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03/25/2009 07:31:33 AM · #1
I took a street candid the other day, it was facing into the sun and when I saw it on the computer I saw a couple of problems with it (lens flare, blown out areas etc) which I was about to automatically deal with in Photoshop, but then I stopped and looked at it for a while and realised that I really liked it the way it was, and these things which instantly struck me as flaws added realism and strength to the shot.

It set me thinking about all the technically perfect photos that we see all the time now from digital, did they have more character or a better feel to them before they were processed? Did the finished product lose the life of the original for the sake of being flawless?

I would love to see shots from other people that you liked but never used because they were flawed or "technically imperfect". Here's the one I'm talking about, I by no means claim it's a wonderful shot, but it really appealed to me. The only changes I made were a crop and moved the temperature to warm to get back the original colour as I remembered it (camera auto white balance tried to make it more blue):

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Post yours if you got em!
03/25/2009 07:35:24 AM · #2
Sometimes images are perfect in their imperfection.....I like that shot of yours!

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Sun flare seems to be a personal preference thing......Personally, I prefer it! LOL!!!


03/25/2009 07:51:44 AM · #3
Originally posted by NikonJeb:


Sun flare seems to be a personal preference thing......Personally, I prefer it! LOL!!!


I'm with you on the flare, often makes a shot for me!
03/25/2009 08:03:10 AM · #4
This was intentional, I love it, the voters thought it sucked.......

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Since I've been shooting more for myself, I'm pleasantly surprised at how scores aren't as relevant to me.....which is good since I've been REALLY bombing lately! LOL!!!

And ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' pointandshoot liked it, so the Hell with those other voters!
03/25/2009 09:26:33 AM · #5
Another sun flare here. I liked the way the big ball of sun looked and especially the way the building partially in front of the sun was outlined by the backlightng. The comments and votes tell me this was taken as a serious flaw.
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Message edited by author 2009-03-25 09:27:17.
03/25/2009 01:21:08 PM · #6
Oh good grief!

We search for perfection in our models ... smooth skin, no blemishes, silky hair.
We search for perfection in our landscapes ... no scruffy trees, no errant piece of litter.
We search for perfection in our lighting ... no hot spots, no dark holes.
We search for perfection in our lives ... no messy hang-ups, no wasted moments.
We search for perfection in our pictures ... nothing out of focus, no tilted horizons, no blown lights or darks, no ...

What possible good is a perfect photo of a boreing subject!?

What we ought to be searching for is subjects and situations that are intrinsically interesting, that tell a story, that carry an emotional payload. An imperfect picture that does this will transcend most photographic imperfections!

Damn, I wish I could do it more often.
03/25/2009 01:23:06 PM · #7
Love sun flare:

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03/25/2009 01:36:22 PM · #8
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

What possible good is a perfect photo of a boreing subject!?

It's good for a 4.82
03/25/2009 01:38:39 PM · #9
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

Oh good grief!

We search for perfection in our models ... smooth skin, no blemishes, silky hair.
We search for perfection in our landscapes ... no scruffy trees, no errant piece of litter.
We search for perfection in our lighting ... no hot spots, no dark holes.
We search for perfection in our lives ... no messy hang-ups, no wasted moments.
We search for perfection in our pictures ... nothing out of focus, no tilted horizons, no blown lights or darks, no ...

What possible good is a perfect photo of a boreing subject!?

What we ought to be searching for is subjects and situations that are intrinsically interesting, that tell a story, that carry an emotional payload. An imperfect picture that does this will transcend most photographic imperfections!

Damn, I wish I could do it more often.


Well, I think context is important. Sure, we tend to look for these things more in the sense of a DPC challenge. The problem lies in taking it outside of DPC and believing everything you photograph must fall within the confines of how a voter on DPC would consider your image.

If you are doing that for your everday shooting, then you're heading down an awfully unforgiving, frustrating and creatively stagnant path.
03/25/2009 01:41:00 PM · #10
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

Oh good grief!

We search for perfection in our models ... smooth skin, no blemishes, silky hair.
We search for perfection in our landscapes ... no scruffy trees, no errant piece of litter.
We search for perfection in our lighting ... no hot spots, no dark holes.
We search for perfection in our lives ... no messy hang-ups, no wasted moments.
We search for perfection in our pictures ... nothing out of focus, no tilted horizons, no blown lights or darks, no ...

What possible good is a perfect photo of a boreing subject!?

What we ought to be searching for is subjects and situations that are intrinsically interesting, that tell a story, that carry an emotional payload. An imperfect picture that does this will transcend most photographic imperfections!

