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Author Topic: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"  (Read 43964 times)

QuintaQuad

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #140 on: April 16, 2015, 12:52:35 am »

I sincerely believe that Landscape should speak for itself.  Mr Briot obviously scorns the idea that anyone would want to 'document' what lies in front of the lens and leave it at that.

Don't know Mr. Briot and can't speak for him but from reading the article I don't believe that "Mr Briot obviously scorns the idea that anyone would want to 'document' what lies in front of the lens and leave it at that." What Mr. Briot seems to scorn is the idea that anyone would define photography as strictly documentation and not additionally allow for photography as interpretive art.

You seem to have a very narrow view of what constitutes photography while Mr. Briot seems to have a broader viewpoint on the definition. Personally, I tend to share Mr. Briot's viewpoint although that's not to say it's right and your viewpoint is wrong...merely differences in opinion.

All the best...
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #141 on: April 16, 2015, 02:11:35 pm »

My argument is simply that these are not 'photographs'.

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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[1857-59] "Le Gray innovated by successively printing parts of two negatives onto the same proof: a landscape and the sky of his choice, photographed elsewhere. He applied this technique to his marines in particular, taking advantage of the flat horizon line that eased the joining of two negatives, thereby emphasizing the horizon's presence and strengthening the force of the resultant image. The effect is stunning... The critics sang his praises, and his photographs of the sea were often exhibited and sought after." page 50

Reproducing Reality: Landscape photography of the 1850s and 1860s in relation to the paintings of Gustave Courbet, Dominique de Font-Rťaulx.
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amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #142 on: April 16, 2015, 03:04:18 pm »

My argument is simply that these are not 'photographs'

[ You suffer from a remarkably limited and, most likely, poorly thought out point of view. ]

ETA: The previous is an ungenerous and arrogant way to say this. Yours is an opinion, which differs from mine. I believe that your argument is more a matter of opinion and feeling than strictly of logic, but such is much of life.

Manipulation begins the moment you put a frame around part of the world. It ends whenever you knock off and call the picture "done". You're drawing an arbitrary line and saying "before this, it's a photograph, after, it is something else."

Now, drawing these lines in various places has long been a popular sport, but it has equally always been futile. I've read many arguments about where to put the line, starting from around 1860, up to the present day. The one common thread is that all the arguments (yours, Emerson's, the NYT's, etc) are silly, devolving under inspection into "well, I think that it ought to go there" wrapped up in a bunch of words that completely fail to support the position.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 03:58:52 pm by amolitor »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #143 on: April 16, 2015, 03:30:00 pm »

You suffer from a remarkably limited and, most likely, poorly thought out point of view.

Manipulation begins the moment you put a frame...

That is utterly patronizing, Andrew, if not downright insulting. A friendlier way of putting it is that people have different views on the subject. Otherwise I could continue in the same tone and say that your "manipulation" stance is utterly ridiculous.

amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #144 on: April 16, 2015, 03:43:04 pm »

Honestly, Slobodan, this is one of those things that I think is objectively true.

I've wrestled with this for years, and I see no way to draw a line between "this is manipulation" and "this is not". Every possibility falls apart upon inspection.

Yes, I am aware that most photographers have a more or less clear notion of where the line ought to be. Even me.

This view, like so many views that people in general hold, appears to be an irrational one made up mostly from opinions held by our teachers and peers.

The fact that most people hold some view or another does not mean that the view is well thought out, or rational, or not limited.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #145 on: April 16, 2015, 03:47:33 pm »

... The fact that most people hold some view or another does not mean that the view is well thought out, or rational, or not limited.

Correct, doesn't mean that on a general level. However, throwing such a statement to someone's face directly just makes you arrogant, as if you are the keeper of the truth, judge of what is well thought out, etc.

amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #146 on: April 16, 2015, 03:57:02 pm »

I admit to being arrogant ;) I will go and edit the original post.
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Nelsonretreat

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #147 on: April 16, 2015, 04:33:57 pm »

I hesitated before posting to this forum having read some of the discourteous contributions. Having a different
Point of view makes for interesting discussion but using 'ad hominum' arguments which insult the writer rather than address the arguments makes for depressing reading.
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amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #148 on: April 16, 2015, 05:12:48 pm »

Very well, I will address the arguments. Let me quote what I think is the core of your argument:

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The problem comes in defining when enhancement crosses a boundary into alteration. Removing power lines from a landscape is one thing. Changing the colour of the sky from grey to orange quite another.

