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12-11-2006, 01:33 PM   #16
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No, not cheating. Unless, as Rupert mentions, the photography is for photojournalism or documentation purposes. Photoshop is just the 21st century equivalent to 'dodge 'n burn', timing, chemical formula modifications, filters, creative cropping, etc. And, as also mentioned, a lot less messy and smelly. No longer to we need to roll up a towel to place at the bottom of the bathroom door to keep any stray light out of the room as we squat over the tub with three trays to develop, fix, and rinse the prints before hanging them up on the shower rod to dry.

A lot faster set-up and break-down also. Always took 15-20 minutes to set up my bathroom darkroom, and longer when I had to scrub the tub to remove any residual chemicals. Today, we just need to bootstrap the computer.

12-11-2006, 03:10 PM   #17
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"To limit what all your tools are capable of seems to me ridiculous in the extreme"


i think u miss my point.. my tool is the camera.. i wish it to stay that way..

trog
12-11-2006, 04:15 PM   #18
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Trog, your first tool is you eye supplemented by your mind. The hope is to capture what you see with the first set of tools (mind/eye) using the second tool, the camera. The thing is, especially should you use digital, it will not capture what you see. It is inherent in the sensor, it requires some tweeking to become the photo you took first with your mind.

You can get a lot done with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver but if you had better tools, more specific to the job at hand not only would you be able to work better, but your final product would look as you want, as you saw.

Even when I shot film/slides there was always a missing element or two yet I would do my best, if nothing else than to not waste my money. What is more presious is your time. You will never get 'that' shot again. You get one chance at it, period. The next time the light is different, the wind is up, whatever. So when you capture that moment you want to convey that to others. Therefore use the best tools at your disposal.

Or don't. Nobody here should fault you for images as you want them. That is your choice. That is not to say we won't comment on them. That is why you post them, right?
12-11-2006, 04:59 PM   #19
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I shoot RAW almost exclusively but still try to nail exposure and WB in camera. THe big advantage of RAW is that as my tastes change as a photographer I can revisit different images and change their look and feel to correspond with my new aesthetic.

12-11-2006, 08:33 PM   #20
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its hard to exactly explain my feelings on this one.. i think its about working within clearly defined parameters.. the camera gives me clearly defined parameters to work within..

the well known and well used post processing software does not.. it moves beyond what i consider photography into something else.. a whole new skill.. and abilities that in many ways know no limits..

i also wonder just how many newcomers that are lead to believe that all good photographers shoot raw and post proccess.. are in essence up to the job..

perhaps less is more..

trog
12-12-2006, 05:31 AM   #21
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>i also wonder just how many newcomers that are lead to believe that all >good photographers shoot raw and post process.. are in essence up to >the job..

Well, I don't mind sharing a perspective from someone who opts out of shooting RAW. I've only been shooting seriously for about four years and started learning in middle age. I didn't "cut my teeth" so to speak on SLR photography. My first digital didn't even have the capacity.

I've heard the drill many times about RAW being a better option and I've tried it a few times. What I end up with usually is much larger files I'm not quite sure what to do with. Sometimes they don't even look much different to me. It's personal choice, but I don't choose to spend my time learning high end software or processing techniques. I'm much more interested in getting shots in new ways or "seeing" different things as interesting potential subjects. Heck, it's taken me all this time to slowly find all the things the software I do use, will do.

This forum feels safe and supportive. It's actually the only reason I post. I've read the rather intimidating things on some others. User posts "I got my brand new digital!" - then gets the how to be a good photographer through post processing responses. I guess I think the new user should be encouraged to spend X amount of time just out there pushing the shutter button and learning the camera, with emphasis on "having fun". When a hobby gets so overwhelming it isn't fun any more....

For all the folks who do stunning and amazing things with your shots in software - I admire you one and all. Some of the photos are just knock down beautiful. I'm just not motivated at this point to learn it. I'm not "up to the job" as Trog stated, by choice.




12-12-2006, 10:22 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Izzy Quote
I'm much more interested in getting shots in new ways or "seeing" different things as interesting potential subjects.

I guess I think the new user should be encouraged to spend X amount of time just out there pushing the shutter button and learning the camera, with emphasis on "having fun". [/I]
Absolutely right! Not only new users but all of us benefit from spending time with our gear, out there, and having fun.

I already have a job. I use the camera for fun. In addition I use the software for fun. Each of us has our own quirks and desires. We should do what gives us the most enjoyment and leave the 'work' to those who choose to do photography for someone else's demands.
12-12-2006, 11:30 AM   #23
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Had an incident recently that relates to this thread.

I shot several tennis matches of the local high school girl's tennis team for the local, weekly paper. I picked the best, color corrected and cropped appropriately.

In several of the shots, my timing wasn't exact and the tennis ball was a little far away from the racket. I went ahead and moved the ball closer to the racket. Timing was off only a fraction of a second, but moving the ball closer made for a more balanced shot.

Because I wanted to be truthful, I told the publisher what I did and which images I did it to. He said that he cannot publish those images because they were not factual.

Now, this was only a high school tennis match and moving the ball to reflect fractions of a second in time doesn't have any effect on anything in the known universe. No one would ever know, except for me and the publisher. Still, as a publisher, he could not, or would not publish those specific images.

Something for me to remember in the future. There is a limit to what image manipulations are acceptable for published work. In general, contrast enhancement, filtering, color balancing, etc. are acceptable. Changing the composition of an image is not!

