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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Thu 09-May-13 12:50 PM
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"Old style Photoshopping"
Thu 09-May-13 12:52 PM by dagoldst

Little Rock, US
          

I thought this was a cool article - I noticed it while reading the one of color bombs destroying lenses.

http://petapixel.com/2013/05/08/how-photographers-photoshopped-their-pictures-back-in-1946/

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography
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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 10-May-13 12:23 PM
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#1. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 0


Philadelphia, US
          

That was a fun read David. Thanks for posting it.

Many of those techniques were still in use many years later.

I often get a kick out of photographers who don't believe in any enhancement of photos and say it's wrong to do so. They say they take the image from the camera as is.

I'm not talking about removing street lights from cityscapes, or trees, branches and twigs from landscapes and wildlife shots, or adding in some extra damage in news photos (The latter happening a few years ago by a news photographer who was fired when it was discovered what he did.).

I'm talking about enhancing dramatic skies through digital burning and dodging, increasing contrast, cropping, or increasing color saturation as, examples.

Those same folks point out that, in the past, the masters didn't do it. The thing is ... they did.

For example, it may be an exaggeration to put it this way, but Ansel Adams for one, didn't meet an image he didn't think he could make better in the darkroom. He manipulated images all the time, and in his summer workshops, taught many students each year, if you were lucky enough to get into one, how to do it themselves. He was far from alone in this, among those we consider masters today.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 10-May-13 01:41 PM
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#3. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 1
Sat 11-May-13 02:58 AM by blw

Richmond, US
          

> I often get a kick out of photographers who don't believe in any enhancement of photos and say it's wrong to do so. They say they take the image from the camera as is.

One of my more lasting memories is browsing in the book aisle of my brick and mortar photography store and picking up a book, probably on Photoshop or something. A woman standing there admonished me - completely unsolicited - that editing photographs was "intellectually dishonest" and that anything that wasn't good (I guess she really meant "perfect") out of the camera should just be deleted. To this day I'm practically scarred by that comment, which I believe is unrealistic and unfair.

> Those same folks point out that, in the past, the masters didn't do it. The thing is ... they did.

It's more than that. It was an integral part of the photographic process. We often say that "Ansel Adams did it too." But really it was far more than that, as Ned says, "didn't meet an image he didn't think he could make better in the darkroom." Particularly for photographers shooting large format sheet film, the photographer imagines the end result before releasing the shutter, and in fact arranges both the exposure and the darkroom work as an integrated whole. Summarized as briefly as I know how, a large-format Zone System photographer exposed for the shadows, then adjusted development and printing to ensure that the highlights fit the technical limitations and creative intent. Since this is the New to Photography forum, I should point out that unlike common 35mm or 120 roll film, large format film is normally developed one sheet - that is, one shot - at a time. So someone like Adams would make the shot and then write on the notes for that shot exactly how it should be developed, generally to pull the highlights into the dynamic range of the film stock. That in turn would mean specific things about how some of the midranges would develop, for example with lots of contrast or very little, as a result of the compression or lack thereof between the shadows and highlights. Once the negative came out that way, it meant pretty specific things about how to print that negative, for example how to burn and dodge it, or what contrast paper and/or filters would be needed to get midrange contrast the way the photographer intended. There was no way to not to do the darkroom work.

Similarly, in modern digital terms, we'd expose for the highlights, so they don't blow out, then expect the post processing to bring the shadows to the point that they can be printed or Web-exported properly. Most of the same considerations that drove Adams and the f/64 Group and other Zone System practitioners apply equally to modern digital post processing. In fact, to not do the post processing here is at minimum, incomplete and at worst, creatively incompatible with the original vision.

