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framah

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« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2009, 12:53:18 pm »

Quote
This is why I suppose many true master photographers still use film, as for instance both Manglesen and Marent still use.

This is just as "cynical" or snooty as what you are decrying.  There are alot of "master photographers" out there who are using only digital. Using only film does not make one a master photographer, it just makes them a photographer who only uses film.

Eventually, they both will have to use digital as film will not be available in the not too distant future.  What will they do then?



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Petrjay

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« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2009, 01:54:26 pm »

I find it interesting that Mangelsen bills himself as an artist. Exactly what is creative about sitting out in the rain waiting for a Photography 101 composition to form so it can be recorded without further manipulation? Waiting for good light isn't a special talent, it's something we all do. Is he good? Yeah, but if you're going to describe him as a master in his field, you're also going to have to award the same designation to the many others who have demonstrated equal ability. It never hurts to leave a little room at the top.

Peter J
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2009, 01:57:22 pm »

Quote from: framah
This is just as "cynical" or snooty as what you are decrying.  There are alot of "master photographers" out there who are using only digital. Using only film does not make one a master photographer, it just makes them a photographer who only uses film.

I didn't mean to be snooty, nor to imply that those who use digital are not master photographers.

I was trying to make a point about mastery at "image making" at the camera end versus on the computer end. I am not trying to downplay anyone else or the techniques they choose. In point of fact, I myself am someone who chose digital, not film, and I need all the post-processing I can get just to make my images look so-so  

This discussion should be viewed philosophically, not antagonistically. It was just something I started thinking about and wanted to discuss reasonably.

To be quite honest, I am living proof of my point. I would not feel comfortable going out into the jungle or wilderness with a film camera to shoot images sight-unseen and expect to come home with magazine Cover Shots. Only my ability to view my images digitally, right after a shot, enables me to adjust, and re-adjust, until I can get it halfway right. I couldn't imagine all of the finger-biting I would do if I shot film only, and had to wait for my film to process, only to discard no telling how many useless photos.

To me, only a master photographer (not computer processor) would be confident enough in his skills to go ahead and still use film for something like that today. Again, this is not to imply others who choose digital are not great photographers, I am only stressing a philosophical point.

People who have chosen digital should not feel offended by this question, just introspective, as again I chose digital also ... and yet this subject got me to think about it .. nothing more.

I posted this question not to be contentious, but contemplative.

Jack


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framah

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« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2009, 05:09:40 pm »

Waaaay back in the god ol'  days, all we had was film. I used to go to wildlife refuges in NJ and sometimes had to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for a GB Heron who was waiting at the outflow of a culvert  waiting for a fish to pass by. He got the fish  and I got the shot. My shooting was all on slide film and I thought of myself as sort of a minimalist in my shooting.  Realistic, straight ahead images. (still do.)  Only a polarizer filter for me. None of those fancy filters others used!!

I would shoot 5 or 6 rolls (36) in an afternoon and after getting them back I might have only wanted 5 or 6 slides out of the whole bunch.  We had to be quite precise in exposure when shooting slides as it wasn't a very forgiving film compared to negative film. I would then go into my darkroom and print Cibachromes of my images where I would do the same thing as a B/W darkroom person would do... I would dodge and burn where it was need to make the image the way I remember seeing it.  I considered myself to be a straight forward nature photographer as I didn't change the colors or add anything to the image. I loved playing in my darkroom till the wee hours of the AM. The main difference now is instead of film, it is digital and instead of a "bricks and mortar" darkroom, I have a "virtual" darkroom here in my computer, and now I can shoot the image and as long as my exposure puts the information to the right in the histogram, I can go into the computer and place  that info into its' proper position to give me the image I saw.

Now that we have new technology to capture the image, we have new ways to process it and in my mind its a heck of a lot easier now than it was back then. I see  no difference between then and now in how i see the world  when i'm shooting. I just have kept up with the technology available to me. What i use doesn't matter in deciding whether or not I'm a Master photographer. ( just how crappy the images are!!    )

 I think we actually are having a discussion here. My thoughts are that it isn't the choice to shoot on film  and have to wait for the results that makes him a Master photographer.

