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11-28-2018, 07:34 PM   #1
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Acceptable to enter a composite photo (not HDR or stitched panorama) in juried event?

This may be the wrong place for this, if so, please move.

I noticed on a person's website that there are images of landscapes with animals inserted and the exact grouping, number, and position is in more than one landscape of different locations. If I am not mistaken, one of these was used to obtain first place in a juried photography event. Should these be identified as created images, not true photos? I'm not talking about removing a spot or an errant limb. I'm talking about layering in a significant group of animals that changes the image from a landscape to a landscape with a dynamic animal presence.

Just curious because I try to be representative with my shots with minimal cleanup and color adjustment to what I saw or I refer to it as an image not a photograph. Am I wrong to think this way and need to change my process to win more?


11-28-2018, 07:41 PM   #2
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Each place has it's own rules. See this controversy from over a year ago.
Anteater in prize-winning wildlife photo is stuffed, say judges | Art and design | The Guardian
11-28-2018, 07:52 PM   #3

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East central Indiana
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Everything all depends on the rules of the contest.

If the contest allows composite images, then, it is ok to enter digital art along with photographs. If the rules state no digital art or, composite photos, Then they are not allowed. Normally rules will state that the original RAW image might be requested to be seen to compare to the submitted image.

If this photographer is known for composite images, and he wins a lot of contest, you might want to read the rules. If the rules state that composites are not allowed and you suspect the the winning image was a composite, yes, you should report it.

I am like you in that if I add an object or animals to a photo or remove a major item from the original photograph, then that is no longer a photograph but has become digital art.
11-28-2018, 07:54 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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As above, each contest will have its own rules on what types of manipulations are allowed. If you've seen an image breaking a contest's rules (especially a winning one), it's up to you if you want to point it out or not. I'd be tempted to send a note to the judges, it doesn't really look good on them if they are allowing their rules to be broken.

QuoteOriginally posted by Take-5-JB Quote
Should these be identified as created images, not true photos?
Ehh, I'd hate to be the person tasked with coming up with the definition of "true photo" that will cause the minimal amount of arguing. I'm not a big fan of binning images into one category or another based on some arbitrary criteria.

However, I am a fan of honesty, so I always try to be upfront about the process behind an image (any major editing, captive or bred animals, artificial lighting etc.).

11-28-2018, 08:41 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks, folks. I was not in this event, but may enter next year. I will pay close attention to the categories. I have been in some that have photography and digital art categories separate. Sounds like you are thinking like me. I do crop for ratio or to provide better flow. I am not rigid about "art", but things like tame animals represented as wild, or adding objects or animals, flowers, etc, make me feel it is digital art not photography.

Take care, always enjoy and I hope you capture capture great photos.

11-29-2018, 12:04 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: London Ontario
Posts: 1,319
There was a photo contest in my home town a few years ago intended to celebrate the river which flows through it. One of the winning entries had had a full moon plopped into in a position which would have been impossible for it to naturally occur. The plopping was skillfully done as far as the actual imtigration of the moon into the base image, but the geometry, astronomy and optics of the composite shot were all wrong. I don't know that there was anything in the rules against doing this, but the fact that it was done ticked me off. However "nice" the final result (and it is a pleasant enough image), I'm always irritated by its inherent falseness and impossibility. But that's just me...

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