A Conversation for A Photoshopped Justification?

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Post 1

STRANGELY STRANGE ( A brain on a spring )

Ooooo a difficult one this!
First let me lay the bones, I use a Nikon D200 and only direct print straight to a printer using a Pict Bridge type of thing.
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I recently saw a photo in a photography magazine of an animal up a mountain with a wonderful view beyond. It was a nice pic but seemed odd as how on earth did a pic like that get taken as a wild animal wouldn't let someone get that close with what looked like a wideangle lens? When I read caption the person was honest enough to admit it was 2 pics, one a zoo pic, the other a normal mountain pic. To me I just coundn't accept it as a genuine photo with the skill of someone prepared to do it properly with a hide, etc. It wasas if someone was cheating and bypassing skill, somewhat like someone cheating in exams as not truely showing knowledge.
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I see a lot of photos with exagerated effects like odd colours that wouldn't mormally occur in nature and sometimes see them more paintings made with an airbrush. Ok a dodgy looking sunset might not matter but exagerating smoke over an attacked city in a war might, like a journalist was recently sacked for might.
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Personally my history is in black and white printing at home, and selling some pics to national music papers, many years. Even then you could alter tones, etc a little but adding another negative and tricking would have been wrong.
To be honest I would much rather see someone get out there and take many pics and show me an unaltered great photo than them sit at a computer for hours and manipilate images until appears to be a great pic emerges!
..


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Post 2

Elentari

Personally, I don't alter my photos much - in part, because I don't know how to. I play with contrast and colours, and that's about it.

I think it depends whether you're aiming to produce something that looks great, as a piece of art, or whether you want something that accurately reflects the subject.

Interesting piece, thank you. smiley - smiley


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Post 3

Malabarista - now with added pony

Hmmm - I, for one, do a lot of photo manipulation in the name of *projected truth*.

I'm studying architecture, and that includes making a lot of 3-D visualisations of the buildings we're designing, including "photoshopping" them into their intended environment.

Is that cheating?


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Post 4

STRANGELY STRANGE ( A brain on a spring )

It doesn't sound like it to me. I would describe cheating as deliberately altering a photo to decieve for gain. It doesn't have to be monetry gain it can be trying to look more photographically skilled than the photographer really is.
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Some photography clubs did things like One Shot days where the photographer, usualy more in negative based times, went out and was only allowed to take one photo all day so they had to work and thi k really hard to make the resulting photo as good as possible. It worked and produces better photographers.
There are many advantages to digital, however the idea that someone can just say "Oh don't bother getting it right we can Photo Shop it later." seems sad to me and not condusive to creating better photographers, great Photo Shoppers maybe but not photographhers.
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I had to think long and hard before going digital, I even started a thread about it, as I was getting good photos from my film SLR, and still do. I like the fact that with film what you see is what you get if you just use normal developing and printing services, so work more when taking photo to get it right first time..


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Post 5

Malabarista - now with added pony

I think you need to differentiate between photos meant to convey a fact - those used in newspapers, and, even more importantly, as legal evidence, and those meant first and foremost to convey a feeling or an aesthetic concept. Surely collages and things are also art?


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Post 6

STRANGELY STRANGE ( A brain on a spring )

I think for me photos, as in the things that end up on walls and printed on paper, are the main thing. It isn't whether collages or other things are art or not, I have no opinion on on those, it is that some photos are decievingly altered and passed as something they are not, the zoo animal Photo Shopped onto a mountain is a good example. The difficult area is when you start altering colours of sky, etc to 'improve' a photo when infact the fantastic sunset in photo was not actually there.


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Post 7

Malabarista - now with added pony

Wasn't it actually there, or did the camera just not pick it up well?


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Post 8

STRANGELY STRANGE ( A brain on a spring )

The photographer said he combined an animal in a zoo's photo with a mountain photograph, the photo was printed in a photography magazine. Even before I read the caption I thought something was odd about the photo, perhaps the perspective was wrong.
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There is a UK BBC programme called Country File which has a yearly photography competition and they specify what can be altered in photos digitally. It would be very embarrasing for BBC to be fooled by a fake very altered photo as winning photos go on a calander and sold by BBC for charity. I read a few days ago about a photography competition and they specify that the origing digital file for photos should be avail for checking by experts if a photo wins competition which seems fair enough to ensure honesty.


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Post 9

Malabarista - now with added pony

True, I just meant the sunset... Increasing saturation could bring it closer to the "actual" sunset.


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Post 10

STRANGELY STRANGE ( A brain on a spring )

Ah I see what you mean. you meant the camera didn't record the sunset properly, as it was at actual time! I took some photos of a rare UK heavy snowfall recently and the resulting photos had a slightly blue tinge. It could be the digital camera recorded it incorrectly or actually it did it right but human eyes/brain adjust vision to give a 'normal' view while there and filter out the blue tinge( which may have just been the sky's colour reflecting off snow).


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Post 11

Malabarista - now with added pony

You can't say that a "normal" analogue photographer doesn't cheat - maybe not in nature photographs, but for portraits and the like, entire scenes are simulated, the lighting is adapted to make the photo look like the photographer wants it to, objects are added to or removed from the backgrounds, they wait for the right time of day... The very act of choosing a frame and composing an image is editing it, after all.

Not saying that's right or wrong - but how is it substantially different from, say, removing something from the background later, via photoshop?


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Post 12

Skankyrich [?]

I posted on a similar theme on the AWW thread, Mal:

'We all know you can doctor your photos with Photoshop. But were photos ever undoctored?

Even with a very basic film setup, you can change perspective with different lenses. You can use slide film to boost colours - selecting different films to get 'better' colours and shades has always been a staple of film photography. What is using black-and-white film other than choosing to take a photograph in the belief that it would work better without colour? Why use a grainy film other than to exaggerate texture and contrast?

Everyone who has ever been in a darkroom has enhanced their images. Burning in some areas and holding back others are among the most basic techniques. It's almost as easy to give extra depth to a photo in a darkroom as it is to do the same on a computer screen. The only difference is that one is a recent development, whereas the other has been around since the dawn of photography.

Why celebrate one as a technique but denigrate the other and say it is not 'proper' photography?'

F74130?thread=5301557#p61768384

smiley - smiley


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Post 13

Moonhogg - Captain Coffee Break

My smiley - 2cents...

I love photoshop. I often use it to edit out telephone wires from landscape shots - when you're there, you tend to look at the scenery, rather than the wires, so why not edit them out physically, rather than just mentally?

There is also a lovely photo of my daughter. Unfortunately at the time she had a rather unsightly spot on her face, which was a temporary blight. Rather than immortalising the spot, it was soon airbrushed out, which means antone seeing the picture focuses on the beautiful giggly smile, rather than a big zit.

I *do* use it for slightly more cheating purposes, though... I few years ago I was at RAF Waddington airshow. I took a good photo of the Red Arrows, and later took another shot of the tents where my friends and I were staying. Both the planes and the tents were present, just on different shots. A couple of hours carefully photoshopping, and I have a very realistic photo of the Red Arrows flying over the camp.
Not *too* bad, until you find out I printed it out, and it is now framed on my wall - having first been signed by the entire Red Arrows team!! Sorry!


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