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08/27/2010 03:17:46 PM · #1
Good Reading
08/27/2010 03:25:25 PM · #2
Completely agree with him.

'When I critique photos for competition, Iíll often receive entries from photographers who will include a long, passionate statement declaring ďNo Photoshop or digital manipulation of any kind was done to this photograph.Ē

I donít care.

I really donít. At the end of the day, all I want to do is look at great photographs.'

Totally. Reminds me of the endless babble on this site about minimal editing and how it is 'purer' than using photoshop etc. The dreaded 'It's a photography contest not a photoshop contest.' comments which drive me nuts.

Message edited by author 2010-08-27 15:25:53.
08/27/2010 03:26:48 PM · #3
Bravo!

When I critique photos for competition, Iíll often receive entries from photographers who will include a long, passionate statement declaring ďNo Photoshop or digital manipulation of any kind was done to this photograph.Ē

I donít care.

I really donít. At the end of the day, all I want to do is look at great photographs. This isnít a contest to see who can make it the hardest to get a great shot. The result is what matters. I donít really care if you use Photoshop or iPhoto or Aperture or Lightroom or none of the above or all of the above. I donít care if you used or did not use filters, actions or special effects. I donít care if you shot digital or film or if you manipulated the image. I donít care if you used HDR or tonemapping or didnít. Unless youíre a photo journalist and Iím looking at your images in the ďNew York Times,Ē I donít care if you posed people, cloned out distractions, changed colors or anything else."


and

When I sell my photographs as illustrations or art, no buyer has ever asked me what the process was. No art buyer has ever asked ďWhat f-stop did you use,Ē or ďIs that the high-pass filter sharpening trick?Ē All they care about is filling a hole in their art budget. The pictures will live on long past me and you. The stories of which software program I did or didnít use or which technique I did or didnít use will not.

If you want to really advance your photographic skills, donít get caught up in Mac v. PC, or Nikon v. Canon, or posed weddings versus non-posed weddings or any of this other garbage. Donít get caught up in workflow or process as if that will somehow make you a great photographer. Just go out and get caught up in enjoying great images.


So refreshing!

R.

ETA:

I see Clive and I zeroed in on the same thing :-) That's good, he's one of my heroes.

Message edited by author 2010-08-27 15:27:56.
08/27/2010 03:34:39 PM · #4
Originally posted by clive_patric_nolan:


I donít care.


Pretty much sums it up for me too.
08/27/2010 03:44:20 PM · #5
Originally posted by clive_patric_nolan:

Completely agree with him.

'When I critique photos for competition, Iíll often receive entries from photographers who will include a long, passionate statement declaring ďNo Photoshop or digital manipulation of any kind was done to this photograph.Ē

I donít care.

I really donít. At the end of the day, all I want to do is look at great photographs.'

Totally. Reminds me of the endless babble on this site about minimal editing and how it is 'purer' than using photoshop etc. The dreaded 'It's a photography contest not a photoshop contest.' comments which drive me nuts.


THANK YOU!!!!!
08/27/2010 03:47:15 PM · #6
+1

I've had images that took a ton of work do poorly and others that were easy edits kick butt. I've also had the opposite. The end result is what people are evaluating.
08/27/2010 03:47:23 PM · #7
Now I feel so much better ... ;-)

Before: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_905699.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_905699.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' After: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_878837.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_878837.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
08/27/2010 03:48:19 PM · #8
Ditto.

When I see an image accompanied by the proud statement - straight out of the camera - I think, why? Why would you not process this photo and create an image? There's no pride in displaying raw material.

I might as well wrap myself in a swath of fabric and declare "straight from the bolt!". Or squirt paint onto a canvas and go with "straight from the tube!". When I cater, I can serve a whole vegetable, complete with dirt and pronounce "straight from the ground!".

As a photographer, I'm a creator of images. That involves a creatively processing the photo I took. And by the way, this goes for both film and digital photography.
08/27/2010 03:48:22 PM · #9
Cant argue with that rant. Great post.
08/27/2010 03:50:50 PM · #10
Hmmm... My work would probably not be as impressive if people thought I photoshopped my Godzilla photos. Plus there would b no element of danger, no risk of being fried by his beam of radioactive fire breath.
08/27/2010 05:07:35 PM · #11
"200 years from now when everyone reading this is dead and gone, the hope is that the images will live on. There will be no correlation between the process and the image at that time since the tools, techniques and construct of future photography will have no resemblance whatsoever to what we do today. Only the images themselves will live on. If they are made with an open heart and tell a true story in an organic fashion and they are made by passionate photographers who practice and care about their craft, and if these images connect with the viewer, or cause an emotional reaction or cause the viewer to stop, look, think or react Ė only then will the images matter. Whether or not they were made using this process or that technique will not matter. It wonít even make sense."

