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05-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #106
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Concept, Capture, Edit and Presentation

Post processing is how human beings see. It happens in our brain without thinking about it.

Our eyes are the input devices, the biological cameras which send electrical signals from the sensor (retina) to the brain which interprets the input. It even works with no external input, when we sleep and dream. Our vision is closer to a movie than a still. We constantly move our eyes, adjusting aperture and focus while our brains post process all that input to interpret it. Anyone who has taught an infant colors and letters and numbers is familiar with the process.

Physical 2D images, including photographs, are some arrangement of dark and light areas that our brain post processes or translates into the idea of an image, a symbol. Gestalt psychology attempts to describe the process. Art schools will teach about the elements and principles of visual design, the tools and guidelines of how we see and mediums, leaving content, subject, metaphor and meaning to the student.

Artists, from cave dwellers to Rembrandt to Degas to Picasso consciously post processed a lot of visual input to create an external physical image to share with others. In those cases, mastery of technique with their medium enabled their ability to express their ideas. The craft or the "how" enabled the art or the "why".

Learning to make a technically optimum exposure for any given set of lighting conditions and technology is akin to achieving the ability to play a musical instrument, with competence. It can be learned, with some effort. Automated solutions, especially for document recording have continued to improve. What automation cannot know, is how we "see" or post process the same input.

Every photograph, in some fashion, is a process of Concept, Capture, Edit and Presentation. It may be simply: "Look at that", point a cellphone camera, decide "I like that one" and send to Facebook. Or it could be a carefully designed studio setup, tethered medium format capture, professional retouchers and large archival inkjet prints.

In some fashion, we decide what to include and what to exclude and how to present it, to achieve the goal of sharing the image in our brain. The exhibit of Ansel Adams at 100 showed his progression with prints from the same negatives over the span of decades. He was constantly post processing in the darkroom, seeking the image he saw. Clearly, he was not satisfied with his first efforts. I've had a similar experience taking a second look at images I made 5 or 6 years ago. Early on, I made a decision to only record DNG's, so like a film negative, it was all there, giving me a second and third chance.

When I make a photograph, my goal is to make an image of what I see, not what the camera sees. If something does not contribute to the composition, it is eliminated, pre or post capture. Pre is easier but not always possible. Some images ought to be B&W, a decision usually made later with time to reflect. If something needs to be de-emphasized, it is, like asking the bass to play more softly. It is about adjustments, like any music or theater or dance, a continual aim to the best expression of the idea. Sometimes I can see it during a session and adjust. Sometimes, I only see it later and adjust later.

At a minimum, I will optimize the image for presentation. In the case of prints, it will always be converted to the ICC profile of my print lab and sharpened for continuous tone at 300 PPI, adding a "canvas" or border of the next larger paper size. Web display goes to an RGB profile at a very different resolution and is sharpened differently.

It is very useful, for lots of reasons, to make a technically sound image to the best capability of the recording device. If it is exactly coincident with the image in your brain, you must still must decide how to present it. Decisions, even the default ones, are made in the process.

05-07-2014, 03:30 PM   #107
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I've just seen a supposed "photograph" on Flickr taken about a mile away from my home, in which a tourist has taken a tree and a stone cross about a hundred yards apart and digitally combined them into a single impossible image that makes them look like they are right next to each other. It's gathering admiring comments from viewers around the world who have no way of knowing that it's an utter fake, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets explored.

If that's what photography means in the 21st century then I don't want anything to do with it any more. And I'm not going to link to that particular abomination because I don't want to feed it with more views.
05-07-2014, 03:57 PM   #108
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Why post-process?

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Post processing can let you move from this:



To this:



I had tried some brighter exposures with this particular photo, but they didn't capture the sun's rays very well and obviously the darker photo ended up really dark. No way to get this sort of photo "right" in camera.

Hint: reverse GND filter

---------- Post added 05-08-14 at 09:02 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I think you miss the point of my post and, for that matter, the OP's original question:

It's not one of personal esthetics as to blow the highlights or not in an extreme DR situation but, rather, if you do want to avoid this what's the better technique - in camera or PP?
I gave you my answer.

I have acked your workflow. I said that your way is one of the ways but it's not the only way and probably not the best way. I have not contradicted your post at all. Like I said you shoot accordingly and post processing is closely tied to your shooting. It means you intentionally commit "mistakes" at click time to accommodate processing. Key word is "intentionally". Not process to fix mistakes.

