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Author Topic: Too much of post...  (Read 1510 times)

RSL

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2019, 01:05:15 pm »

There is no disgrace of being amateur, of course  not.

[ironic]
The problem lies in the attitude of a fair number of amateurs who believe they can put themselves on the same level as some professionals, just because they  can produce something decent under optimal conditions. And the misery starts when they believe those well meant craft-works should be exhibited till eternity. [\ironic]

Many amateurs who believe they can put themselves on the same level as most “professionals,” or even above that level, are absolutely right, Ivo, at least in terms of originality and quality. What does “professional” mean? It means you do it for money. It also means that unless you’re doing the kind of thing Rob used to do, where you select your subjects and your surroundings, you’re forced to do exactly what your “client” wants. I’ve seen some wonderful work by professionals and I’ve seen some incredibly crappy work by professionals. If you walk through a couple small towns and look at what’s in the windows of the “professional studios,” you’ll realize that the term “professional” doesn’t say anything about originality or quality of work, unless you measure quality in terms of what fits the current fads. Yes, there are plenty of amateurs who vastly overestimate the value of their work. There also are plenty of “professionals” who vastly overestimate the value of their work. I think one interesting thing about photojournalism is that it’s competitive. Doesn’t matter whether or not you think you’re good. The people who make the decisions for you will determine whether you are or not. If not, you’d better find a different line of work. Not so with most “professional” photographers.

Ivo_B

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2019, 01:43:19 pm »

Many amateurs who believe they can put themselves on the same level as most “professionals,” or even above that level, are absolutely right, Ivo, at least in terms of originality and quality. What does “professional” mean? It means you do it for money. It also means that unless you’re doing the kind of thing Rob used to do, where you select your subjects and your surroundings, you’re forced to do exactly what your “client” wants. I’ve seen some wonderful work by professionals and I’ve seen some incredibly crappy work by professionals. If you walk through a couple small towns and look at what’s in the windows of the “professional studios,” you’ll realize that the term “professional” doesn’t say anything about originality or quality of work, unless you measure quality in terms of what fits the current fads. Yes, there are plenty of amateurs who vastly overestimate the value of their work. There also are plenty of “professionals” who vastly overestimate the value of their work. I think one interesting thing about photojournalism is that it’s competitive. Doesn’t matter whether or not you think you’re good. The people who make the decisions for you will determine whether you are or not. If not, you’d better find a different line of work. Not so with most “professional” photographers.

There is one little extra thing that makes the difference between a pro and an amateur: timing and accountability.
An amateur can deliver what and when he wants. A professional needs to deliver on clients schedule and request.

A small, but immense difference.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 01:46:27 pm by Ivo_B »
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Rob C

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2019, 01:47:56 pm »

There is one little extra thing that makes the difference between a pro and an amateur: timing and accountability.
An amateur can deliver what and when he wants. A professional needs to deliver on clients schedule and request.

A small, but immense difference.


And today, you better carry plenty of good insurance! Anybody who can sue you will!

Ivo_B

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2019, 01:55:42 pm »


And today, you better carry plenty of good insurance! Anybody who can sue you will!

In today’s #metoo climate, I wouldn’t like to operate in your former specialism, Rob.
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rabanito

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2019, 02:07:25 pm »

Many amateurs who believe they can put themselves on the same level as most “professionals,” or even above that level, are absolutely right, Ivo, at least in terms of originality and quality. What does “professional” mean? It means you do it for money. It also means that unless you’re doing the kind of thing Rob used to do, where you select your subjects and your surroundings, you’re forced to do exactly what your “client” wants. I’ve seen some wonderful work by professionals and I’ve seen some incredibly crappy work by professionals. If you walk through a couple small towns and look at what’s in the windows of the “professional studios,” you’ll realize that the term “professional” doesn’t say anything about originality or quality of work, unless you measure quality in terms of what fits the current fads. Yes, there are plenty of amateurs who vastly overestimate the value of their work. There also are plenty of “professionals” who vastly overestimate the value of their work. I think one interesting thing about photojournalism is that it’s competitive. Doesn’t matter whether or not you think you’re good. The people who make the decisions for you will determine whether you are or not. If not, you’d better find a different line of work. Not so with most “professional” photographers.
Hear Hear!
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RSL

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2019, 02:30:18 pm »

There is one little extra thing that makes the difference between a pro and an amateur: timing and accountability.
An amateur can deliver what and when he wants. A professional needs to deliver on clients schedule and request.

