Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 125

Thread: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

  1. #1
    Thlayle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    248
    Real Name
    Randy Butters

    Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    This link is mostly about HDR. The title of the article suggests an exploration of how our perceptions of weather may be altered by post-processsing. It doesn't really get very far into that subject but I still found it interesting:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...nature-photos/

    I was especially caught by this statement, "Just like models in magazines are Photoshopped to look more appealing, storm photos are increasingly being processed with HDR to look more impressive."

    I don't have a problem altering shots to recapture the 'feel' of the scene as I experienced it. Now that I am working with Photoshop, I am beginning to experiment with alterations that sacrifice the reality of the scene for aesthetic reasons. For example, something I would have never considered 'honest' at all is swapping out the skies to improve a scene. I have done this even with night shots: screening in the Milky Way in a dark but mostly clear sky.

    Is it dishonest or just harmless fun? That is the question always in the back of my mind.

  2. #2
    HaseebM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chennai India
    Posts
    627
    Real Name
    Haseeb Modi

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Harmless fun only if there is no altering of human appearances, like in matrimony for eg., other than that I guess it would boil down to how much the image processing pleases your senses and if it bothers you, others.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    I think it's interesting that nobody ever questions an oil painter's rendition of a scene that has very little resemblance to reality yet the same sort of rendition made by a photographer is regularly questioned. I understand that the questions are viable in the realm of photo journalism but not in any other genre.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    13,614
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    The authors of the article clearly do not understand how our eyes work and how our cameras record data and the limitations of what our eyes / brain interpret versus the limitations on dynamic range of a paper print, computer screen or television.

    People seem to be fine when people apply makeup before a photoshoot, dress, pose or use specific lenses to hide or accentuate certain body features during the shot. Try the same thing in Photoshop and people hit the roof, and I'm not talking about the over the top work with the warp tool that makes an overweight middle-aged woman look like a Barbie Doll, but rather more subtle stuff like reducing sheen, removing acne, wrinkles, etc. Sorry, I find this view that a lot of people (including some photographers hold) boardering on the hypocritical.

  5. #5
    Thlayle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    248
    Real Name
    Randy Butters

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    I guess it's a combination of things that nag at me on this subject. For one thing, I have often had people question if I 'Photoshop' my pictures and sometimes with comments suggestive that the idea of any alterations diminish the value of the image and my work to get it. That goes back LONG before I ever used Photoshop or any editor with any similar capabilities and I think stems partly from the reputation the program has gotten for 'parlor tricks.' Apparently, many still believe in photos having to come straight out of the camera without changes for them to be 'real.'

    Very good point about other art expressions not being subject to all the comparisons to reality. HDR hasn't helped this much, at least not with all the extreme (and often badly done as far as I am concerned) manipulations of color & shadow.


    Altering scenes beyond just cosmetics is a new step in the creative process for me. I think the article from the WP points out something important though: widespread use of some techniques changes expectations. At what point is this detrimental in some tangible way?

  6. #6
    Peeshan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    55
    Real Name
    Pierre

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    A funny thing is that peoples didn't question the various treatements and corrections effectued during film processing in the old days, or the automatic/semi-automatic changes made in camera when they shoot jpg.
    But the same thing made with a computer on widescreen is considered evil... :s

  7. #7
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Thlayle View Post
    For example, something I would have never considered 'honest' at all is swapping out the skies to improve a scene. I have done this even with night shots: screening in the Milky Way in a dark but mostly clear sky.

    Is it dishonest or just harmless fun? That is the question always in the back of my mind.
    Echoing Mike Buckley's comment:

    Why is it that a graphic artist is not considered dishonest, yet many consider a creative photographer to be so when he/she creates the same scene? I think it's time we got past this hang-up.

    @Haseeb and @Manfred: What is sacred about the human countenance? At what point do lipstick, hair-dos, make-up, and fancy clothes become deceptive?

    @Thayle (second post): There is more than enough bad graphic out there too - it isn't just bad HDR that abounds.

    Perhaps the "line in the sand" is when we purposefully deceive without acknowledging the changes. There a many more types of dishonesty not involved with photography/art.