As a trivial example, if I want to create a modern night photograph like O. Winston Link's famous 1950s genre (Google him, if you don't recognize the name), I know I'll be shooting in B&W. I know that I'm going to have both very bright highlights and very deep, jet-black shadows, and I have to arrange all of the mid-tones to suit the scene. That means particular methods of capture and specific techniques for processing and printing, just as Link and his assistants did fifty years ago with a different process. And I have to do this even though I'm often shooting 1:87 scale models.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 10-May-13 01:44 PM
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#4. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 3


Philadelphia, US
          

"It was an integral part of the photographic process."

What a perfect way to put it.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 10-May-13 01:27 PM
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#2. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I too found this article very interesting - thanks for posting the link.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Floridian Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007Fri 10-May-13 07:52 PM
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#5. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 0


Tallahassee, Florida, US
          

The idea that you should just accept the photo as it comes out of the camera seems especially odd for black and white. Setting aside the fact that different films (and digital cameras) will have different looks anyway, and that exposure, depth of field, etc., can be set differently in the camera, the real world does not look black and white. So the camera has already done much more modification of the image, just by capturing it in black and white, than any retouching is likely to do.

Randy

  

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sat 11-May-13 04:26 PM
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#6. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 5
Sat 11-May-13 05:02 PM by limeyzen

Waynesville, US
          

This topic facinates me if only because I recently attended at a local photography club a presentation on PS capabilities and then an exhibit at a gallery where several photos were labelled as "Photoshop enhanced" Some were obviously changed (non enviromently appropriate animals added etc etc.) others not so obvious.

Ned mentioned that for him deleting a branch or twig, for example, would not be acceptable but other things are OK so, and without debating the ethics of PS'g, I wonder where you folks draw the line between acceptable without need for disclosure and need to clearly state "PS'd", if at all, when exhibiting, selling etc.

Geoff

Edit: It occurs that "disclosure" seems to be a theme with me

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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Sat 11-May-13 05:14 PM
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#7. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 6


Little Rock, US
          


>Ned mentioned that for him deleting a branch or twig, for
>example, would not be acceptable but other things are OK so,
>and without debating the ethics of PS'g, I wonder where you
>folks draw the line between acceptable without need for
>disclosure and need to clearly state "PS'd", if at
>all, when exhibiting, selling etc.
>
>Geoff
>
>Edit: It occurs that "disclosure" seems to be a
>theme with me

My view is it's a creative image I made and how you interpret it is beyond my control. If I want to sell it or give it away, it does not matter how I created it so it requires no "disclosure" IMO.

Besides, hardly anybody in the vast millions of photographers is a photojournalist, where the accuracy of the image might be called into question - so if a person wants to go wild with editing after the fact, there is no issue.

Just a perspective,

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 11-May-13 09:31 PM
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#9. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 7


Philadelphia, US
          

David, I agree, and my original statement was mischaracterized anyway. Please see below.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sun 12-May-13 01:52 AM
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#13. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 9


Waynesville, US
          

Ned,

And I apologize if I took your comment out of context or misrepresented it. Not my intent.

Geoff

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 12-May-13 02:42 AM
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#15. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 13


Philadelphia, US
          

No apology necessary. I thought it was important, however, to explain carefully what I meant.

So you know, my bread and butter is Travel Photography. While my clients expect my photos to put their enterprises in the most positive light possible, they understand I won't misrepresent what I shoot. Ethically, I feel a responsibility to those who look at the photos, and therefore, they must fairly represent the scene I photographed.

I also do quite a bit of news photography, in part as a staff person, and also as a stringer. I am required to follow the current guidelines of National Geographic for the various companies I work for in news photography (Don't digitally enhance or alter photographs, beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance, brightness, contrast, and sharpness, and have the photograph truly represent the appearance of the scene when photographed.). There is virtually no wiggle room in how one works with news photographs.

For wildlife photography, I do edit the photographs, but try to make the animals, and their habitat look as realistic as possible, truly representing the scene as I saw it, assuming the image is for educational or illustrative purposes (my main uses for wildlife photography).

