BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Sunil Mishra
 

Digital Manipulation


When one manipulates a photograph digitally thru software, in my opinion it remains no longer a photographic art. One can say that it is an image making art like painting etc. which has nothing to do with photography.
I would like views of those who are in this field.


To love this question, log in above
7/25/2004 11:22:41 PM

 
Dave Cross   H Sunil.
I anticipate a lively discussion on this one so I'll get my 2c in first :-)

IMHO. The digital 'adjustment' of images such as cropping, levels, sharpening, even shifting colours etc. are no different to what you would normally do in a chemical darkroom. I see no problem with still calling it a 'photograph'.

I make photographs to reflect the world I live in and like to keep my manipulation to a minimum but I DO modify my images to remove phone wires and the like.

I don't modify my images excessively by adding objects that weren't there in the first place, major distortions etc. Doing this is definately a visual art and, I agree, the result can't really be called a 'photograph'.

Lets see what the others have to say. Like I said, threads like this one tend to get 'lively'.

Cheers
DC


To love this comment, log in above
7/26/2004 3:13:27 AM

 
Steven Chaitoff
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2004
  Sunil, you may find this link interesting:

Is Cropping Cheating?

I used to feel the same way, but no longer. You're right in that when you move to digital editing, the medium is no longer photography based, but that should be no reason to bother you. As Dave said, a number of these processes are simply emulations of darkroom techniques, but I would go so far as to say that even Liquifying & cellophane wrap & all those ridiculous things in Photoshop are perfectly justified. It is just another tool in our arsenal for being creative.

I like photography more than other art forms because of the science involved. It's fascinating to understand just the simple idea of shutter & aperture, achieving proper exposure, when one goes up the other goes down...simple stuff like that, & I think a lot of people would agree. But there is certainly no reason to exclude it as a medium on its own. The new age of computer technology hands everybody a lot of convenience so why not take advantage of that? It isn't ruining your pictures...it's making them better in your own eyes. Well, that's me. Your gonna have like 500 comments by tomorrow.

-Steven


To love this comment, log in above
7/26/2004 9:11:02 AM

 
Howard Leigh   Problem to me is the association of photography with "reality" in most viewers' minds. I know all images are, in fact constructed, but now the original source of the image is a lot easier to change and hence pervert than before. Yes, I know experts have always been able to do that! But images based on negatives are very hard to alter significantly and the negative will show the cheating - digital files are easy to change and hide the traces.


To love this comment, log in above
7/26/2004 9:40:48 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Is there any distinction to photography only being what you do to get the negative, and then it stops and turns into something else when it comes to what you do to get the print?
If an original negative is "photography" but an original file isn't, based on proving somebody took a picture, then printing can be argued that it's not really part of photography.
So anybody want a distinction between a scanned negative that gets printed to not be called a photograph, but a print, because only from an elarger with a light bulb can it be called a photograph.
Sometimes this same old argument came seem like art world snobbery, trying to say put one above the other. But before anybody tries to bring Ansel Adams in and the proverbial "turning over in his grave", he did prefer the control that digital gave him. Not saying that he would replace his film camera with a digital camera. But he did prefer the control that making the image into digital form at some point, gave him when it came to printing the image.
So anybody that keeps saying the changes to digital aren't photography, you can keep lobbying. You still need a camera and some way to get the image. A collage of several film images wasn't taken on a single negative, but it still gets placed under photography. It may not be called a PHOTOGRAPH, but it isn't excluded from photography.
The arguement over distinguishing seems redundant.


To love this comment, log in above
7/26/2004 12:03:21 PM

 
Steven Chaitoff
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2004
  I think Howard makes a great case, very good point about "reality."

You know back in the day, like 1860 Daguerre, way before high-speed shutters people were doing the same stuff. To make amazing looking "magical" pictures of like a guy juggling with the balls frozen in midair (which no camera could capture because exposures ran for at least 3 minutes) they'd shoot a guy standing still in a juggling pose for 5 min & then shoot a ball at rest on a neutral background (much like a bluescreen today) & then superimpose the ball all around the print of the guy as many times as they wanted to make a new "final" print.

Now if that's not photography I don't know what is, & I applaud their effort. They could position 3 or 4 balls in his hands or anywhere to make it look like he was juggling. Or make him juggle 15 razor sharp knifes to be a real ace maver.


To love this comment, log in above
7/26/2004 2:46:46 PM

 
Sunil Mishra   My sincere thanks to all who responded to my question. First of all I would like to say that I had already acknowledged Digital Manipulation as an art because one is able please others who see the image. However enhancing a photograph, specially when one is not changing the basics, well I am in agreement that it may be appropriate to call it a photograph. But once he makes changes to add flavours then I would like to call it as digital painting which requires additional knowledge & skill. Yes, it is still a perception as to how one views it as argued by some of my friends in their responses.Thanks once again & regards to all.


