Sharp Shooter: reality show about photographers

2010-12-06 00:00

“PHOTOGRAPHY used to be an art,” says Bryan Traylor. “I come from a film background, and so I still believe in doing everything right, at camera.”

Cape Town-based Traylor, who was born in Los Angeles, apprenticed with world-renowned photographers Annie Leibovitz, Bob Stevens and Vic Huber, among others. He is the master judge on M-Net’s pacey reality show, Sharp Shooter.

In the digital age, it has become easy to manipulate images, and Traylor says that “photography as such has lost value and meaning”, but at the same time, the digital age has opened plenty of exciting avenues.

“The future of photography is growing, as we live in a very visual world,” he says.

In light of this, Traylor lends his experience to Sharp Shooter — an exciting reality show, homegrown in South Africa, and one which he hopes will be the start of a show roll-out internationally. Traylor plays the role of a Simon Cowell-type judge on the show.

He says that the global digital camera market is experiencing phenomenal growth, largely fuelled by the rapid development of camera technology, with sales exceeding 141 million units in 2010. “It’s a radical increase on 2008 forecasts,” he says.

Together with Borain and Button, Traylor will single out a winner from the 15 aspiring photographers chosen from all walks of life. The competitors are tasked in each episode with applying their skills and team player abilities to a broad range of photographic disciplines and sectors, including abstract compositions, products, fashion and destinations.

The judging panel will view the best three images submitted weekly by the three groups of five contestants, from which one team will win exemption and the remaining two teams will see either of their respective contestants being voted off the show. A winner will eventually be announced, walking away with a cash prize of R250 000 plus Nikon equipment worth a quarter of a million rand.

For viewers, there are sneak peeks at learning about photography as well as enjoying the ubiquitous element of inter-­relational drama.

“There is some educational element. As the show progresses the challenges get harder and there are technical aspects which come up,” Traylor says. “The thrust of the show is watching how the people grow through the show.”

• Sharp Shooter can be seen every Sunday at 6 pm on M-Net, with a repeat on Mondays at 5 pm on M-Net.

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