    On another respected photo forum, there is a section for images entitled; "Photo and Digital Art". This takes care of the issue quite nicely.

    Glenn

  8. #8
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    4,018
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Thlayle View Post
    . . .

    I was especially caught by this statement, "Just like models in magazines are Photoshopped to look more appealing, storm photos are increasingly being processed with HDR to look more impressive."

    I don't have a problem altering shots to recapture the 'feel' of the scene as I experienced it. Now that I am working with Photoshop, I am beginning to experiment with alterations that sacrifice the reality of the scene for aesthetic reasons. For example, something I would have never considered 'honest' at all is swapping out the skies to improve a scene. I have done this even with night shots: screening in the Milky Way in a dark but mostly clear sky.

    Is it [manipulation of the image in Post Production] dishonest or just harmless fun? That is the question always in the back of my mind.
    It occurs to me that this is neither a new technique for Landscape Work nor a new topic for discussion: I refer as one example only to Ansel Adams' text: "The Print"

    In days gone by, manipulation during the processes from capture to neg and then from neg to print was generally considered to be just a natural part of the Photographic Process and really, the bottom line is: not much debate about 'honesty' or ’just harmless fun’ ever took place at all. In this respect some Photographers do not see why the Post Production is to be so severely separated and discussed as if it is a completely foreign entity from the capture of the image. I am one of those.

    Apropos your landscape Photography: simply make the final image, which addresses and satisfies the Artists’ Vision.

    If you want a definition, then “honesty” is simply portraying that Vision in the Final Print.

    ***

    Photography for the purposes of: Reportage; Forensic Science; Historical Issue; Medical Science et al ALL warrant a different conversation.

    The referenced article makes reference to images (specifically images of Women) used for the purposes of ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHY.

    This is a much skewed comparison.

    A conversation about the uses of Images (of Women) in ADVERTISING needs to be way deeper than a one line 'flick pass', in an article about HDR for Landscape Photography.

    On the face of their research and writing thus far, any such conversation about what images used and how the images are prepared and presented for ADVERTISING PURPOSES is seemingly beyond both the grasp and intellect of both Ambrose and Livingston.

    *

    In summary: Ambrose and Livingston have written a lame feature article based upon a wild claim that somehow this evil act is new and is a result of Digital Capture and HDR specifically.

    The Authors enhance the viewer’s interest by using hyperbole such as “defiling” and emotive phrases such as “goes too far” . . .

    Both Ambrose and Livingston should take a severe mirroring.

    Their lame feature article is much more “dishonest” and contains much more hyperbole than any Landscape Photographer who uses HDR to make a scene more interesting to the viewer.

    No wonder newspapers were used as toilet paper and fish wrapping in days gone by – the referenced article is even less worthy than to be used so.

    WW

  9. #9
    travis4567's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    726
    Real Name
    Travis

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I think it's interesting that nobody ever questions an oil painter's rendition of a scene that has very little resemblance to reality yet the same sort of rendition made by a photographer is regularly questioned. I understand that the questions are viable in the realm of photo journalism but not in any other genre.
    Great observation Mike, maybe i'll be inspired to be less conservative with my work.

  10. #10
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    13,614
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    @Haseeb and @Manfred: What is sacred about the human countenance? At what point do lipstick, hair-dos, make-up, and fancy clothes become deceptive?
    Glenn - please re-read my post, as that is exactly what I was saying.

    I once sat in on a professional makeup course and learned what makeup artists learn, so that I could achieve similar results to what they did. I can achieve the same effect as mascarra when I do local sharpening and cloning. I can achieve the same effect as a foundation when I remove blemishes and other minor facial discolouration.

    Yet, in many people's minds, manupulating the face with chemicals is okay and manipulating pixels is not.

    I DO PROTEST, QUITE STRONGLY!!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Larry Saideman

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Isn't there a difference between enhancing and replacing? It is one thing to smooth a face and another to replace it with Halle Berry's. I am all for artistic liberty but I try to mention if something has been fundamentally changed. With pictures comes the assumption of the image being lifelike. That assumption has long died with painting. Replacing a sky is not uncommon, I think, but the pic could no longer be entered in many a contest. I would think you would also have to be honest submitting it to a magazine.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    This is a topic that pops up once in a while. In my mind it's quite cut and dried:

    - If it's my image then I'll bloomin well do what I like with it. End of.

