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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 17 Sep 2013 (Tuesday) 18:34
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Do the amazing landscapes we see exist??

 
Happysnapperman
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Sep 17, 2013 18:34 |  #1

Hi,

I just finished watching "The Quest for Inspiration", its a movie based on a French landscape photographer. The movie follows him in a variety of locations from forests to harsh snow lands. The reason I decided to post is that when considering to goto places to photograph I wonder if they really look like they are depicted by other photographers. The photos this guy produces are stunning but his friend who follows with another 5dmk2 recording it in video mode is where the interest is. Video can't be processed to a degree but not as much photoshop would on a photo and so the video sequences in this production show the landscape for how it is. The running streams, colourful leaves, wooden, musty and moss covered trees. All the textures, colour, contrast...its all there.

I speak for me in that I sometimes question as to whether some of the locations we see in photos are in actual fact depicted as seen. Were those mountains that colour, was the water a deep turquoise, were the leaves really that vivid?

If you in need of some inspiration, I highly recommend the opportunity to watch it.




  
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blogs
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Sep 17, 2013 18:59 |  #2

There has been a bone of centention for me for quite a while. Sooooooo many photos posted on here are clearly over processed and just look fake. I mean really, the colours they portray just dont occur in nature. But then you have people defending endless degrees of manipulation due to it being 'art'.I MHO many 'sunset' pics could have been taken in the middle of the day, just adjust the sliders to bring out the pinks and purples and bam-sunset pic....

For mine I limit post processing largely to exposure and sharpness and maybe maybe adjust the temperature ever so slightly. This way what I show is what I shot/saw and people can marvel at the true beuaty of nuture (and my hard work) rather than some sci fi photo shopped piece of garbage...oh sorry I mean 'art'..all IMHO of course ;)




  
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Mark0159
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Sep 17, 2013 19:48 |  #3

a painter sees a mountain and paints it any colour and that's ok. however when a photographer changes a colour in a photo then its wrong.

When you have a look at the photo your not seeing what the camera saw but what the photographer wants you to see. that also includes the colours. just like a painter.

Should a photographer just capture what is real (or what's just their) of course not. Photography is an creative expression like anything else. We have a frame and we figure out what's included with in that frame and what's not. We move the camera just a little to add/remove whatever it is we don't like.

Does it make it any less real. I don't think so.


Mark
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Sep 17, 2013 19:57 |  #4

Mark0159 wrote in post #16305126 (external link)
a painter sees a mountain and paints it any colour and that's ok. however when a photographer changes a colour in a photo then its wrong.

When you have a look at the photo your not seeing what the camera saw but what the photographer wants you to see. that also includes the colours. just like a painter.

Should a photographer just capture what is real (or what's just their) of course not. Photography is an creative expression like anything else. We have a frame and we figure out what's included with in that frame and what's not. We move the camera just a little to add/remove whatever it is we don't like.

Does it make it any less real. I don't think so.

lol point in case ^^

I guess you could take it to the extreme of taking a 'sunset' pic in the middle of the day, adjusting the sliders to bring out some pinks, reds and purples and bam-sunset pic...but its art huh ;) heck, lets just phtoshop some of the best sunsets on line against some of the best foregrounds online-bam its art after all :rolleyes: Dont even need to spend a cent of lenses...

What Ive found is most people dont like 'fake' looking photos-they turn their nose up at them as if they are a cheap immitation, a sweat shop copy. This is enough reason for me to chase realistic looking shots.

I dont think 'art' should be used as an excuse for unrealistic and gaudy photos




  
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Flores
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Sep 17, 2013 20:08 |  #5

mark, once you move onto the creative editing, it's not really a photo of what you shot, it's a piece of art that started off as a photo, yes? photography, IMHO, is the process of capturing a scene in the camera. for it to be creative, means the photographer should be able to work with in the constraints of his medium to realize his vision. that means (to me) working on exposure, lighting, and technique with your hardware to get the shot. that doesnt mean you can't use tinted glass to 'change colors'... :)

once you start getting creative in the editing room, it's not really a photograph anymore. it may have started as one, but as you add and subtract things from the image, change the colors to 'something else that works for you', your breaking out of photographic constraints, and moving into digital artwork. I mean really... whats the difference between a nice photoshop job of a photograph, and simply having your computer render it for you from a bunch of 'objects'? the end result is the same isn't it? a pretty picture for us to enjoy?

photographs are a record and a reflection of reality, and are generally represented as such. If thats what's being represented, I think it's a photograph.
when an image is artistic in nature, and not meant to represent reality, but merely be realistic, then you have crossed the line past photography into just 'art'.

so, a photograph, properly captured and presented, can be art, and an artist can't paint something and call it a photograph.

just my opinion, and I'm sure there are many like it :) since people like to label things, I'm happy so long as we all know which label goes with what.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Sep 17, 2013 20:32 as a reply to  @ Flores's post |  #6

"once you start getting creative in the editing room, it's not really a photograph anymore"

What? Flores this is just wrong. Adams maybe the ultimate purest articulated the zone system. That is a way with film to capture not what is realty but the way he or any photographer can transfer what they see in their minds eye to a finished prints. Watch this and see what Meyeowitz says about capturing object reality. Weston called it the obvious. Weston said he has no interest in capturing the obvious.