A small, but immense difference.

Exactly what I said, Ivo. The professional is required to do it his client's way. You're right. it's a big difference.

Rob C

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2019, 03:21:53 pm »

In today’s #metoo climate, I wouldn’t like to operate in your former specialism, Rob.

Both my daughter and my neighbour's wife told me that same thing about five years ago, when I mentioned wanting to find some local girls to model for me - not skin stuff, just straight location people shots.

If I get back to civilization, then I will work in the street with them; that never hurt me before, and it offers lots of windows... ;-)

Rob

John Camp

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2019, 01:22:54 pm »

I have a whole bunch of different photographic categories in my head -- amateur, professional, artist, student, enthusiast, etc. They're all different. For example, I'd classify a good astro photographer as an enthusiast; what he or she is doing, most professionals would be unable to duplicate without some serious, intensive study, because astro photography is so specialized, and requires knowledge (of the heavens) outside the ken of most pro photographers. At the same time, such enthusiast pursuits, as brilliant as the final products may be, provide little, if any, money. They're not less good than a pro product, but they're different.

My problem with this whole subject (which I think is kind of important, as people struggle to figure out what they want to do) is that I consider some photography as a niche art form (when it's intended as an art form) that MUST be reality-based. That means if it's run through though Photoshop or Lightroom or some other post-processing, the only really legitimate uses for those techniques **as it applies to photographs** is to push the photograph toward a keener expression of that external reality. Once you begin more serious manipulations, we arrive at something resembling a painting without requiring the skills that painting requires. What do you call that? I really don't know -- I think a new word has to be invented here -- but I wouldn't call it a photograph. It's a visual image unmoored from anything other than an unknowable individual's personal psychology. He is saying, "I'm going to take a basic image of an external reality and make it into something different" just as a sculptor may stay, "I'm going to take this pile of bronze and make it into something different." Does the manipulated photograph quality as art? Well, maybe, but it's no longer really a photograph. It couldn't be duplicated by going out into the world and taking another photograph. So, we need that new word. Mimage? (Manipulated image?) Moto? (Manipulated photo?)

Why is this important, instead of some kind of mental jerking-off? It's because post-processing manipulation can be, and *very* often is, a form of dishonesty. It doesn't have to be, but it very commonly is, to the point where people now often reject legit photos as something that were faked. "This is what I saw" is too often a lie. How many pictures of slot canyons have you seen that don't look like any slot canyons you've ever actually experienced, because the colors have been punched? If you called your image a Moto or something else like it, it would be a notification that we're no longer looking at a representation of reality, but rather something that the artist created beginning with a photograph (just as a painting is something an artist created beginning with tubes of paint.)

IMHO 
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Rob C

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2019, 02:33:15 pm »

I have a whole bunch of different photographic categories in my head -- amateur, professional, artist, student, enthusiast, etc. They're all different. For example, I'd classify a good astro photographer as an enthusiast; what he or she is doing, most professionals would be unable to duplicate without some serious, intensive study, because astro photography is so specialized, and requires knowledge (of the heavens) outside the ken of most pro photographers. At the same time, such enthusiast pursuits, as brilliant as the final products may be, provide little, if any, money. They're not less good than a pro product, but they're different.