    - The ethics - for me anyway - kick in with regards to the intentions of the image. If one publishes a news photo and clones in more smoke to make a war scene look worse than it is - then that's unacceptable. If one alters an image to make it look more visually appealing then that's fine.

    So - in my book - NOT OK if the intention is to deceive; OK if the intention is to enhance.

    Possibly the biggest issue comes from the "altered expectations" that young girls get from looking at (over) Photoshopped "stars". Personally I think they over do it; in my contact with "stars of the show" they're just ordinary people who put their trousers on the same way I do - one leg at a time. As a whole I think the industry over-does it - I don't "enhance" anywhere near that much - but either way, it's not a battle I'm going to win so I just go with the flow as they say.

    In terms of using ultra-tone-mapped (as per the link - it's NOT HDR as it's produced from a single exposure) to "soup up storm shots" - can't say it bothers me one way of the other, but then again, as a photographer I instinctively see through those creations anyway. Probably what ticks me off the most is people Photoshopping things and then trying to pass them off as being "how it really happened".
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 18th August 2014 at 03:34 AM.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Thlayle View Post
    I guess it's a combination of things that nag at me on this subject. For one thing, I have often had people question if I 'Photoshop' my pictures and sometimes with comments suggestive that the idea of any alterations diminish the value of the image and my work to get it. That goes back LONG before I ever used Photoshop or any editor with any similar capabilities and I think stems partly from the reputation the program has gotten for 'parlor tricks.' Apparently, many still believe in photos having to come straight out of the camera without changes for them to be 'real.'
    I think it's an education thing. People need to realise that the camera and human vision are vastly different;

    - If I freeze a sharp photo of a bird in flight then more beauty and detail be be able to be seen than would have been seen with the naked eye - even though no enhancement has been done.

    - If I need to use a long exposure to get enough light then the effect on water will be different to what I see with my eyes

    - If I use a zoom lens then again, I'll see detail not visible with the naked eye.

    - If it's family portrait time, do I put the customer off 5 years because the teenage daughter has acne?

    - If I'm photographing a bull through a fence, do I jump over the fence to give the beast a sponge bath before taking the shot for the cover of "dairy farming today"?

    People just need to realise that photos are manipulated in many different ways for many different reasons. If we didn't do that then many things would just be impossible (like taking a B&W photo with a colour camera). For many "photoshopping" is synonymous with "faking it" whereas for us togs it's an essential part of photography - it's just a case of the degree.

    Unfortunately it's one of those "how long is a piece of string" type discussions.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,651
    Real Name
    Shane

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Don't get me started...

    Probably what ticks me off the most is people Photoshopping things and then trying to pass them off as being "how it really happened".
    This happened to me recently when I attended a supermoon shoot with a photography meetup up group. There was a long line of tripods aimed at the same scene. I got a couple of decent shots and hadn't yet posted any online when I saw exactly the same scene with a huge and detailed 'super moon' coming over the horizon (about 10 times the actual size that it was in reality and not blown out at all which would have been impossible if you wanted to see any other detail in the scene). I pointed it out to a coworker and called BS on the shot. I showed them my shot the next day and they were honestly surprised.

    To the credit of the photographer when asked how she took a great shot she was honest and said it was a 'photoshop' lens and that there was no way to capture that amount of detail in one shot. However she never addressed the fact that the scale was exaggerated to the extreme. That is deception and I now suspect every super moon shot that I see

  15. #15
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    4,018
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    A related topic . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Brev00 View Post
    . . . Replacing a sky is not uncommon, I think, but the pic could no longer be entered in many a contest.
    That's a very big can of worms.
    Let's think for one minute, or two, or three:
    Let's say we have a photography competition and the rules state, in simple terms that: ‘there is to be no Post Production/Manipulation of the image file to final print’.

