Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Grand Inquisition of Photographic Judges and Arbiters

Over at the Luminous Landscape, one of the better online photography magazines, I was reading an article by the publisher and primary author there Michael H Reichmann entitled the Levels of Abstraction. In this essay he questioned the validity and the existence of The Grand Inquisition of Photographic Judges and Arbiters. Well Mick I am here to tell you they exist and their high priest is Derek Powazek, the editor of JPG Magazine.

A couple of days ago I posted an article there telling people of a way to use their editing software to achieve the Lensbaby look for their photographs. The Grand Inquisitor, in his wisdom pulled the images associated with the piece that illustrated what to expect when working through the process after about 36 hours for and I quote “Overt digital alterations, including cutouts. Adjustments to color and sharpness are fine. Just don't go nuts with the Photoshop.” I consequently pulled the article, for without its visual illustrations it was half the essay. You can see the essay with its attendant photographs here.

So folks take a photograph using a Lensbaby and as far as JPG magazine is concerned it is fine, create the same effect on a straight photograph using the dreaded Photoshop and it will never darken the pages of the JPG Magazine nor its web site

What a load of crap!
What hypocrisy!

My advice for all the Grand Inquisitors out there, for what it is worth, is welcome to the 21st Century and all of its ways to express one’s love for the photographic image. The Ludites died out in the 19th Century, you should really try and catch up.


Anonymous said...

Grand Inquisitor? Nah. More like zookeeper.

Henry, I wrote to you personally to let you know how much I appreciated the time and effort you put into your story.

But JPG is about mostly unmodified photos. We say so pretty clearly in our photo guidelines. You even received an email when you signed up that said:

"We're also about mostly unmodified photos. That means we do not accept photos that have been overly Photoshopped. No fake borders, digitally-added text, or cutouts. Adjustments to color and sharpness are just fine, of course. Just keep it real, baby. Here's a handy rule: If anything has been digitally added or removed (well, besides dust), it's probably not right for JPG."

As much as I appreciated your story and photos, I simply cannot make exceptions. The rules are the rules.

That said, I am not making judgments about what is good or bad, art or not. JPG is just about a certain photographic style. If that's not your style, that's cool! But you'll just have to post somewhere else. No offense intended or taken.

Like I said in my email to you: You've got a lot of talent, and if you have work that you think would fit in with the editorial direction of JPG, we'd love to see you post it there.


-- Derek

Henry Bateman said...

As I said in my email response to your email and then a second time in this post, why is one way to create a particular look for an image (lensbaby) acceptable whilst creating the same look in another way (Photoshop) not acceptable?

Your response to my email was to pull the photos after you had said in your email that you would let them stay and your response to this post ignores the question completely.

When a = b, why is 'a' acceptable and 'b' not. This, Derek, is what I can't get my head around.

Those bloody Kangaroos are always causing trouble.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting style of pictures. Are you doing it purely by drawing or is it digital imaging? I can't really tell since both are possible

Anonymous said...

Most of my work is created by digitally manipulating photographs. I guess I am just into pussing the boundaries. Its the kangaroo in me, show me a fence and I will try and jump over it.

(S)wine said...

yea...grand inquisitor.