He is one to you because you think he is.  

We sort of get back to whether you think Ansel Adams was a master photographer or not.  As good as he was at previsualizing his images and shooting the right exposure and such, he still danced all over his images in the darkroom to get the images we  see from him.

According to Mangelsons definition of himself and your decision that he is a master photographer then  Ansel Adams would not qualify.




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John Camp

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« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2009, 05:39:56 pm »

Too much of this discussion sounds like a group of people having a serious talk about the theory of evolution, then somebody comes along and says a "theory" is only a "guess." Well, no.

When most people speak of manipulation, they don't mean pushing contrast or cropping or using reduced depth-of-field. Those are widely accepted as artifacts of the process, that don't much impinge on the reality of the subject being photographed. Even with infra-red, with visions of white trees, people are smart enough to say, "That's the reality of the view taken with film sensitive to a different wave-length of light."

When you're really talking about manipulation, most people mean changing the reality that was in front of the lens in a substantive way -- like the news guy in Iraq who merged two photos to create a third photo of a different reality (which made it look like a US soldier was threatening a young girl and her father) or when National Geographic moved a pyramid to create an impossible view. *That* kind of manipulation has nothing to with over-saturating the colors. 19th century photographers could make portraits of people and then color them, but nobody was shocked when the colors weren't perfect -- they just said, "the colors aren't perfect." They did do some serious substantive manipulation, as when they created fairies with wings, sitting under toadstools, and tried to pass them off as genuine. That kind of manipulation could almost always could be detected, including even those manipulations released by major intelligence agencies (I'm thinking of the KGB, which occasionally "subtracted" people from the review stand on Lenin's tomb.) Now, however, photo manipulation can be done so seamlessly that it changes the nature of the scene in front of the camera. I recently saw, in a photo techniques book, an example of how a boring photo (of a tumble-down barn, IIRC) could be "improved" by dropping in an unbelievable skyscape as a background. This kind of manipulation, when done well, is of an entirely different order than pushing colors or increasing temps. The scene in front of the camera never existed; the elements aren't simply adjusted, they are invented.

In the case of the OP, getting a shot of a fox isn't all that hard, if you know where to find a fox, and getting a compelling background isn't all that hard, either, but getting the two together, in a straight photo, can take forever. In the past, there was no really good solution to that problem -- but now, you can shoot a fox in a zoo, and find a nice backdrop out in the woods, and then skillfully merge the two with Photoshop...and *then* you have an integrity problem. It's not just that the photo is faked, either -- it's that reality is wounded. Since the photographer could pull this off with absolutely no knowledge of foxes, he could place a fox in a habitat in which is absolutely does not exist... If a guy shoots a fox in a compelling background, and then adjusts colors, that doesn't bother me -- I buy the argument that "It's as I remember it." I mean, why should you want everything to look as some guy at the Fuji film works wants to render it? But I don't buy the zoo/forest merger. That's a different order of problem, and one worth arguing about.
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Rob C

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« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2009, 05:33:39 am »

I believe that part of the problem at least lies in the terminology: Master Photographer.

What a load of old pretensions!

This appellation doesnīt exist in normal, modern professional photographic parlance; itīs a gravitas-borrowing invention of the "art" world. People write about what St Ansel might or might not have been thinking when he snapped his snap or printed his negative - how the hell do they know? Even if the man had written it all down in a huge diary it would still have had to be suspect - he was trying to earn a crust from the medium and anything that could create importance, mystery or even mystique would have been a good thing! Does anybody here imagine that public relations started in 2009?

There is a sense in some posts that shooting film is/was some kind of great mystery, that only the "Master Photographer" could do it: man, everybody did it, some better than others. I donīt know a fellow pro who did not bracket like stink at every opportunity, that didnīt cover his ass the best way he could, and that generally meant shooting as much film as the job could carry. And donīt forget we did utilise hand-held exposure meters, regardless of whatever happened to be added into the camera by thoughtful Mr Maker.

