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Author Topic: Is This What It's Come To?  (Read 10589 times)
stamper
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2011, 06:34:38 AM »
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In my camera club days some members would ask - if you had taken a good image - did you Photoshop it? They would be the ones who shot film. Generally their images weren't as good so instead of giving you credit for a good image they tried to demean you by stating it was Photo shopped. Imo it was a combination of jealousy and some ignorance. Jealous you had shot a good image and ignorant because they didn't have the ability to enhance an image so they tried to bring you down to their level. Sad
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2011, 07:45:42 AM »
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Although the image (i.e., end result) might be the same, it is the knowledge of the process involved that would make a difference. And to illustrate what i mean, I have to resort to a gross metaphor: it would be the same as the difference between a waiter spitting into your soup in the kitchen and doing it right in front of you. Wink In other words, knowing that a major manipulation took place would always make it worth less than the one with no manipulation.

It's interesting that you categorise HDR as a "major manipulation".  Why do you consider it as so?  What's wrong with using the available tools to create the best result possible?  Does that inherently make everything the 'straight from the camera' people produce better and more valuable?  

How does one determine the veracity of an image though?  Are images taken with 10 stop ND filters that show long, wispy, cotton candy-like clouds through captured movement accurate?  Can we actually see that with our eyes?  Are, for example, Marc Adamus' prints less worthy because he uses Photoshop extensively?  Are Tony Kuyper's images less worthy because of his terrific use of luminance masks?  

This is, for me anyway, a very interesting conversation.  I'm going to post an example and see where it goes.

This image was also taken in Bruce Pen NP on the same trek as the Grotto image.  I found the colour of the blue rock to be an interesting contrast to the others around it.  And yes, it is actually blue.  The first image is a JPEG of the original RAW file out of the camera.  The second is the image I ended up with.  I don't claim this as a terrific example of good photography.  It's more an exercise in trying to illustrate what's 'real' according to what the camera captures and what's 'real' according to our vision.  The original is blah and lacks any visual interest at all.  The camera simply didn't capture the colours well.  The sky was overcast but there was some strong directional light that the camera didn't pick up too well either.  I've spent a lot of time with this image over the years since I first took it and have finally come up with something that I'm fairly happy with.  It was more an effort at seeing what my processing skills were like than anything else but the final image with the sheen on the rocks and the enhanced colour and contrast is a 'better' image in my view.  Putting aside the quality of the photograph from a composition/artistic standpoint, does the final version really have less 'value' because I took some artistic license with the processing?  For what it's worth, none of the colour in this image was 'added'.  It all comes from working with ACR, Vibrance, H/S, Curves & Levels.  Which also is a good indicator of how much may be available in an image that the sensor captures but that doesn't show up in an untouched RAW file.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 08:50:16 AM by BobFisher » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2011, 09:08:23 AM »
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Vicious circle. The first shot looks real and the second does not. Actually, I think that the tonal delicacy of the first makes for a superior image.

Rob C
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2011, 09:37:06 AM »
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In my camera club days some members would ask - if you had taken a good image - did you Photoshop it? They would be the ones who shot film. Generally their images weren't as good so instead of giving you credit for a good image they tried to demean you by stating it was Photo shopped. Imo it was a combination of jealousy and some ignorance. Jealous you had shot a good image and ignorant because they didn't have the ability to enhance an image so they tried to bring you down to their level. Sad

Some are so afraid to even touch the curves tool for fear of people screaming PHOTOSHOP !!!!! These nincompoops would drop dead if they watched a film photographer dodge & burn, add grain or tone an image in the darkroom.
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2011, 09:38:55 AM »
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Wouldn't you agree though that two identical images depicting -- let's say -- the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, one entirely faked, and the other entirely real, would be treated as having different value?  And when I say "value" I don't mean just news value, or historical value, but also aesthetic value.  It is part of the aesthetic value of the work whether or not it depicts a true or false event. 

Apples and Oranges
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2011, 09:40:48 AM »
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These concerns shown in the photo business are bullshit drummed up to create false values where, frankly, few real ones have ever existed.

Rob C

Well said, Rob.  I'm compelled to draw similarities with the inkjet ink distributors, who derive usurious profits on a commodity familiar to art galleries touting "numbered editions".  Namely, artificial scarcity.

In my Photography classes, when confronted with anti-manipulation zealots, I ask them the following:  

My prospective landscape image has an annoying piece of dead branch in the foreground.  I can either walk over and move it, or I can clone it out in Photoshop.  Are you saying that it's okay to move it in the real world, but it's not okay to erase it later?

Manipulation begins as you lift the camera to your eye.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 09:47:02 AM by Peter McLennan » Logged
Joe Behar
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2011, 09:54:59 AM »
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In other words, knowing that a major manipulation took place would always make it worth less than the one with no manipulation.

Slobodan,

I ask this in the most sincere way....why?

