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  1. #26
    Freestyle Photographer Hodgy's Avatar
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    Can you imagine Henri Cartier-Bresson nudging the shadow a bit lower and cloning in a bit of glistening water between the shadow and the foot? The image would be neat, but not nearly as powerful.

    But your missing the point, if he did do that, it would be his choice, his descision, his vision to alter the image.

    Personally, I think this is an endless debate, there will always be ones that feel cheated when they learn that an image is altered in PS (even though it's just a darkroom tool), and there will be the ones that just don't care.


    Also, if you want to learn photoshop the fastest quickest way check out
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  2. #27
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodgy
    Can you imagine Henri Cartier-Bresson nudging the shadow a bit lower and cloning in a bit of glistening water between the shadow and the foot? The image would be neat, but not nearly as powerful.

    But your missing the point, if he did do that, it would be his choice, his descision, his vision to alter the image.

    Personally, I think this is an endless debate, there will always be ones that feel cheated when they learn that an image is altered in PS (even though it's just a darkroom tool), and there will be the ones that just don't care.


    Also, if you want to learn photoshop the fastest quickest way check out
    (shameless promotion) NoBs Photosuccess
    And I'm not saying he would be wrong. Or that I would feel cheated.

    I suppose with a whole lot of experience, a person will know exactly what the camera is capable of. I guess I have to wait till then.

  3. #28
    Freestyle Photographer Hodgy's Avatar
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    Kelly, it's frustrating with digital. Files come out with low sat, low contrast and sometimes blah, then you compare to images right off the film, where they are vigrant and bright and full of color. The lab takes care of that, with digital we have to tweak it ourselves. I know it's frustrating, and I was like that too at first, but as you learn more, you will apply more.

    Cheers

  4. #29
    Junior Member pnd1's Avatar
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    One more point...

    This has been an excellent thread on a controversial and often emotional topic. I would like to bring still another aspect of it to the table.

    Since I teach photography as editorial communication, I have always taken the side of the viewer. Viewers look at photographs with particular expectations in mind. Are they looking at a reasonable photographic representation of reality, or is it a fictional electronic composite? As such, I suggest that anyone displaying or publishing an image in an editorial publication is ethically obligated to inform the viewer if the photograph has been manipulated electronically. The term "photo-illustration" is often used to describe such manipulation.

    What is manipulation? I define it as significantly going beyond routine enhancement in exposure, contrast, color balance, saturation, and sharpening, to electronically change the facts and alter the content of an image, thereby influencing meaning. I show my students examples of the difference between manipulation and routine enhancement. I don't expect them all to agree with me -- the definition is open to interpretation, as is the entire subject of editorial ethics, which this issue directly affects. For example, what about re-touching? Is it ethical to remove a telephone pole which is causing a distraction. Some would argue for it. Others would oppose it. Still others would say it depends upon the nature of the image, its purpose and context.

    On the other hand, I feel that that photographs intended as advertising, art, or any kind of personal expression are free to represent either fact or fiction. Electronic manipulation of images made for these purposes is acceptable, because editorial ethics do not apply to these uses. Viewers looking a such images do not have the same kind of expectations in mind that they would have if they were looking at editorial images.

    I hope this point might prove useful.
    Phil Douglis
    Director, The Douglis Visual Workshops
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  5. #30
    Freestyle Photographer Hodgy's Avatar
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    Take a look at Todd's site. Todd Johnson

    His work is just outstanding! I remember the first time I saw it I was totally blown away. Of course, these are not "out of camera", and it doesn't matter to me.

  6. #31
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pnd1
    As such, I suggest that anyone displaying or publishing an image in an editorial publication is ethically obligated to inform the viewer if the photograph has been manipulated electronically. The term "photo-illustration" is often used to describe such manipulation.
    Why is your line between photograph and photo-illustration arbitrarily drawn between chemical manipulation and electronic manipulation? Is it because of the particular technology era in time, the long tedious methods used in the past, perhaps "making do" rather than "making right"? These things are the reason that divisions seem so irrelevent to me.

