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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 25 May 2014 (Sunday) 03:04
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Am i the only one.

 
pwm2
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May 25, 2014 10:23 |  #16

Luckless wrote in post #16928732 (external link)
Well that is the thing. Digital photography is especially unnatural, except for a few very carefully lit scenes. It doesn't have nearly enough range or resolution to properly reproduce something truly natural, and so we make lots of concessions and fiddle with things to the point that we can fake it looking like what people think it should look like, far more than what it actually did look like.

And then there is the large branch of graphical arts devoted to making it look the way you wanted it to look. Anyone deliberately shooting during golden hours technically falls into this by way of pre-capture scene manipulation.

Not sure why you wrote "especially unnatural".

In many cases, the digital sensors do have enough dynamic range. And the films didn't have any extreme dynamic range either - but the film itself could do "curves" directly when capturing by having shoulders.

In most cases, the sensors do have enough resolution - and especially if you compare with film. It's high-resolution digital cameras that has pushed the resolution needs of the objectives.

But an important thing here is that our eyes are adaptive and while they can only see a limited dynamic range at any one time, they can greatly adapt and slide that range up or down. And they can adapt to the color temperature of the scene. But all photography will produce an image that is later viewed in a different environment. The photo has already locked down a white balance but the room where the print is seen might be lit with a different color temperature. And the computer monitor or the print doesn't dynamically adapt to the light intensity in the room. So no viewed photo will manage to fully match reality even if the camera could capture the full dynamic range with an infinite resolution.


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Luckless
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May 25, 2014 10:26 |  #17

Naturalist wrote in post #16928829 (external link)
Hi Kenhy.

One fellow I knew in Missouri was real proud of his wetland scene with a bullfrog in the rushes. The only problem was the bullfrog was not there at the time. He had inserted and manipulated it from another image into this one, a practice that I refuse to do.

Did they try to claim it wasn't a composite image?

I view them as two different but equal art forms when you start doing major editing to the subject matter vs 'as is'. I have no desire to do major manipulations to any of my nature or sports photography, only colour adjustments, sharpening, noise levelling, etc. But if I do portraits then I'm happy to do limited air brushing/skin blemish removal, or clone out stray hairs. (I have no real interest in 'body editing'.)

And at the same time I'm making plans to work with a fire poi dancer to do a large composite image of a demonic knight, which I'm expecting could take upwards of 200 images to capture all the fire elements I want to blend into the final image.


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Lyn2011
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May 25, 2014 10:41 |  #18

Kenhy,

I just read your post about post-processing. I know what you mean, I still find it strange that I have to sharpen my photos, made with a SLR camera. Because of that, I only make photos in RAW and convert them with Canon software to JPG, after a bit of sharpening and maybe correct the exposure.




  
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gremlin75
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May 25, 2014 10:49 |  #19

Kenhy wrote in post #16928331 (external link)
Just curious about peoples thoughts on todays photography world.

I am new to photography and find it sad to finding out virtually everyone in the photography world is either correcting or enhancing their after shots with photoshop etc. Gone have the days of natural shots and the shot you have taken is the final photo. I know this has been going on for years etc but until i got into the hobby i never knew the scale of it.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts on this is, especially the older generation.

I'll go and hide where i came from now. :oops::lol:

Hate to break it to you but the film masters of days gone by also manipulated there photos. One of the greatest landscape photographers, Ansel Adams, was well know your manipulating his images in the darkroom, in fact he is often referred to as "master of the darkroom"!!. The only thing that has changed is that it's become easier to do (and involve fewer chemicals) thanks to computers.

The camera does not capture what the human eye, or the minds eye, sees. Part of being a photographers is creating an image of what you see. If that is just "point, click, done" then more power to you and there I nothing wrong with that. However don't think that all those amazing images that you have seen from past photographers are exactly what came out of the camera! In fact here is a good read for anyone who things those amazing photos from past master are just a "point, click, done" thing!!

http://whitherthebook.​wordpress.com …ography-before-photoshop/ (external link)




  
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iowajim
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May 25, 2014 11:31 |  #20

Kenhy wrote in post #16928331 (external link)
Just curious about peoples thoughts on todays photography world.

