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01-23-2019, 04:04 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Didn't everybody do that?
Back then, my biggest contribution to photography was holiday snaps with a 110 compact, processed by the local chemist's shop

But I'm sure my friend's photographic interest is what prompted me to get involved much, much later...

01-23-2019, 04:16 PM - 2 Likes   #32
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Are pictures of star trails manipulating? The human eye discerns at about 1/150. So what to make of any other shutter speed? The camera is a great machine for allowing us to "see" what we can't. Its about what the photographer wants to show. Maybe they want to show what a red rose would look like if it was blue.
01-23-2019, 04:35 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
Exactly my point - Adams' photography didn't get in the way of his subjects. It's because he was a brilliant photographer that people look at his pictures and think what a wonderful view of whatever that subject was; they don't stand around and ooh and ahh about how wonderfully he dodged the highlights in a particular rock. That's what I meant about the techniques and tools being unnoticable in my analogies to theatrical lighting and make-up.
But, it is important to realize that he did do a lot of PP to get to the images we all know. I would argue that it is noticeable just not what most people would call distracting, or more that he did such a great job we just assume that is how it would look (besides perhaps the lack of color).

And really, it is the definition of distracting that is subjective. For my taste, how distracting PP is goes a bit hand in hand with the subject and perhaps expectation (which is also subjective).

Anyway, it's all good.

---------- Post added 01-23-2019 at 03:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
But, the general evaluation of Adam's is, he was a fairly mundane photographer, but a brilliant darkroom technician. His "zone system" for making and evaluating prints is evidence of his preoccupation with "post processing." BUT, one point I tried to make, he made the final image what he saw, or thought he saw, or wanted to show, not necessarily precisely what it was.
I wish I could be mundane then!

All kidding aside, I spent some time looking through the extensive archives of Adams' work, and do think he took a lot of mundane photos. But when you look at the volume of photos that he is most known for, you can see that his knack for framing and composing shots was not mundane. The zone system required one to start with a good shot and exposure to begin with. The darkroom skills only allowed him to complete what he started in the field. Of course the PP skills in the darkroom did help, but I only wish I had the time to capture the scenes he did.
01-23-2019, 05:02 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
It's all true. And yet, and yet ...

If photography-as-art really is on a par with other forms of art, the value of it must go far beyond individual likes and dislikes. There must be some widely shared notions of what is worthy, what is powerful, what is great. There must be some tastes, some opinions, some understandings, that have more value than others. And if that's true, then we can talk about those things, and don't have to kowtow to individual preference.
I got involved in a discussion on another forum once, it was on what was art and what wasn't, it raged on for a week or more, and at the end it felt like many of the contributors were being labelled as ill educated boors that should know better than to offer any opinion that differed from those more knowledgeable.

I disagree that there Must be some whose opinions mean more or have more value than others, unless it's a value or preference that I have placed for myself. (Speaking for myself)
Why would any one person's opinion have more or less merit otherwise,
I don't understand why or how you think personal preference shouldn't come into it.
Even in regards to the old grand masters of painting, there were vastly varying opinions on their work, with their supporters and detractors.
We get to make our own minds up, we don't have to wait for someone to tell us that something is worthy or not, and that is not kowtowing.

My Sig on one of the UK forums is

I know what I like, if not always why.

It's still true.

01-23-2019, 05:22 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Well, yes, but there was a time when a photographer's job was to go out and find the good light in the real world, rather than faking it on a computer.
Faking is completely in the eye of the beholder. If I like my photograph that's all that matters.

---------- Post added 01-23-19 at 07:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Are pictures of star trails manipulating? The human eye discerns at about 1/150. So what to make of any other shutter speed? The camera is a great machine for allowing us to "see" what we can't. Its about what the photographer wants to show. Maybe they want to show what a red rose would look like if it was blue.
Exactly. The camera is so much more than a machine for documenting reality.
01-23-2019, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #36
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Don't go to the bokeh thread which is one of the most popular. A whole thread of showing the (Different!) renderings of out of focus areas. Even the new debate about fake bokeh is about how pleasing or not it is.
01-23-2019, 06:00 PM - 3 Likes   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by dick897 Quote
I know what I like, if not always why.
More important, I know what my wife likes, and if I don't I'm in trouble.
01-23-2019, 07:02 PM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by dick897 Quote
I disagree that there Must be some whose opinions mean more or have more value than others, unless it's a value or preference that I have placed for myself. (Speaking for myself)
Each of us has no end of opinions or at least preferences, and most of us are probably utterly inarticulate about most of them. A person who uses knowledge and understanding to express an opinion in a way that is enlightening to others is someone worth listening to. Worth, worthy, of value. A person who says, "I don't know, I just like it" is not worth listening to, not on that topic.

Thanks for replying, by the way.

