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Author Topic: Merely Pretty?  (Read 4781 times)
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2013, 06:03:13 PM »
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I may go bald scratching my head over Steve's weird idea that somehow we need to compare the D800 to a mythical 36 mpx camera that may appear in the future.  I never suggested that the D800 is better than something that may come along down the road, but Steve seems hung up on this mystery. Frankly, Steve, I don't understand what such a futile consideration has to do with respect to the picture I posted. By the way, I doubt there'll be another 36 mpx camera in the future. The next jump probably will be to 48 mpx, which will double the resolution of my 12 mpx D3. Oh, and your question: "Haven't most professional photographers post-processed their work throughout history. . ?" completely ignored the most influential photographer of the twentieth century: HCB, who, as I pointed out, didn't bother with post-processing. Yes, Ansel and Gene Smith were into post-processing in a big way. And, yes, most photographers did their own darkroom work. But most of them did their own darkroom work because there wasn't an alternative.


1.  Russ, it was you who wanted me to believe that somehow your 36mp DSLR enhanced detail all on it's own.  "Enhanced" for the sake of context was used to not insult or put down should plainly have meant any detail not normally expected of a 36mp DSLR such as you're see from Topaz or some such "enhancer," but through misunderstandings we seem to have taken it further for some reason.  So stop scratching your head bald and let's just agree the D800 produces detail we'd expect from ANY 36mp DSLR that happens to come down the pike (including the D800) which still doesn't explain the enhanced detail I mentioned.  You want to believe we've never been to Florida.. fine.  You want to believe I've never used a D800 or a lens that takes advantage of it.. fine.  But I have and so have others.  Far more believable was your final statement "and I have to confess that I might have grabbed the Nik output sharpener instead of the raw presharpener. If so it's not the first time I've done that. " A simple mistake.  Because I do not see the "enhanced" detail in the other conversions (or my own).. and again, it was slight.  No big deal.

2.  It will be interesting to see.  I think Nikon has "sold" the concept of a 36mp DSLR and I'd expect others to want a piece of that, and not risk going further.. or too much further.  We live in good times.

3.   No, it didn't ignore him.  But my response did point out that he was far from the norm.  Perhaps not the only one, but the  only one of note.  It appears even you post process.. so not sure where this is relevant anyway.

4.   I don't agree.  Clearly the others had alternatives as do you and I today.  He just didn't choose post-processing as his alternative.  Makes you wonder why eh?  Think he was lazy?  Maybe he wasn't good at it?  Sensitive to chemicals?   

Anyway, nice pic.. I liked it.  A bit "enhanced" looking to my eyes but enjoyable for sure.
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pegelli
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2013, 02:26:55 AM »
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Hi Pieter, I went back through the steps I took for the first post, and I have to confess that I might have grabbed the Nik output sharpener instead of the raw presharpener. If so it's not the first time I've done that. I still can't see that the thing is over-sharpened, though.
OK, that clears it up then, no big deal.
Sharpening is really a matter of taste and even influenced by viewing conditioned and medium, so in the end the photographer has the last word in that.
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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2013, 03:28:03 AM »
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LR/ACR has a default sharpening in place. It isn't really apparent when you open an image but if you add ANY sharpening along with contrast and clarity in the work flow then it can quickly become "over sharpened". Russ is correct when he states Save for Web makes an image look sharper when used. Save for Web has a preview in which an image can be viewed in internet explorer or Firefox - the main two browsers - so the whole work flow can be judged with regards to sharpening. If the D800 is as sharp as Russ suggest then on import an image can have no sharpening applied as part of a preset. In a nutshell the work flow can be wholly managed to somebodies taste but ultimately someone else will "suggest" an improvement? Smiley
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RSL
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« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2013, 10:20:27 AM »
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I went back to the original raw and made sure it wasn't sharpened when I brought it into Photoshop CS6. Stamper's right, of course, but I normally have the built-in capture sharpening in ACR turned off. In this case I checked to make sure it was off. In Photoshop I made sure I grabbed Nik's Sharpener Pro Raw Presharpener and accepted the defaults. Here's the result. I can't see much if any difference between this one and the first post, but maybe my eyes are just getting old.

One problem is that I normally sharpen for printing, so out of habit I go for the Nik Output sharpener. I probably did that this time.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 10:22:24 AM by RSL » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2013, 10:57:51 AM »
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3.   No, it didn't ignore him.  But my response did point out that he was far from the norm.  Perhaps not the only one, but the  only one of note.  It appears even you post process.. so not sure where this is relevant anyway.

4.   I don't agree.  Clearly the others had alternatives as do you and I today.  He just didn't choose post-processing as his alternative.  Makes you wonder why eh?  Think he was lazy?  Maybe he wasn't good at it?  Sensitive to chemicals?   