For other things I photograph, they are generally art, or have a significant artistic component, and therefore, I don't have the same ethical requirements of Travel, News, and most wildlife photography.

In my opinion, when it's art, be an artist, paint with light what you see, what's in your mind, what's in your heart, what's in your imagination.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sun 12-May-13 04:02 AM
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#19. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 15


Waynesville, US
          

Ned,

Thank you this helps me understand. See my response below to David and I wonder if the artist mentioned had not appended her note would that have met the essence of your last statement "In my opinion, when it's art .... " etc..

Geoff

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 11-May-13 09:29 PM
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#8. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 6


Philadelphia, US
          

Actually, I didn't actually say that. I wasn't talking about what's acceptable or not, and certainly not what I think is acceptable or not, though I do have ideas about the subject.

I said, "I often get a kick out of photographers who don't believe in any enhancement of photos and say it's wrong to do so. They say they take the image from the camera as is.

I'm not talking about removing street lights from cityscapes, or trees, branches and twigs from landscapes and wildlife shots, or adding in some extra damage in news photos (The latter happening a few years ago by a news photographer who was fired when it was discovered what he did.).

I'm talking about enhancing dramatic skies through digital burning and dodging, increasing contrast, cropping, or increasing color saturation as, examples."

So I put it that way specifically to stay away from what some, or what many, may think as unacceptable, and talk specifically about typical old time darkroom work "enhancements." Paraphrasing Ansel Adams, "It's perfecting the image."

As to your question, "I wonder where you folks draw the line between acceptable without need for disclosure and need to clearly state "PS'd", if at all, when exhibiting, selling etc.," my answer is an unequivocal NO!


  1. I shoot in RAW, virtually all the time, therefore I use Photoshop for every image I produce and publish.
  2. In digital photography, whether you use Photoshop, Corel Painter, or any other software to process your photos, or take a jpg file, for example, right out of your camera, without editing it yourself, virtually every image pulled directly from digital cameras have been processed, by the photographer or their camera. The digital camera processes all kinds of aspects of jpg photos such as contrast, color saturation and sharpening, all done by the computer which runs each digital camera.
  3. As each image is processed in some way why should a label be applied saying it was processed, and for that matter, so was and is every film photo.
  4. As to materially changing an image, in news photography, for example, this is and should be forbidden. In art photography, materially changing the photo is all part of the art. In other words, the end use is critical in determining whether or not image enhancement is accepted, and how much is acceptable, and to my mind, such "enhancements" as curve correction to ensure the WB is right and that the colors are on, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpening, etc., are generally merely "perfecting" the image, making it look
    like it did in your mind's eye.
  5. Every photographer, in a way, processes every image themselves, by the choices made in setting the exposure. Aperture use controls the DOF, what's sharp and what's blurred in the photo. Shutter speed controls whether any movement in the scene is frozen in time, or blurred showing what was moving. White Balance controls the overall hues of the scene as captured. How we frame each shot is even editing. Etc., Etc., Etc. I see no difference between cropping a shot in Photoshop, for example, and using a zoom lens, or physically moving up and back to frame a shot to show what we want to show and hide what we choose to hide of a scene.

In other words, every photo is manipulated or edited to some degree. How are any of the methods of manipulation, or editing, or processing, in the end, different than the others? Using photo editing software isn't any different than photographer's self-editing don't in exposure choices, so why mention it. I hope that clears up what I said, and answers your question.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Sat 11-May-13 11:21 PM
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#11. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 8


Little Rock, US
          

Ned,

I should have been clear, I was not talking about what you wrote - only about the idea of disclosure. I got what you said when you wrote it the first time.

regards,

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 12-May-13 12:09 AM
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#12. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 11


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks very much.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 11-May-13 10:50 PM
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#10. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 6


Richmond, US
          

> I wonder where you folks draw the line between acceptable without need for disclosure and need to clearly state "PS'd", if at all, when exhibiting, selling etc.