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stamper
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« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2011, 10:19:24 AM »
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With respect to the two above images my take is that the first is flat and needs some contrast and saturation to make it interesting. The second has had that done to it but is overdone. If it was my image I would have added contrast and saturation to the blue stone as portrayed in the second image but the rest of the image would have contrast and saturation added, but more muted. As to the anti Photoshop crowd I now believe it isn't worth arguing with them. Simply state what you have done to the image that pleases YOU and leave them to accept it or not. Smiley Wink Grin
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2011, 10:28:24 AM »
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What's considered manipulation ? What's considered too much ? Who decides ? Ever see the true original half dome of Ansel Adams and the print he did later ?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 10:30:29 AM by PhillyPhotographer » Logged

PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2011, 05:22:23 PM »
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You can also add "what's reality?"

Here's a shot of the moon I took a few years ago



(note: other people have done it much better before)

The natural reaction is to think "fake!" - well, saturation has been increased, but it actually is a faithful representation of the geological structure of the moon.

What is reality? Is the moon a bright yellowish object? A patchwork of colors? A dark dull body that only seems bright in contrast?
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LKaven
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2011, 02:27:43 AM »
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Bob's example brings up an interesting issue -- the way things are in reality versus the way they look to us.

By supersampling the scene, Bob has been able to resolve the colors out to 32-bits in floating point space.  The camera is preserving and recording very fine gradations with high precision due to supersampling. 

But -- there are also cumulative effects that do not correspond to the effects of cumulative exposure with human vision. 

So -- on the one hand, you have a more accurate photographic record with HDR, but on the other hand, you have something that does not, phenomenologically speaking, "look" real.
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Rob C
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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2011, 03:43:28 AM »
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Moon. Try as I might, I still can't see the Hasselblad.

Rob C
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2011, 06:26:36 AM »
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Bob's example brings up an interesting issue -- the way things are in reality versus the way they look to us.

By supersampling the scene, Bob has been able to resolve the colors out to 32-bits in floating point space.  The camera is preserving and recording very fine gradations with high precision due to supersampling. 

But -- there are also cumulative effects that do not correspond to the effects of cumulative exposure with human vision. 

So -- on the one hand, you have a more accurate photographic record with HDR, but on the other hand, you have something that does not, phenomenologically speaking, "look" real.

Luke, are you speaking of the second set of images of the beach rocks?  If so, no HDR was used in the making of that image.
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LKaven
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2011, 11:36:05 AM »
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Luke, are you speaking of the second set of images of the beach rocks?  If so, no HDR was used in the making of that image.
My misteak.
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Rob C
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2011, 12:14:15 PM »
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My misteak.


Hate the sight of blood: have mine well done, please!

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2011, 04:05:48 PM »
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Slobodan,

I ask this in the most sincere way....why?

For the same reason a real Picasso is millions of times worth more than a fake Picasso (or any original vs. knock-off): rareness/scarcity/uniqueness. Econ 101.

A fake Picasso/Monet/Van Gogh/etc. might even look so the same that a good half of forgery experts would testify under oath that it is original. And as long as buyers believe it is original, they would pay millions for it (forgery). It is the KNOWLEDGE of the process involved (i.e., forgery) that makes the same painting go from millions to zero in an instant.

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Slobodan

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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2011, 06:48:17 PM »
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Not necessarily ;-) I just remenber I read this

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/fake-israeli-painting-fetches-twice-the-original-s-value-1.279208

There was also Van Meegeren, the uber-faker who surfed on is reputation to sell his wares, only to be imitated by others.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2011, 08:07:58 PM »
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Not necessarily...

Especially if you disregard the last paragraph in the linked article:

"...Tirosh gallery director Dov Hazan said artists who are disappointed with price estimates often declare that a painting is a fake. He said that while he did read out Yaskil's letter at the auction, experts in the audience remained convinced that the painting and signature were authentic. "No one would bother faking a painting estimated to be worth $800," Hazan said."
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Slobodan

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Joe Behar
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« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2011, 09:33:54 PM »
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For the same reason a real Picasso is millions of times worth more than a fake Picasso (or any original vs. knock-off): rareness/scarcity/uniqueness. Econ 101.

A fake Picasso/Monet/Van Gogh/etc. might even look so the same that a good half of forgery experts would testify under oath that it is original. And as long as buyers believe it is original, they would pay millions for it (forgery). It is the KNOWLEDGE of the process involved (i.e., forgery) that makes the same painting go from millions to zero in an instant.



Sorry, but I thought we were talking about manipulated photos, not fake reproductions of them. If the "original" photograph is heavily manipulated, i.e. that is the only version that is made public, then how could it be worth any less than an unmanipulated version?

No one is forging anything here.

Can you maybe give another reason?
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LKaven
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« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2011, 10:34:22 PM »
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Sorry, but I thought we were talking about manipulated photos, not fake reproductions of them. If the "original" photograph is heavily manipulated, i.e. that is the only version that is made public, then how could it be worth any less than an unmanipulated version?

No one is forging anything here.

Can you maybe give another reason?
In response to someone's assertion that only the image mattered, I countered with a gedankenexperiment involving two identical images, each having a different origin, to show that the etiology matters when it comes to value, even when everything else is the same. 
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