To love this comment, log in above
7/26/2004 9:17:44 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  I don't have a problem with color balancing, dodging/burning to balance contrasty areas, or cropping . . . provided they don't substantively *change* what is depicted in a manner that would delude, deceive or misrepresent what is being portrayed. I do begin to have a problem with entirely removing elements present in the photograph . . . it's a *very* slippery slope from there to misrepresentation . . . including misrepresenting the *skill* of the photographer.

More than one reknowned and very highly respected photographer has been unmercifully hammered and derided by his peers, and lost all credibility with the public, with the discovery that a very compelling and widely regarded photograph was staged, manipulated or otherwise modified to substantively change its representation to the viewer of it. One such photo is the famous Albert Schweizer B/W that (IIRC) appeared in Life Magazine.

Where is the photographer skill? How is that to be valued? I begin to have some problems with things such as power line removal and my question would be . . . was it possible to have made a photograph that depicted the same subject in the same manner or executed the same concept (i.e. telling the same story) *without* the power lines distracting the image . . . however difficult or inconvenient that might have been? Digital manipulation performed to create outstanding photographs from mediocrity has gotten to be such a problem with one regional and competitive show that I now co-chair that we are rewriting the rules for it. Part of the objective for this is to promote and reward those who "get it right" in camera, and downgrade those that post-process Band-Aid their work afterward . . . to foster developing these artistic and technical skills so that photographers *don't* have to fix things.

Along the same lines, photographer integrity also goes to presenting what is represented as "original work." I have seen far too many photographs that are essentially recreations of Ansel Adams' or John Shaw's works . . . if not nearly identical in subject . . . then identical in concept down to details. This is also deception regarding originality and creativity. It usually demonstrates technical prowess but absolutely zero artistic skill . . . and those with whom I associate professionally and non-professionally find it appalling when we see it.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 10:47:12 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  There's basic principles that carry over to so many situations that you're bound to get vast similarities. There's only so many ways to shoot landscapes before you start seeing things in common.
Some of your photos of the metal workers are just like some Margaret Bourke White has taken. So is that appalling too?


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 12:29:53 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  This question is asked alot. I have to say, knowing a bit about lab work that I can't very easily define what manipulation means. You can pretty much manuipulate every aspect of an image in the darkroom using very basic equipment.

You can't quite get as wild as you can with a computer, but you can get pretty wild.

If I did not have the knowledge of the darkroom, I'd probably ask the same sort of question. But, it is very common that the images you see from the greats of the past are not just off the camera onto some paper and shown "as is". They are heavily manupulated and cropped for artistic purposes.

Jerry


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 12:47:47 PM

 
Steven Chaitoff
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2004
  Sunil, you seem to be extraordinarliy concerned with names: Photography vs. Digital Manipulation vs. Art Painting? That is a very discriminating and critical thing to do -- the very antithesis of creating a piece of artwork. I give exception to that in events like competitions, where you must sift and cull for the purpose of judging. In general though, just keep in mind that there isn't much in a name. Call it whatever you want; it really doesn't matter if you acknowledge something as a photograph or not, especially now as we all are seeing first-hand how photography & computer graphics are meshing.

Jon, as I mentioned, when judging a contest, rules are a necessity. But you place so much emphasis on the apparent skill of embracing traditional photography. The realm of digital postwork is not a "free ride" for amateurs to falsify their own abilities, and in this respect I very much agree with Sunil. To remove, add, or change a photograph with graphics is a skill in itself. You could step in a little closer with a wider lens to get that phone-line out of the picture, but when people don't have those tools at their disposal, computer editing is a wonderful alternative.

As far as the literal sense of photography goes, and even the word itself, once the photo goes into post processing software, it is no longer a photo. However, as this kind of software propagates all of our homes & we won't even print a photo until it's been touched up on the computer, digital software really is an inherent part of photography as well. So it's a moot point, but with many interesting faces.

-Steven


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 4:26:23 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Regarding the "metal" workers . . .
They're glass workers but that's a very minor point. I'm familiar with Bourke-White's work with heavy industry in the U.S. and Russia during the 1930's and in the U.S. in the 1950's; the workers, their machines and their work environs. My work with the glass works is not "just like" her work although the goal was the same . . . documentary of the glass workers, their work, and the environment in which it is performed. If mine is "just like" hers, then hers are equally "just like" the industrial workplace photographs of Edward Weston (Armco Steel in Ohio comes to mind) and Paul Strand's at least a decade before hers during the 1910's and 1920's.

If you're referring to her "Fort Peck Dam" series circa 1935 . . . either the Life Magazine cover showing the towers on top of the dam or another one depicting the diversion tunnel openings . . . and my photograph showing three furnaces in the glass works, any similarity ceases beyond using repetition of shapes in perspective as a very legitimate compositional technique.

The only other photograph that has any "similarity" is in task being performed . . . pouring of molten material into a mold . . .

