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Author Topic: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation  (Read 75595 times)

JackWinberg

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Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« on: June 24, 2015, 08:44:29 am »

Bravo for a well-written piece on a very contentious subject!!!!

I teach Photographic History at our local college, and your historical section gives me several new and exciting leads.

THANK YOU................... Jack Winberg
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Otto Phocus

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 08:57:48 am »



But this is hardly a new problem with photography.  As the author pointed out, this has been going on since photography came in to existence.

Photographers have always manipulated their photographs.  The process of developing and printing negatives involves manipulation.  I don't think it is possible to create any photograph (analog or digital) with absolutely no manipulation.

Of course, that raises (not begs!) the question of what is and ain't manipulation.  Manipulation often has a negative meaning. So defining manipulation would be important for such discussions.

The line between photography and artistic creation is difficult to define.

Trying to define at which point does a photograph stop becoming an accurate representation and start being not an accurate representation is even harder.

One could take an extremist viewpoint and state that ANY changes to a photograph means that the photograph is no longer an accurate representation... but that's kinda silly.. as most extreme positions are.

To me, part of the definition would be the intent of the photographer.  But even that is a squishy concept.

I am not sure there is an answer to this quandary.... nor am I convinced that there needs to be an answer.


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ndevlin

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 10:52:26 am »

A wonderfully thoughtful article by a mature and skilled artist.  Few are brave enough to openly discuss that many of the leading landscape photographs today are artistic renderings as opposed to 'objective' depictions.   It is nice to find someone self-confident enough in their art to start this conversation.

The (mis)conception that photography is a process of simply depicting things 'as they are' has held the medium back in the minds of those interested in 'art', and limited unduly the creativity of those who make photographs.  

It used to be much harder, and require greater skill, to create the sort of images we are talking about (eg Jerry Uelsmann who's work is unparalleled), but this 'debate' has been a constant long before digital.  

It would be nice to stop treating it as a debate at all, and simply move to a paradigm in which the aesthetic and communicational value/success of images are considered, free of nonsense about what is 'real'.

Bravo Ignacio.

- N.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 12:45:39 pm by ndevlin »
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 11:42:47 am »


It would be nice to stop treating it as a debate at all, and simply move to a paradigm in which the aesthetic and communicational value/success of images are considered, free of nonsense about what is 'real'.

Bravo Ignacio.

- N.

+!

Otto Phocus

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 11:58:45 am »

It would be nice to stop treating it as a debate at all, and simply move to a paradigm in which the aesthetic and communicational value/success of images are considered, free of nonsense about what is 'real'.

Bravo Ignacio.

- N.

I also agree... providing that the discussion is limited to art.

But when the discussion moves to photojournalism, I think it gets a bit complicated.

With art, I do not believe there should be any expectation that the art does not reflect only what the artist intended. With art there is freedom

With photojournalism, there is an expectation that the photograph reflect some measure of an accurate representation. Defining what that level is and where the breaking points are is difficult.
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johnvr

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 12:01:16 pm »

While well-written and researched, I think it's dishonest to treat an image that seeks to depict the reality as experienced by the photographer in the same way as an image that's manipulated to create a reality that simply never existed.

The former makes up for the shortcomings of our gear and abilities to create something that's still subjective and creative and that to me is photography, pure and simple.

The latter to me is an altogether separate field within photography and should be treated as such in competitions etc.

In the end, you can write all you want, but if an image becomes controversial the moment people feel it was created in the computer instead of in the camera, it's a clear sign you've moved away from what people expect photography to be.

I don't want to limit artistic freedom, but I do think we should use separate labels for separate fields. To me, Palacio creates images (and beautiful ones as well), but not photographs. He just starts with photographs.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 12:06:02 pm »

While well-written and researched, I think it's dishonest to treat an image that seeks to depict the reality as experienced by the photographer in the same way as an image that's manipulated to create a reality that simply never existed.

The former makes up for the shortcomings of our gear and abilities to create something that's still subjective and creative and that to me is photography, pure and simple.

The latter to me is an altogether separate field within photography and should be treated as such in competitions etc.

In the end, you can write all you want, but if an image becomes controversial the moment people feel it was created in the computer instead of in the camera, it's a clear sign you've moved away from what people expect photography to be.

I don't want to limit artistic freedom, but I do think we should use separate labels for separate fields. To me, Palacio creates images (and beautiful ones as well), but not photographs. He just starts with photographs.

I agree with this.

amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 12:45:24 pm »

I will briefly register my disagreement with this thread.

The research is thin and sloppy, which is to be expected when you rely almost entirely on wikipedia. He's equating Pictorialism with Composite Printing, which is simply wrong. He inexplicably leaves HP Robinson out of his list of historical figures.

He introduces ideas like "Image Manipulation vs. Manipulating Reality" and "Technical Retouching vs. Creative Retouching" and then simply drops them.

Vast swathes of the piece are simply copied from wikipedia (with citations, to be sure, but they're just cut&pastes, sometimes with a very light edit).

There is no synthesis, there's simply repetitions of "questions" of the sort that are raised by people on internet forums. This debate, like the "is photography art?" has not been a serious debate in decades. Rather, it's a straw debate we can haul out to discuss whenever we need some content and haven't got any ideas.

If this was presented purely as a piece of "look, this is how I do my work, here is my process" I would have no problem with it. But it is instead a weird mixture of that along with several thousand words of a high-school student's notion of "scholarship" stirred in, for no apparent reason.

Is there a thesis in here? Is there even an organizing principle?

While there's a bunch of definitions made and questions raised, the entire thing seems to boil down to: I manipulate images and I think that's OK. Oh, and, have some wikipedia entries. If there's any more actual content in there, could someone please summarize it for me?