I liked this part especially, & agree with the whole thing.
08/27/2010 05:12:12 PM · #12
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Hmmm... My work would probably not be as impressive if people thought I photoshopped my Godzilla photos. Plus there would b no element of danger, no risk of being fried by his beam of radioactive fire breath.


nonono!!! Say it ain't so, Art! You really didn't Photoshop them, did you?!

My world is crashing down around me.
08/27/2010 05:27:47 PM · #13
So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?

Or does it just apply to post-processing "stuff."
08/27/2010 05:31:14 PM · #14
I used to belong to a large-format photography group years ago. Whenever any of us showed a print to the group, the FIRST question was always "Where was that taken?" I had a close up abstract of tree bark once--"where is that?" like it mattered! Like they would go find that exact tree themselves to shoot it? Within the first 5 questions was "what lens" and "what paper is that printed on".

While I think it is completely natural for any of us, as photographers, to be interested in the hows of the image (it is our habit to look at an image for the techniques, to learn from images we admire), I think it is CRUCIAL to remember our target audience: if we only shoot for other photographers to see, then the techniques will be of interest to our audience. However, images that sing, that engage, that reach viewers in general will do so without any reference to the technique, the difficulty...

And sometimes that "how I got the shot" story ruins the experience. A friend of mine presented a stunningly, staggeringly beautiful b/w print of dunes at White Sands. It was an image to linger over. Then he told the group how he had hiked in tremendous heat, carrying all the large-format gear, drank all his water, and stopped to throw up on his way back to the car..... That image became known as "Vomit Dunes" and I could never again experience the original wonder of it.

When we analyze our own images, it is hard to separate ourselves from how hard we worked, or how excited we were to use a new lens, apply a newly learned technique, etc. But our viewers will not care, and should not need to care in order to appreciate the image.

So I, too, really despise the "straight from camera, = 'true photography' " conversations.

When talking with other photographers, I do tend to discuss technique, of course. We, as photographers, are thirsty for new knowledge to add tools to our toolboxes. When talking with non-photographers, I never speak of technique. "This shot has great bokeh cuz I used my 85mm 1.4" will do nothing to help them appreciate the image, and will distract them instead.

For me, the photographic process is, and always has been, independent of camera type, process, wet darkroom or photoshop trivialities.

For me, the Photographic Process Starts With The Image Landing On The Photographer's Retina, Taking Form In The Photographer's Mind, and Ends With A Final Image Landing On A Viewer's Retina, Taking Form In The Viewer's Mind.

How the photographer gets to the end state, an image for viewers to receive and interpret, is just process, and drawing arbitrary boundaries within it to proclaim "real photography" is just silly semantics that neither change the overall process, nor improve upon it. Film vs digital, straight from camera jpeg vs pc editing, contact print vs enlargement, pinhole vs polaroid, all of it is just choices made to achieve the end state the way the photographer envisions it. They are tools, methods.
08/27/2010 06:12:40 PM · #15
Interesting Slide Show here.
08/27/2010 06:24:38 PM · #16
Yay to this thread. I totally agree that it is the final product that counts. It sort of reminds me of a time when I did a pastel/pencil drawing of my neighbour's dog, then felt obliged to 'admit' to her that I photographed him first, rather than have him 'sit' for me. She said 'I don't care how you did it, I love it.' 15+ years on she still has it on her wall.
08/27/2010 06:31:30 PM · #17
Originally posted by karmat:

So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?

Or does it just apply to post-processing "stuff."


Very good point!
08/27/2010 08:55:03 PM · #18
Personally, I don't get involved in heavy processing of my photos, and honestly wouldn't have time to do it.
I put information with my images here for two reasons. One is to help those who are learning photography to have the shutter, aperture, and iso info if they want it.
I put the focal length info with a lot of them so that I can remember what lens I was using to get the shot. I shoot with manual lenses most of the time so that info is not in the exif.

