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Thread: Photojournalism and HDR

  1. #1
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Photojournalism and HDR

    Interesting article about the use of HDR. I think if you can capture all the important subject matter within the 5 or more seconds it takes to generate the images then go for it.

    http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/t...on-front-page/

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    Administrator Colin Southern's Avatar
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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    I've got no problems with it what so ever - especially considering that they were so up-front about it. I prefer the 2nd image though - 1st is just too over-cooked for my taste.

    It does trancend a photorealism boundry though.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    I have no issues with hdr either. It's a tool to handle the inadequacies of contemporary sensors.

    Someday, sensors will be able to handle the dynamic range of film and maybe......., someday, that of the human eye! For me it's like the gearbox (manual or auto) on a car. The internal combustion engine has a limited (narrow) power band and needs a gearbox to convert its torque to useful power at the wheels.

    Dave D

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    I also prefer the second image. Not only is the first one cook but it shows banding in the sky. The second looks a bit more natural. It does not really surprise me that they used and HDR photo on the front page, however I was rather turned off the other day when an advertisement came on TV promoting A show called Swamp People and all the characters looked as if they had been cooked to death!

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    Administrator Colin Southern's Avatar
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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by accystan View Post
    I have no issues with hdr either. It's a tool to handle the inadequacies of contemporary sensors.

    Someday, sensors will be able to handle the dynamic range of film and maybe......., someday, that of the human eye! For me it's like the gearbox (manual or auto) on a car. The internal combustion engine has a limited (narrow) power band and needs a gearbox to convert its torque to useful power at the wheels.

    Dave D
    Hi Dave,

    I think sensors actually do a lot better than folks realise; not sure what the DR of film is, but most sensors are up to at least 12 stops, and I'd be surprised if film was much (if any more in fact) - different response curve though, which makes them harder to compare in real-world terms. I doubt that the human eye does any better either - people are quick to point out the overall dynamic range capability, but that's waaaaay different to the instantanious DR that it can handle - most of it's range comes from varying the size of the pupil - and if the eye is allowed to vary the pupil size, then surely the camera is allowed to vary the aperture size? When you think about it, most cameras can go from 30 seconds to 1/8000th (18 stops) - F2.8 to F32 (7 Stops), and have a base range of around 12 stops - so a total EV range of around 37 stops - pretty impressive when you think about it

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I've got no problems with it what so ever - especially considering that they were so up-front about it. I prefer the 2nd image though - 1st is just too over-cooked for my taste.

    It does trancend a photorealism boundry though.
    The one reason I would accept it is that it can only be done on a specific scene mainly a static one such as a landscape. Any other scene, such as a war protest would be difficult to capture in five or six seconds and maintain the sharp focus.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Not only was HDR on the front page, but poorly done HDR was on the front page.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Hi
    I think that the biggest problem is how HDR is explained to the general public. I can do HDR in software on my computer but also on the camera itself. The photos on done on the camera are not as good as ones done on my computer, but they a nicer that a single picture.
    Thanks
    Tim

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    As a photographer, I have no issues with the use of HDR in this particular context. However as someone who spent many years in a newsroom, dealing with editorial matters, I think there are attendant risks to visibly tweaking photographs for publication in news outlets.

    I would worry that if readers see imagery in newspapers which has clearly been manipulated in some way, then there is a danger that it may serve to raise questions over credibility and ethics.

    As far as (good) photojournalism goes, it has always been the case that the camera doesn't lie and what you see is what really happened. If newspapers are going to display some images which have been manipulated then I think it will encourage doubts about all of the images. The public perception might become one of scepticism rather than faithful acceptance. I think it's a dangerous road for newspapers to go down personally.

    That's my tuppence worth!

    www.marty-johnston-photography.com
    Last edited by Marty; 19th February 2012 at 05:08 AM.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    I don't mind HDR. It's technically challenging and fun to work with. It has a place though.

    One question, if the first photo was a composite of several images taken over time, why is the plane so well represented? Would it not be represented multiple times (typically 5 frames are used in HDR), each time moved a little in the direction of travel during the timespan of all the exposures? If I'm right, then the plane has been removed from all but one of the images to keep it sharp. Is that reasonable to do in HDR photography for photojournalism? I am not a photojournalist, but I raise the question to the forum.

