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12-10-2006, 07:41 PM   #1
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I feel like using Raw is like cheating

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

12-10-2006, 07:51 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
... I kind of feel like to much manipulation is like cheating..... but the other half of me says it isn't.
...
I have zero film experience but here's my take on the whole post-processing thing: If it truly looks good on whatever medium you intend, it doesn't matter how you got there.
12-10-2006, 08:01 PM   #3
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I know it has been said here and other forums:
Ansel Adams then was a cheater. Raw is just a digital negative. How you process is the result you get. Even .jpg or tiff files get some processing to look better. I don't think that is cheating. We still do the best we can to get the correct exposure in camera, otherwise you have less information to deal with when you process RAW JPG TIF or anything else, right?
12-10-2006, 08:21 PM   #4
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There is no cheating unless you are say, a news photographer and you manipulate an image. Your work is like art, and therefore subject to the best tools available. If your intent is to deceive, then you are not an artist, but a crook.

12-10-2006, 08:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pog Quote
I have zero film experience but here's my take on the whole post-processing thing: If it truly looks good on whatever medium you intend, it doesn't matter how you got there.
Been shooting film for about 30 years and have to fully agree on pog's statement. I have cheated with slides, color and B&W film in 35mm and 6x6 and 6x7 medium format. (cropped, used all kinds of filters, manipulated in the darkroom, double exposed frames, push developed B&W films, touched photos up with air brush, etc etc...)

The Digital darkroom is a blessing (and without the mess and the smell ).
12-10-2006, 08:28 PM   #6
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My answer is a straight "No".

No, you're not cheating. Here's my logic:

Photography allows you to record a scene using an equipment (camera) onto a medium (slide/flash card). This is similar to our eyes wherein the equipment are the eyes and our memory is the medium. However, the camera system is not good as our visual system. For instance, the dynamic range is narrow, the angle of coverage is low and the darn thing has to be set correctly to get a good result.

With a computer, you can remedy most of the above issues. Suppose hypothetically, years from now we invent a camera that closely models our system, we don't need the software and the manipulations. The camera inherently has some shortcomings, so, we attempt correcting it with software.

Then what constitutes as "manipulation"? In my words:
If you "drop" a little log hut onto a picture of a pristine landscape to add more punch, then display it in a photo exibition and actually win a prize!
12-10-2006, 11:05 PM   #7
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Cheating?? Nah don't think so, otherwise we would all have to use the same camera with the same sensor with the same lens and only shoot under the same lighting conditions.
12-11-2006, 12:00 AM   #8
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OK. So I'm a cheat! I'm probably a liar and a drunk too!

I like toys; fancy toys with dials and gauges and bells and whistles. And I'll play with them any way I see fit.

And I don't care if you like and do the same!!!

12-11-2006, 03:35 AM   #9
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I've been doing my own processing with film for 40 years. Doing the processing on a computer is the same as a darkroom, only it is much more comfortable, neater, and less smelly.

It is not cheating to try and bring out the best in a photograph. The in-camera part, is only half the process.

Remember, if you don't do the processing on your computer, the camera is doing it for you when it creates a jpeg.

-Alan
12-11-2006, 04:14 AM   #10
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It's not cheating, It's called Post processing just like you would do with film. the only diffrence is you use a computer and programs ment to process the photo.

I processed film for over 40 years and when I went digital it was the best thing that ever happened. I'm still learning my programs for post processing and I have more fun than when I was processing film. The only good times in a darkroom were when you had a girlfriend or wife to join you and then you got very little processing of film done. Plus you never knew if the film was going to turn out or if you over processed the roll because you were busy with other processing.

Good Shooting.
Cheers: David
12-11-2006, 05:51 AM   #11
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i feel something similar.. in fact i have doubts about the whole post processing thing.. i am not against tweaking the odd image but as normal routine i think its cheating..

to me photography and graphics artistry are two different things.. capturing the moment is all too often turning into inventing the moment useing whatever super computer u happen to possess..

i shoot jpegs and if they dont come out of the camera looking vaguely correct i consider my attempts a failure..

the only time i would justify raw is the odd special shot where u know u cant have another go and just want to make sure u dont lose it..

trog

ps.. i am not a pro.. if i was i would shoot raw plus jpeg but only then as back up for failed jpegs..

Last edited by trog100; 12-11-2006 at 05:56 AM.
12-11-2006, 05:52 AM   #12
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A couple years ago I bought a film/slide scanner and converted many of my old slides (and some negs) to digital. Amazing how I could bring back so many of those under/overexposed images.

Yep, way back in the sixties I often metered incorrectly and didn't know it until the film was processed. Lord, remember how many of those slides went into the trash can and how much money was wasted? The digital age allows me to restore some of the better images and I love it.

Nope, I'm not cheating at all.

Dan
12-11-2006, 06:20 AM   #13
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This is an old discussion. But here are my feelings on the subject. When you send film out for developing and printing, lets talk negative film for the sake of discussion, do you think the shots are printed straight as developed? They are not. A computer scans the negatives, determines proper exposure compensation, levels, tone curves, saturation, etc, then prints the negative.

When you shoot digital, something or someone needs to convert all those ones and zeros to resemble a photograph. In Jpeg, the camera is doing that for you, based on the parameters you set in the camera. So in effect you ARE post processing, you are just using a very underpowered computer with limited adjustment abilities to do the work.

When you shoot in RAW, you now have the capabilities of a much more powerful processor, and software with more adjustments, and much finer control. You also are making all these adjustments in 16 bits, with all the benefits that go with that.

Now, I'm not talking about applying special effects here, although I have no issues with doing that. What I am talking about are the same adjustments the camera is going to make for you. color, saturation, levels, curves, NR, etc.

I have a lot invested in my equipment. This equipment far exceeds my abilities as a photographer, but I want to get the very best I am capable of getting form my gear. For me, that means RAW, and processing on a computer. I do understand, this process is not for everyone, and have no problem with those who prefer shooting in Jpeg, but in my opinion, shooting RAW and processing certainly is not cheating.

Cheers
-Alan
12-11-2006, 09:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pog Quote
If it truly looks good on whatever medium you intend, it doesn't matter how you got there.
I agree with that statement. I shot digital artistically before film. I almost felt like when I went back to film if I got a good shot I was accomplishing something.
12-11-2006, 01:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
i feel something similar.. in fact i have doubts about the whole post processing thing.. i am not against tweaking the odd image but as normal routine i think its cheating..

to me photography and graphics artistry are two different things.. capturing the moment is all too often turning into inventing the moment useing whatever super computer u happen to possess..

i shoot jpegs and if they dont come out of the camera looking vaguely correct i consider my attempts a failure..

the only time i would justify raw is the odd special shot where u know u cant have another go and just want to make sure u dont lose it..

trog

ps.. i am not a pro.. if i was i would shoot raw plus jpeg but only then as back up for failed jpegs..

I am seriously very sad for you. To limit what all your tools are capable of seems to me ridiculous in the extreme, why do you bother using digital, just use film and get someone else to to print them off for you.
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