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Author Topic: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation  (Read 75944 times)

JohnBrew

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #60 on: June 26, 2015, 06:12:05 pm »

There is an implied shared experience in landscape photography - that the photographer stood at that place and witnessed a scene and that the viewer could have been there also. You invite the viewer to share the experience.

How do you talk to a client about an image with a fake shaft of light in it? This is what I can't understand. There are a gazillion images of Antelope Canyon with shafts of light - what is the purpose of faking it? Do you tell your client - well I was there but I was disappointed in what I saw so I decided to add some awe in photoshop??  I would buy a work by Mr. Uelsmann that is an obvious depiction of a fantasy but I would never buy a landscape that is a deception and a fake shaft of light - a fake aurora are just that.

There is a reason to take real landscape photographs and you can debate whether any of them are art or not. But our world changes constantly and a beautiful record of that world is something a landscape photographer can leave behind. We really don't need fake landscape photography - spend the time in the field to get that shaft of light or the aurora. Or do as Isaac suggested and put the word "fake" in the title.

I disagree with the philosophy expressed in Lula articles that says that moving rivers, swapping skies, faking shafts of light has anything to do with landscape photography. It is digital art at its worst.

Sharon

You go girl! With you 100%.

Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #61 on: June 26, 2015, 06:32:01 pm »

I enjoy reading these discussions for several reasons, among them: To see if anything new has been added to the debate; to see how certain some are that their opinion is the absolute correct opinion; to see if anyone will ever say, "I think you're right and I'm wrong, I've changed my mind."

fwiw I came to accept the point Rob C. made about creativity.

fwiw You'll be able to find discussions on this topic where I argue against positions taken by Sharon and John Camp.
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prairiewing

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #62 on: June 26, 2015, 07:11:02 pm »

fwiw I came to accept the point Rob C. made about creativity.

fwiw You'll be able to find discussions on this topic where I argue against positions taken by Sharon and John Camp.

Interesting you should bring that up Isaac.  After much deliberation I too came to accept it.  Reluctantly.  I miss his posts.
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Pat Gerlach
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HansKoot

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2015, 04:54:32 am »

I am sure a photo can represent reality, but not necessarily the whole truth. There is a reason why photos can be used in court and a reason why we carefully compose to bring a photo to the level of art.
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stamper

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #64 on: June 27, 2015, 04:59:35 am »

I am sure a photo can represent reality, but not necessarily the whole truth. There is a reason why photos can be used in court and a reason why we carefully compose to bring a photo to the level of art.

The best reply yet. :)

pegelli

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #65 on: June 27, 2015, 07:45:05 am »

The best reply yet. :)
but also off-topic  ;D
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pieter, aka pegelli

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #66 on: June 27, 2015, 11:18:09 am »

but also off-topic  ;D

Haha, you made me laugh, but I disagree. "Photoshoppers" tend to claim (also in this discussion) that reality in a photo does not exist, what in my opinion only troubles it.
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pegelli

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #67 on: June 27, 2015, 11:29:30 am »

Haha, you made me laugh, but I disagree. "Photoshoppers" tend to claim (also in this discussion) that reality in a photo does not exist, what in my opinion only troubles it.
Glad I could make you laugh, this is all supposed to be fun anyway ;)

See my reply #53 on page 3 why I think it's "off topic", but I can understand why you disagree
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pieter, aka pegelli

Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #68 on: June 27, 2015, 11:42:35 am »

I am sure a photo can represent reality, but not necessarily the whole truth.

Haha, you made me laugh, but I disagree. "Photoshoppers" tend to claim (also in this discussion) that reality in a photo does not exist, what in my opinion only troubles it.

See Andrew's remark.
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ndevlin

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #69 on: June 27, 2015, 11:50:41 am »

I am sure a photo can represent reality, but not necessarily the whole truth. There is a reason why photos can be used in court.

But so can hand drawn sketch and diagrams.  Both require a witness to testify, on oath, that they accurately depicted (at least some facet) of their subject at the relevant time.

This doesn't really advance the present discussion.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera        ww

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #70 on: June 27, 2015, 12:02:01 pm »

This doesn't really advance the present discussion.

Unless we were pretending that photos could not be pictures of reality :-)
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HansKoot

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #71 on: June 27, 2015, 01:23:29 pm »

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

 ;)

- N.

yes, it was kind of a response, but unconsciously. :) 

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kwesi

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #72 on: June 27, 2015, 02:14:55 pm »

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.



Jerry Uelsmann never attempted to fool anyone with his photo compositions. The author on the other hand doesn't have the courage to call his work a digital composite. Instead he uses the word manipulation. As if his level of intervention stops at manipulating curves in Photoshop. This is what I find dishonest and misleading about his word choice for disclosure. There is no bravery here Nick.
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #73 on: June 27, 2015, 03:57:54 pm »

Insofar as photos derive much of their strength from the intimate connection with reality they enjoy, they lose that power individually and collectively as they are manipulated.

Photography could fade completely as an art when the current generation dies off and every living person assumes that all photos are composited, manipulated, half erasures and the other half additions.

It's not just Photoshop here. Photorealistic digital effects in movies and, I suppose, myriad other factors, are creating a new generation for whom photos have no particular claim on reality, on truth. Photos become a quick and easy way to make drawings, which may or may not be reality based.

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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #74 on: June 28, 2015, 01:13:28 pm »

Quote
… the human process of emotional response and appreciation begins to shut down when we stop to ask "Is it real?"

1996 "Sunrises and Simulations"
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 01:23:43 pm by Isaac »
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Ray

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #75 on: June 28, 2015, 08:08:18 pm »

Insofar as photos derive much of their strength from the intimate connection with reality they enjoy, they lose that power individually and collectively as they are manipulated.


