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Thread started 06 Mar 2008 (Thursday) 11:27
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Funny That Way - Over-Saturation

 
iacas
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Mar 06, 2008 11:27 |  #1

http://theonlinephotog​rapher.typepad.com …08/03/funny-that-way.html (external link)

I posted a comment there that's not yet been approved, and I also posted on my personal blog (external link).

Basically, the article suggests that people are abusing the saturation tools and making photos that do not "accurately" show the world in which we live.

My counter-argument is that if we can adjust something like the white balance to reflect our memory of a scene or how our eyes/brain work together to "see" the scene, then there's nothing wrong with adding a little saturation if doing so more closely matches what our eyes/brain told us the scene looked like.

After all, if what the sensor records is "accurate," we shouldn't adjust white balance. Or contrast. Or we shouldn't remove annoying artifacts. Or convert to black and white.

If "what's really out there" is what's accurate, then we shouldn't ever use filters or polarizers or the like. And we should NEVER convert to black and white, of course, since the world is colored.

What ar your thoughts?

For the record, his second image IS over-saturated. I don't post-process my pictures like that nor do I care for pictures processed that way. I don't think the majority of photographers produce work like that, either.


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PeteJaffa
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Mar 06, 2008 11:40 |  #2

Basically, the article suggests that people are abusing the saturation tools and making photos that do not "accurately" show the world in which we live.

Photography is escapism for me. I'm glad I can't see the accuracy of the world we live in or all the fun would taken right out of it. :)
It's what I see or produce that matters. Why is he bothered about other peoples photography anyway? Is he insecure in his unsaturated world? :)


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Krapo
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Mar 06, 2008 11:46 |  #3

I believe that the author of the photo is the only one who can judge whether his image is oversaturrated, over post-processed, according to what HE wanted it to be in the first place.
The viewer has the freedom of liking the picture... or not.


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iacas
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Mar 06, 2008 11:58 |  #4

PeteJaffa wrote in post #5060313 (external link)
It's what I see or produce that matters. Why is he bothered about other peoples photography anyway? Is he insecure in his unsaturated world? :)

I doubt very much that Mike Johnston is insecure. He's a pretty well known photographer. I think he's just throwing this point of view out there for discussion, as well as reacting personally to the over-saturated images we see from time to time. His second picture, for example, most people will probably agree is over-saturated for their tastes.

Did y'all read the article? :)


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PeteJaffa
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Mar 06, 2008 12:01 |  #5

iacas wrote in post #5060433 (external link)
I doubt very much that Mike Johnston is insecure. He's a pretty well known photographer. I think he's just throwing this point of view out there for discussion, as well as reacting personally to the over-saturated images we see from time to time. His second picture, for example, most people will probably agree is over-saturated for their tastes.

Did y'all read the article? :)

Yeah I know, I was having a little laugh. :)


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CyberDyneSystems
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Mar 06, 2008 12:05 |  #6

"Over saturation" as a look predates Digital.
In the last two decades of color film dominance, the trend was ever and always pushing more and more towards high saturated "better than real life" color.
Fuji Velvia is the one that comes to mind for really pushing that look.

This concept is hand in hand with many philosophies of photography in general. Images are at there best when they are "better than real life"

One of the ironies here is that when the 10D was released, it was rated by Pop Photography as the camera with the most accurate color that they had ever tested.. period (film included)

...and the most common 10D posts on this forum for years was "how come my 10D has washed out color)

"Washed out" in this case was merely "accurate" as opposed to the super saturated Velvia look we had all come to expect from two decades of images in magazines and artwork pushing ever further into this realm.

This is NOT a digital or photoshop phenomenon, it is an extension of the same direction that film was already taking us, for decades prior to Digital.


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kevin_c
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Mar 06, 2008 12:05 |  #7

I don't supose it's much worse than using Fuji Velvia slide film really.

As long as the photographer is not trying to claim the image is 'as it was' I can't see any harm in it. It all depends on what the subject is and the context it's being used in.