    What is manipulation? I define it as significantly going beyond routine enhancement in exposure, contrast, color balance, saturation, and sharpening, to electronically change the facts and alter the content of an image, thereby influencing meaning.
    How about the photojournalist who waits for just the right scowl from some militant, or ignores a happy kid when trying to raise money for food and water projects? Let's make that politician look thoughtful, or angry, or mean, or beaming with Family Values. Maybe a street photographer who catches a high-quality moment in time rather than the day-to-day mundane expressions? Don't forget the insurance agent who chooses light that minimizes the look of a dent? We ALL change content. We ALL manipulate. We ALL go beyond the "routine." This is true regardless of the year and the type of the technology being used or the subject matter.

    There is no "base" that says "this is true" or "this is false." If I present a photograph, some will like it some will not. Why the need for labels and a mass of technical data? What is truly important here, the photograph or the particular steps and equipment used to get there?
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  7. #32
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    "meaning" can't be true or false, but "medium" must be.

    In thinking again about my Cartier-Bresson statement, I think I *would* feel cheated, but only if he maintained that he "captured the moment." That would be a lie. If, instead, his meaning was, "cool imagery", then I'd have no problem with it, and wouldn't feel cheated.

  8. #33
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
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    This question, and thread, is 100% subjective and psychological. People will do and prefer whatever supports their core beliefs. This thread is no different than a Mormon and a Lutheran arguing about who is righter and who has the more correct religion.

    Personally, I am a photoshop artist who uses a camera to get raw materials. I will edit, manipupate, compostive, stretch, layer, and deceive all day without saying a WORD about it. It's not a crime. It's not immoral. It's not unethical. It's my preferance and the way I choose to work.

    Film and Digital Photography are not the same to me, and shouldn't be compared. It's like comparing Nascar and Baja racers. Both have 4 wheels, steering wheels, motors, drivers, seats... on paper they look pretty similar.

    But their not. And neither is this. There are alot of good computers for writing novels, and also alot of good typewriters.
    A good craftsman never blames his tools.

  9. #34
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Dempsey
    This question, and thread, is 100% subjective and psychological.
    Exactly.


    Film and Digital Photography are not the same to me, and shouldn't be compared. It's like comparing Nascar and Baja racers. Both have 4 wheels, steering wheels, motors, drivers, seats... on paper they look pretty similar.

    But their not. And neither is this. .
    Nope. Both are photography, both are car racing. Equipment should not create a major distinction.
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  10. #35
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    But it's always a good one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Fanelli
    Oh no, here we are again! This is the same discussion that comes up all the time. Is "this" real photography? Is photography "art"?
    But it's always a good discussion - I think.

    For me, a former darkroom slave, Photoshop is a gift from the gods. It allows me to do the same stuff I used to do in the darkroom, only way better, and with less effort. Personally, I'm not interested in actually my "changing" photos with editing software. I only want the ability to get the absolute most out of my images so that I can best share my experience and vision. Sure, I could trick people with Photoshop. But that's not my intention. I only want to be able to squeeze every possible bit of information out of my image files and share with you what I saw and felt when I saw my subject.

    And just in case no one else has mentioned it - anyone who thinks Photoshop is cheating needs to step back and think about the whole photographic process. The moment you choose a film type or a lens, or even a camera angle, you've started to manipulate the way the viewer see things. There are no pure photos.
    Photo-John

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  11. #36
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellybean
    This is not a challenge, this is an absolutely sincere question that I'd really love to hear your responses to.

    First of all, a little background. I first got into photography 22 years ago, then over the years got away from it until just recently. So I'm something of a "novice" as to the state of Photography today. I am not, however, a novice when it comes to computer graphics. I've been using Photoshop for ten years now, in an educational, professional, and personal setting.

    I'm having a hard time, emotionally, accepting that it's OK to do extensive Photoshop editing and still call it "Photography." I don't know if I come from some really old-school thinking where I somehow think a shot should be great straight off the roll ... and such a thing is SO rare that anyone who can do such a thing somewhat consistently is automatically "great."