Haven't all paintings and sculptures throughout history derived much of their strength, if not all of their strength, from an intimate connection with reality, as perceived by the viewer?

There's a lot of evidence implying that Renaissance painters during the 13th to17th centuries used mirrors and lenses to help them 'manipulate' a more realistic effect by projecting images of detailed objects and faces onto the canvas. Composite paintings showing amazingly intricate detail of a dress or tablecloth traced from a reflection of such objects onto the canvas, would have been mixed with other elements which were entirely a product of the artist's imagination.

We don't know for certain which painters used such techniques because they kept their methods a trade secret, just as a photographer would not care to advertise the fact that the impressive sky in a photo was not shot at the same time and place as the foreground. So What! In such circumstances you get two photos for the price of one. Why complain if you suspect the photo is a composite? The sky represents a real sky and the foreground represents a real foreground.

As I mentioned before, problems might arise if such a photo with a replaced sky were presented as a documentary shot of an unusual event, such as a rain storm in the centre of the Sahara desert. That might cause some confusion among meteorologists. As long as such photos are presented as 'Art', I don't see a problem. The word 'art' always implies a degree of manipulation.
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John Camp

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #76 on: June 28, 2015, 10:09:15 pm »

Haven't all paintings and sculptures throughout history derived much of their strength, if not all of their strength, from an intimate connection with reality, as perceived by the viewer?


No, not really. From a very early time -- the early Egyptians -- it was recognized that art almost always contained a variety of manipulations that removed it from reality. These manipulations could be either cultural or psychological, or both. (Google "Ahkenaten art.") In fact,in some eras, the Egyptians simultaneously made highly realistic art, somewhat abstracted art, and highly abstracted images derived from natural objects and used as hieroglyphic symbols -- so they had a full panoply of artistic styles and abstractions all in the same era, just as we do. They knew perfectly well that people didn't have both eyes on the same side of their head...

The thing that gave photography its power, right from the start, is that it in some way *removed* psychological and cultural manipulations. Artists of wildly different styles and temperaments could set up a camera in front of a landscape, and shooting one-after-another, take essentially identical photographs. They couldn't do that in their painting, nor would they want to. The photographic artist still selects the image he/she wants, but the raw image itself is firmly attached to an exterior reality, rather than the interior psychology of the artist. As far as I know, the very first photo that we have is a kind of landscape -- it shows the corner of a building. Any artist of the time (first half of the 19th century) could have  made a better image of the same thing -- more realistic, correct color, etc.

So why go to photography at all? Because when it came to the most difficult images -- portraits -- the painter simply couldn't match them for flat, uninflected realism. This is the essential element that gives photography its power: the camera doesn't fix anything, doesn't look away, doesn't react to the cultural or psychological state of the artist. The camera simply takes an image. Because of that, photography has a certain credibility with viewers. All kinds of things can be done to a photo after it's taken, but those erode the credibility, rather than enhance it. For example, before we had color film, we had colorized prints. Yet, I've never seen a colorized print that appeared to me to present a higher degree of realism than a black-and-white. With a black-and-white print, I *know* that red and green may show up as the same shade, and I accept that, because that's all a black and white representation can do. Once a print is colorized, though, you begin to ask, "Really? Was the sky really blue and not gray? Was the grass really deep green, and not yellow-green?"

When a painter paints a portrait of somebody he knows to a certain degree, he has in his mind all of the different expressions of that person's face, as well as the way the person talks, his sense of humor, and so on. All that is taken into account in the process of painting. A camera simply makes an image -- the sitter may have hairs sticking out of his nose, may be haggard from a restless night, may have a pimple on his forehead, and the camera just doesn't care. A painter always does, and what he puts in or takes out is a matter of psychology and culture, a matter of choices. Many portrait artists today use photography to reinforce particular aspects of a portrait that they may have difficulty capturing in a live session, and in my opinion, to the extent that they do that, the deader the image becomes. Painted portraits, IMHO, require the psychology, culture and hand of the artist to be foremost, because that's where painting's strength is; a photographic portrait needs to push as close to an objective realism as possible, because that where the photographic strength lies.
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tnargs

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #77 on: June 28, 2015, 11:10:47 pm »

A nicely thought out post, John, although I disagree with the last sentence. If a photo (portrait) needs to push as close to objective reality as possible, then removing colour would be an immediate disqualification. I don't agree with that.

To me, a photograph should be any single frame captured by a still image recorder, plus any changes to the image values (eg brightness, contrast, colour, tone) or deletions (crop, clone, burn to black, dodge to white, etc). Yes, I allow any removals e.g. clone out a whole person for all I care, and still call it a photo.

BUT NO ADDITIONS. Add anything to a recorded image and its creator should call it My Graphic Art, not My Photo. Even in the example (I think in the current LL 'new landscape photography' article) where the writer superimposed the same scene on two layers, showing the foreground at sunrise and the background sky at sunset, call it Graphic Art.

I like to keep things simple for this definition, as you no doubt noticed. :)
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #78 on: June 29, 2015, 01:07:33 am »

Spot on, John. That's pretty much exactly what I would say if I were infinitely patient.
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haplo602

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #79 on: June 29, 2015, 02:59:03 am »

I was a rabid defender of "true photography" at one time. Then I realized it's not about the manipulation. It's all about disclosure.

See the discussion has many layers, but for me it all comes down to this:

    Do you call the final production a PHOTOGRAPH ???

YES: almost any manipulation is prohibited. People still equate a photograph with reality.

NO: anything goes. Just do not call the final product a photograph. Then photography becomes one of the tools used to arrive at the end result.

What I do not like about the article is the way it is written. Just the opening sentence makes clear that there will be no discussion of the topic. Just stating the obvious position of the author with some provocative questions without answers.
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