About half way through Meyerowitz address this.
http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=Xumo7_JUeMo (external link)

Anyone can capture things exactly as they are. Where the real talent comes in is capturing things the way each individual sees them. Post processing is just the second half of what you start when you capture the image. The two are equally important. If the photographer doesn't make a great capture to begin with then no amount of post is going to make it great. But if you get a great image in camera your vision is limitless.

So 3 of the greatest photographers of the 20th century aren't photographers because they weren't interested in photographing things exactly as they are?

So what about Jerry Uelsmann? He did this with film so you can't call him a digital artist.

http://www.shutterbug.​com …vesart/0907uels​mann05.jpg (external link)

http://p2.la-img.com/906/34442/1407​9356_1_l.jpg (external link)

We all are just way t obsessed with putting into categories.

"Lets hope that categories will be less rigid in the future; there has been too much of placing photography in little niches-commercial. pictorial, documentary, and creative( a dismal term). Definitions of this kind are inessential and stupid; good photography remains good photography no matter what we name it. I would like to think of it as just “photography” ; of each and every photograph containing the best qualities in proper degree to achieve its purpose. We have been slaves to categories, and each has served as a kind of concentration camp for the spirit.”-Ansel Adams

To bad that his trend has only gotten worse. A great photograph is a great photograph and how it was created, unless it's intended to be news or a factual document, should be irrelevant




  
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Sep 17, 2013 20:47 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #7

Yes, lets just manipulate sunset pics to include colours never seen in reality EVER :rolleyes: what its art....and in my mind those colours where there!

lol




  
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bidkev
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Sep 17, 2013 21:06 |  #8

I'm with Mark on this one. Were Ansell Adams images not created in the darkroom?............o​r were they created solely via the lens. Should a photographer not use "vision" to depict what they see/feel as opposed to that which relies purely on the camera to depict?

This from my web site : "Although I strive to capture the moment, the limitations of time, weather, and convenience, may not afford me the luxury of always painting with light via the lens, so I will therefore often capture the mundane, in the hope of later transforming it into something more pleasing to the eye via modern "darkroom" techniques.

Due in part to the above, some of the images displayed, may not resemble a “traditional” photograph. The processing is used merely to facilitate a more appropriate finished product (ie what the photographer envisaged or felt), as opposed to the image merely representing that which was seen through the lens"

In view of the above..........am I a Photographic Phillistine?


See my fishy photography here: https://kevindickinson​fineartphot.smugmug.co​m/Tropical-Fish-2/ (external link)
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paul3221
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Sep 17, 2013 21:09 |  #9

Ah, the old Art vs Photojournalism discussion rears it's head again. I'm not going to take either side in this, as it's an argument that's been going on since before Ansel Adams, and it will never be decided.

My only point to add is that even the best camera sensors are still not as good as the human eye. The human eye can see 12 to 14 stops of light if I remember correctly, and most new DSLR's are in the range of 7. Thus, some digital manipulation is warranted to capture the scene as the photographer/artist saw it. HDR or exposure blending can assist in this goal to add detail in the shadows, or tame the highlights. DOF stacking can be used to get a whole frame in focus. That isn't really cheating. It's overcoming the limitations of the current camera technology.

Can it be overdone or abused? Absolutely. The level to which it is used (or abused) is completely up to the artist. You don't really have to like it, as long as they do. If the person is a commercial photographer, people will vote with their money. If you're happy with your work, why care what others are doing?


Paul
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Sep 17, 2013 21:44 |  #10

Then how can any photo ever be determined to be 'poor', as long as its what the photographer 'felt' or imagined in his head then it is great, a piece of 'art'....hey I meant to crop off their heaps, over expose the highlights, make the shot OOF, make the colours look like we a living in a maxed out temperature and tint wonder land-its art you fool ;)

Got to love art---no matter how crappy a piece is art is the ultimate get out of jail free card lol




  
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paul3221
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Sep 17, 2013 21:57 |  #11

Sounds like sour grapes to me. Again, why do you care what others do with their photography? Ultimately, you can't manipulate a crap photo and make it good. You can however manipulate a good photo and make it better. Photoshop can't fix bad compositions, lack of focus, poor framing, blown exposures, etc.