Steve, before I let this go I need to go back to your arguments about the need for a photographer to do his own post-processing and printing.

Cartier-Bresson wasn't "far from the norm." He was a photographer, not a printer. His art was in the picture, not the presentation. Besides that he was all over the world, all the time, and he couldn't very well carry a darkroom around with him. He knew that Magnum, and more specifically, Voja Mitrovic would produce prints he'd be happy to sign. The photographers who produced the incredible stuff in the FSA archive didn't do their own printing, though some of them, like Walker Evans processed film and made preliminary prints on the road in spite of Striker's admonitions against that. When you say that "the others had alternatives," you might want to be a bit more specific. A lot of them were poor enough that they couldn't afford to hire a lab to do the work, but the majority of the pros I've known farmed out their processing. If they were good, they had to; they were too busy shooting to do it.

There's a difference between a photographer and a guy with a camera who considers himself a "fine artist." The "fine artist" insists on doing his own printing and "editions" his prints to make them more precious by limiting them and numbering them as if they were etchings. It would be hard to find anything in the art world more asinine than that, but it's stuff like that that constitutes what's commonly known nowadays as "fine art photography." Rhine II and Cindy Sherman's "Untitled #96" are classic examples.

Yes, I post-process because it saves me time running back and forth to the nearest lab. But my printer won't make a print larger than 17 x 22 and if I need something larger it's off to the lab.
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Rob C
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« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2013, 01:46:45 PM »
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Photographers doing or not doing their own processing/printing.

The examples that Russ quotes are photo-journalistic sorts of snappers. Their remit and reality isnít the same as for general advertising, fashion, industrial or even high street lensmen.

All manner of restrictions can come in to play: in my inudustrial baptism, for example, high security wouldnít permit the farming out of most of the work, and on the very few occassions when some was, it had to go to labs with special security clearances. Fashion shooters used either to do their own or, if big enough, had their own in-house darkroom teams. Commerical guys were the same. Farming out work increases prices, reduces control over the quality of the final result and holds you captive to the Ďexternalí servicesí whims and priorities.

Fine art photographer. Whatís that? Is it a guy on his own, is it another chap with a team doing the production? I think the fine art photographer is a distraction because hardly anyone Iíve heard of can earn a living from selling gallery prints and nothing else.

The reality is that fine art, as a full-time genre or job, is much of an invention, and a relatively recent one at that. There were always the independently rich snappers; they donít really count in this general discussion because they inhabit another planet and are too few to count.

The big thing is this: in commercial photography, one doesnít usually think of oneís output as art: itís thought of as photography, either good, excellent or best not mentioned. Art as in photography is an artifice, a creation of the gallery world. That in no way knocks or belittles the very good commercial shooters of this world. Their talent is real, and they have an eye for their genre, and thatís about it, the rest coming down to the clients, projects and the budgets available. But art? I donít think they ever thought of what they did as art; only the hangers-on, their groupies, had those golden words to bandy about.

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 12:55:18 PM by Rob C » Logged

WalterEG
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« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2013, 01:51:41 PM »
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Amen to that Rob!!
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RSL
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« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2013, 02:14:19 PM »
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Rob's right. I forgot about the kind of work Rob used to do when I made that statement. But the local "pro" who does portraits, weddings, etc., more often than not farms out his processing. I had a retired friend here in Florida who was a pro in a city in Indiana for decades. Early on he established a processing business that before long took in work from professionals all over his part of the state. He sent his shoots to his own processing plant.

My hat's off to Rob and Walter. They and their cohorts were the real "fine art" photographers, though I'll bet they'll both roll on the floor laughing when they read that statement.
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amolitor
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« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2013, 03:13:00 PM »
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Art as in photography is an artifice, a creation of the gallery world.

I don't understand this, Rob, could you expand on it? It's possible I disagree with it, but I don't want to start arguing about what I imagine you meant, rather than what you actually meant.
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2013, 04:03:57 PM »
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I don't understand this, Rob, could you expand on it? It's possible I disagree with it, but I don't want to start arguing about what I imagine you meant, rather than what you actually meant.



The brief reply, which is all I have time to offer at this precise moment, is that art and photography have become terribly confused, the one with the other, and that many people become photographers because they can't be traditional artists such as painters, pencil-wielders or scuptors. They lack the skills. So, easy solution: buy a camera.

I became a photographer because of a heritage of gallery/museum visits prompted by my mother, one of the most cultured women I ever knew. I entertained fond ideas of being another Vincent, but realised that I wasn't going to be good enough; I also had a fascination with cameras from the age of about fourteen... it wasn't difficult to make the switch and I never really regretted not following through on a lesser (for me it would have been) trajectory in paint or pencil. I did what I enjoyed, seemed to have a knack for it, and people paid me to enjoy the life for a few golden decades. What more can you ask?