If an image I have shot makes someone happy, or if someone enjoys thinking about it for a moment, or a day, then I have shared that moment and my take on it. Some images look like crap, but have that magic that makes them an experience to view. It does not matter to me how the image was captured or processed, or how much time, money, and effort went into getting it.
Sometimes though, I do appreciate knowing what was going on when the image was shot, or how it developed in the mind of the photographer before it was shot. I also like seeing the location info in some of the landscape photos because I like to travel, and would like to go to some of the places that I see in the images here.
In other words, I like to allow the image to speak the emotional connection to me, however, I sometimes like for the utilitarian aspect of the photographers comments to be available.
08/27/2010 09:01:40 PM · #19
Originally posted by karmat:

So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?

Or does it just apply to post-processing "stuff."


Not to me.
08/27/2010 09:15:56 PM · #20
I totally agree with the original poster but allow me to play devil's advocate for a second. Remember folks...I am still on your side when I am done this post! =)

There are digital artists who are capable of creating photo-realistic images in Photoshop that look like photographs. Every single pixel was created on the computer and nothing comes from a camera at all.
for example: //www.bertmonroy.com/fineart/text/fineart_damen.htm

Now Bert Monroy doesn't try to pass his stuff as photography but what if he did? What if he digitally manipulated a punch of pixels to create an image and claimed it was a photo? now harm in that is there? I mean he got a pretty picture and who cares how he did it.

And another notion:
If I take a picture of a guy and place him digitally in another scene and make him look buff and straighten his teeth and clone out those god awful socks he was wearing with his sandals and heck why not put in a nice looking model for extra eye candy since he doesn't have girlfriend (you can't tell but he doesn't even have a nice personality). There's no harm in any of that is there? I mean I got a pretty picture out of it didn't I?

now back to your regularly scheduled programming....

eta: Didn't see this on his home page but its an interesting quote under the context of this thread

As a photo-realist painter, I have often been asked why I donít just take a photograph. Good question, when you consider my paintings look like photographs. Well, for one thing, Iím not a photographer. To me, it is not the destination that is importantóit is the journey.
The incredible challenge of recreating reality is my motivation. óBert Monroy


Message edited by author 2010-08-27 21:18:53.
08/27/2010 10:37:04 PM · #21
great post! great article! thx for sharing!
08/28/2010 12:05:36 AM · #22
Originally posted by karmat:

So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?


Thank you. It matters to me. I do care.
08/28/2010 12:10:34 AM · #23
Originally posted by bvy:

Originally posted by karmat:

So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?


Thank you. It matters to me. I do care.


I think it is a separate concept: in the article, he even addresses the issue of intent--if the intent is to appear as though a situation is real/accurate/documentary, then the choices matter. Cloning out the zoo fence to make it seem as if it was taken in the wild, etc. was not under the umbrella of "I don't care". The context of the article is different than a discussion of deliberately fooling the viewer.

So, to your point, I do care about that. But I don't care otherwise.
08/28/2010 02:16:00 AM · #24
Originally posted by bvy:

Originally posted by karmat:

So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?


Thank you. It matters to me. I do care.


It mattered in this situation:
Wildlife Photo of the Year Stripped of Prize

I still think that it shouldnt matter how the photo was post processed, whether it was film or digital, lit with natural light or artificial etc. etc.

But I also dont think that a photographer should falsely mislead their audience. I think it would be unethical to try an sell a photo of a zoo animal, but say it was wild. Or to say a photo is straight out of the camera after having spent 5 hours photoshopping it.

Message edited by author 2010-08-28 02:19:06.
08/28/2010 09:15:51 AM · #25
Originally posted by VitaminB:

Originally posted by bvy:

Originally posted by karmat:

So, I read the OP and the responses and I wonder -- So, if the final image is all that really matters, does it matter if the wild animal picture is truly in the wild or a nature preserve or if the awe-inspiring "candid" was really posed?


Thank you. It matters to me. I do care.


It mattered in this situation:
Wildlife Photo of the Year Stripped of Prize

I still think that it shouldnt matter how the photo was post processed, whether it was film or digital, lit with natural light or artificial etc. etc.

But I also dont think that a photographer should falsely mislead their audience. I think it would be unethical to try an sell a photo of a zoo animal, but say it was wild. Or to say a photo is straight out of the camera after having spent 5 hours photoshopping it.


Apples & oranges. If you're entering a "contest" you need to follow the rules of the contest. Period. If you're making art for art's sake (or taking pictures for a calendar for that matter), then all that matters is what your final image looks like.
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