Paul
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airfrogusmc
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Sep 17, 2013 22:03 |  #12

blogs wrote in post #16305388 (external link)
Then how can any photo ever be determined to be 'poor', as long as its what the photographer 'felt' or imagined in his head then it is great, a piece of 'art'....hey I meant to crop off their heaps, over expose the highlights, make the shot OOF, make the colours look like we a living in a maxed out temperature and tint wonder land-its art you fool ;)

Got to love art---no matter how crappy a piece is art is the ultimate get out of jail free card lol

How did we get from PP being all part of the process to no matter how crappy a piece . If you are talking about just technique I doubt that out of the thousands that are members here few if any are as sound technically as Adams was. And he was also an amazing artist. What separates the great from the herd is vision. There are real ways t ohelp one judge but that goes way beyond RoTs and takes some work to learn. And work is what most now do not want to put in. They just want to by a 1DX so they can be. :lol:




  
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bidkev
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Sep 17, 2013 22:08 |  #13

blogs wrote in post #16305388 (external link)
Then how can any photo ever be determined to be 'poor', as long as its what the photographer 'felt' or imagined in his head then it is great, a piece of 'art'....hey I meant to crop off their heaps, over expose the highlights, make the shot OOF, make the colours look like we a living in a maxed out temperature and tint wonder land-its art you fool ;)

Got to love art---no matter how crappy a piece is art is the ultimate get out of jail free card lol

You can determine what you want. You can call it "poor photography" call it "art" call it "good photography" if you want, but don't assume that your judgement is better than anyone else's or is somehow more "honest".

I create for me. I don't focus purely on documentation, unless I determine that true documentation is required. Another person's "applause" is a bonus, but lack of applause is not a dampener, nor a "route changer"


See my fishy photography here: https://kevindickinson​fineartphot.smugmug.co​m/Tropical-Fish-2/ (external link)
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airfrogusmc
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Sep 17, 2013 22:16 |  #14

paul3221 wrote in post #16305409 (external link)
Sounds like sour grapes to me. Again, why do you care what others do with their photography? Ultimately, you can't manipulate a crap photo and make it good. You can however manipulate a good photo and make it better. Photoshop can't fix bad compositions, lack of focus, poor framing, blown exposures, etc.

Agree....

A great quote by Bresson:
"…it is seldom indeed that a composition which was poor when the picture was taken can be improved by reshaping it in the dark room." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

And another
"I’m always amused by the idea that certain people have about technique, which translate into an immoderate taste for the sharpness of the image. It is a passion for detail, for perfection, or do they hope to get closer to reality with this trompe I’oeil? They are, by the way, as far away from the real issues as other generations of photographers were when they obscured their subject in soft-focus effects." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Another by Brandt
"No amount of toying with shades of print or with printing papers will transform a commonplace photograph into anything other than a commonplace photograph." - Bill Brandt




  
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Mark0159
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Sep 17, 2013 22:18 |  #15

Flores wrote in post #16305163 (external link)
mark, once you move onto the creative editing, it's not really a photo of what you shot, it's a piece of art that started off as a photo, yes? photography, IMHO, is the process of capturing a scene in the camera. for it to be creative, means the photographer should be able to work with in the constraints of his medium to realize his vision. that means (to me) working on exposure, lighting, and technique with your hardware to get the shot. that doesnt mean you can't use tinted glass to 'change colors'... :)

once you start getting creative in the editing room, it's not really a photograph anymore. it may have started as one, but as you add and subtract things from the image, change the colors to 'something else that works for you', your breaking out of photographic constraints, and moving into digital artwork. I mean really... whats the difference between a nice photoshop job of a photograph, and simply having your computer render it for you from a bunch of 'objects'? the end result is the same isn't it? a pretty picture for us to enjoy?

photographs are a record and a reflection of reality, and are generally represented as such. If thats what's being represented, I think it's a photograph.
when an image is artistic in nature, and not meant to represent reality, but merely be realistic, then you have crossed the line past photography into just 'art'.

so, a photograph, properly captured and presented, can be art, and an artist can't paint something and call it a photograph.

just my opinion, and I'm sure there are many like it :) since people like to label things, I'm happy so long as we all know which label goes with what.


When you hold up the viewfinder to your eye or look at the LCD on the back of the camera as you press the shutter button determines what is in the frame and what's not. that is the same regardless of subject. The difference between a good photograph and a bad one can be what's included and what's excluded. it's that frame your camera has got that helps you frame everything up. Buts that's just the start of a photograph.

If you believe that the camera can read your mind and figure out what contrast you want. where shadows should be and what parts should be brighter then you are going to have to do some editing. If the photo calls for a frame that's different than what the camera can provide then your going to have edit the photo. you can dodge and burn and crop, saturate decolour and still have a photograph. yes as this is no different than the masters of yesteryear. They all did and they all had to work to get the photo that they saw in their heads. this is part of the vision a photographer has.

just because we are working now with a digital file instead of a film negative doesn't mean we are doing any wrong or that the end result isn't a photograph. It just means we are using different technology to do the same thing that they used to do years ago.

Some people edit to do a lot and some edit to little. both are valid for the art of photography and if you like to edit a little then that's fine. If you like to edit a lot that's fine. As long as the end of the day you get that vision you wanted when you pressed the shutter button.


Mark
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Do the amazing landscapes we see exist??
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