Photography is actually a bloody easy thing to do. What is not so easy to accomplish is the creation of something meaningful, something that holds the attention for a while longer than it takes to recognize the content. Frankly, that such an image might happen is something for which it is not advised that one hold oneīs breath. Entire advertising agencies strive to achieve this imagery; some do with repeated success whist others have the light fall on them on very rare occasions. With some of the worldīs leading creatives working overtime to get to this point of glory, it should not be thought unusual that the lone soul generally fails. As I wrote - photography is easy but great pictures come rarely.

So whither integrity?

Can it even exist outwith the realm of legal recording; can it even truly exist there, where focal length, lighting, even tone can create its own bias in message? Just think of how magazines have had to comment later on the colour they have printed some cover images of infamous personalities... I really believe that if integrity can be equated with objectivity, then the doubtfulness of true objectivity being possible extends that doubt to the possibility of any integrity beyond the subjective.

Whether your fox, tiger, rabbit or bear was photographed running wild or not, if it turns your otherwise mundane image into something that pleases you, then enough already, you did the right thing!  Just donīt try to palm it off as something it ainīt - we have enough silicon to contend with in this world. It should be up to the buyer to decide whether truth is of importance or whether, for him, it is all about image. Or investment. But thatīs another thread, possibly leading us back to silicon.

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 11:19:33 am by Rob C »
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fike

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« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2009, 10:42:27 am »

Rob C and John Camp, you have both put a fine exclamation point on the futility of this circular debate.  Jack, your questions are good ones and your interest in seeking resolution on this is a good reflection on your integrity as a photographer.  The reality is that it isn't really that complicated, and it has nothing to do with film or masters or photoshop.  It has everything to do with you, your integrity, and how you show it with your art, documentary, or journalism photography.
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2009, 11:27:40 am »

Quote from: framah
Waaaay back in the god ol'  days, all we had was film. I used to go to wildlife refuges in NJ and sometimes had to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for a GB Heron who was waiting at the outflow of a culvert  waiting for a fish to pass by. He got the fish  and I got the shot. My shooting was all on slide film and I thought of myself as sort of a minimalist in my shooting.  Realistic, straight ahead images. (still do.)  Only a polarizer filter for me. None of those fancy filters others used!!

That is essentially the image I have of the "qua" photographer: a minimalist; one whose camera, patience, perspective, and framing get him the shot ... not his digital manipulation.




Quote from: framah
I would shoot 5 or 6 rolls (36) in an afternoon and after getting them back I might have only wanted 5 or 6 slides out of the whole bunch.  We had to be quite precise in exposure when shooting slides as it wasn't a very forgiving film compared to negative film. I would then go into my darkroom and print Cibachromes of my images where I would do the same thing as a B/W darkroom person would do... I would dodge and burn where it was need to make the image the way I remember seeing it.  I considered myself to be a straight forward nature photographer as I didn't change the colors or add anything to the image. I loved playing in my darkroom till the wee hours of the AM. The main difference now is instead of film, it is digital and instead of a "bricks and mortar" darkroom, I have a "virtual" darkroom here in my computer, and now I can shoot the image and as long as my exposure puts the information to the right in the histogram, I can go into the computer and place  that info into its' proper position to give me the image I saw.

I guess that is the paradox. The digital darkroom is easier, more expansive, and more forgiving. Thus while it can be a virtually limitless tool for the artist, it can also become a crutch for the photographically handicapped.




