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In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
#3009170 09/23/19 11:40 AM
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In the last few months I've been reading articles and watching dozens of videos online about photography. Obviously I've learned a lot, but a couple interviews surprised me a bit.

One apparently famous photographer said he never crops his images... and was rather adamant about it. That seemed a bit pompous, as if anyone who does crop is beneath contempt.

Another photographer had posted a few images online--one in particular of a bird in flight. My first impression of the picture was that it was over-sharpened. Apparently others had the same reaction, but when asked, he said "That was just the lighting, I never sharpen,"

Well OK then. freak

But don't look down your nose at the rest of us. Photography is art. That RAW image is just the beginning... I prefer moving on to infinite possibilities.



When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3009392 09/24/19 01:43 PM
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I firmly believe anyone can live by their own rules in art. But don't try to tell me mine is inferior or even wrong because I don't subscribe to the same rules you do.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3009523 09/25/19 01:57 AM
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Ansel Adams would spend as much as eight hours developing a single photo.

If Ansel Adams spends as much time as eight hours developing a single photo, I'm pretty sure that a little cropping, color adjustment, and sharpening of a RAW image is good enough for us.

Oh, and by the way, if you shoot JPG from a camera? Guess what? The camera has already adjusted everything and made decisions about the processing for you.

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3009586 09/25/19 01:39 PM
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For me, there's the serious question if it is cool to "draw" in what is passed off as a digital photograph.

The idea that creating a digital picture allows every fidelity to nature to be defied sounds appealing to some, but there's something to be said about the transparency of the pipeline from lens and sensor to the pixels on your computer monitor.

So usually, I only use what can be considered automated transforms with little knowledge about shape and recognition of picture content, and, in that line, no drawing at all!

T

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3010072 09/27/19 11:36 PM
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If someone is drawing, that is digital art, and is veering away from a photograph. Which is fine. There's some stunning digital art.

If someone is editing (cropping, sharpening, applying noise reduction, dodging and burning, color correcting, and for the purposes of night photography, 'stacking' and such), then that is still a photograph, in my opinion.

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3010230 09/29/19 12:16 PM
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A photograph is not our eyes & brain. Often, the idea is to capture what you saw, and a photograph is an imperfect representation of that. Sometimes, we go, "cool," because it gives it a different look than what we saw. Others, we have to tweak it to show you what we saw, or what we think we saw. This can be as simple as a crop, because we were looking at one part of the object or view, but the photo captured other parts. It's how our brains work. We have this big field of vision, but we might be focused on the bird on the branch. We probably want the photo of the bird to be focused on it, not the branch, the tree, nor the clouds behind it. But a camera and photo is dumb and it can't tell that. We might be able to capture the image of just the bird in camera, but we might not. So to say that I'm wrong because I couldn't capture that image of just the bird in camera negates the whole goal of the exercise.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3010528 10/01/19 04:43 PM
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Having grown up with Kodachrome and Fuji slide film, the ability to crop and (more frequently) level the horizon with digital photos was a huge bonus. I used to pick up a box of slides from processing and I'd be horrified if I found the one spectacular shot I was looking forward to the most was slightly crooked.

One workaround in those days was to carefully slice open the cardboard slide mount, adjust the film inside of it and then re-tape the mount closed.

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3010858 10/03/19 12:07 PM
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The computer age has made it so easy for any amateur to modify and alter photos - good and bad - problem is that you can't trust what's real or fake -
that old saying "believe none of what you hear, half of what you see" doesn't fit the present time.

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
skypuppy123 #3011042 10/04/19 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Verelst
For me, there's the serious question if it is cool to "draw" in what is passed off as a digital photograph.

The idea that creating a digital picture allows every fidelity to nature to be defied sounds appealing to some, but there's something to be said about the transparency of the pipeline from lens and sensor to the pixels on your computer monitor.

So usually, I only use what can be considered automated transforms with little knowledge about shape and recognition of picture content, and, in that line, no drawing at all!

T


Originally Posted by skypuppy123
The computer age has made it so easy for any amateur to modify and alter photos - good and bad - problem is that you can't trust what's real or fake -
that old saying "believe none of what you hear, half of what you see" doesn't fit the present time.


