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Author Topic: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"  (Read 45262 times)

AreBee

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #100 on: April 07, 2015, 05:20:49 pm »

Quote from: Alain Briot
...confusion, frustration and the feeling of having been wronged both on the part of the photographer...

The photographer has no right to feel wronged - it is encumbent upon entrants to read the competition regulations.


Isaac,

Quote
"David’s image of Delamere Forest, which won the Classic view category, and his image ‘The Copse’ which was Highly commended in the Living the view category have also been disqualified for the same reason."

When David failed to read the competition regulations the likelihood that he would contravene them increased with the number of competition categories he entered.
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MHMG

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #101 on: April 07, 2015, 05:31:52 pm »

I keep telling myself not to go here. The subject has been beaten to death, but I can't resist... ;D

Image manipulation, whether it be Photo Shop or classic dark room photo comping techniques, is one of those hot button subjects in photography and has been ever since the dawn of photography in the nineteenth century. It can be boiled down to what people perceive to be drawings or paintings made with an artist's subjective interpretation of the natural world versus photographs that they perceive to be "straight-forward" literal renderings of the natural world. However, from the very beginning of the photographic craft, photographs were always prone to being manipulated in order to produce "photo illustrations" (i.e. using photographic methods, materials, and processes to yield a highly stylized and interpreted version of the world). When you try to differentiate "staight" photography versus "photo illustration" it quickly bogs down, but IMHO, it seems to turn on the simple feature of multiple exposures (i.e., composited visual elements derived from more than one singularly exposed image) versus a single uninterrupted photo exposure of a naturally occurring scene in real life.

What complicates the matter further is those relationships of color and tonality in the final print. We must all realize that neither "straight" photographs nor "photo illustrated" images ever really bear a truly accurate color and tonal resemblance to what someone can actually see. Even when a color scientist tries to pin down the exact color and tonal relationships using modern colorimetry, the scene still gets interpreted through arbitrary standards like 0/45 degree measuring instrument geometry and scene brightness equations that only hold under simplified observer/illuminant conditions. None of us (not even people with color blindness), for example, see the world in pure Black and white, yet B&W images are often considered the quintessential version of "straight" photography.

I try to give my students informative examples of "straight" photography versus "illustrative" photography to help them walk safely through this mine field. Consider Ansel Adam's "Moonrise Over Hernandez". It would have been trivial, even in Ansel Adams day and long before Photo Shop, for Adams to have created his seminal work with all the elements present in the original scene except the moon in the sky, and then later composite another shot of the moon into the scene with conventional darkroom techniques. The end result would look exactly like we see this famous print today. But somehow, in my mind, it would not have been nearly as impressive. We are inspired by this photograph precisely because all the image elements were there at a specific moment in time, a feat that photography does astonishingly well, and you could go back to that very place on thousands of other occasions and never be able to replicate that single exposure.

Compare and contrast Adam's "Moonrise" to Phillipe Halsman's "Dali Atomicus" (google it if you don't know this image). Start by looking at Halsman's "straight" photograph, highly choreographed but still a "straight" photograph on the day of the photo shoot, and then compare it to the final composited version that was published in Life Magazine. His final masterpiece is a fully composited and highly retouched image, but it's pure genius. So, in the hands of an artist, both a "straight" photograph (Adam's Moonrise) and a photo illustration (Halsman's Dali Atomicus) can be amazing works of art.  Seems to me that both "straight" photography and highly manipulated "photo illustrations" can easily coexist and be treated as fine art when made by gifted photographers with care, devotion, and discretion.

Care, devotion, and discretion seem to matter greatly in all aspects of human endeavor :)
 
best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 06:12:28 pm by MHMG »
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #102 on: April 07, 2015, 05:57:26 pm »

The photographer has no right to feel wronged - it is encumbent upon entrants to read the competition regulations.

Perhaps that is not how the photographer would have characterized his own feelings about the competition. Much of the commentary seems to be behind a paywall, this is all I have seen --

Quote
"I have to inform you after a conversation with Charlie Waite I have been disqualified from the Landscape Photographer of the year awards, unfortunately I didn’t read the regulations and certain editing like adding clouds and cloning out small details are not allowed, while I don’t think what I have done to the photo is wrong in any way, I do understand it’s against the regulations so accept the decision whole heartily.

I have never passed off my photographs as record shots and the only reason this has come about has been due to my openness about how and what I do to my images. The changes I made were not major and if you go to the locations you will see everything is there as presented."



When David failed to read the competition regulations the likelihood that he would contravene them increased with the number of competition categories he entered.