But did I think myself an artist? It never crossed my mind until after I retired, and then, from seeing the crap that was called photographic art, it seemed a new world had appeared from the blue, and that from my point of view, I was far better than most of the famous photographic 'artists' as indeed, were most of my contemporaries as well as several currently working professional photographer on LuLa who have never, as far as I can see, referred to themselves as artists.

That's all I can manage the noo!

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 03:15:36 AM by Rob C » Logged

amolitor
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« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2013, 04:23:30 PM »
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Aha! So it is Photography As Art-with-a-capital-A that you have difficulty with.

While I might disagree with you on THAT point, it's not worth it. Photography As Art is undeniably problematic in several different dimensions, and if one digs in to a disagreement on that point one usually finds that what one is really disagreeing about is the definition of the word Art-with-a-capital-A. I think we both have better things than argue the fine points of what some word means!

Thanks, Rob. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program of cropping Russ's photographs!
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2013, 02:17:07 AM »
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Steve, before I let this go I need to go back to your arguments about the need for a photographer to do his own post-processing and printing.

Cartier-Bresson wasn't "far from the norm." He was a photographer, not a printer. His art was in the picture, not the presentation. Besides that he was all over the world, all the time, and he couldn't very well carry a darkroom around with him. He knew that Magnum, and more specifically, Voja Mitrovic would produce prints he'd be happy to sign. The photographers who produced the incredible stuff in the FSA archive didn't do their own printing, though some of them, like Walker Evans processed film and made preliminary prints on the road in spite of Striker's admonitions against that. When you say that "the others had alternatives," you might want to be a bit more specific. A lot of them were poor enough that they couldn't afford to hire a lab to do the work, but the majority of the pros I've known farmed out their processing. If they were good, they had to; they were too busy shooting to do it.

There's a difference between a photographer and a guy with a camera who considers himself a "fine artist." The "fine artist" insists on doing his own printing and "editions" his prints to make them more precious by limiting them and numbering them as if they were etchings. It would be hard to find anything in the art world more asinine than that, but it's stuff like that that constitutes what's commonly known nowadays as "fine art photography." Rhine II and Cindy Sherman's "Untitled #96" are classic examples.

Yes, I post-process because it saves me time running back and forth to the nearest lab. But my printer won't make a print larger than 17 x 22 and if I need something larger it's off to the lab.

This is interesting material.   The economics of artists over the generations and how it influenced their processes.. as you describe this I can well picture these men.

Do you think post processing is as much about being a photographer as it used to be in generations past?   Most of us will often push our files during post, but I never stopped and thought much how it would change things if I was leaning on another professional to do these tasks for me.   Would my overall work suffer because I'd never be in sync to the same degree as I can be with myself?  Or maybe my work would get better having someone at a higher level push my work with their skills?   All interesting stuff to think about.
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Rob C
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« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2013, 03:06:08 AM »
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Aha! So it is Photography As Art-with-a-capital-A that you have difficulty with.

While I might disagree with you on THAT point, it's not worth it. Photography As Art is undeniably problematic in several different dimensions, and if one digs in to a disagreement on that point one usually finds that what one is really disagreeing about is the definition of the word Art-with-a-capital-A. I think we both have better things than argue the fine points of what some word means!

Thanks, Rob. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program of cropping Russ's photographs!



Please explain.

Rob C
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amolitor
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« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2013, 08:30:20 AM »
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Well, Russ is a fine fellow and a good photographer, but he never frames things quite right in camera Wink
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popnfresh
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« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2013, 10:56:32 AM »
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I tried, but I couldn't resist.
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2013, 11:24:20 AM »
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I'm glad you didn't resist and like the B&W.  However, thought Russ may have been overly inclusive of the continually interesting scene, he was more or less right about the center.  So I cropped your crop to recenter it.

Bruce
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RSL
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« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2013, 12:28:41 PM »
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Pop and Bruce, I like the B&Ws, mainly because the light was so good. But seems to me that much as I love B&W this is a scene that cries out for color. (If you put your ear close to your monitor you can hear it.)
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Rob C
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« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2013, 01:00:04 PM »
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Pop and Bruce, I like the B&Ws, mainly because the light was so good. But seems to me that much as I love B&W this is a scene that cries out for color. (If you put your ear close to your monitor you can hear it.)



Absolutely; that's how you can tell a truly calibrated unit.

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2013, 05:15:35 PM »
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Just to correct an important point in this thread: Russ's original photo is, in fact enhanced.
My Canon 5D II has only 21 megapixels and his Nikon D800 has 36, so any image coming from it is inevitably enhanced by about 15 MP over what I can get.  Roll Eyes
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