I will attempt to address both of these.

First, the word "photography". Photo in Greek means Light. Graphy in Greek translates to writing. So "Writing with Light" is what we are doing. Over time, some have taken a very narrow view of what photography is or can be, that is fine for defining their own work but has no other purpose.

I once saw a gallery showing of the work of George Hurrell, the famous Hollywood portraitist. You have all seen his work, it's beautiful stuff. Some of you have tried to use his lighting techniques and have been horrified at the results, it brings out the shadows of every line, wrinkle or blemish in the face. Mr. Hurrell made his portraits on an 8x10 camera using black and white film. The best shot from the sitting was selected and given to a touch-up artist. They "drew" away imperfections. A print was made, more touch-up work to remove anything that was missed on the negative. Then that print was photographed, this is the negative that was used for the final prints.

And this was happening in the 1930's and 40's. There are earlier examples but none more famous.

We must also consider the work of other artists, Man Ray and Jerry Uelsman come to mind. There is an ethical standard that is supposed to be upheld by photojournalists (although there have been famous violations) but no such standard exists for photography as an Art.

Do what speaks to you, love your way of working. Quibbling about others doing otherwise may set you apart but it will not increase your status in a positive manner.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3011141 10/05/19 03:55 PM
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There is a perception among many - including many photographers - that post-processing photos began in earnest with Photoshop.

However:
-Ansel Adams used to spend as much as eight hours processing a photo. Yes. One single photo. For eight hours. That's a LOT of post-processing.
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it” - Ansel Adams

“Electronic photography will soon be superior to anything we have now. The first advance will be the exploration of existing negatives. I believe the electronic processes will enhance them. I could get superior prints from my negatives using electronics. Then the time will come when you will be able to make the entire photograph electronically. With the extremely high resolution and the enormous control you can get from electronics, the results will be fantastic. I wish I were young again!” - Ansel Adams

“For me the future of the image is going to be in electronic form.You will see perfectly beautiful images on an electronic screen. And I’d say that would be very handsome. They would be almost as close as the best reproductions.” - Ansel Adams

" The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance." - Ansel Adams


-The first HDR (high dynamic range) photo was created in the 1850s. That's not a typo. The 1850s. French photographer Gustav Le Greay combined one negative for the water and one negative for the sky so he could have considerably greater dynamic range:
[Linked Image from kenleephotography.files.wordpress.com]


-People have been editing out wrinkles
-Photo manipulation, including composites, were done in the late 1800s. This is one such example, done in 1858 by Henry Peach Robinson:
[Linked Image from kenleephotography.files.wordpress.com]

Composites were relatively common in many photos, including this political satire photo shown below:
[Linked Image from blog.hhcolorlab.com]

-Retouching of photos, such as George Hurrell’s image of actress Joan Crawford shot in 1931, were also popular:
[Linked Image from kenleephotography.files.wordpress.com]

- Dennis Stock‘s portrait of James Dean in the streets of New York, shown here with detailed instructions for someone to post-process the image, something that was commonplace in the 1950s:
[Linked Image from kenleephotography.files.wordpress.com]

Please bear this in mind. Photography is not realism. It's never been about realism. Maybe photojournalism is as close as we can get from a still image. Maybe. We don't perceive things as being frozen in time. Nor do we perceive things as black and white typically. In fact, in the case of Gustav Le Grey's HDR photo from the 1850s, that level of post-processing makes it appear more like how it appears to us.

RAW digital files are much like film negatives. And I believe I've shown you how much film negatives can be processed in post. And these aren't even extreme examples, just simply early and common ones.

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3011269 10/06/19 09:03 PM
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Ken is on a roll here

Re: In Some Circles, Editing Is A Sin
Synthoid #3011294 10/07/19 12:46 AM
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I find it fascinating to read about what people did, and the clever ways they got around issues. Much like today. People are quite inventive with their photos. Love it!

Many photographers, in fact, feel that we are in a golden age of photography, and I'd have to agree.


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