By John Camp's reasoning David Byrne's photos should be "weaker" and yet that does not seem to be how they were judged in competition.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 06:08:32 pm by Isaac »
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AreBee

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #103 on: April 07, 2015, 06:30:26 pm »

Isaac,

Quote
Perhaps that is not how the photographer would have characterized his own feelings about the competition.

Yes, he appears to have acted graciously upon learning of the unfortunate incident.

Quote
Much of the commentary seems to be behind a paywall...

I'm sorry I can't help as I do not subscribe to On Landscape.

Quote
By John Camp's reasoning David's photos should be "weaker" and yet that does not seem to be how they were judged in competition.

Were any "unmanipulated" photos (by anyone) entered into the competition?
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haplo602

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #104 on: April 08, 2015, 06:51:23 am »

But there's no such thing as a photograph without any kind of manipulation. With film the development & printing processes have been tuned to yield images that we consider faithful to how our eye/brain system interprets light. With electronic systems the data from color filter array'd photosites is interpolated into continous tones and gamma curves are applied to a linear tonal range to again yield "faithful" images. None of this has to be so. It's a choice we've made. I recommend having a look at some pre-demosaic'd, linear-toned digital files for a better idea of what sensors (via CFAs) and analog-to-digital converters see.

IMO much of the fuss here would go away if we owned up to the fact that what we consider to be visually objective is in fact utterly interpretive. "Okay, our visual systems process electromagnetic input in a certain way. We call this 'seeing.' We generally want our photographic tools & techniques to mimic the way we see. We will consider the photos that result from more faithful mimicing to be 'accurate' and/or 'realistic' while acknowledging that such terms are rooted in subjective experience. Photos that are less faithful in this mimicing will be considered 'experimental' or 'tonally abstract' or whathaveyou." Then you insist that documentary, journalistic & forensic photography measure up to your standards of accuracy and realism. So you get standards without resorting to non-existent BS like objectivity or purity.

-Dave-

I really don't know how to respond to this in a normal way. Basically after deleting 3 or 4 different attempts I realized that it's futile with you given the argument you used. You are confusing flaws in the technological process with intentional manipulation (or doing mixing them on purpose).
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Tony Jay

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2015, 07:06:51 am »

I really don't know how to respond to this in a normal way. Basically after deleting 3 or 4 different attempts I realized that it's futile with you given the argument you used. You are confusing flaws in the technological process with intentional manipulation (or doing mixing them on purpose).
Perhaps one of the better arguments is to look at an in-camera JPEG.
Basically, many people regard this as "unmanipulated" whereas, in fact, it is manipulated in many of the same ways that one would do a RAW conversion in Lr, ACR, C1, etc.
The only difference is, in the case of the in-camera JPEG, some engineers from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, etc have made the decision about how the JPEG's from their cameras will look rather than any individual doing a raw conversion.

Tony Jay
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jjj

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2015, 07:42:23 am »

With regard to those who brought up cropping as lying, what about perspective? i.e. the position one is shooting from along with cropping - in this case as it's a moving image, cropping in time in this famous Guardian newspaper advert from the 70s [or 80s?] which illustrates this. Fashion note - the skinhead style was worn at that time in the UK by those who liked to behave in a thuggish manner.

The Guardian commercial - Points Of View

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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #107 on: April 08, 2015, 01:54:12 pm »

Call me purist in the negative way if you like, but once an artistic (or even technical) process changes so that the product can be wildly different than what is expected as a result from the process, then the product and process are renamed to not invade the territory of the established original.

Words change their meaning over time or become archaic. Each generation makes meanings useful to their lives and will pay no heed to the demand that things should stay the same.
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aebolzan

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #108 on: April 08, 2015, 02:06:27 pm »

after reading the different opinions about this topic, I think that there is a problem with the use or definition of words....photo, picture, image, manipulation, reality, see, envisage, etc.....for me a photo is just and image of what was in front of my lens during the instant I pressed the shutter....a picture could be a photo or a composition of several photos.....what is reality?....for me reality is what was there in front of my eyes...and I can express that in different ways....in black and white if I like textures, lines, light and shadows, colour if I like to see the colours of the nature.....manipulation is to put red where there was not red, or green where there was no green at all, clouds where there were no clouds, absence of a person where it was a person, etc. ....luminance and saturation of the different colours, at least for me, are dependent on the observer, so that they can be adjusted during the development process...in fact, in the days or film, the characteristics of the colours in a photo depended on the film (Fuji, Kodak and Agfa gave different tonalities, so..where was the "real" colour of the landscape?)....this also means that a photo can be taken as IR or even UV....my eyes cannot see them, but they are there!...so that...an IR or UV photography...is not real?.....HDR....is not real?.....yes, it is because I am not modifying the subject, I am taking several photos (almost instantly)  to improve the exposure and the view of the subject, but I am not manipulating the subject.....I am helping the sensor to see what my eyes can see at once.......the UV and IR contributions of light in the landscape are there, I am not creating light......the same analysis could be done with respecto to filters and composition of photos to obtain a panorama.....