Quote from: framah
Now that we have new technology to capture the image, we have new ways to process it and in my mind its a heck of a lot easier now than it was back then. I see  no difference between then and now in how i see the world  when i'm shooting. I just have kept up with the technology available to me. What i use doesn't matter in deciding whether or not I'm a Master photographer. ( just how crappy the images are!!    )

LOL, true, but again this creates the paradox. Photographers today are more "image-makers" than pure photographers. There is so much "after" the camera that can change the image, that a person who greatly manipulates the image ceases to become a qua-photographer and becomes an image-maker. To me, I will consider myself a "master photographer" upon such time that I can consistently take my camera out into the field, and from that point select the right lens, the right filter, the right angle/perspective, the right lighting, the right ISO/SS, the right WB such that I can then "push my finger down" on the shutter release and get exactly what I wanted to get with my camera.

The more I have to go home and fiddle with it, after the fact, the further away I will continue to be from my goal.




Quote from: framah
I think we actually are having a discussion here. My thoughts are that it isn't the choice to shoot on film  and have to wait for the results that makes him a Master photographer.
He is one to you because you think he is.  
We sort of get back to whether you think Ansel Adams was a master photographer or not.  As good as he was at previsualizing his images and shooting the right exposure and such, he still danced all over his images in the darkroom to get the images we  see from him.
According to Mangelsons definition of himself and your decision that he is a master photographer then  Ansel Adams would not qualify.

Well, I hate to talk about specific people, but let's just say my own personal view would be that a man like Ansel Adams would be a Master Artist, and a Master Image-Maker, but that a man like Manglesen would, strictly-speaking, be the true Master Photographer.

Jack



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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:10 pm »

Quote from: John Camp
Too much of this discussion sounds like a group of people having a serious talk about the theory of evolution, then somebody comes along and says a "theory" is only a "guess." Well, no.
When most people speak of manipulation, they don't mean pushing contrast or cropping or using reduced depth-of-field. Those are widely accepted as artifacts of the process, that don't much impinge on the reality of the subject being photographed. Even with infra-red, with visions of white trees, people are smart enough to say, "That's the reality of the view taken with film sensitive to a different wave-length of light."
When you're really talking about manipulation, most people mean changing the reality that was in front of the lens in a substantive way -- like the news guy in Iraq who merged two photos to create a third photo of a different reality (which made it look like a US soldier was threatening a young girl and her father) or when National Geographic moved a pyramid to create an impossible view. *That* kind of manipulation has nothing to with over-saturating the colors. 19th century photographers could make portraits of people and then color them, but nobody was shocked when the colors weren't perfect -- they just said, "the colors aren't perfect." They did do some serious substantive manipulation, as when they created fairies with wings, sitting under toadstools, and tried to pass them off as genuine. That kind of manipulation could almost always could be detected, including even those manipulations released by major intelligence agencies (I'm thinking of the KGB, which occasionally "subtracted" people from the review stand on Lenin's tomb.) Now, however, photo manipulation can be done so seamlessly that it changes the nature of the scene in front of the camera. I recently saw, in a photo techniques book, an example of how a boring photo (of a tumble-down barn, IIRC) could be "improved" by dropping in an unbelievable skyscape as a background. This kind of manipulation, when done well, is of an entirely different order than pushing colors or increasing temps. The scene in front of the camera never existed; the elements aren't simply adjusted, they are invented.
In the case of the OP, getting a shot of a fox isn't all that hard, if you know where to find a fox, and getting a compelling background isn't all that hard, either, but getting the two together, in a straight photo, can take forever. In the past, there was no really good solution to that problem -- but now, you can shoot a fox in a zoo, and find a nice backdrop out in the woods, and then skillfully merge the two with Photoshop...and *then* you have an integrity problem. It's not just that the photo is faked, either -- it's that reality is wounded. Since the photographer could pull this off with absolutely no knowledge of foxes, he could place a fox in a habitat in which is absolutely does not exist... If a guy shoots a fox in a compelling background, and then adjusts colors, that doesn't bother me -- I buy the argument that "It's as I remember it." I mean, why should you want everything to look as some guy at the Fuji film works wants to render it? But I don't buy the zoo/forest merger. That's a different order of problem, and one worth arguing about.


Your speaking of "evolution" is getting us closer to the truth I believe.