01-23-2019, 07:23 PM - 1 Like   #39
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The issue for me is not whether or not PP was used, but how it was used. I tend to dismiss any photos where the processing is obvious because they remind me of the makeup on a hooker. Too much or poorly applied. Processing that compensates for something lacking in the original, in order to make up for the deficiencies is fine with me, but unnatural exaggerations put me off, no matter how dramatic. Certainly there is a place for the dramatic but it needs to be appropriate for the picture. Rather too little than too much I think.
01-23-2019, 07:26 PM   #40
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There are things hardwired into us that can add to the subjective/objective divide such as our ability to see faces in everything. Rule of thirds is there.
This show about music was fascinating. explained season 1 episode 20
"Researchers discuss when sound becomes music, why people are uniquely able to master musicality, rhythm, octaves, and the magic of song and dance."
Noam Chomsky did much in linguistics on this subject.
01-24-2019, 12:20 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
Each of us has no end of opinions or at least preferences, and most of us are probably utterly inarticulate about most of them. A person who uses knowledge and understanding to express an opinion in a way that is enlightening to others is someone worth listening to. Worth, worthy, of value. A person who says, "I don't know, I just like it" is not worth listening to, not on that topic.

Thanks for replying, by the way.
Probably best not to listen then.
01-24-2019, 01:06 AM - 1 Like   #42
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I would agree that many images I see are over sharpened and colors are too saturated, etc. But that is not to say that the image should not be processed to give something different than a literal image (what was seen) [although "a literal image" is actually not likely/possible--but lets assume it is, or close to this].

Often (in a landscape for example) the artist wants to give the total impression: of sight and sound and smell, and her/his mood, etc. That means changing the "literal image" so it is truthful to a larger reality. Thus In an image "over the top" may be exactly right for that photographer and that image at that time--its just when most images are pp for that look, then it looks wrong--and detracts from the times when you/they would want to do that.

So I would say your comments are often on target (oversharpened and colors are oversaturated, etc.), but your conclusion went too far.
01-24-2019, 01:33 AM - 4 Likes   #43
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After mulling it over during that sleepless hour that I always have at about 3am, I've decided that it isn't really the amount of processing that bothers me personally. It's the intent. It's when I see a photo that seems to have been processed with no other goal than conforming to the conventionally dominant notions of what a particular type of photo should be. The sort of photo that seems to have no other goal in mind than to get "explored" on Flickr.

Take the example that we've all seen a thousand times of the beach photo at sunset, with some rocks in the foreground and an ND filter used, so that the water turns to smoke and the sky is streaked with clouds. And who knows, maybe that was the photographer's genuine emotional response to the scene that he tried to capture honestly. But I'm more inclined to think that he was only trying to reproduce a look that he's seen so many times on the internet that he thinks that's the way a good beach photo has to look. I suppose that's really what I mean when I talk about over-processing: processing for the sake of conformity rather than personal expression.

And now I'm going to get flamed by half a dozen people who love that sort of photo and dream of taking one themselves some day. I'll probably be accused of being a snob (guilty). So it goes.
01-24-2019, 01:45 AM - 2 Likes   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
After mulling it over during that sleepless hour that I always have at about 3am, I've decided that it isn't really the amount of processing that bothers me personally. It's the intent. It's when I see a photo that seems to have been processed with no other goal than conforming to the conventionally dominant notions of what a particular type of photo should be. The sort of photo that seems to have no other goal in mind than to get "explored" on Flickr.

Take the example that we've all seen a thousand times of the beach photo at sunset, with some rocks in the foreground and an ND filter used, so that the water turns to smoke and the sky is streaked with clouds. And who knows, maybe that was the photographer's genuine emotional response to the scene that he tried to capture honestly. But I'm more inclined to think that he was only trying to reproduce a look that he's seen so many times on the internet that he thinks that's the way a good beach photo has to look. I suppose that's really what I mean when I talk about over-processing: processing for the sake of conformity rather than personal expression.

And now I'm going to get flamed by half a dozen people who love that sort of photo and dream of taking one themselves some day. I'll probably be accused of being a snob (guilty). So it goes.
You certainly won't get flamed from me, Dave

I understand completely where you're coming from, and respect your opinion... However, I'd suggest it's not up to us to question the intent of the photographer in representing subject matter in a particular way. At its simplest, our job is merely to view the work aesthetically and take pleasure from it (or not, as the case may be). At a deeper level, we might also understand the story and / or messages conveyed by the image - perhaps even be challenged in our views and beliefs as a result. Here, we might reasonably take issue with the photographer's motives... Overall, though, I think it's enough for us to like or dislike a photo for any reasons we wish. Yet, the photographer's work remains as valid as any other, even if we see it as highly derivative...
01-24-2019, 02:00 AM - 3 Likes   #45
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Years ago I studied aesthetics in college... Then as now this topic drives towards certain themes. Is art required to be memetic? Is an emotional reaction or a sensory one objective? Does art require either "truth" or "creativity"?

My opinion is based on what makes my pleasure. I do understand the op, I do see too many over blown images enriched to be unreal. But I also get what normhead posted in his winter scene - objectivity is very hard to define and harder to judge. In the end I dislike things that are more artificial looking to my eyes than what I think is tasteful.

But I have no illusions that my aesthetic is better or more true than somethings else's. That doesn't prevent me from strong feelings about how well a piece is processed. But in my heart I know there's no standard to use as a yardstick.
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