Bourke-White's 1950 South African photo of man pouring molten gold into cast iron molds:
http://cache.gettyimages.com/comp/50647790.jpg?x=x&dasite=MS_TIMEPIX&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=231CFFF89517576E7A9B6BFF439E42AF11C2B749F9A059B7

My 2003 Indiana photo of man pouring molten glass into wrought iron molds:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=191752&memberID=322&memberGall=1

The subject material is similar but different in detail, the perspective of the camera angle and focal length are different; hers has her trademark celebration of repeating patterns of the molds with a low view perspective of them into which the man is pouring the molten gold which can barely be seen. Mine celebrates the glowing hot glass by making it prominent. Composition is different in concept about what is to be celebrated with it and how that is executed with camera angle and perspective. The lighting is completely different in concept and execution. They're two photos of two guys pouring molten stuff into molds, and that's where their similarity ends.

In looking at all 1722 of Bourke-White's photographs on file with Time-Life this evening I haven't found any of my work that closely recreates _in_detail_ anything that she did.

I'd have to show you what I've seen hanging in competitive shows to explain what I was describing. I have seen similarity in underlying theme or goal and that is legitimate. What's not is execution to the point of obviousness that it's a deliberate recreation of someone else's work . . . if not in the same exact location, then with a composition in another location that so closely mimics it in detail as to be an obvious recreation. Candids are rare, although I've seen one or two of those that were staged to look candid; it's usually landscapes and still-lifes (nature or manmade).

I believe I may puke if I see another close-up of a fall leaf stuck vertically into a fir or pine tree branch.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 9:22:03 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Part of the problem we have had with the show over the past couple years is submission of works that have a basis in photography, but over half of the work is not a photograph, or even derived from one. We were seeing works that were mostly entirely computer generated graphics with some small part coming from a digital photograph. If the show were "all media" that would be fine, but it's not; it's photography. Part of what we will require in the future is that 100% of the work be a photograph or derived from one in some manner . . . and there will be a separate classification for "manipulated" works (film or digital) in which the photograph has been manipulated to the extent that it is a composite of more than one photograph or approaches abstraction . . . although the requirement that 100% of it be derived from one or more photographs still applies. We recognize (I'm not alone in organizing the show) that there is legitimate artistic manipulation . . . but that it should be for artistic effect . . . not to fix compositional flaws.

For those works that "on their face" purport depiction of some "reality" it is still our goal to encourage development of skill in getting it right "in camera" whether it's digital or film. Steven is correct that doing "Band-Aid" work post-processing digitally isn't usually a free ride and that it does require some skill to get past the learning curve . . . but that's the point for rewarding those who don't modify their work to fix problems . . . that it's far, far better to do it well up front than to patch it up on the back end. A close associate does digital work of school events and sports . . . and does some excellent work, especially with sports. He loathes having to fix something afterward if it's a photo he needs of a particular participant (for his/her parents). Not that it isn't impossible to fix many things, it's the time required to do so, and do it well enough.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 10:03:24 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So if you change the lighting or use a a wide angle lens, can somebody take a picture of a leaf stuck in a pine tree and it be okay? Or are all leaves stuck in a pine tree considered copying?


To love this comment, log in above
7/28/2004 11:41:34 AM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  What you're asking for is akin to the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court case about obscenity which resulted in Justice Potter Stewart remarking: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it."

It defies codification with strict legalistic definitions to embrace the infinite number (ad nauseum) "What if ????" questions. Suffice it that when a Fall leaf (turning color) is stuffed into an evergreen tree branch vertically under flat, indirect lighting and it's composed with a close-up showing the side of the leaf to look very, very much like this John Shaw photograph, including orientation of leaf stem and point:
http://www.johnshawphoto.com/home.htm
"I know it when I see it." I've seen more than one photo so very close to it in their details that are *not* John Shaw's . . . and I'm not describing a "candid" or "action" photograph . . . it's a "still life." My general rule of thumb: when the mind triggers great suspicion, I look for anything I might be able to hang my hat on that it's not a concerted effort to *clone* another fairly well-known and highly regarded work.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/29/2004 10:40:30 AM

 
Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2004
  (2cents)

A photograph is recorded light. Much as a phonograph is recorded sound. You can change the qualities of the recording by adjusting volume, speed, pitch, or outright changing the order of the sounds by re-recording onto another phonograph. It is still a phonograph.

With a photograph, you capture light and change it to suite your desired outcome, be it to accurately represent the scene or to represent what you saw in your mind's eye. You are adjusting lightness, color balance, shadows, sharpness, and even the orientation/shape of the photograph. In the end, it is still a photograph of something. It may now have more artistic qualities, but it is still a photograph. That's how I see it, at any rate.

Whether or not that photograph accurately accounts for the original scene doesn't make it any less a photograph. It just makes it a less accurate representation of what was there. Also my opinion.

I shoot digitally. I convert my raw files to 16bit tiffs which are too dark and not properly "developed" and so need to be adjusted to look right. I might decide it was too shady and lighten it up, or not. Then some sharpening here and there and maybe evening out the colors. What results is my photograph.

For sure, it does not accurately represent what was there when I made the shot. And I wouldn't want it to for my purposes. The original scene was dismal. Color casts and way too dark to really give up any detail to a photograph shot as-is. I shot what I saw in my mind and worked to ensure that the resulting photograph represents that image.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents. I'm sure there is a more rigerous and debatable definition of what is and what isn't a photograph somewhere.

