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  #11    Top
Old December 7th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Sivaram Velauthapillai Sivaram Velauthapillai is offline
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(None of what I say is an attack on you Marsha. I'm not dissing you for the work you have done. I appreciate you trying to tinker with the image and make it look good. It's just that you have touched an interesting topic in my eyes)

Quote:
Originally Posted by marsha
i suppose so, but then with some portraits, i've had to do headswaps to get everyone in the picture looking good. I think it's worth it to get a good image, doesn't matter how you get it... the end result is what matters.
Like most things in life I guess this can be simplified into idealism vs pragmatism

If you are a pragmatist, the end result is what you would care most about. Whatever means to achieve that would seem best...

If you are an idealist, the principles and philosophies that you follow matter more than the result. Sacrificing principles to achieve results would be undesirable...

Assuming that one DOES seperate real images from edited ones*, then if you were some sort of an idealist then you likely would not be in favour of editing out unwanted objects. If you were more pragmatic, you wouldn't care about deleting stuff from images since you care about the end results more (after all, a good pic is worth something while a useless one is worth nothing).

I don't know where others stand but airbrushing things out is not something that I am in favour of. I imagine most graphic designers would be in favour of it while most photographers won't, with amateurs and others probably on both sides and in between.


(* if you treat edited ones as real then this argument is meaningless. This argument is only meaningful if real images and edited ones are treated as seperate (i.e. edited ones are not real))
  #12    Top
Old December 7th, 2004, 10:59 PM
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Kara Kara is offline
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then you have to take into account trying to make nothing into something when it comes to photographs also. I mean, taking an image that is crap, and trying to post edit it into something.


(Not saying that your photographs are crap in any case, just trying to be objective to such a debate.)
  #13    Top
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:30 PM
tom foley tom foley is offline
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Hi

I'm with you, Sivaram.

What follows is some stuff I wrote a couple of months ago when the topic was photoshopped to death, or not. To me, it's really a linguistic concern. What do we properly name things is the issue to me. Anyhow, here's what I wrote:

"The authority of photography--it's one superiority over all other visual arts--was that it was objective and in some sense, true. Painting, drawing, sculpture, all lacked that authority. Those renderings were mediated by the artist.

Think of the photograph as a legal document. Years ago, most juries would, by and large, take photograph as objective fact. Today, with the ubiquity of digital manipulation, I believe most juries would question whether or not the photo was manipulated. The objective authority of photography, with the advent of digital manipulation, has all but vanished.

Eventhough one of the first things I learned on becoming a photographer back in the sixties was that photos could be retouched, in truth, very few of them were. Most people looked at photographs back then as literal, and that was their strength. Those of us practicing the craft knew that there was a tremendous amount of art involved. We knew that you could photograph a rock from a dozen different angles and in a dozen different lights, and come up with multiples of very different looking rocks. But in some final sense, they were if not true, if not objective, they were accurate.

Now, as for me, admittedly an old timer: my personal rule is that I will do nothing with digital manipulation that I would not or could not do in the darkroom. And this is PHOTOGRAPHY in it's classic form. Over a century and a half, the general public has generally realized that darkroom manipulation was part of the photographic process, and accepted and understood that it was part of the process. But digital manipulation is too big a break to be considered part of that same process.

Digital manipulation have taken us too far away from "PHOTOGRAPHY in it's classic form," to still be called "photography" of any sort.

I feel that those who digitally produce images that are far removed from "PHOTOGRAPHY" in it's classic form," should find another name for their end product, like maybe, "electronic imaging:" somthing dull like that. They shouldn't be allowed--there ought to be a law, dammit--to co-opt the lore, the meaning, and the one-hundred and fifty years of history, to empower their feeble art. I feel that it is destructive to the traditional strength of photography, to name images that are altered far beyond what traditional photography could possibly do, "photography." It should be called something else. To continue to call it "photography" is to steal from photography: to co-opt the authority of photography, while destroying that very same authority.

