In a move I am delighted to see, the WPC World Photographic Cup has banned AI imagery in their 2024 competition, albeit with a velvet touch. I would have preferred to see this as a lifetime ban, but one year is a step in the right direction. Whilst AI imagery has an arguably important place in many commercial sectors, it can never replace the experience of being out in the field in Nature. Nor can it truly represent what transpired and was captured by the photographer in Nature. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the day we accept AI imagery into a photographic competition (at least in the Nature genre), we should all throw our cameras away and complete the transition to mindless drones.
From WPC Communications: The World Photographic Cup (WPC), the esteemed international photography competition that has celebrated the art of photography for over a decade, acknowledges the significant role that artificial intelligence (AI) plays within the photographic industry. While recognizing its undeniable impact, the WPC remains committed to upholding its longstanding photographic principles and has decided not to accept AI-generated images in the 2024 Edition.
The last place has been spoken for on my January 2024 Eastern Mongolia Winter Pallas cat expedition, and the workshop is now sold out. If you missed out, I am offering this workshop again in January of 2025, for a small group of just five photographers. Full details are on my website HERE. Please just drop me an email to register your interest. Places are already limited.
Rumours are generally not something I partake in. In this instance, I have it on pretty good authority that Canon will release a brand new teleconverter for the RF lens system later this year or early next year. The new teleconverter will be announced alongside the Canon RF 200-500mm F4L IS USM lens (expected 4th quarter of this year). The new teleconverter will have a zoom capability set to 0X, 1.4X and 2X. This will be a game changer for big white lenses with a huge increase in flexibility and capability. In combination with the new 200-500mm RF F4L IS USM, it will provide a range of focal options from 200mm all the way to 500mm, 700mm and 1000mm – that is an incredible range for one large lens, even with a 400mm F2.8L RF IS USM it will provide options from 400mm to 540mm to 800mm – again, a huge increase in flexibility and a must-have for wildlife photographers. It is doubtful the teleconverter will be compatible with Canon’s existing 100-500mm RF lens. The teleconverter will likely be priced between $1000 and USD 2000 MSRP.
It’s no secret; I love BenQ’s photographic displays. They offer incredible bang-for-buck performance typically not found in most other brands, regardless of price. Since their release, the SW271C and SW321C models have been staples in my studio. My daily workhorse is the SW321C, which has continued to provide me with perfect colour accuracy and screen-to-print matches. The BenQ displays’ colour fidelity, uniformity, and performance make them the ideal tool for amateur and professional photographers seeking the highest performance on even a tiny budget. Since their release, I have recommended them to many photographers worldwide and utilised them daily in my studio in Melbourne. If you have seen any of my photography or prints over the past six years, you have witnessed the results achievable using a colour-calibrated BenQ display. Jump Straight to the new SW272Q (2560×1440) and SW272U (3840×2160).
I wrote a full detailed review of the SW271 and its successor, the SW271C, HERE on my blog in 2021. At the time, I wrote, “The combination of size, performance and attractive price point in the SW271C make it just about perfect for the photographer looking for the highest level of performance without breaking the bank. Whilst the SW271C is slightly more expensive than its older brother, it includes several key upgrades – perhaps the most important of which is its outstanding uniformity. The reality is that even at a slightly higher price, it still offers unmatched value and performance for both professional and serious amateur photographers. With a three-year warranty and full 4K Adobe RGB colour space, the SW271C is unmatched in my experience at its price point and offers the best bang-for-buck performance in the marketplace today. Highly recommended.” And this still holds true today.
Just some of the benefits include:
An extended Adobe RGB Colour Space
Outstanding uniformity corner to corner
Full 16 But 3D Lookup Tables
Pantone Validated and Calman ready
Paper Colour Sync
Pallete Master Elements software
And now, BenQ is set to announce two new models, the SW272Q and the SW272U! The new SW272Q and SW272U will replace the SW271C and SW270C. What’s new? You will have to stay tuned to find out… But if history has shown us anything, you can bet these new displays will offer even better performance and features at an equally attractive price point. I look forward to reviewing one of these new displays when I return from Africa and Alaska in a month. I feel very confident BenQ is about to lift the quality bar yet again.
The time has come yet again, and very shortly, I am piling into the car, camera bags and luggage in hand and making for Melbourne Airport to begin the journey to South Africa (via Dubai). I will be on and offline over the next month and will do my best to squeeze in some blog posts and podcasts when possible. I am keen to return to Zululand in South Africa for the incredible wildlife and am super excited for my first trip to Barrow for Arctic birds at the top of Alaska. The first stop is Dubai for a five-hour layover and then direct to Durban in South Africa. A few days to get over jetlag and then a short plane hope to the game reserve for my ground-level masterclass wildlife workshop. Only limited places now remain on next year’s 2024 trip – please just email me for further details. See you in Africa! (Please see the Wild Nature Photography Podcast Number #74 for Equipment packing).