Good publisher. A man of integrity. He ended up printing about 10 or 12 of my tennis pictures over the time period of the team's season anyway. (No financial renumeration - just doing it for 'fun' and for the kids and their parents.)


Last edited by volosong; 12-12-2006 at 11:44 AM. Reason: grammar
12-12-2006, 11:40 AM   #24
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Hard to disagree here. Any manipulation of the image can start you down a slippery slope. Where does that end?

Still, this surely isn't the same as using Photoshop to correct errors in exposure, etc., which I find perfectly acceptable. I doubt that the editor would reject a photo that was a little oversaturated.

Hey! Maybe you could do a little "creative" altering and put yourself into that tennis match?

Dan
12-12-2006, 11:54 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodan:
...Any manipulation of the image can start you down a slippery slope. Where does that end?
Indeed! Several years ago, I happened upon a copy of Scientific America that contained an article about the ethics of digital image manipulation. The subject matter of the one example image was of Bush senior and Maggie Thatcher walking out of some edifice toward the street. At the time, both were the heads-of-state of their respective country.

They presented several manipulated images transposing the two characters, sizing them differently, moving what they were carrying, etc. In each image, the authors expounded upon the emotional, subliminal message presented by the image and explained how the positioning of the characters affected that message. (Sort of like, one can take a set of statistics and tell any story with them, even diametrically opposed stories from the same statistics.)

It was a very eye-opening article and well worth reading if anyone has an interest in ethics and image manipulation. Since seeing Forest Gump and knowing some of the work done at my employer . . . I tend to not believe 'everything' I see in the media, wholeheartedly and without question.
12-12-2006, 12:24 PM   #26
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we cant uninvent technology.. there used to be an old adage "the camera never lies"

today it most certainly does.. he he

but we are nearing the crux of the issue.. at what point does the post proccessed image cease to be a photograph in the true sense of the word and become a "fake"..

i am certainly not sure.. one example i used somewhere else was..

a picture of a country scene is captured.. a butterfly happens to be in the shot.. cropped out and presented as a photograph of a butterfly.. would that be a fake.. given a few more mega pixels this trick will become common place..

our slide down the slippery slope probably started with the common useage of the term "image" as opposed to photograph..

graphics artistry is about images.. photography should be about photographs..

what comes out of the camera in jpeg form is at least a photograph.. what the end result after post proccessing is i am not sure..

trog
12-12-2006, 12:31 PM   #27
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Wet darkroom vs. digital processing

QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
There is a limit to what image manipulations are acceptable for published work. In general, contrast enhancement, filtering, color balancing, etc. are acceptable. Changing the composition of an image is not!
I agree: only altering photographs in a way that adds, removes or rearranges content I would consider to be a manipulation.

I always ask myself simple question: is it possible to do the same thing in a wet darkroom? If it is, then it is not a manipulation. The list is fairly long: rotating, cropping, changing contrast, changing exposure, dodging, burning, blurring and similar are all standard darkroom techniques.

For example, if I prefer stronger contrast in my too bright digital photograph and use brightness/contrast control in Photoshop shall we call the result "manipulated"? If we do then we shall agree that darkroom correction of a dense low contrast negative using filter No.4 with ILFORD Multigrade IV paper combined with longer enlarger exposure producing similar result is a "manipulation" as well. But no photographer would call that result a "manipulated photograph", although some of them would disregard Photoshop brightness/contrast result as "manipulated"! Why? Just because my fingers were not wet and lights were not out? I don't think so.
12-12-2006, 02:45 PM   #28
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Take your mind back to when cameras came out, 'artists' said that this wasn't art and any boob could take a picture but art came from a sketch or canvas. Artists using sketch and paint definitely manipulated the presentation, left things out, put things in. Today the arguement rages. What is, what isn't.

If you are documenting something then you are not doing art necessarily, you are doing documentation and any moving/removing of objects/people in the documentation is then not documentation.

If you are creating art, and I consider a lot of what I do art, then I am free to make art whatever my mind desires. I just won't sell it as fact. Take a look at what variety comes across in photo contests on this site. Some is direct documentation and some is definitely manipulated even if it is just major color change or subject isolation/cleanup (Wheels for example).

If you want to do photography for documentation then by golly, that is what you should be doing. It is your own pleasure, is it not? If someone wants to master additional techniques then that too is OK. It is for their pleasure too.

What is your desire?
12-12-2006, 02:57 PM   #29
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I don't think its cheating at all - I choose not to use RAW just because I don't want to spend the time converting them to usable pictures (jpgs).

I haven't found many cases where I couldn't manipulate the pictures in jpeg mode the way I wanted to - where RAW would have helped.

I admit to being a total newbie and completely clueless on most post processing techniques - so maybe thats the issue But I certainly don't consider making exposure, color, etc... edits "cheating".

Like others have mentioned, if you are recording an image/photograph for factual purposes, modifying the content is cheating. if you are capturing for personal use, art, etc... the game is wide open - you don't need to present what came from the camera to make it art.
12-12-2006, 03:34 PM   #30
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There are two basic types of photography, art and reportage.

If you are shooting it for art, then you're allowed to have artistic license. You are trying to achieve a look and a feeling that can only be captured by scene manipulation of some degree, whether it be lighting, composition, ND grad filters, polarisers or a lens that distorts in some way.

If you want to take a photo to exactly replicate a scene, ie reportage, then you shouldn't use flash, or a reflector, or a filter, different lens or anything that will change the scene.
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