My problem with this whole subject (which I think is kind of important, as people struggle to figure out what they want to do) is that I consider some photography as a niche art form (when it's intended as an art form) that MUST be reality-based. That means if it's run through though Photoshop or Lightroom or some other post-processing, the only really legitimate uses for those techniques **as it applies to photographs** is to push the photograph toward a keener expression of that external reality. Once you begin more serious manipulations, we arrive at something resembling a painting without requiring the skills that painting requires. What do you call that? I really don't know -- I think a new word has to be invented here -- but I wouldn't call it a photograph. It's a visual image unmoored from anything other than an unknowable individual's personal psychology. He is saying, "I'm going to take a basic image of an external reality and make it into something different" just as a sculptor may stay, "I'm going to take this pile of bronze and make it into something different." Does the manipulated photograph quality as art? Well, maybe, but it's no longer really a photograph. It couldn't be duplicated by going out into the world and taking another photograph. So, we need that new word. Mimage? (Manipulated image?) Moto? (Manipulated photo?)

Why is this important, instead of some kind of mental jerking-off? It's because post-processing manipulation can be, and *very* often is, a form of dishonesty. It doesn't have to be, but it very commonly is, to the point where people now often reject legit photos as something that were faked. "This is what I saw" is too often a lie. How many pictures of slot canyons have you seen that don't look like any slot canyons you've ever actually experienced, because the colors have been punched? If you called your image a Moto or something else like it, it would be a notification that we're no longer looking at a representation of reality, but rather something that the artist created beginning with a photograph (just as a painting is something an artist created beginning with tubes of paint.)

IMHO


I think we're pretty much there already, John, regarding digital photography and neologisms crying out for invention. We have "digital images" which I think, as an expression, already distances digital pictures from film and wet printing pictures.

In fact, though I really don't feel there is any moral difference between the cameras as hardware, there sure is a gulf between what was possible in the darkroom and what is on the computer.

Even a scanned film that gets printed out through the computer/printer marriage is already different, especially in terms of mass production and how closely one such print will resemble the next, at least when put through the same computer and printer.

There is also the artistic penalty that the photographer pays, assuming he did his own printing before the advent of digital. The satisfaction levels are far from the same: doing it in a dish made you feel you were involved at every step, and actually exercising some learned and developed skill, and you really were. Now, once you work it out and make the print as you want it, future prints present no personal challenge beyond pressing the button. Your art now resides in the cogs of the machine.

Of course, there is a another dimension at play here: colour or black/white.

When one hypes up colours, the effect is a tendency to the ugly, if only because Nature usually has it about right; with b/white, you can play more because you are into the land of elsewhere right from the start. Credibility, I think, has been ruled out already, not so much because of the means to the end, to the print, but because belief in anything these past three or four years has been stretched beyond the natural limits of human elasticity. From politics to the shape of naked women, your eyes can no longer be relied upon to tell you the truth: you really need to taste before you buy, by which time it's already too late.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 04:17:06 am by Rob C »
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rabanito

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2019, 05:04:17 pm »


Why is this important, instead of some kind of mental jerking-off? It's because post-processing manipulation can be, and *very* often is, a form of dishonesty. It doesn't have to be, but it very commonly is, to the point where people now often reject legit photos as something that were faked. "This is what I saw" is too often a lie.


Any photo you see has some manipulation. Already converting a scene into RGB is "manipulation"
It is NEVER what the photographer saw.
And it is not dishonest per se. The photographer takes what he can with the means at his disposition and converts the result into "what he saw and felt". Or what he feels at the moment he translates his file into an image. Or just what he wants.
He doesn't make a register of reality but a translation of it, filtering it with his mind, his feelings or whatever.
Photography is not an "art", it is a medium.
Like painting, music, poetry, cooking.
How good one is at it depends above all upon whether you are satisfied with what you do and, in a lesser measure, what people whose opinion you appreciate think about it.

Just MHO
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RSL

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2019, 07:44:52 pm »

Exactly, Rab. Every photo you see IS a manipulation. Neither film nor digital records the real world. Both record an image that's been processed according to the peculiarities of the film or in the case of digital according to the decisions made by the manufacturer of the camera and the sensor.

kers

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2019, 09:17:25 pm »

For me a photo may have nothing to do with reality. 'ceci n'est pas un pipe...'