I am new to photography and find it sad to finding out virtually everyone in the photography world is either correcting or enhancing their after shots with photoshop etc. Gone have the days of natural shots and the shot you have taken is the final photo. I know this has been going on for years etc but until i got into the hobby i never knew the scale of it.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts on this is, especially the older generation.

I'll go and hide where i came from now. :oops::lol:

You have no idea! Why back in the day, all we had were paintings. Sure, the output was up to the painter, but the image was made from all natural pigments, and was based on the perception of the artist. What could be better? Then photography came around. Many experiments to get the final image focused through glass onto a chemical medium so that when it got through the dark room it looked natural. So many extra steps, when all you needed was a painter to begin with. Digital photography? No longer a chemical process, but who knows what those electrons are capable of. They can go from one location to the next without passing through the space between. What's up with that?

The old days were so much better, weren't they! Oops! The ice man is here, got to go stock the ice box...


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Kenhy
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May 25, 2014 11:55 as a reply to  @ iowajim's post |  #21

I guess i really do have alot to learn. :lol:


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Preeb
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May 25, 2014 12:15 |  #22

iowajim wrote in post #16929036 (external link)
You have no idea! Why back in the day, all we had were paintings. Sure, the output was up to the painter, but the image was made from all natural pigments, and was based on the perception of the artist. What could be better? Then photography came around. Many experiments to get the final image focused through glass onto a chemical medium so that when it got through the dark room it looked natural. So many extra steps, when all you needed was a painter to begin with. Digital photography? No longer a chemical process, but who knows what those electrons are capable of. They can go from one location to the next without passing through the space between. What's up with that?

The old days were so much better, weren't they! Oops! The ice man is here, got to go stock the ice box...

The thing is, the paint artist could add and subtract objects, change colors, etc. at will. The modern photographer does nothing any different from hat. Just about the only "pure" photography is photojournalism, and there have been a few scandals in that field too.

As long as an image is pleasing to the eye and/or conveys what the photographer wanted to say, and doesn't deliberately attempt to misrepresent what it is, I can't see anything wrong with it.


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Tedder
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May 25, 2014 13:53 |  #23

This topic can always be counted on to prompt preening among today's photographers.


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airfrogusmc
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May 25, 2014 14:27 |  #24

gremlin75 wrote in post #16928949 (external link)
Hate to break it to you but the film masters of days gone by also manipulated there photos. One of the greatest landscape photographers, Ansel Adams, was well know your manipulating his images in the darkroom, in fact he is often referred to as "master of the darkroom"!!. The only thing that has changed is that it's become easier to do (and involve fewer chemicals) thanks to computers.

The camera does not capture what the human eye, or the minds eye, sees. Part of being a photographers is creating an image of what you see. If that is just "point, click, done" then more power to you and there I nothing wrong with that. However don't think that all those amazing images that you have seen from past photographers are exactly what came out of the camera! In fact here is a good read for anyone who things those amazing photos from past master are just a "point, click, done" thing!!

http://whitherthebook.​wordpress.com …ography-before-photoshop/ (external link)


https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16928737&po​stcount=12

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16928845&po​stcount=15




  
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airfrogusmc
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May 25, 2014 14:30 |  #25

And then there Jerry Uelsmann

All down with large format negs in a traditional darkroom Could take months to get the final print.
http://www.shutterbug.​com …vesart/0907uels​mann05.jpg (external link)

http://www.shutterbug.​com …vesart/0907uels​mann03.jpg (external link)




  
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WhidbeyHiker
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May 25, 2014 14:30 |  #26

Kenhy wrote in post #16928331 (external link)
Just curious about peoples thoughts on todays photography world.

