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Saturday, 06 March 2010


Am I the only one offending by the gross blue "fringe" "substitution" etc., at the top of the tree in Nichols' image? I truly appreciate the incredible effort to capture the redwood, however, even I could have moderated that ugliness in post. Please tell me it's just a web artifact.

Does National Geographic claim that
the 1000 published are the best of
the 1,000,000 taken? Of course not.
And and how are the 10 'best'
chosen? I find the whole exercise
stupid,pointless and non productive.

"I find the whole exercise stupid,pointless and non productive."

Maybe they'll let you look through the whole million. I'd rather not, myself.


I think you can probably safely consider the show to be "the stories behind ten good pictures." Although the redwood picture really is a remarkable story. In any event, maybe wait till you see what they have to say before you judge?

I'd be hard pressed to choose something like "Top Ten" out of the multitude of excellent photographs I saw in last year's editions of NatGeo, and, frankly said, I wonder by which criteria these ten pictures were selected.

Looks like an over-simplification to me.


"photographed the Hadza, a vanishing culture in Tanzania [...] capture this series of intimate, searing portraits."

Where is the culture in these photographs? This is typical fashionable nonsense. Going to Tanzania to do an ersatz of Avedon, and claiming he captured a culture!? The series of portraits brings nothing (I mean besides a hefty check to Schoeller), they could be done anywhere. Enough! The NG needs a new editor, and to refresh his pool of photographers.

This was shown here in Australia a few weeks ago, and was very interesting seeing how these great shots were captured. Highly recommended.

Must be something wrong with me. The only one even remotely interesting is the brown bear in the river shot. Although the tree is an amazing piece of dedicated work. Ah well...

I've seen at least a couple of pictures taken with "phones" that need to be on this list... they made it in most other lists ;-(

Then again, NG is all about photography !!!

I think I've never been so non-plussed by a photo collection of a big magazine such as NG. Very few of these pictures (the one in the cave, the kids in Australia?..) have really moved me beyond their technical complexity...

I'd vote for the bear shot.

The Murray-Darling Basin's in "Southwestern Australia"? Whoa. Did the magnetic poles flip?

Wait - "Southwestern Australia"? Did the sandgropers and croweaters team up? Gah! We're doomed!

Of the ten on the web page, most were...ordinary, not extraordinary and certainly not "best of the year". One wonders just what they had in mind.

Wow. Tough crowd here. Did NatGeo steal from some of you?

I just got a subscription this year. And it's the same magazine I read as a kid (my father has always had a sub). Same articles written the same way. Same photos.

Complaining about NatGeo is like complaining about the sun coming up every morning.

Take it for what it is. Learn a bit (but not too much). And enjoy the photos. Is life this hard?

I was in Vero Beach Florida in January and was sad to learn that the copy of that Nichols photo was not currently on display at the local art museum.

I enjoyed all these photos and don't see how or why anyone could be critical of the choices?


Scratch that,

It was a James Balog image, not Nichols. Same only different.


I like the redwood photo. The borders reflect the process used to make the image -- they show that it is a mosaic, which I think is a welcome form of honesty. The fringing is presumably due to the fact that the panels in the mosaic were taken at different times or from slightly different angles. It's not a frikken' fashion shot!

Does the commentor above think that fill-frame prints that show sprocket edges or frame numbers or the edge of a filed carrier should be "cleaned up in post"?

Haven't read NG in a long time and if that really is their 1o best I won't be buying it soon.

Seriously disappointing.

When I looked at the top ten after reading Mike's post, I too had a ho-hum response. Surely there have been more worthy photographs in the past year; however,I just watched the broadcast and have been reminded that some pictures don't stand alone, they should be seen in the context of a story and I think that is what influenced Chris Johns to make his choices.


Late to the party on this one. "Deep Southern Caves" gives me the willies ! I'm only mildly claustrophic: I don't think twice about elevators & small rooms, or even narrow passageways underground like those found at the typical tourist caverns. But (probably like most people) when my movement is restricted to a great degree, that's an anxiety-provoking situation. And looking at that picture, reading the caption, and thinking about doing that myself is the stuff of a really bad dream.

I've only recently started watching "Planet Earth" and was pleasantly surprised by the "Diaries" clips that follow each episode, detailing how certain shots were filmed. They all demonstrate impressive feats of dedication, but the worst by far for me was the spelunking one where the crew was underground for well over a week, through tight spaces and at the end, somewhere where it would literally take over a day to get out.

NG hasn't changed...it's the rest of the world that has. When I was growing up, only NG had the resources and people and talent to get these stories and photographs; today, it's within the realm of possibility for many more people.

Maybe we can take these selected photos as good photos selected among many good photos of NG rather than the top ten.

Actually, it is very difficult to establish a well accepted criteria to judge which photo is better or the best. '_^

When I looked at the NG magazine, I wondered why these nuts took thousands of shots of the tree to make a fourteen inch print in the magazine. Now that I know they made a three-story tall print, I also know they're not nuts.

I loved the magazine and their photos.

But I am not sure about these ten. Too small and out of context. Really nothing of interest. The photos do not carry the story. The story is needed and as the photo fail to carry them by itself, it is not good photos.

But I like the magazine and their photos. I wonder why.

Even after a recount I still failed to make it on to my top ten list of photographers. It was then that I decided to turn my back on lists. I'm still bitter about it; it's one of my top ten disappointments.


The caving picture confused me -- it appears to me that the guy pictured is doing it the hard way. He should simply move towards the photographer, where there is much more room!

(Maybe he's not trying to move the direction I think he is?)

I must agree to finding a lot of them pretty ordinary.

I suspect the tree picture isn't getting fair play in the size presented online, and I'm a sucker for technical complexity, so that's fair enough.

I kinda liked the family on their dried-up farm, though I see how people could think of it as too pat, hard to take for spontaneous.

The bear was an interesting view, though I didn't really like the photo that much.

I think my least favorite was the people at the Egyptian subsidized bread stall.

I do like the cave shot--but then I was a caver. I've been in those kind of tight spots a few times. Moving like that is exhausting--a few yards and you're pretty shattered. What the photo fails to convey is how little you can see.
Torches and headlamps generally don't light up the space like the flash the photographer has used. You just kind of see a small area where your head is pointing, with very little peripheral vision. I remember helping take photos underground and setting off flash units around a chamber--in the few milliseconds of the flash the whole chamber is lit up and your eyes try to drag in the scale of the space that your headlamp has miserably failed to do justice to.

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