Tired of the arguments and complaints about manipulation, not to mention the abuse...

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by mattvardy, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. It saddens me to think that some of you cannot keep an open,
    artistic mind while critiquing on photo.net. Photography is
    manipulation. Manipulation is photography. Photography is art, is it
    not? Art is an ever changing entity in my mind, free to evolve, and
    free to be "different" and new. Free also then to each artist's
    individual expression and interpretation.

    Welcome to the year 2005. Photography will revolutionize along with
    the rest of the world no matter how many times you degrade top rated
    manipulated images on photo.net... or how many times you beg for
    segregation of manipulated and un-manipulated images on the net. The
    sooner everyone realises this, the sooner we can all get along and
    further ourselves as open-minded, learning artists.
  2. I want to share with you what John Crosley wrote in a recent thread:
    "I have high respect for those who can manipulate images well; it's just that I cannot, and have little desire to. And I get enough viewers and comments, without resorting to manipulation (other than occasional sharpening and/or contrast/brightness adjustment).
    But who am I to rain on someone else's parade? If Photoshopped images are popular, then they are popular, and why should I denigrate someone else's love, art and aesthete. Doe it somehow make mine 'better?'
    I think not.
    I'm happy to post my images, however poorly they sometimes may be received for not being 'manipulated', alongside the heavily manipulated ones, and take my chances. Sometimes I am surprised.
    I think it's limiting to set one's sights on TRP on this site, when if one goes to a decent bookstore with a good representative selection of photo magazines, one will find a HUGE selection of photographs of quality that never would even make a rating on this site, which eminently are not only publishable but in many instances are collectable and salable.
    I choose to look at the larger ocean, even if I swim in the aquarium."
  3. Matt, first this will be interesting by tomorrow you are going to get some vicious responses.

    I have no problem with manipulation digital or wet. I just want to know if it took place, I don?t so much care if it was sharpened or color corrected but when it is clearly not the image taken by the camera anymore I like to know. It really would not be fair to (how can I put this to not offend) To have a photo judged as if it where what was taken by the camera compared to 4 hours of post processing IMO. I congratulate all of the patrons who are talented in Photoshop and the like but I do prefer less post processed pictures. That is not to say I would give low marks on a photo for it. I prefer to pass instead of giving a low score on any photo that isn?t my cup of tea. I actually will rate high in originality for the skill of some photoshoped pictures and aesthetics if warranted.

    I will admit I wish digital had never been invented even though I use it. I think my phobia about it comes from the fact I know at least 10 ppl at work who do not even know what an F-stop is but own a high end Canon or Nikon Digital SLR and think they are pro's. My boss does weddings with a rebel XT and kit lens and sucks at it but raves all the time about the great photos he takes (He charges flat rate 250.00 and provides a CD). He has never used any mode besides the auto green square. Back to the subject Yes I appreciate art. I own a point and shoot digital and like to use it for some things I am glad people enjoy using there digital SLR's. I just enjoy chemistry and the wet darkroom method. I believe there is room for both and we can appreciate the beauty both can produce. I in no way meant this to offend and if anyone is offend why? Why be offend of an OPINION it happens here way to often you say something someone disagrees with and start a WAR.

    I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

    He said it I mean it!

    Everyone have a great week. Grinder
  4. I must say John Crosley is a wise man :) I could not have ever said it better.
  5. Let me quote what Satiago wrote in the other thread,

    "Santiago Arraga , oct 02, 2005; 10:58 a.m.
    If you think it's unmanipulated, check the box. We're not kids that need external prodding/rules/enforcers to do what's right."

    Simple does it.
  6. Matt, you make statements, true/untrue, which you then answer dogmatically true untrue for yourself. After establishing these fact/nonfacts, those who do not agree appear to be wrong...Not good reasoning for a photographer, but more suited for an AM radio talkshow host who has taken his daily dose of Oxycontin pills, if ya get my drift. I see little degradation in the critique sections of top rated manipulated images. As a matter of fact I see little critique at all. Those who question the manipulation, pro OR Con are virtually non-existent. I think one of the premises being missed is that photography, not manipulation should be part of photo.net's posting philosophy, which goes back to the original Greenspun concepts which places heavy emphasis on photography only. But, you are right photographers should be open-minded..but that extends to the manipulators as well, and often they are NOT open minded, and in some cases actually misrpresent and lie about their images. So..all of this is a 2-way street...
  7. This issue has been part of photography for a long time.

    "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
  8. Thanks Donald, I know very well that photo.net is not a forgiving place and I'm opening myself up to attack... but I really wanted to throw my thoughts out there. Perhaps I exaggerate, but I really do think (like you said) there is room for both.

    I sympathise with your point about the ease of digital these days, even though I think most of the time this is a misconception. Luckily as a student I was exposed to the "real" darkroom and all its techniques and required skills, some of which can be transplanted into the digital realm. But like you hinted, one unfortunate day the "wet" manipulation, as you put it, will be nonexistent... and then...?

    Thanks for making that point...

    But as reluctant as some of us are to accept change, I still don't think it is right for anyone to hold a negative attitude towards the photographers who have harnessed the possibilities of digital with their eyes fixed on the future. (not referring to you of course)
  9. Manipulation is here to stay, like it or not.
  10. Amen Gustavo!
  11. rj


    I am new at this debate so please understand my ignorancy of the issues. My take on the whole thing is the question at what point does the manipulation make photography into design, what some would argue are two separate arts, that to me is the question. Not that I am for not allowing designed photos being shown on photo.net, but it should not be misrepresented as non-manipulated when it is manipulated. I would think the solution to photo.net's problem, if it really is a problem, would be to represent photos for what they are and not be ashamed if it is heavily manipulated or not.
  12. "It really would not be fair to ...have a photo judged as if it were what was taken by the camera compared to 4 hours of post processing IMO."

    That's the part I don't really get...looking at this as a "fair/unfair" game. I may point out that it is HIGHLY unfair that professional photographers with umpteen thousand dollars of LF equipment can come here and post alongside my K1000/ Wallyworld shots! That just ought not be allowed, right? It's also unfair that other people can go take photos in the Himalayas while I'm stuck here in Dallas! But the point is, it is not a competition with set rules where you can use this and can't use that, and shoot this way and not that way, etc. I think the final picture should be judged on its merits, not on how you think it was produced. (Reminds me of a photo writer, maybe Bob Shell, who was criticised for overuse of a polarizer, on shots that he hadn't even used a polarizer on!)

    By the way- I don't use (or own) PS...and am working on getting my darkroom set up- but doesn't make me criticize folks that do things differently.
  13. I take great pride in the fact that all photo's I submit are totally unmanipulated and that they can hold there own in the world of unlimited manipulation, However I see nothing wrong with the practice. Ansel Adams without a doubt manipulated in the dark room so I see no problem with it, What I do find a problem with is creating a photograph that is a total manipulation that the "photographer" has only pictured in there mind and has never actually existed. Ok , my spleen is vented, I hope my comments have not offended anyone as no offense was intended,
  14. mg


    Matt, before going into this, it seems to me that you arehere refering to the thread I posted a couple of days ago. Are you not ? If you are, I would really love to understand where you got the idea that I might have "segregated" PS works, or that I don't realize that the world is changing, and so on ! As a reminder, I'm a heavy PS user myself ! Could we please clarify how you understood the intro comment in this other thread ?
  15. Hi Marc, I was in part referring to your post where you stated "What needs to be done is just this: SEPARATE MANIPULATED IMAGES AND STRAIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY." (all caps in original post). But I am not attacking you personally, when I wrote "you" aboce I was trying (but failed miserably) to be general and I'm really only referring to the people who take issue with manipulation and demonstrate the attitude I mentioned etc.
  16. This thread is a bit different; I know you were referring to the issue with originality... so what you said shouldn't apply here I guess, sorry about that.
  17. Matt, this discussion is useless in the abstract. I would suggest you refer us to a specific image, as Marc did, which you think reflects the need for some sort of change in attitude or behavior. You might look for one that has something photographically to show us, as opposed to the manipulation itself, like ridiculous colors or a gimmick filter.
  18. mg


    Ok, Matt. Good to have this out of the way. That said, you can't really take that sentence of mine - "SEPARATE..." etc - out of context. What I was saying was that PS works scored higher in originality than traditional photography, whereas it shouldn't be the case. Simply because making something look un-real is not, in itself, something difficult nor particularly interesting once you can do it with PS. And because the originality of UN-realistic results just can't be compared to the originality of a realistic photograph. That's all I was saying. And to help the site be fair with both parties, I think we should not compare both sides: meaning we should SEPARATE VIEWING and SEPARATE TRPs. I am not saying PS effects are always bad, and I do love, on this site, many of the manipulated works posted by Dominic Rousse orby Pavel Kaplan, or by NathalieShau, etc. But as carl said, the reason why I posted an exemple was to show, that the originality of some PS which, imo, were much less interesting, still could reach weird heights that no traditional portrait would ever reach. That is UNFAIR to traditional photographs imho.

    Then something else might be unfair to PS works as well sometimes. For example, I noticed that some people would simply rate a 2 any manipulated image. It shouldn't be the case. People who can rate a PSed image a 2 should be able to show at least one PSed image that they'd rate a 7; or else it's the entire genre that being judged - not the picture itself.

    As for the 2/2 "abuses" you are refering to... Well, I do commit such "abuses" myself, and I do it gladly, because I am convinced itis NOT abuse or any sort of segregation - unless you call abuse when people segregate the good and the bad while critiquing. Many times, I have rated very weak PS images a 1 or a 2, but there are many manipulated images that I rated 7/7 as well.

    So let's not call the skies for help too fast here. Photoshop is fine. Photography is very fine too ! Both need not to be competing against each other, and as I said, the best way to put an end to segregation is to live side by side, rather than competing under a necessarily unfair rule against each other.

    I believe we must learn how to appreciate different things differently, that's all.
  19. jbs


    Matt, Sometimes I even argue with myself over which is best...
  20. jbs


  21. jbs


    For me the impetus for manipulating an image is the story. I will stare at the image to see if the original shot is clear in its ability to tell the story I wish it to tell. If not I will Manipulate color and light and perspective to bring you to "my place".