    I know I could do a lot more with my work if I took more of into PS, so please give me your arguments on why this is a good and OK thing to do.

    I come from a prepress background, so to me "Photoshop work" = "Manipulating for Advertising". I also see the value of it when creating Fine Art, where photography is the starting point, but I consider that the end result is no longer "photography", it's more in a "mixed media" category (photography + computer software).

    I'm more than willing and open (and eager!) to have my heart changed on this, so give me your best arguments!

    ~Kelly

    I'm OK with darkroom work, just not (extensive) computer work. I don't know why. Hmmmm...
    The last line in the original message says you are okay with darkroom work, but not extensive ps work. What about extensive darkroom work? As others have said, they used to do the same thing with film, using filters and the lab.

    Is it just the tool used that you disagree with? Or the extensive work in general? I'm just curious as to where you were originally going, as you later stated you thought there were two seperate things being discussed. I think most would agree that you want to get the best possible image from your camera, film or digital, to minimize the amount of post work you have to do.

    When I first got the 10d and was having some issues getting what I wanted straight from the camera, someone mentiond that the higher end digitals aren't built to give you a finished picture straight from the camera. The images came out a little softer, logic being that if you were spending that much money, you had some idea of what you were doing, and would want more control over the final image. Which is why they include ps in the box with the camera.

    adina
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  12. #37
    Freestyle Photographer Hodgy's Avatar
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    Adina, yup that's it. My 10D files are low contrast, on the softer side and that's what Iike, gives me more control of the final image.

    Here's one I just finished, when you have nothing but bright sunshine, turn them into the sun, and expose accordingly.

    All I did to this was adjust the contrast (levels) and applied a soft focus filter (my softar). That's it.




    Oh, and I burned down the sky a little bit. I had my flash on TTL and I had the camera 1 stop under ambient (this will darken the background)

  13. #38
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    More subjective blathering...

    For the record, I think that Hodgy's photography capture and PS work is exceptional. In fact, several days ago I checked out how "waayyy up North" he is (very) because I am in the market for a wedding photographer.

    I do not see a difference between using a chemical darkroom and Photoshop. My preference for how they are used is the same. Of course the end result is the goal. I simply feel that the process of "wait, see, compose" IS important. In fact, I think that it is a defining characteristic of photography. The vital elements of a photograph and the vision of the photographer should be there at the time the photo is taken. Taken to it's extreme, a photographic image can be constructed in a darkroom/computer of unrelated image elements and made into a beautiful, photorealistic image. I just think that it is a different, and equally valid, art form derivative of photography.

    If John Shaw, Ansel Adams, Hodgy, Photo John or any number of photographers who use the darkroom or computer for post processing were to present their images "out of camera (yes, I know that is processed as well...)", the pictures would not be as strong nor as close to their vision. But they would still be well composed, interesting images. That "base," that "captured moment" should remain the most important thing in a photograph. And I think it does for everyone here.

    Of course. I could be wrong about the whole thing... lol

  14. #39
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    adina, to answer your question, my first post was a not-well-thought-out emotional response to the confusion I was feeling at the time. As the responses poured in, I was able to clarify my feelings a bit more, and realized that what I'm responding to is the feeling of deception. (So much use of the word "response! Does this make me "responsible"? LOL)

    So, to answer your question, is it the tools or the extensive use of them that I object to? Honestly, I don't object to either one. In fact, I love a great image no matter how it was created. But to answer that question fairly, I have to go back to my illustration of Cartier-Bresson. Could he have manipulated his image in the darkroom to "create" the sliver of water between the foot and the shadow? If so, I would have been just fine with it, AS LONG AS he didn't try to represent it as "capturing the perfect moment". So the tools are fine, where they are used in an honest way. The tools are "too much" where they are used to deceive. What is "deception"? I'm going to stand by the commonly accepted definition of it. Manipulation is not deception, unless you try to say you didn't manipulate.

