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View Poll Results: This picture...
Is a keeper 11 73.33%
Isn't a keeper 2 13.33%
Isn't a picture because it's a photoshop. 2 13.33%
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Old February 1st, 2005, 01:05 PM
leptokurtotic's Avatar
leptokurtotic leptokurtotic is offline
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Birdhouse Door

This is a composite. The image size may be inconvenient, but I wanted to make sure that it was big enough for the curious to have a slightly closer look.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:09 PM
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that's pretty cool.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Pretty neat.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Nice job
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:23 PM
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leptokurtotic leptokurtotic is offline
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Thank you very much to everyone for their approving comments. I should add this to my signature, but criticism of any photo I post in any forum is always welcome, should you feel like offering some.

That said: somebody almost immediately voted for the "that's not a picture it's a photoshop" option.

I think that this is an understandable claim, but that it is ultimately misguided. Because photography is an image making technology, all images primarily created using a camera should be considered pictures just as much as images processed using Photoshop. Here are some arguments in support of my view.

1. There are no pictures that “depict reality.” Cameras are devices that take advantage of physics to create a two dimensional image on film. In so doing, all cameras distort the image in several ways. Lenses create distortion in the light that passes into the camera and onto the film—except for people with serious vision problems—“depth of field” is an unrealistic element that our lenses introduce into photographs and not a feature of real life vision. Films must be designed, and the design of the film causes it to react to light in different ways. Further, cameras cannot relate everything that is visible to the photographer at the time that the picture is taken. Further, there is no objective reason to follow any specific post-processing routine for a particular photo. A few seconds more of exposure under the enlarger changes the visible information in a photograph, but we must make subjective decisions about how much is the right amount in order to print any photographs.

2. In addition to this, our subjects are often not “real” in important ways. Macro photographs which show magnification far above what the human eye can see are physical manipulations of light to create a particular effect. Photographs of models often employ elaborate lighting, and sometimes makeup. If we manipulate a subject before we take a photograph, we rightly still consider it a picture and not an “art image of a manipulated object,” or whatever.

3. It is difficult to manipulate an image in Photoshop in a way that could not be replicated in a darkroom lab. This is a great democratization of the process of making images, in the sense that manipulations that required years of work and buying equipment can now be made by anyone willing to spend an hour learning to use Photoshop. The misuse of these manipulations, or the use of them to create poor compositions, is a separate issue from the question of whether we should consider images made in this way to be pictures just like any other.

These are technical arguments, but there are also practical and subjective arguments in support of treating Photoshop manipulated images the same as camera taken images.

4. It is impractical to identify images with minor modifications.

5. Anyone who has tried to take pictures above the level of snapshot level understands that creativity in framing and composition are what makes photographs something other than documentary records. If images made with cameras are art in any way, it is because of the imagination of the photographer. If the imagination of the photographer puts (for example) a Kestrel in front of leaves of grass rather than a white wall, then that is a more appropriate image to present to the viewer.

6. Appeal to Authority: The American Museum of Photography seems to consider Scott Mutter a “photographer,” yet his images are universally heavily manipulated. For several examples please see http://<a href="http://www.photograp...llery.html</a>.

7. Appeal to Common Practice: The images that we view every day—from billboards to television advertisements to basically everything on the internet— are often manipulated. Portraits by professional photographers have been manipulated in astonishing ways for a long time. Even to the limited extent that it is possible to create an un-manipulated image, it is exceedingly rare to ever see such an image.

8. Appeal to Artistic training: It is more difficult to learn the technical aspects of photography necessary to make images look like you want them to “out of the camera” than it is to learn to take pictures that can be made acceptable with minor modifications. The world has likely lost many photographers of great artistic skill to the vagaries of understanding the image making process and its subtle details. If the interests of young artists can be maintained because people are willing to look at the (manipulated) product of their artistic vision rather than at the failures caused by their unfamiliarity with the equipment, less young photographers are likely to be discouraged.

9. Recognizing manipulated images doesn’t mean devaluing the skills that obviate many manipulations. Even a person who chooses to manipulate photos quickly comes to appreciate the value of sharp, well framed, well exposed initial images.

That turned into a bit of an essay. Any mod that wants to put it in another forum or something is more than welcome to. Anyone else who has read this far should know that I'm not mad at people who think differently than me-- I just think that the arguments against their position are more persuasive than the arguments for it. I'm sure that they are lovely people, though.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:24 PM
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very cool birdhouse.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:32 PM
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leptokurtotic leptokurtotic is offline
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Then again, I guess that I posted the voting option...
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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Hehe... yeah, with the option of a "photoshoped" picture..., I'm pulled to select that option, mostly because it's obviously photoshoped...
  #9    Top
Old February 1st, 2005, 06:31 PM
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leptokurtotic leptokurtotic is offline
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Quote:
with the option of a "photoshoped" picture..., I'm pulled to select that option
You just did that to pull my chain, didn't you ?
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Old February 1st, 2005, 06:42 PM
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