The idea that a photo must be 'true' is only necessary for a certain type of photography;  press - photo as evidence...

For instance i like to make photographs on a tripod at various times and combine the images...
Is that untrue?
Is it less true than a 30 seconds exposure shot? The ones we see on this forum so often?
Is a 360 panorama less true than a 45 degrees photograph?




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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2019, 01:57:44 am »

I have many friends who are amateur photographers.Some amazing talents. Not all of course. The big difference really is professionals must work to a clients brief. Today Im shooting luggage and boxes of dog treats. Yesterday I did work for a clothing catalogue coordinating with client, makeup, two stylists and two models. Monday I shot short videos of pop up desk power sockets. Tuesday was clothing again but more location based and for social media. Tomorrow Im shooting an executive jet. All of those shoots are aimed at selling a particular product or service to a particular market. Thats what professionals do. It's not about beautiful images for me, it's about clearing warehouses of stuff. If a client sells the stuff I photographed for them they will hire me to photograph the next batch of stuff they need to sell. Simple really 

I would never use the term amateur to denigrate a persons skills or images. Nor would I use the term pro to praise a persons images. It's a whole different thing.
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Commercial photography is 10% inspiration and 90% moving furniture around.

John Camp

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2019, 03:45:21 pm »

Any photo you see has some manipulation. Already converting a scene into RGB is "manipulation"
It is NEVER what the photographer saw.
And it is not dishonest per se. The photographer takes what he can with the means at his disposition and converts the result into "what he saw and felt". Or what he feels at the moment he translates his file into an image. Or just what he wants.
He doesn't make a register of reality but a translation of it, filtering it with his mind, his feelings or whatever.
Photography is not an "art", it is a medium.
Like painting, music, poetry, cooking.
How good one is at it depends above all upon whether you are satisfied with what you do and, in a lesser measure, what people whose opinion you appreciate think about it.

Just MHO

I completely disagree. Translating to RGB isn't a manipulation, it's a capture, or a recording. A person ten years from now can look at a camera capture and say, "This is what it looked like, given the limitations of the recording device." It has, at the capture stage, no human involvement other than what it took to create a sensor, etc. Then, a photographer may work over the photo. As I noted in my original post, if this is done to push the photo closer to the visual reality, I would perhaps call it "enhanced." If you make photos on a tripod and combine images, that is what you're doing -- as long as you don't remove or replace or alter objects in the image. The same is true when you stack images to increase depth of field.

Of course manipulation is not dishonest per se -- as long as the creator doesn't represent it as a pure capture. And they usually don't. I use slot canyons as an example, but you can see unmentioned manipulations everywhere in the "photo art" world, and especially in landscapes. I think I have yet to see a slot canyon picture that actually looks like a slot canyon -- the color is always pushed, and the pushing is never mentioned.

Once you get into the realm of what the photographer "feels," you are departing the realm of photography and going to something different...but in most cases, the photographer presents the image as something external, rather than internal. "This is what it looked like," rather than"this is what I felt." If you present a landscape photo as the latter, I doubt many people would purchase it, because they want to know what the landscape looked like, not what some photographer, who they don't know, felt. (There are exceptions in the art world, of course: Moonrise and Running White Deer are classic examples in which manipulations produced an artistic image -- but neither hid the manipulations.)

Exactly, Rab. Every photo you see IS a manipulation. Neither film nor digital records the real world. Both record an image that's been processed according to the peculiarities of the film or in the case of digital according to the decisions made by the manufacturer of the camera and the sensor.

I think this is the same sophomoric argument that many, well, sophomores make while passing the joint -- everything is relative, everything is subjective. If film or a sensor isn't recording the real world, what is it recording? It is, of course, a recording, it's not the actual world, but it is a recording of *something,* and the recording is real, and if a group of people look at a recording of a face, they can all agree that it's a recording of a face. The fact that they see it was a recording not only of a face, but a particular face, separate from all the other ten billion faces on earth, and immediately recognizable as such, should suggest that the decisions made by the manufacturer are of no particular importance. If the manufacturer produced a machine that *didn't* do faithful recordings, few people would buy it. (And there are cameras that do that, and they are bought by few people.)