Wing (Would rather be out photographing stuff)


To love this comment, log in above
7/29/2004 12:46:03 PM

 
Maverick Creatives
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/1/2004
  I'm an amateur. I'm very new to the "hobby". I took a course here at better photo and now I'm hooked. The question sunil has put forth here seems to have the "pro's" offering their opinions based on experience that I do not have. Having said this, let me offer my opinion.
Last month I took a photo in my garden. I was sitting there sipping on a beer and suddenly realized that what I was looking at in my garden should be photographed. I'm developing a photographers "eye" it seems. That photo turned out lovely, clear and crisp, good composition and all that, the results of my lessons.
I took it into photoshop elements just for fun and applied a simple crosshatch filter. Suddenly that photo resembled a watercolor. Was I "cheating"? I don't think so. I believe I'm learning TWO new skills and combined they make a wonderful marriage.
I had the resulting image printed on textured watercolor paper and learned that fine art printing is an art, I had it Framed and learned that Framing is an art. To me, the results of all this is a wonderful piece of Art that I created for the enjoyment of myself and others. It's the feeling you get, wether it be creating, manipulating, printing or framing. I have only stuck my toe in the photographic waters thus far, however somewhere down the road, when I can do back flips from the high board into the photographic pool, I'm sure my computer will aid me to make a splashless entry. Competition is fine, judging and critiques are helpful, but at the end of the day only you really know if you have produced your best. No matter how that "best" was acheived.
Gary


To love this comment, log in above
7/29/2004 6:35:56 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  don't think any pros have actually given an answer. But I get your point.


To love this comment, log in above
7/29/2004 11:06:24 PM

 
Howard Leigh   What's a pro and what's an amateur? most pro photographers are amateurs as well, in that the word amateur derives from amare = to love!
And where does that leave the "hobbyist"?!
Anyhow, what is Art?
To misquote, one man's, sorry, one person's Art is another person's rubbish. I have yet to see a universally accepted definition of Art, as opposed to art. (Perhaps here's the seed for another thread...)
I still return though to my previous point which is that Photography was (and is) in many peoples' minds linked clearly to reality.
When a photograph effectively loses that link then is it no longer a photograph but an image? That image may be aesthetically attractive to its maker and its viewers. But is it Art? I read a book by Cynthia Leppard on that general theme and I still don't know the answer!

Howard

P.S. - nice photos, though, Gary!!


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 7:47:29 AM

 
Howard Leigh  
 
 
Here's two photos I played with.
The simple one was severely underexposed and has been corrected here using layers.
The second one was then treated to a water colour filter, followed by some tweaking with layers to darken and make more moody.
Are they both photographs?
Are they Art?
Does it matter anyway if I like them?
Does it matter if other viewers like or dislike them?


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 8:38:47 AM

 
Howard Leigh  
 
  Hover Flies
Hover Flies
Original under-exposed, no other changes
© Howard Leigh
Nikon Coolpix 995 ...
 
 
After manipulation - watercolour filter etc
© Howard Leigh
Nikon Coolpix 995 ...
 
 
Sorry - I forgot to upload them...


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 8:48:17 AM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Gary,
I measure my own work with two criteria:
(a) Was the mental visualization realized in the photograph? . . . Does it look like what I envisioned for it? This assesses the technical execution.
(b) Does it communicate what is intended by it to the its target viewers? This assesses the artistic aspect.

The tangible "object" . . . be it a photograph, painting, sculpture, etc., used to convey the message is a "work of art." The intangible "art" itself is the message . . . the concept communicated from artist to others.

If it accomplishes both, I consider it a successful photograph . . . regardless of what others might think about it. If I relied solely on opinions of jurors or critics I'd be laced into a straight-jacket and living in a padded cell by now. You'll have to decide you you evaluate your own work. I hope for the sake of your sanity that it doesn't rely on what others feel about it! I've personally experienced diametrically opposed critiques . . . completely 180 degrees out from each other . . . from different jurors evaluating the same work!

Whether or not something is a "Work of Art" and whether or not something is a "Photographic Work of Art" are two related but distinctly different questions. The former places no restriction on the medium and contains only a sole condition; the latter does restrict the medium, or at least implies that restriction and contains two conditions: photograph and artwork.

I have seen many fine artworks that have some element(s) of photography in them, but would not consider them *photographic* works of art. They are better classed as "mixed media" because they contain elements of other media in them. The artist makes the deicions about how "best" to convey the intended concept (message) to others, and that includes the media employed to accomplish it. For a competitive *Photography* Show, it is implicit that all elements of the artwork should be photographic. A "mixed media" piece may be superb in execution and in effectiveness at conveying the artist's concept, but it belongs in a different venue . . . one that allows it.

For those pieces that are manipulated photographs to the point of resembling some other medium (in its natural form) or to the point of abstraction . . . they belong in a classification of manipulated works, albeit still photographic. And that is why nearly all photography shows have classifications regarding the photographic medium and broad categories of subject material within them.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 10:59:44 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  Sorry to go a little off the main point, but why is there such an issue with pro vs non-pro.