Unless there's some ethic about literal truthfulness - for example photojournalism - post processing is my business. If I'm shooting a news image in which the presence of an individual is material, obviously it's not OK to add or remove that individual from the image. On the other hand, is it OK to remove sensor dust? The literalists would say no, but it's not what I saw. How about adjusting contrast? I saw far more contrast with my eyes than the camera does, probably.

Aside from that, is it the viewers right to know where I shot the image? With what camera, lens, the identity of the tripod or filters? If I shot the original on film, am I required to disclose the film type? How about the batch number? The type of developer, dilution, temperature and agitation type? Perhaps I disclose the type of paper, but how about which inks? Or contrast grade? If it's shot digitally, is it material as to what format the file was captured? Ie JPG, TIF, DNG or NEF?

If I changed the saturation in Lightroom, do I have to disclose that? Did I have to disclose the fact that I actually took the Kodak Portra out of my FA and put in Velvia? What's the difference to the viewer between these two cases?

If I shot digitally and then corrected keystoning, is that more worthy of disclosure than if I'd shot the exact same image with a tilt/shift lens?

So the short answer is I almost never disclose post processing. An example of when I do disclose post processing is if I'm reproducing historical scenes, but with models. The models may be well enough done that it is pretty hard to differentiate from the real thing - and in fact some of that photography (for example railroads during WWII) was illegal and thus probably was never documented. If I produce such an image with models, obviously I explain that's how the image was created.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sun 12-May-13 02:12 AM
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#14. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 10


Waynesville, US
          

Thank you all for your responses however it becomes obvious that I could/should have phrased my question more clearly. Better said as "I am wondering if there are generally held and accepted standards of limits on non disclosed photo alterations"

For example, while with modern technology it is possible to do things on the computer that previously was done by skilled artists like Ansel Adams in the darkroom (although I do not mean to detract from the skill needed for computer work) and falls into the area of photo improvement/enhancement are there types of changes that can be made that should be disclosed when exhibited or offered for sale?

Please note - I have no personal agenda merely asking a question for my education No criticism intended and I apologize for any lack of clarity of what I was after.

Geoff

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Sun 12-May-13 02:48 AM
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#16. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 14
Sun 12-May-13 02:50 AM by dagoldst

Little Rock, US
          

Geoff,

I get what you are asking here.

Think of it this way. The scene you see out of your digital camera, such as a jpeg, is the interpretation of the engineers at Nikon. They give you "neutral", "standard", and "vivid". These are not meant to be scene accurate, btw, just a range of contrast and saturation - none of them represent the scene.

So, what's to disclose? Nothing. Same as when you or I interpret the scene with Lightroom, or whatever editor one might use.

BTW, ever see this famous photographer's work? All film work and darkroom trickery...

http://www.uelsmann.net/

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sun 12-May-13 03:49 AM
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#18. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 16


Waynesville, US
          

No I was not familiar with his work so thank you for the link. It does point up a facet of what I was asking in that those images are obviously made up or constructed. One of the images at the exhibit I mentioned would have passed as an original intact photo of a landscape with a waterfall (if anything it was too perfect) had not the artist attached a note explaining it was really a collection of parts of other photos assembled to form this image. Title was "Nature's collage" Set me to wondering. I have no idea what her artistic intent was.

Geoff

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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Sun 12-May-13 05:19 AM
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#21. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 18


Little Rock, US
          

>I have no idea what her artistic intent was.
>

No idea. Did you like it?

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 12-May-13 11:54 AM
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#22. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 18


Philadelphia, US
          

Geoff, piggybacking on to David's comment, I would ask you, "Did you like it, and does it matter whether this was interpretive art, or a precise image depicting a particular scene?"

The work isn't a news photo. It isn't part of a travel book showing what you'll encounter when you go somewhere, nor part of an advertisement enticing you to see the scene, and presumably pay cash in order to do so. It's not a photograph used for education where accuracy of depiction has any importance at all.

