I always assumed Grahame Sydney painted his beautiful landscapes from photographs, but apparently he works from detailed sketches. He was unable to sketch in the Antarctic owing to the harsh conditions, and so he took photographs instead, which he is exhibiting at Christchurch's Salamander Gallery from the 20th of this month. The press release and some pictures are here.
I'm interested that he says he has not altered the photographs since taking them, and that he hopes they show his individual "eye". Many great photographers have shown their individual vision precisely by working on the images: Ansel Adams, with his famous Zone System, spent many hours adjusting tonal values in his pictures.
Adams is quoted as saying: "Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships" :-)