I view it this way. If you make a living with your camera, you are a pro. If you do not, you are not a pro.

So, is there something wrong with this point of view?

Jerry


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 12:06:34 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Cause of the habit of people who may have just bought their first camera to make the mistake of not knowing that they are one book or one short explination away from being in the same position as somebody who just has had a camera longer than they have.
I come across so many that "act like a photographer", no matter how straight forward the situation is.


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 12:29:34 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  Thanks Gregory. That's kinda what I thought.

I wish I knew how to "act like a photographer". Maybe someday you can explain that to me. I would think the pros don't have to act like anything, they just do it. It's the non-pros that try to emulate some image of what a pro must act like.

That puts a funny image in my head, I'm thinking of all these people walking around acting like Austin Powers.

Groovy baby!

Jerry


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 12:47:03 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  only if you want to know like wanting to know what poison ivy looks like.


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 12:54:22 PM

 
Howard Leigh   John - what really is the difference between "a work of Art" and a "Photographic Work of Art"??
If it is a work of Art (whatever THAT means) then whether or not it is photographic or painted or sculpted is irrelevant!
But then, how do you judge a "work of Art"? I look frequently at so-called "works of Art" (photographic, sculpted, painted, conceived, etc) and often fail to appreciate them. So John, your criterion "Does it communicate what is intended by it to the its target viewers? This assesses the artistic aspect." is often inadequate where I am concerned! Is that a failing in me or a failing of the artist?
One definition of "work of Art" is that it is worthy of being hung in an Art Gallery for public appreciation.... Now that raises a whole load more of questions!

Howard


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 1:30:53 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  even a picture of a duck communicates. so if you like ducks, then ducks are your art.


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 1:48:03 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
 
 
  The Lookout -- original
The Lookout -- original
same as "The Lookout" without the PS adjustments
© Pamela K
Olympus Camedia C-...
 
  The Lookout
The Lookout
A Snadhill Crane away standing on a hill away from its flock; Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico; f4.5 1/500s @ 32.50mm handheld; slight contrast adjustment and some swallows removed from the background in PS; Feedback greatly appreciated
© Pamela K
Olympus Camedia C-...
 
 
I used to avoid all digital manipulation of my images beyond small brightness/contrast adjustments (things you can adjust in a non-digital darkroom as well). I recently discovered some of the improvements I can make using Photoshop.

Sometimes, it's not the skill of the photographer or even their equipment that causes slight, easily fixed, problems in a photo. I do a lot of wildlife photography, where a great deal is at the whim of the animals you're photographing.

I'm attaching an image that I've modified and its original. I used skill to frame the shot and get the crane perfectly lined up with a gap in the reflection of the mountains and to make sure there were no man-made signs, etc. in the background. One thing I couldn't change, however, was the fact that there were a lot of swallows flying through the air in the background. The crane was perfectly posed and the reflections were perfect: no wind and good light. I took the photo with the swallows. Personally, however, I think it looks better with the swallows removed from the background. Doesn't the fact that I knew that it would look better without the swallows show skill as clearly as if I could have told them all to please stop feeding for a minute while I got my shot?

Pam


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 6:37:22 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Howard,
"Photographic works of art" are a subset of "works of art." The former defines the medium used; the latter does not. If you "don't get it" when looking at something touted as artwork, first see if you're looking too hard. Sometimes the concept is on the face of it . . . pure abstracts are a "study" of formal elements and nothing more . . . and the concept being conveyed is the arrangement of them.

Whether or not a work of art conveys the intended concept depends entirely on the experiential basis of the viewers. It relies on triggering a response in them by making connection with the viewers' past experiences and through that evoking cognition of the "message." That's why I am careful to define it as the "intended" viewers.

If I handed you the steering wheel out of an automobile . . . just the steering wheel and nothing else . . . you would very likely recognize it for what it is . . . even if you had never seen that particular make/model of steering wheel. If I did the same with a person from a very isolated region of Australia who had *never* seen any automobile (if there are any who haven't), much less a steering wheel, he might think it an oddly designed boomerang. Without the experiential basis of interacting with automobiles, he has no way of recognizing it. It's this that the *artist* must consider when creating the art. And if the *intended* viewers "don't get it" then the artist has failed, not the intended target group of viewers.

Jerry,
You hit it . . . the difference between professional and non-professional is whether or not one derives income from it. The rule I've seen used for competitive shows that have a separate division for professionals is whether or not half or more of income is derived from doing or teaching photography. The exact definition about how much income is required to be considered professional is arbitrary . . . ask 50 photographers and you'll likely get at least 25 different answers.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 6:41:57 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
 
 
  Phos
Phos
Although an abstract, this one is representational and was "found" not constructed. What you see is as exactly what the K64 slide looks like as I could make it.
© John A. Lind
Olympus OM-4 35mm ...
 
  First Act of the Day
First Act of the Day
Although entirely representational, this one is a construction; I staged it in my kitchen.
© John A. Lind
Mamiya M645J Medi...
 
