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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> An unpopular topic. . .
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09/11/2003 12:35:08 AM · #1
There is all this talk on here about the difference in cameras, and how the better camera owners take better pictures, blah, blah, blah. However, I find that the main thing I notice here and on other photo sites is that the better "photographers" are the ones that have the best grip on PhotoShop (or other like programs)and can manipulate there pictures better (not talking about the challenge photos) In the case of Bob Whitman from his gallery at Photo.Net, his pictures are awesome but are also highly manipulated. So my question is where does the line end or begin with calling yourself a photographer and your pictures photos? I know that some people did a lot of manipulating in the darkrooms but not to the extent of what you can do in PhotoShop. I used to have a hard time with manipulating photos and my thought was that there should have been two categories for photography. Manipulated and non manipulated and the twain should never meet. However, lately I don't know if I still believe that or not. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this?
09/11/2003 12:40:10 AM · #2
Originally posted by sonnyh:

Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this?


Everyone out there has some thoughts on this.
09/11/2003 12:44:13 AM · #3
Originally posted by sonnyh:

There is all this talk on here about the difference in cameras, and how the better camera owners take better pictures, blah, blah, blah. However, I find that the main thing I notice here and on other photo sites is that the better "photographers" are the ones that have the best grip on PhotoShop (or other like programs)and can manipulate there pictures better (not talking about the challenge photos) I know that some people did a lot of manipulating in the darkrooms but not to the extent of what you can do in PhotoShop. I used to have a hard time with manipulating photos and my thought was that there should have been two categories for photography. Manipulated and non manipulated and the twain should never meet. However, lately I don't know if I still believe that or not. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this?


Photoshop seems to be the great equalizer. If one doesn't have the greatest camera with the best lens he/she can still produce a good shot.

Sometime overdoing the PS makes the photo look bad. Sometimes a shot who do a lot better with PS. When you go through the photos in the challenges, isn't there a picture you wished that they would have PS'd a little.

Message edited by author 2003-09-11 00:46:18.
09/11/2003 12:46:03 AM · #4
IMO, it's really the final product that matters. The manipulation process that went behind a picture that *moved* me doesn't even count.
09/11/2003 01:03:21 AM · #5
But how can you say you don't care about the manipulation of a picture that moved you if you are looking at it from a photography standpoint. A perfect example is the picture of day from 9/11 on here with the flag draped around the tongue. Now obviously that has been manipulated so you are looking at an image that is not real (in a sense). You might love the final picture but is it photography? Maybe we should call people who do manipulation like that, picturers instead of photographers.
09/11/2003 01:08:34 AM · #6
Or pixelographer? I like to use that word, when shooting digital
and photoshop experts could be Manipulographers, or digilographers. (C:
09/11/2003 01:10:51 AM · #7
imo - i don't mind photoshop (i wish i had it as a matter of fact) adjusting levels (brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.) is cool.

But anything obviously manipulated (multiple image layers, etc.) isn't photography to me. It may be an art form, just not photography imo.

Photography is about capturing an image on location - not creating an alternate one that never existed imo. I guess that's why i like the rules here so much...

that's my two cents...that and a dollar will get you a 1/4 of a latte ;)
09/11/2003 01:21:52 AM · #8
I'm inclined to feel more like you.
09/11/2003 01:26:06 AM · #9
Originally posted by sonnyh:

I'm inclined to feel more like you.


I also feel the same, but what about these by glimpses

Siccity Nr.1

Siccity Nr.2

Siccity Nr.3

Siccity Nr.4

See thread for the rest of the discussion . Photoshop can do what your camera can't.

Message edited by author 2003-09-11 03:44:29.
09/11/2003 01:37:08 AM · #10


09/11/2003 01:44:50 AM · #11
Originally posted by sonnyh:

But how can you say you don't care about the manipulation of a picture that moved you if you are looking at it from a photography standpoint. A perfect example is the picture of day from 9/11 on here with the flag draped around the tongue. Now obviously that has been manipulated so you are looking at an image that is not real (in a sense). You might love the final picture but is it photography? Maybe we should call people who do manipulation like that, picturers instead of photographers.


