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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 26th July 2016
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Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

Anyone else watching this? http://www.tvguide.co.uk/detail/2416...of-photography

Sky Arts. Sky 121, Virgin 122.

http://www.masterofphotography.tv/

'Masterchef with Cameras', as one of the members of my local club club has (accurately in part) called it

I'm going to reserve judgement overall: the interviews on the job with the photographers and watching them at work and seeing their emerging images was interesting, but there are some irritating aspects.

For example, I hated the falsely manufactured masterchef staging, and there's just too much of that here at the expens of time spent with the contestants creating and choosing their images and the judges commenting on them. I suppose I need to recognise I'm a keen photographer over the age of 60, so that explains why I would much prefer more genuine content over glossy style, hysteria and candy floss! The programme did keep my interest, however, so perhaps they have got the balance right, and it will also appeal to the young/hipster/arty set that all involved in photography do need to convince of the value of 'proper' imaging.

Also, why the heck is there such an outbreak of Leicas and Peak Design Everyday Messenger equipment bags? Trendy mannerisms, and a triumph of product placement over artists' skills. Surely the photographers should use their own equipment that they know intimately?

Having done a week's urban/street photography workshop in Rome in April the first episode was really interesting to me. Some of the contestants produced very fine images (within the limits set by what one can see on a TV screen, anyway) and some didn't, and some of the latter group chose badly among their candidate images, discarding their most original shots in my view. There's a real message there.

Having Alex Webb as the guest 'expert' commentator in the first episode was great. The man is a genuine star, and added gravity to proceedings.

However, next week they've got Bruce Gilden

If he's on form and given free rein I foresee tears and tantrums among the more precious contestants, so that is going to be worth watching at least!

I'd be interested in what others felt.
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Old 27th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

We have Virgin but we can't get this? Maybe you could do a summary set of posts for those of us without access Mark?
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Old 27th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

Watched a recording of it last night.

I am not a fan of this style of television with its artificially created drama and at least one judge there to be rude and downright nasty. However as it's photography I sat through it and managed to enjoy some of the bits actually concerned with photography.

I'll probably watch again but I did find it irritating at times. Of course I am grumpy so that would explain my annoyance at the sparsity of real photographic content for a 60 minute, less adverts of course, programme.

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Old 27th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

I'm on Virgin too and must admit I just assumed I could not get this channel but we're on Virgin's XL deal and lo and behold I can see this channel. I hop it's on catch-up.

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Old 27th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

I watched, expecting to be irritated, and I wasn't disappointed. "Masterchef with cameras" neatly sums it up, and I never watch that style of show. As you say, too little actual photographic content, and too much artificial "drama". (Why does everything have to be "a drama" nowadays?) The Rome locations were nice, having been there recently, but that was about it for me.

I've always thought that with the gazillion channels we now have, and shows on every subject under the sun, there must be a space somewhere for a proper photography show, either one focusing on The Greats, or one about how to improve your own. Sadly it would seem that the only way to sell an idea (even to the Arts channel) these days, is to make it just another competitor-elimination-high-drama show full of the weirdest people they can find, for which the subject matter could be pretty much anything.

I live in hope of maybe still seeing a proper photography series one day, but this isn't it....

Still, that said, yes, watching Bruce Gilden rip somebody a new one could be entertaining
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Old 27th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

There was a series covering past and present famous photographers a year or two back and there was another series that set challenges for budding photographers and that was OK-ish.

Ian
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Old 28th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

Sad, it's not offered where I am. Any online location where I can D/L it?
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Old 28th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

After seeing this thread I watched the first episode on catch up. I thought it was quite reasonable although I was not inspired by the results of the photographers, feeling that with two exceptions they were not photographing "Rome", but just engaging in some anonymous city street photography. However the camerman recording the event for the programme was doing an excellent job!

There was a 5 (?) second clip of them selecting their camera equipment. I'm not sure if they were provided with equipment or took their own (surely the latter would produce the best results as it would be equipment they were familiar with). I would like each of the contestants to explain what they took and how they expected to use it. There was very little help for those expecting to increase their knowledge by watching the programme.
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Old 28th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

I'm watching it right now. There's a lot of very nice, very expensive (exclusively Leica?) equipment on display. Sort of misses the point.
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Old 28th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

Most factual TV programmes these days are produced by trendy marketing and arty types who despise their audience to the point of considering them stupid and ignorant. As a consequence everything is dumbed-down and considered "entertainment" rather than a genuine attempt to inform. Maybe this is different, but I doubt it.
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Old 29th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

It's not different. Having watched episode 2, I decided the best way to describe it is "superficial fluff". There is not enough depth to any part of it all, to truly impart any substance. We don't learn why these particular contestants were chosen. We don't learn why the judges are qualified to judge them. We don't know what kit they can choose from, other than it all bears a red dot, so Leica is obviously a major sponsor ( also obviously why they can't use their own gear).

We don't learn why they choose those particular images of all the ones they've taken, not indeed do we know why specific briefs are set ... What do the judges want to learn from the exercise? The Famous Name who supposedly imparts wisdom each week get little airtime, to no apparent effect. And we don't really learn anything from the judging process. "This bores me" tells us nothing useful.

In short nobody watching is likely to actually LEARN anything from the whole process, probably not even the contestants. What a waste of time and effort.
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Old 29th July 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

So, qualified rapture then, Margaret

I've now watched the second episode, and I do now agree with you. I'm sure my enjoyment of the first was coloured by my own pleasurable photo week in the city in April.

It's a wasted opportunity, because some of the basic premise is quite sensible and original, and it would have been perfectly possible to introduce enough fact and depth to entertain the likes of us without losing those of the 3s attention span.

By the way, I'd also add that the antics of some of the contestants pursuing potential subjects along the street was downright rude. That sort of thing gives street photography a bad name (as does Bruce Gilden, but that's another story!).
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Old 1st August 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
...It's a wasted opportunity, because some of the basic premise is quite sensible and original, and it would have been perfectly possible to introduce enough fact and depth to entertain the likes of us without losing those of the 3s attention span....
Exactly what is wanted, Mark.

Having watched episode 2 now, I agree that there was not a lot going on in Berlin that night which made it very difficult. As with all these things I would like to see the judges out there doing it as well so we can assess their competance.
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Old 1st August 2016
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Re: Master of Photography series (Sky/Virgin)

Yes, getting the judges doing it would have been a really good idea (or maybe one of them each week, so as not to take up too much time).

The real missing aspect with the judges is that they come out with all sorts of vague and pretentious platitudes without illustrating what they actually mean. Surely they could show a few example images that make the point, or maybe crop or draw on the contestants' images?

In fact we probably know much more what they mean than the average Joe Public, who must be completely lost.
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