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01-31-2007, 07:21 AM   #61
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I agree with many in this thread who view photography as an art. The finished product is what we are all aiming for. If we can produce an image that makes everyone say "wow" then we have given pleasure to those people , just as a film producer, through artifice and photographic artistry produces a profound film that can live with us forever!.....Really enjoyed this thread, Freddy.

01-31-2007, 10:23 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
Back when I used film and slides only, my best shots were controlled mostly by the exposure of the slide, so I knew if it was a great shot, it was because of my (limited ) talent.
now with raw, and all the great things I can do with it, I kind of feel like to much manipulation is like cheating..... but the other half of me says it isn't.

any one else feel this way on their conversion from slides/ negatives to digital?
I am sure it is going to go away the more I shoot digital

any thought on this matter is welcome!

cheers
That is like saying putting oil in a car engine is cheating. Obviously, you still need to compose and expose properly to end up with the best information.

It really isn't a whole lot different than film. Light is the information whether shooting film or digital. In the dark room you could use either time or temperature to make slight changes.

By slight I mean 1 stop. Which is all you would want to make in the RAW conversion process anyway.

Cropping, especially in medium format is part of the process. Remember even if you just change aspect ratio (going from 4x6 to 8x10) you have cropped the image.
02-02-2007, 10:15 AM   #63
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Is using raw cheating?
Is using negatives cheating?
Perhaps we should all be shooting Polaroids....

The raw file is one step of the process with a digital file whether you save it or not. So the issue here is not whether using raw is cheating, but how much manipulation is acceptable. Well, of course this depends to a great extent on the purpose of the photograph and how it is represented (a matter of honesty). If it's pure fantasy and represented as such, then you can basically do whatever you want. If it's reportage or represented as something actual then you have to draw the line somewhere. It's a lot about people's expectation of accuracy.

For a newspaper or like purpose, the image is expected to receive a minimum amount of manipulation. What is a minimum amount? Where do you draw the line? Well, for those who say, "directly from camera only," you are living in some kind of fantasy world where directly from camera means no manipulation. This is simply not the case. Every photograph has been manipulated to some extent or another.

Cropping is out, you say? If you can't crop, then can you use a telephoto lens? How about a wide angle? Shouldn't every lens be "normal" angle, the equivalent of human vision? What is that again? somewhere around 48 mm for a 35 mm film/sensor area? Remember that the use of telephoto or wide angle lenses also affects depth of field.

Perhaps this is another area where we should be restricted. We must shoot only at a particular depth of field. Hmm, which one? Perhaps the largest possible? Or maybe again it should be as close to human vision as we can make it? I'm not sure what that would be...

If we are using digital cameras, the image undergoes a process that converts it from the Bayer pattern to something like what we would actually see. Remember, two thirds of that information is interpolated. That has to go. We should look at these images in their original Bayer pattern of pixels so that everything is made up of a series of pixels that are red, then green, then blue, then green. Perhaps we could get around this by switching exclusively to cameras that use Foveon sensors rather than Bayer.

Every digital image gets a tonal curve applied as well. Guess we'll have to get rid of that. Well, I hope you like dark images because that's what we'll get. No sharpening either, that's totally fake.

Come to think of it color is affected by the lens you use, so we would need to limit our lens choices to ones that are perfectly neutral. Do perfectly neutral lenses exist? What is neutral? Forget that, we should just toss out lenses and use pinhole cameras. But wait a second. Isn't color affected by the sensor? Perhaps we should only use some kind of film. No, the choice of that can greatly affect color as well, so I guess we should just use our eyes. Well, one good thing about using our eyes is that we don't need the pinhole anymore. We can just look. Too bad we can't show anyone else later.

Everything about a photograph is the result of manipulation of some degree. The lenses used were made by someone. The registration distance of the camera was decided upon. The area and shape of the sensor or film was picked out. The color characterization of the film or the sensor (as well as the software associated with the sensor/camera combination) was chosen by someone. How saturated the images would be, etc., etc.

Some of the manipulations are guided by standards, like what a certain ISO means (although different digital and film manufacturers seem to have slightly different ideas here), what units are used for shutter speed, and the mathematical/geometrical process that determines f-stop. These at least put us on the same page when it comes to knowing some of the manipulations applied.

So where is the line when it comes to reportage? Well, when it comes to moving sections of an image around, inserting something that wasn't there, or removing something that was, that's pretty obviously a misrepresentation (all of which were done with film long before digital came around, by the way). Changing apparent environmental conditions can also be a misrepresentation (making day look like night and such, also possible with film).

On the other hand, sharpening, saturation, white balance adjustments, and even exposure to some extent are inevitable with digital (and all, with the possible exception of sharpening, are inevitable with film as well). The only question is, who made those decisions? you? or the camera/sensor/film/lens/paper/etc. manufacturers? Cameras give you tools to help make some of those decisions. Raw converters give you tools to limitedly adjust some of them later, or make further ones that aren't possible with the camera (like format shape, e.g.).

Now when it comes to wedding photography, for example, there is a slightly different expectation for accuracy and things like cloning out an object that is undesirable, vignetting around the bride and groom, or casting them in more subdued lighting are generally considered acceptable for artistic purposes. Inserting objects, however, is generally still frowned upon (except in certain cases where it is obviously manipulation).

If you are telling a fictional story, anything goes, since no misrepresentation is involved. Otherwise, there are a lot of movie posters that need to be burned (probably with those for science fiction titles at the top of the list).

Last edited by CFWhitman; 02-02-2007 at 10:31 AM.
02-02-2007, 01:05 PM   #64
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I think it is time to unsubscribe from this thread.

Bye.

02-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #65
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"I think it is time to unsubscribe from this thread."

are u trying to say something of meaning..

trog
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