The shot above with the sun rays is an example. He intentionally underexposed knowing that he can push the shadows later. But even then there are easier, better ways of accomplishing the same results.

Last edited by dtmateojr; 05-07-2014 at 04:04 PM.
05-07-2014, 08:45 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmateojr Quote
Hint: reverse GND filter

---------- Post added 05-08-14 at 09:02 ----------

I have acked your workflow. I said that your way is one of the ways but it's not the only way and probably not the best way. I have not contradicted your post at all. Like I said you shoot accordingly and post processing is closely tied to your shooting. It means you intentionally commit "mistakes" at click time to accommodate processing. Key word is "intentionally". Not process to fix mistakes.

The shot above with the sun rays is an example. He intentionally underexposed knowing that he can push the shadows later. But even then there are easier, better ways of accomplishing the same results.
Emphasis mine. Are you saying that a reverse GND during capture is easier than lifting shadow during processing? In this one case the reverse GND might be inferior rather than easier and better; it's situational.

A reverse GND is likely to show more flare, washing out the sun rays, and introducing extra processing to reveal them. The shot was taken with a wide lens where small filters might vignette but large filters add to the bulk that has to be carried while shooting; the compact DA 15 loses a lot of its appeal if you need to start packing a full Cokin or Lee or whatever filter holder system.

There's often more than one good way to take a photo. In that one backlit example, a new photographer is unlikely to take a good photo of that scene because they don't know enough about exposure and processing, plus they've probably never heard of a reverse GND. An experienced photographer can do it with filters or processing or a combination, whatever works with their skillset and equipment available at the time.

05-07-2014, 08:55 PM   #110
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Why post-process?

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Emphasis mine. Are you saying that a reverse GND during capture is easier than lifting shadow during processing? In this one case the reverse GND might be inferior rather than easier and better; it's situational.

A reverse GND is likely to show more flare, washing out the sun rays, and introducing extra processing to reveal them. The shot was taken with a wide lens where small filters might vignette but large filters add to the bulk that has to be carried while shooting; the compact DA 15 loses a lot of its appeal if you need to start packing a full Cokin or Lee or whatever filter holder system.

There's often more than one good way to take a photo. In that one backlit example, a new photographer is unlikely to take a good photo of that scene because they don't know enough about exposure and processing, plus they've probably never heard of a reverse GND. An experienced photographer can do it with filters or processing or a combination, whatever works with their skillset and equipment available at the time.

I use GND filters all the time. Vignetting is not caused by the filter. It's caused by the user ... improper use. I use a 10mm lens with regular P-size grads.

As for flare, it's no worse than the useless UV filter that is permanently welded into every beginner's kit lens.

Pushing the shadows introduces noise. GND is way way better.

Edited for "speling" mistakes. Damn iphone.

Last edited by dtmateojr; 05-07-2014 at 09:16 PM.
05-07-2014, 10:35 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I've just seen a supposed "photograph" on Flickr taken about a mile away from my home, in which a tourist has taken a tree and a stone cross about a hundred yards apart and digitally combined them into a single impossible image that makes them look like they are right next to each other. It's gathering admiring comments from viewers around the world who have no way of knowing that it's an utter fake, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets explored.

If that's what photography means in the 21st century then I don't want anything to do with it any more. And I'm not going to link to that particular abomination because I don't want to feed it with more views.

Hi Dave,


I have great sympathy for your view, I know its hard to accept this kind of fakery as photography and in many ways it isn't, its deceit. It sits unhappily with me too, I don't like it, Its easy to make a striking image by combining 2 mundane ones, rather than create an iconic image out of something real that exists with skill and artistic flair.


I think the issue is one of intentionally misleading, whereas if the image contained a unicorn, no I not being flippant here ive seen recently a unicorn drinking from a stream in a photograph, the fact that its an obvious fake somehow makes it more acceptable than a subtle fake like the image you quote.


I witnessed first hand just a few weeks ago the opposite issue, I witnessed a judge judging a photographic competition in the act of throwing a photograph unceremoniously out of the competition. He said this image would have been very highly placed were it not an obvious fake. It was a lighthouse sitting on a beach, he said lighthouses were never built on beaches, the author would have done better to site the lighthouse on those rocks to the left rather than rather unconvincingly on the beach.


Several people present after the fact attested that it wasn't a fake at all and they had visited that very lighthouse and yes it sat on the beach exactly as depicted. The judge was completely wrong.


What really is a fake, in my view most HDR with dark threatening skies that are totally unreal are a fake, strong manipulation like unreal over saturated colours that didn't exist in reality is a fake.


