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Author Topic: Over saturated images in photography magazines  (Read 4491 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« on: May 19, 2013, 04:53:40 AM »
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We went to the 'Big City' yesterday, a 170 mile round trip from our little island to the proper shops in Inverness, but anyway I soon ended up wandering around on my own, as the better half wanted to go into M&S to spend an hour or so feeling clothes but not actually buying anything (it must be a women thing). I then wandered into a large magazine and book store to look if there were any mags worth buying these days and picked up a magazine with the screaming front cover headlines, saying something like - How to make your Photographs look REAL!

What a novel and interesting idea from a glossy news stand magazine I thought. So I flicked through the pages of the mag to see what they were suggesting and quickly found the section where they were indeed advocating, that because there are so many photo editing tools available to us today, that over saturated and overworked images have now become the norm, and how if only we could hold back on the sliders a little, how it would make our images look more 'real'. Fair enough I thought Im fully with you on this one and I entirely agree, so please tell me more!

But then I started to look at the images they were using as examples of what this understated perfection and new found 'realism' could look like, and every single one of the images they had used, were totally overworked and over saturated eye candy. In the foreground there were things like cyan/blue rocks alongside canary yellow rocks and apparently lit from several angles, the hills in the mid-ground were a sort of fluorescent acid green and the Mars like dawn sky was blood red, orange, purple, yellow and green - so I put the mag back on the shelf and walked out shaking my head and thinking, the editor must be taking the p*ss and laughing all the way to the bank.

A fellow photographer friend of mine now refers to all the Photo Mags as 'Comics', I no longer think I can disagree with him.

 Roll Eyes

Dave
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 12:22:03 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 05:10:35 AM »
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Dave, the article did include some 'before & after' type images, where some showed how too much saturation negatively impacted the image. That said, some of the 'real' stuff did look a tad over-cooked
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louoates
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 07:36:19 AM »
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A lot of this rush to overworking images has found its way into art shows. I guess the screaming colors attract more buyers. Subtlety may be dead for the masses.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 11:13:00 AM »
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Oh, I definitely agree. I subscribe to Outdoor Photographer, and they are so in love with "over-Photoshopped" images that it makes my stomach turn. It's like the cook who liked a little garlic in his pasta, so 20 cloves would be better for sure! These garish and fake-looking photos must appeal to some people. Elvis in velvet anyone?
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Peter
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RSL
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 12:18:05 PM »
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It's not just oversaturated colors, it's also overdone HDR. Last year some of  my stuff got driven out of a gallery by a gal who was hanging HDR so overdone it didn't look like photography. Didn't look like abstract art either. I could describe what it looked like, but I realize that this is a family-oriented forum. She was selling and I wasn't, so, having been half owner of a gallery, I understand the decision. This particular gallery is in a tourist area, so I'm not terribly surprised that her atrocities were selling. I often wonder how many people who buy and hang oversaturated or over-HDRd pictures get really tired of looking at them after a while.
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 12:44:25 PM »
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I guess the screaming colors attract more buyers. Subtlety may be dead for the masses.

Passing through a big home furnishings store this morning I swung past the pictures section. I would summarize the 100-odd offerings as big, bright, busy chunks of colour.

Now I know.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 01:02:48 PM »
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Just to refresh some folks' memory, and educate the digital-only generation, it all started way before Photoshop, with Velvia Wink
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Slobodan

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louoates
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 01:57:10 PM »
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To further "educate" the pic snapping public there are innumerable filter apps for cell phones that guarantee a generation of over done images. The art shows I walk have an ever-growing population of overdone, more overdone, and insanely overdone images.
The ultimate result may be a 10 mp cell phone image blown up to 48 x 72, triple sharpened, HDR buried at full-slider-to-the-right, and printed on the latest rage surface, perhaps aluminum or titanium. This concoction may turn out to match a little known formula for making a terrorist explosive device, wipe out the entire art show venue and allow the more sane folks to start this photography thing all over.
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RSL
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 04:50:09 PM »
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Ain't gonna happen, Lou. But remember what happened to Pictorialism. Folks finally got to the point where they'd had so much sugar and cream they couldn't stand it any longer and we went on to genres appropriate to photography. History may yet repeat itself.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 05:11:12 PM »
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The UK Black & White Photography mag is the one I buy each month, but really, some of the images are so dark that 'low key' hardly begins to cover it. Maybe this is the monochrome version of over-cooking'.
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Harlem22
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 05:58:43 PM »
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There's such a vast amount of pictures in the market so they have to scream as loud as possible "HEY, LOOK AT ME!!!"

