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Author Topic: Over saturated images in photography magazines  (Read 2843 times)
RSL
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« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 01:54:59 PM »
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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.

Exactly! Which is one reason that when I send in a picture to a competition it's normally B&W. Cuts down on the ways the publisher can screw it up.
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louoates
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2013, 02:24:43 PM »
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Exactly! Which is one reason that when I send in a picture to a competition it's normally B&W. Cuts down on the ways the publisher can screw it up.

The last time a photo magazine used one of my images was on their web site. It was a tall narrow shot of Sears Tower. You guessed it. The space on their site constrained all the images into a square format. The Sears Tower thus became a squat 40 floor blob. Not sure if they saturated the colors though.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 06:01:18 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.

You know what Slobodan, you raise a significant point here and one I hadn't thought about.

Because I think what you are saying, is that ALL images in magazines are advertisements for the magazine in its attempt to snare potential buyers. And if so, then it is obvious that the magazine editor will want to knock the viewers eyes out with glossy colourful eye candy to make people want to buy the magazine, because that is what works for advertising.

It is a bit like the huge and tempting image of the burger you see over the counter in the burger bar, that looks nothing like the scrawny flaccid little lukewarm thing you actually end up with in the box. It is advertising pure and simple, they are selling you the dream, not the reality and for some reason people just donít see through it and keep on buying into the illusion.

It is also similar to how fashion models on billboards and magazines etc, who are 'shopped to look more perfect than mother nature could ever achieve, the busty six foot blonde with 4 foot long legs and perfect blemish free skin. But we all know there is a down side to 'shopping models and the effect it is having on teenage girls, who believe what they see and then starve themselves to death attempting to attain the unobtainable.

So I suppose it is inevitable that the photo mags have also had a downside effect on photography itself, because unlike those poor unfortunate young girls, photographers can mimic what they are seeing in the mags and on billboards and create an idealised and oversaturated unreality if they want to, and obviously people want to, because that is what they are seeing in the mags, so they believe it is what they should be doing and the whole thing becomes a viscous circle  Cry

Dave
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2013, 07:29:47 PM »
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... the photo mags have also had a downside effect on photography itself... [photographers] create an idealised and oversaturated unreality...

Instagram? Wink
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Slobodan

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Rhossydd
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2013, 12:37:11 AM »
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Instagram? Wink
You can do dreadful things to images with any tool.
See this that got posted to the Lightrooom pool of Flickr:-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joerg1975/8752726535/in/pool-adobe_lightroom
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2013, 03:42:04 AM »
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It is also similar to how fashion models on billboards and magazines etc, who are 'shopped to look more perfect than mother nature could ever achieve, the busty six foot blonde with 4 foot long legs and perfect blemish free skin. But we all know there is a down side to 'shopping models and the effect it is having on teenage girls, who believe what they see and then starve themselves to death attempting to attain the unobtainable.

Dave



I'm not sure just how many teenaged females are that dumb; any manufacturer is clearly going to want to make his product as attractive as is possible, and stretching reality in fashion is not deceit: it is the name of the game. All women know what they really look like (other than those with no mirrors) and all that advertising does is show what things 'might' look like on the perfect day. They don't say that everyone will be enjoying that perfect day - nobody would believe that part of a pitch! However, I do know that I've never met a perfect model, that I don't believe any pictures anymore other than my own, that the majority of over-processed colour work leaves me cold.

But, I'm not that negative about black/white photographs, where I think that 'dramatic' clouds etc. can be a wonderful addition to the fantasy that all b/w already is. In fact, I think it's the very possibility of manipulating b/w convincingly that is one of its main attractions to me. As for portraits, a good b/white beats a good colour almost every time. For me.

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2013, 04:45:10 AM »
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Define over saturation Russ.

I know it when I see it and so do you.

Over saturation is a problem technically when detail is lost. Anything less is subjective. I guess this is the reason you chickened out of the answer. In another post you talk about sending B&W to a publisher because they screw up the colours. It seems to you aren't the best judge of colour photography and possibly B&W is something you should stick to? Roll Eyes
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2013, 05:02:49 AM »
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I don't know about the US & elsewhere, but in the UK, the vast majority of what appears to now be thousands of photo-mags, display this tendency towards over-cooking stuff.

I've still got some wonderful old copies of Camera, a superb UK publication, now long gone due to market forces. And that's the issue; what sells survives, the rest fall by the wayside. And the relentless drive to the bottom so often follows. Fortunately there's enough of a market to sustain two or three good quality publications, even if their circulation is some way south of the rest.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2013, 06:28:45 AM »
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I'm not sure just how many teenaged females are that dumb;

It's not about being dumb, it's about cultivated insecurity, low self esteem.