    Hmm, I Think I'm babbling....
  22. Don't confuse open-minded with a sieve.
  23. I think it is a stretch to think that if you change the forms and shapes in the captured photo using PS, the result is a "photograph". It is a mix of photography and computerized drawing. Photography means drawing with light, not with a mouse or by hand. Hence, you can not call it a photograph any more than you can call a pure photograph a drawing.
  24. Look up the definition of photography in any reference and you'll see that it doesn't include drawing and general mucking about of the pixels in photoshop. Photography is "the art or process of producing images on a sensitized surface (as a film) by the action of radiant energy and especially light "
  25. Someone here complained about the pro photographer with his expensive equipment. Speaking only as a semi-pro, I'll note that some of my best pictures were taken on my $160 1952 Rolleicord and the film developed at home in my $50 developing setup. The image quality that results is better than anything but the over $20,000 digital cameras.

    The problem is, with the limitations you get displaying images 650x650 on a computer screen, most (but not all) of the difference can't be seen. I suspect that if you printed just about any digital image on this site 20x24 inches and compared it to a similar print on my old, cheap camera, you would be shocked by the difference. And yes, my camera produces images that print just fine 20x24 or even larger.
  26. It's quite obvious that online display (especially doubly compressed <100K images) makes many images lose a lot of their quality ... this site is about images which are effective with just a few pixels. Also, it is a lot easier to manipulate an image to look good (and not obvious) in a small image on the computer than a make a big print.
  27. I didn't mean that it is easy to make an image look good in a small size ... I find that quite difficult at times. But the manipulation is easier to hide or make less obvious in a small image.
  28. I'm in agreement with Donald Grindstaff when he said (above), "I have no problem with manipulation digital or wet. I just want to know if it (ie. manipulation) took place..." Manipulation is more than fine, but let's just realise what went into the image we are viewing: was it a straight photo, a double-exposure, dodged or burned in the darkroom (or on PS), or made up from more than one photograph. All of these techniques (and more) are quite fine, but when the result is portrayed as a single photograph, it is deceptive (unless it was a single photograph).
    There's no doubt that PS skills are skills worthy of praise when done well, but I want to know exactly what skills I am to praise, and consider it deceptive when someone uses one skill to give an impression of another which they may not even possess.
  29. Here's an example for everyone to consider. Just a few hours ago there was a beautiful sunset right out my front door... so I went down the lake and decided to take some shots of splashes - by throwing large stones and freezing the action as best I can. Got back inside and worked with the shots a little... really liked the originals but thought to myself MAN wouldn't it be neat if there was a fish jumping inside the splash. Take a look at the attachment. Which do you prefer? Personally I can't decide which is why I haven't uploaded the shot tonight... This touches on the issue some of you have mentioned, where a photograph becomes artistic fantasy/too "drawing-like". If I were to upload the fish version (which by the way was cut from a poor shot of mine of a fish jumping up a small waterall) would it be more "ethical" to make it clear that the fish was inserted? Would you then promise not to get mad at me? ;-P (I have a feeling I will be uploading the original...) Thanks all for making this a good discussion.
  30. I like the fish version! This is perhaps a borderline case: even though it was manipulated, it is not 'impossible' and so maybe it's OK to just upload it and be done with it - still, I personally would lean towards making some kind of comment about the fact that some PS was used (above & beyond mere sharpening).
  31. Well, if you figure out how to take a real photo with the fish jumping out of the water, I would rate it highly. However, now that I've promised it publicly it will probably be considered a mate-rate and your real image, if you succeed to make one, would never make it to the TRP pages, while the one you posted with the fish might. :)

    I suspect the splashes should extend above the fish if you want to make it look realistic. One of the things that puts me off in manipulated images is that the physics are often surrealistic. However, I would greatly enjoy debating how to photograph a fish jumping out of the water. This is what I would consider a good experimental challenge. :)
  32. I guess I'm too much of a physicist in that when I see something photograph-like I start to feel uneasy if it doesn't look possible to me that the scene existed for a moment in real life. I get a sense of dizziness.
  33. Matt, instead of throwing stones, next time, try to throw a big fish, then nobody will complain about the manipulation! <br>:eek:))<p> Joke apart, I am in sympathy with both the title&intro of your thread. Too many energy is wasted in backward, too long and too vain discussions in those forums(I saw funny thread in Street forum too, this week Jochen's POW discussion is also a good example); I would humbly advise some to spend more time in taking more pictures, going out, traveling ... or simply get a life!... <p>Although it is sometime quite fun to read !<p>:^))
  34. Santiago Arraga summarized very well the point in another thread, and I don't see anything further reason to continue beating that mammoth skeleton
    "If you think it's unmanipulated, check the box. We're not kids that need external prodding/rules/enforcers to do what's right."
  35. Jacques, what does taking pictures (I shot 5 rolls today and 1 GB of digital stuff yesterday) or having a life have to do with making photo.net a more interesting place for different people? Or is it that no one should ever try to change anything because nothing can ever change? There are lots of things in society that need changing, that's what's called politics. Seems there are a lot of people who are interested in how things are managed and some even make a profession out of it. Do you think that these people should also go get a life instead of trying to change society?

    Photo.net is a little society of its own. And there's plenty of politics involved in there.
  36. Jacques, we already have one quote of that comment in this thread. If you are not interested in the discussion, why then do you participate in it? If you want to kill the thread, you know what subject to bring up to signify that the discussion has reached its end.
  37. Ilkka,
    If it is 'politics' (a big word by the way for such minor(/non?) issue and debated at nauseum) then i can express my opinion, agreement or desagrement with what somebody stated before,
    Can't I?
    Before willing to 'change the society' (another big word!) I find useful to have a broader view and experiences, ... and going out, or get a (non-virtual) life seem to me a reasonable and pre-requisite step.
    The discussion was originated by a member that declare he is tired of the arguments and complaints about manipulation, not to mention the abuse... and I posted to say that I agree with him.
    Can't I?
    These days, I see less and less constructive proposal on this PNet forum, just long, vain and ego-centric whining... nothing about what you so pompously called "changing the society".
    Don't you?
  38. Marc G's thread the other day, and this one are two of the most eloquently stated and responded to treads on PN since I joined. All of the responders are some of the best photographers on the site, and have demonstrated intellect and a lot of class.

    Matt, film photgraphy is here, and it is here to stay. Cars didn't kill off horses, bazookas didn't kill off tanks, nor did MF kill off 135 as predicted way back when.

    A few years ago, National Geogrpahic did a cover shot in Egypt with some structures moved from their actual location to "improve" the image. They were seriously critisized, it was a scandel. They publicly promised to not to it again. I wonder what their definition of manipulation is today?

    If you have the interest, look at the book "Robinson Crusoe". Wyeth (my neighbor in Chadds Ford) did the "Illustrations", critic don't consider it "art". R.H Dana's classic Two Years Before the Mast was also beutifully illustrated, again, not considered "art".

    Does photo manipulation run the risk of neither being considered art nor photography, but an illustration?

    Matt, you are doing great work, but I agree with Marc that to compare manitpulated and unmanipulated photos may be an apples and organges comparison. The fish example above to me crosses that line, it is neither art, not photography, but an illustration. Do I like Wyeths work on Crusoe any less because it is not considered "art" by someone that went to a university to learn to tell me that, of course not.

    Lastly, I thank everyone for not calling film "analog", an idiotic term at best, call it alchemy, wet, tradtional, maybe now you could even call it "classic processing", but analog? Never.

  39. The lack of constructive proposals on this forum are probably a result of them being systematically ignored by the administration of the site.

    The two sides of the debate here are (as I perceive them) 1) we would like to have the option of viewing non- and manipulated images separately, selectable by user option, 2) those who think group 1 are wrong and should accept that the visibility of normal photography on the site is very low and manipulated images are great, and just go out and get a life. Now, NOTHING in the rights of those people who like things as they are would be violated by introducing the change in the TRP system. NOTHING AT ALL, as you could still select to view the images mixed. Thus, this discussion doesn't really concern those people who like to see the images mixed.

    Agreeing with Matt is of course your right. But it does seem excessive to me that the same quote has to be repeatedly posted in the same thread by different people.

    My comment comparing photo.net politics and other politics was just to point that just suggesting a "put up, and shut up" policy isn't really very adult, and in the real world such a thing would be considered totalitarism. Of course, photo.net is a privately run system and the people who run it can choose to ignore criticism. However, photo.net could be so much more than it now is if it were a bit more open-minded.

    And more and more of the functions of a real society are of course moving on line. Do you have a problem with that?
  40. Edward, I wasn't really complaining about the pros with expensive gear- just pointing out that trying to apply the concept of "fairness" didn't work well in a lot of other ways, as well as the PS/not issue. I'm all for knowledgeable people using expensive gear to make great photos- it would be great if that was me. (But it's not!). I sure don't feel like anyone's being unfair when they do that.
  41. Michael, your comment about National Geographic is an excellent point. In the real world, manipulation is in many instances (such as the Geographic) considered very unacceptable. On photo.net, which is an online community, manipulation is taken as a matter of course, or so it seems. The difference in attitudes results, as far as I can see from the difference in contexts. The Geographic is read by people with the idea in mind that the photographs illustrate the stories which are documentary in nature. Photo.net gallery on the other hand is a digital only medium populated by people who like to play with computers. It's a sort of game: how vivid can you make your colours, and how much stuff can you put in from different photos? Mixed illustration and photography. That's great as a field of its own, but it's not photography per se. I've got nothing wrong with the idea of using photographs as a foundation of illustration, but neither do I have any interest in viewing such works.

    Other people love to see them. That's fine. Now, the fact of the matter is that they are separate genres and one clearly overwhelms the other in popular taste measured by photo.net ratings. Should it be so?

    I could perhaps focus on looking at photography in books, which would allow me to do some selection, but photo.net is easier and cheaper. Also, it is fairly democratic in the sense that anyone can put images on the site. It is understandable that visibility of the images must be determined somehow as there are just so many images on the site. One possible method which I would like to see is that critics were chosen every few months (new ones, not the same old five since conception) and they could then show their own selections. The selections of the old critics could be preserved in the database and in time, photo.net would develop galleries much like in the real world, where a small group of people select images to be displayed in galleries and museums. This would help photo.net users find images and photographers that they're interested in by genre. Now, the visibility of images is determined by a mix of user and visitor ratings and strange logic. I am not suggesting that the visibility criteria are bad, but they do not allow the effective purging of photo.net image database for images of interest for individual people. I could go through the TRP pages but my senses get saturated by the types of images on display there and I quickly lose interest. Without finding the kind of work I'm looking for.
    What seems to work well are the discussion forums and through them it has been possible to find interesting photographers and their work. So all is not lost. But I do think that with only a little effort, photo.net could be quite a bit more effective as a tool for searching for people and photography.
  42. The cost of equipment doesn't really affect the quality of online photos. It does affect print quality and variety of shots possible but online, a digital p&s image looks just as good as one shot with an expensive digital back and $100000 of lenses. In fact, someone who has invested heavily on equipment might think that photo.net is unfair because the hotshot equipment doesn't help you get on top with ratings ... because it mostly only affects things which are invisible online.
  43. I guess I'm a dinosaur. This weekend saw a storm on the horizon. I got in my car and drove 70 miles to meet up with it near the shoreline. I set up my camera and waited until the first sunrays glanced onto the tree that was in my foreground. Five years ago I would have thought the result was pretty cool.

    But now I realize that the clouds could have been added in PhotoShop, that the sunlight on the tree and the shadows in the background could have been faked. Hell, the tree could have been spliced in from another image. I could have created the entire image without leaving my desk.

    So my question is, should I simply give up and stop such silly and antiquainted behavior?

    I know, the answer is probably yes.
  44. I've been following this discussion because it's a topic I wrestle with from time to time. I have no problems with "manipulation" and experiment with PS from time to time. I don't really have an opinion yet on wether or not there should be seperate TRP's/catgories for manipulated and non-manipulated photos. I guess it's because I'm still not clear on what would be considered "manipulated".

    It was stated "if you think it's unmanipulated, check the box". The problem is, the photographer might think it's unmanipulated but others viewing it might think differently. For that reason, I never check the box. While I don't think basic image processing is "manipulation", I don't want someone to think I'm misrepresenting my photos. So, I rarely check the box.

    Would it be possible to get anywhere near a consensus on the question?

    For instance, If, to prevent a blown sky, I shoot a high contast scene with a digital camera, make one exposure for the sky and one for the foreground and combine the two exposures via PS, is that manipulation? I could acheive the same result with a grad ND in camera (which is how I would normally handle that challenge).

    If shooting raw with no "in camera" sharpening, saturation, etc I have no choice but to make those decisions in post processing. If I decide to lean towards a Fuji Velvia look vs. a Kodak look, is that manipulation?

    If I convert a digital file to b&w and give it a sepia tone, is that manipulation?

    How would the line be drawn? Who would decide? In priciple, I have no objections to separate classifications. However, I think the lines are too blurred and positions too arbitrary to come up with a definition or criteria that would work.
  45. And then there's cloning out distractions. If I clone out an intruding branch instead of pruning it in the field,or at least pining it back, is it manipulation?
  46. mg


    You wrote: "I don't really have an opinion yet on wether or not there should be seperate TRP's/catgories for manipulated and non-manipulated photos. I guess it's because I'm still not clear on what would be considered "manipulated"."

    PHOTO.NET bothered to have a page explaining what PHOTO.NET considers a manipulated image. Just read it ! Just go by this definition - it's a pretty good one actually -, check the box when appropriate and be done with it. It's really as simple as that.
  47. mg


    You want a fish to jump out of that water...? Fine, JUST DO IT ! In terms of MERIT, I would consider more difficult to snap a jumping fish with a camera, but then again, you do what you want. The same goes for everybody.

    Now should you announce before hand that the fish was added in PS ? Some people would say yes, because they are entitled to know what they are looking at. But if I were to produce a jumping fish image, I would like to find out if anyone notices that it's a tricked image ! So I'd request a critique and wait... And I would only later in the thread say how the picture was executed. This is exactly what happened in this thread for example:


    But here's the main course... Precisely because you, Matt, need to 1)know whether the trickery can be detedted or not, 2) whether people WHO ACCEPT PS WORKS like your manipulated image or not, precisely YOU should be asking for a separation between manipulated images and non-manipulated images in the TRP !

    Matt, do you care for a 1/1 on your jumping fish picture submitted by a person who just hates PS in general ? Of course not. Because his 1/1 will likely make your picture invisible before you get a smart-eyed person to see your work and let you know that the trick is or isn't working. So, YOU should request for a separation !

    Why anyway would ANYONE who thinks carefully and logically about it refuse the separation of these 2 very different genres - manipulations and straight photography ? Can you tell me that, please, Matt.
  48. mg


    1) Only the rates submitted through the "rate recent" are taken into account for certain TRP pages - including the default TRP. This means that quite a number of people who rate images because they want to help the site to sort out the good and the bad are doing it through the rate recent feature. Now just imagine a traditionnalist who really hates PS, and who wades in there through dozens of PS works. Do you expect him to skip ? No, he'll start to be fed up with the PS works that pop up all the time, and he'll low-rate them - according to his own opinion, which will not be abusive, although it will be unfair.

    So I say: why not let this guy rate the kind of images he can at least tolerate, i.e. only non-manipulated images ?! Why waste his time ? Why wait till his ratings make it impossible for you to get the critiques that will allow you to know how well you did with your latest jumping fish montage ? >>>>>>>> Separation.

    2) Another danger of NOT separating both genres... Traditionalists - straight photographers - will sooner or later get really fed-up - not just with seeing PS works here all the time, but also because they won't be able to get much comments by other straight photographers anymore. Do you have any idea how many good traditionnal photographers we have lost on photo.net already because of such reasons ?

    Honestly, each time I post a non-manipulated image nowadays, I hardly get half or a third of the number of comments I used to get back then.

    Why ? Well, because a simple portrait is, according to some, not as original as a pasted jumping fish. And since, at small size, nobody can tell whether it was pasted properly or not, whereas everyone can tell what's wrong with the lighting in my portrait, the jumping fish will do well, and theportrait will disappear early from the TRP.

    Do I really have to live with all that and be happy with what I get ? Is it fair ? What if I tell you that about every picture I posted on PN used to get at least 20000 views the first week, whereas I have now pictures not reaching the 2000 views ?!

    If all straight photographs are seen 10 times less and commented 2 or 3 times less, what do you expect will happen on this site ?
  49. To me, the crafted jumping fish is a good example of an unacceptable photo, if it is to be seem among actual photos.

    I erased all my wildlife photos and I won't upload more in PN until this issue is solved. All the folks who have spent days waiting for a fish to jump will understand me and I suggest them to do the same as me.

    Wildlife and wildlife photographers deserve a RESPECT that is lost with silly PS tricks.

    Total separation seems a good solution to me. This is not against digital art, that I like in other contexts.
  50. Throwing all your toys out of the pram is unlikely to engender respect in any gathering, let alone the wild and wooley internet.
  51. mg


    That's not so sur, HP... daniel Bayer is another excellent Photographer who was one of the first photographers on this site to stop posting because PS works and photos were not separated. He has and still has all my respect - although none of his pictures can be seen in the TRP - which are flooded with jumping fishes and such.

    Another question on my mind is: why would any photoshopper mind to have 2 separate sections ?! Wouldn't it be good enough for PS works to be top-rated among PS works ? Do PS works need to "beat" photography, or what's the big deal about this ?
  52. Check this out:

  53. I start into photography (for me is a hobby nothing more) just to document things in my surroundings, some kind of legacy to my children (some day they will look dad's photos) I do not like to manipulate photos (adding, cloning, etc) but i thiunk it is ok if you saturate or add some contrast, some crop. But the almost 100% of the thing you saw in the viewfinder will be there.
    The example of the fish, I do not like it, it seems unreal, I would not rate that picture in the CR.

    Somentimes I found very interesting PS work (I even rated some of these very high), and I like them as ilustration, or art, but is nothing that I would hang in my wall.
    A good example, somentimes I ask friends or family members to look at some pictures (manipulated) here in PN and they said, "they are fine but too artificial" or "it is pretty ok", this is people that do not know much about technique (like me :) ), but they can see that they are not real.

    In my wall I would hang a picture taked by my camera with little PS work.

    I think PS is necessary in these digital days if you do not use film (I am not).

    Just my opinion,
  54. Why anyway would ANYONE who thinks carefully and logically about it refuse the separation of these 2 very different genres - manipulations and straight photography ?
    Those of us who think carefully and logically understand that all photography is an exercise in manipulation. I don't really care if there's a separation of "images digitally manipulated post exposure" and "images manipulated only before and during exposure, or manipulated only by 'conventional,' non-digital means." I would object to separating images into "manipulated" and "non-manipulated" based on an entirely arbitrary and misleading definition of manipulated. [For what it's worth, the vast majority of my work would fit into the "non-manipulated" category--I'm not much of a photoshopper.]
    Another question on my mind is: why would any photoshopper mind to have 2 separate sections ?! Wouldn't it be good enough for PS works to be top-rated among PS works ? Do PS works need to "beat" photography, or what's the big deal about this ?
    From what I've seen, those making "a big deal about this" are the people insisting on creating new categories. Most of the arguments against it have been based on the drain on system resources and the administrative hassles it would create--I haven't really seen any pro-PS zealots insisting that everything remain together.
  55. The only type of manipulation that bothers me is menthal manipulation (lol). For instance, the example mentioned above about jumping fish doesn't deserve for me any photographic merit (if really possible to achieve such image without PS manipulation).
    Situations where a jumping fish can be shot:
    1. A lake where a lot of fishes are jumping. Thus, the chance to shoot one is due to probability. NO PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL NEEDED
    <br>2. An infrarred cell pointing to the lake, where the movement of a jumping fish releases flash and shooter. LESS PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL NEEDED, MORE ELECTRONIC SKILL VALUABLE
    <br>3. A bored man waiting for a fish to jump. NO PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL NEEDED, GOOD REFLEX AND PATIENCE ESSENTIAL.
    What really requires photographic skill is to catch & compose such a beautiful sunset, and to realize that a jumping fish in that situation would appear blurred due to low shutter speed (unless ISO higher than 1600 or flashing while second curtain opens during long exposure).
    So, give an expensive camera to an average photographer and he'll turn into a purist proud of his non-manipulated art...
  56. It is not a problem of having better equipment. You (Joan Ramon) are doing excellent macros with a coolpix and a home made lens.

    It is the *attitude* of the wildlife photographer towards the natural subject. I spent many days working with ants, I managed to capture them walking and exchanging food. This is totally different as arranging the same pictures combining the ants with PS.

    But I'm not the best example, some people spend weeks preparing a hide, and then many hours inside the hide, just to catch a bird.

    To present such works next to silly PS tricks that *look like* true photos is not acceptable at all.

    A Dali oleo of a tiger coming out of the mouth of a girl is excellent artwork... but obviously it is not a photo !

    Now there is the discussion about to what extents minor changes should be considered or not a manipulation. After a decision has been taken to separate true photos and PS artwork, we can talk longer about that.
  57. Joan, your view of photographic skill is a bit frightening. You've given credit to a photographer who consults his sunrise and sunset charts and has the ability to take an exposure reading, yet give no credit at all for serendipity and patience. For many of us it's about the ability to LOOK at the world, hoping to see something interesting and share it with others, perhaps inspiring them to go out and hone their own vision. An essential part of that purpose is recording what you're seeing with reasonable accuracy, by definition.

    Matt, thank you for uploading your fake fish image. It may appeal to some people who use a camera to record moments, but I can't imagine why. It seems that there are a lot of people who look at pictures with no interest at all in understanding them. As mentioned about, the physics are obviously all wrong from a photographic standpoint, and the reality of the shot from a nature standpoint is probably all wrong as well (if you wait patiently, will a fish ever jump out of this body of water at sunset?) So I ask you, don't you feel a bit strange if a lot of ignorant raters promote this image AS A GREAT CAPTURE?

    And how do you think I should rate this image if I recognize it as a fraud? This is very different from Marc's wilds colors rendition of the model on a bike, although more of the same raters who are photographically naive will rate it to the heavens, stating clearly that it's the treatment itself, rather than the underlying photograph, that is the sole reason for the high rate.

    It wouldn't matter, I suppose, except that the variables in the sort of the default TRP pages don't change very often, so we see people upload stuff that appears to be popular currently, even change their photographic style to conform to PN trends. That's scary, given how little relevance PN has in helping you develop your photography for real world visibility.

    But sadly, Mike is correct that the option to categorize images as part of a search is too expensive - meaning too much of a drain on the time to sort the database for each request. Even if it wasn't, it's very clear from many previous discussions, that people would define manipulation as they see fit, rather than read guidelines. The proof is in the inability of most current raters to read, understand, and apply the ratings tutorial.
  58. It is the *attitude* of the wildlife photographer towards the natural subject. I spent many days working with ants, I managed to capture them walking and exchanging food. This is totally different as arranging the same pictures combining the ants with PS.
  59. Manel, bird shooters may also manipulate natural scenaries, basically feeding birds, automating equipment, automating habits, arranging perchs and controlling every single parameter in the shot, often leading to unnatural, overlightened and overfreezed short-distance images.

    Thus, I prefer the ATTITUDE of a nature photographer shooting spontaneously a wild non-feeded bird, BUT I won't ask PN managers to create a separate category for partially-wild feeded-bird shooting. Do you know what I mean? Sure... Aside, bird shooters may (must) be respectful with nature, but this is another question.
  60. 2 excellent points Mike made above!
    How many filters would we need here? and for what interesting purposes?
    1- Color manipulations: depending on film used, BW as a manipulation of real life, desaturation, sepia, different kind of filters used.
    2- Contrast/brightness manipulation, usage of reflector, flash unnatural light or PS
    3- usage of DoF and blur manipulations: either coming from the usage of specific lens, aperture or PS...
    4-Set up manipulation: arranged/set up, posed or natural (so call candid picture, I don't like the candid word),...
    5- usage of camera: manipulation of vision implied by the size/aperture of lense (wide angle, long lense...)
    6- alteration of appearance: grain, darkening, sharpening...
    7- special PS/Labo effects (polarization,...)
    8- usage of funnier PS tools (changing shape, exchanging colors,...)
    9- image composite (typically one image with landscape on one side with extra added clouds from another image, panoramic made of several images,...)
    10- those other manipulations I forgot.
    Personnaly I also consider 'that all photography is an exercise in manipulation' so where to place the border is totally subjective. Even in the case of composite, as far as the photos are all made by the original poster of the final image (rings a bell to my PNet memory!), I have no problem with that. Not meaning that I like 'heavy' manipulation, I not using much of PS thou, but it is CASE BY CASE so a differenciation (and dozen would be necessary) would not help at all, and probably less IMO. To give you example I like B&W Magnum style photos but also photos of Ben Goosens , Lisa Grant, Emil Schild or Pavel Kaplun... So I feel that rather than publicly differentiate using manipulation tricks which would be always arguable, I prefer to set up my own list of favorites photos/photographers by my own taste. And I would be very embarrassed to split all them between manipulators or not!
    To be constructive and propose something to 'change the society' [as Ilkka would say!:eek:)], I would suggest to differentiate and split photography/er by their style rather than by their 'manipulation', ...it is done like this for Painting (surrealist, realist, impressionnist,...), Music, Litterature, ...and all kind of art!
  61. Soon, we are going to re-define photography.

    Maybe "bitography"? The ability of painting with bits.
  62. FWIW, the bugaboo of this subject is the definition of 'manipulated". Composite photos are
    an easy call. Everything else gets a little hairy. For example, is the attached file manipulated?
    (The image shows the original raw file and the finished image.) Clearly, it has been retouched
    to a fare the well. But nothing that could not have done in a wet darkroom.

    Why not add a checkbox for composite images (anything added from another image) and add
    a small thumb space for uploading a tiny JPEG of the original image on the details page? Then
    anyone can see what's been done to an image. Full disclosure, in a sense. I'd certainly
    welcome that.
  63. Patricia, that's an easy call for me. One of the most challenging parts of most styles of photography is getting the background right using framing, angle of view, focal length and/or DOF. Selecting the subject and placing it on black velvet puts this in the schlock PS camp.
  64. Patricia, interestingly enough, everything in that picture could have been done in a darkroom. The color negative could have been printed on high contrast b&w paper. The dark areas could have been burned in. If you look at the PN definition of unmanipulated, all of those are kosher. What is NOT kosher is sticking a dramatic sky over a field shot during a cloudless day.
  65. Perfect. It just makes the point that people will always disagree on a definition of
  66. 1) You can't burn in the background of Patricia's image with that degree of precision in the darkroom.

    2) Just because you can do something in the darkroom does not make it a straightforward unmanipulated image.

    Patricia's image is manipulated by any reasonable definition of the term, regardless of how it was done.
  67. "What is NOT kosher is sticking a dramatic sky over a field shot during a cloudless day."

    Nope, can't find anything in the Torah about not masking in skies. I reckon that means it *must* be kosher.
  68. Carl, I'm really not arguing your definition of manipulation. It is yours and you are welcome
    to it. I'm just pointing out that it will not be held in common by all or even, perhaps, most.
  69. All of us know that the difference is absolutely clear:

    -Photography: Be there with the camera, catch the light and print or display it.

    -Painting: Invent something and represent it with oleos or PS if you want to be modern.

    Both are interesting, but if you insist in mixing them.. soon you will say the photos from Saturn rings can be made with PS.

    I don't like this moral relativism and the so clever silogisms you like to invent to justify it, such as saying "everything is manipulated". If you see a photo of yourself on top of Everest and you have never been there, that is a manipulation.
  70. I haven't seen jumping fishes in your photos. I can't understand why you post this text here if most likely you agree with me.
  71. Manel, I don't think you'll get much arguement that if you cut and past an image together, it falls into the "manipulated" category. The extremes are easy. It's the other, more subtle, techniques that will always be in that gray area and debated to death. There isn't even a consensus among those posting in this thread regarding the burning on the cow image. One person feels, by the sites own definition that it's not manipulated. Another says it is. Personally, I think it is manipulated by the site's guidelines and my own sense of where the line is drawn. But clearly, not everyone agrees. What if only 50% of the dodging had been done so that the background wasn't completely black and you could still make out a faint rendering of the cows in the background. Then, by my interpretation of the sites guidelines, this wouldn't be "manipulated".

    This is why I don't check the unmanipulated box on my own photos. It's a meaningless data field since, despite the sites written guidelines, everyone has a different interpretation. Because I shoot RAW, I always adjust color balance, contrast, levels/curves, clone out senor dust, often crop or correct for level, etc. It just isn't worth the potential arguement to defend my decision to check the box. I know what I did to my photos, I'll gladly share with others if asked. If I've done anything drastic, I would include it in the technical details. However, I don't feel the need to "declare" one way or the other on each and every one of my uploads.


    Matt....see what you've started :)
  72. Laurie: I have been browsing your photos. I bet you and mee will agree in what images have been manipulated in 90% of the cases.

    My idea:

    1-Two separate cathegorires "Classic photography" and "Images". In "Images" you can do what you prefer. In classic photography you can not copy and paste, use reflection filters and so.

    2-In "Classic photography", the user must upload BOTH the final image after adjusting levels, saturation, etc AND the original untouched image, and with the original camera parameters if it was a RAW file (unless of course they are exactly equal). This must be visible before rating or commenting the photo.

    I already do this:



  73. Manel, You are probably right that you and I would agree about 90% of the time. However, I don't think the general population of PN would necessarily be in agreement with us 90% of the time. It's that other 10% that will be the big problem.

    I'm not likely to take the time and effort to upload two separate images each time I upload. I'm lazy when it comes to that stuff. I suspect the site might also have some problem with the additional resources/space needed to accomodate double posts. I understand your frustration. I've spent my share of hours in wait for just the right moment that often never materializes. I could easily have created the elusive "magic" in PS but it isn't as personally rewarding so I don't. I think your suggestion might work if it was applied just to the "Nature" catogory. In that category, manipulation or fabrication is an ethical issue. For the other categories, that aren't necessarily documentary, it's an aesthetic issue or more a matter of personal taste.

    I happen to appreciate a well done PS composite (my personal definition is "mixed-media"). Most of the photographers posting the well done composites proudly declare their PS work. Those are not necessarily the ones that float to the top of the TRP. I wouldn't know for sure since I go out of my way not to view the TRP anymore. I don't find it productive. I'd rather find my own treasures through other search methods than to follow the opinion of the masses.
  74. Interesting assertion there, Laurie!

    Are you saying that most *Nature* images posted here are manipulated?

    Are you also suggesting that the aesthetic rating column for *Nature* images which are supposedly documentary be removed?

    The ratings business here appears to be taking the focus away from photography, IMO.
  75. It seems to be a common point that if you do things that can be made in darkroom, this is acceptable in PS and the photo will not be called manipulated. I think here we agree.

    The problem here is to be able to accept manipulation above that point, putting sky, three suns, fishes jumping around, etc.
    Some wil accept that and will go home with a big print of these photos to hang on their walls.
    These may be the same person that put 7/7 to these kind of photos, and that is fine, everything is a matter of taste.

    We are just going around the subject and this thread could be the longest in PN history.
    Just I wanna say that I think ,to get a really good picture through the viewfinder is more difficult than do a PS work.

    It is only what I think.
  76. Vivek, I don't know what "assertion" you're referring to. I don't think there was anything in what I wrote that would suggest I think most Nature photos are manipulated or that I think any rating category should be removed. I don't know how you got that. If that's how my last comment came across I appreciate you pointing it out so I could clarify. My response was to Manel's suggestion that two posts be made to show a RAW or original photo and the "final" image for comparison.

    I do think there's an expectation, among most, that Nature and documentary photos are more representative vs. interpretive. There are of course shades of gray on that "assertion" as well. I for one, wouldn't want to be the "manipulation police". As stated above, it's an issue I struggle with on a personal level, I have no aspirations of imposing my wishy washy definition on the rest of PN.

    The only point I've been trying to make all along is that there is a difference of opinion on what constitutes manipulation. Especially when it could be argued that the same adjustments could be made in a darkroom. It's an old but interesting discussion. It's something we should all be considering everytime we open a photo in editing software, not to comply with PN's definition but to remain loyal and honest to our own personal vision.
  77. I do not agree with your assertion that if it can be done in the darkroom, then it's not manipulated. AA's "Moonrise Hernandez" is manipulated, although it may not be obvious unless you'd seen a straight print. Other examples of traditional darkroom manipulaters are discussed on this site all the time.

    I doubt that the PN members who are good at composites would agree with you on the degree of difficulty comment either. Read some of Jim McNitt's descriptions about how he's created some of his work.

    It boils down to the intent of the maker combined with the level of sophistication (or naivite) of the viewer.
  78. My last comment was addressed to Gustavo.
  79. Laurie, My query was not confrontational (though it was phrased that way). Thanks for your additional comments that appears to clarify your earlier post.
  80. I've been following this, because I wonder if I've crossed a line somewhere from time to time. My general stance is that if it could be done in a traditional darkroom, then doing it with software is acceptable. The very Art of photography is already selected reality to begin with. We choose the angle, the light, the time of year, the time of day, what may or may not be happening at any given moment. We have filters, and zoom lenses, lights, tripods, special films, papers, formats, etc etc. And then we take all that and make an image - which we take into the darkroom to dodge and/or burn, alter contrast/brightness etc. The end result is not the reality of standing in that place with a camera. If photography is strictly documentary in nature "It is as it was" then anything is manipulation. If it is Art - an evocation of the spirit of how it was, or an *interpretation* of how it was, then manipulation by darkroom or software is just another tool in the kit. It's no worse than using a filter to improve a sky. It's just a different tool to achieve the same ends. In my case though, that's still to achieve something that looks real, that could have happened, that's close to what actually took place. I've seen other images which perhaps took a photo and then created a different sort of art - This image: http://www.photo.net/photo/2897452
    I think that's gorgeous - but I don't call it a photograph. I would place something like that in "Photo-based Computer Art". But his goal was quite different than mine. For his goal, manipulation was required. It's the subjective Art side of photography, and there's simply no real way to untangle that Science vs. Art argument. Perhaps it's best to look to the result and ask if it achieves its goal. Is this image exactly what it ought to be? - regardless of how it got there.
  81. mg


    1) AT THIS POINT, we do not here care about my or your or his opinion as for what is and what is not a manipulation. For the time being, PNet already has standards ! We use these standards every day. Some of us understand them, some of us are perhaps not too sure about some details. But they exist, and they are well accepted so far - so why try to findnew definitions at this point ?

    2) Yes, by PNet's standard, Laurie is right: the cows ARE manipulated. They would indeed not be if the background would not be totally black. So, we already have photo.net's answer to questions like that.

    3) How sure are we, carl, that the cost would be heavy for the separation I was requesting ? I think itmight not be as bad as you think. But let's leave that to the management to evaluate and decide.

    4) Our task here is not to say we like or dislike PS, or to have yet another chat about PS, nor to throw stones. We should rather see (in this thread and elsewhere) the sign that there's a real problem or conflict here. First main issue: is it or is it not serious enough to change something ?

    5) Then our job is to see whether separating PS works (i.e. works defined as manipulated by PN's standard) would be a good or a bad thing for the site and for its members. Then the site will decide.

    Photonetters have the bad habit - generally speaking and of course "imo" - to talk about all sorts of things in no specific order and to be unable to try to find a solution to a given problem.

    Discipline, at this stage, would help this discussion. Imo.
  82. mg


    And by the way... saying that there would be mistakes and/or dishonest declarations about manipulated images... is like saying nothing at all... Mistakes already exist, andthey are human, and dishonesty too, and we couldlive, I suppose, with the same 1% error in the system as we already have today. Right ? So, let's move from that point to the next...
  83. " 5) Then our job is to see whether separating PS works (i.e. works defined as manipulated by PN's standard) would be a good or a bad thing for the site and for its members. Then the site will decide."

    Good thing, *IMO*, Marc. I will vote for that! Thanks for the clarity!

  84. I just reread PN's advisory on what makes a manipulated versus unmanipulated photo. Mark,
    you are right, it really is pretty good. I'd read it when I joined but not since.

    Since all uploads have the opportunity to check the "unmanipulated" box, is there any
    possibility of having a review sort done based on how one checked the box? More simply, can
    Pnet just use what is already in place to perform the sort?
  85. Yes, they could but photo.net calculates the TRP searches in the background and stores them in a database. This means that the database would take more space and the calculation of the queries would take more time because of the additional criteria. But I really think Brian could implement it in a matter of a couple of days, depending on how the system is currently implemented.

    I think it is indeed sad that I know that there are tremendous volumes of high quality photographs out there in the database, but which are difficult to find.

    As to capturing a fish jumping out of the water in real life, well, how do you define photographic skill? Finding a place and natural conditions where there are loads of insects on the water. I think this is entirely feasible, and this knowledge of nature is definitely in the skill requirements of a wildlife photographer. The actual timing of the exposure would have to be implemented with some kind of triggering system. The photographer could either wait underwater and trigger the shutter with a remote release when they see a fish reaching out of the water. Or an IR triggering system might be implemented. These certainly are photographic skills as much as anything else. And these sort of things are routinely used by high end wildlife photographers and often something equivalent is needed to document special situations in nature. Adding a fish in photoshop is a cheap trick in comparison, and it would be an outrage if published in a nature magazine.
  86. Obviously in the current situation, a real shot of a fish jumping out of the water would not make TRP because it wouldn't look "original" enough to the raters. Only when something is fake (unphysical looking spills of water), do the ratings seem to go to 7. Wild colours are another possibility. Is that what originality in photography is about?

    How would the vote be carried out? Sending E-mail? Clicking on a vote page? I think it would be good if an e-mail were sent to subscribers and we could then respond with a Y/N answer. Quite a few e-mails? This would perhaps motivate some anti-PS people to subscribe and this would help pay for the change :)
  87. Ilkka, to shoot a jumping fish you must go to a lake, river or sea, and this definitely doesn't require any skill - maybe a driving license - (regarding with opportunity or serendipity referred by Carl).

    A wildlife photographer definition isn't a universal standard, but please consider the one who add to some of your honest proposals (wait underwater, IR triggering) more advantatges. For instance:
    - feeding the place with fish food in order to attract more fishes,
    - forcing fishes to jump in the right place with a dry fly fisihing expert,
    - setting shutter repeater to catch the optimal position in the air for each set of shots,
    - waiting inside a mimetic hide in silence,
    - so on.....

    BUT some wildlife photographers are people with no time to spend (money money) and need more EFFICIENCY, so they try cheap tricks:
    A) hang a fish from a tree by means of a thin nylon wire, creating the sensation that the fish is jumping
    B) throwing dead fishes to the lake with the help of one or more collaborators, creating again the "jumping effect"
    C) coying and pasting a jumping fish into a landscape layer

    So, A) and B) are photographic manipulations and C) is a digital manipulation... Could you distinguish among A), B) and C)? Sure not... END of arguing about digital manipulation in nature photography... P.S.: Some tricks are routinely used by "PEOPLE" in general, so maybe should focus on author's honesty and not in manipulated vs non manipulated controversy. Serendipity is a nice term, but a 7/7 photographer cannot rely on it more than one or twice a year... (outside Photonet, I mean) ;)
  88. rj


    Each photographer must decide to follow whatever set of ethics they create for themselves. Joan shows above many instances that I would deem unethical in nature photography and as such I would not do them. It would just be so easy if the artists (photographers, designers, uploaders) would just caption if their image is unmanipulated or not.
  89. If you stage a shot by hanging the fish from a wire, it's not much better than inserting the fish digitally to the picture, except that the latter is much easier to do (to the quality point required for web viewing) and thus more common. Also, the photoshop manipulations are generally not done well enough that it looks "right". It helps a lot in finding honest photography if these are weeded out. It doesn't matter if some funny setups are left because these are so rare and it's up to the photographer then to comment on how the shot was accomplished.
  90. Can't disagree with any of your excellent points. -SM
  91. No Joan, the fact that some photographers use tricks to lure their prey (and many are illegal) does NOT put an end to the issue of digital manipulation. They are both deceptive and are frowned on by most of the nature photographers I admire. You aren't implying that one or the other is required to get good shots, are you?

    I rely on serendipity most of the time I go out on a shoot. I don't know precisely what I will find and invariably come back with something I didn't anticipate.
  92. When I read a good story by an author like Steven King, John Mitchner, etc. I never really stop and think whether he wrote it by hand, used a typewriter or a word processor. I just know if I like it or not.<p>
    Photography, should be just as transparent as to the hardware used. No one has to tell me if it is a photograph or graphic art either. I can make that distinction. As to whether or not a fish was added to the image, why does anybody care. Are we so analytical that we compare one photographer's method to that of another? I don't think so. <p>
    The root meaning of photography is painting with light. As long as that is done then it is a photograph. The tools include cameras, lenses, different film types, filters, flash, darkroom techniques, photoshop methods, and the list goes on. To me it is just that simple.
  93. rj


    Don't you want to know if you are reading fiction or non-fiction?
  94. RJ, yes precisely! but what you refer to is style (surrealism, ...) not mean (manipulation of contrast, manipulation of color,...).
  95. Contrast and color manipulation is not what this thread is about (that's considered acceptable unless done to extremes). But when you add a fish to a place where there was no fish, then it becomes fiction. The means the picture itself is made is not so interesting, but how it relates to the physical world that existed when the photo was taken, is of interest.
  96. Contrast and color manipulation is not what this thread is about (that's considered acceptable unless done to extremes) Ilkka your assertion pointed out the very problem of what is considered as manipulation or not.
    Some may agree with PNet definition (if so there is a box for that! and then it would be easy for admin to split the TRP according to checking/not this box), some may agree with your definition, but many more may have other and valid point of views as you can see if you read this thread ... and if you re-read the original post of this discussion, you will find that it is just plain in the subject!
  97. So people want to think that adding a fish is no different from adjusting colors a bit. I can't really agree with that nor do I see any sense in claiming that there is no difference. In a photograph, the lines and shapes that it contains are a projection of a real scene in the physical world. If you add shapes to it, it is not a photograph (drawn by light) but a mousograph or a drawing or digital art or whatever you like to call it. I think we can safely stick to dictionary definitions of existing words, including photography. If you want to make a new word for a new art form, you're free to do that and maybe it will be popular, but it's not photography, by the very definition of the word.

    As to why contrast or color adjustments in Photoshop might be considered acceptable, IMHO Photoshop is a tool for making digital reproductions of photographs. You can do other things with it such as digital illustrations or whatever, but these are neither photographs nor reproductions of photographs.

    When discussing the manipulation of images on photo.net, I think the current photo.net definition of manipulation is perfectly reasonable and acceptable. You can agree or disagree with it, I don't really care. We can change it if there is a reasonable consensus about what the new definition should be. However, there are vast numbers of clearly unmanipulated photographs (which look very closely like the original scene or the slide on a light table) and then there are things which are more drawings than photographs but which gather attention in the layman because they look weird. There is no question that manipulated digital art is here to stay, but whether unmanipulated works should be allowed visibility as they are still representations of photographs, while the other ones are not.

    Academic discussions about what exactly is manipulation is pretty silly IMHO. The current photo.net criteria are not too different from Foundview criteria and they're well thought out, I have no objection to them and if someone wants to change them, let it be a separate fight.
  98. Don't you want to know if you are reading fiction or non-fiction?
    You don't need Photoshop or any other kind of post-exposure manipulation to tell huge lies with a camera.
  99. Sure you can lie by making people assume a scene was not staged while it may have been. However, a photograph does not really lie about what the forms and shapes were in the physical world, at the moment the picture was taken. That part is what makes it a photograph, drawn by light. If you want to draw by mouse, that's a separate thing entirely.

    A photograph, if it is really a photograph only tells the viewer that shapes like that were in front of the camera at some point of time, represented by a 2D-projection through an optical lens on a photosensitive surface or sensor. That part is always true of a photograph. If you make assumptions about what those forms were doing in the scene, then it's just the viewer's interpretation and a photograph in itself doesn't claim anything about what the people in the scene (if there were people) were doing or what is the meaning of it all. It's just a projection of the physical world according to certain laws of optics and chemistry (or physics) on a piece of paper. If it is not an optical projection of the physical world, then it's not a photograph. Really simple.
  100. Ilkka, I am afraid you and few others here and in the other thread are labouring the obvious. <br>Reading you, I don't see any problem at all, if you are member of Pnet and you admit PNet rule about the definition of what is considered here as manipulated or not, then check the correponding box or don't. The split in TRP, if important, could then be done by admin according to that criteria (supposed that everybody caring about checking correctly the box). Therefore, I don't see the need of long repetition of same whinings (THAT's what this thread was about) and that's what I called it vain and somehow egocentric...<br> the Admin are not deaf and they changed quite a few things we asked them to change when and if they estimate it necessary. <p>And so far, IMO, this site is quite above many others in quality despite some posters claim regularly (by the way I still don't understand why they keep posting here!?). <br>The quality of the site is not only a question of rule but also depend on the quality and more the discipline of its participants.
  101. I don't like this moral relativism and the so clever silogisms you like to invent to justify it, such as saying "everything is manipulated"
    There's no relativism or syllogism involved here: it's a simple fact that all photography is an exercise in manipulation. You select a perspective from which to view an object, you choose a focal length to determine the field of view and relative sizes of objects in the image, you select the focal distance and aperture to determine where the plane of focus will lie and how sharply the foreground and background will be rendered, you select the slice of time at which to record what is occuring, you select the film and processing to determine the color palette and contrast of the image . . . At every step, from start to finish, the photographer is making decisions that affect the appearance of the photo.
    While some people want to couch the argument in terms of "manipulated" vs. "non-manipulated," it's really a questions of "manipulations that I'm comfortable with" vs. "manipulations that I don't think are acceptable." And the line that's being drawn between acceptable and unacceptable manipulations has very little to with how photography has been defined throughout its history.
    You want to do "straight" photography with a minimum of post-exposure manipulation? Fine! Do that. That's what I do most of the time. But I don't kid myself that working that way automatically endows my work with greater value or entitles me to more respect.
  102. Maybe it comes down to this: In the film world, you could tell lies in the darkroom. In the digital world, you can tell BIG lies with PhotoShop.

    And the lies you can tell are different. And the reasons you tell them are different. And the results are different. There's a very gently ashtetic to the darkroom lies. The asthetic of PS lies, at least at the moment, is loud and jarring.

    In the early days of photography, "art" photographs were commonly constructed from multiple negatives stiched together. The technique was quickly rejected as being against the "spirit" of photography. Eventually bromoil techniques were also rejected for similar reasons. In the 30's soft focus went the way of these predecessors because of its manipulation of the subject matter. Today most non-digital photography is one form or another of straight photography, not because manipulation is harder, but because over the generations photographer have learned that that is the true nature of the beast.

    Now Photoshop has come along and we seem to be back where we started.
  103. mg


    You wrote: "Could you distinguish among A), B) and C)? Sure not... END of arguing about digital manipulation in nature photography..."

    Unfortunately, your example is weak. Because your "Sure not" is wrong. I can garantee you, that if you'd print your result at a 30x45cm print, I could tell you how you achieved this (A,B or C).

    About A: UNLESS you are a FANTASTIC photographer, you'll find it very difficult to hang a fish so perfectly that it would look jumping - not to mention about hiding the strings, unless you plan to do that in PS of course. :) I've hanged all kind of thingsin a studio for commercial photographs, and I can tell you this: only those who haven't tried will think they can easily achieve it.

    About B: As for throwing dead fishes, have you tried ? :) Yes ? Please let us see the results. No ? Then how would you open the shutter, please - and please be precise in your answer.

    Your example is just making my point stronger: in the word of SOME photoshoppers who are used to cheap concepts and 2 layers in PS, everything seems easy. But photographically, I am willing to bet you wouldn't be able to produce the image you imagined, because you have no training doing such things, and assuming it's easy, is indeeda lot easier than actually doing it.

    In Photoshop's world, EVERYTHING seems easy. And yet, as Ikkla said, so many montages are so poorly done and just benefit from the small size of a jpeg and from the untrained eyes watching the picture, to achieve "photo.net success". :)

    Unfortunately, nothing reamlly well done is easy - especially not straight photographs of jumping fishes. :)
  104. mg


    This just isn't true: "While some people want to couch the argument in terms of "manipulated" vs. "non-manipulated," it's really a questions of "manipulations that I'm comfortable with" vs. "manipulations that I don't think are acceptable."

    It may be true for some of the posters here, but you'll have to agree to take me off that list of people.

    Everybody seems to basically say, that those who want a separate playground for two classesin the same school is something like being a racist or a "technocentrist" perhaps - i.e. "my way is the best way". No. By no means. No way. And that's a very cheap way to put aside some disturbing facts as well as any logical thinking.

    I am not a "technocentrist". My way is BOTH WAYS. (Oooops ! :) I've posted enough PS works on this site for everyone to know that - yourself very much included. I love the computer work of Dominic Rousse on photo.net, for example, or some of the works by Ben Gossens and Pavel Kaplun. And I love Tony Dummett's work, andI love Emil Schildt's work. And I have myself a bit of everything using all kinds of means. So the point you just made was just no point, and is no more than annoying rethoric.

    Point is: you don't critique, evaluate, judge a straight photo based on the actual same criteria that you'd use judging or critiquing a heavily manipulated image - a montage, a heavily filtered and textured image, and so on. So why force members here to compare applesand oranges ?! Please answer that. What's wrong with having the choice ? What's wrong separating apples and oranges based on photo.net's definition of a manipulation, in order to encourage people to critique and to evaluate differently a manipulated image, and one that's not manipulated ?
  105. mg


    And by the way, jacques Henry also has a point: distinguishing between a "realistic" intent, and a "non-realistic" intent (or fiction? or surrealism?) would make perfect sense as well. But I see nothing wrong about PN's check box and definition about manipulation as a starting point, if it could allow the sort and separation to start quicker.
  106. Marc, A), B) and C) were plain and sarcastic examples of analogic and digital manipulations in an hypothetical "jumping fish" situation, not a dissertation about how to do it. Obviously, a clumsy photographer won't success on manipulation but an smart one will success on a wall poster or on a documentary film or whichever media format he tried. And YES, some clever photographers also manipulate to achieve "traditional works".

    For instance, will you distinguish betwenn a dead or alive insect? And how would you know if an insect has been copy-pasted? The answer depends on "how many insects have you seen in your life" and "how many time have you spent looking at them in natural environment". A lot of manipulations are much more subtile than a jumping fish and that's the main rason why creating separated categories for manipulated vs non-manipulated would lead to hundreds of flamed controversies.
  107. Marc, just an FYI... Dominic is no longer on P.net. He pulled all his images a few months back... A real loss for the community.

    I have enjoyed reading this thread thoroughly.
  108. rj


    Mike, I'm not claiming that you can't fake a photograph without digital manipulation, I am claiming that it is unethical to do it in situations where the photograph attemps to show reality, as in nature photography. A nature photographer has to manipulate equipment and lenses and films to show their vision of the scene they want to show and in all respects should be as close to the natural world it can be, but to add colors that weren't present, animals that weren't there, backgrounds that have nicely been eliminated ect. is in my book unethical in editorial photography, not in the commercial and art world of course. Manipulation should not mean, and does not mean contrived and not all photographs are manipulated this way.
  109. rj


    I would also say that if you have knowingly manipulated your photo and you claim it is unmanipulated, you are mis-representing yourself and your abilities as a photographer on this site. I will get off my soapbox now, of course this is all IMHO and not meant to start a war, just a friendly debate.
  110. What I'm reading from a lot of posters here is that manipulation is acceptable, up to a point. However, the degree to which manipulation is acceptable (e.g., not "really" manipulation) is an arbitrary one, which for most is defined based on personal bias. Some of the posters here who are still film users, as I was until very recently, are arguing that many of the manipulations that can be achieved with the camera or in the darkroom are acceptable, even if those manipulations produce images that do not truly reflect "reality". I believe it's important to recognize that manipulation has always been an integral aspect of the art of photography. The digital darkroom has made manipulation easier and removed creative barriers that existed in the traditional darkroom.
  111. what a can of worms you opened.

    anyway. I support the use of manipulations. but there is a line you cross when it becomes more graphical art than photography. where that line is, varies from person to person but it does or should exist for everyone. you are talented enough to know where your line will be and to know how to use whatever skills you have and to judge when they are appropriate. don't worry about others differing opinions on were you should draw that line and enjoy what you do ... which I assume you already do. just don't get tired of the complaints. learn to live with them.
  112. Many people I meet here (not just this forum for ratings, I mean photo.net) who are extremely creative do not give a hoot about ratings/TRP and such *important* things.

    (I do not by any stretch of imagination dismiss others who worry about ratings as any less creative either)

    Ratings forum could be useful to air all the grievances. I am positive that these complaints will not be taken care of by grouping one set of images as ratable from another.

    I admire the efforts of some and their suggestions though.
  113. I also don't care about ratings as they are, essentially arbitrary at the moment. However, I do care about how to find interesting work in the photo.net gallery. I'm interested in photography, not computer graphics and would like a way to search for photographs on the site separate of other types of visual arts. As of now, this is not possible.

    People have different standards for manipulation, sure but that doesn't make the problem go away. In current discussions there is often a huge number of complaints when a photo which looks like it could be genuine turns out to be fake. In published nature/documentary photography in the real world, the uproar is even greater. Photo.net would be a lot more peaceful with separate galleries, and people like myself would be able to search for interesting work without looking at fake fishes allegedly jumping out of the water. Most of the high-rated images here make me sick, so basically I only look at the trp only a few times a year because finding the rare good photograph there is very, very time-consuming. Now, I realize that photo.net is not trying to help users find photography but just attract visitors.

    I guess it would be a good idea not to use the site since the administration doesn't care about the issue. I can always find photography in books (pricey and often there are only a certain percentage of images which are really good, the rest is just filler), magazines (which have their own issues because of advertising and stupid camera reviews) or photo galleries though it's a bit more work.
  114. "I guess it would be a good idea not to use the site since the administration doesn't care about the issue."

    Have you considered the possibility that IF the administration has this view, it's because most of the site members/participants seem to have it?
  115. How would they know what the opinion of the membership is, without asking it? It's not like they have the ability to read minds.

    Besides, having the possibility to select a search for manipulated or unmanipulated images would in no way prevent those who want to see manipulated images or mixed images from doing what they always have been done. It is only a change which would make it easier for those who want to search for photographs to find them. Or is it that you consider your right to force digital art through the throats of those who don't want to see them, preferring photography? And because implementing such a change, users could select what they want to see, you consider your rights violated? What are you afraid of?
  116. And it is quite clear that the administration does have this view, since this issue has been discussed ever since photo.net galleries were made. It is a regularly discussed topic and in no case has any action been taken.

    The change would not reduce the functionality of the site in any way if the resources are sufficient. It would increase the functionality of the site for many users. IMHO the site should just have a vote (with subscribers or all members getting an e-mail to request for their vote so that a good sample is obtained, asking for people who follow the feedback forum is just too shallow). Or the note on the vote should at least be on the front page if e-mail is too heavy to do.
  117. Ok, I have to admit that I was wrong: the unmanipulated check box has been added probably as a result of similar discussion to these. But the content of that flag is very laboursome to check, you have to go the details and no search based on it is possible, which imho is absurd given that this is supposed to be a fancy relational database system.
  118. I could personally care less whether or not PN management implements an option to filter images on the TRP pages by manipulated or not/unknown. However, I can just imagine the onslaught of whining that would result when members begin posting complaints about this member or that marking pictures as "unmanipulated" when they really aren't (at least in the complainers' minds). This would quickly end up being a Site Feedback Forum and moderator nightmare. Why would the PN management want to deal with this when, as Brian has recently pointed out, the TRP and Gallery pages are as popular today as they have ever been?
  119. I think what the "unmanipulated" flag means is clearly enough explained and it's legible enough that there really shouldn't be much debate. Besides, people can cheat on individual images - I don't care about that. The manipulation of images is constantly hotly debated anyway - what difference would the query option make? I don't really think the debate can get much hotter. When people have the option of selecting which category of images they want to see, the manipulated images wouldn't get heat because people would assume from the beginning that it's manipulated and not a photograph. Right now on every other POW choice, there is a hot debate on how it was made and so on. If the people who look for manipulated images had the choice of selecting it in the search criteria, the whole discussion of images would start on the right track. People who want to see photography and not general graphic arts, could select it and the discussion would continue of the merits of the photograph instead of the constant hostility displayed by the pro-and-against manipulation people.
  120. What could be also interesting to generalize (I mean if you are really interested by the transparency when offering a photo for critic), and I am starting to do that on some of my recent posted images, is to place in the critique request or comment part the original scan(s) of the picture(s) - i added an (s) in case of composite (a good way to understand the making of of some interesting composites of few photographers I was mentioning aboutearlier).<p> No doubt that some will object that we can do more tricks depending on the camera digital or not, cheap or expensive...!:eek:((
  121. Mike, I'm not claiming that you can't fake a photograph without digital manipulation, I am claiming that it is unethical to do it in situations where the photograph attemps to show reality, as in nature photography.
    I'd argue that nature photography is much less directed toward showing "reality" than it is toward presenting a highly idealized and stylized version of nature. How many nature photographers are shooting with EPN (a film with very accurate colors and realistic-looking saturation)? How many with Velvia (which has very exaggerated colors/saturation)? Or, in b&w, how many are making "straight" prints rather than prints with extensive dodging, burning, and contrast manipulations? Most nature photographers put extensive effort into finding just the right spot to shoot from and just the right light to create a dramatic image--their results (their better results, anyway) often bear little resemblence to how the scene would appear to most people most of the time. If I said I wanted to present a realistic view of women, but I only photographed gorgeous 15- to 17-year-olds with carefully crafted lighting, would you buy my argument that, yes, it's a realistic view of women because I didn't use any Photoshop tricks and I didn't alter my subjects?
    As for the other responses to my comments: I explained how the fundamental processes of photography fit perfectly into the definition of manipulation (no, not photo.net's completely arbitrary definition, but the definitions you find in dictionaries). If I misrepresented the photographic process, or I used an idiosyncratic or nonsensical definition of manipulation, or there's a hole in my logic, I'll be happy to see the evidence. But I'm not going to waste time responding to every red herring people have tossed up to counter my straightforward claim. Leaping fish, indeed . . .
  122. mg


    "And it is quite clear that the administration does have this view, since this issue has been discussed ever since photo.net galleries were made. It is a regularly discussed topic and in no case has any action been taken.
    The change would not reduce the functionality of the site in any way if the resources are sufficient. It would increase the functionality of the site for many users. IMHO the site should just have a vote (with subscribers or all members getting an e-mail to request for their vote so that a good sample is obtained, asking for people who follow the feedback forum is just too shallow). Or the note on the vote should at least be on the front page if e-mail is too heavy to do."

    This is it. I've nothing to add to what Ilkka just wrote. I think the site should request members opinions on this major issue.

    Steve Marcus, you can't say for sure what would be people's reaction to a separation. Nobody can say it for sure. There will be those who will feel affraid of something or will have a naive feeling of discrimination against their work, and there will be those who will realize that no option will be taken away via the separation, while you have the choice to see only a certain category of work at once, and who won't mind to have EXTRA OPTIONS to search pictures.

    Refusing extra options would make no sense to me, and that should be the key point.
  123. I leave you here my non-manipulated jumping "whale". After years of research in northern seas and hundreds of hours preparing the equipment, during a huge storm, I found this rare whale in the darkness of the night, never reported before in nature photography circles. Please feel free to copy-paste it in your favourite landscapes ;)

    P.S.: I prefer a honest digital artist than a dishonest nature photographer and agree completely with Mike: "I'd argue that nature photography is much less directed toward showing "reality" than it is toward presenting a highly idealized and stylized version of nature"
  124. Mike, I would argue that most photographs are idealized presentations (which is different, of course, from manipulation of the scene - either physically or photographically, pre- or post- processing.) If they weren't, we wouldn't bother to look at them. More importantly, as viewers, we expect the subject to be presented in the best light, literally, consistent with the mood intended by the photographer. This is not a deception unless it is done to a degree where the viewer would feel disappointed if he had been there at the time of the shot. We've both seen nature shots (or any other genre) that were overdone or poorly done where that would be the case, but to throw most color enhancement and contrast adjustments into the same basket as the addition or deletion of important elements (fish?) is just the kind of red herring argument that you seem to be accusing others of presenting.

    What happens in these arguments is that all the participants have a particular style they wish to support and another style that they find particularly objectionable, and they frame the debate as if everyone else should have the same priorities (myself included.) Part of the problem is that the goals of the photographer and the assumptions of the viewer vary widely, so if a viewer is PRIMARILY attracted to the wonderful colors in a sunrise shot taken with velvia, then you wonder if he can really appreciate the scene in it's real, less enhanced state.

    To discuss these examples without having actual experience can get you into trouble. If you haven't been to a site that has well worn tripod holes, and if you don't know the right season and time of day, then you might not understand how a photograph could look so good that it seems idealized. As an example, I would direct you to my "West Virginia" folder. Most visitors to that site won't get to see it the way I did, but I assure you that it really does look that way, and to visit this site any time other than the right weekend in the early morning seems a waste of time, frankly.

    My ax to grind is actually the reverse of what concerns most people in this discussion? Nearly all of my shots actually look the way they're presented, but on this site, something that doesn't look like what most people normally see through the viewfinder is assumed to be altered in some way. It's a shame on a learning site because they're less likely to look for new ways of seeing things if they don't believe they actually exist.
  125. You haven't addressed a major point in my last post, so I'll repeat it here. IF an option were made available to sort images on the TRP pages by manipulated or not/unknown, can you not imagine that this forum and the site moderators and administrators would quickly be deluged with complaints about this member or that marking pictures as "unmanipulated" when they really aren't (at least in the complainers' minds). This would very quickly end up being a Site Feedback Forum and moderator nightmare. Why would the PN management want to deal with this when, as Brian has recently pointed out, the TRP and Gallery pages are as popular today as they have ever been? There are already heated discussions relating to image manipulation on the POW Forum. You could probably multiply these discussions by one or two orders of magnitude if the manipulated tag were used as a basis for sorting photos. Regardless of ones personal stance on the subject of digital manipulation in photography, IMHO, the sorting system you have proposed would simply not be manageable for those who manage this site.
  126. Steve, unless you can show me some examples, I think the actual use of the current check box shows that virtually all those who check "unmanipulated" understand and use the PN definition. Since no one is proposing that this sort be used as the exclusive default TRP page, I don't see the problem.

    People miscategorize "street", "abstract", and many other category choices all the time and nobody complains.
  127. 7/7 for the Jumping Whale.
  128. You're joking, right, Carl? You've been around here long enough to have seen plenty of discussions regarding claims that photos have been manipulated when they are not marked to indicate so. I'm not going to provide links to other members' photos to make my point.
  129. Before photoshop, the heyday of photo manipulation was... 1860! Why did it fall from favour? Because as people learned to look at photographs, manipulations started to seem cheap and unpleasent. Photoshop is new enough that people have not yet adjusted their eye to it. In 20 years, the manipulations that people rave about here will seem just as cheap.
  130. I have found everybody's opinions interesting and the general consensus is that 'you do what you like' which is the pinnacle of what producing images is to me, being able to tell my story and using whatever method is necessary, be it cross processing or PS manipulation.
    My only gripe is that if it comes down to grading a photo I feel that the time, work and thought process should be taken into account, before I begin to sound like I'm contradicting myself I'll give you an example. I was reading a photo mag a year or two ago and noticed a stunning picture of an owl wings spread flying directly at camera with a huge full moon framing it, it really was a great looking shot, well when I read that the owl and the moon were made up of two separate images put together in Photoshop I couldn't help but feel that one of the other 'natural' shots were more the worthy winner simply for the time and effort involved in producing them. I am saying this as a big fan of Photoshop but I have a big respect for the hardcore Ansel Adams type photographers that WILL wait hours for a shot. I just think they deserve a little more credit than someone who spends an hour on PS to get a similar result (me included)
    Well thats my 2cents.
    Gavin Tomkins.
  131. This continues to be a fascinating discussion. One thing I did not see discussed here is double exposures. All of my SLR's in the last 40 years have had this ability. Is that not manipulation? It is the combination of two images in reality to get a single image which does not physically exist. Multiple exposures have always seemed to be acceptible, at least from my viewpoint and many great film photographers have used them. Is creating a multiple exposure in PS any different? I will also say I was initially a purist when it comes to nature photography but I was corrupted by PN. A little manipulation here; a little manipulation there. Who will know? All of the sudden, my ratings jumped. Now I sleep with my PS CD disk under my pillow.. Is there a 12 step program for manipulators? If you manipulate too much will your auto focus fail?
  132. LOL--great post, David! There are Soooo many classical photographic and darkroom techniques that could be mentioned in this thread on photographic manipulation. Some people just can't seem to accept the reality that manipulation was not invented with the introduction of Adobe PhotoShop more than a decade ago. Manipulation has ALWAYS been an integral aspect of the art of photography and ALWAYS will be. PhotoShop and related graphics programs have simply made manipulation easier and more accessible to the masses.
  133. Can we archive this discussion before it dissapears?
  134. Surely this one will be preserved (archived) for future generations...

    My great grandchildren (maybe even my grandchildren) will probably have to do a Google search to learn what film was, let alone that it could be "manipulated". (-:
  135. Why is it that these debates keep getting detoured into HOW rather than the much more important question WHY?

    Steve, the lying manipulaters on PN that come to mind are years old POWs, before the check box option was added. Can you find me one within the last two years that got enough visibility to warrant further discussion?
  136. 1-Everybody knows the difference between a photo and a PS trick. The PN definition is OK. Both types of images can be interesting, but they must be displayed separately. Think for instance about tornado shooters.

    2-If PS tricks are allowed to compete for visibility with true photos, photographers will leave PN (yesterday called photo-shop.net by one of the best in his cathegory, who already left).

    3-I belive that many people think like me, but we don't like so much to argue and our arguments are less elegant, so I see a dark future for PN unless someone "up there" takes a decision.

    Best regards, if you want to contact me my information and links to some of my erased PHOTOS are in my page.
  137. Knock, knock, Carl,...I mentioned POW because those discussions have undoubtedly been the most visible. I have seen a substantial number of heated discussions on other gallery photos SINCE the "Manipulated?" check box was introduced. In fact, these discussions resulted because the box was checked "No". That said, I spend most of my time looking at Velvia-esque landscape shots, rather than abstracts. Perhaps manipulation is more common within the class of images I view most often, as opposed to those that you prefer.
  138. I've said all that I care to say on this heated subject. The site maintainers have chosen not to chime in on this thread, which may or may not be insightful. (-:

    This thread really evolved into two related but separate topics. The idea to provide a filter for image manipulation would work in a utopian society, but that's not the society we live in. There would inevitably be individuals who would abuse this tag and wreak havoc for the site maintainers. It just won't work (IMHO).

    Enjoyed the discussion!
  139. mg


    "on this site, something that doesn't look like what most people normally see through the viewfinder is assumed to be altered in some way. It's a shame on a learning site because they're less likely to look for new ways of seeing things if they don't believe they actually exist." - Carl Root.

    Another important point indeed !
  140. mg


    Check this out ! A PSed wale ! :)))
  141. mg


    On-camera double exposures are, as far as I know, also considered manipulations by Photo.net's manipulation chart.
  142. mg


    I'vealready replied to your question - although indirectly. I don't think you can predict a lot of complains ahead. You will see. If some people complain abouta manipulated picture declaredasunmanipulated anyway, no big deal: the photographer would just be told to upload it to the other section. As an example, I didonce see a manipulated picturethat the autor declaredas unmanipulated. Did I write to abuse ? No ! Who cares !? As long as the majority of members play by the rules, nobody dies if there's a mistake.
  143. I agree mostly with Steve. The following image could be a perfect target for anti-PS viewers, probably thinking "a fly with such colours doesn't exist.. booooo.. what a cheap trick colouring the eyes.. and a blue BG... boooo... unnatural... ".
    <br><br>However, other viewers would think "a fruit fly from Tephritidae family on putrid grapes, nice and interesting".
    So..... who does really know when a shot has been manipulated? Are everybody expert in all types of photographic categories and subjects? I've seen how "nature photography experts" can't distinguish among a wild or a garden plant, so what's the point?<br><br>Easy tricks? For a good photographer all tricks are easy. Some weeks ago I realized that checking the "manipulated box" doesn't help me and doesn't help viewers, so my default option is always <b>manipulated<b> ;)
  144. As a graduation gift from college in 1971, my parents gave me the Time-Life photography series; about 16 books each on a different aspect of photography. In the book entitled "The Art of Photography", there are two chapters devoted to image manipulation. The book was published in 1971 when MS-DOS was just a twinkle in Bill Gates eyes. (Now that would be a good manipulated image!)
  145. I'm sorry. I left bold type opened. Just closing it right now...
  146. Trying again... if bold type keeps on after this message, please some moderator edit my mistake. Thanks :)
  147. Let's see if this closes the bold...
    Did it work?
  148. </B>

    As to the question of what the response of the users would be to having the opportunity to search for photos based on the flag, I think many would be delighted. And the site would be far more useful. As Marc said, the truthfulness of people in declaring how they did an image is always a matter of debate. I don't see any reason why someone would want their image to be viewed in the wrong queue. If they didn't manipulate their image, they want it to show with other photographs, if their image is a PS composition, why would they want to risk the disgust of the purist photographers - can you imagine what kind of a wave of 1/1s a clearly photoshopped image would get in the unmanipulated gallery? I'm quite sure that it would be in the interest of the posters to put their images in the correct category. And if they don't want to say which it is, they can get their attention with the manipulated images or mixed view, whichever the user chooses.
    It is difficult to predict future but counting on people to be dishonest is not really a constructive approach. People should be given their chance and for the functionality of the site, some individual images in the wrong category would make no difference. If there is a heated debate on an individual wrongly classified image, the administration can simply change the flag to manipulated or unknown. Simple as that.
  149. I'm relatively new here, but I have to confess that I'm dumbstruck by the idea that any photographer would dismiss or attack the work of another because of varying degrees of manipulation.

    Someone above even mentioned 'true photos' - presumably intended to distinguish between ps manipulation or not - and I couldn't help but wonder if they would include a photo that was created with the aid of a shift & tilt lens - indeed, any lens - a warm up filter, a motor drive, a light meter, a nuetral grad etc. All of which are grand manipulations in themselves before you get anywhere near your choice of recording media, manipulative chemicals (or not) and choice of paper or other publishing media.

    And some people leave photo.net over this issue? Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to how they don't manipulate light to create a photograph in the first instance.

    I would no more give up CD's and return to cassette than I would give up photoshop for, well, any current alternative.

    Ultimately, I wouldn't even dream of 'fighting' with another photographer over their choices. The final image - the result of their creativity - will always be of more interest to me than how they arrived at it. Even though I am deeply interested in both.

  150. Hello,
    please first of all excuse my very bad english.
    Why do you think this is question with a black or white answer?
    These all we like, are just visual products manufactured with different invents (photograph camera, paints, engravings, etc).
    The thing is the autor must always explain what the viewers are watching. Why to resume all the subject of this discussion in manipulated or not? There is noy light at the end of this way...
    It is not necesary to defend a criteria.. It is necesary to be honest
    Regards, Carlos

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