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Author Topic: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation  (Read 84997 times)

Isaac

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #120 on: June 04, 2013, 12:30:30 pm »

Ethics are an issue be it a landscape shot or a photo for a magazine/news article.

Because...?

I'm not out to capture pure reality, but I'm not here to create myths either. Adding/removing elements to a landscape shot are def no no's for me. Others can do as you wish.

So it's a matter of personal preferences.

... Aesthetics is not the word I use, it's well beyond that I'm afraid.

So it's a matter of personal preferences inflated into moral absolutes :-(
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kencameron

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #121 on: June 04, 2013, 06:29:45 pm »

Anyone can argue every photo is processed (weak argument and too general)


We all make choices even at the capture stage, from the lens/aperture used, exposure, composition is by it's nature "selective".

 "Every photo is processed" precisely because "We all make choices....". That is what this line of argument means. It seems that you think it is weak, but also agree with it.

Whether or not an individual photo looks (over)processed is another question.
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Ken Cameron

Isaac

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #122 on: June 04, 2013, 07:25:17 pm »

Whether or not an individual photo looks (over)processed is another question.

Another question of aesthetics ;-)

As it happens, I'm currently finding my way around a trial of DxO Optics Pro and simply clicking through the provided presets and film treatments begins to change what I might do with a photo.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 07:38:36 pm by Isaac »
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Tony Jay

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #123 on: June 05, 2013, 05:46:29 am »

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Alan Klein

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #124 on: June 05, 2013, 06:17:37 pm »

Nice shot Tony;  It's not overdone.  Alan.

barryfitzgerald

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #125 on: June 05, 2013, 08:24:36 pm »

Because...?

So it's a matter of personal preferences.

So it's a matter of personal preferences inflated into moral absolutes :-(

Not really. A adding/removing elements is deceitful and some would say cheating. We can all do it, but taking the less trodden path is something I find rewarding.
Very much a moral point IMO. Some would say weak photographers run to software to help them out..I won't disagree that some do.
Processing has to me always been the final tweak, finishing touch it is not the main act.
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Isaac

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #126 on: June 05, 2013, 08:56:18 pm »

Adding/removing elements is deceitful and some would say cheating.

Let's peel back another layer:
- we are not talking about "PJ type reportage shots" so why is adding/removing elements deceitful?
- we are not talking about "PJ type reportage shots" so what rules are being broken that could be called cheating, and who imposed those rules?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 09:08:47 pm by Isaac »
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Alan Klein

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #127 on: June 05, 2013, 10:02:02 pm »

Quote
...and who imposed those rules?

Unlike art where the "picture" comes from the artist's head, a photograph captures light in a slice of time never to be repeated again.  When you change the objects that are in that picture, and present it as something you actually saw as opposed to photo art, you are fooling the observers who normally think what they see is what you captured.  You're messing with God's work!

kencameron

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #128 on: June 06, 2013, 02:56:34 am »

...and present it as something you actually saw...
That is the potentially deceptive bit. But you don't present a photograph as something you actually saw just by publishing it, unless it is in photojournalism or related contexts . Most viewers are much more sophisticated than that.  Alteration in a landscape photograph is morally objectionable only if it is being used to advertise the landscape itself for sale. Otherwise, it is all aesthetics (where viewers evaluate photographs against their aesthetic preferences and not against "reality") and the personal preferences of photographers (which are entirely their business until they start attempting to foist them on others as moral principles, as too many can't resist doing).

But I do agree that all photographs plagiarize God's work.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 03:01:13 am by kencameron »
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Ken Cameron

Isaac

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #129 on: June 06, 2013, 01:06:40 pm »

Unlike art where the "picture" comes from the artist's head, a photograph captures light in a slice of time never to be repeated again.

A photo sensitive material captures the light that the photographer allows to be captured, to make the picture that comes from the [photographer]'s head.

In some cases, the picture that comes from the photographer's head corresponds closely with the scene from that vantage point, but in other cases the picture differs to lesser or greater degrees from what one might see.

Quote
"Profoundly dedicated to pure photography, [Frederick H. Evans] never altered the printing of negatives for aesthetic effects; rather, the eloquence of his images comes from his ability to capture the supremely expressive viewpoint at the most telling moment of light and shadow."

A Sea of Steps, Wells Cathedral, Stairs to Chapter House and Bridge to Vicar's Close
, 1903

Although "profoundly dedicated to pure photography", Frederick H. Evans was persuasive in having the pews cleared away (so the scene would match the picture from the artist's head) and removed the people that constantly wandered through the scene by the simple expedient of putting the lens cap back on the camera until they had passed by (so the scene would match the picture from the artist's head).
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 01:58:12 pm by Isaac »
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Telecaster

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #130 on: June 06, 2013, 04:54:52 pm »

Unlike art where the "picture" comes from the artist's head, a photograph captures light in a slice of time never to be repeated again.  When you change the objects that are in that picture, and present it as something you actually saw as opposed to photo art, you are fooling the observers who normally think what they see is what you captured.  You're messing with God's work!