You said, "One of the images at the exhibit I mentioned would have passed as an original intact photo of a landscape with a waterfall (if anything it was too perfect) had not the artist attached a note explaining it was really a collection of parts of other photos assembled to form this image. Title was 'Nature's collage'"

I find that an interesting statement. I see well defined context in the exhibit, and looked at the photographic works as an exhibit, while you pulled a particular image from it and questioned it as if it wasn't part of an "exhibit," or that the "exhibit" was merely a collection of unrelated images. To me the exhibit is clearly one of photographically based art, interpretation, visualization, visual fantasy, visual poetry.

As to the intent, think about the impressionist painters, the cubists, abstractionists, fauvists, expressionists, and futurists. When you look at those works, do you understand the precise intent of the artists? Does it matter? Is the intent, perhaps to open a window for your mind, for your interpretation?

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 12-May-13 02:56 AM
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#17. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 14


Philadelphia, US
          

>Better said as "I am wondering if there are generally
>held and accepted standards of limits on non disclosed photo
>alterations"
>
>For example, while with modern technology it is possible to do
>things on the computer that previously was done by skilled
>artists like Ansel Adams in the darkroom (although I do not
>mean to detract from the skill needed for computer work) and
>falls into the area of photo improvement/enhancement are there
>types of changes that can be made that should be disclosed
>when exhibited or offered for sale?

Geoff, in my experience, it's not so much that there are types of changes which should be disclosed, although sometimes that's necessary, as there are types of changes for specific end uses which exceed the standards set for that use.

See my post above which discusses Travel Photography, and News Photography, two types of photography which have definite standards and limits, especially news photography.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 12-May-13 04:15 AM
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#20. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 14


Richmond, US
          

> are there types of changes that can be made that should be disclosed when exhibited or offered for sale?

No, other than truthfulness - and only in a few disciplines, such as news - there's no need for any disclosure. As soon as one tries to put in some rule, you'll find that the interpretation of the rules becomes a morass of extremely fine distinctions, some of which make absolutely no sense at all. For example, suppose I take three separate exposures and layer them together in Photoshop. That's obviously WAY outside the bounds, right? Well, maybe. Most modern Nikon DSLRs also offer the ability to do multiple exposures - and produce a single output file. It might be NEF or even JPEG. If I just press the button three times, with exactly the right subjects and registration, and produce a JPEG file, I didn't do ANY "unethical editing" as one person put it. But I have EXACTLY the same result as if I took three single frames and layered them in Photoshop. Which would the rule require disclosure and which not?

If this seems incredible, think back to film days. If I accidentally ("on purpose") put my color film into B&W developer, did I have to disclose that? Well, maybe, since the results of cross-processing looked pretty weird. But if I used, say, High Speed Recording film, did I have to disclose that? Nope. It may have had a lot of grain, but then so did Tri-X if I developed it in AccuFine for ASA 1600 or even ASA 3200.

Even this may seem obvious. Let's try something else. You're shooting in a wildlife refuge, and there's a great big old silver Pepsi can in the frame. Scenario #1: you just shoot it and present it, complete with Pepsi can. Scenario #2: you pick up the Pepsi can, and back pack it out of the refuge after you take the shot. Scenario #3: you pick up the can and toss it aside, out of the frame. But not far enough, so while the can is out of the frame, the reflection of the can is in the frame, at the edge. Scenario #3a: you present it as is; Scenario #3b: you clone out the reflection of the can, which is immaterial to the subject, which is a rare Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Scenario #4 is that you leave the can in place, step to your right two steps and reframe it without the can in the picture. Which of these requires disclosure and which does not? Four of the five scenarios portray the bird with no Pepsi can, even though as you came upon the scene, and as presented in #1, there's a bird and a Pepsi can. Only #1 is literally truthful, but which of these requires ethical disclosure of the removal of the can, or even its effects? And note that #4 did not touch Photoshop at all, yet has no silver can in it - does it require disclosure?