If I can draw an analogy to Mixed Martial Arts (and, if you'll bear with me, it will make sense in the end), the same kind of evolution is happening there. When I was in college, I took up boxing. To me, nothing was better than pure boxing. It was tremendously more complicated to become truly skillful than most people realize. A 1/2-inch difference in head movement could mean the difference between being on the floor and slipping-n-countering. With the advent of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), originally these contests were "styles" contests, where wrestlers faced karatekas, which themselves faced grapplers, which in turn faced boxers, etc. ... but ultimately there was an evolution and merger of ALL styles into one style ... which has created a new breed of fighter today: the MMA fighter. Today's current MMA fighters are now fairly skilled at wrestling, at jiu-jitsu, at boxing, at Muay Thai, etc. ... but yet they are MASTERS OF NONE. In truth, because of his roundedness, a MMA fighter can beat a boxer, wrestler, or "pure" stylist at a "no rules" fight, BUT YET he is not as good as they are at their "pure style."

I think this exact same evolution and merger has happened in the photographic world, where computers and cameras are now becoming "one system." Together, these tools can now produce better images artistically, and yet in order to become exceptional, today's photographer has to develop a certain proficiency in both photographic skill as well as software manipulation. AND YET, in doing so, I believe ultiamately pure prowess at photography slips a bit. The software becomes a crutch so to speak. If I can go back to my MMA analogy, MMA fighters have a certain degree of boxing skill, but because they have to learn so many other skills, they do not become as good at qua-boxing as a pure boxer. Because, if they get hurt they are trained so that they can just take the fight to the ground to clear their head. You can't do that in pure boxing  

A top champion in MMA may be able to beat a pure boxer with no rules, and he does have a certain degree of boxing skills, but if he were placed in a pure boxing match with a top level boxer, he would be utterly destroyed. The MMA fighter's "crutch" of being able to go to the ground would be gone, and the TRUE MASTERY of the pure boxer would now become crystal clear in that ring.

I guess I am saying the same thing is likely happening in photography. While the combination of software/camera can now create better overall images than ever, strictly speaking pure "photographic technique" is going to suffer because of this crutch that software manipulation offers. As I have taken my own shots, and reviewed them in Live View, I literally think to myself "Well, I could lighten that up in Photoshop," or, "I can get it sharper in Photoshop," and it is my opinion that these very thoughts are my own admission of weakness and my own use of Photoshop as a crutch to supplement my lack of photographic skill.

I am like the MMA fighter who takes a punch, and whose pure boxing skills aren't sufficient to deal with it, and so tries to take the fight somewhere else. I can't get my lighting right, or my focus right, so I take my "image" somewhere else (to Photoshop) to see if I can "get it right" there. Thus the paradox I am trying to express here is, YES, the digital age creates many more means and many more options for us all to salvage and to create better and more diverse images, but IMO it also does so at the expense of pure photographic skill.

So what I mean by a "master photographer" is the person who, with his camera, takes the perfect image, not with his software.

Jack



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Joe Behar

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« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2009, 01:03:46 pm »

Jack,

No disrespect intended at all here, but I think  you want to apply "rules" where non exist.

Photography is not a contest where there is a winner or loser, nor are there "crutches"...only tools.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 01:04:32 pm by Joe Behar »
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2009, 01:34:32 pm »

Quote from: Joe Behar
Jack,
No disrespect intended at all here, but I think  you want to apply "rules" where non exist.
Photography is not a contest where there is a winner or loser, nor are there "crutches"...only tools.


Hi Joe;

No disrespect taken, but please don't take offense to my counter: you're completely missing my point.

I am not suggesting that photography is a "contest" (though photography contests do exist).

My point is that getting "the perfect image" by one's software means that said perfection was not achieved in-camera. Therefore, the degree to which one achieves his desired end in post-process is the degree to which he is unable to do so in-camera, and therefore is not perfecting his photography skills to achieve his ends. I am not saying this is "bad" either; it just IS.