I don't really try to over-analyze how a picture came to being, unless I want to study the technique and apply it to my own projects. Art appreciation should be uncomplicated, IMO.
09/11/2003 02:58:47 AM · #12
I generally draw the line between photo manipulation and photo enhancement when it comes to the addition or subtraction of pixels. If you are only adjusting color and light values and only remove insignificant elements such as unwanted debree or noise then I consider that as only an enhancement. Of course colors can be changed drastically to take the enhancement into a manipulation but generally I think if you are simply making those adjustments in order to create an interpretation of a scene then it is still a photo in my book. On the other hand if you are adding or subtracting major elements in the scene or distorting the placement of pixels then that is photo manipulation. There are gray areas of course and I think those images should be left to the photographer to label based on their intent. To me, other than curiosity, it only really matters when it applies to photojournalism, in which case not a single pixel should be moved relative to any other pixels. Only levels and color corrections. This would allow for some minor pincushion or barrel distortion corrections.

T
09/11/2003 03:38:22 AM · #13
Originally posted by xhoss:

Photography is about capturing an image on location - not creating an alternate one that never existed imo. I guess that's why i like the rules here so much...

No captured image ever "existed" in its own right, be it digital or on film. An "image" results from the interaction of light with a physical device that we call camera and that - somehow - records some effects of light. From that light to your entry on DPC there is a lot of processing involved. A lot of post-processing happens in your camera already (yes, even in raw mode). The beauty of digital photography is that you have unprecedented flexibility at the end of the processing chain. The interesting thing about digital photography is that it blurs the boundaries between "photography" (whatever it means) and other kinds of artistic expression. Blurring boundaries has always been valuable, in art as well as in other fields. Whether you like to explore such boundaries or not, it's just a matter of personal choice. Don't let a narrow definition of "what photography is" impair your creative capabilities. Undisputed masters of "photography" didn't let this happen. :)
09/11/2003 03:45:38 AM · #14
are you saying that a picture of a....lets say a bridge "never existed"??? I'd argue that it does. I say photoshop the hell out of it - change the exposure, whatever your hearts content with....

BUT, when someone inserts an object into the frame of the bridge...or even deletes something (other than a hot pixel, glare reflection, or something else minor) - that never existed in real life with the bridge...i'd argue that its no longer a true photographic capture.

I never said that it wasnt art...in fact i called it art...just not true photography. Photos capture - drastic post processing creates another art form.
09/11/2003 03:53:54 AM · #15
Originally posted by sonnyh:

But how can you say you don't care about the manipulation of a picture that moved you if you are looking at it from a photography standpoint. A perfect example is the picture of day from 9/11 on here with the flag draped around the tongue. Now obviously that has been manipulated so you are looking at an image that is not real (in a sense). You might love the final picture but is it photography? Maybe we should call people who do manipulation like that, picturers instead of photographers.


Here's the thread and the picture.

Message edited by author 2003-09-11 03:54:34.
09/11/2003 04:06:08 AM · #16
thanks faidoi - i couldn't have picked a better example for my previous post...that's AWESOME art...but it just can't be considered a photograph anymore imo being as doctored as it is...very cool....
09/11/2003 04:18:51 AM · #17
Originally posted by xhoss:

I never said that it wasnt art...in fact i called it art...just not true photography. Photos capture - drastic post processing creates another art form.

I'm just saying that you shouldn't worry too much about what "true" photography is,
because it won't help you taking better pictures, imho. And no, I wasn't questioning the reality of the bridge. You said "Photography is about capturing an image on location - not creating an alternate one that never existed imo.". I question the "reality" of the image as such. An "image" is _always_ a processed representation of "reality", by definition (that's what the word "image" means, etymologically coming from the latin for "copy, imitation"). You're not capturing "reality", never. So you shouldn't worry too much about taking "true" photographs. I'm just pushing this for fun... I do understand your point of view of course. I just like not to feel limited by a definition.

09/11/2003 04:30:29 AM · #18
And I quote:
"Photography is about capturing an image on location - not creating an alternate one that never existed imo. I guess that's why i like the rules here so much... "

So by your theory, a photo taken with a 2 second shutter speed, making cars produce lights isn't real photography? After all it's not how the human eye saw it?

The whole point of a manual camera is to make it more flexible in the creative way.

