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Author Topic: The Art of Fooling Around  (Read 11068 times)
Alan Klein
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« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2013, 04:22:31 PM »
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IMO it's both reasonable and a conceit.   Smiley  It's why we reverse the tonal scale of negative film. It's why we kludge sensors with CFAs to mimic the way our eye/brain system creates color. At the same time we shouldn't fool ourselves that we're thus more accurately rendering visual reality. But accuracy is meaningless here anyway...there is no objective visual reality to accurately render. There's only energy (light), energy receptors and interpretation.

In the end it comes down to Winogrand's quote (I'm paraphrasing, I think): photographs show us what things look like when photographed. This acknowledges the interpretive nature of the visual world while leaving it up to each of us as photographers to decide how, and what, to interpret.

-Dave-

Dave:  One can certainly disagree about the interpretation and truth of contrast, hue, and saturation levels.  But I don't think you can argue that  truth exists in a photo where you cloned a horse taken from a picture shot in Texas into a photo taken of a field you shot in Vermont.    It may make a nice photo; very artistic and all that.  But you'll never convince a jury it represents reality.  Granted, the purchaser of such a photo may not care about truth only buying it for the artistic content and how it looks on their wall.  But others, let's say a person seeing this photo in a Vermont Travel guide, could be very offended when they learned of the deceit.
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2013, 04:50:14 PM »
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Dave:  One can certainly disagree about the interpretation and truth of contrast, hue, and saturation levels.  But I don't think you can argue that  truth exists in a photo where you cloned a horse taken from a picture shot in Texas into a photo taken of a field you shot in Vermont.    It may make a nice photo; very artistic and all that.  But you'll never convince a jury it represents reality.  Granted, the purchaser of such a photo may not care about truth only buying it for the artistic content and how it looks on their wall.  But others, let's say a person seeing this photo in a Vermont Travel guide, could be very offended when they learned of the deceit.

All of that is very true... and totally misses the point too!

Cloning a Texan into Vermont doesn't provide reality.  But there was no Vermont reality in the picture to start with!

That picture of Vermont is not really Vermont.  It's a picture:  A two dimensional object that conjures up some kind of emotion in the mind of a viewer.  If the photographer did a good job the emotion of most viewers will be approximately the same.  The picture is an illusion.

If the picture is intended for use in a Vermont Travel Guide the illusion it presents to a viewer should probably relate to what Vermont looks like in a photograph.  Enhancing that illusion with items typical of Vermont, even if they were photographed in Texas, is valid and functional.
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2013, 05:58:59 PM »
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Try submiting a cloned photo in an insurance claim.
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2013, 06:21:13 PM »
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Try submiting a cloned photo in an insurance claim.

If you lie about what the illusion in the photograph is, it's perjury.  Try submitting one that isn't cloned and lie about what it shows.

It makes no real difference what the photograph shows if you perjure yourself.  And in fact it isn't the photograph, it's what you say it is, that counts.  Nobody accepts a photograph on  it's face as evidence, you have to correctly state what it is.

(Incidentally, I shoot a lot of images for insurance purposes.)
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John Camp
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« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2013, 09:29:17 PM »
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Nobody accepts a photograph on  it's face as evidence, you have to correctly state what it is.

Tell that to a photo-finish loser in the Kentucky Derby.

Reality is like beauty, it's unique to each individual and is entirely "in the eye of the beholder".  Reality doesn't exist outside of each person's imagination.

Your position would make baseball impossible. Which it isn't.

But there was no Vermont reality in the picture to start with!

My GPS mapping system is based on photography, and it seems to get me around California okay. I couldn't speak for Vermont.

The world doesn't look like anything.

Really? I just ran up some stairs. Didn't miss even one.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 09:37:31 PM by John Camp » Logged
Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2013, 10:16:01 PM »
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Tell that to a photo-finish loser in the Kentucky Derby.

If a loser believes the decision is wrong and takes it to court, do you expect the court would politely accept their own photograph of the finish as evidence?  If that were true there probably would have been several cases already, each with their own photographs purporting to show who really did win.