If there are means to get one's end in-camera, but a person is not able to do so, then he is wanting in photography skills. If his default solution to this is to go to Photoshop, then he is not developing his photography, but rather his software manipulation.

I understand that all digital cameras require digital manipulation, but the focus on the digital manipulation over photographic technique makes one more of a software guru than a photographer. Again, I am not saying this is "bad," only that can we call such a person a "photographer" anymore ... or is he simply an "image designer?"

If I win a MMA fight with an ankle lock, I am glad I still won the fight, but can I properly be called a boxer?

Jack
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 01:35:38 pm by JohnKoerner »
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fike

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« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2009, 02:42:35 pm »

I think you are missing the point, Jack.  Most of us agree that the dividing line between shooting in the field and manipulating afterward is, at best arbitrary, and at worst, non-existent.  

Remember that every digital camera and every film has different color, sharpness, luminance, and contrast properties (to name just a few). Furthermore, every lens also affects most of the same properties.  And don't forget the dreaded flash.  That certainly manipulates reality.  How about reflectors?  Yikes.  There are a lot of ways to manipulate reality at the time of capture.  

You are considering a person a master photographer because they shoot the perfect shot in the field, but you need to remember that they have already made choices (deliberate or not) of how to manipulate the image by virtue of the camera, film, lens, flash, or filter they use.  

Human manipulation of the photography tools presented to us is all part of one discipline of photography.  Someone's choice to eschew a particular technique or method doesn't make them a master (or inferior).  It just makes them unique. There is no enhanced virtuousness, quality, integrity, to their work.  It is just how they choose to work.  

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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2009, 03:43:30 pm »

Quote from: fike
I think you are missing the point, Jack.  Most of us agree that the dividing line between shooting in the field and manipulating afterward is, at best arbitrary, and at worst, non-existent.

I am not missing any point; we simply disagree. The dividing line is actually quite clear. If the results of your finished image were obtained through film, and simple development, then photography is what generated your image. If the results of your finished image were obtained digitally, and all you did was transfer your image to your computer, and print, then photography is what generated your image.

But if your image was unsuitable "as captured," to where major refinement was required, then "image processing" created your image as much or more as photographic skill. This is not arbitrary, this is simply where most of the effort came from.




Quote from: fike
Remember that every digital camera and every film has different color, sharpness, luminance, and contrast properties (to name just a few). Furthermore, every lens also affects most of the same properties.  And don't forget the dreaded flash.  That certainly manipulates reality.  How about reflectors?  Yikes.  There are a lot of ways to manipulate reality at the time of capture.

"At the time of capture" = Photography
"Post process" = Image Manipulation

Whatever the peculiarities of your particular photographic tool is are irrelevant. Your mastery of your own camera is still part of photography. Manipulating images is no longer part of the photographic process, so it cannot be called photgraphy. It is image enhancement. My point is simply the better your image comes out from photography, the better your photographic skill. Flashes, reflectors, filters, etc. are all part of photography. Once the finger gets pushed (or the remote shutter released) any further image manipulation is no longer photography.




Quote from: fike
You are considering a person a master photographer because they shoot the perfect shot in the field, but you need to remember that they have already made choices (deliberate or not) of how to manipulate the image by virtue of the camera, film, lens, flash, or filter they use.

You are the one missing the point good sir. It is the choices in the field-and-camera which constitute photography. Again, if I get hit with a punch, and decide to clinch, pivot, and break I am still boxing ... there are many elements to boxing .. but if I decide to do a double-leg takedown, I may still be effective, but I am no longer a boxer. Therefore, if you decide to get your lighting and sharpness right in Photoshop, you may still be effective, but you are not being an effective photographer, but an effective image processor.




Quote from: fike
Human manipulation of the photography tools presented to us is all part of one discipline of photography.  Someone's choice to eschew a particular technique or method doesn't make them a master (or inferior).  It just makes them unique. There is no enhanced virtuousness, quality, integrity, to their work.  It is just how they choose to work.