Maybe more than 80% of photography has been a fake of one kind or another for the last 15 years.


Theres a statement "A photograph never lies" that was never true, a photograph usually does lie in one form or another. As soon as you make that grass more "lively" with rich greens when a pale and uninteresting dull green existed in reality, because the vibrant green looks more "photographic" you have created a fake.


The point you have raised speaks eloquently on topic, what is post processing really doing. It is almost always changing the image, and often for the worse.


Should fakery be allowed in a photograph?


Well maybe we can resolve this simply by looking at accepted classes of photography. These are in classifications such as Landscape and Portrait. One is Record photography. Record photography is showing what is there as a record, unchanged.


Any other photography is open to manipulation whether it be changing the colours, changing the perspective or indeed changing the content. And that can mean merging two images to create a new and impossible one. I think we just have to accept that the practice will flourish.


I hope you reconsider and continue in photography, we need more photographers who take the effort with skill and flair to create fine images of what exists rather than easily cobbled up impossible dreams.
05-08-2014, 12:07 AM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmateojr Quote
What makes you think it's not possible with just a camera? Here's a more difficult light captured straight from an iphone:


And even more difficult light still with an iphone:


Ridiculous for those who can't shoot.





Has nobody noticed that the images this guy is purporting to be from his Iphone carry the markings of roll film.


The edge markings are unmistakeable, look at the arrows along the edge that show the direction to wind the film. and on the opposite side film stock markings in reverse. In the corners there are roll film mask marks where the mask is not perfectly square and the image goes beyond the corner, this is a characteristic of roll film and large format film masks that weren't perfectly square in the corners. Iphone? - Idon't think so!


These images hes claiming are his Iphone images are in fact scans of roll film probably by someone else. Its highly unlikely they'r his as hes lied about how they were made, and because he made no effort to hide this obvious indicator, he must be unaware of what they really are, and quite possibly hes unaware of what roll film is and looks like.


Doesn't this suggest an armchair troll , trolling the internet for images someone else has created and support his arguments.


Take a look at his iphone images, theres nothing authentic about them, and I would suggest therefore theres nothing authentic about the guy.
05-08-2014, 12:31 AM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
Has nobody noticed that the images this guy is purporting to be from his Iphone carry the markings of roll film.


The edge markings are unmistakeable, look at the arrows along the edge that show the direction to wind the film. and on the opposite side film stock markings in reverse. In the corners there are roll film mask marks where the mask is not perfectly square and the image goes beyond the corner, this is a characteristic of roll film and large format film masks that weren't perfectly square in the corners. Iphone? - Idon't think so!


These images hes claiming are his Iphone images are in fact scans of roll film probably by someone else. Its highly unlikely they'r his as hes lied about how they were made, and because he made no effort to hide this obvious indicator, he must be unaware of what they really are, and quite possibly hes unaware of what roll film is and looks like.


Doesn't this suggest an armchair troll , trolling the internet for images someone else has created and support his arguments.


Take a look at his iphone images, theres nothing authentic about them, and I would suggest therefore theres nothing authentic about the guy.

You are a funny guy. Yes, Hipstamatic is quite very good in simulating film. It's a TOY CAMERA app. Hipstamatic should pay me for the advertising. Hey, Hipstamatic! Are you watching this?! You fooled a film photographer once again.

BTW, more trivia: Do you know that the same iphone app was used by a pro war photographer in Afghanistan? You should see his shots.

Proof once again that YOU CAN do it RIGHT in camera. One click is all you ever need.

Thank you very much for confirming what I have been trying to say all along.

Checkmate!

05-08-2014, 12:31 AM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I've just seen a supposed "photograph" on Flickr taken about a mile away from my home, in which a tourist has taken a tree and a stone cross about a hundred yards apart and digitally combined them into a single impossible image that makes them look like they are right next to each other. It's gathering admiring comments from viewers around the world who have no way of knowing that it's an utter fake, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets explored.

If that's what photography means in the 21st century then I don't want anything to do with it any more. And I'm not going to link to that particular abomination because I don't want to feed it with more views.
I think it's perfectly fine. Especially if this conveys the feeling of the place in a way that you can't fit into a single frame.

But it has to be called art, not photo journalism (or anything resembling it).



However, since I can't see this particular photo or the context it's presented in, I can't judge whether I'd view it as art (it can still look realistic) or deception.
05-08-2014, 12:35 AM   #115
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BTW I just took a screenshot of your post. I'm sending it to Hipstamatic. This is gonna be epic!