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sun 12-May-13 02:16 PM
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#23. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 20


Waynesville, US
          

Brian, Ned and David,

Plus other respondants - thank you again. Pondering your responses brings me to the realization that I had a set of expectations when I view a photograph that were certainally more narrow than the examples you have variously offered. They certainally broaden for me the concept of "photography". Not to say I disagree but I have to wonder if the viewing public, who have not had or created the opportunity for this kind of discourse, would agree, not that you should care

Perhaps my interpretaions of what photography is about were (note tense!) generational in nature (I am older and certainally old school about some stuff) but having a revived interest in photgraphy am interested in this topic. I note also the well made points about a lot of the "alterations" were always possible and indeed done albeit more laboriously. I remember the day (night actually) when I shot off a roll of film of a full mooon and then rewound the film but left enough tail to reinsert, losing a few exposures obviously, to take other shots with a full moon in them. Wonder what I would have said about them had I offered them for sale!

An analogy may help explain my curiousity. As a woodworker who used to sell his work and focussed on the Arts and Crafts genre it was accepted, indeed expected, (by other practioners) practice that if I did a copy or obviously a piece that was influenced by notables in the field such as Greene and Greene, I made an attribution to them typically expressed as "inspired by ... " or "in the style of .... " Of course the lines between what was truly a copy or version and what was truly original were often fuzzy (is there ever such a thing as "totally original"?) and open for debate!

Thank you all again this has been very interesting.

Geoff

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Tue 14-May-13 02:04 AM
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#25. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 23


Little Rock, US
          

> As a woodworker who used to sell his work and focussed on the Arts and Crafts genre it was accepted, indeed expected, (by other practioners) practice that if I did a copy or obviously a piece that was influenced by notables in the field such as Greene and Greene, I made an attribution to them typically expressed as "inspired by ... " or "in the style of .... "

Interesting perspective...

Stephen King once said that the worse thing to be said about your novel would be to have "In the style of" as part of the description of the book. lol

I would agree, but another angle on that, that I agree with, is that we all stand on the shoulders of the people that came before us.

Example - Mozart, Mendelsohn, and Chopin wrote works of music openly acknowledging J.S. Bach. They did it out of respect, not because they needed to.

Lots of RocknRoll acknowledges the blues. But they are not the same when you listen to them, they have the unique stamp of the composer and performer.

I have studied the work of people like Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson and it has influenced my street photography work. From that examination, I want to work up close, preferably with a 35mm lens on a FX/35mm format camera. That's as close as it comes to disclosure because I can't create anything closer to their work than that.

I have posted such images here, and never once have I said, "In the style of". I mean, why should I? Neither Cartier-Bresson nor Frank took the picture, it is unique, it is mine. So why bother acknowledging the earlier men, they are so very well known already and nobody that every looked at one of my images, said, "Hey, that looks like ..." lol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Frank

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Cartier-Bresson

Again, just a perspective.

Regards,

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Tue 14-May-13 01:23 PM
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#26. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 25


Waynesville, US
          

Ah! Once again I did not explain myself clearly and perhaps the analogy was a poor one anyway. I was merely making the point, no matter how obtusely, that in other creatve work for sale it is expected that the appropriate disclosure be made regardless of whether or not the viewer knows what one is talking about. I was not suggesting that photographers should use the same approach e.g. "in the style of ...." that would be, in this context, gratuitous at best. And clearly any given woodworker decides for her/himself whether or not to go along with the convention. However his/her peers, particularly those who make their primary living at their craft, might not be appreciative of the ommision.

From what I gather here it seems that we photographers (at least the limited sample responding here) do not see the need for disclosure as to how the final image was created, especially when using Photoshop or other signifigantly original image altering post processing, regardless of what might be a generally held assumption of what photography is by the paying public. I lay emphasis on "signifigantly original image alteration" since it is easy to concede that contrasts, highlights etc. etc. and others well defined by other resonders here are what one might consider as "normal".