I am new to photography and find it sad to finding out virtually everyone in the photography world is either correcting or enhancing their after shots with photoshop etc. Gone have the days of natural shots and the shot you have taken is the final photo. I know this has been going on for years etc but until i got into the hobby i never knew the scale of it.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts on this is, especially the older generation.

I'll go and hide where i came from now. :oops::lol:

I think the human eye sees differently than a camera sensor or film, I don't think there is anything wrong with post processing.




  
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pwm2
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May 25, 2014 14:45 |  #27

WhidbeyHiker wrote in post #16929412 (external link)
I think the human eye sees differently than a camera sensor or film, I don't think there is anything wrong with post processing.

The human eye sees the live scene differently than a print. So post-processing can help to normalize the print and make it more believable when seeing the print in normal indoor light.

Edit: Forgot to mention that since the print has much less dynamic range, someone needs to compress the dynamic range the camera can capture. And a human can do it better than a default rule inside the camera because the human knows if it's supposted to look gloomy or not.


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May 25, 2014 15:25 |  #28

Kenhy wrote in post #16928331 (external link)
Just curious about peoples thoughts on todays photography world.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts on this is, especially the older generation.

I'll go and hide where i came from now. :oops::lol:

Heh! This conversation comes up pretty regularly, and has been doing so for a long time, heck, POTN was begun as a forum for digital photographers back in, I believe, 2001 (the year I first shot with a digital camera), and of course it's digital imaging, whether from a digital camera or through scanning film images, that has opened up "doors" of processing in what we call the "digital darkroom", meaning digital editors that can in fact improve and enhance your shots (Photoshop came out, I believe, about 25 years ago, when most of us who were working with digital images were scanning and processing film shots)!

But then you say "Gone have the days of natural shots and the shot you have taken is the final photo." That's interesting, and in fact funny, because as has been said, a whole lot of work was (and is) put into things in the film world so that you could go from a "snapshot" to what you could proudly share as an "image", where it be of El Capitan or whatever.

People who come from the film world can, in fact be "thrown off" with the digital technology and the digital darkroom. What's easy to either forget or ignore are the many factors that went (and still go) into film photography: first the choices of the gear to get the shot you want, and we still do that with digital, but then, the choice of film was/is of primary importance for those who want a quality shot, since the film determines both your ISO (speed as well as "fine detail" rendering) but also provides qualities of Saturation, Contrast, and Sharpening, in other words, qualities that go beyond "just taking the picture". All of these things come as part of processing a digital image after you take the shot, including ISO which you set in the camera (not needing film) -- it determines how much the signal is "amplified" after the shot is taken. But then, Contrast, Saturation and Sharpening are specifically applied by processing software, either in the camera, or by many of us in software dedicated to "Raw" processing.

Kenhy wrote in post #16928375 (external link)
Nice one Joeseph, my father was into photography when i was young and he used to develop his own photos etc. guess im just stuck with that thought in my head. Now i have moved from the pointy click world into DSLR i guess there is alot more to it than i thought. I'm learning alittle every day, the more i get out and shoot. :-)

Funny, but the fact that your father had and worked in a darkroom, "developing" his photos, should give you a clue: when your father took a photo, it was simply "stuff" on his film, nothing visual or "natural". The film had to go into chemicals that, presumably, your father had prepared to bring out the best "qualities" of the photos he had captured on that film, transferring them into negatives that would, hopefully, express those qualities, although as we know, many film negatives would get tossed, but the development process was used to "enhance" those images, and then, the Print, the final process, was to fundamentally expose printer paper to the images from the negatives, but the fact is that without proper attention and skills, a print can go "belly up"...it's still true today, but with our "digital darkroom" we learn to prepare an image before the print.

I am new to photography and find it sad to finding out virtually everyone in the photography world is either correcting or enhancing their after shots with photoshop etc. Gone have the days of natural shots and the shot you have taken is the final photo. I know this has been going on for years etc but until i got into the hobby i never knew the scale of it.