I almost entirely agree with Martin, but not quite entirely. There are pro-product images that hover very closely to the definition of fine art. Just because a photographer has a client does not necessarily mean that everything he produces must be a basic, pragmatic image designed to sell something. It could also be an artistic image (meant to sell something.) Richard Avedon was a person who often did this.
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rabanito

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2019, 04:09:55 pm »

I completely disagree. Translating to RGB isn't a manipulation, it's a capture, or a recording. A person ten years from now can look at a camera capture and say, "This is what it looked like, given the limitations of the recording device." It has, at the capture stage, no human involvement other than what it took to create a sensor, etc. Then, a photographer may work over the photo. As I noted in my original post, if this is done to push the photo closer to the visual reality, I would perhaps call it "enhanced." If you make photos on a tripod and combine images, that is what you're doing -- as long as you don't remove or replace or alter objects in the image. The same is true when you stack images to increase depth of field.


As far as my poor knowledge goes, RGB is a device-dependent color model: different devices detect or reproduce a given RGB value differently, since the color elements (such as phosphors or dyes) and their response to the individual R, G, and B levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, or even in the same device over time.
This I would call "manipulation", but let's blame it to my poor English
You do not always get the same - let alone represent - "reality"

I had to google "sophomoric". Well...
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 06:34:47 pm by rabanito »
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Manoli

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2019, 04:14:53 pm »

I think this is the same sophomoric argument that many, well, sophomores make while passing the joint ...

I'd luv to see the look on his face the first time RSL reads this ...
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Manoli

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2019, 04:18:47 pm »

RGB is a device-dependent color model: different devices detect or reproduce a given RGB value differently ...

The same could be said for each individual's perception of colour. Very few of us 'see' colour identically.
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RSL

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2019, 07:42:23 pm »

I think this is the same sophomoric argument that many, well, sophomores make while passing the joint -- everything is relative, everything is subjective. If film or a sensor isn't recording the real world, what is it recording? It is, of course, a recording, it's not the actual world, but it is a recording of *something,* and the recording is real, and if a group of people look at a recording of a face, they can all agree that it's a recording of a face. The fact that they see it was a recording not only of a face, but a particular face, separate from all the other ten billion faces on earth, and immediately recognizable as such, should suggest that the decisions made by the manufacturer are of no particular importance. If the manufacturer produced a machine that *didn't* do faithful recordings, few people would buy it. (And there are cameras that do that, and they are bought by few people.)

John, Before you jump to any more sophomoric conclusions you probably need to read https://luminous-landscape.com/on-street-photography/

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2019, 04:01:42 am »

A lot of processing was done in the past too, by the masters. Even today, you just have to look say at the Genesis project of Salgado, to see the amount of post done. Shoot in colour, convert to B&W, make a negative, and print from it.

Back in the 1990's, Velvia 50 hit the market by storm with its bold colours. Anything that makes my work look different from others, and that people buy and like, is fair game.

the fact that I might like it, or not, or what my opinion is, is not relevant.

Rob C

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Re: Too much of post...
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2019, 05:03:16 am »

A lot of processing was done in the past too, by the masters. Even today, you just have to look say at the Genesis project of Salgado, to see the amount of post done. Shoot in colour, convert to B&W, make a negative, and print from it.

Back in the 1990's, Velvia 50 hit the market by storm with its bold colours. Anything that makes my work look different from others, and that people buy and like, is fair game.

the fact that I might like it, or not, or what my opinion is, is not relevant.

But Paulo, pre-Phopshop stuff can't begin to be anything as powerful as Photoshop in its abitilty to distort, improve, make worse, exaggerate and otherwise to fib. And worse yet, it's easy to do and available to all. Democratizing of the weapons of vandalism, then.
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