I respectfully disagree. Human manipulation of the software makes one an effective image processor, but one who relies on post-processing has to do so because he was an ineffective photographer to begin with. My going for a double-leg takedown to gain advantage may make me an effective overall fighter, but I was forced to do so because I was not skillful enough in boxing to deal with your punches. Had I been a better boxer, I would not have been hit in the first place, and would have had an answer for your moves if I had. It was because I was ineffective standing up that I was forced to go to the ground as an alternative to my lack of boxing skills. Nothing wrong with this, hey a win is a win, but while you can call me a good all-around fighter, you certainly couldn't call me a "master boxer."

In the same fashion, I may be able to digitally-manipulate a raw image into excellence, that was lacking in certain original elements, but while the superb finished product was a testimony to my overall skills, strictly-speaking my photography wasn't up to snuff and only my skill in another discipline pulled the image out of the water.

Again, I am not saying this is bad, per se, and I am saying that I may still be viewed as a "great overall artist," but I still have not yet perfected my photography.

I am not sure what is so difficult to understand about this basic truth.

I guess where we disagree is that software manipulation = photography. You're saying it's part of the term; and I'm saying the two are mutually-exclusive skill sets.

Jack
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fike

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« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2009, 05:39:26 pm »

Quote from: JohnKoerner
...
But if your image was unsuitable "as captured," to where major refinement was required, then "image processing" created your image as much or more as photographic skill. This is not arbitrary, this is simply where most of the effort came from.

...

Jack

Sure, I can agree to disagree.  But we can also continue discussing to try to gain a better understanding of one another and hopefully learn...so here goes.    

Your quote above is where I think we fundamentally diverge.  I don't think that any image that is poorly captured can ever be made great, no matter how much post processing is done.  Post processing makes good images great and great images epic.  Post processing cannot make mediocre images into anything other than slightly less mediocre images.

P.S. I have never known anyone to use fighting analogies as a way to understand photography, much less landscape photography.  Haha.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 05:41:27 pm by fike »
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Paul Sumi

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« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2009, 06:17:16 pm »

Quote from: NikoJorj
There ain't any reality in photography beyond conveying that you saw and felt - and this goal makes some manipulations necessary, and some are even inherent to the process.

+1 on this, and -- for me -- discussions on the "reality" of photography always brings to mind Rene Magritte's "The Treachery of Images (This is not a Pipe):"
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:19:19 pm by PaulS »
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Joe Behar

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« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2009, 06:31:06 pm »

Quote from: JohnKoerner
Once the finger gets pushed (or the remote shutter released) any further image manipulation is no longer photography.

Using that definition would disqualify  everything beyond a latent image on film from being described as a photograph.

I'm sure you will agree that we can take two sheets of film exposed identically and simultaneously on two identical cameras at the exact same location and come up with two completely different prints without doing any burning, dodging or manipulation other than choosing paper type, film/paper developer type, time, agitation, temperature and maybe other "non manipulative" factors.

Has one of us practiced photography and the other not?

Which one of us is the master?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:32:22 pm by Joe Behar »
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jjj

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« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2009, 06:32:25 pm »

Quote from: JohnKoerner
LOL, true, but again this creates the paradox. Photographers today are more "image-makers" than pure photographers.
Pure photography!  When you start using terms like that, you start to sound pompous and elitist.
I understand the general point you are making, but that sort of line is nonsense as a photographer is an image maker, always has been.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:58:31 pm by jjj »
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2009, 06:49:04 pm »

Quote from: fike
Sure, I can agree to disagree.  But we can also continue discussing to try to gain a better understanding of one another and hopefully learn...so here goes.  

 




Quote from: fike
Your quote above is where I think we fundamentally diverge.  I don't think that any image that is poorly captured can ever be made great, no matter how much post processing is done.  Post processing makes good images great and great images epic.  Post processing cannot make mediocre images into anything other than slightly less mediocre images.

Very clearly stated.

