• Clive Sawyer

    Hi John
    I have read your piece with interest having been to both Lik & Lough's galleries. You are quite right in what you say in my opinion.These guys have got their work presented in such away as to stun most visitors. The framing of their work alone must cost hundreds of bucks. I have my own gallery in a tourist spot, Rye, East Sussex, and happen to be doing quite well but I do have a job selling prints bigger than 36 inches long. Most people look at them and say they would be great in a loft apartment! There is a saying that if you can't make them good make them big, but these guys are good. However I do not go along with what is said about Lik being the world's greatest landscape photographer, I've seen just as good work if not better in the "Landscape photographer of the year" competition run by the AA and judged by Charlie Waite.
    Clive Sawyer

    September 08, 2011
  • John Birch

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for letting me know. I suspected that was the case, but the amount of detail in those cropped panoramas is still staggering. I guess digital still has some way to go.

    I'm not opposed to any Photoshop work either, as I seldom (if ever) take a picture that can not be improved upon by some manipulation or tweaking in either Photoshop or Lightroom. I was just rather surprised to see some halos around some of the high contrast edges which to me speaks of over sharpening. This could easily be remedied by selective rather than global sharpening and one or two of the shots just seemed a tad too sharp for my eye. I've no objection to boosting the saturation either, although I've never been a velvia user; it's just that I find saturation is often over done and can start to look a little unnatural. It's all down to personal taste though and that's just my preference.

    I guess I'm a bit of a cynic but I do find the "present the scene as he saw it" a bit of a cop out, as there is no way the scene really looked like that. So many photographers come out with statements like this, but what they really mean is "I processed the picture the way I wanted it to be". If they just said that I'd probably have much more respect for them and I really hope one day a big name photographer comes clean.

    At the end of the day Rodney is obviously a very successful and proficient photographer and can command big bucks for his prints, which (most of them) do look absolutely super. Most visitors to the gallery won't ask questions or pixel peep like photographers do but it would be nice to have an assistant who is in the know.

    September 05, 2011
  • Andrew Ward

    Hi John,

    I spent a few days with Rodney Lough at one of his Wilderness Workshops, and can answer a couple of your questions.

    Rodney's panoramic shots are taken with his 8"x10" camera but then cropped. Obviously this is smaller than the full 8"x10" transparency would be, but still bigger than the 6x17cm panoramic format.

    I agree that in the gallery you're given the impression that "no photoshop or filters are used", however (as you spotted) that's just not true (which surprised me too when I found out). Obviously he doesn't use any Photoshop gimmicks (and he genuinely doesn't use any filters on the camera (except a neutral grad?)), but he works extensively on the computer to "present the scene as he saw it" (in his words).

    I personally don't have any issue with fine tuning the image in this way. For example, Velvia and Astia portray the same scene differently, so what's on the film isn't "right" it's just the film's attempt at capturing what was there – so there's nothing sacred about the image as it was captured on the film.

    September 05, 2011

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