In the year 2013 it's past time IMO for anyone who normally thinks "what they see is what you captured" to get real. Photographs are abstractions and always have been. Film or electronic, the medium doesn't just capture light, it does stuff to it. The photographer does stuff too, whether through choice of focal length & framing, color palette or lack thereof, contrast & tonality and so forth. Making authority claims, to deities or otherwise, does nothing to change this.

Personally I favor telling people when objects have been added to or deleted from an image. But I don't favor turning this into a mandate. Let people get wise themselves to how things work. IME younger folks already get it.

-Dave-
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Alan Klein

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #131 on: June 06, 2013, 05:49:41 pm »

Quote
IME younger folks already get it.

I'm just an old fogey.  Oh well.

RFPhotography

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #132 on: June 06, 2013, 07:25:08 pm »

Unlike art where the "picture" comes from the artist's head, a photograph captures light in a slice of time never to be repeated again.  When you change the objects that are in that picture, and present it as something you actually saw as opposed to photo art, you are fooling the observers who normally think what they see is what you captured.  You're messing with God's work!

Are you suggesting, Alan that only 'manipulated' photos can be considered as art?

Isaac, earlier on in the discussion we were talking about PJ.
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Alan Klein

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #133 on: June 06, 2013, 08:06:56 pm »

Quote
Are you suggesting, Alan that only 'manipulated' photos can be considered as art?

No.  Any photo can be considered art.  I'm sorry I wasn't clear.  The point I was making is that a photo that is manipulated enough is not misinterpreted or misrepresented as capturing a moment in time.    The viewer understands it was deliberately changed.  The viewer isn't fooled.    There is no truth to be concerned about.    Both sides are in on it.

That's different than the photo having all appearance of being what was there to the viewer when actually the photographer cloned in a white horse in that beautiful field.  It's this type that bothers me.  Doesn't it bother you just a little?

kencameron

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #134 on: June 06, 2013, 08:50:58 pm »

 It's this type that bothers me.  Doesn't it bother you just a little?
Good question, which I will take the liberty of answering as well. The answer is no, certainly when it comes to white horses which are a cliche of advertising and hence pretty much certain to have been photoshopped, and also in relation to other landscape photography. The reason is that I think of all landscape photography as being essentially artificial and  fictional, as telling a story about the natural world to please viewers rather than as reproducing it.
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Ken Cameron

Isaac

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #135 on: June 06, 2013, 08:54:21 pm »

Isaac, earlier on in the discussion we were talking about PJ.

Yes, and before that we weren't talking about PJ.

And for the last few days the discussion has been "beyond just PJ type reportage shots".

What of it?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 08:58:18 pm by Isaac »
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RFPhotography

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #136 on: June 06, 2013, 11:39:33 pm »

Simply pointing out that the entire discussion has not been about genres other than PJ and comments have to be put in proper context. 
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barryfitzgerald

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #137 on: June 07, 2013, 03:59:48 am »

Good question, which I will take the liberty of answering as well. The answer is no, certainly when it comes to white horses which are a cliche of advertising and hence pretty much certain to have been photoshopped, and also in relation to other landscape photography. The reason is that I think of all landscape photography as being essentially artificial and  fictional, as telling a story about the natural world to please viewers rather than as reproducing it.

Well for me yes it would bother me adding a horse it's not there to start with.
Not all of us subscribe to the artificial thinking with landscapes either, a picture can be natural, non manipulated and tell a story.

And yes the discussion is relevant to other types of photography, be it portraits, landscapes, fashion etc etc
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Rob C

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #138 on: June 07, 2013, 04:22:41 am »

Why should every picture feel obliged to tell some story?

Can't something simply be beautiful in its own right, with no further pretensions to anything else? I have a few of my own snaps on the walls here, as well as some paintings from past generations. My own stuff simply shows a good female body, mostly without complete heads in order to render the shots generic, non-specific to any indiviudual, and the paintings are nothing more than representations of the mood of Tuscany, a Tuscany probably long gone, but beautiful nonetheless. I also have one of the base of a tree, painted by a second-cousin in Scotland, so realistic that at ten feet it might be a photograph.

Why should there be more, and who gives a shit if a long-dead artist cut away dead olive trees or poplars?

This is all getting so anal that it's almost amusing.

Rob C

peevee

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Re: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation
« Reply #139 on: June 07, 2013, 10:20:19 am »

"The lie begins in the camera." See my blog "Dirty Tricks or Photographic Arts." www.artsconflicted.wordpress.com
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