    I had a little problem at first with the label "Photography" being extensive enough to cover the whole process, but I've since changed my mind about that, and I'm fine with it.


    At this point I'm going to try to respectfully back out of this thread, because I'm realizing that I have nothing to argue. I'm learning a lot from you guys.

  15. #40
    Junior Member pnd1's Avatar
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    Good point, Kelly

    I agree with your comment about deception. In the comment I left earlier in this thread, I said that as teacher of photographic communication, I have always taken the side of the viewer in this issue. If either the camera or photoshop is intentionally used to deceive the viewer, I question the ethical basis of the picture.

    In his response to that comment, Mike Fanelli says, in essence, that photography by definition is a manipulative medium in that we can emphasize or de-emphasize content as we wish, and he is right. All photographers (and editors) express visual ideas through such emphasis or de-emphasis, either photographically or electronically.

    However I do not feel that it is ethical to intentionally deceive the viewer, when pictures are used for editorial purposes. And this can happen when we electronically change the facts of a photograph so that they significantly differ from the original image, without indicating such techniques were used in the caption or under the photo. And that's why I suggested that the phrase "photo-illustration" be used when electronically manipulated images are used in magazines and newspapers.

    Thanks, Kelly, for starting this thread. It is a topic that deserves continual scrutiny and debates such as this.
    Phil Douglis
    Director, The Douglis Visual Workshops
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  16. #41
    Freestyle Photographer Hodgy's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I will continue to deceive people on some of my images, haha, my brides don't mind.................neither does my bank account.

  17. #42
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodgy
    Well, I guess I will continue to deceive people on some of my images, haha, my brides don't mind.................neither does my bank account.
    I wish I could deceive like Hodgy.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  18. #43
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Cool Just a comment

    I've enjoyed reading the comments on this thread. I think when we have this type of discussion, we can glean much from the information presented. We also get to know each other a bit more.

    My reason for wanting better straight-out-of-the-camera images is simple. I spend a lot of time at my desk during the day. I have a growing dislike of sitting at a desk - and working on a computer. Not to mention it's the primary cause of back pain.

    Since I have little time to go out shooting, my fingers almost "itch" to hold that camera and push that shutter button. I love it! It is my hobby, my escape, and I look forward to every minute I can spend with my camera. Consequently, I don't enjoy spending time editing on PS. I do edit - but very little, just the basics. And I know some great photographers (you know them too) that post incredible photos with little editing.

    Actually I love Hodgy's photos. It's easy to recognize great artists. Their work moves the heart - regardless of how they achieved the results . I've seen quite a few photographic works of art around here. Some use PS extensively - others hardly use it.

    I NEED to enjoy photography. It's what I love. Working on the computer for me is just that - work. So, my choice is to get the best I can out of the camera. Hey - those "L" lenses have helped me quite a bit too.

    Liz

  19. #44
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    Photo or Illustration???

    What is this train? My personal view is it isn't a photo anymore. It's become an illustration. What about the B&W shot? Sure, I optimized this one in PS. But it still represents what I started with. For me, there IS a line between the two. Is the line black and white drawn in the sand? Surely not!!! But it's there nonetheless.

    I also want to point out that if your work is for a client, whatever they want is correct. The object here is to please them. If they want an illustration, then give it to them! They do pay your bills.

    Interestingly, I found a wierd paradox. Many studios give "magazine" workovers to people for portraits. The client takes them and are happy. The paradox is I've found (the good thing about not doing this full time) is if I show the client two photos. One like this B&W and the other a complete magazine workover, they ALWAYS choose the former!

    Food for thought...

    BTW, I'm not saying that one is better than the other.

    Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photography on steroids-illustration.jpg   Photography on steroids-abw.jpg  

  20. #45
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    But,,,

    No one would mistake your illustration example as a photograph. There is no need for a label!
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  21. #46
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    Sure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Fanelli
    No one would mistake your illustration example as a photograph. There is no need for a label!
    But somewhere between the two images it becomes grey. Where that point is is ill defined. And, probably for the better.

    Mike

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