This is certainly a common "feeling", being "sad" when we see what digital processing is capable of, but then look again and see that digital processing can not only take you out of the chemical darkroom, but for most folks out of the "One Hour Photo" mess of going in with a roll of film and getting negatives and prints back, maybe a couple "nice" prints, but how many of your photos, prints that you've had made from your film, have you looked at and wished that they were better, either better in their tones/colors, or maybe even if their was some bit that you wished you could either remove or somehow change?

Anyway, it's been fun!


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May 25, 2014 15:43 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #29

As others have expressed, there is nothing new about post processing whether for enhancement, corrections, or any degree of both. Ultimately, it is the photographer's choice as to how they want their image to look when all is said and done. Besides, think how redundant photography would be if everyone strived for the proverbial 'natural' look?


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May 25, 2014 16:41 |  #30

pwm2 wrote in post #16928873 (external link)
Not sure why you wrote "especially unnatural".

In many cases, the digital sensors do have enough dynamic range. And the films didn't have any extreme dynamic range either - but the film itself could do "curves" directly when capturing by having shoulders.

In most cases, the sensors do have enough resolution - and especially if you compare with film. It's high-resolution digital cameras that has pushed the resolution needs of the objectives.

But an important thing here is that our eyes are adaptive and while they can only see a limited dynamic range at any one time, they can greatly adapt and slide that range up or down. And they can adapt to the color temperature of the scene. But all photography will produce an image that is later viewed in a different environment. The photo has already locked down a white balance but the room where the print is seen might be lit with a different color temperature. And the computer monitor or the print doesn't dynamically adapt to the light intensity in the room. So no viewed photo will manage to fully match reality even if the camera could capture the full dynamic range with an infinite resolution.

It is very unnatural because of how it converts visible light to a stored medium. Anything we reproduce from this is not really anything remotely like what we see. Most people will perceive it to be as they see it, or as they remember it (which is a whole other kettle of fish), but there are more than a few studies showing that we're still really far off from being able to reliable capture what we actually see and provide an accurate natural appearing reproduction of it. We think it is natural, and for an individual it may be exceptionally close, but if we take two people and ask them to recreate a 'natural look' to the exact same image, then the odds are very good that we will be given two distinctly different data sets.

Try it out sometime. Get a friend or two who know about photo editing together somewhere in a controlled environment with fully artificial lighting (So that you can recreate it on demand rather than letting colours drift slight over time) and set a camera up on a tripod. Everyone take a look through the view finder and then take a photo with an incorrectly set white balance. (Say use the camera's daylight setting with the artificial light.)


Now bring a computer with a decent monitor into the same space so the person using it can see the scene in the same light it was taken in. Have each of you, one at a time, sit down and adjust the photo to 'best match' what they see.

The result is most likely going to be two distinct final images. How widely they vary is going to depend on who is involved.

For example I have very skewed vision when it comes to reds. Most people have cones that have a peak response to reds in the 560-580nm range (as far as I remember), and this difference is close enough that it usually doesn't matter. Myself however have a peak response centred at a higher wavelength, and the curve extends out well into what is normally considered near infrared.

So to me, photos with lots of fine details in reds generally look 'funny', and I have a hard time editing photos so that they look right to me (Because monitors generally don't handle reds as far out as my eyes expect to see). And if I do edit to look closer to what I see then everyone else will see a weird colour cast. (My greens and blues are also a little off compared to average.)

Another good test is a swatch test. Place a yellow flower or something in a room, and then give someone a deck of cards in a large range of yellows and ask them to find the card that best matches the colour of the flower. They are in the same light as each other, but you will still get back a range of colours.

Human vision is really neat and really complex, and while we all see in similar ways we don't all see in perfectly identical ways. Any reproduction we create of what we see is then very unnatural in a range of details.


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