By the way iacas - I think your avatar is over-saturated :-)


EDIT - CDS beat me to it about the Velvia :-)


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LeuceDeuce
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Mar 06, 2008 12:25 as a reply to  @ kevin_c's post |  #8

I don't need a camera to see the world as it is. For that I only need a window.

A camera gives me the starting blocks to seeing the world as I would like to see it.


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Croasdail
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Mar 06, 2008 18:21 |  #9

Honestly, over in the sports forum, over saturation is getting to epidemic levels. Popular taste has become accustomed to images where the color jump right off the screen to the point of being silly in my opinion. I like anyone else love images that have pop to them - but there comes a point where it becomes brainless usage of contrast and saturation...less alone taking the time to learn curves. Many have mistaken getting proper exposure so you have vivid colors with cranking a few sliders to the point you squash all the colors and any subtleness in the image is destroyed.

And there is a big difference between the good old Agfa film with its deeply saturated colors, and when you take an image that only has so much color detail saved in it to start with, and then try to push that color beyond what was recorded resulting in a compressed colors spectrum. Velvia didn't achieve it's look by reducing the color spectrum... it was still all there. Sure you can create some images that look great in the low resolution world of screen images - but printed - ubber saturated image fall all apart.

Just my opinion. The good thing is photography is a personal art that the only person you have to make happy is yourself. Who gives a rats a$$ what yahoo's like me think.




  
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paulgh
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Mar 06, 2008 22:51 as a reply to  @ Croasdail's post |  #10

If I understand some of the writers like Dan Margulis, our mind actually processes what the eyes see in a very complex way. If we focus on an object of interest in a scene, our mind will adjust the contract, brightness and perhaps saturation of that object so that it stands out more.

The aim of post-processing is to re-create the impression of the scene that was in our mind when we captured the digital image. The camera and software cannot do that on its own. In fact the more "accurate" version of the image is probably the one that you process with a bit of selective contrast and saturation adjustment. You cannot expect a piece of equipment to get it right without some input from the human that witnessed and can remember the original scene.

Having said that, I find over-saturated and over-contrasty images a big turnoff. My mind just tells me "that's ridiculous", and I lose interest.

Cheers
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paulgh
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Mar 06, 2008 23:07 |  #11

iacas wrote in post #5060255 (external link)
http://theonlinephotog​rapher.typepad.com …08/03/funny-that-way.html (external link)

For the record, his second image IS over-saturated. I don't post-process my pictures like that nor do I care for pictures processed that way. I don't think the majority of photographers produce work like that, either.

Neither of the two images is "accurate", in my opinion. The second one is plainly unrealistic. The first one is not how my mind would see it either, and therefore is also unrealistic. For a start, the dog would stand out more. My mind would say "that animal is a potential threat" and boost the brightness and contrast in the area of the dog. If I was aiming for pure accuracy only, then I would try to mimic that in post-processing.

Someone else may not have the same fear of the dog as me, and would see the scene differently in their mind... to them, my version might not be "accurate".

Paul




  
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SlowBlink
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Mar 06, 2008 23:36 |  #12

For me it depends on the image and what it will tolerate. Any good scene at the magic hour will give you similar colour. I wouldn't spend an afternoon looking at diffused glowing forests but I like them for what they are. Love the Avatar though, irony :)


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LeuceDeuce
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Mar 07, 2008 11:37 |  #13

SlowBlink wrote in post #5064565 (external link)
... Love the Avatar though, irony :)

:lol:


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RodBarker
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Mar 07, 2008 14:34 |  #14

Some of the most striking beautiful images I have ever seen were not real world , if it looks good it dont matter how the PP is done .

Rod




  
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photoguy6405
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Mar 07, 2008 19:23 |  #15

Krapo wrote in post #5060355 (external link)
I believe that the author of the photo is the only one who can judge whether his image is oversaturrated, over post-processed, according to what HE wanted it to be in the first place.
The viewer has the freedom of liking the picture... or not.

As the viewer, I may dislike the photo because it's oversaturated. ;)

Anyway, sauration does have it's place, but it's always seemed a fine line to me between realistic (which I tend to prefer) and cartoonish.


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Funny That Way - Over-Saturation
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