 
Back to the initial question . . . and a concept that I should have posted early on . . . representational versus non-representational photographs.

Photography is uniquely different among the "arts" in that it records. Oil painting is an additive endeavor. The artist begins with a blank canvas and adds the imagery. Photography is primarily a subtractive endeavor. The artist begins with some reality and records the light being reflected by it or emitted by it and the in-camera composition takes only a slice of that reality over a slice of time . . . thereby stubtracting everything else preceeding, following, or outside the film frame.

Representational versus Non-representational:
Because photography is a recording of light, it is generally expected that unless otherwise made clear to the viewer by the manner in which the photograph is presented, that it is representational of what the photographer saw when it was made. Non-representational work is *derived* from one or more representational photographs and it is generally expected that the manner in which it is derived will make it clear to the viewer that it *is* non-representational. Thus, the flower photograph that Gary began with is representational and the "water color like" derivative is non-representational. Furthermore, his derivation is prima facie (apparent on its face) non-representational. I interpreted what Sunil asked about is whether or not a non-representational work that is *not* apparent on its face to be non-representational is "cheating." And my answer to that is a conditional "yes" with the caveat that the circumstances under which it is presented provides nothing to clearly cue the average viewer that it isn't representational.

Found versus construction:
I'm adding this concept to avoid confusion between representational with this one. Found work is just that . . . essentially recorded as it was found by the photographer. A construction is a situation constructed by the photographer. It didn't exist until it was created by the photographer. Photographs puporting to be "candids" are "found" work . . . Cartier-Bresson being considered the Grand Master of street candids. OTOH, something that's staged or posed is a construction. And in doing so, it should be evident to the average viewer that a construction is one. So I will add that a construction that is not apparent on its face to be such is likewise "cheating" with a similar caveat . . . that the circumstances under which it is presented provides nothing to clearly cue the average viewer that it isn't "found" work. Classic portraiture is a prime example of legitimate construction.

I am uploading a couple of examples with this posting.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/30/2004 7:38:32 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  A long way of saying how it was in real life is how it is in the picture. And I either set it up, or I saw it and took a picture of it.


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 2:13:20 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
  I think a big part of it is honesty. If the photographer admits that his work has been digitally modified, then the viewer can be the judge. Unfortunately, people will take advantage of the new technology to produce photos that they claim are unmodified even though they're not.

In wildlife photography, there is a similar issue with "cheating" by photographing captive animals. If you go to a rehab center and get amazing close-ups of raptors, is that cheating? Personally, I don't think it's cheating as long as the photographer explicitely states that the animal was captive. I think you get a different kind of art when you shoot captive animals. An eagle head-shot is hard to get in the wild, but a flying eagle or an eagle catching a fish are almost impossible to get with a captive animal. (Would a portrait of a captive animal be a "construction"?)

Pam


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 2:54:50 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Pam,
That's somewhat situational. Yes . . . it is "constructed" if it is a trained wild animal deliberately "posed," or an untrained one so confined or constrained that it has the effect of posing it and/or allows approach within it's natural "flight distance." There are all manner of "shades of gray" in this . . . how big is the preserve . . . can the animal flee if it detects a person within its flight distance . . . etc.

I have seen photographs of birds carefully constructed to have the appearance of being shot in the wild when in reality they were dead, stuffed and posed on a tree branch. I have also seen insect, spider and scorpion photographs also constructed to have the appearance of being shot in the wild . . . when in reality the photographer used a can of "Freeze Mist" refrigerant to refrigerate the insect . . . which makes it nearly immobile but generally doesn't kill it . . . and then pose it as desired allowing high magnification macros well within its "flight distance." Electronics repair techs will recognize the trade name of the stuff; it's commonly used in electronics testing and repair to isolate intermittent thermal problems. Whether or not it is deceitful depends on the context and manner in which they're presented . . . along with what the photographer is doing to lead viewers to believe about them.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 4:12:47 PM

 
Michael Kaplan   I'll stick in my .02 even though it is CDN and that is about $1.50 USD ;)

Im my opinion, even taking the picture with a camera is changing the look of the original depending on your camera settings, angle, POV, DOF etc so why your changing those in editing (digital or not) change whether or not it is a 'photograph'? IMO it doesn't as long as you are not making adjustments that actually change what was there (like adding or removing elements etc). Sharpening, color balance, curves, levels, contrast... all are adjustable when making the original shot so I think there should be no problem making those adjustments afterwards.
Just my .03 cents (inflation hit)
Michael Kaplan
Canon EOS-10D
http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 4:22:32 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Pam,
I kept looking for the swallows and could not find them. Kept flipping between the two. IMO, wherever they are . . . at least in the resolution you posted . . . they're not a distraction from the marvelous photograph of the crane. I like how you provided a form of framing in the composition with the background trees on each side . . . and managed to keep the crane looking into the frame.