---------- Post added 05-08-14 at 17:38 ----------

Don't worry I'll blur your name. I'm not that rude.
05-08-2014, 12:46 AM   #116
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So much denial I seem to have hit a nerve.

And a warzone photographer using an Iphone lol ive heard it all.


The fact you suggest it was an Iphone app might explain why the images are both crappy, no detail in the sky in one, and overblown areas in the sky in the second.


All these images really show is how to do it wrong in camera.


In fact I haven't seen any image from you that shows you can do anything right in camera. All your images have areas totally blown out and areas of uncontrolled brightness.


You can claim all you want that those areas don't contribute to the image but you only seem to work within narrow and easily achieved confines. All I see is a guy who refuses to do anything his camera cant handle, then you claim you could do everything you wanted to in camera.


You also dictate that the newby must learn to do it all in camera, and proceed to explain about sophisticated filter techniques that you have supposedly mastered. Are beginners expected to study for 10 years before being allowed to post process.


Your approach and your position are unreasonable. Your advice is bad. Your images are amateurish. Show me a decent image, impress me.

Unless you can, I don't think we need anymore of your nonesense

Last edited by Imageman; 05-08-2014 at 01:09 AM.
05-08-2014, 12:49 AM   #117
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Why post-process?

QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
SO much denial I seem to have hit a nerve.


And a warzone photographer using an Iphone lol ive heard it all.


I don't think we need anymore of your nonesense

It's you who is in denial. Your film shot that probably almost killed you of chemical exposure was beaten by a $2.49 app. ROFL! Maybe you should come out of the dark room sometimes. The chemicals are clouding your judgements.
05-08-2014, 01:10 AM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I've just seen a supposed "photograph" on Flickr taken about a mile away from my home, in which a tourist has taken a tree and a stone cross about a hundred yards apart and digitally combined them into a single impossible image that makes them look like they are right next to each other. It's gathering admiring comments from viewers around the world who have no way of knowing that it's an utter fake, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets explored.

If that's what photography means in the 21st century then I don't want anything to do with it any more. And I'm not going to link to that particular abomination because I don't want to feed it with more views.
Why is it so bad? because you know the rock and tree? Does it make it a bad photo (or picture) because of that?
How many photo's have you seen that were fantastic, but were "fake" because you do not now the area or circumstanses the photo was taken. And how many pictures have been labeled fake, eventhough they were not.
I do not mind it at all, I want to like what I see. and I do not care if it is made on the spot, or some dodging burning etc in PP or really made out of more than one photo. For me it is the result that counts.
Many times you hear along the getting it right in camera discussion, that they do it because this is how it was. Well I do not know how it was, neither do I care. If a picture looks boring, but is the real situatuion, i'd rather see a fantastic picture that has had PP.
Even during analog times, making a picture out of multiple pictures was done. Not as common as now, because it took some skill (not that it doesn't take skill now, but more people have those skills), and lot's of time in and out of the darkroom.

for me the biggest reason to do PP (I do not combine photo's though, just dodging, burning, etc) is that I want to create a picture. When I shoot a photo, 99% of the times I have already visualized what I want the end result to be. And no, it cannot be done without PP.

Oh and the two claimed photo's from the Iphone, well they could be, If you use one of the many apps (that take control out of your hand) you can use those frames aroudn your photo.
05-08-2014, 01:33 AM   #119
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Its Hipstamatic, granted.


I withdraw my allegation, they are your work.


I nevertheless maintain that they show nothing of "getting it right in camera" all they show is you getting it wrong.


Show me you getting it right. Not images with blown out areas, but images where you handle difficult lighting well totally in camera. Then I might believe you can do what you profess to.
05-08-2014, 01:47 AM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
Its Hipstamatic, granted.


I withdraw my allegation, they are your work.


I nevertheless maintain that they show nothing of "getting it right in camera" all they show is you getting it wrong.


Show me you getting it right. Not images with blown out areas, but images where you handle difficult lighting well totally in camera. Then I might believe you can do what you profess to.

After claiming that my iphone shots were REAL FILM shots and besting your own heavily post processed shot, you still think that I got it wrong. Whatever it is you are sniffing in the darkroom, please share it with us -- it seems very hallucinating.

Anyway, everyone here is a witness to your hallucinations. You win for having the perfect shot and mostly for perfect logic. ROFL! Carry on ...

:-D
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