Enhancement is alteration. Your distinction between removing power lines and changing colors appears to be completely arbitrary. But let us read on, since you do address the issue of color. Perhaps all will be made clear:

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It isnít as if there is any shortage of sunsets around to photograph and the joy of landscape photography is capturing the elusive, not manufacturing it with software.

This is pure opinion. This is where you find joy, others may find their joy elsewhere. And in any case, what has one's joy to do with what is and is not photography, or "alteration" versus "enhancement"? I completely fail to see the connection.

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Itís no crime to create a sunset sky, itís just rather sad that someone would need to do it when there is so much natural colour to photograph. How many times have you looked at a super saturated landscape photograph and known instinctively that itís false? Yet we see these photographs constantly win awards in club and national competitions. Anyone who has studied the way sunlight paints the landscape from different angles knows how to capture the best colour without needing Photoshop.

With respect, this entire section appears to be nothing but a backhanded insult to people who adjust colors with Photoshop. You describe it as "sad", you complain that these pictures win competitions, and then for a big finish you imply that people who need to do it are simply not sufficiently skilled as photographers.

Essentially, you seem to be saying that since it is possible to photograph pleasing colors, one ought to do that, and one ought NOT adjust colors in post. Am I to presume, that since removing power lines is OK, that it is NOT possible to shoot landscapes without intrusive power lines? The power lines, and indeed the entire concept of "enhancement" (which is permissible) is simply left hanging, so I am really not sure what to make of it. The only point that is really clear is that adjusting colors is not OK.

Ironically, your jumping off point is a black and white photograph.


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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #149 on: April 16, 2015, 06:34:29 pm »

... Enhancement is alteration....

That is pure opinion at best and circular reasoning at worst. You simply claim that something that remains to be proven actually already "is." That is like saying "erotica is pornography."

For what is worth, I fully share Nelsonretreat's position.

amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #150 on: April 16, 2015, 07:35:49 pm »

What?

How on earth is one to 'enhance' a picture without changing it? Is the enhancement somehow entirely inside the artist or something?
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #151 on: April 16, 2015, 07:45:30 pm »

... How on earth is one to 'enhance' a picture without changing it?...

The law of transformation of quantity into quality, Hegel's dialectics, my friend.

amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #152 on: April 16, 2015, 07:55:26 pm »

Enhancement, considered naively as a mere English word or as a result of some dialectical argument or process, is pretty inescapably a subset of alteration.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #153 on: April 16, 2015, 08:01:28 pm »

Enhancement...  is a subset of alteration.

Of course, but the degree matters. Otherwise you could argue that we are all criminals, as we have at least once in our lives broken some laws, even if by speeding or jaywalking.

amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #154 on: April 16, 2015, 08:48:22 pm »

Precisely. And now it becomes a question of how much is too much. And questions of whether this is more or less than that. And the whole thing disintegrates into, basically 'I think this is OK and that is not'

Which is perfectly fine but not a basis for declaring that what you do is true photography and what the other chap does is mere painting in "the crude lipstick of Photoshop."



« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 08:53:49 pm by amolitor »
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Isaac

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #155 on: April 16, 2015, 08:51:27 pm »

Having a different Point of view makes for interesting discussionÖ

Indeed.

Here's something you wrote in the original article - "Ö The problem comes in defining when enhancement crosses a boundary into alteration. Removing power lines from a landscape is one thing. Changing the colour of the sky from grey to orange quite another. Ö"

Am I correct to read that as your endorsement of removing power lines from a landscape image?


Later you write - "Just leave photography to record what the camera sees not what the photographer wishes it had seen."

Please explain how "removing power lines from a landscape" could be considered to be leaving "photography to record what the camera sees"; or make another attempt to help us understand that you're drawing a boundary based on principle rather than caprice - Whatever I decide to do is OK, whatever I decide not to do is not OK.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 10:41:38 am by Isaac »
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fdisilvestro

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #156 on: April 16, 2015, 09:57:35 pm »

In my opinion, the way the camera records the scene and the way most human see or perceive the same scene might differ. In this case you need to manipulate the image recorded by the camera to make it look "real"

I like this quote from forum member RSL in the thread http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=97433.msg796929#msg796929

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One problem landscape photography has is that it can't even begin to compete with competent landscape painting. Among other examples, I'm thinking about Bierstadt's "Among the Sierra Nevada." He used severe linear perspective distortion to make a contrast between high and forbidding mountains in the background and a gentle, idyllic scene centered on a lake in the foreground. The height of the mountains is very much exaggerated, but they give the viewer the feel of the mountains in certain atmospheric conditions. You simply can't distort linear perspective this way with a camera. If you use a long lens to raise the height of the mountains, the lake in the foreground becomes a creek and you lose the whole point of the scene.