Nature photography in the wild is exceedingly difficult. It requires great patience and can be hours and days of nothing punctuated by brief moments of furiously fast paced work to capture something of interest when it appears. A friend of mine in Brownsville, Texas uses one of the public blinds in an open nature preserve to photograph the indigenous birds. It's not uncommon for him to spend an entire weekend sitting, watching and waiting . . . and not shoot a single frame.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 4:55:56 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
  Thanks John. I appreciate your take. Maybe the swallows (which look like specks of dirt on the mountains to me) were only bothering me because I initially looked at the picture as an 8x10 print.... Now I can see them even at this low resolution.

I really like to do nature photography in the wild, but I agree that it can sometimes be very frustrating. One of the best things I ever did towards developing my love of nature photography was getting the Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom with image stabilizer. This gives me a huge range (from macro to 10x zoom) and allows me to get good shots of almost anything. Also, going digital made it so I could take dozens of shots of the same thing (even if not great) without worrying about how much the film cost or how much it would cost to develop it.

Sorry, got side-tracked.... back to the original question: I think that digital manipulation has its place. Some photo contests allow it and some don't. I think the real problem is whether or not the photographer is honest about the manipulations they did. The main problem with the increase in technology is that it's getting easier to "cheat" and get away with it. If you're trying to sell your photography, it seems like you should be able to use whatever options you can to make sure your pictures are the "best they can be" but I still think that honesty about what you did is important.

Pam


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 5:13:34 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
  P.S. Thanks for your thoughtful critique of my crane shot, John. I really appreciate it. Someone else once commented that it looked like I had asked the crane to please come pose right here... I'm just glad he didn't decide to leave while I was manuvering my car into the perfect position. (I had to back up a couple feet from my original shot to get his head framed properly, and he very nicely didn't move.)

Pam


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 5:17:20 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Pam,
What I *really* would like to know is whether or not you got the crane to sign a release?

Sorry . . . couldn't help myself after reading the other thread ;-)

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/31/2004 10:54:49 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
  yep, I'm just not sure if anyone else can read it... It looks a lot like chicken scratch...

:)
Pam


To love this comment, log in above
8/1/2004 12:19:14 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  got reminded of this question. Knowing a picture looks better with an object not in it dosen't take any skill at all.


To love this comment, log in above
8/2/2004 1:18:56 AM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
  I think the amount of skill required to spot an "extra" object depends on how blatant the problem is. I knew the swallows were going to be a problem when I took the picture, but no amount of skill could have kept them out. (I do have another version that's a close-up of the crane without the sky and just the reflection of the mountains framing its head.) As John says, the photo looks fine with the swallows and most people won't even notice them. I personally think it looks better without them.

If I'm planning to sell the photo, just as an art piece, is it better for me to clean it up so I feel it's the best it can be or should I leave it the way I shot it? Is cleaning it "cheating" in this scenario? If I were submitting it to a contest that didn't allow manipulation, I would leave the swallows in and the horizon tilted by 0.5 degrees. When submitting it to this contest, which does allow manipulation, I'm planning to use the cleaned up version.

Pam


To love this comment, log in above
8/2/2004 1:44:39 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  selling it as an art piece would matter to those who are buying. painting by the numbers would not be the same as a painting done by hand. Or even a painting that was traced first, then painted over would not be the same as something done only by free hand. And there's a well supported theory by a physicist that the life like paintings of the 14 or 1500's were actually done by tracing first by using mirrors and lenses.
But the point is similar to journalism needs to have what happened to be what is in the photo, wildlife needs the same thing. Eventhough you could say it was minor to take out the swallows, it really isn't different than adding the heron to the picture, because it added to the scene. And if you say it's different because the heron is the subject, then why is the lake and mountains in the picture.
Taking a picture of hollywood bear that's trained to growl on cue may not be cheating because it's a picture that you took. But there is a difference between getting 12 people lined up telling them when to take a picture, than actually going out to find a bear and getting the shot at the right moment that you may not get a chance to do again.
To me, it's the same as if you had somebody set up a camera, set the correct aperture/shutter speed, even focus it, and then had you walk up to the tripod and push the button, and then credit be given to you for taking the picture. Yes you "tooked the picture", but there's other stuff that went on that makes it different than those that take their own pictures.


To love this comment, log in above
8/2/2004 2:43:44 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
  Thanks for your opinion. I actually agree with you for the most part. I'm very careful to indicate whether a photo was taken in the wild or of a captive animal (usually it's fairly obvious, though).

I actually do have this shot on display at the Bosque del Apache where I took it. It has the swallows in it and I didn't take out the slight horizon tilt. The only things I've ever done to shots of printed for sale were contrast/density/brightness adjustments. I was just curious what your take was.

On this site, I have done more playing with PS than I'd ever done before. I think that I've come up with some cool results, but I don't plan to use most of them for my art pieces. I've also been careful to describe what I've done in the description for each photo (except a couple times when I forgot and had to describe my manipulations in the discussion...).

Thanks again.

Pam


To love this comment, log in above
8/2/2004 2:58:06 PM

 
Randy Kinney   "When one manipulates a photograph digitally thru software, in my opinion it remains no longer a photographic art. One can say that it is an image making art like painting etc. which has nothing to do with photography."