    Regards,

    John K

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    I don't think we have to worry about Joe Public getting the wrong message by overcooked HDR's from newspapers. They have been at the forefront of reducing the quality of the pictures we see in the printed media. In an effort to save $$ they will take a shot sent to them from someones cellphone rather than pay for a properly taken photo. In North America we first saw that grow in the Sports sections. Out of focus, grainy snapshots taken from somewhere up in the seating seemed a better option than employing and using a photographer that knew what they were doing. They still have photographers on staff, just not as many as they should. Cellphone pictures from readers gave the newspapers immediate snaps of accidents and fires they couldn't get their own photog's to in time. Good and bad points on that one. As far as newspaper credibility and ethics go, that's another subject entirely.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1 View Post
    ......As far as newspaper credibility and ethics go, that's another subject entirely.
    I don't think it is another subject entirely, which is why I've raised it here and why I think the previous poster, John (NorthernExposure), has raised the question mark over it too. Once again I offer the thought that if you are presenting something that is in some way "fake" as a news picture, then you inevitably raise questions over all of your output.

    Putting the point a slightly different way... if you meet someone and you discover that they have told you a lie, wouldn't you naturally tend to wonder what else they might've told you that's not true? That's the tenet of my point regarding the newspapers and image manipulation. It just fuels questions over 'honesty' that would be better left alone.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    When you really think about it, news photography has been manipulating images for as long as can be remembered.
    Change the angle taking the image to eliminate something from the image, or change the angle to add something/someone to the image. Even changing angles to deceive the viewer into seeing an altered view, etc....
    Pictures can tell a 1000 words or a 1000 lies, it just depends on the photographer/journalist and his/her intentions.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by PBelarge View Post
    When you really think about it, news photography has been manipulating images for as long as can be remembered.
    Change the angle taking the image to eliminate something from the image, or change the angle to add something/someone to the image. Even changing angles to deceive the viewer into seeing an altered view, etc....
    Pictures can tell a 1000 words or a 1000 lies, it just depends on the photographer/journalist and his/her intentions.
    I totally agree with you, indeed this was the topic of a lecture I gave a few years back. Here's a question for you though.... do you think that news photographers actually do this on purpose in order to create a deceptive image? Do you think that picture editors actually ask them to do it to create a desired slant on a story? Or does it just happen as a result of where they are allowed to/able to position themselves on the day?

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    I totally agree with you, indeed this was the topic of a lecture I gave a few years back. Here's a question for you though.... do you think that news photographers actually do this on purpose in order to create a deceptive image? Do you think that picture editors actually ask them to do it to create a desired slant on a story? Or does it just happen as a result of where they are allowed to/able to position themselves on the day?
    Depends on what the photographer submits and if it has been edited. If the photographer as in the days of film submitted the negative (RAW file today) then the manipulation if you want to call it that falls on the editor. If the photographer submits an edited print, even one that is only cropped, then possibly the change was made for a number of reasons, one being composition, two being eliminating a distraction from the photographers intended purpose.

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    Re: Photojournalism and HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by PBelarge View Post
    When you really think about it, news photography has been manipulating images for as long as can be remembered.
    Change the angle taking the image to eliminate something from the image, or change the angle to add something/someone to the image. Even changing angles to deceive the viewer into seeing an altered view, etc....
    Pictures can tell a 1000 words or a 1000 lies, it just depends on the photographer/journalist and his/her intentions.
    This is absolutely true of course, and having been a news photographer for a few years, it just happens that way. You are out on a assignment and you have a choice between point and shoot (ie disengage brain) OR being a little creative and using your skills that you have gained as a photographer over the years to capture a well composed and thoughtful shot, or more often shots.
    Then comes the decision point about which pic to submit to the photo editor and whether to apply any cropping. Then the photo editor or sub editor could apply further crops or decide if to print in mono. The 'editing' goes on...!

    An interesting question to be posed in relation to HDR. What IF all the bracketed images are captured at exactly the same time - say by a camera that had multiple sensors or multiple cameras (or possibly a camera that you can adjust the aperture after the exposure, a bit like the Lytro camera that leave you to choose your focus point in post processing) Is it only the time delay that people are hung up with in this debate?
    STEWART

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    Time Magazine

    Time quite often uses Photoshopped editorialized photojournalism images on their magazine covers. They do not apologize for it, nor do they try to pawn them off as actual shots...

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    Re: Time Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Time quite often uses Photoshopped editorialized photojournalism images on their magazine covers. They do not apologize for it, nor do they try to pawn them off as actual shots...
    They probably do. I think however that the general public readership would perceive "Time" somewhat differently to a daily newspaper and the expectations would be different from each. Yes/No?

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    Re: Time Magazine

    i would just shoot in raw.
    i also agree that the photo looked "over cooked"

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