My camera has sharpening modes, noise reduction modes, colour balance modes and so forth. In years to come, digicams will have more and more options and effects. I bet my bottom dollar that some tacky filters will be included in the not-too-distant-future. So will this then be calssed as a true photograph in your mind.

I am guessing that you are quite old (please no offence intended), to me, photoshop is a post processing tool. One that is used by every photjournalist out there.

If your under the illusion that photojournalists don't modify there images a lot, your sadly mistaken.

I suggest you buy the book "Under Exposed" which is pretty expensive, but it shows how photoshop has been used in some powerful images.

For example. there was a shot recently of a dead american soldier being dragged through the mud by his killers, and in 90% of british tabloids and broadsheets, he was covered up via photoshop.

In the original image, his testicles were hanging out as he was being dragged. But the pres thinks this is one step to far (how they can think that when they are showing a muredered soldier I don;t know - another topic all together)

The same goes for removing cigarettes from police officers hands, removing the hollywood start's friends from a picture...it happens a lot and you just have to live with it.

If you want to be a true photographer, get a 35mm $10 camera, that doesn't (and can't) change the image in anyway. The you will take 'true' photographs. Mind you, hold it steady, or esle it will blur - and then it won't be a true photograph ;)

Photography is about capturing - creating & producing something creative, photoshop only helps that process. To me, it's just an add-on, like a maco lense, or a filter.

Sorry, to get my high horse, but I hear so many people say "if you chnaged it in photoshop, your a pc geek not a photographer" Stupidity.

"Photos can lie, and liars use photos"texttext

Message edited by author 2003-09-11 04:33:35.
09/11/2003 04:32:31 AM · #19
Originally posted by ccjp:

[quote=xhoss]You're not capturing "reality", never.


we agree to disagree on this one i guess.

faidoi's link of the "flag tongue"...the facial picture by itself was definately a reality...but the post processing made it "not real".

you can take a metaphysical approach to anything if you want and question the existance of everything and anything...but what is real and what is not real, or what is tangible and what is not arguments aside...in practical everyday living we humans classify, and generalize things - just makes it easier for our small grey matter upstairs.

And i would never worry about "true" photography in taking pictures...but i definately worry about it "in the lab".
09/11/2003 04:37:24 AM · #20
jon i don't think that you read my post correctly....if I'm not mistaken I said "photoshop the hell out of it"

I was only talking about the layering aspect of post processing - adding or removing images. yes, i know its a reality...one that i deal with everyday!

as a matter of fact i'm probably quite young compared to everyone else here...I'll just say less than 30...

you took me the way wrong way...


09/11/2003 04:38:08 AM · #21
Black & white photographs, not real.


09/11/2003 04:40:02 AM · #22
again, you didn't understand my point...please read my posts again - i talked about post processing being okay, levels, colors, etc.
09/11/2003 04:47:00 AM · #23
Originally posted by xhoss:

that's AWESOME art...but it just can't be considered a photograph anymore imo being as doctored as it is...very cool....


No, all I am saying is that you actually can't tell on some photographs, whether they have been doctored or not.

So you have to say that every picture in the press is, not considered a photograph in your book, becasue someone or something has been cut-out, or moved.

If you label like this, you will be wrong on 50% of all images you see.

Another exaple is car shots in magazines, a few of them are not even real cars, they are rendered in 3D software to save on costs. You just can't tell when it's done well.

I understand your point, I really do. But I think people just have to get used to the sad fact that these days, be it watching a film, reading the news, or looking at photographs, you can't tell what is real and what isn't. And thus, the labeling aspect is thrown out of the window.

I think a photograph, by definition has to have been taken by a camera. Regardless of what has been removed, added, changed. In essance is has elements lof photography, and more often than not, the 'true' photographic elements outweigh the photoshoped elements.

Hey photoshop elements, may be onto something here;)


09/11/2003 04:53:38 AM · #24
my whole point got started with:

"But anything obviously manipulated (multiple image layers, etc.) isn't photography to me. It may be an art form, just not photography imo."

the key word being obviously. i.e.: //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=34586




09/11/2003 04:54:20 AM · #25
some examples: //commfaculty.fullerton.edu/lester/writings/faking.html


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