Thursday brings us the Joe Jackson Straight Out of Camera landscape Competition. That's quite a title but it sums it up - Joe wanted images of the natural landscape, without any post processing or Photoshopping, just as if we had shot the images on slide film. WYSIWYG in other words.
When Joe and myself sat down to work out how this could be defined it proved to be much more difficult than we thought, trying to bring this to digital cameras. The cameras do all sorts of things we can't control and all of the images need a bit of sharpening to offset the softening of the initial capture.
So, for the entrants, JPEG capture only. It's OK to set up your JPEG capture to your taste as the camera offers settings such as Natural, Vivid, Portrait and so on, even Landscape in some cases. The reasoning was that we could choose our slide film and they all looked different, so we choose our JPEG style.
For the subject matter, the natural landscape, except of course there is no such thing in the UK. Or very little of it. So just as little man made content as possible. The subject is natural landscape, with any human appearance such as people or buildings being secondary to the main idea.
These are the reasons the entries for this one come to me, as I understood what Joe was getting at having devised it with him. So, entries are filtered out that don't meet the criteria, although there are many marginal ones. The balance falls to letting things in rather than throwing them out as this is also a friendly competition, not a war zone.
When I get the images I do limited processing by resizing them to the standard 1600 x 1200 pixel format. I then put a white keyline around each picture for unifirmity, apply a small amount of unsharp mask (40%, 1.4 pixels, threshold 3) and provide a title where none has been supplied.
Then all are equal, all prepared in the same way, and ready for our judge, this year Nick Berentzen.
It's being completed now, so hopefully see you Thursday when the competition will be run and the winner will take the fantastic trophy home for the next 12 months. The trophy will be presented by Joe's wife Margaret.
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