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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Jul 2012 (Wednesday) 21:15
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Certain to regret this but....

 
Northwoods ­ Bill
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Jul 04, 2012 21:15 |  #1

Is a photo still a measure of ability after it has been processed? Is only the original the true measure or is editing in LR or PS or similar OK? I just looked at an incredible image, complete with a bird. The OP commented that the bird was added in photo shop. I am sure there will be strong opinions so let's hear them.

I will start, I am thankful for the ability to pp because without it I would have FAR less keepers.


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J ­ Michael
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Jul 04, 2012 21:45 |  #2

These types of faux moral dilemmas tend to treat all photographs equally. They're not. Consider the purpose for which the image is intended.

As long as what you do does not impugn your integrity and you like the result, why not? A case where it wouldn't be appropriate would be editorial content, but even there I think there might be exceptions for photo illustrations.




  
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Curtis ­ N
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Jul 04, 2012 21:58 |  #3

Photography and graphic art are two different skill sets. In the end, it's the image that must be judged according to its intended purpose. The method used to create it is pretty irrelevant.


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Jul 04, 2012 22:05 as a reply to  @ Curtis N's post |  #4

Well let's see...one hand has great image using PS...the other hand holds a good, non-PS, image. Which is that client gonna want?


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Numenorean
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Jul 04, 2012 22:06 |  #5

Northwoods Bill wrote in post #14671618 (external link)
Is a photo still a measure of ability after it has been processed? Is only the original the true measure or is editing in LR or PS or similar OK? I just looked at an incredible image, complete with a bird. The OP commented that the bird was added in photo shop. I am sure there will be strong opinions so let's hear them.

I will start, I am thankful for the ability to pp because without it I would have FAR less keepers.

Ansel Adams used the darkroom. I use Photoshop.

Though I don't add what wasn't there.


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arentol
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Jul 04, 2012 22:24 |  #6

I would suggest that as long as the person making the image is honest about how the image was made all is well no matter what they did to make it.

Also consider that PS levels the playing field in many ways. Many of the biggest art photographers (as opposed to journalistic, sports, wildlife, etc) these days will spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, as well as hours or days setting up a single shot or a series of shots. For those with similar creative vision but FAR less money and time to spend on sets and models and such photoshop can be invaluable in letting them create the photo they see in their head within the limits of their resources.


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stumbows
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Jul 04, 2012 22:28 |  #7

A great saying I use myself sometimes is, a good shot is made on location a great shot is made at the computer. I know it's a blanket statement and doesn't cover every scenario but for the most part I've taken shots that were nice and with a little correction it's become breathtaking so I think it's fine. This is the digital age and this is how it goes.




  
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imjason
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Jul 04, 2012 22:41 |  #8

arentol wrote in post #14671784 (external link)
Also consider that PS levels the playing field in many ways. Many of the biggest art photographers (as opposed to journalistic, sports, wildlife, etc) these days will spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, as well as hours or days setting up a single shot or a series of shots.

naw PS doesnt level the playing field as much as you think, those big photographers probably have a team of touchup artists.


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Bob_A
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Jul 04, 2012 22:46 |  #9

Before panchromatic film photographers made composite images by printing in clouds in an otherwise white sky. Different landscape shots would all have exactly the same clouds :)

For me personally adding elements that were never there doesn't interest me. However, all images are processed after clicking the shutter release:

- automatically by the camera using a selected picture style
- automatically by the RAW converter when you first import it into DPP , ACR, whatever
- if you ever shot film ALL images sent to a print lab were manipulated to get the color, contrast and brightness "correct"
- if you send your digital files to a print lab ALL of them get corrected for color, contrast and brightness unless you have the option to tell them not to

Sometimes you need to post process because of exposure errors, but often it's to be able to create something that better represents the scene you visualized or to create a mood. Ansel Adams, Yousuf Karsh and others all manipulated their images using dodging, burning, unsharp masks, vignettes, paper contrast and textures to create powerful images that weren't necessarily a perfect representation of the scene.

To me it's difficult to make a great photograph unless the basics are there (good light, exposure and scene), but I've yet to see a great photograph straight out of the camera and processed as "camera neutral". But who am I to judge? I remember when "Red Stripe on White Canvas" was considered great art ... or maybe it still is? :lol:


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Todd ­ Lambert
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Jul 04, 2012 22:55 |  #10

No matter what, photoshop doesn't make up for a proper exposure, good composition and a compelling subject matter.

You can be the best Photoshop Jockie in the world, but if you’re missing the photographic basics, the image will still be dull or lifeless.

Combine the two, and that's when things get interesting and thus, the best images are born from.




  
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Northwoods ­ Bill
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Jul 05, 2012 07:16 |  #11

Very interesting thoughts. Before being immersed in this forum and photography in general I was certain the PS was "cheating" something a good photographer did not Ned. Needless to say I have learned soooo much in the last month!


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Numenorean
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Jul 05, 2012 07:19 |  #12

Northwoods Bill wrote in post #14672913 (external link)
Very interesting thoughts. Before being immersed in this forum and photography in general I was certain the PS was "cheating" something a good photographer did not Ned. Needless to say I have learned soooo much in the last month!

Photos need processing now, just like in the darkroom days. Especially when you shoot in RAW. You have got to process them. And I still use dodging and burning in my B&W photos. Just the digital version of the very old techniques.


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mikeinctown
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Jul 05, 2012 09:21 |  #13

There are varying levels of ability. there is artistic ability... being able to envision the shot and get the most compelling angle. then there is the technical ability. Some people have the vision but couldn't get settings right to save their life. Some people can capture a perfect image that is just plain and boring. Then you have the computer talent which is a mixture of both abilities.

If the final product is compelling, what difference does it make how it was made?




  
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Curtis ­ N
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Jul 05, 2012 11:36 |  #14

mikeinctown wrote in post #14673336 (external link)
If the final product is compelling, what difference does it make how it was made?

Sometimes that matters, sometimes not.

In photojournalism there are very specific guidelines regarding what you can and can't do to a photograph. But honestly, I think most family snapshots are taken for a similar purpose - to capture a moment in time and document what happened.

So if you take a shot of your kid scoring a goal while playing soccer, great! If you combine a shot of your kid playing soccer with another shot of the ball flying past the goalie's hands, well, it's not something I would be proud of.


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neilwood32
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Jul 05, 2012 11:43 as a reply to  @ mikeinctown's post |  #15

Northwoods Bill wrote in post #14672913 (external link)
Very interesting thoughts. Before being immersed in this forum and photography in general I was certain the PS was "cheating" something a good photographer did not Ned. Needless to say I have learned soooo much in the last month!

Sometimes people forget (or are ignorant of) the fact that all images are in fact post processed. Some are in camera (Jpegs are processed according to the picture style settings), film was done by the processing company (or photographer in the darkroom or by manipulation in a post processing software such as PS.

In an ideal world, we would all capture images perfectly however in reality there are often small things to be improved upon such as sharpness/white balance/exposure.

People who were truly interested in producing quality work (as opposed to snapshots) have always done work to images after capture whether is was dodging/burning, altering exposure times, selecting certain papers and so on. PS is nothing new, it simply makes post processing easier.

I personally would not go to the extent of adding clouds/birds etc. I like my images to be as true as possible to the actual situation in which they were taken (although I might remove a pylon or similar). Even the removal of items has been happening for years with some photographers painting things on to negatives or removing them with judicial use of a scalpel.


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