    Question: How many images that conform to that rule can be submitted to the competition?
    Answer: None.

    So then those "rules" have to be long and tedious defining exactly what manipulations and also the degree of manipulation . . . it is just utter chaos even going there.

    WW

  16. #16
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Glenn - please re-read my post, as that is exactly what I was saying.
    Manfred:

    I apologize - I did read your post, and meant to agree with you and restate your comments - but I mis-worded my comment, and it sounded like I wasn't paying attention to what you said (I did pay attention and totally agree with you).

    This is one of the most annoying things on public forums - people don't have good reading comprehension and repeat the same thing all over again - something I surely didn't mean to do - as I said it's damn annoying.

    Unfortunately it happens quite often on CiC.

    Glenn

  17. #17
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    People just need to realise that photos are manipulated in many different ways for many different reasons. If we didn't do that then many things would just be impossible (like taking a B&W photo with a colour camera). For many "photoshopping" is synonymous with "faking it" whereas for us togs it's an essential part of photography - it's just a case of the degree.

    Unfortunately it's one of those "how long is a piece of string" type discussions.
    Yes.

    But we will still have "purists" who think SOOC is pure photography (actually they are what I'd call non-realists).

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Yes.

    But we will still have "purists" who think SOOC is pure photography (actually they are what I'd call non-realists).
    Yep - and I will defend with my wife their right to think that. However if they persist in saying it to me, I'll take their photo and do things with it in Photoshop that they'd never have thought possible!

    I jest - but seriously - "who cares". We can't please all of the people all the time; and are they not manipulating reality if they so much as arrange elements of the scene or even simply add light to it (hey, that's not how it looked at the time!).

  19. #19

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    This debate always ends up with arguments. Fact is that we all look at the world with different eyes and from different perspectives.

    In the world of painting you get the realists and impressionists. In the world of Photography you get the Photographers and the Photoshoppers.

    Photography is not art per-se but it is The Art of painting with light. Some will see the light and develop the skill to capture it in that moment in time and others will “manipulate” the light to look like whatever they want it to be.

    To me the object of Photography is still to master the tools of the trade to capture images rather than making photographs. No matter what Ansel Adams might have said, I am not living in the world of Ansel Adams, I am living in a world of technological superior tools from whatever Ansel Adams ever had.

    With modern technology, in modern cameras, it is within the reach of the master of the craft to capture images as close to whatever the Photographer wants the image to be or as realistic as that moment in time is. No need to manipulate a captured image to depict surreal artistic impressions unless it is the intention of the Artist to use photographic media to create his/her own photographic impressions.

    I believe we are not far from technology in cameras, where each individual pixel will shut down once the right amount of photons have been gathered to render perfect exposure.

    Bottom line is: No matter whatever you choose to be, Photographer or Photoshopper, choose your tools and choose the way you wish to use those tools. No matter what others might say or do, do your thing and get out there and use the tools, the tools of photography, to the best of your ability, getting from it what you want to get out of it.

  20. #20
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    4,018
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Enhancing or Defiling: Post-Processing & 'Reality'

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    This debate always ends up with arguments. Fact is that we all look at the world with different eyes and from different perspectives.
    Sage. (sardonic)

    What is a “debate” if not a “contest of arguments”?

    *
    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    In the world of painting you get the realists and impressionists. In the world of Photography you get the Photographers and the Photoshoppers.
    Well, I think that comparison is both ignorant and flawed.

    “Post Production” or if you will, “manipulation from capture to neg and then neg to print” has always been part of the PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESS: it is not a different PERIOD of the Photographic Artistry.

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Photography is not art per-se but it is The Art of painting with light.
    IMO – that is garbage.

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    With modern technology, in modern cameras, it is within the reach of the master of the craft to capture images as close to whatever the Photographer wants the image to be or as realistic as that moment in time is. . .
    IMO - "Absolute" Garbage.

    au contraire . . .

    With "modern technology" the Photographer is able to extend their Artistry to capture an image and then PRODUCE a final image much CLOSER to the ARTIST'S VISION than we have ever been able to, before.


    WW

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •