Photoshop VS Photography

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by dhhensler, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. I post this to ask a question, not to be critical so please be patient. I am fairly new to PNet (about 1 year of active usage) and I've found it increasingly difficult to distinquish Photoshopped works of art from genuine photographs with minimal manipulations. Personally, I don't really enjoy the overly obvious PS works of art, but I completely respect their artistic creativity and effort. I come from a more old school photography mentality and although I have PS on my computer I really only use LR. I digress.

    What I would like to know is; When I click details for an image and it says "Unknown or Yes" for the "Manipulated" field, how can I tell if it was truly manipulated or simply a stunning photograph? This is a real issue for me as I like to get ideas and inspiration from other members but find my self inclined to doubt the nature of the image if it I do not know whether it was manipulated or not.
    An additonal question that I have is; Do most members here believe that PS works of art belong in the same presentation space as unmanipulated photographs? Do most photographers view these as strains of the same thing or different mediums? I see both sides of the argument and just want to get some other perspectives. Thanks and please be gentle, I'm not posting this to attack any PS advocates. Thanks.
    -David
     
  2. "People make way too much out of the digital versus film. The challenges in photography—focus, crop, shutter, aperture, and of course the biggest ones of all, the ones that really matter: what you actually point the camera at, and with what intelligence you use it... are all still there, completely unchanged."
    -Paul Graham in a Photo District News interview at http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content_display/features/pdn-online/e3i2de868eb1bec5e46c290229607a72ef2?pn=1
     
  3. Many in their chemical darkroom days would have very much liked to do composites, much like Jerry Uelsmann. However the time, expense and expertise can be illusive. Modern day digital photography makes compositing easier. Good Photoshop work still needs practice so as not to look like the work of a hack. Skill and patience are still required.
    A photo straight out of the camera today is more so a draft then a finished piece. The photographer has much greater artistic freedom then that of the film darkroom. Simply because film technology came first before the digital sensor does not mean it's the greatest and the best. If the digital sensor came before film, the market would never except film as a huge improvement.
    I have occasion to come across film users today who seem to have a feeling that they are at war with the digital onslaught. This is unfortunate, but for some change is a painful process.
     
  4. Why not contact the "Photographer"?
    What is old school?
     
  5. @ Ellis.. I'm not debating the skill necessary to produce quality digital images in relationship to the skills necessary with film. It's the same concept. But it's hard for me to view extensive PS images on the same level as a relatively unmanipulated digital or film photograph.

    @ Michael.. Again, I'm not against digital, not by a long shot. I love my DSLR. I just feel that extensive PS images aren't the same artistic medium as a relatively unmanipulated digital or film photograph.
    @ Marc... Sure, I could email every single photography that had an image I was unsure about. But isn't that the purpose of the "Manipulated" field in the image details section of this site? Old school to me is this; When my Mom gave me a K1000 and took me to an evening community education photography class when I was 10, she, and the instructor stressed the importance of composing a quality shot for each frame. Thinking long and hard about how to compose the image because of the time and money of processing film was the mantra. Sure, I realize that isn't a necessity now and digital processing allows us to take several photos and put them together in an artistic way that wasn't possible before. Just as Michael said. That just isn't how I feel about photography, and as is true with everything in life, it takes all kind.
    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  6. how can I tell if it was truly manipulated or simply a stunning photograph

    Pretty much you can't, not if the person doing the work is subtle enough about it. Just like the darkroom days, really.
     
  7. Digital photography is designed to be used with image editing programs...The pictures you view are basically all manipulated. Why try to manufacture rules or limitations that are not enforceable or even detectable. So yes is my answer. The images can just be all lumped together in the same presentation space. Even my small town county fair has given up and just allows digital manipulation in all categories such as portrait, scenic, flowers, b/w etc.
     
  8. Same thing.
     
  9. Take a look at Rolfe Horn's website , particularly the Technique section where he demonstrates step by step how he realizes a final print from a negative using traditional b&w darkroom techniques.
    That should open your mind to the possibilities of what "real" photography is and whether manipulation is even a legitimate consideration in any genre other than photojournalism, legal or scientific documentation.
     
  10. An additonal question that I have is; Do most members here believe that PS works of art belong in the same presentation space as unmanipulated photographs?
    Show me an "unmanipulated" photograph. I've never seen one.
     
  11. No photograph you can see is unmanipulated whether shot on film or digitally. The question is without meaning, and it indicates a failure to understand both film and digital photographic processes.
     
  12. SCL

    SCL

    Both film, through the development and printing processes, and digital are manipulated. Some people over-manipulate, but some went pretty wild in the film era as well. My advice is just get over it. Art students are taught to look thru the artifacts to see the underlying beauty and depiction of the subject, and how the artist presents it to us...nit picky photographers should do likewise IMHO. Like anything else, if you like something and wish to emulate it, go for it...if you don't like it, then skip it...but why waste time trying to figure out if it was manipulated x%>
     
  13. david,
    when i'm thinking about an image i'd like to make, usually i divide the work up in to three parts: the tools, the capture, the editing. all three of these stages involve a high degree of manipulating what our eyes consider the real world. a wide angle lens, for example, is a deviation from the normal way we see the world, and black and white, selective dodge and burning, and so on. it doesn't really matter (not in any cosmic sense anyway) if the capture stage -- 1/3 of this equation -- was film or digitial, or editing by hand or by computer, another third. what about long exposures? camera movements? all these old school options are severe manipulations.
    however, i understand your frustration when trying to learn from excellent photos. marc gives good advice. perhaps the simplest solution is to contact the photographer and ask "this is cool, how did you do this?" i think with careful study you will quickly recognize how certain styles and looks are accomplished. eventually we all must settle on our own modes of working and decide which manipulations contribute to our idea and which do not.
    rj
     
  14. No photograph you can see is unmanipulated whether shot on film or digitally. The question is without meaning, and it indicates a failure to understand both film and digital photographic processes.

    Larry I could not have said it better.
     
  15. When does a photograph become manipulated? Does a small tweak to the curve count as manipulation? Sharpening? Noise reduction? For years people shot in black and white, surely the greatest manipulation of all.
    Cheers
    Alan
     
  16. If you can't tell, what difference does it make? IMHO, art exists on two independent planes, artist and appreciator. The artist uses his medium to express himself. The appreciator finds meaning in the result. Any congruence between the two is coincidental. Think of the paintings created by primates and pachyderms and praised by human critics as masterpieces. Were the artists expressing themselves? Certainly. Did the critics find meaning in the art? Absolutely. Were the artists' expressions correctly interpreted by the critics? Not likely. If you can't tell, what difference does it make?
     
  17. "If you can't tell, what difference does it make?" That's what I was wondering Robert.
     
  18. David, photographers have been debating this since the beginning. Photoshop hasn't changed a thing, except to educate the masses as to what's been going on behind closed doors. You can define "pure" and "straight" photography however you want. All I can assure you is that the next "purist" or "straight photographer" that comes along will probably define it differently than you.
    "In the very beginning, when the operator controls and regulates his time of exposure, when in the dark room the developer is mixed for detail, breath, flatness or contrast, faking has been resorted to. In fact every photograph is a fake from start to finish, a purely impersonal, unmanipulated photograph being practically impossible. When all is said, it still remains entirely a matter of degree and ability . " -Edward Steichen
     
  19. Is not digital manipulation more artistic than camera shots? My manipulated shots take much longer to produce than 1/60 of a second. Are we not yet evolved beyond the sleazy label for women who bleach their hair and put lipstick on?
     
  20. I think there is a differnce betwen manipulated and being processed. To me if you are looking at an image while altering it, that is manipulation. But if a technician feeds a 35mm cartridge into a tank along with 100 others and treats all the same (and doesn't even bother to look at the results), that is processing.
     
  21. As far as I'm concerned, all images I see on the net are manipulated to some degree - even if just resized. Usually small quick fixes are done, sharpening, brightness/contrast, cropping maybe, levels...pretty much all photos I take need something even if just simple tweek of the levels.
    As long as the image doesnt look like it was over processed (like a really bad HDR image!), I couldnt really care less if any manipulations have been done - I also assume basic tweaks have been performed.
    I care more if the ps manipulates are poorly done, or simply over done. Thats when I shake my head.
     
  22. Charles: but what if you ask the technician to push the entire roll? And don't forget that the technician who's telling that Frontier machine to crank out prints from the roll he just fed in is, by default, using some software to look at the image, and adjust color temperature, contrast, saturation, etc., on a frame-by-frame basis.
     
  23. David,
    Use your eyes & brain. Those are the best crap filters you can find. If a photo looks like over manipulated crap it likely was crap to begin with and no amount of futzing around afterwards will remove the stench.All good and great photographers have always employed some sort of post shoot manipulation ofthe process starting with how the film was developed. Great photos are made, not taken, even by the straightest of "straight photographers".
     
  24. David, despite most of the above (rather predictable) comments and "answers" to your question, there are those of us who share your concerns. Having basically the same "old school" (perhaps not really a good term) approach as you do, I'll give you my answers for what they may be worth.
    When I click details for an image and it says "Unknown or Yes" for the "Manipulated" field, how can I tell if it was truly manipulated or simply a stunning photograph?​
    In many cases, as you know, it is extremely easy to tell. I find it an interesting exercise when I find an image whose photographic "authenticity" is more questionable to try and determine if and/or how it was manipulated. However, since my particular focus as a beginner to serious photography is on developing fundamentals of camera use, this exercise is secondary to me. I applaud those who can use photoshop to subtly enhance an image, but I'm more interested in learning how the use of the optics alone can produce various visual effects. The bottom line is, however, that in many cases you may not be able to easily tell the difference, rendering the "unmanipulated" or "manipulated/unknown" criteria virtually useless.
    Do most members here believe that PS works of art belong in the same presentation space as unmanipulated photographs?​
    I for one have no problem with PN making space available for any image that started out as a capture in a camera. What I do object to is all this blather about how "every photograph is manipulated" when we all know exactly what you're talking about. The folks who respond with this rather shallow observation, including some PN moderators, seem to forget or conveniently overlook the fact that PN has devised its own working definition for use on this site -- http://www.photo.net/photodb/manipulation -- which is not available as a filter for viewing images, as it would supposedly cause too much logistical hassle to moderate. Therefore, the definition as posted, and the little checkbox available when posting an image, are completely useless to anybody who wishes to separate the "unmanipulated" images from the "manipulated" for their own educational or viewing purposes. Interestingly, some of the most prestigeous awards in photography have no problem including categories for manipulated images as opposed to "standard" photographs. If it's not a problem for them, I fail to see how it can be such a huge problem for PN.
    Do most photographers view these as strains of the same thing or different mediums?​
    Most of the more vocal photographers on PN seem to think that they are the same thing (and not even "strains" of the same thing). I suspect that most who believe otherwise -- that they are different media entirely or at least on different ends of the photographic spectrum -- have learned to keep their mouths shut on the subject because it has proven, on this site, to be a losing argument from the outset.
    Given this site's stated purpose...
    We started in 1993 and strive to be the best peer-to-peer educational system for people who wish to become better photographers...​
    ...one would think that PN would be glad to assist beginner/novice photographers in learning in-camera fundamentals by allowing us a method to focus our time and attention on relatively unmanipulated images. However, I've found that there is an unusual amount of resistance to any plea for a workable filter, with arguments ranging from "all photographs are manipulated" (ignoring the fact that the working definition is in place for all to see) to "people would constantly be trying to game the system" (ignoring the fact that this takes place in other ways that seem to be handled just fine).
    From the tone of your question, it seems you're all too aware of how strident the PS wizard crowd can be around here. After contributing to multiple threads on this subject, I've found that those who rely extensively on PS (or whatever) in producing their works are a VERY defensive bunch. Why they object so strongly to a filter based on this site's own definition is a mystery to me, unless they simply feel that somehow they are being denigrated by any member being able to filter out their works when viewing the gallery content. Interestingly, such a filter could just as easily be used to filter out "unmanipulated" images for those who wish to feast their eyes and minds on photoshop wizardry. As it is, I continue to scratch my head in puzzlement...
     
  25. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    We should have a Darkroom VS Photography thread also.
     
  26. No photograph you can see is unmanipulated whether shot on film or digitally. The question is without meaning, and it indicates a failure to understand both film and digital photographic processes.​
    Larry, in a general sense you're absolutely right. However, this question is VERY meaningful in terms of the OP's questions, which specifically address the Photo.net site and its own definition of manipulated/unmanipulated. With that in mind, your response indicates a failure to understand the OP's questions. Or would you have it that PN's administrators also fail to understand "both film and digital photographic processes" because they dared to create such a working definition?
     
  27. I believe there is a line between a photograph and an overly-manipulated image. Where it is, I can't tell you, but I know it when I see it. I laugh at those that believe that I don't have the right to make that distinction and discount something that is phony.
     
  28. Kevin..
    Thank you for the response. I appreciate your candor and honesty. Your comments about the use of the term "manipulated" as it pertains to PN was exactly what I've been meaning to type in response to Larry and the others, but simply didn't have a chance to get to it this morning at work.

    I knew when I posted my question that all they naysayers would come out and quickly shout me out with the merits of PS, which I don't dispute. I agree that having a workable filter for manipulated versus unmanipulated photos would be a great addition to PN. Before another round of "every photo is manipulated" responses start.. Let me just say I'm using a operational definition such as the one used here on PN.

    Thanks to everyone for the input and feedback...
     
  29. >>> I find it an interesting exercise when I find an image whose photographic "authenticity" is more questionable to try and determine if and/or how it was manipulated.
    Photographic authenticity? What the heck is that? Funny...
     
  30. When I click details for an image and it says "Unknown or Yes" for the "Manipulated" field, how can I tell if it was truly manipulated or simply a stunning photograph? This is a real issue for me as I like to get ideas and inspiration from other members but find my self inclined to doubt the nature of the image if it I do not know whether it was manipulated or not.​
    To answer your question: You can't know unless you can glean that distinction from looking at the photo. Most of the photos in my photo.net gallery are scans of black & white prints, but I've never bothered with checking "unmanipulated" because it's a completely arbitrary definition--it really means, "only manipulated in ways that I'm accustomed to and comfortable with."
    If you are only able to get inspiration from photographs that you consider unmanipulated, you're severely (and unnecessarily) limiting yourself. I get photographic inspiration from photos, painting, writing, music, and life itself. Whether an image is manipulated or not doesn't affect its ability to inspire.
     
  31. Mike.. Thanks for the feedback. I do find inspiration everywhere in the world. But when I see an image I would like to know if I can realisticly try and recreate something similiar without the aid of PS or other software. What I mean is; using exposure and some cropping can I try to capture something similiar or was that image the result of extensive artistic manipulation.
     
  32. Brad, you'll note that I place the word "authenticity" in quotation marks... It's disingenuous to pretend that there is not a difference between (for example)...
    this -- http://www.photo.net/photo/7830894
    and this -- http://www.photo.net/photo/8376274
    The use of the word was clearly to indicate the difference between "unmanipulated" and "manipulated" as put forth by PN's administrators. Again, most of the responses here blatantly skirt the fact that PN has a definition in place, and it is to this definition that the OP refers.
    it really means, "only manipulated in ways that I'm accustomed to and comfortable with."​
    Mike, I submit that to the OP and some of us others, and for the intended purposes of this discussion, it actually means...
    Unmanipulated

    • a single uninterrupted exposure
    • cropping to taste
    • common adjustments to the entire image, e.g., color temperature, curves, sharpening, desaturation to black and white
    • dust spots on sensor cloned out
    PS -- I mean absolutely no denigration of works such as the second I linked to above. While a significant number of images using extensive post-processing are blatant crap, a great many are very interesting and appealing artistic works. At issue here (and I believe OP agrees) is not whether there is merit in such works, but why there is not a useful site distinction for the purposes of those who would rather focus their attention on unmanipulated images (as defined by this site). I don't consider myself to be "severely (and unnecessarily) limiting" myself... I consider myself to be trying to learn in-camera fundamentals, whether or not I decide to continue further into the realm of image manipulation.
     
  33. "What I mean is; using exposure and some cropping can I try to capture something similiar or was that image the result of extensive artistic manipulation."
    That may be a goal but that's not a digital versus film sort of issue. That's an image by image question. "Manipulation" can imply some kind of artificiality or lack of reality but that's always been the case.
    If one were to look at landscape photography, even something like the film selected to shoot with made a difference, was Kodachrome selected? Or some of the negative films with very different color and saturation? "Exposure time" makes a difference - a long exposure can make water silky or take moving objects out of a picture. Are those "manipulations?" They don't really represent what one would have seen at the point in time the picture was taken.
    There's a question out there now dealing with the look of eyes on Civil War era images. The "look" (at this point in the answer stream) may be that the emulsions of the time had different response characteristics so different eye colors look different than we see or see now in pictures and that exposure times were such that often there was blinking or eye motion during the exposure. Even if one didn't judge that a manipulation in the original, would re-creating that result be a manipulation? If done in processing or by camera settings before taking the picture?
    There's always some kind of technical impact on the image from the whole system of actions that create an image.
     
  34. Amen Kevin... My sentiments exactly...
     
  35. Cropping and adjustments to color temperature, curves, and saturation are very-significant manipulations which often have a profound effect on the mood and impact of an image. The term "unmanipulated" is clearly inaccurate; it's unfortunate that photo.net made up such an arbitrary definition to satisfy the complaints of users who thought it "unfair" to compare "unmanipulated" photos to ones which had other kinds of modifications.
    Other than "a single uninterrupted exposure," none of the things listed above are aspects of in-camera fundamentals.
     
  36. Mike, I hope you aren't implying that I have made any complaints to PN about unfair comparisons between unmanipulated images and ones with other modifications? To do so would be disingenuous to my original post and questions.
     
  37. A variation on this comes up in other discussions - especially about lighting. Not a week goes by without someone asking how - in camera - they can achieve a particular look. They link to something that may indeed not have had any post production manipulation outside the bounds Kevin cites above... but which the photographer - without saying as much, nor having a checkbox assigned for this purpose - has used a truck load of specialized lighting gear, hideously expensive tilt-shift lenses, a dozen radio triggers, a smoke machine, special polarizers, and a crew of six people in order to create a single, deceptively simple looking, unmanipulated exposure of an evening restaurant scene. My point is that being told the image wasn't maniacally worked over after the fact still doesn't reduce the need for a genuinely curious student to ask the photographer how it was done. Because pre-exposure manipulation can be fantastically more time consuming, equipment intensive, and deliberately deceptive as the post work.

    As for Kevin's example of disembodied arms holding flowers while mingling with floating architecture? I'll take one for the team, here, and actually come right out and say it's not very appealing.

    There! I've done it. I'm a judgemental ass! :) I've earned the right, though, by not crying when I get e-mail from people who think I'm a monster for using studio strobes on puppies when I could just use candle light and a D3, and fix it all up with curve adjustments in photoshop, later.
     
  38. >>> Brad, you'll note that I place the word "authenticity" in quotation marks... It's disingenuous to pretend that there is not a difference between (for example)...
    What's disingenuous is claiming the second photo as representative of the thrust of your argument. And just an FYI, the first photo is manipulated. And all of my photos are manipulated; and that's OK. I don't need labels to define my photography.


    If you're a new photographer, you sure are worrying about stuff will only stunt your growth in the long run.
     
  39. >>> Brad, you'll note that I place the word "authenticity" in quotation marks... It's disingenuous to pretend that there is not a difference between (for example)...
    What's disingenuous is claiming the second photo as representative of the thrust of your argument. And just an FYI, the first photo is manipulated. And all of my photos are manipulated; and that's OK. I don't need labels to define my photography.


    If you're a new photographer, you sure are worrying about stuff will only stunt your growth in the long run.
     
  40. David, no, that wasn't my implication. I was simply explaining a bit about the origins of photo.net's definition--it had little to do with historical precedents, logic, or an accurate definition of unmanipulated.
     
  41. Cropping and adjustments to color temperature, curves, and saturation are very-significant manipulations which often have a profound effect on the mood and impact of an image. The term "unmanipulated" is clearly inaccurate​
    Would it be different if it was done at the monent when the shot was done? you can frame, add a polarizer, add a cockin filter to warm the scene, and use a saturation setting ..would it be manipulated? because i dont see anything talking about that in the *rules*.
    I think anything that is purely darkroom related, as other mention, and PN rules, is normal. Nobody ask me 15years ago if it was natural to have a darker vignette around my images; they all think its was normal. Now in digital, why would that be manipulation?
    When you see a butterfly well developed, it should be a well developed butterfly. When you see a transparent guy holding a flower thru a red brick arch..that should be obvious ; )
     
  42. I suppose I should simply quit stunting my growth... Why bother with DOF or motion blur when I can easily photoshop it in? Why bother blowing the money on a nice fast fisheye lens when I can contort the image every which way using my keyboard? Why sink a couple grand or more into DSLR gear when a cheap P&S and some nifty software will do the same stuff? In fact, I suppose it's stunting my growth to "worry" about such silly, backward stuff as aperture, shutter speed, lighting, and optics... it seems that the real photographers know that photoshop has rendered all those quaint little topics obsolete.
    I think I'd rather be a midget, thank you. Condescension is neither attractive nor helpful, Brad, but thanks for enlightening us just the same.
    Mike, despite its origins and its shortcomings, the PN definition could very well be a useful tool in learning in-camera technique. For the most part it appears to address manipulation issues that generally detract little from an observation of how certain effects were achieved by the photographer's use of the camera itself, and this is where I find its potential value. Imagine my dismay to find out that PN came up with this clarification just to shut the yaps of some whiners, only to throw it in its little closet to gather dust.
    David, when all is said and done, I'd say the most useful thing for like-minded folks to do is to follow Matt's (oft-repeated) advice to "ask the photographer". Like you, I'd just like a more effective way of narrowing down which photographers I'd like to ask than having to slog through the often dismal mass of heavily-PSed images to find them.
     
  43. >>> I think I'd rather be a midget, thank you. Condescension is neither attractive nor helpful, Brad, but thanks for enlightening us just the same.
    That wasn't condescending; you might want to ask others what "stunting your growth" means.
    It's about your growth as a photographer. If you relish in deliberate misinterpretation and being a victim, that's OK, but it really is disingenuous of you.
     
  44. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I suppose I should simply quit stunting my growth... Why bother with DOF or motion blur when I can easily photoshop it in? Why bother blowing the money on a nice fast fisheye lens when I can contort the image every which way using my keyboard? Why sink a couple grand or more into DSLR gear when a cheap P&S and some nifty software will do the same stuff?​
    What does it matter which tools you used if it got the photo to where you want it? There are no rules in photography, it's about communication and how you use the four borders, not which tools you use. Obsessing about the tools only distracts from what the photograph should be about. It seems that this is a gearhead issue, not a photography issue.
     
  45. It's not so much a gear head issue as it is a problem where people think that only using the camera as the primary tool is art and that any post production work on the film or digital negative is some form of corruption or cheating. Some people will always stick to this limited view of photography because it is very simple and requires little in the way of learning new technology involving computers. I suspect many of these diehards never used an enlarger and just had a lab do everything.
     
  46. Michael, I feel as though you didn't read my original post at all. I never claimed that only using the camera as the primary tool is art and everything els is some form of corruption or cheating. I simply asked two questions.
    1. How can I tell
    2. Are they the same type of art.
    Nobody is trying to argue that painting is more of a true art than sculptur is. Just the same, I am not advocating straight out of the camera images over PS works. I simply asked if they are the same medium or if we have advanced to the point that they should be viewed as different. If one more person trots out the the tired "every image is manipulated" argument I'll really start to lose some respect for this forum. Which means nothing to anybody so that is completely hollow. I'm just saying...
     
  47. I think most of these manipulated/non-manipulated threads are silly but because there seem to be quite a few posters that dislike manipulation of any kind, I don't see why a "non-manipulated" forum category couldn't be established. Don't even have a moderator, just let those that don't believe in manipulation post what ever they want. It would be fascinating to see what they think is not manipulated and it would be interesting to see if any of the images caught on with the viewers. As an amateur social scientist, I would love to see how the forum evolved over time.
     
  48. David: At this point I'm responding to the group and not particularly your initial post. But getting back to your questions...
    1. How can you tell? Sloppy selection work will have bad edges. Over the top color adjustments, over done sharpening with halo's around the edges.
    On the other hand: As someone else in this thread said: If you can't tell then who cares? Good photoshop technique will keep things looking pretty much like traditional photography if that is what the photographer desires.
    2. Are they the same type of art? As I have mentioned in my first post, what comes out of the camera is a draft. A draft much like a drawing starts with just the basic sketch. It's up to the photoshop user to bring out the colors, sharpness, cropping and contrast ect to the level they want.
    Generally what comes out of a digital camera and lens, no matter what the cost will not live up to it's maximum potential without post processing. Photoshop to Adobes fortune is the best postprocessing software out there. Such is the nature of Digital photography and so it is with those who use a film darkroom.
     
  49. David, an interesting set of questions, as the torrent of responses reveal.
    Personally, I try to not manipulate my images. Adjust color balance, contrast, sharpness, etc. in post processing. I don't see the digital image as any different than the latent image in film, just a source to be brought forward. The biggest difference for me is that with digital, I can attempt to bring the latent image out to match my original vision and if it does not suceed, I can dump it and try again with no loss or harm. Not possible with film to experiment that much.
    Chemistry mistakes don't happen in digital. That's kind of a plus.
    A whole category of retouching and restoration isn't tackled in your question, but when you think about it, digital makes that much easier than getting out the spotting brush and magnifier and going after a print.
     
  50. David, I do think think photo.net has become more of a showcase of digital illustration than photography. I agree that there is some truely wonderful digital illustration on photo.net, but I don't get the point of calling it photography. I'm a painter, I have done many oil paintings from photographs. I would NEVER post my paintings to photo.net and call them photographs. Not only is it a rather obnoxious lie, but it waters down the content takes away the focus of the website. This isn't "photo-related-images.net" it's "photo.net" and I really don't understand why digital paintings are even tolerated at all. And again, it's not because I don't find many of them beautiful or inspiring, but I just don't understand what these images have to do with THIS website. Certainly, in the vast expanses of the interwebs, there is plenty of room for a website similar to photo.net that focuses specifcally on review and critique of digital paintings, maybe even an offshoot website.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/6187386
    This image which was recently featured on the photo.net homepage is a great example. It's a stunning peice of a digital art, but it is most certainly not a photograph. It is perhaps half a dozen photographs digitally painted together to look like the work of a PAINTER... specifically like Magritte. Now... I have seen images where photographers attempted to capture the spirit of a painter's work in a photograph, and it would certainly be possible to capture the spirit of Magritte in a photograph. But that is not what this is. This is a peiced together collage of images, an illustration. Yes it's stunning. But is it a photograph? No I don't think so.
     
  51. I say if you take a half dozen photographs, throw them together in a way that makes sense and BINGO! You have a photograph.
     
  52. Patrick, Michael... Thank you for echoing my sentiments. I've actually found myself becoming disillusioned with PN lately due to this very issue. I came to this site to join a community of photographers and learn from their mastery, not to witness "digital painting" as Patrick so eloquently labeled it. I want to talk, see, and experience photographs, whether they be digital or film based, not see the result of hours behind a monitor.

    I'm sure this will create a whole slew of responses from the PS crowd. Yet, I've never denied their genius or brilliance. I just feel it is a different medium and should have it's own space that celebrates the beauty and skill of this medium.
    I wonder if there is a site similiar to APUG but for Digital...would that be DPUG? Any suggestions?
     
  53. >>> I've actually found myself becoming disillusioned with PN lately due to this very issue. ...
    Or, rather than be unhappy about the few photographs you see here that you don't like, because of their composite nature, you could enjoy those that are not. Thousands of them on this site.
    >>> I want to talk, see, and experience photographs, whether they be digital or film based, not see the result of hours behind a monitor.
    They are certainly here...
     
  54. >>> Generally what comes out of a digital camera and lens, no matter what the cost will not live up to it's maximum potential without post processing.
    And certainly true with film cameras as well. Except it's done in a darkroom, rather than in image processing software....
     
  55. I haven't read through ALL of the comments.. sorry about that.. but I do get the gist of this argument. It's one that has occurred many times before in art vs. craft.

    However, in my very humble opinion, it seems to me that photographers are particularly sensitive to this issue because it boils down to an issue of "truth" vs. "non-truth". I think that argument has credence if you are reviewing journalistic photos only.. maybe. But in the broad spectrum.. photography is an art form and therefore why not tolerate the artistic nuances of each individual photographer? Why not open your mind to be creatively inspired by others? Why not learn new techniques to draw the most out of your own work?

    I get the feeling sometimes (not specifically from this site) that some photographers think that you're "cheating" if you have learned Photoshop to such a degree that other's have not reached yet. Why? I want to learn to use my photographic equipment as best as I can.. but I can do things in PS that others do with lens filters..or multiple exposures.. what's the difference? Where does manipulation begin and end?

    I love the medium of photography, and my objective as a photographer/artist... no, as a human being.. is to create images that will try to express my vision of beauty and reality. MY reality. And I very much enjoy the images of others who do so. However that objective is met.. is rather a moot point.
    I very much enjoy being part of this community.. learning from you all and being inspired by you all. Though, I do find the wealth of information here a bit overwhelming to navigate. ;-) Thank you.
     
  56. >>> I get the feeling sometimes (not specifically from this site) that some photographers think that you're "cheating" if you have learned Photoshop to such a degree that other's have not reached yet. Why?
    I get the same feeling. Don't know why, either...
     
  57. I saw this post before any one had responded, and I thought, not again!
    but yes, again and again and again.
    I actually waded through the responses, but what you still don't seem to understand, and you're not alone in this David, is that what people are saying here is a replay of a classic, on-going debate that goes back into painting before photography was even invented.
    Techniques you seem to accept such as "cropping" for example, are rejected by many purists as betraying the original image -- this is why they often went to the level of printing the film margins to prove that they hadn't cropped the image. If cropping or color balance, for example, can be modified, then where do you draw the line?
    Your purism is someone else's rejected manipulation, and so it goes. I've built up a file of old photography magazines, and no year in any of them back into the 20s is without someone writing essentially the same complaint as yours about the state of photography in that year: Why can't people just take pictures without all this "art" stuff, my kid could take better pictures than ____(fill in name of famous photographer), etc.
    Let me see, you're complaining about having to look at other people's manipulated pictures? Then don't look at them. You're saying you can't tell? Then stop worrying about it.
     
  58. HA! I asked a related question and wound up with a 100+ posts thread.
    The arguement that all photography is manipulated is bunk and we all know it. When I select a lens for perspective or a developing process to compress the tonal range, I'm undoubtedly adjusting the image. However, what many folks convieniently overlook is I'm still just interpereting what was there. I'm not adding volcanos to my local park or painting faerie wings on my Financee.
    This is Ansel's photo of Grand Teton. It's his interpretation of the scene, if not what was in his heart. It's a photograph: http://adamthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/ansel_adams.jpg
    This is the same photo with fanciful additions: http://adamthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/ansel_adams_fix.jpg It is not a photograph, it's the graphic art or to use a more modern phrase, digital art.
    As many others have expressed, it seems like P-Net's stated goal to be a teaching site has been diluted.
    Doug
     
  59. digital darkroom exist, as tradional darkroom exist. You can use photoshop to simply developed your image as you saw it..you dont have to add bells and whistle with it.
    All the example people show is a normal image and a fantasy one..but that is a style of image, not a result of what eveyone that have photoshop would do. Basically, im sure that any image that look *normal* have been processed to look the way they look, and many of them have caught your attention because they have a little je ne sais quoi to them..im 100% that every images here are Photoshoped..and that is normal! A purist photographer friend of mine use all the knowledge he know to get THE landscape shot; watching the sky, caluculating time, using filter to ND grad filter etc...and in the end he bring is shot into Ligthroom, add a bit of contrast, a bit of saturation, a bit of sharpen and print it..would you consider that a bad digital shot?
    I dont personnaly like those artificial shot, but its a style that some people like..so why dont just respect it? do whe really need to make such a big case out of it?
    wny dont whe open one like;
    color vs bw
    film vs slide
    paint vs photography
    dont be afraid of modern tool, accept the fact, open your eyes, and start learning..its never too late.
     
  60. As many others have expressed, it seems like P-Net's stated goal to be a teaching site has been diluted.​
    Photo.net's goal isn't simply "to teach people how to operate a camera" or "to teach photography that only utilizes a limited array of chemical darkroom techniques."
     
  61. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    what many folks convieniently overlook is I'm still just interpereting what was there​
    Why would that matter? Is it in the rule book?
     
  62. Mike, at what point did I express using only the wet (chemical process) is photography? Regardless of the medium (paint, stone, glass plates, CMOS), the fundamentals are light, perspective, shadow, etc. How can a neophyte understand what he or she is seeing if these very things are overlooked? If the process that led to what he or she sees is unexplained?
    Jeff, if there's no distinction, then I suppose poop smeered into the shape of a happy face on a sheet of Polywarmtone is a photograph, right?
    Light is shaped by a lens and projected on a sensing medium. That's photography. Using photoshop (or an airbrush. or paint. or glue) to create what never was, ain't. I'm not denigrating what can be accomplished in the digital medium; I'm only saying that regardless of the process, there is a line where end result is less about revealing what was captured and more about expressing imagination. That's not photography, that's graphic art (digital or not).
     
  63. Douglas,
    Galleries, museums, books, magazines, and other publications do not follow (and, thoughout the history of photography, have not followed) your definition of photography. Photo.net isn't using your definition, either.
     
  64. So let me get this straight, by Douglas's definition of photography, if a guy in a darkroom with an enlarger dodges a dark window to make it seem convincingly lit up ...............that photograph is no longer a photograph? Why? because the window did not have a light in it.
    There must be a hell of allot of photographs that aren't photographs out there.
     
  65. "I want to talk, see, and experience photographs, whether they be digital or film based, not see the result of hours behind a monitor. "​
    Well, it would seem that David would appreciate a photograph taken at 250th of a second and maybe 5 to 15 minutes of preperation. Gee, what a dope that person who spent hours behind a monitor must be..............and take Ansel Adams, he goes out and takes a picture of a mountain, and then spends who knows how much time and wasted paper getting that image just right in his darkroom with his new fangled Zoning System. I suppose he wasted lots of time as well.
    The camera was not the end all for Ansel Adams, nor is it for the digital photographer.
     
  66. An interesting discussion. Pointless maybe but still interesting.
    I'm 'old school' myself - I trained for years and part of my training was to 'Always get the shot right in camera'. When I didn't the shot had to go out to a professional artist for retouching, which was very expensive - and that's after doing the best possible darkroom job. If I'd messed it up too often I would have been looking for another job.
    Now we've got 'New School' as advocated by many digital photography magazines - forget about lighting, exposure, framing, contrast, colour balance - just shoot and use wonderful Photoshop to put it right. Total rubbish of course because a pig's ear will always be a pig's ear even if you try to make it look like a silk purse.
    I was talking to a friend last night, a very talented photographer who is expert with his camera AND expert with his computer. He summed it up perfectly when he said that today's photographer needs to be good at both. Camera and lighting skills are no longer enough.
    He's right. I've never become even good on PS let alone expert, relying on knowledge skill and care to get the shot right in camera - but it simply isn't enough.
     
  67. He summed it up perfectly when he said that today's photographer needs to be good at both. Camera and lighting skills are no longer enough.
    He's right. I've never become even good on PS let alone expert, relying on knowledge skill and care to get the shot right in camera - but it simply isn't enough.​
    Same thing 15 years ago when you need to be a pretty good darkroom technician to bring the shot further...but nobody complain. Why is that different today? I study photography during 3 intensive years, color theory, speed of light, history of photography, how to shoot in studio, at night, fashion, portrait, with a 35mm, a camera obscura, a 6x6, a 6x7, a 4x5, a 8x10..i learn to do mix my chemical, how to print on RC and fiber paper etc.....and at the same time learn how use photoshop 2 because someone see it as the future darkroom; so i decide to learn it even if even at that time people didrtn understand why i would loose my time learning a computer software? after all what would be the use of it!?
    15 years later, i still shoot for pleasure, know a lot of technical stuff, work with a lot of power pack, speedotron, bowen, pro photo..a ot of camera, and i have the chance to work for the best fashion photographer around me and outersea..im doing there digital darkoom, and im pretty good at it. Like photographer use to give there neg to a tradional darkroom guy who print for them.
    75 years ago the photographer need to finish is long and complex job in a darkroom, 15 years ago i have to do the same to my images, and today i stil have to do it even with all the preparation and experience i have behind the camera. The difference is the more job you put before, the faster you will get out of the darkroom probably, but you still need to go in it. You cant figth the idea, and doing so is ridiculous.
    As i said, dont take flying women with silver rose and blue star as a reference of what people do with photoshop to winne about it..take also beautifull images that you see and like everyday, and accept the fact that those images have been thru photoshop, and use professionaly by someone who is a artist and have a vision of what he want is image to be. The problem is since you dont see funky stuff in a images, its hard to understand that this is also a photoshop shot : )
     
  68. I apologize for being in error. *Everything* is photography. In fact, I've been wasting time. I'm going to skip the camera completely and just render what I want to see with Lightwave 3D. I suppose if someone complains that I need to capture some of the image with a camera, I'll take a few pixels from an image I took last year and pepper them into the picture. By most folks definition, I'll be right as rain!
    Doug
     
  69. If you can't tell, what difference does it make?​
    After studying the entire discussion again, I see that my first response was wrong. I should have said:
    If you can tell, what difference does it make?
    No, that's not right either. Let's see, how about
    What difference does it make?
     
  70. If a photojournalist submits pictures that have been edited (power lines removed, people erased, etc), but you can't tell, what difference does it make?
    Doug
     
  71. It amazes me how the request for a simple manipulated/unmanipulated filter on this site (again - ad nauseum - using PN's own definition) can arouse such heated arguments. I honestly don't care a bit about whether extensive post-processing can or cannot, should or should not be considered art or photography. All the blowhards and nitpickers on both sides of this argument can carry on about it to the grave. Some of us just want a simple mechanism to view a certain category of photograph. It is not necessarily a value judgment (although to some it is, but that shouldn't matter either). PN can allow all the crap they want into the galleries, manipulated or not -- doesn't matter. It is not the issue at hand.
    There is a filter to separate nudes from all other photos. I would assume there is some mechanism in place to determine if a nude is too pornographic in nature for posting on this site -- who determines that, and why? Does this stir as much controversy? Is there more or less of a value judgment going on with nudes as there is with digital alterations? Would photos fit for Hustler magazine grace this site with impunity? Why not? They're photographs, aren't they?
    And I repeat from an earlier contribution, some of the most sought after photography awards in the world include a category specifically for digital alterations -- should we boycott them because they dare to make a distinction? Are these awards panels composed of ignorant rubes who don't appreciate that photoshop and lab work are one and the same? Any of you experts out there want to comment on this? I'd just be curious to know how you feel about it.
    I have two very simple questions to ask:
    1. What is so offensive to the avid photoshop "artist" about the proposal of a filter or functional distinction being made available on PN for those who want it? Or, put another way, why is it assumed that because some poor slob requests such a filter means that your status as an artist or photographer is being questioned or threatened?
    2. What could be so freakin' hard about implementing the filter? (Matt Laur has put forth some thoughtful answers to this question in other similar threads, but I'm still not entirely convinced it could possibly be that big a deal.)
    I'll have to admit that every time the subject comes up my respect for the "pro-alteration" side of this phony argument is diminished. Some of these folks are just far too thin-skinned and defensive, often for no reason at all, and seem to find offense in even the most innocent or innocuous questions. And (dare I say it?) I submit that some of you (not all) would be well served by honing your own in-camera skills, because photoshop is really not helping that much. I'm by no means an expert in producing good photographs, but I'm artist enough (for over 40 years) to be able to distinguish art from visual offal, PSed or not.
     
  72. I apologize for being in error. *Everything* is photography. In fact, I've been wasting time. I'm going to skip the camera completely and just render what I want to see with Lightwave 3D. I suppose if someone complains that I need to capture some of the image with a camera, I'll take a few pixels from an image I took last year and pepper them into the picture. By most folks definition, I'll be right as rain!​
    Hear, hear Douglas!
     
  73. Kevin, i dont think contrast, density, and sharpen is or should be consider photo manipulation. Do you?
    A special category of manipulated images such as whe see with flying stuff and a la Dali should be considered manipulation. Do you agree?
    And yes i agree that if you removed object or add some it should be considered images manipulation.
    Now, do i care if someone have remove a branch from is images..no. Do i care about someone adding a bird in the sky? no. All i care is the impact of the image itself. Do i like anything that win this years at the photoshop user award..nope, those image are way too artificialy made for my taste, but they are in a know categorie. artistic digital images.
    Did anyone see a diference between the tradional darkroom vs the digital darkroom? i dont.
     
  74. What is so offensive to the avid photoshop "artist" about the proposal of a filter or functional distinction being made available on PN for those who want it?​
    Kevin, whatever it is, I suspect it might be similar to the passions that are aroused by any notice that different folks have different ethnic heritages, religious beliefs of pigmentations of skin. Noticing a difference, to some, is the first dangerous step down the slippery slope of unfair discrimination. So the thinking might proceed: First we distinguish between photographers who use PhotoShop and those who don't and, next thing you know, we're saying those who do really aren't photographers after all! Sorry, all you manipulated images, you'll have to sit at the back of the gallery.
     
  75. Throw down your film cameras. Do likewise with DSLRs. Pick up a Polaroid. Ah, Grendel, these humans are so contrary. I even wonder if that would help. They'd probably go back to arguing the wheel against walking.
     
  76. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Now we've got 'New School' as advocated by many digital photography magazines - forget about lighting, exposure, framing, contrast, colour balance​
    Can someone give some actual examples of this? I've never heard anyone say it except people saying that other people say it, like here.
     
  77. Patrick... my argument is based solely on the PN definitions of the terms "manipulated" and "unmanipulated", so in that sense I agree with you. It has NO bearing on whether more extreme manipulation is or is not photography, and actually has NO bearing on my personal tastes. It simply is a functional thing to me for improving the in-camera aspects of my growth as a photographer, and there may very well be times that I'd like to limit my viewing to more manipulated images for improving other aspects.
    Robert... In the sense you describe, photographers of nudes are being actively discriminated against on this site. Where, again, is their hue and cry? You may be right in your assessment where some are concerned, but I believe such fears that may exist are entirely misguided. I for one am not asking for a ban on this site, just a filter.
    I'm still waiting to hear from all of you who are going to picket the Smithsonian's Eyes on the World Photo Contest (among others) for their blatant discrimination of your cherished art form. The following is quoted from the Smithsonian Institute website (emphasis added)...
    July 1, 2008 - February 17, 2009 (new closing date)
    From thousands of photographs submitted to Smithsonian magazine's 5th Annual Photo Contest from the United States and around the world, the judges selected 50 finalists. Of these, 36 are on view, including the grand prize winner and the winners in the following 5 categories: The Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, and Altered Images (photographs that have been manipulated).
    I found it rather educational to peruse the photos in all of these competitions that were considered "Altered Images". Even some of you less vocal PS folks might be up in arms! I'm aghast at the ignorance of those folks at the Smithsonian... shouldn't they know that ALL images are altered? Grab your picket signs, there's going to be a march...
    In fact, you should all cancel your subscriptions to Rangefinder (THE Magazine for Professional Photographers) for even publishing such tripe, I suppose.
     
  78. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I've never found contests to be an indicator of anything. They don't even hit the radar of what photography is about, they have their own commercial interests at heart.
     
  79. In fact, you should all cancel your subscriptions to Rangefinder (THE Magazine for Professional Photographers) for even publishing such tripe, I suppose.​
    And sever my only connection to what photography is all about? No way....
     
  80. OK, maybe that was a bit extreme...
     
  81. "HA! I asked a related question and wound up with a 100+ posts thread." With luck, may just do it again.
     
  82. I think Robert finally hit the head on the nail about why all the PS advocates get their cages rattled by a simple logical question about manipulated and relatively unmanipulated photos; "So the thinking might proceed: First we distinguish between photographers who use PhotoShop and those who don't and, next thing you know, we're saying those who do really aren't photographers after all! Sorry, all you manipulated images, you'll have to sit at the back of the gallery."
    Sounds like they are afraid they won't be viewed as photographers anymore, but is there anything wrong with being digital artists instead of photographers? Not saying that is how I feel, just seems to be the consensus emerging from this thread..
     
  83. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    the consensus emerging from this thread..​
    Consensus : An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole
    Can you show how there is a consensus on this?
     
  84. I'll take that bait Jeff. I work as a data manager during the week. Let me crunch some numbers and code some qualititative data.. I'll give you a concise summary of this thread next week. Should be interesting to say the least!
     
  85. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    There's nothing remotely resembling a consensus on this thread. If anything, quite the opposite. You have decided to interpret any support of your opinion as consensus, but that isn't the way the world works. I don't even see a single comment here to justify your statement: Sounds like they are afraid.
     
  86. Shooting at f1.4 is manipulation, film or digital, and that's all in camera.
     
  87. Kevin, thanks for your commentary.
    David, you cannot know what has been done or not done to an image marked "Unknown or Yes" in the gallery. It's just a bunch of pixels, take it at face value. If you want to look at images where the manipulation is minimal, you need to look outside of the narrow-minded manipulation-centric photo.net.
    One reason manipulation here is so popular is simply because people who spend their time online are more likely to spend a lot of time editing their images digitally. Then there are people who are out there, shooting, clearly a photographer can't do both simultaneously. Anyway, it is relatively easy to fake photos for online presentation because the images contain so few details. It's much more difficult to make a convincing large print which has significant alterations so that the viewer can't see the artifacts of the process. You need to work much more at it.
    The majority of the rest of the world do see a distinction between a photograph of an animal with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background, and one where the animal has been pasted into the mountain scenery digitally. And many resent the latter and look down on people who do that. If you're a PJ and are caught doing significant manipulations to your work, magazines and newspapers can easily fire you for that kind of thing, or put you on a black list if you weren't staff. The manipulators diminish the documentary value of photography in the public eye, which is unfortunate.
    Back to the original post; my advice is you should simply look elsewhere as photo.net is a hostile environment for discussing this topic. There are a bunch of loud and prominent members with a negative attitude towards relatively unmanipulated works, and they're seemingly supported by the management of the site, who have noticed that manipulated works bring viewers and advertising money to the site. Therefore it's a tabu to actually criticize the approach used by the majority.
     
  88. Folks new to photography seem to think that manipulation is some how new.
    It was done in the glass plate era.
    Even retouching is ancient.
    The 1890's thru 1920's photo book show how contrast varies with development.
    A 1920's high end Contact printer for 8x10 has a programer tray and many dinky bulbs that one can unscrew. One can darken a vellum *programmer* with a pencil to dodge; or use more bulbs in one area to burn.
    One has Kodak Farmers reducer and Kodak intensifers. One has flashpowder; reflectors to add ilumination. All this stuff was used before Ansel as born.
    Portrait shooters had a wire headrest for an 1880's shot so one's head didnt move.
    Portrait studios had "better clothes" for folks to wear for images in the 1880's.
    Folks new to photography seem to have this narrow viewoint that manipulation is some how a new thing; it basically is just new to *YOU*.
    It really has nothing to do with digital; or even Photoshop; or even color work. Manipulation is as old as photography.
     
  89. If PhotoShop/Post-Processing is bad for photography, then so is processing film and prints in the wet darkroom.
     
  90. The photo contest organized by the Smithsonian was mentioned previously in this thread and the fact that they have an altered images section was pointed out. Here is the definition of altered images by the Smithsonian
    What does it mean when you say photographs in four of your five categories may not be “enhanced or altered”?
    Contestants cannot construct photographs from pieces of other photographs. Minor adjustments, including spotting, dodging and burning, contrast and slight color adjustments, or the digital equivalents, are acceptable for all five categories. You may, for example, submit a black and white photo as color and vice versa. If our judges see that a photo has obviously been altered by the photographer, they have the right to disqualify it or move it to our Altered Images category.​
    The above definition is even more lax than PN's. E.g., dodging and burning is not considered manipulated by Smithsonian but is considered so by PN. A colorized B&W image is not considered manipulated.
    I saw a panoramic image on Luminous Landscape site today from Antarctica. It is stitched from 13 images and looks great and quite "authentic". According to PN's defition of manipulated images (multiple exposures) it is "manipulated" but according to me it is not. Just goes to show that it a waste of time fretting over "manipulated images". If an image looks obviously altered then treat it as manipulated otherwise just judge it by how it looks.
     
  91. "Folks new to photography seem to have this narrow viewoint that manipulation is some how a new thing; it basically is just new to *YOU*.
    It really has nothing to do with digital; or even Photoshop; or even color work. Manipulation is as old as photography." This is it in a nutshell!
     
  92. Sounds like they are afraid they won't be viewed as photographers anymore, but is there anything wrong with being digital artists instead of photographers? Not saying that is how I feel, just seems to be the consensus emerging from this thread..​
    If you want a consensus, look at what gets displayed or published by museums, galleries, magazines, books, etc. as photography, don't just look at responses to one thread on a web forum. While you may find a few contests that put "manipulated" work in a separate category, most venues for photography don't make that distinction.
     
  93. If you want a consensus, look at what gets displayed or published by museums, galleries, magazines, books, etc. as photography, don't just look at responses to one thread on a web forum. While you may find a few contests that put "manipulated" work in a separate category, most venues for photography don't make that distinction.​
    Many places I'm selling my nature pictures requests uncropped picture with only curves adjustments submitted. Also most of the photography competitions I'm in know here in Europe requests picture with only curves and cropping adjustments. Further, many of the bigger competitions ask you to send original raw -capture or chrome if your picture will get suggested for prizes.
    If I'm looking coffee table books or similar here in Europe, in general I'm seeing much less heavily manipulated pictures, compared to what I see here at photo.net -galleries. For OP I would suggest to learn more about natural and studio light, and then making his decision of how much he will need to enhance his pictures with post processing.
    In my opinion graphical art and ability to sort out the light are still a little bit different competences. Even though they can of course coexist in skill set of one person...
     
  94. David - I understand your question totally, and have contemplated the issue often myself and listened to experts discuss it. Unless we are in a situation where the guidelines are very precisely established, I think what we are looking at is very fine line that can be a very individual marker. A lot of "manipulation" went on in darkrooms (my Dad placed a coin on the paper under the enlarger to create a moon on one of his BW images that he was printing - that was in the 1960s). For me that is clearly manipulation, as is extreme addition or subtraction of anything - color, objects, exposure characteristics. Major cropping is a manipulation; extracting a good photo from a small part of the original shot is manipulation. For me, use of a layer constitutes manipulation. I'm something of a purist, but I enjoy the results of alterations and manipulations. I've even dabbled in creating abstracts from original images. Often I can't tell if a photo has been manipulated, and if the photo info doesn't say, well the "looks like a duck, quacks like a duck" rule of thumb applies. Personally, I regard the photo contest rules used by "Nature's Best Magazine" to be excellent standards for differentiating between "photography" and what I call "photo art." I don't think the level of manipulation is particularly important except when you are trying to evaluate skill behind the lens versus skill behind the monitor. Then it becomes difficult to compare your own images to others - how did they do that- did they do that with their camera - can I do that with my camera? Is it any less manipulation to use special effects filters on a camera that to use special effects filters in PhotoShop? No, I don't think so. Asking the photographer about a specific photo is probably the best way to learn, and to learn to discern. And you won't be able to tell all the time because of the vast range of photographer's skill, lens quality and post shoot processing tools. More and more I enjoy the end result and care less about the path taken to get there.... yes, it's still nice to know how much of a good photo is created with the lens - most of us are photographers first and graphic artists or "photo painters" second. Just... enjoy what is for what it is as much as possible.
     
  95. There are a bunch of loud and prominent members with a negative attitude towards relatively unmanipulated works, and they're seemingly supported by the management of the site, who have noticed that manipulated works bring viewers and advertising money to the site. Therefore it's a tabu to actually criticize the approach used by the majority.​
    Nothing like making up a story to sound sensational huh Ilkka? Did you happen to see me in the Zapruder film as well. I'm right there next to the KGB. "manipulated works bring viewers and advertising money to the site " is probably the most absurd conspiracy statement that I've ever heard anyone try and attribute to photo.net, and I've heard a lot of them.
     
  96. Somebody said:
    If PhotoShop/Post-Processing is bad for photography, then so is processing film and prints in the wet darkroom.​
    This idea is commonly interjected into the discussion by the "pro-manipulators" when in fact it was never in question. A photograph can be manipulated in the wet dark room and in Photoshop alike. Most of us get that. There is no argument.
    I think it's fair to say most people are expressing the need to quantify authenticity . Who in this or any other thread of it's ilk has expressed that digital photography itself is somehow infereor (to film)? If that sentiment exists, it's from a tiny minority. REGARDLESS OF THE MEDIUM , most people instinctively notice the shift when an image is less the product of what happened between the lens and the film/sensor and more about post production. Yes, someone will invariably blather on that all photography is manipulated by lens choice, aperture, shutter speed, film/sensor type, but those decisions do little more than alter perception, etc.... they do not materially change the final product. I can select lenses and filters, cross process, compensation develop and dodge n' burn until I'm too tired to lift a finger, but the final result will still not contain magic faeries or leprechauns at the end of the rainbow. If the second coming of Jesus Christ wasn't happening when the shutter was fired, without manipulation, it won't be in the final product.
    There are clearly many people who are quite talented at producing compelling images using post production techniques using "traditional" process and Photoshop equally. However, their work simply is not photography, it's GRAPHIC ART. Now I can sense somebody is about to interject the tired, "all photography is manipulated" arguement.....go back and re-read the previous paragraph until you reach comprehension. Go now, do it!
    I think what's happening here is natural evolution. In the film days, most people could only obtain different levels of saturation, sharpness etc, by selecting film and equipment type. More advanced folks could go further and accomplish more in the darkroom, but this was not the majority. Whole generations grew up instinctively learning what even an average snapshot should look like. Kodak, Fuji, etc. spent ungodly sums of money tweaking their emulsions to provide the greatest skin tone with some films, grain with others and maximum "pop" with another set. People became accustomed to this.
    Digital came along and a whole new world was opened up. That film aesthetic was still a core of many folk's expectations, but the ease at which adjustments could be made in the digital realm was a god-send. I wonder now if we haven't reached the point where a new crop of photographers has be brought up in the digital realm and consequently has no real grounding in the old "film" paradigm. Instead of having a few selections at hand, the budding photographer now has infinite possablities available with every image he or she captures. With no grounding in what used to be as a matter of fact accepted as "pleasing tonality" or "natural color", they're awash in a sea of decisions. Now the freedom to create wonderful and stunningly terrible photos has been amplified.
    The best analogy I can think of as avaiation. In the beginning, intrepid aviators learned their craft through trial and error. Over time, aircraft and systems gradually increased in complexity. The fundementals of aviation haven't changed in over a century, but in today's world, it would be unthinkable to put a budding pilot behind the controls of a simple 2 seat Cessna, let alone a 777 without extensive training. And isn't that what we've done in a way? The new photographer is essentially let loose on the flight line to chose any machine he or she can afford. Of course I'm not advocating any kind of restrictions for photographers, but I don't think it's unreasonable to express that with the breadth and depth of choices available today, there's a greater chance at producing the photographic equivalent of mid air collisions.
    All this goes back to the OP and his question. At the end of the day, he should suspect anyone who expresses the idea that all photography is manipulated, just as he should be critical of me when I express the opposite and say there is a line that can be crossed. I suspect what he's looking for is authenticity; I don't know if there ever will be an answer. In an age of digitally altered vocal performances, TV police who can hit a running man with a 9mm at 100 yards while being hit with a baseball bat and photographs of children altered so their skin looks like plastic and their eyes bleached white with Crest Teeth whitener, it is up to the individual to decide it he or she values the most authenticity in life or if faux beauty should be striven for at the cost of all else.
    Learn all you can about the basics. Lighting, shadow, tone, perspective, color, emulsions, sensor technology, circle of confusion. In time, you'll learn what is pleasing in a photo (to you) and will be able to spot when others have failed to meet your criteria. Really though, learn this to solidify your own vision. To hell with what the rest of us think.
    In the end, the only thing one can do is STRIVE TO FIND YOUR OWN TRUTH .
    Doug
     
  97. Douglas,
    What you are missing is this:
    Film is NOT photography.
    Digital is NOT photography.
    Film DOES photogprahy. Digital DOES photography.
    And if I take some liquid emulsion and while in a darkroom coat it on my girlfriend's arse, then expose her arse to a projected image of a negative (of my face, for example), then her arse is a photograph, and that is DOING photography. I could also layer her arse with several medium format sensors and do the same thing.
    There is photography. Then there are mediums. The are not the same thing. Digital photography is no more digital graphics then film that captures light. Film is not more photography...this idea is absurd, to be sure.
    Therefore you nor anyone cannot define photography as film or digital. Photography is about capturing light, and it is that simple, and must never be tied to particular medium like film or sensors.
     
  98. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I think it's fair to say most people are expressing the need to quantify authenticity .

    "Most"? I haven't seen that on this thread. This is more of that "consensus" nonsense.

    The problem with the argument is that authenticity has nothing to do with tools. Since a photograph is significantly different than the thing it shows, authenticity comes from some sort of testimonial. This has always been the case in court, for example, where a photograph on its own, regardless of medium(s) used, has required someone to say that it shows what happened.
    Interestingly enough, this is the most "inauthentic" photo I have ever taken. It was shot on film, printed in a darkroom, and scanned. It's been in most of my shows and it's always been assumed that it shows something it doesn't. Nothing about it is real, other than the fact that there is a woman and a wall, nothing in it is even consistent.
    [​IMG]
    Semana Santa, Copyright 2001 Jeff Spirer
    The reason there is an issue with photojournalism is that there is an assumption that what happened is what it looks like happened. However, similar to this shot, there have been many distortions based on how a photographer put the shot together, since longer before digital manipulation.
     
  99. Dan:
    Go back and reread my post. Your lack of comprehension is stunning. In the very first paragraph, I said," A photograph can be manipulated in the wet dark room and in Photoshop alike. Most of us get that. There is no argument." Then I went on and expressed how film vs. digital is not part of the argument. In fact, your post has no relevance to anything I said in that last post except to bolster it.
    Jeff:
    "Express" can have a deeper meaning than, "what is said verbatim"; you understand that, right? Yes, I think most people are looking for authenticity, whether they've directly expressed it or not. We'll, most people other than a certain group of vocal folks including yourself. By the ideas you have expressed, I can render a scene completely with software and call it photography. Speak as loudly as you like, most folks would still disagree with you. Don't believe it? Prove me wrong.
    Again, it is you who is interjecting the digital vs. darkroom concept, not I. One might get the idea that you keep bringing up the same stale replies to arguments nobody is making because you are more interested in enhancing your self worth through arguing scemantics than engaging in introspective dialog.
    You also failed the comprehension test when you said, "Authenticity has nothing to do with tools", given half my post was devoted to that idea. It's how you use them that counts.
    So both you Dan and Jeff have pointed out in your own way that there is photography independent of the medium. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I said when using words like, "regardless of the medium". My how you are quick to argue, if not defend something nobody is attacking.
    I point out that regardless of medium, there is a line, if not clearly defined where a work of art ceases to be a product of photography (the act) and becomes the child of graphic art and you argue that digital and film are the same. You're tilting at the wrong windmill!
    Go back and reread. Do it now! Please! Slowly and surely until the words actually sink in!
    Doug
     
  100. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    You also failed the comprehension test when you said, "Authenticity has nothing to do with tools", given half my post was devoted to that idea. It's how you use them that counts.​
    The title of the post is "Photoshop vs Photography." It's obvious that some people here consider the tools to be more important than anything else in determining "authenticity."
     
  101. One reason manipulation here is so popular is simply because people who spend their time online are more likely to spend a lot of time editing their images digitally.​
    Now there's a huge leap with nothing to substantiate...
    "Most"? I haven't seen that on this thread. This is more of that "consensus" nonsense.​
    Agree. I love it when an individual takes on the role of spokesman/interpreter for all.
    I wonder now if we haven't reached the point where a new crop of photographers has be brought up in the digital realm and consequently has no real grounding in the old "film" paradigm.​
    Awful, isn't it? All that choice; and the options that are now easily accessible to others. And concerned about how that's bad for photography. No doubt photographers 100+ years ago who learned coating their own glass plates and mixing their own chemistry were similarly concerned with the advent of Kodak roll film, $1 Brownie cameras, and lab processing. Imagine, that new crop of photographers that came about as a result and not being grounded in the old paradigm. Bad...
     
  102. You've completely missed the boat on this one. The old paradigm isn't the equipment! Didn't I just finish explaining that? TWICE?
    It's knowing about exposure, composition, light, shadow. Photoshop or slaving over toxic chemicals, it's WHEN to apply the tools in the box that's most important. And again, 100 years ago or now, inserting magic fairies into the image ain't photography, it's GRAPHIC ART.
    The OP was very respectful in saying that he respected PS type alterations, but would like a tool to allow him to differentiate. Since PS has become the de facto term for "altered" (telling, ain't it?), it's fair to say Photoshop vs. photography isn't about digital vs. film. It's about straight vs. altered.
    Yet again, arguing a point nobody's making.
    Doug
     
  103. Dual post. Ignore
     
  104. Yet again, arguing a point nobody's making.​
    Like: "It's knowing about exposure, composition, light, shadow." Has anyone here suggested that photographers today don't know what that's about? Or is it you believe that?
    Since PS has become the de facto term for "altered" (telling, ain't it?), it's fair to say Photoshop vs. photography isn't about digital vs. film. It's about straight vs. altered.​
    Straight vs altered? That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. No doubt from someone who probably doesn't use ps. Funny you pronouncing "ps" de facto for altered, and not knowing the role of photoshop in photography...
     
  105. Two more to a hundred!
     
  106. No Tim: I think mine is #105
    Yes, the OP started looking like a respectful enquirer. Until he posted this:
    "I think Robert finally hit the head on the nail about why all the PS advocates get their cages rattled by a simple logical question about manipulated and relatively unmanipulated photos; "So the thinking might proceed: First we distinguish between photographers who use PhotoShop and those who don't and, next thing you know, we're saying those who do really aren't photographers after all! Sorry, all you manipulated images, you'll have to sit at the back of the gallery."
    Sounds like they are afraid they won't be viewed as photographers anymore, but is there anything wrong with being digital artists instead of photographers? Not saying that is how I feel, just seems to be the consensus emerging from this thread.."​
    Once he found someone who shared his already decided upon biased view, he revealed that he was only waiting for someone to say something he liked. Then proclaim a consensus was made on his view.
     
  107. Brad: Don't be to quick to ASSume what I do and don't know. I'm quite familiar with PS, GIMP, etc. Yeah, perhaps I'm a bit biased about folks not knowing composition, lighting, etc.... have you taken any time looking at the photo critique forums or reading pleas for help? Most of the garish PS mistakes are a direct result of not understanding them. And there are plenty of "straight" photos that reek of over dodging, poor composition, etc. as well. Of course bad photography has existed long before PS, it's just easier now. Like I said, the freedom PS offers goes both ways: it's easier to produce a gem and conversely, a giant turd with it. PS is just the digital cousin of "traditional photography" on steroids, nothing else.
    To say it one last time: PS IS JUST A TOOL. DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY IS JUST A MEDIUM. IT IS HOW YOU USE THE TOOL THAT DETERMINES IF YOU ARE PRACTICING PHOTOGRAPHY OR GRAPHIC ART!
    Many folks automatically equate alterations with PS because they have no experience with the "old ways" like by hand dodging, compositing, reducers, unsharp masking, etc. I bring them up as an example, not as a criticism. Stop being so damned defensive!
    But here I am, going around in circles again, burning time on a damned internet photography forum instead of just being out there with camera in hand. If there are folks who want to believe everything is photography, so be it. I'll take a screen print of my X-windows desktop and submit it as a photograph. No complaining from that camp though...I'm following their rules. To me however, photography is about the image taken from our world. There are no authentic pictures of the Yeti because it doesn't exist.
    Cling to whatever you want to believe. Even if it's borne of self defense or delusion, it's your truth I suppose.
    Doug
     
  108. >>> Don't be to quick to ASSume what I do and don't know.
    Interesting. Of all the dozens of photographers I know who use photoshop extensively, no one would make the claim: "Since PS has become the de facto term for "altered" (telling, ain't it?), it's fair to say Photoshop vs. photography isn't about digital vs. film. It's about straight vs. altered."
     
  109. You guys could always take a run at 200. Everyone just repeat themselves one more time on this thread, rather than waiting for someone to start the next thread on this same subject in order to do it all again.
     
  110. Matt, if you ask for push procesing thats a different story. Most rolls I take are transparencies, nowadays take to CVS and they send them out somewhere (traceable through the Kodak trace system) and they come back in about two weeks. Excellent processing, none of the hairs, scratches, blobs that came out of Kodak Fairlawn, on a par with Kodak Rochester or Findlay.
     
  111. Tempest in a tea pot; this thread is.
     
  112. After reading through another thread about "real" photography versus PS - I guess my question is: if the manipulations were done in the camera would you have the same view of the work as being manipulated. The OP (and others) want to concentrate on what can be done with a camera - at what point do in-camera manipulations become too much?
    For example, for one commercial job I had to fly to the site for one day. I wanted to limit the amount of equipment I needed so I took a single flash unit. As part of the shoot I had to make a photograph inside of an electronics room with numerous racks of equipment. I took one "straight" photograph using the overhead fluorescent lights - but that was really two separate exposures. One with the lights off so the LEDs and front panel indicators would show up - and then a second exposure with the overhead lights and an FLD filter for the lights. Is that a manipulated photo?
    The second image I took of the room started with the same base exposure of the LEDs and indicators - then, 62 individual flashes + 3 different colored gels later - I had a totally different look to the entire room with pinks, blues, greens, and white light. All done in-camera - but I certainly "manipulated" the way things looked simply by making my own lighting. Is that a manipulated photograph? The shutter was only opened and closed one time - the flash unit did the rest. Is that a manipulated photograph?
    How about this...when I do architectural interiors, there are always dark areas that need to be picked up a bit, so I have battery operated flashes that I'll hide - like behind that large potted plant in a lobby...and some of the areas are too shiny so I'll take some Arid Extra Dry deoderant (there's powder inside the can) and tone down the hot spots (stainless steel trim, etc.) so they appear matte in the photograph. In fact, I pretty much manipulate the entire interior in some cases to get the photograph I need - including bringing in my own set dressing pieces. So, is that too much manipulation?
    Sticking strictly to in-camera manipulation, where is the line where manipulation begins? If I posted one of my photographs that I've described should it be labled as manipulated? If so, why?
     
  113. If you spent more time in front of the monitor than you did behind the camera to get the image... then it's manipulated. Back in the dark room days it COULD take hours and hours to get the perfect exposure and contrast to get what you intended when you took the photograph. That process can be done in a few minutes now, including making dozens and dozens of brightness and contrast adjustments. Cloning out dust probably takes about the same amount of time as spot-toning for a real fast pro, but for the less-than-talented-at-spot-toning crowd it's dramatically faster. Basically, the little bit of cleaning up it requires to make up for less-than-perfect processing at the lab takes a few seconds per photograph and unless it's a model shoot, I def spent longer than that composing and metering etc. Again, I'm not saying that it's not really interesting to see people's manipulations, it just gets tiring seeing dozens of non-photographs on the front page of this website everytime I check in. But I suppose that those of us who feel that way are the minority and the minority doesn't bring in the ad revenue and so there you go.
     
  114. I wonder if people are jealous because there images doestn appear on the front page of PN and that make them suspicious of the process..
    I would like to see what image in the main PN page that is so extradodinairy that i would like to put a add on it? because all i see i normal images, from normal people who just enjoy photography..but that could be me?
    would you consider this images manipulated and for what?
    00Slx9-116659584.jpg
     
  115. or this one?
    00SlxP-116661584.jpg
     
  116. If you spent more time in front of the monitor than you did behind the camera to get the image... then it's manipulated.​
    So, if I'm shooting a sporting event and use shutter speeds like 1/1000 and higher, then I can only spend the same amount of time processing the image...? Can you give me the page and paragraph number in the photography rules manual where all of this is stated? I had no idea there was a time limit on making a successful photograph.
     
  117. or this one? (last one for now..waiting for comment about the manipulated..: )
    00SlxX-116663584.jpg
     
  118. No Patrick -- just beautiful B&W images -- I coudn't care less if they were from film or digital, and which software program processed them. if they are nice enough to frame and hang, can anyone possibly care?!
    Very nice photographs to add to such a SILLY discussion above. The AGE OLD discussion... is it an Real Image or is it a Photoshop? ("Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho? " - F.Z.)
    Tempest in a Teapot indeed.
     
  119. Thanks Ken : )
    I will just say they that a Mac Pro was use at a certain point, and of course everybody know that a Mac is better than a PC!
    Here whe go again, another hot topic! LOL LOL ; ) re LOL
    *for all the Mac AND PC folks..i was just kidding in case someone really need that to start another long and stupid thread.
     
  120. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Can you give me the page and paragraph number in the photography rules manual where all of this is stated?​
    I lost my rule book, maybe someone can give me theirs.
     
  121. Here's a heavily manipulated photo...
    00Sm4r-116713584.jpg
     
  122. Here's another heavily manipulated photo...
    00Sm50-116715584.jpg
     
  123. ...and this one has a LOT of work done on it...
    00Sm5J-116719584.jpg
     
  124. For a week right when this post was started there was an image that was attempting to look like a Matisse painting that included probably half a dozen different photoshoots all meshed together. And every week for the last year there has been at least one of that genre of image. I remember source books from the 80s and quite a few of the artists I have seen making the circuit appear to either be illustators from the 80s who updated to digital or digital artists who are drawing inspiration from 1980's illustrators source books. As I said many times, I don't have a problem with that kind of work, it just bothers me to see it constantly displayed on the front page of a photography website. You wouldn't put paintings on the cover of photography magazines. Or scultures on the cover of a painting magazine. You've got two vastly different mediums here. Of course there is plenty of gray area and lots of room for gray area, but when something is obviously a digital painting, then that's what it obviously is. I do design work myself, but I would never taut it as a photograph.
     
  125. And the sign really was that reflective if you stood in just the right place, it caught light being reflected from a cloud in back of my shoulder....the work on that image is in retaining the detail in the weeds and hills...
     
  126. Steve i can easily spot the work on those images!
    1_the green dinosaur have been add for sure! comon..a green dinosaur..so obvious!
    2_An enveloppe on a desk!..common dude?!
    3_a 3 leg sign! really..
    I have seen too much fake images in one day!
     
  127. 1) The railroad signal lights are enhanced.
    2) The lighting looks strange. The gray desk isn't right. Small table with pencil holder looks added.
    3) Looks like judicious burning in, to borrow an old school term.
    For a good laugh, I give you: http://www.photoshopdisasters.com/
    <Runs for the Asylum exit>
    Doug
     
  128. Steve i can easily spot the work on those images!
    1_the green dinosaur have been add for sure! comon..a green dinosaur..so obvious!
    2_An enveloppe on a desk!..common dude?!
    3_a 3 leg sign! really..
    I have seen too much fake images in one day!​
    Wow! Busted...! I thought I made it harder than that...
     
  129. 1) The railroad signal lights are faked too.​
    Yeah, I coordinated that with the railroad. I had them turn the lights on specially just for me when the train approached the crossing....

    2) The lighting looks strange​
    Hmmmm...yes...I moved the sun back and forth until I got it just like I wanted it...

    3) Looks like judicious burning in, to borrow an old school term.​
    Actually....no....
    But the hardest part was getting all of those animals part way through the walls of the room; and to hold still as the exposure was about 1/2 second...
     
  130. Here's a photograph that was done in 1989. I made a contrast mask for the image because it was going to be printed on Ilfochrome. I then took retouching dyes, and with very small brushes colored the mask. I guess, if you figure my fingers are "digits," then the image was, in fact, digitally enhanced...
    00Sm7n-116749584.jpg
     
  131. deleted -- double post...
     
  132. Another "digitally enhanced" image from 1990...the film was Kodak EPD, shot with a Plaubel Makina 670...the masking film was Ilford FP4 developed for 4 minutes in ID-11 diluted 1:3 ...for all of those who are interested in minutia...
    00Sm8C-116755584.jpg
     
  133. Holy Cow! It has been over 3 years since I spent any time on these forums and I am dismayed that you guys are still arguing over the same things. The same 'apologies' and obfuscations are being used (in some cases by the same people) as they were back in 2006. What the whole matter hinges upon is the definition of the essential term 'manipulation'. Many people fight even the suggestion that the word be defined at all...preferring something very vague and 'catch all' that allows them to maintain some kind of 'artistic advantage' over other people.

    Those who want the vague definition of the word claim that the mere act of capturing an image (let alone going through any 'processing') consitutes 'manipulation' and , after that, any and all changes are fair game. To them, adjusting the tonal aspects of the shot are IDENTICAL to adding content that was not part of the original capture or removing content that was part of the original capture. "If you can adjust the contrast of a shot then I can add a flock of birds in the sky. It is ALL THE SAME!"

    I think the concept of image content is the real key here. I think that the so-called 'old school' photographers would consider changing the 'content' of an image to be...'manipulation'. You haven't altered an image if you make it possible to see detail in shadows. That detail was always there...it wasn't added after the fact. However, moving a (digital) mountain to improve your composition and fabricate a 'better' picture is 'manipulative'.

    Consider two approaches to capturing an image. One person gets up before dawn and drives to a remote location. Walks two hours into the bush with 95Lbs of equipment just to catch a particular event in a particular place at the time when it is actually happening. On the other hand, there is the person who rolls out of bed...whenever...staggers to the computer and builds an image from pieces of stock imagery and other people's work...all from the comfort of his house. He doesn't even need a camera for gosh sakes! Are these two people both 'photographers'? At the end of the day, both will have remarkable images to post. People will remark on the beauty and magic of each....but one is a capture of a REAL moment...a REAL event...in a REAL place while the other is an image of something that never happened. You could not travel to that spot because it doesn't exist. You could not witness that event because it never happened.

    I have never liked or appreciated the sort of 'composite' images produced in either a chemical OR a digital darkroom. So, don't think that I am anti-digital. I AM anti-dishonesty however. I think that when a person presents a fabricated image that never existed as if it IS a photograph of something real, then they are being dishonest.

    I have no illusions that what I write here will change anybody's mind. Those who are going to fake images with PS are going to continue to justify what they do to themselves and to everybody else. What they don't realize is that by their actions (and attitudes) they devalue the art of photography.
     
  134. I think that the so-called 'old school' photographers would consider changing the 'content' of an image to be...'manipulation'. You haven't altered an image if you make it possible to see detail in shadows. That detail was always there...it wasn't added after the fact. However, moving a (digital) mountain to improve your composition and fabricate a 'better' picture is 'manipulative'.​
    Uh..huh..okay..care to comment on "Fading Away," by HP Robinson? How about Rejlander's "Two Ways of Life"? Any thoughts on Camille Silvy replacing skies in his photos. I'm also interested in your perceptions of works from Raoul Hausman, Hanna Hoch, Kurt Shwitters, and John Heartfield.
    Any insights to the work done by Duane Michaels and Jerry Uelsmann?
    Or, is this just another "purity of photography" rant where we read about "magic"; and how it was up hill both ways to and from the photo site; and that carrying a 250 lb back pack filled with glass plates and sensitizing chemicals makes a photo more "real"?
     
  135. Meryl...
    THANK YOU for actually getting to one of the primary facets of this issue. I used the word "authenticity" a while back (see somewhere in the mess above), and heard more than one or two belly-laughs and tut-tuts in response, as if it were some quaint but indefensible concept. I can only imagine what we're going to hear now that the word "honesty" has been introduced to the discussion...
    Your comparison of the two photographers reminds me so much of the argument regarding remote hunting via the internet. Why would anybody in his right mind put on all that camo and rutting deer scent, toting guns and ammo into the cold rainy woods, and climb up into that durn tree stand to shoot a deer when all he really has to do is clomp over to the den in his drawers and fuzzy slippers, pop open his beer, scratch his armpit, and type a few commands on his 'puter to bag that 10-pointer? I suppose if simply killing an animal is the only important factor here, that slob in his living room is the better hunter of the two... and he doesn't even have to know how to actually hunt. Just gotta have good keyboarding skills.
    I'll refrain from elaborating any more of my usual verbose response for now, as you have summed up what I consider to be a major (although unspoken) issue underlying this discussion.
    Aside: I suppose I should just give up on getting any unobfuscated answers to several of the questions I posed about 40-50 posts ago. Ask a vague question and you seem to get lots and lots of spirited answers... Ask a couple of direct and specific questions, and nobody seems to hear...
     
  136. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Uh..huh..okay..care to comment on "Fading Away," by HP Robinson? How about Rejlander's "Two Ways of Life"? Any thoughts on Camille Silvy replacing skies in his photos. I'm also interested in your perceptions of works from Raoul Hausman, Hanna Hoch, Kurt Shwitters, and John Heartfield.
    Any insights to the work done by Duane Michaels and Jerry Uelsmann?​
    Good points... Avedon too, he did some pretty drastic work even using scissors. Nobody said he wasn't doing photography, that his photos weren't "authentic" or "honest."
     
  137. All this talk about Real photography; Fake photography.
    This old biker once told me that only Harley Davidson bikes are true motorcycles. The Japanese bikes are not motorcycles.
    IBM compatible PC's are the real deal. Those stupid Macs are not real PCs. ;-)
    This thread really is stupid, to be sure. And who is coming up with these topics?!?
     
  138. David, I thought your queries were innocent enough...I like to see non-photoshopped images too,but raising the issue seems to have opened a real can of worms. Agreeing to disagree doesn't appear to be an option.
     
  139. "This thread really is stupid, to be sure. And who is coming up with these topics?!?" I don't think these threads are stupid , newbies or old timers keep bringing up this topic at least once a month. It's an important subject not easily answered to everyones satisfaction because there is no right answer. Defining "manipulation" in regards to a photo is like defining "pornography", the individual knows it when he or she sees it. " Any insights to the work done by Duane Michaels and Jerry Uelsmann?" I am of the school that appreciates any kind of photo that is transcendent and tells a story and don't care how the photographer got there. I saw a show of Duane Michaels here in Milwaukee about fifteen years ago that influenced me as much as a show I saw about ten years ago in Madison, Wisconsin of Sebastiao Salgado's "Workers of the World". Both photographers, even though they are at opposite ends of the manipulation scale, continue to impress me with their genius and remind me to never let anything get in the way of my imagination.
     
  140. Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?
     
  141. Home made wine is quite an interesting subject.
    I think I'll start a thread on that.
    Goodbye.
     
  142. Home made wine!? are you kidding..it taste like cheap corner store over heat one..nothing beat real wine!
    let start a thread on this, the good thing is i also know a thing or 2 when talking about food and wine ; )
     
  143. Patrick. Off topic forum. I have started a post pointing out the many merits of French wine.
     
  144. cool, have a link : )
     
  145. I guess it's safe to say this main topic just died.
    "Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?"​
    Why is a carrot more orange then an orange? (a question raised by Ted Nugent)
     
  146. Hi David,
    The best thing you can do to continue to be inspired is to seek out all kinds of work to look at and then through living life it self. If you want to view a specific type of work, then find it and forget about what you don't want to see. I rarely look at the images on this site anymore due to the reasons you cite in your original post, it truly is an unfortunate mess here.
    Look for other venues in photography that are not Photo.net, because things won't change here, the model is in place and it will only get worse over time. This is no slam on Photo.net, but the name of the site really ought to be something more fitting of it's visual content.
    By the way, what I see in life is what I put in the viewfinder and what you see in my photos. So maybe favorite people who's work you like that abide by this ethic to make it more enjoyable for you. That is what I have done and it works well.
    I truly believe the path to photographic brilliance is to better our selves through the truthful quoting of life's visual diversity in grand fashion.....but that's just me..:)
    Good luck either way!
     
  147. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Some people find it important to say what photo.net is or isn't, but it won't change anything, since they aren't in a position to make those decisions.

    If you are interested in photography, in its advancement, in new tools, in new ideas, in creativity, photo.net is a great place. In the spirit of the history of photography, which has always accepted new ideas and tools (except when Ansel Adams went after Mortensen), photo.net is a great champion for the concept of photography.

    If, on the other hand, you see tools and mediums as more important than photographs, feel free to follow the advice directly above and seek out other venues. It will serve you well, and you won't have to worry about anything new, challenging, or the least bit disruptive.
    Some people see photography as a recording medium ("what I see in life is what I put in the viewfinder and what you see in my photos") and some see it as an opportunity to create art and communicate ideas beyond what simply shows in the viewfinder. Make your choice. And, as the man said, there are other venues if you have that limited view of photography.
     
  148. Daniel Bayer, what you see through your view finder is NOT what you see in your pictures, nor your prints, as you suggest. Nearly ALL photography is a big fat lie. True for film and true for digital. Photography is not about visual truth. It is about rendition, about one's opinions transposed onto a composition.
    All this talk about REAL....a word used too many times in this thread. In photography, not much is real, and that is okay. Ansel Adam's work is not real in the sense that his pictures do not look much like the actual scenes. This often is true for portraiture, and nearly all genres. This is not a slam against photography. This is actually a good thing.
    The pictures that come out of your work are renditions, and not the real deal. This is true for film. This is true for digital. This is true for all of us, and so I don't single you out.
    Now although a photography is a rendition of reality, it can project a truth. This is not a paradox.
    I really do think you need to get off your snobbish high horse, and see things for what they are: Film and Digital have a place here at Photo.net, and all sites that provide forums for the discussion of pictures, and all things photography. PN is a great site, and if you can't admit that, then perhaps it's time for some more medication ;-)
     
  149. I find Daniel's view rather odd considering that "Current POW Recipient" icon next to his name. Is he not part of the mess called Photo.net?
    "I rarely look at the images on this site anymore due to the reasons you cite in your original post, it truly is an unfortunate mess here."​
     
  150. Is it even possible at this point to remember that the OP had a question about how to determine if a photo was "manipulated", because he would like to know -- god forbid -- what he could learn from the photo? That is, whether the photo displayed something he could capure in camera, or was whether it was something that would require new or improved processing skills to achieve? Gosh, I wonder what photo.net itself would say about such a seemingly innocent, yet stupidly controversial, inquiry? Oh yeah, I guess this is it:
    "Your photos in our database here at photo.net are intended to help other readers learn how to become better photographers. It is helpful for them to know whether the photo is more or less as it came out of the camera ("unmanipulated") or whether the photo has been significantly altered ("manipulated"). In other words, to produce a image like yours, do they need to work on their camera technique or their Photoshop technique?"
    After a number of examples, the definition concludes:
    "For those readers old enough to remember film, "unmanipulated" is a slide processed through standard chemistry; "manipulated" would be a black and white print that had been heavily dodged and burned."
    C'mon, is there really anybody who doesn't understand "manipuluated" v. "unmanipulated"? Is there really anyone who doesn't understand why someone might want to know which category a particular photo falls into? If so, do you really just want to have an agrument about why your vision is better than someone's else's?
    Now, to be fair to all the bloviaters out there, the OP did pose an additional question: "Do most members here believe that PS works of art belong in the same presentation space as unmanipulated photographs?" Gee, apparently a bunch of folks say "yes," and a bunch of others say "no." For my part, I recommend reading the recent Johnston on Photography article "Cooking Vegetables."
     
  151. I have read the Johnston "Cooking Vegetables" article and agree with everything he had to say. However, the diehard purists will still scream "NAY! He should have got it right in the camera in the first place." They would still see the article's advice as too much processing.
     
  152. Thank you Ellis for the Paul Graham link and the paste you did - that's the beef.
    Ciao Axel
     
  153. Considering the inside track that so many of the responders seem to have on metaphysical truth and for as many as have referred to Ansel Adams, has anyone actually checked with him to learn just how he feels about all this?
     
  154. Well, i spoke with Ansel yesterday at a cafe, and whe talk about the subject..he told me that some people will always be afraid of change, that some people always critize talent, and some also think that doing work in the darkroom traditional or digital (he said i was lucky to have photoshop, as he would really love that when he was younger) is not the holy thrut..but the person who complaint the most are normally the one who get pass by from younger generation who dont know all those *rules*.
    Interesting : )
    So i ask him what i think about the digital expression and the collage that some people use and call photography.. " not much different of what people where doing with a pair of scissor and glue before, its a photographic expresion"
    So after a good cup of coffe i head back to my studio and continue my raw development with a smile.
     
  155. Hello David Hensler ,

    Please see my portfolio here, I shoot 35mm films and most of my pictures are untouched, even without any crop, You will find only two or three manipulated pictures there. I just scan negative and apply auto color and auto level if required due to bad scanning, I just believe (For my work, not talking about other's work) to represent the photo as and how I saw. But it doesn't mean that I refuse totally the editing or manipulation. Sometimes it is strongly needed in some fields like advertising, modeling, product photography etc.
     
  156. Pankaj, ALL of your film pictures are IN FACT NOT how you saw it. Depending upon the film you used, the brand, the speed, pro or consumer, vivid or natural color, ISO speed, the picture will IN FACT show differently then what your human eyes saw. Your human eyes have several stops wider dynamic range then film. In addition what you saw with your human eyes is most often a different perspective then what the lens mounted on your camera provides.
    So get off your snobbish high horse about this dillusion you write of: "I just believe (For my work, not talking about other's work) to represent the photo as and how I saw". Rubbush, to be sure.
    Dillusion. ;-)
    PS - Pankaj, you have a lot of wonderful work in your gallery!
     
  157. Dan Lovell, Thanks for clarifying what and how you think the manipulation. You are absolutely right that a photo is manipulated right that time when we capture that, obviously we use different kind of angles, rolls and filters (I don't have any filter) etc. and we try to represent that scene as our imagination that how we want to.
    But I think the original poster of this threat is talking about the manipulation of images at the time of computer editing like tempering with originality, change in tonality, unusual contrast etc. This talk is about manipulation of a photograph after capturing, not about the manipulation of the scene, isn't it?
    But thanks again for appreciating my work and adding your words my thinking about manipulation. I repeat that I agree that everybody manipulates image who shoots the scene with camera using different lenses and angles if we talk about a photograph in so depth.
     
  158. Daniel Lovell wrote:
    Daniel Bayer, what you see through your view finder is NOT what you see in your pictures, nor your prints, as you suggest. Nearly ALL photography is a big fat lie. True for film and true for digital. Photography is not about visual truth. It is about rendition, about one's opinions transposed onto a composition.​
    Disagree. What I SEE is what I PUT in the viewfinder, not in a computerized mixing bowl called photoshop to produce graphic art.
     
  159. Jeff wrote:
    Some people find it important to say what photo.net is or isn't, but it won't change anything, since they aren't in a position to make those decisions.​
    False, I have and will continue to vote with my wallet as have others.
    If you are interested in photography, in its advancement, in new tools, in new ideas, in creativity, photo.net is a great place. In the spirit of the history of photography, which has always accepted new ideas and tools (except when Ansel Adams went after Mortensen), photo.net is a great champion for the concept of photography.​
    Agreed, the database of topics is what brings me back.
    If, on the other hand, you see tools and mediums as more important than photographs, feel free to follow the advice directly above and seek out other venues. It will serve you well, and you won't have to worry about anything new, challenging, or the least bit disruptive.​
    Nah, tools are tools, photographs matter, but it is really good to be able to choose what you look at before looking at it instead of wading through graphic art that is misrepresented. The advice I gave has nothing to do with tools. I challenge my self more than you might think..
    Some people see photography as a recording medium ("what I see in life is what I put in the viewfinder and what you see in my photos") and some see it as an opportunity to create art and communicate ideas beyond what simply shows in the viewfinder. Make your choice. And, as the man said, there are other venues if you have that limited view of photography.​
    What you clearly miss and every time Jeff is that some of those who record life around them see it brilliantly and share that brilliance in imagery that makes you stop, think and emote. But they do not and will not lump composite graphic art and great artistic documentary in one mass, it is not right and it is not fair to those who work hard at recognizing life's genuinely brilliant moments.
    You FAIL miserably every time you bring this up. I have a very open mind about photography in general, but life is too short to try to be jack of all trades and master of none, so I follow what works for me spiritually in image making. Just because I have a certain manner in how I want to spend my time in what I am looking at does not make my view limited, you need to knock that crap off, it's a cop out.
    Your continual attempts at reducing my life as a photographer as a having a "Limited View of Photography" is very insulting.
    You are by FAR Jeff, my single worst experience on photo.net.
     
  160. Re: Mike Johnston's "Cooking Vegetables".
    Wipe the difference between Photoshop and darkroom skill from your mind, I believe the following still rings regardless.
    I mostly agree with his analogy about cooking vegetables.....you want to get them just right. To take it a step further, one could say some people want their veggies cooked just enough to make them a bit more palatable while still letting their raw essence shine through. Others however, would rather their vegetables be spiced up. Some recipes are culinary delights. Others are simply veggies drowned under a thick layer of cheese (such a natural analogy, don't you agree?). There's yet another group who sees fit to take their vegetables (soy for example), grind 'em up and attempt to create a new product like veggie burgers. Sure, even veggie burgers can be tasty, but many people take great exception when they're told to accept them as an equal substitute for steak. Nope.... soy ain't beef, it's something else.


    It occurs to me that in an age when people will spend big bucks on a machines that simulate a simple walk outside or ride on the bike, spend hours playing video games that simulate hunting, fishing, dancing and playing a guitar, absorb "reality" shows about cooking or "surviving" rather than picking up a knife or learning to backpack and spend hours in chat rooms rather than chatting up folks in a pub, it should not be surprising that there are people who genuinely see no difference between taking a photo of something in the real world that has personal meaning and creating a mish-mash in a computer (or in the dark room). We have virtual reality; perhaps to some this includes virtual photography?
    I will not hesitate to express that I believe world is a wonderous place. If I can manage to stuff 1/10th the beauty a simple "driving home at the end of workday" sunset contains into my photographs, I'll consider myself wildly successful. And though the photo is surely a cliche, if dodging 'n burning the hell out of a print of my city's night skyline helps convey the magic I felt when I took the picture, so be it. But if I use the scissor or Photoshop's might to add a grand full moon over the city, I will have utterly failed myself and let down every person who sees that photo. It cannot reflect my feeling of the scene on that crystal clear night because it simply doesn't reflect what was there. Others are visual virtuosos who are masters at bringing what is in their minds eye to the world. Within their chosen medium, whether that be paint, chalk, Photoshop, pencil, Lighwave or marble, they can bring works of stunning beauty into the world. How is it however, that we never argue that a Michealangelo painting is photography but a product of pure fantasy created with Photoshop is?
    Photoshop is a fantastic tool capable of an order of magnitude more than the wet darkroom technician could ever dream. There are marvelous works of art that are the result of careful editing, compositing or flat out manipulation if you choose to call it that; nobody's is arguing this. However, those products just aren't photography to a great number of people. Consider this, would "Moonrise Over Hernandez" have the same spirit if it was the result of a masterful conglomeration of separate elements? I'll leave the answer for the reader to decide, but I suspect those who rail against the idea that "everything is photography" cherish the idea that at the instant Ansel fired the shutter, everything we see in that photograph was actually there. His mastery of the process allowed him to capture and convey the soul of that DECISIVE MOMENT. Now imagine for a moment how he could have expressed his vision with the "modern" process. Ah.....THE PROCESS DOESN'T MATTER, IT'S THE VISION!
    Maybe this is what I've been failing to express all along. Artful collages, though interesting in their own rite, can never be the product of a decisive moment .
    Doug
     
  161. There are marvelous works of art that are the result of careful editing, compositing or flat out manipulation if you choose to call it that; nobody's is arguing this. However, those products just aren't photography to a great number of people.​
    And some of those great numbers of people are brilliantly talented at seeing the world portrayed as authentically as they can. These people are not limiting anything, missing out on better technology, lost in the past and certainly not snobbish. Nor are these people putting the method or a tool before the image, they are simply photographers and some people on this site have a real hard time with the fact that they simply want to do things differently.
    I have no problem with artists using photoshop to create their art. I do have a problem at wanting to see actual photography and having no possible way to separate the graphic art from the photos in a search. That is the single biggest problem on this site and that is why I am working on eventually removing my work from here.
    If this matters to some of us, then it should matter to all of us if this place can actually be called a "Community".
    Thanks for your viewpoint Doug
     
  162. >>> I do have a problem at wanting to see actual photography and having no possible way to separate the graphic art from the photos in a search.
    >>> That is the single biggest problem on this site and that is why I am working on eventually removing my work from here.
    Sounds like you've found a solution that meets your needs.
     
