Master of Photography - photo tv contest


EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
unfocused said:
Yes. My reference though was merely meant to illustrate the irony of thinking that you can reduce the concept of a "master of photography" to pop culture tastes on a reality show. I was imagining the absurdity of someone on such a show telling a true master of photography to go churn out a masterpiece on command each week.
IMHO it should be taken for what it is - a contest with its specific rules - despite its title. And probably not aimed at people already deeply involved in photography.

Of course you can't command a masterpiece in a few hours or even minutes. Nor many artists would bend to such rules, not even for 150K euro (which can be a lot for someone, or very little for others). The format unluckily also doesn't allow nor any good description of the image taking process, nor any deep enough critic of the images - even if you may not agree with it - Toscani for example is well known for his provocative stances, and it's no surprise he was selected for the show. But we all know how media regard the general public.

Even so, Sky Art (or whatever is called in your area), is offering something more than what you can find in non-specific media (not this show, but some of the documentary aired), and may introduce some people to different ideas of art than that seen on mainstream media much focused on the "pleasant image - feel good" only.

Don't know, maybe just looking at people still working without a smartphone can light a bulb in someone's mind... probably not the next Gursky, yet it's better than a contest for the best photo of a cat ;)

unfocused said:
On a side note, while you are correct that contemporary art photography has moved far beyond the f.64 school, popular photography often seems trapped in the aesthetic of the 1930s in general and more narrowly in the aesthetic of Ansel Adams in particular. Sadly, many people are not even ready for Weston, much less Stephen Shore. And that despite the fact that Shore's own aesthetic reflects an era that is now more than 40 years old.
There is an aesthetic that is surely "easier" to the eye (and the mind). Some others are often a fist in your eye. I like very much Shore's "Uncommon Places", in my deep I'm sometimes a bit more perplexed about "American Surfaces" :) Day's non-fashion work is also very anti-aesthetic. These image requires a lot more effort by the viewer to be analyzed and understood, and often many just look for something simple and pleasant, and that is what most media deliver, knowing most images will be watched for just a brief time, and then mostly forgot. Probably there are so many images today, each one becomes less important.

Luigi Ghirri already noted in the 1990s that in "ancient times" most people saw very few images in their life (probably some church paintings, and little more), while today we are literally bombarded (and the diffusion of the Internet amplified that even more) - and this fact changed how people approach images. Especially when most images are ads, which are designed to capture attention for a brief moment.


Mar 22, 2012
Just a commentary on Episode 4 Celebrity Portrait.

I must say I was very impressed by Michael Madsen.
There was alot more to him that met the eye.
I thought he was very courteous and a sensitive soul.
I didn't know he was a poet.
Some of the photographers treat him very poorly and others went to alot of effort to learn about him.
I really liked the winning pictures but many of them were poor.
I don't know what speciality some of the photographers have but they haven't shown much so far.
The judge Oliviero Toscana is awful. Nothing positive to say, no great advice to give. He's famous for the Benetton ads. He must be dreadful to work for. His own work has been good at being controversial. It certainly has impact but not consistently good