Now....what is a picture?...it can be a photo....or the sum of manipulated photos....in the past I used to follow a well-known bird photographer until the appearance of digital photography. I discovered that some very nice or amazing photos were not photos but "pictures". When the eye of the bird was out of focus, he used to take the eye of the same bird from another photo and replaced it, when the wing  was out of the frame, he used to copy and paste the lacking part of the wing...so for me that was not a photo, it was a "picture".....for me the real value of a photo is "to be there" and have the expertise to obtain a view of a certain subject at a certain instant.....I am not saying that what Alain Briot or some other photographers do is not fine art....I like very much the images that I see in Briot's web site and his art of composing them....he is a real artist, but for me (most people can disagree),  they are not photos.....if the clouds were not there at the moment he took the photo, I am not seeing how the subject was, but what Alain would have wanted to see there after thinking and experimenting with the images...that's perfectly OK and I accept that....so he is not ruining landscape photography, he is creating (great) landscape pictures.....this is my personal view of what I consider a photo and what not, but this is just an opinion......

Agustin
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John Camp

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #109 on: April 08, 2015, 04:34:58 pm »

Perhaps one of the better arguments is to look at an in-camera JPEG.
Basically, many people regard this as "unmanipulated" whereas, in fact, it is manipulated in many of the same ways that one would do a RAW conversion in Lr, ACR, C1, etc.
The only difference is, in the case of the in-camera JPEG, some engineers from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, etc have made the decision about how the JPEG's from their cameras will look rather than any individual doing a raw conversion.

Tony Jay

Nobody argues that photos ARE reality, just that they are an excellent two-dimensional version of what you see. What the engineers have done is tune a sensor to provide what (in their minds) is the best version of that visual reality; and their versions (say, between Fuji and Sony) may be somewhat different. Still, they fall within a range that most people find acceptable. We can know that because large numbers of people spend large amounts of money buying those cameras in large numbers for purposes of replicating or preserving what they saw. I am not a purist when it comes to this: I think some adjustments may be necessary to make a photograph more closely resemble a visual reality. You often need those adjustments in such things as skiing photos, where you have both large amounts of sun-lit snow with a background of dark spruce and pine trees. The range is simply outside of what most (or any) cameras can handle, and some judicious HDR work may give you something closer to what the brain sees.

But that's not what we're talking about when we discussion "manipulation." Manipulation (as the word is commonly used) means moving away from what the eye saw. Taking out phone lines is manipulation, as is grafting in new elements. Again, I really don't have a problem with these processes, as long as they are not used to lie.

By John Camp's reasoning David Byrne's photos should be "weaker" and yet that does not seem to be how they were judged in competition.

Really? I thought he lost.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 04:39:10 pm by John Camp »
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Colorado David

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #110 on: April 08, 2015, 04:39:11 pm »

I always tell myself not to open a can of worms . . . unless they are really good worms.  What becomes of shutter speed?  If someone takes a very long time exposure photo with a 10-stop ND filter and the resulting picture has creamy water and clouds, is that now not a photograph?  That reality was not visible to an unbiased observer.  It cannot now be reality.  So must it now be something else even though the photographer only took one exposure and did not post process anything into the scene that was not there?  The word "photography" was created from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), "light"[2] and γραφή (graphé) "representation by means of lines" or "drawing",[3] together meaning "drawing with light".  Greek is a very concrete language.  When you use the Greek, it means what it means.  It was a language in use by a people who valued thought or building a case for supporting their thought.  The logos to telos.  The logical argument resulting in a conclusion.  The Greek is way wider a definition than any that are argued here.

Tony Jay

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #111 on: April 08, 2015, 04:50:11 pm »

Nobody argues that photos ARE reality, just that they are an excellent two-dimensional version of what you see. What the engineers have done is tune a sensor to provide what (in their minds) is the best version of that visual reality; and their versions (say, between Fuji and Sony) may be somewhat different. Still, they fall within a range that most people find acceptable. We can know that because large numbers of people spend large amounts of money buying those cameras in large numbers for purposes of replicating or preserving what they saw. I am not a purist when it comes to this: I think some adjustments may be necessary to make a photograph more closely resemble a visual reality. You often need those adjustments in such things as skiing photos, where you have both large amounts of sun-lit snow with a background of dark spruce and pine trees. The range is simply outside of what most (or any) cameras can handle, and some judicious HDR work may give you something closer to what the brain sees.

