. Ade's outdoor images come as a package of effects and they are planned from the outset to be part of the image.
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
15 May 2013 4:29PM
I have had no problem with HDR in Camera Club competitions and international Salons. For scenes that were obviously High Dynamic Range typically inside buildings looking out, it would not be possible to produce a good rendering without HDR. One of my more successful images in this category and was taken and entered in competitions from 2008 so this is not something new. I actually take almost all landscape and architecture shots with multiple exposures and process most using Oloneo. I do use the natural colours in Oloneo (unless I am trying to create a surreal effect - very rare). So most of my landscape shots are not actually identified as HDR and that is intentional. However, these shots will have good control of detail on highlights, shadows and mid-tones. If you intentionally create an "HDR Effect" just for the sake of it, it is the equivalent of applying those early "filters" in Photoshop; it is like a red rag to a bull.

MrDennis Plus
11 276 Wales
15 May 2013 6:19PM
The BIG question to ask yourself, is, Is this what my HDR image looked like when I took it..Answer NO!
So quite a lot of judges will not give them high points unless the HDR is darn good and not over the top or getting near that. SUTTLE is the word to use for most HDR effects.
The Image or Print has to tell a story as well as all the other things that come into it. Wrong title and I'll bet you that you will lose points to start with. We All bean there, we All done it..Being a Judge is not that easy you know. Thankfully most judges are different, and that is what makes Camera Comps different. I have a print that got loads of 20 points, all of a sudden a judge gave it 14. (scratched my head and said Stupid) I have a print that was accepted in the Cotswolds and gained a fiap ribbon as a DPI and it got refused to go into an external comp. BUMMER! Yes. But I had to accept that. Judges decision is final..You not going to change it unless younger people join clubs and learn to be a judge. Then I bet most of us will not like what they say either..LOL..
pablo69 12 201 6 England
15 May 2013 8:47PM

Quote:What is it with judges that they don't like HDR?

Is it that they cant do it, don't understand it, or are just stick in the muds not wishing to change with the times. Admittedly there is some awful HDR images out there but equally there is some really good stuff too.

A judge that announces that he just doesn't like it, and that he "smells a hint of HDR" isn't giving support to the enthusiast produced it & who may just have a great image in the making, sometime in the future. Its like saying they don't like birds on sticks, or tattooed models.

Do I detect sour grapes?

Quote:Its there choice as a judge, I have nothing but respect for them making the effort, with respect and no offence but are you not making a judgement against there choices. The fact is before moaning about them we should get off our bums and do it ourselves before criticizing others. Pete gets criticized regular for his choices on here by which ever part of the community does not agree with his choices, and over the years his choices have changed. a lot.

Here here so that's what I did, I am now the evil Luddite.

Lets pose another question to the debate, a lot clubs are complaining about judges, agreed their are some out that need to retire, but if you want a judge to stop making the usual comments about the thirds, horizons etc, then you the members of have to start putting in different images.

I don't care how some one has done the image, software, camera, stockings over the lens,it is how does the image look as it has been presented to me. If it has faults that are major I see it as my duty to point it out, but I still try to end on a positive.
I have been involved in a couple of workshops for new judges, trying to create a new modern style and understanding of new technique's, some the people's comments after the event, I didn't realise how hard it is

In most cases we have less than 10mins to preview all the images and then when the first one hits the screen/easel we have to start talking.

I will stop before my rant gets to much, but I am on the side of seeing better images and scoring them accordingly even if I don't like it
Nick_w Plus
13 4.3k 99 England
15 May 2013 9:48PM
There's nothing wrong with HDR if done correctly. But why oh why do we need to see halos bigger than Saint Peters, more noise than a Justin Bieber concert and the colour shifts of someone on LSD.
joolsb 16 27.1k 38 Switzerland
16 May 2013 7:14AM
I don't get this thread. If you want to win competitions you look at the sort of thing that has won in the past and adjust your working method accordingly - and if that means certain judges don't like HDR then you don't submit HDR images to competitions judged by those people. How hard can it be?

Or is it that people just want to have a good moan about a non-issue?
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
16 May 2013 7:18AM

Quote:I don't get this thread. If you want to win competitions you look at the sort of thing that has won in the past and adjust your working method accordingly

...and if that doesn't work, take him/her to the pub.Smile
Sezz 15 619 15 England
16 May 2013 10:42AM
I joined a Camera Club last September for the first time. I was keen to join in the competitions & to have my work critiqued alongside others. This evening I am collecting the cup for winning my class in the print competition Smile My point being, is that a lot of my work is HDR (not all & I don't like the ott effect either) and I almost scored a full house out of the five judged rounds - obviously we can't say all judges don't like HDR!

joolsb 16 27.1k 38 Switzerland
16 May 2013 12:57PM

Quote:SUTTLE is the word to use for most HDR effects.

Well, I prefer the word 'subtle', myself. That silent 'b' is itself rather subtle.... Wink

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