  163. Mr. Bayers portfolio is indeed a fantastic display of talent and unique vision. His comment list has a great many compliments from the Photo.net community. It's a shame he feels he must remove it so as not to be mixed among the Photoshop imagery he so despises. ...............but so be it. Sometimes a persons vision only works well through the view finder and becomes dim when having to view the vision of others.
     
  164. I agree with the OP's assertion that too many images on pnet are PS art, and not pure photography.
    Most of what I upload has had some post processing but it's usually just minor tweaks like saturation and sharpness. I hate to even crop my photos.
    I would like to see more of a distiction here between the PS art and the pure photography than currently exists.
     
  165. I've found it increasingly difficult to distinquish Photoshopped works of art from genuine photographs with minimal manipulations....how can I tell if it was truly manipulated or simply a stunning photograph?​
    And this is where i think one should not care..or at least i dont. I understand that great work could be achieve during the press of the button and should be refine after in the darkroom. I dont see anything bad there..just common sense i think. By refine i mean the use of all the tool that you could use to give your image more impact.
    Adding a crying boy aside of is dead mother on a cover of a magazine if you are a photo journalist dont have is place for sure; but adding a moon onto a landscape shot when you are a landscape photographer (or a simple amateur that enjoy doing it for fun) i dont see any problem if that could help bring the image further.
    And Robert, it will be sad that you remove your work from a site that offer so much more than photo manipulated art, but if this how you feel like..what can whe say? i enjoy the site as he is now, and i enjoy the portion i use. I think i can help many user and learn a great deal from other experience one also..Maybe PN should create a special place call DIGITAL WORK a la photoshop user magazine style with 3D art and collage, but since those images are easy to spot..would it make a big difference?
    I think whe should stop taking about if youre a real photographer you should not go into Ps, all should be done in location etc...if you are a real photographer, you should use all the tools around you to get the product you like. You feel limited not knowing how to post process your images? learn photoshop ; ) i learn the darkroom 18 years ago because i was feeling limited.
     
  166. jbs

    jbs

    Perhaps I missed it but what is the problem in fetching only images that are marked "unmanipulated"? It seems that when we had this discussion, years ago, there was talk that the search would fetch images in existance (and manipulated) before the button was conceveived. Is this correct?
     
  167. It's a little like the Death of the Author argument in books, isn't it?
    People who care a lot about knowing just how much an image was altered in photoshop must place more emphasis than most on the skill of the actual photographer and/or how close the photo is to reality.
    It's almost like, a photograph is worth more if it was 'harder' to achieve - yet there are plenty of quick snaps/street photography and so on that capture something amazing, but took little effort on the part of the photographer other than the basics.
     
  168. I haven't contributed in a few days. Looks like the same old drivel and avoidance of the OP's primary question. Big surprise...
    Just check out the blather and gobbledygook after this stunning work of art...
    http://www.photo.net/photo/5595034
    Alas, it's just one of many. And alas, there is still no way for somebody who so chooses to easily and quickly filter out this kind of stuff when we wish to educate our limited-viewpoint, anti-creative-vision, unreasonably-biased-against-manipulation photographic minds.
    About 140 posts ago I asked the following...
    I have two very simple questions to ask:
    1. What is so offensive to the avid photoshop "artist" about the proposal of a filter or functional distinction being made available on PN for those who want it? Or, put another way, why is it assumed that because some poor slob requests such a filter..., your status as an artist or photographer is being questioned or threatened?
    2. What could be so freakin' hard about implementing the filter?​
    Nobody has offered anything in the way of answers to either of these questions... All I've seen is the same old boring line about how I and people with similar questions are stunting our growth, are relying too much on the hardware, are bigots, are technophobes, and any number of other observations that those who argue against us are totally unqualified to make. Would somebody in the pro-alteration camp please just address these two questions?
    I've determined that the argument is futile. There are simply too many avid photoshoppers out there with some kind of ridiculous axe to grind and site management who do not seem to care that a significant portion of site membership wishes for whatever reason to avoid their own "personal growth" (or whatever) by filtering our searches.
     
  169. http://www.photo.net/photo/5595034
    Alas, it's just one of many. And alas, there is still no way for somebody who so chooses to easily and quickly filter out this kind of stuff when we wish to educate our limited-viewpoint, anti-creative-vision, unreasonably-biased-against-manipulation photographic minds.​
    Well I happen to like very much the item you selected for example. Perhaps you are an example of a raving purist gone bonkers. Use your eyeballs to filter your searchs and stop expanding those items that seem to make you crazy for some reason.
     
  170. Michael...
    Sorry, I forgot to add the "raving-purist-gone-bonkers" descriptor... please to forgive!
    Again... rather than answers to simple questions, the response is a predictable and unqualified opinion as to my aesthetic taste and mental state. When one is uncomfortable actually answering specific questions, one generally attempts deflection from them. Not a very productive or informative way to contribute to some kind of understanding, but fairly typical among those who don't wish to do anything more than proselytize their own biases.
     
  171. I love that "photo"(?) I almost fell over laughing, and the best part is it got on average 6.3 out of 7 from 49 people--!
    I really don't think anything, absolutly anything more need be said about this system.
     
  172. Cyr, agreed, and therefore I won't...
    Checked out your site, by the way... amazing photography!
     
  173. Thanks Kevin, much appreciated.
     
  174. It is truly astounding to me that anyone would call this photography, it's not "open minded" to do so either, it is sheer denial. But you all know why this goes on here, right? And you know it will not change, ever because of one word:
    Politics.
     
  175. Nobody has offered anything in the way of answers to either of these questions​
    Kevin - As to your first question, I still believe that the answer lies in the same rational that fires the controversy over race relations: Distinction means discrimination means unfair discrimination means suffering for the distinguished. The answer to your second question seems to me intuitively obvious: The vehement oppostion to such a filter by the photoshoppers as expressed in this thread would equate to their reduced participation which would result in a financial loss by site management.
    My comments are offered with the qualification that I cannot claim membership in the "pro-alteration camp". The way I use the term, by the way, the example you provided (like this thread itself) is very interesting and required obvious skill and vision but has little to do with photography.
     
  176. Daniel and Robert, thank you for your responses. Judging from the sheer volume of digital graphic art on this site (and the predictable mutual admiration society it seems to have engendered), I'm very tempted to believe, as you say, that politics and money are at the root of this issue. However, I sure would like to hear some feedback on my questions from people who consider themselves "pro-alteration" (for the purposes of this discussion).
    Robert, with respect to variations in taste, I'd have to say that the example I linked to seems poorly composed and executed, and certainly not the masterpiece that the fawning reviewers touted it to be.
    I find it rather pathetic that the desire to focus one's photographic education (being, supposedly, the primary purpose of this site) on in-camera fundamentals raises such a lather in some people, and that these people quickly make unqualified (and unqualifiable) judgments as to one's aims, intentions, artistic ability, and psychological status in response to this simple desire.
    It would be also interesting to hear some straightforward answers from this site's admin as to why the site definitions regarding manipulation serve no purpose other than to occupy a few KB of web space, and why the definition can't be used (as other variables are used) for selective filtering and viewing of images. Until it is addressed, the credibility of this site's stated aim, "...striv(ing) to be the best peer-to-peer educational system for people who wish to become better photographers...", is highly questionable.
    As a beginning photographer, I have been put off by the apparent circle-jerk mentality of the rating and critique system and the apparent sway that the photoshop crowd has over site content and policy. Without intelligent responses from a few fellow members to some of my questions, I would not have bothered blowing money on a membership. Lacking any obvious sign that site management wishes to acknowledge a problem perceived by more than a few members, it's doubtful whether they'll get my money next year. It would be a shame to see a site with real potential to benefit photographers turn into just another cheap computer graphics club.
     
  177. "manipulated works bring viewers and advertising money to the site " is probably the most absurd conspiracy statement
    Why, then is there no filter corresponding to the unmanipulated check box? It isn't difficult to program, I would expect it'd take a programmer an hour's work to implement it and test the UI thoroughly. I may have made a mistake in assuming it's the management doesn't implement it because of fear off loss of attention from the flashy but shallow digital art. Perhaps the managements' reluctance to implement the often requested filter can be explained in another way, however, I am unable to figure out what it could be. Don't give that "who defines what manipulation is" - it doesn't really matter where the line goes. It's the excessively over-the-line images (usually done in poor taste, too) which everyone can see are manipulated that I don't wish to see. Any definition would filter them out, and although I do dodging and burning myself to some images, I accept the definition as it is as a perfectly valid way of distinguishing manipulated images. No argument, just implement the filter and I can start using the gallery without feeling sick.
    The general public sees a considerable distinction between images that have objects added to or removed from. There are those who see no distinction - so why not just allow them to use the site as it is? Options for everyone. What I predict would happen from the implementation of the filter is that the discussions on manipulation would largely disappear since everyone can use the site as they want to, more or less and see images that they're interested in.
    I think the problem is simply that digital artists want their images to be considered as photographs instead of digital art. They're trying to misrepresent their work and claim that there is no difference although most people do see a difference. If a selection filter were implemented, these digital artists would lose the audience of those who are interested in photography but not excessively manipulated digital art. Is this what photo.net is afraid of? Upsetting a bunch of well connected digital artists? Tell us Josh! There must be a good reason for not implementing such an often requested filter, a reason that is not commercial interest since you dismissed my suggestion about that.
     
  178. Ilkka, so to make sure i understand your point, you are considering dodging & burning as the same manipulaiton as the excessively over-the-line images?
    I dont have a problem having 2 distinct check box or difination like photographs / digital art..but are you not able to see the difference yourself? Or i must ask..do you (all who keep bringing this topic) consider dodge / burn /sharpen / as adigita art or as a normal darkroom process?
    none of the *purist*have answer that neither : )
     
  179. I find it rather pathetic that the desire to focus one's photographic education (being, supposedly, the primary purpose of this site) on in-camera fundamentals raises such a lather in some people,​
    No one is interfering with your ability to focus your photographic education whereever you want. Want to know to what extent a photo you like has been manipulated? Leave a comment or send a message to the photographer asking about it. The information you gain from that sort of dialogue will be more meaningful than any arbitrary definitions you think photo.net should apply to the images here.
    The Casual Conversations forum is a place for people to chat about photography and, often, to rehash yet again issues that have already been explored. It's not a place where administrators will come and explain site policy just because someone demands they should. While some of the moderators keep an eye on this forum to keep it from spinning out of control, most admins don't even read these threads.
    the apparent sway that the photoshop crowd has over site content and policy​
    There are tens (hundreds?) of thousands of discussions on this site about operating a camera, choosing a camera, proper exposure, lighting techniques and equipment, techniques for shooting portraits/documentary/wedding, business advice, film developing and printing, and a host of other photographic issues. Discussions about putting a different head on someone's body or making other drastic alterations to a photo's content are relatively very, very few. If you are unable to benefit from that knowledge base, what's stopping you? The site certainly doesn't prevent you from accessing all that information.
    Are heavily-manipulated photos popular with the thousands of people who like to give out ratings? Yes, they are. Does photo.net require that people give those kinds of images high ratings? No. Does photo.net prevent people from giving high ratings to "unmanipulated" photos? No.
     
  180. I will also add;
    Do you really need a high rating to continue produce images? As i know your are at Photo.net..not in a change your life contest?
    is it me or it seem that too many people shoot to win something. I just images because i like to. And i dont ask to critique them because i dont really care personally, not that i wont benefit of it, good explanation is always good..but im not waiting for it to grab images when i saw them : )
     
  181. Nice way to skirt around Ilkka's question Mike.
    Do you want me to send you quotes from emails I have exchanged with movers and shakers in the photo world that consider this site to be negligent in the way that it represents photography and the definition there of to the general public? If not casual conversations, where else do people who want this filter engage the idea of it publicly on this site?

    I can only speak for my self when it comes to what I want out of my image viewing experience on Photo.net, but I simply do not want to see CGI / Illustration when I come to "photo".net, I want to see photography. I also do not want my work, my name or my reputation as a professional photographer related in any way to this Photoshop / CGI craze. I am not a purist, I am a photographer.

    So for once, will one of you come clean here and actually tell us WHY you will not enable the feature of being able to further utilize the checkbox system to filter out at least some of the computer graphics?

    We are your members, we have our work on this site and we want to happily pay you for a membership for years to come. But how can you expect us to do that if you won't even consider this request?

    WTF?
     
  182. >>> Do you want me to send you quotes from emails I have exchanged with movers and shakers in the photo world that consider this site to be negligent in the way that it represents photography and the definition there of to the general public?
    Movers and shakers in the photo world? Heh...
    Now I'm feeling really bummed that I don't have similar contacts. But hold on, I can ring my buddy Bob Frank and get his opinion...
     
  183. Perhaps the managements' reluctance to implement the often requested filter can be explained in another way, however, I am unable to figure out what it could be.​
    Except for, you know, the 500 other things that have to be done around here all the time. The "to-do" list is a mile long. Get in line. I know that your pet issue is the most important thing ever, but so is everybody else's. Not everything is a big conspiracy theory to downgrade your personal view of the photography world. Some things just get pushed aside because they are triaged for things that affect more users or affect the site or affect our ability to move forward in the future. That's just life.
    And with that, I'm closing this thread. It has reached as logical of a conclusion as will ever be reached on this subject (which is to say "none"). I'm sure you all will have a chance in the very near future to argue about it again, so don't feel too bad. If you wish to argue about photo.net policy or attack those of us who run the place, you will have to do it via email with me. The forums aren't the place for that sort of thing.
    Thanks for playing everyone. Go shoot some photos.
     

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