While not all eating disorders are related to the same unreachable 'shopped ideal, this may still give an idea about the magnitude:
http://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/counseling/Eating_Disorder_Statistics.pdf

Cheers,
Bart
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2013, 06:55:15 AM »
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
"The loudness war or loudness race is a pejorative term for the apparent competition to master and release recordings with increasing loudness."

I am sure that you will find similar divides within literature, dance and every other form of art. Some (often the established elite or "elite") will have certain ideals about what is "right", "natural", "how they did it in the good old days". And "the people" may prefer something that is more striking, more comprehensive etc. And those professionals who choose to give the people what the people wants (e.g. ABBA) will be considered sell-outs by the art-police.

I think that these things tends to come and go in waves. Typically something will be fashionable will it is hard/expensive to accomplish (e.g. "Photoshopping"). Once that look can be had by anyone through free cell-phone apps, the phenomenon will start its voyage from "high-culture" to "low-culture". Only to be rediscovered in 20 years by hipsters finding something in their dads old magazines that they have never seen before.

-h
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RSL
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2013, 10:42:50 AM »
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Define over saturation Russ.

Over saturation is a problem technically when detail is lost. Anything less is subjective. I guess this is the reason you chickened out of the answer. In another post you talk about sending B&W to a publisher because they screw up the colours. It seems to you aren't the best judge of colour photography and possibly B&W is something you should stick to? Roll Eyes

Well, maybe I was wrong, Stamper. Maybe you don't know it when you see it.
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Isaac
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« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2013, 11:43:40 AM »
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Well, maybe I was wrong, Stamper. Maybe you don't know it when you see it.

Protagoras was wrong, Russ Lewis is the measure of all things ;-)
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Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2013, 12:25:39 PM »
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Protagoras was wrong, Russ Lewis is the measure of all things ;-)


Well, olde P. made a lot of bucks doing his thang.

Much more than most snappers, I suppose. However, somebody else with the right sort of head can work out the contemporary equivalent of his earnings back in the day. I hope nobody wants to work out mine and anyway, I'm not telling, neither one way nor the other; what's life without a little mystery?

It's time for dinner; I shall make some toast from a Spanish baguette, fill it with cucumber and tomato, and by the time I get to bed I shall have indigestion followed by acid reflux after I get to sleep. Isn't life a gass?

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2013, 02:43:02 AM »
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Define over saturation Russ.

Over saturation is a problem technically when detail is lost. Anything less is subjective. I guess this is the reason you chickened out of the answer. In another post you talk about sending B&W to a publisher because they screw up the colours. It seems to you aren't the best judge of colour photography and possibly B&W is something you should stick to?


Well, maybe I was wrong, Stamper. Maybe you don't know it when you see it.

As stated it is subjective Russ. It is looking like nobody has a point of view other than your own. Using terms like crap and junk to describe colour photography is hardly objective.  Does the publisher screw up your B&W images when you send them to them.... or don't you notice?
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NancyP
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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 04:04:25 PM »
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Might I suggest that the type of printing (screen CMYK) and the type of paper stock (inexpensive and thin) has a lot of relevance in the choice of degree of saturation, sharpening, and HDR strength by the publisher. It is harder to render subtle effects in an inexpensive mass magazine.
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Rob C
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 04:52:57 PM »
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Might I suggest that the type of printing (screen CMYK) and the type of paper stock (inexpensive and thin) has a lot of relevance in the choice of degree of saturation, sharpening, and HDR strength by the publisher. It is harder to render subtle effects in an inexpensive mass magazine.



Think of the problems associated with having a calendar printed: the toss-up between paper costs, paper types and hoped-for quality of image reproduction on whichever one is chosen...

Nightmares fade by comparison.

Money apart, I'm sort of glad it's all in the past!

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2013, 05:18:46 PM »
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Exactly, Rob. One of my daughters-in-law is a realtor -- with her own company. For several years I did an annual shoot of twelve of the houses she'd sold during the year, out of which she'd have a local outfit lay out and print a calendar she could give out to clients. I'd look at proofs and make sure the saturation was correct before the press run to avoid the vulgarity displayed by some of her competitors. Sadly the cost involved kept rising and finally she had to stop doing it.

And Nancy, I'm not sure it's "hard" to render subtle effects in an inexpensive mass magazine. I'd be more inclined to use the word "impossible."
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Raul_82
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« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2013, 10:45:41 PM »
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Some buyers are just like bugs attracted to the light, or in this case to the cheesy colors.
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