Dammit. These stiched and altered and combined images are not photographs. Those who practice this should find their own names and invent their own language. Go ahead and do it. But don't call them photographs."
Tom
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  #14    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 01:09 AM
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darwin darwin is offline
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i have to agree with tom...i learned with film..in the darkroom...my love of photography came from capturing moments.
and if i wanted to "create" an image i did it in front of the camera..and only tweaked it in the darkroom.
i think i prefer to photograph life...and life is not perfect..so why should our images of it be?
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  #15    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 01:30 AM
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kixphotography kixphotography is offline
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very nice first shots. you have an eye for what you know looks good and you try to capture it.

i don't like the fix on the full size tree though...i prefer the original. as far as the street lamp i feel a different angle or position of the pole would've proved a better shot. the composistion is a bit off there.
i can't say much for the subway shot.
the first shot of the sunset could've either used a tighter zoom or perhaps a different composure. looks as if there's too much top sky in there.
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  #16    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 01:41 AM
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kixphotography kixphotography is offline
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man tom....very well said. that's great! furthermore, i agree fully. until about 3 mos ago i could not even get myself to look at an image that came out of PS for this simple reason. it simply was not photography. i often was the same about digital images b/c most of them went straight to PS. here i was shooting film and simply processing getting fine images. ones i could be proud of and relate to. here's the other guy snapping away at whatever on digi, going home and fixing it up into whatever they want. i have sense change my perceptions of digital slrs and will be in the market for one in the future perhaps. they do have their benefits for sure. i feel digital photography is probably the biggest change to ever hit photography historically. however, your article is very well written and totally agreeable with.
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  #17    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 03:54 AM
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marsha marsha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom foley







Digital manipulation have taken us too far away from "PHOTOGRAPHY in it's classic form," to still be called "photography" of any sort.

I feel that those who digitally produce images that are far removed from "PHOTOGRAPHY" in it's classic form," should find another name for their end product, like maybe, "electronic imaging:" somthing dull like that. They shouldn't be allowed--there ought to be a law, dammit--to co-opt the lore, the meaning, and the one-hundred and fifty years of history, to empower their feeble art. I feel that it is destructive to the traditional strength of photography, to name images that are altered far beyond what traditional photography could possibly do, "photography." It should be called something else. To continue to call it "photography" is to steal from photography: to co-opt the authority of photography, while destroying that very same authority.

Dammit. These stiched and altered and combined images are not photographs. Those who practice this should find their own names and invent their own language. Go ahead and do it. But don't call them photographs."
Tom
well, i'm sorry that you feel that way, and i do understand to some degree, but just because some people are editing photos doesn't make it less of a picture, and doesn't change the history of photography! I think that is a very narrowminded comment from someone who doesn't want to move into the future. That's like saying, i'm going to drive a horse and buggy forever because automobiles arn't really naturally occuring therefore are not a true means of transportation!

Besides which, even to do minor or major editing, you still have a photography to start with! So where do you draw the line? You can do contrast adjustments, maybe a few blemish removals, but don't dare fix the red eye because that's not how the image was recorded???

I've done editing for 2 years on professional portraits, and though i'm not in favour (believe it or not) of over editing when it's not neccesary, there are times when the customer is so happy that they have a finished picture that has everyone looking good, because the only shot of little johnny that worked was put onto the shot where everyone else worked too. The finished product made the customer happy, and it's for the memory, not the history of photography and legality that they come to me!

If you ask me, i'm surprised that you even use the internet because really it's just an illusion of light, and i would think you would like to print on paper with a typewriter much more... (not trying to be rude, just getting my point across)
  #18    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 04:12 AM
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Kara Kara is offline
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Sounds a little rude to me, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I dont yet see anyone forcing their opinion on others.

You both have valid points. Keep doing what your doing.
  #19    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 04:18 AM
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marsha marsha is offline
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Kara, Sorry if it came off that way, i wasn't trying to offend anyone. But i think we have to be open minded in the fact that photography is a form of art, and it's all in the eye of the beholder. The thing is, in this capitolist's market, whatever makes someone happy will sell. There will always be both sides! And i have a great respect for people who can pull off amazing images with no PS at all! That is awesome. I don't alter all of my images either... i prefer to do as little as possible while still trying to acheive my original goal. Mostly i do a bit of lightening or whatever, but when i'm asked to, and paid to do altering, why would i say no? Digital alteration takes a talent all on it's own, and though my mouse may be my tool, it still works.
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  #20    Top
Old December 8th, 2004, 04:31 AM
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yonnermark yonnermark is offline
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Quote:
I'm not really a fan of removing "things" to make the pic look better (unless it is with an artistic goal)
Isn't it mostly with an artistic goal? (such as with the image in question in this thread).

Tom, the chief video forensic expert in a case I was involved with (I filmed an assualt with me video camera) could not promise the court that my footage was unaltered even though it clearly wasn't. The simply fact that it was digital and not film meant that the footage had a lot less authority than it would otherwise have had.

I guess that's a side issue though
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