Damn, I wish I could do it more often.


Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Well, I think context is important. Sure, we tend to look for these things more in the sense of a DPC challenge. The problem lies in taking it outside of DPC and believing everything you photograph must fall within the confines of how a voter on DPC would consider your image.

If you are doing that for your everday shooting, then you're heading down an awfully unforgiving, frustrating and creatively stagnant path.

I find it amusing how often images that get slammed here do very well in the "Real" world.
03/25/2009 01:43:36 PM · #11
Originally posted by NikonJeb:


I find it amusing how often images that get slammed here do very well in the "Real" world.


The opposite is also very true.
03/25/2009 01:47:51 PM · #12
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I find it amusing how often images that get slammed here do very well in the "Real" world.


Originally posted by K10DGuy:

The opposite is also very true.

You just aren't happy unless you take the opposite position, are ya?........8>)

You remind me of my wife....

"GAWD, you're argumantative, dear!"

"No I'm not!"

ROFL!!!!
03/25/2009 01:49:14 PM · #13
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I find it amusing how often images that get slammed here do very well in the "Real" world.


Originally posted by K10DGuy:

The opposite is also very true.

You just aren't happy unless you take the opposite position, are ya?........8>)

You remind me of my wife....

"GAWD, you're argumantative, dear!"

"No I'm not!"

ROFL!!!!


I'm not arguing. I'm agreeing with what you say wholeheartedly, and then adding that the opposite (that images that don't do very well in the "real" world can do very well here), is also true.

*EDIT* The key word being also. If I was taking the opposite position I would have said, "No, only the opposite is very true" ;)

Message edited by author 2009-03-25 13:51:18.
03/25/2009 02:02:51 PM · #14
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I find it amusing how often images that get slammed here do very well in the "Real" world.


Originally posted by K10DGuy:

The opposite is also very true.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

You just aren't happy unless you take the opposite position, are ya?........8>)

You remind me of my wife....

"GAWD, you're argumantative, dear!"

"No I'm not!"

ROFL!!!!


Originally posted by K10DGuy:

I'm not arguing. I'm agreeing with what you say wholeheartedly, and then adding that the opposite (that images that don't do very well in the "real" world can do very well here), is also true.

*EDIT* The key word being also. If I was taking the opposite position I would have said, "No, only the opposite is very true" ;)

Actually, I'm just kind of marveling 'cause it's always an effort for me to see the flip side of situations......sometimes the opposite simply doesn't occur to me.

I guess it's 'cause I'm basically clueless.
03/25/2009 02:05:47 PM · #15
technical perfection is overrated.
03/25/2009 02:21:54 PM · #16
One of my favorite things to do in photography is to take "mistake" photos and make them work in my advantage. It's tempting to delete ones that aren't technically perfect, but if you really stare at them for a while, you can really figure out how to make them bend to your will. As for lens flare, I'm one of those people who likes it (in the right circumstances).
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03/25/2009 02:23:34 PM · #17
Originally posted by Blue Moon:

One of my favorite things to do in photography is to take "mistake" photos and make them work in my advantage. It's tempting to delete ones that aren't technically perfect, but if you really stare at them for a while, you can really figure out how to make them bend to your will. As for lens flare, I'm one of those people who likes it (in the right circumstances).
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Only one of these photos has actual lens flare. DNMC!!! ;D
03/25/2009 02:30:50 PM · #18
Originally posted by Blue Moon:

One of my favorite things to do in photography is to take "mistake" photos and make them work in my advantage. It's tempting to delete ones that aren't technically perfect, but if you really stare at them for a while, you can really figure out how to make them bend to your will.

As you say ...
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03/25/2009 03:01:39 PM · #19
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This one actually finished I lot higher than I thought it would/did.

Message edited by author 2009-03-25 15:02:25.
03/25/2009 03:20:30 PM · #20
"I'm more interested in a photography that is 'unfinished' - a photography that is suggestive and can trigger a conversation or dialogue. There are pictures that are closed, finished, to which there is no way in." - Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Agency.

This is the reason that blur and lensbaby and other ambiguously rendered images appeal so strongly to some people. I think that ambiguity, incompleteness and technical imperfection is the bridge between the imaginations of the photographer and the viewer. If the photographer has deliberately not come all the way over, the viewer is obliged to take a few steps from the other side. Sometimes quite a few. So they meet somewhere out in the middle. Perfection from imperfection; that's the real magic of photography.
03/25/2009 03:56:46 PM · #21
"There are pictures that are closed, finished, to which there is no way in." This sums it up for me. If I walk into a house with no clutter - not a shred, not a hint - I immediately feel I don't belong. On a bad day I will wonder what is wrong with me.
03/25/2009 04:29:43 PM · #22
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Well, I think context is important. Sure, we tend to look for these things more in the sense of a DPC challenge. The problem lies in taking it outside of DPC and believing everything you photograph must fall within the confines of how a voter on DPC would consider your image.