My point, I suppose, could best be illustrated thus:  (1) If I spent 100% of my time taking photographs, and at the end of the day I dumped my memory chips off with a software expert, one million out of one million people would still call me a "photographer";  (2) however, not one person out of that same million would call the guy working on my images for me post-process a "photographer."

Therefore, the aftermath, though important, has nothing to do with photography really. It is merely image enhancement.

I was essentially thinking out loud in this thread topic. While I need to become proficient in color management post-process, this essentially has nothing to do with photography. Just as if I were an MMA fighter who had to work on takedowns and submissions to be a better fighter, this still has nothing to do with boxing.

IMAGE-MAKERS is what we are now in the digital age, not so much "photographers" anymore. Photography is only one of many elements that we need to do at least fairly well. I was just thinking that as such pure photography skills might begin to become antiquated.

I don't know what this has to do with anything really, LOL, but it just struck me when I read about a particular man (Manglesen) who decided to stick to "pure photography" to capture his images. I was thinking of purely the craft of photography and trying to become as proficient as possible in that skill set over all others. In my mind, I had been trying to compensate digitally for my lacking of my skills, but really I need to do the opposite. I simply admire those whose skill allows them to shoot film and achieve the kind of quality images of the above artists, without digital manipulation.

Anyway, I believe I have clarified my point in my own mind, though of course anyone is free to disagree.

Quote from: fike
P.S. I have never known anyone to use fighting analogies as a way to understand photography, much less landscape photography.  Haha.

LOL, well, I was just thinking about the convergence of many skills into one new skill. Of how these new athletes are Jacks of All Trades, yet Masters of None. I am wondering if this same phenomenon will happen to photgraphers, as automated camera features replace individual choice, and as software manipulation replaces getting it perfect to begin with.

The same images may be created, perhaps even better images, but at what cost to the development of personal human skills in the original vocation of photographer?

It was just a philosophical musing I had ...
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« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2009, 06:57:37 pm »

Quote from: JohnKoerner
If I can draw an analogy to Mixed Martial Arts (and, if you'll bear with me, it will make sense in the end),
Actually it doesn't at all. The only thing that counts in a fight is winning, introducing arbitrary rules which prohibit certain skills one opponent has that can aid winning does not make the the boxing [in your example] superior. To my mind it simply underlines boxing's weaknesses, if you hacprohibit useful defenses/attacks against boxers.
Also there's no reason why an MMA may not have been a boxer to start with and still box as well as do other matial arts.
Doing other MAs only makes you better overall. Just like learning photography techniques outside of the specific area you may be interested in. Most of the better Martial artists are usually good at lots of different MAs. Besides, if you have  abilty to master one, then most of the time you have the ability to master a number of others. It's not mutually exclusive. Same in dancing, the more dances types you do, the bettter a dancer you to tend to become. Those who only practice one style of MA or dance tend to be less proficient, not more proficient. And many of the best dancers have a background in martial arts too and vice versa, Bruce Lee was a Ballroom champion.  And Jeet Kun Do the MA he formulated was an MMA, before the term MMA was concocted.
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jjj

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« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2009, 07:09:46 pm »

Quote from: fike
Your quote above is where I think we fundamentally diverge.  I don't think that any image that is poorly captured can ever be made great, no matter how much post processing is done.  Post processing makes good images great and great images epic.  Post processing cannot make mediocre images into anything other than slightly less mediocre images.
Depends on what you mean by poorly captured. RAW images shott ETTR will look to most people, poorly captured as they are 'overexposed', yet those who use this technique do so to obtain the best quality.
Some shots may look awful straight out of camera, but once developed/processed look great. Lots of my shots look crap as RAW images, but once I've developed them they look great, as for example a low contast image with flat colours, may look great once turned into a contrasty B+W. I don't like any of my RAW files if truth be told, as to my mind they are simply a work in progress. Particularly if you shoot with  PPing in mind, such as ETTR or B+W conversion.

Everytime I come across people who decry post processing, I am tempted to assume they do so as they are not very good at darkroom/lightroom skills, as if they were, they wouldn't deride it so.
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