However, back to my example of the landscape with waterfall. As a member of the public looking at what is being represented as a photograph (and absent the kind of perspective as given in this thread or any other qualifiers) is it not reasonable that I should know that I am looking at a constructed piece of art and not a photograph per se as I reasonably understand that to be? Perhaps it is a matter of context vs content. That is, when it comes to changing the content from the original subject now is the time for disclosure.

Geoff

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberTue 14-May-13 01:50 PM
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#27. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 26


Philadelphia, US
          

"However, back to my example of the landscape with waterfall. As a member of the public looking at what is being represented as a photograph (and absent the kind of perspective as given in this thread or any other qualifiers) is it not reasonable that I should know that I am looking at a constructed piece of art and not a photograph per se as I reasonably understand that to be? Perhaps it is a matter of context vs content. That is, when it comes to changing the content from the original subject now is the time for disclosure."

I'll skip addressing the beginning of your post and move to the question at hand, above.

I would have to ask, what do you mean by a constructed piece of art, and what the title of the art it.

For example, I could easily make a waterfall photo 2 ways (and everything in between, of course, with one shot with a high shutter speed and the other a low shutter speed. One would freeze the water producing a somewhat interesting affect, while the other would show the water as a blur transmitting the perception of motion. Are these "constructed?" Which of these are true depictions? If I label the photo "Waterfall," do I need to say more? I don't think so.

Now, if I shoot a photo of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, once the longest suspension bridge in the world (1926) and essentially cut it out, and put it in a desert setting, in the middle of no where as a surrealistic image, and label it "Suspension bridge," do I need to say more? I don't think so.

I think there is a major difference between unethically altering a photograph which is by nature, news photography, for example, to be as realistic and a true portrayal as possible, versus, producing a photograph which by what it is, it's nothing more than the transmission of the visualization of the scene by photographer.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Tue 14-May-13 02:48 PM
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#28. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 27


Waynesville, US
          

Ned,

That you for your response if only becauase you are helping me sharpen my thinking

In my scheme of things your first example is still a photograph and needs no qualifier in addition to the title.

Your second example is not IMHO A (wish I knew how to underline and/or bold for emphasis) photograph. While it may very well stimulate the viewer, one of the objectives of most creative arts, it is a COLLECTION (not shouting - for emphasis) of photos pasted together (not as in panorama) so given the public's understanding of "photography" it is, again IMHO, inaccurate to let it be understood as A photograph and for it to be part of an exhibit, or offered for sale, as part of a photography event unless that is also qualified.

Now you may reasonably protest that the content in your example could not possibly be considered as an intact photograph and unaltered. Perhaps it's reasonable to assume ALL viewers will know that but should we assume that? I agree that titles can go a long way to clarification about the artist's intent (allthough my waterfall example title of "Nature's collage" left much to be desired) however it may be insufficient. But there again should we explain everything and leave nothing to the viewer? To me it's a matter of degree and I acknowledge that I find it difficult to be consistently clear in my own mind. All I know is that IF the content has been changed (adds, deletions, combinations etc.) I, even as a creatve person, want that stated. Doesn't have to be specific.

Perhaps a redefinition or change of general understanding of what photography is is needed.

My fear is that I have led us down the path of inappropriate wandering from the OP's start and I am getting repetitive so I will cease and desist. Thanks again.

Geoff

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Mon 13-May-13 07:32 AM
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#24. "RE: Old style Photoshopping"
In response to Reply # 20


Chula Vista, US
          


>Only #1 is literally truthful,

Only as far as the photographers viewpoint is concenrend. Someone standing five feet away may never have seen the can!

Even Ansel Adams in his early days sufferd the diehard only my way is the correct way folks.

The more we change, the more we stay the same.

Visit my Nikonians gallery - my Spare Time gallery

  

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