And to be honest: If I show my pics to friends (more and more I do this on an iPad) then most of them like the snapseeds:-( It's not my world anymore...
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stamper
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 03:41:54 AM »
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If some one is selling, or showing work, it is possible to produce two versions. One saturated and one less so and let the viewers decide which they like? At the end of the day it is subjective and there is room for other people's likes/dislikes. Smiley
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 08:52:28 AM »
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If some one is selling, or showing work, it is possible to produce two versions. One saturated and one less so and let the viewers decide which they like? At the end of the day it is subjective and there is room for other people's likes/dislikes. Smiley

I would disagree strongly: it looks like the photographer doesn't know his own mind. You have to appear positive, convinced and knowledgeable about your work. If you have no faith in it, why should/would anyone else? It's one of the first things you learn when you hang out your shingle.

Rob C
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louoates
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 10:23:23 AM »
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I would disagree strongly: it looks like the photographer doesn't know his own mind. You have to appear positive, convinced and knowledgeable about your work. If you have no faith in it, why should/would anyone else? It's one of the first things you learn when you hang out your shingle.

Rob C

Right on Rob. If you could produce two versions why not ten versions? Or have a base image of, say, a mountain, and let the customer choose if its a forested mountain or a desert one. And if there is a lake in front or a herd of deer. Clouds or clear sky. The customer can just keep toggling until he sees just the composition, hdr effect, saturation, etc. that makes the sale. The artist can then charge a fee for each element chosen. $10 for extra trees. $20 for a waterfall, etc. Put that program in an app for $9.95 and you'd never have to set up a booth at an art fair again. Sell the app to Google and you'd never have to work again.
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RSL
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 10:30:08 AM »
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If some one is selling, or showing work, it is possible to produce two versions. One saturated and one less so and let the viewers decide which they like? At the end of the day it is subjective and there is room for other people's likes/dislikes. Smiley

So you'd actually sign an over-saturated piece of crap and sell it? Come on Stamper. Remember, that print's going to be hanging out there somewhere with your signature on it. Somewhere along the line a person with enough taste to know the difference is going to look at it and say, "Man, that Stamper really turns out some junk." Yes, other people are entitled to their likes and dislikes, but they shouldn't be the criteria for your own standards.
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stamper
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 10:47:57 AM »
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Seems like some over reaction is being posted here? I will give louoates the benefit of the doubt and think it is a misguided attempt at humour. I think I suggested a reasonable response. Russ in another thread today you stated that you thought a posters images were over saturated. If he were to post them again with less saturation would you piss on him and say it is junk? Define over saturation Russ.
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RSL
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 11:41:19 AM »
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Define over saturation Russ.

I know it when I see it and so do you.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 12:11:42 PM »
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I just remembered I have a direct experience, since one of my photographs appeared on a cover of a photographic magazine. While processing the image, I was careful to retain "believability," i.e., avoid over-saturation. I was surprised to see it rather saturated on the cover. Not terribly, but still more than what I sent them.

And you know what? I like it that way. There, on the cover. It just works better there. It suits the cover's purpose, to attract otherwise fleeting attention of passersby. There, on the cover, it also competes with all the big, bold, screaming headlines, and thus benefits from the extra kick of saturation.

Would I print it that saturated as a wall decor or gallery display? Probably not. Because of a different context, different viewing environment, different viewer's expectation, different life span.
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Slobodan

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KLaban
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 01:02:57 PM »
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I just remembered I have a direct experience, since one of my photographs appeared on a cover of a photographic magazine. While processing the image, I was careful to retain "believability," i.e., avoid over-saturation. I was surprised to see it rather saturated on the cover. Not terribly, but still more than what I sent them.

My concern would be the failure of the publisher to reproduce the image faithfully, all the more so if this was deliberate and without consent.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 01:20:52 PM »
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Just to refresh some folks' memory, and educate the digital-only generation, it all started way before Photoshop, with Velvia Wink
before velvia there were for sure some painters who were using certain paints...
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