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Author Topic: Landscapes and color  (Read 25551 times)
Ray
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« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2003, 10:34:52 PM »
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I tend to agree, unless you're into surrealistic stuff. I use the 'levels' control a lot, rather than auto levels or auto contrast. The contrast slide control can too easily blow out highlights. Nevertheless, Photoshop can help to overcome the dynamic range deficiencies that are a limitation of virtually all still cameras. Blending images of two different exposures of the same scene (using layers) can really enhance the final result. I don't know how you'd do that in the wet darkroom.

There are lots of features in Photoshop that take time to learn and my problem is, I prefer to spend that time using techniques I'm already familiar with to churn out prints. Perhaps I should spend more time with my nose buried in those heavy tomes ranging from Photoshop 4 to 6 which are sitting on my bookshelf for reference rather than continuous study.
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Jhaelen
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« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2003, 01:06:57 PM »
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Being a large format photographer myself I am quite aware of Adams' views and methods and I am in agreement with your views as stated in your last post.

As stated before I scan and use digital post-processing for most of my work and love it.

It would probably be safe to say the potential of image processing in today's digital world far exceeds the capability of the traditional darkroom. It requires less expense, less training, and less time.

I was, and am, simply attempting to spark a discussion on the positive and negative aspects of digital manipulation considering the fact that a photographer has far more power to alter his or her own images.

Is the art of photography (landscape in particular) now only limited to the imagination of the artist? At what point does it become unacceptable to alter an image considering the limitations of the traditional darkroom? At some point would Adams have added a waterfall simply because he could have?

Please do not misconstrue my intent. I am not attempting to ruffle feathers. I would truly like to know what if any limitations people place upon themselves, if any, with regard to landscape photography and photo manipulation with tools available today. I am curious to know how my views compare with others.

Daniel
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Jhaelen
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« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2003, 10:05:05 AM »
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This has been a very interesting thread!

Some of the discussion suggests that all photographs need at least some post-processing. While I think for the most part improvements can always be made to a photograph this is not always the case.

When I began shooting 4x5 I was not able to shoot as much film as I might have liked due to cost. I developed habits at that time that still influence me today. I tend to pass up many shots that are mediocre and those shots I do take I make every possible effort to expose and compose correctly. Those that did not turn out as expected were culled.

Today I tend to keep more knowing I can do some adjustments myself. I tend to be very critical of my own work and do not generally keep mediocre originals but I certainly have become more liberal with regard to keepers.

In printing many of these need no adjustment in the printing process. This is subjective of course and someone else might not exactly like my original in terms of composition, exposure, or tonality but they do adhere to my personal tastes.

I will also stress I do not consider myself a professional although I have sold quite a bit of work at the request of people who have seen some of my prints. It is not my main income though. For me landscape photography is as much about being there as taking the photograph. I care about the places I visit and I think this improves my photography to a great degree.

Daniel
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sergio
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« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2003, 06:39:11 PM »
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Reality is more surprising than fiction, without a doubt.
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Ray
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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2003, 10:30:44 PM »
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Interesting description, Ray. For me though, if photography just recreated what exists, frankly that would be quite dull. Imagine if poetry wasn't needed, because it was easy to describe (in 20 words or less) love, hate, fear, desire, etc.
Dansroka,
When you press the shutter, you can do no other than record what exists. It may not exactly correspond with what the eye sees. The deficiencies of the camera in all it's aspects will be imposed upon the image - blown highlights, dark shadows, slightly unnatural colors, distorted perspective depending upon the focal length of the lens, and perhaps the biggest of all distortions, the conversion of 3 dimensionality to 2 dimensionality.

I'm not sure if you're saying that all your photos are essentially quite dull because they record only what exists and that in order to make them interesting you have to manipulate them in Photoshop and mold them according to a pre-conceived idea. I've read comments that that's what Ansel Adams did. He was a master of post processing - dodging and burning etc.

I should also mention that many poems consist of less than 20 words - Japanese haiku, for example - although I admit I'm being a bit pedantic here and it has nothing much to do with my argument.

I'm intrigued about your concept of emotional accuracy. It seems almost an oxymoron. The word 'accuracy' belongs in the technical domain, does it not? Emotions can vary with almost the rapidity of a camera's TTL light meter. They may be accurate for the moment but change significantly over periods of time. A photograph, on the other hand, if it's been well preserved, will retain its qualities consistently and true until the second law of thermodynamics has its way. Your opinion of those qualities, and your emotional response to those qualities, may change over quite short periods of time, but the 'real' qualities of the photo (whatever they are) remain fixed. That's their attraction. Same with paintings.
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Ray
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« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2003, 08:08:13 AM »
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Well, we're not getting a flood of responses to the latest postings on this topic. A pity! Just as the conversation was turning interesting. Maybe everyone's at the pub. You're right, Dansroka, it's a conversation for the pub where the beer helps fire the synapses.

Thinking about your concept of high and low cognitive processes, that wasn't quite what I had in mind. So many of our bodily functions are taken care of by the brain stem - or whatever - the beating of the heart, the breathing of the lungs, the eyesight and so on. What I was trying to get at, is the very selective role that consciousness plays in excluding or including information that the eye actually sees.

I'm reminded of a story I heard recently on a radio program where the topic was 'the nature of consciousness'. I can't vouch for the veracity of the story, but it rings true to me. Apparently, a group of uni students were shown a video of a basket ball game. One team was dressed in white. The other team in black. Half of the the students were given the task of counting the number of times the black players passed the ball to each other, and the other half was given the task of counting the number of times the white players passed the ball to each other.

About half way through the video, approximately one half of the audience burst into laughter. Why only half? What had happened?

Well, at some point a person dressed up as a black gorilla had briefly appeared, for two or three seconds, pranced around and pulled faces at the audience.

This event must have been seen by all. It wasn't a wide screen video with all the black players on one side and the white players on the other. The players were intermingled on a 4:3 format. Yet that half of the audience which had been given the task of 'concentrating' on the white players, had missed the joke. The 'eye' must have seen the black gorilla, but the brain didn't register it. Not important, I guess.

I would say that this sort of thing is happening all the time, in different circumstances and to different degrees.

Another example which really intrigues me, is the assertion by some Ancient Greek scholars that the ancient Greeks were not aware that the sky is blue. How do they know? Well, of course they don't know for sure. But it seems that in all of the extant ancient Greek literature, there is no mention of a blue sky and no depiction in their art of a blue sky. One can draw only two conclusions. Either they were aware the sky is blue, but considered it irrelevant, or their consciousness simply didn't register the fact.

To get back to earth, Jonathan's point about perspecive and vantage point should not be ignored. He's absolutely right. The great thing about landscape photography is that, no matter how many times a location has been photographed, there's virtually an infinite number of permutations of lighting effects, sky effects, weather effects, season effects, vantage point effects and lens effects. Have I missed any? Yes. A shot with a 15mm lens would be different to 3 or 4 shots with a 50mm lens stitched together. The creative potential is enormous.
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