But in fact the evidence that counts is when they bring in the expert technician/engineer team that desinged, installed, and operated the photo finish camera.  Reality isn't the photograph, it's their sworn testimony of what the picture shows.

As Garry Winogrand said about pictures, "They're mute, they don't have any narrative ability at all, you know what somethig looked like, but you don't know what's happening."

Of course what you may not be aware of is that a photofinish camera doesn't take one photograph, it produces a composite of many photographs, all at the same place but at different times.  Because of that it is, with multiple pictures, a narrative that tells what happened.  But its the expert testimony explaining it that will be the evidence that decides the case.  And not one of the pictures alone would be useful, or even recognizable.
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jjj
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« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2013, 07:01:13 AM »
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Since I hardly look at any other any other forums (fora?) these days it's nice to know that we fall at the "polite" end of the spectrum. I'd hate to imagine what the other extreme looks like.
YouTube comments seem to the lowest end.  Shocked  Whatever the video content, there always seems to be some racist or homophobic comment. And I only ever glance at the top few on display in passing.
What I think that is interesting about online communication is that it is unfiltered and so we get a better insight as to how others who we do not mix with in reality may really feel/think. Even though at times we may really not like what they think.

I also think this is why Facebook can be so much better than for online communication. Because at least in my case, I am are talking to friends/people I actually know [with occasional carefully selected exceptions]. So when I write something they get whether it is a joke or a serious comment. Though if you befriend anyone who walks by then you're going to get the same problems of misunderstanding as everywhere else online.
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« Reply #47 on: October 15, 2013, 07:02:53 AM »
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Dave:  Isn't it reasonable and not a conceit to want to match the unreality of what you see in the photo to the unreality of what you saw originally in the viewfinder?
Grin
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« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2013, 07:12:45 AM »
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I'm going to ignore the troll (search Floyd Davidson on google and you'll find posts from other forums he has trolled).
Ah, he seems to have really, really, really upset quite a lot of people before alighting here.  Shocked
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amolitor
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« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2013, 09:13:19 AM »
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Bravo, Michael. I could make a dozen remarks with minor "corrections" but why? Bravo is all that I really need to say. Bravo!
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- Andrew

My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
Isaac
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« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2013, 03:49:21 PM »
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Wow. Does everything have to become a dick size comparing contest or an argument?  Huh

It's just people fooling around, having their kind of fun :-)


Seems the order of our times.

In the communication medium of internet forum posts, quite literally, yes.

"To be generous, guiltless and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets: there is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove."  Twelfth Night - Act 1, Scene 5, Page 5
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Isaac
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« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2013, 04:49:15 PM »
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Vision is pure interpretation. The world doesn't look like anything. Tiny packets of energy, photons, strike our optic nerves and generate electrical signals. ... As I said, the world doesn't objectively look like anything.

This morning the eastern sky was light blue, warming to apricot at the horizon; and the dull blue gray stretching up from the horizon turned rosy pink a little higher in the western sky. When the photo shows that western sky as cyan and we say that's not really what the world looked like, we're talking about phenomena not physics.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2013, 06:04:21 PM »
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Really? I just ran up some stairs. Didn't miss even one.

John, you just need to think about it more rigorously. Vision gives us a spatial/tonal impression of what's "out there." This helps us immensely in navigating in & interacting with the rest of the world. But you've never seen a stair in your life. What you have seen is a constructed interpretation of a stream of electromagnetic emissions coming from the stair. At our macroscopic level of perception the stair is really there. Your foot really stepped on it. Its visual contours correspond to tactile evidence provided by your feet and/or hands. Yet the notion that it looks like anything intrinsically is meaningless. Vision is based on real data coming from real things but is itself an abstraction.

-Dave-
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« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2013, 06:24:03 PM »
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This morning the eastern sky was light blue, warming to apricot at the horizon; and the dull blue gray stretching up from the horizon turned rosy pink a little higher in the western sky. When the photo shows that western sky as cyan and we say that's not really what the world looked like, we're talking about phenomena not physics.