Two examples:

1) Moon illusion: cameras are immune to this issue and there is no way that a image straight out of the camera will look the same as we might have perceived the scene

2) Low light conditions (luminance below 10^-3.5 cd/m^2). Given proper exposure, cameras will record the scene exactly the same way as if the luminance was much higher. On the other hand, those light conditions will be in the range of scotopic vision, were we would be unable to differentiate color (e.g. something that would be bright red under different lighting conditions appears now as dark gray).
What will be the accepted approach here? Leave the image with the full colors or try to emulate perception under scotopic vision?

In relation to:

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"Just leave photography to record what the camera sees not what the photographer wishes it had seen."

I can agree for forensic or documentary work, but if this was a rule or law, I would quit photography immediately

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #157 on: April 16, 2015, 10:01:37 pm »

Precisely. And now it becomes a question of how much is too much. And questions of whether this is more or less than that....

True, but we deal with it everyday in our lives. Is it lust or love? Is it a romance novel, erotica or pornography? Hard to define, yes, but we still use those terms and most reasonable people (hairsplitters notwithstanding) would agree which is which when they see it.

The parallel would be, imho: photography, fine art photography, photo illustration. That is, no or minor enhancement, reasonable enhancement, alteration. The distinctions are to be intuitively grasped, not parsed by hairsplitters. If one insists on hairsplitting, it is actually quite possible, say in a court of law, where the intention (to deceive or not), context, degree, importance of changes, etc. would be established. But we are not there yet (in the court of law), so intuitively grasping is fine. Well, with me, at least. It is equally fine that we disagree on which is which. As long as we stay friends :)

amolitor

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #158 on: April 16, 2015, 10:12:49 pm »

Well said. Far be it from me to be a hair splitter! (Well, sometimes I slip up, but I hope I don't mind too much when a friend calls me on it!)

I think this is a case where there is very little agreement. To be sure almost all will agree that putting a frame around a piece of the world and snapping is OK, be it 'manipulation' or no. And I think most will agree that if you obliterate every form and tone and color, drawing in your own for all, that is too far and no longer deserves the name 'photography' whether you call it enhancement or painting.

Between the two extremes, though, virtually every position has its proponents. There truly does not seen to be some general social consensus to which we may cleave.

This is probably so, if it is, because nothing of importance is on the line. We must have definitions for violent crime, for society's sake. And so a general social consensus arises upon which we may base our law.

So, yes, one can in theory proceed on the basis of social convention, on the general idea that most people know it, roughly, when they see it.

In this particular case, though, I don't think that works.



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AlfSollund

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Re: AB:"Why Photoshop is not Ruining Landscape Photography"
« Reply #159 on: April 17, 2015, 05:45:50 am »

That is logically impossible. A (non-manipulated) picture always shows what really happened, and thus can never lie. Whatever the picture shows, whatever the crop, it is real. Our perception of that reality, our ability (or lack of it) to "connect the dots," to interpret what we see, to create a narrative around it, is what causes it to be (potentially) a lie. If the picture shows two soldiers standing above someone and the rifle is visible, than that's the reality (unless something was photoshopped in or out). That't the truth. Whether it is "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" is a matter of our perception and interpretation and is (often) for courts to decide.



I have to say that there are some wrong statements here. Its not being a hairsplitter stating when the basic assumptions plainly are wrong:

First ,there is no such thing as a "A (non-manipulated) picture". By offering different camera designs one offers different manipulations. This is just one example that disproves the statement of "A (non-manipulated) picture".

Secondly one picture can never, never ever show what happens even inside the frame of this picture. Why? Because a camera with one lens collapses the 3-D reality into a 2-D picture. Consider yourself making a photo with a big rock where you glimpse someone behind with one of your eyes. The camera cannot see this through its one lens. So it doesnt see "what relly happened". As an observer at the scene you can percieve what happens, but seeing the phto cannot allow you to percieve the same.

Third "Whatever the picture shows, whatever the crop, it is real". Yes, in that sense everthing is real. But its not the same reality as the original scene of the photography. Its a probe, a representation of the reality. So if I manipulate a photo in order to make it a better representation of the "reality" I perceive, who are you to jugde that as not being the reality?

With due respect,
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