Stop the presses! ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Dr.Confuser agrees with ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' K10DGuy :)

I agree context is important and so is the purpose of the photo. If I wanted an ad shot of an empty beach against a azure blue sky with a dead flat horizon ... say to drop some text on and composite a model in a designer bikini ... a perfect photo for this purpose and in this context ... would tank in most challenges here. And most ribbon winners would fail miserably in this context and for this purpose.

But if we are looking at a photograph as art, something to look at for its own sake, then that's different I think. I remain convinced an interesting subject helps. A photo that tells a story, or a picture with an emotional payload stands a better chance of being judged "good" than a photo without any of these characteristics.

So many of the photos that score low are okay technically but simply have boring subjects. And photogs ask why did my photo score low?

We could text this hypothesis with the drier lint conjecture ... take a photo of dryer lint and solicit direct, honest comments.
03/25/2009 04:38:57 PM · #23
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

We could text this hypothesis with the drier lint conjecture ... take a photo of dryer lint and solicit direct, honest comments.

You are really tempting me here. If I can find a rock song about drier lint, I'll have it nailed.
03/25/2009 06:50:21 PM · #24
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Well, I think context is important. Sure, we tend to look for these things more in the sense of a DPC challenge. The problem lies in taking it outside of DPC and believing everything you photograph must fall within the confines of how a voter on DPC would consider your image.


Stop the presses! ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Dr.Confuser agrees with ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' K10DGuy :)

I agree context is important and so is the purpose of the photo. If I wanted an ad shot of an empty beach against a azure blue sky with a dead flat horizon ... say to drop some text on and composite a model in a designer bikini ... a perfect photo for this purpose and in this context ... would tank in most challenges here. And most ribbon winners would fail miserably in this context and for this purpose.

But if we are looking at a photograph as art, something to look at for its own sake, then that's different I think. I remain convinced an interesting subject helps. A photo that tells a story, or a picture with an emotional payload stands a better chance of being judged "good" than a photo without any of these characteristics.

So many of the photos that score low are okay technically but simply have boring subjects. And photogs ask why did my photo score low?

We could text this hypothesis with the drier lint conjecture ... take a photo of dryer lint and solicit direct, honest comments.


I have a feeling that there are a small number of photographers here that COULD make a photo of drier lint incredibly interesting in a DPC context.

*EDIT* Also, I wasn't aware that we disagreed a lot?

Message edited by author 2009-03-25 18:50:45.
03/25/2009 08:24:37 PM · #25
Ah, technically imperfect. I've been called worse. Anyway, I think the really good photographers (my favorites anyway) have a combination of plenty of experience, a thorough understanding of their equipment, a certain amount of innate talent, an understanding and knowledge of light and color, and perhaps an ability to see 'two-dimensionally". They can be technically perfect if they want to be. (I have none of these traits, but that's OK with me.) With this, and an open mind, this group can consistently push the boundaries of our art beyond technically perfect images. It's no different than many other 'art' forms... William Faulkner's prose is technically imperfect and quite beautiful. I am assuming he had a good knowledge of the basics of composition, and a big helping of talent. How about Brett Favre? Technically imperfect mechanics as a NFL quarterback, but one of the best ever. No doubt he understands and practiced the basics at one time. Or Frank Lloyd Wright? Certainly a student of architecture and the designer/builder of masterpieces, but many of his roofs leaked. Colloquialisms can provide comfort and character but they are not a "technically" perfect use of the English language. When my kids use poor language, I correct them, and tell them when they have a very good understanding of our language they will then have the license to modify it for their purposes. So maybe breaking the rules is really what puts our soul into our work.

Now for me and my photography, I haven't put in the time over the years, I don't really know my equipment like I should, and I wouldn't call artistic expression one of my key traits. I chuckle when I think my fascination with pinholes, zone plates, lensbabies, fisheyes, Holgas and Polaroids are an easy way to cover up my lack of ability and experience. It probably is, but it sure is fun. And once in awhile I end up with a cool picture! I think my time here makes me better in other areas outside of photography.

So, I've started to ramble, but it seems to me that usually when I see an inspiring, technically imperfect image here, I can go back into that photographer's portfolio and quickly notice a great deal of talent and expertise.

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