Physics underlies all phenomena, Isaac.   Wink  But back to Winogrand: photographs show what things look like photographed. Break free of the notion that photos must or even can be objectively color-correct and you'll have entered a much broader world of visual creativity.

-Dave-

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Isaac
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« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2013, 07:31:03 PM »
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Physics underlies all phenomena...

Physics provides a model of reality, let's not confuse that model with reality.

Physics provides explanations that are useful for some purposes and useless for others.

When the photo shows that western sky as cyan and we say that's not really what the world looked like -- we're comparing our experience of seeing the western sky with our experience of seeing the photo -- we're talking about phenomena not physics.

But back to Winogrand: photographs show what things look like photographed.

Remember, that wasn't Winogrand, that was you "paraphrasing".

Winogrand famously said -- "I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed."

Apparently he also said -- "There are photographs that function just to give you information. I never saw a pyramid, but I've seen photographs; I know what a pyramid or a sphinx looks like. There are pictures that do that, but they satisfy a different kind of interest. Most photographs are of life, what goes on in the world."
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 01:26:39 AM by Isaac » Logged
Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2013, 02:27:52 AM »
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Remember, that wasn't Winogrand, that was you "paraphrasing".

Winogrand famously said -- "I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed."

Don't mistake the  paraphrase for something out of context or that differs from what Winogrand meant.  He said it many times in many slightly different ways.

"I photograph to see what the world looks like in photographs."
"I photograph to find out what the world looks like photographed."
"I photograph to see what something will look like photographed."
"Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed."
"[Photographs] do not tell stories, they show you what something looks like, through a camera."

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Apparently he also said -- "There are photographs that function just to give you information. I never saw a pyramid, but I've seen photographs; I know what a pyramid or a sphinx looks like. There are pictures that do that, but they satisfy a different kind of interest. Most photographs are of life, what goes on in the world."

This quote does not contradict the previous paraphrase, or the quotes.  If you read it in the context of what Winogrand said over and over again, it is just another addition to the same thing:  A photograph is an illusion that is very distinct from the scene photographed.   The photograph shows you information about a scene, it does not show you the scene.
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Isaac
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« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2013, 11:43:23 AM »
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A photograph is an illusion that is very distinct from the scene photographed.   The photograph shows you information about a scene, it does not show you the scene.

Is that something you were confused about? :-)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 11:52:02 AM by Isaac » Logged
Isaac
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« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2013, 11:49:49 AM »
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Funny I rarely get people asking me if it was photoshopped, but I do get them asking me what camera I used because it took really good pictures...

What camera? is the obvious conversation starter with a photographer. I think Was it photoshopped? would be too confrontational if they're just making conversation.
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Isaac
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« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2013, 12:08:21 PM »
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... For a short while I wondered how Galen would deal with shooting raw, but I settled on what I think is the obvious answer - He would be using every tool available to create the image in his mind's eye.

I'll settle on the views he expressed back then, and freely acknowledge that I'll never know how those views may have developed into the present time.

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"Because of the increased consciousness about altered images, I became acutely aware of my choices for this book. Over the years I have experimented with double exposures and montages and have rejected them out of hand for consideration here. In an overall sense I see the merging of computer technology with photography as firming my resolves rather than tempting me to contrive images. I've resisted other temptations in photography from the beginning, and I am now reminded more than ever of the need to preserve the personal ethic that has bound my life with my work for almost two decades." p30

"I am intent on preserving the integrity of still photography. I avoid lenses that curve horizons and filters that manipulate color away from what I perceive. Above all, I want my subject matter to be part of a genuine experience rather than a scene created for the camera or one found out of context, such as the taxi in the desert. I recognize that some of my photographs may seem unreal to people who have not experienced the many nuances of mountain light, but all are natural events." p37

But I've used this slightest of excuses as enough reason to fetch Mountain Light from the local library, so it's all worthwhile  :-)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 03:56:07 PM by Isaac » Logged
Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2013, 12:12:28 PM »
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Is that something you were confused about? :-)

Obviously not, but clearly a lot of people are.
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