But that's not what we're talking about when we discussion "manipulation." Manipulation (as the word is commonly used) means moving away from what the eye saw. Taking out phone lines is manipulation, as is grafting in new elements. Again, I really don't have a problem with these processes, as long as they are not used to lie.

Really? I thought he lost.
Thanks for the clarification John.
It does seem, based on the above, that, in fact, our views on this matter are really pretty closely aligned rather than divergent.

Tony Jay
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #112 on: April 08, 2015, 04:58:22 pm »

By John Camp's reasoning David Byrne's photos should be "weaker" and yet that does not seem to be how they were judged in competition.

Really? I thought he lost.

I suppose you're being facetious, but fwiw --

Quote
"…further investigation has confirmed that the image chosen as the overall winner is in breach of the rules for the Classic view category owing to the extent of the digital manipulation techniques used.

The image was judged in good faith and was the clear favourite amongst the judges."
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John Camp

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #113 on: April 08, 2015, 06:13:32 pm »

Really? I thought he lost.

I suppose you're being facetious, but fwiw --


I have never suggested that various manipulation techniques couldn't be used to make a photo much more dramatic, foreboding, happy, etc. Of course they can; that's what this whole argument is about.
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amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #114 on: April 08, 2015, 06:35:12 pm »

So we have divided manipulation up, hmm:

Intentional versus not-intentional
Inherent in the action of the camera(?) versus not

at least.. I maintain that it's all manipulation starting from selecting the point of view and framing, and that parsing it out finer is a fool's game. But that's just my opinion.

Then we have:

Photos are inherently real (unless manipulated?), and the viewer's interpretation of the scene is a separate issue
versus
Yes, exactly, that's the bloody point. What the viewer sees in the photo is either more or less exactly congruent to the actuality of what was there, depending on, well, things.

And I maintain that the photo without a viewer interpreting it is a nonsense idea. Who cares about photos in drawers? And all manipulation, see above, alters the way the viewer perceives the depicted, however subtly or not.

I think there's a great deal of parsing out of detail, and filing the details in little boxes, to no purpose whatsoever. Ultimately it's all manipulation, and ultimately it all changes the way the viewer sees what's in the picture.
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #115 on: April 08, 2015, 07:15:11 pm »

I have never suggested that various manipulation techniques couldn't be used to make a photo much more dramatic, foreboding, happy, etc. Of course they can; that's what this whole argument is about.

Manipulation (as the word is commonly used) means moving away from what the eye saw. Taking out phone lines is manipulation, as is grafting in new elements. Again, I really don't have a problem with these processes, as long as they are not used to lie.

Manipulation (as the word is commonly used) means "the act of influencing or controlling someone or something to your advantage, often without anyone knowing it" or "the act of controlling or moving something by using the hands".

What the discussion seems to have become about is de-legitimizing some people's artistic choices, while privileging other people's artistic choices.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #116 on: April 09, 2015, 11:52:18 am »

A quote for today (Mike Johnston, The Online Photographer):

Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #117 on: April 09, 2015, 01:39:54 pm »

Quote
Who's Lying?.png

Anyone who suggests photographs were not manipulated before digital.
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #118 on: April 09, 2015, 02:18:49 pm »

I think that when you use long exposures, it is obvious to the viewer that it isn't real. There isn't any dishonesty.  I wonder how people who paste in skies and such talk to people about their photographs? Do they talk about the different times they took different parts of the photo? Or do they just pretend it is real?

I hope it's OK for me to ask -- Do you use long exposures? Do you talk to people about how the long exposure created an appearance of ocean surface that has never existed?

We can all make assumptions about what is or is not obvious to the viewer, to serve whatever argument we're putting forward; but we know that what's obvious to the viewer will depend on their knowledge of photography.

I've seen people's disappointment on learning that the contrast and exposure (and so the colour) of a sky had been adjusted -- even though that produced a far better match to the sensibly perceptible reality of the scene. Given a naïve expectation, people will be disappointed.
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #119 on: April 09, 2015, 03:19:14 pm »

As for the unreality of wide-open shots, with OOF backgrounds, take a look at your finger tip sometime, and without changing focus…

As I expect you know, we continually change focus with our eyes and do not normally experience OoF (excepting presbyopia and other failures) anymore than we normally experience the retinal blind spot.

But I would argue that photography's greatest strength in most fields, including landscape, lies in fidelity to a recorded scene.  There are other ways to work with photos, of course, but generally (not always) the resulting product is weaker than an unmanipulated shot.

That seems to be an assertion not an argument, you don't try to show why we should regard "fidelity to a recorded scene" as photography's greatest strength.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 02:35:32 pm by Isaac »
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