I will grant that I'd rather see people photoshopping their photos than smashing up coral reefs, though.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 01:51:58 pm by amolitor »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 12:53:33 pm »

...I do think we should use separate labels for separate fields. To me, Palacio creates images (and beautiful ones as well), but not photographs...

Photoshoppographers™ (myself included) create photoshoppographs™ (or is it shoppophotographs™?) ;)

Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 01:12:00 pm »

I teach Photographic History at our local college, and your historical section gives me several new and exciting leads.

In case you haven't already come across the book of the exhibition -- Faking it: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop
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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 03:08:44 pm »

While there's a bunch of definitions made and questions raised, the entire thing seems to boil down to: I manipulate images and I think that's OK. Oh, and, have some wikipedia entries.

Uncharitable, but not wrong.


Quote
@Ignacio :: I struggle to understand when I read some comments and criticisms whether we are talking about Image Manipulation or about Manipulation of Reality.

When there are “wildlife photographers” breaking coral reefs and rearranging them to get the perfect shot that is "Manipulation of Reality".

Other stuff is Manipulation of the Viewer.


Quote
@Ignacio :: Why Is It That Photography Gets Singled Out More So Than Other Arts With Judgements About Manipulation?

Potentially photography can provide better literal documents, so we're naturally disappointed when wondrous colors on Monte Fitz Roy turn out to be banal digital coloring. We had thought you were sharing a special moment from a far corner of the world. Is that so difficult to understand?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 07:01:50 pm by Isaac »
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prairiewing

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2015, 03:11:05 pm »


It would be nice to stop treating it as a debate at all, and simply move to a paradigm in which the aesthetic and communicational value/success of images are considered, free of nonsense about what is 'real'.

Bravo Ignacio.

- N.
[/quote]

For more than 3 decades I've made my living selling prints to hang on the walls of mostly upper-income, generally well-educated people.  People, not "collectors."  

I think my market, just people not photographers, has largely moved past this issue.  They accept manipulation if it produces what they like and ask few if any questions.

Journalism is obviously another discussion.

For the record, my work is pretty straightforward.
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Pat Gerlach
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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 03:44:10 pm »

I teach Photographic History at our local college, and your historical section gives me several new and exciting leads.

In case you haven't already come across Bruce Barnbaum: Corridors.

Quote
… perhaps if I combined them with an appropriate second negative, I could produce something that I would have photographed if I had encountered it. Hence the term "Ideal Landscapes."
… I realized that I could create a whole new world completely from my imagination by combining negatives -- perhaps a foreground from one location with a compatible background from another, or by placing a more interesting segment of one negative into the upper right quadrant of another negative -- as long as they seemed to form a believable image.

I have to admit that there are some limits to this idea. In my collection of photographs by other photographers, I have an image … but what lifts it above just being a wonderful landscape is the presence of a lightning bolt in the distance that coincided with the exposure. It is a transcendent moment, putting an exclamation point on a dramatic scene photographed during a thunderstorm. But I wouldn't view that image the same way if I knew that the lightning bolt was added afterwards from a separate exposure. Yes, the image would be the same, but I wouldn't be satisfied with a falsely created moment.

pp62-65 "The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity"


Yes, the image would be the same, but I wouldn't be satisfied with a falsely created moment.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 03:48:59 pm by Isaac »
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ndevlin

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 07:10:53 pm »


If you think photographs are pictures of reality, your problems is with reality, not with photographs.

 ;)

- N.
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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2015, 07:33:12 pm »

If you think photographs are pictures of reality, your problems is with reality, not with photographs.

If you don't think photographs can be "pictures of reality" (whatever that's supposed to mean), you should take out your phone and snap a photo of whatever is in-front of you.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2015, 07:40:22 pm »

If you think photographs are pictures of reality, your problems is with reality, not with photographs.

 ;)

- N.
Amen!   ;)
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2015, 07:48:11 pm »

They are, however, rooted in reality, which is why there is any concern whatsoever about manipulation.

Manipulation of a painting does not take it farther from its source. Manipulation is what painting is all about. Manipulation of a photograph does take it farther from its source.

See also sculpture, etc.

This is basic stuff. I'm pretty sure Sontag was going on about it in the 1970s, so I am frankly surprised that Ignacio doesn't provide us with the well-known stock answer, instead .. well, nothing coherent, actually.
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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2015, 08:23:58 pm »

Amen!   ;)

"pictures of reality" is a barn-door so-wide that a pencil sketch will fit through, so unreasoned approbation will be all you can offer.
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Willard

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2015, 08:47:13 pm »

All of his examples are art made from a photograph or collection of photographs.
No different than a quilt made from a collection of pieces of cloth.

There is a current large market for art that starts as a photograph, or more, and is HDRed, saturated and combined.
I would guess that most of the buyers know they are hyper-realistic representations, but do not care.  It is bright and colorful and glossy and looks good in their home.  They are happy.

I consider the art a photographic quilt.  Scraps of color and other photographs are brought together to create something.





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LesPalenik

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2015, 09:06:12 pm »

Good article and inspirational images!


All of his examples are art made from a photograph or collection of photographs.
No different than a quilt made from a collection of pieces of cloth.

There is a current large market for art that starts as a photograph, or more, and is HDRed, saturated and combined.
I would guess that most of the buyers know they are hyper-realistic representations, but do not care.  It is bright and colorful and glossy and looks good in their home.  They are happy.

I consider the art a photographic quilt.  Scraps of color and other photographs are brought together to create something.

Most buyers don't even distinguish between realistic, hyper-reealistic, HDR, and collages -  if they like the shapes and colors, if the piece fits over their couch, and the price fits their budget,  they will buy it, and be indeed happy.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 09:07:48 pm by LesPalenik »
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