Please allow me to show you some quotes of Ansel Adams:

"Visualization, and the conscious application of fundamental techniques, does not inhibit the creative-intuitive faculties; it protects and augments them. The creative-intuitive forces must dominate from the start in all expressive work. If not, the whole concept of photography as a creative medium would be invalid. But a sloppy performance of a photograph is as obnoxious as a sloppy performance of music. Subject alone---or any mere simulation of reality---cannot support a work of art in any medium."

“As with all art, the photographer's objective is not the duplication of visual reality. Photographic images cannot avoid being accurate optically, as lenses are used. However, they depart from reality in direct relation to the placement of the camera before the subject, the lens chosen, the film and filters, the exposure indicated, the related development and printing; all, of course, relating to what the photographer visualizes."

"Photography is an analytical medium. Painting is a synthetic medium (in the best sense of the term) Photography is primarily an act of discovery and recognition…The photographer cannot escape the world around him. The image of the lens is a dominant factor. His viewpoint, his visualization of the final image…, and the particular technical procedures necessary to make this visualization valid and effective---these are the essential elements of photography.”

“A negative is only an intermediate step toward the finished print, and means little as an object in itself. Much effort and control usually go into the making of the negative, not for the negative's own sake, but in order to have the best possible raw material for the final printing...The making of a print is a unique combination of mechanical execution and creative activity…The basis of the final work is determined by the content of the negative.

Printing is both a carrying-to-completion of the visualized image and a fresh creative activity in itself. As with other creative processes, understanding craft and controlling the materials are vital to the quality of the final result.

You will find it a continuing delight to watch prints emerge in the developer and see that your original visualization has been realized, or in many cases enhanced by subtle variations in value.

You should strive to remember the visualization---what you saw and felt---at the moment of making the exposure.” ~Ansel Adams


To love this comment, log in above
8/4/2004 8:05:40 AM

 
Randy Kinney   "You can't quite get as wild as you can with a computer, but you can get pretty wild."

Have you ever seen Jerry Uelsman's work? He works exclusively in the (physical) darkroom...no digital.

http://www.uelsmann.net/

http://www.geh.org/ar/strip86/htmlsrc/m196700410010_ful.html#topofimage

http://www.geh.org/ar/strip86/htmlsrc/m196900490001_ful.html#topofimage

http://www.printfinders.com/product/artwork.exe?ArtworkID=73249&zoom=1

http://www.josephbellows.com/dynamic/artwork_display.asp?ArtworkID=783

http://www.florida-arts.org/programs/statebuildings/uelsman.htm


To love this comment, log in above
8/4/2004 8:25:52 AM

 
Derek Franklin   Ihad this problem thia year with a photographic competition in my computer club here in Spain. I stipulated no imaging, as the idea of the comp. is to improve ones photography skills, I was overrlued and the winners were in my opinion rubbish, they were so obviously manipulated.They are on my clubs website.www.javeacomputerclub.comn


To love this comment, log in above
8/5/2004 2:55:16 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
 
 
  Simplicity
Simplicity
© Karma Wilson
Fuji FinePix S5000...
 
 
I know this is late and the thread is dead, but I found it soooo fascinating. As a very new and inexperienced photographer I wanted to share a few thoughts--

I came to photography with mixed feelings about manipulation. I wanted to give people a sense of place/time/feeling in many of my photos. I know that I still feel very "funny" about viewing pictures that are a complete composite that's not obviously digital art. I'll see something, it will evoke emotion, and then I'll feel letdown when I read that's it's really not a real place, situation, etc... So I avoid doing that.

However-I do wipe out powerlines, crop, enhance color, clone out distractions, etc... I try not to overly do these things when I'm taking scenic photography of areas--I want people to see what I saw in those cases. But in other cases I'm doing a sort of art. I envision a shot and I get to that result with a combo of framing the scene and software. The one thing I'm trying to avoid most is having to crop--I am trying to frame my photos for minimal crop to preserve megapixels!!!

A recent photo I took is a good example of the enhancement I do. I've uploaded it. I tried to get a clean shot. It wasn't there, but I knew what I wanted. I knew I could get it in GIMP software--so I snapped. I cloned out some errant weeds and telephone wires. I'm glad I did. I really like the finished photo. And it DID take artistic talent to get there. Anybody who has done tricky cloning knows that it takes some effort to achieve. You have to be able to envision the final image.

Much of software is just a digital darkroom--we shouldn't be afraid of it. As a writer I'm not afraid to tell people I never would have become a pro writer without the computer. I couldn't have typed a manuscript over and over until it was perfect. I have three kids! But that doesn't have anything to do with my story telling skills so I'm grateful for computers. Likewise I'm grateful for digital darkrooms.

Best to all!

Karma


To love this comment, log in above
8/19/2004 6:27:49 PM

 
Sunil Mishra   Dear Friends
I think there had been a lively dicussion on my question on digital manipulation. Variety of views expressed and I think every on was right in his own interpretations. The concept of digital dark room is now a reality. Once you are in that room, creativity has no boundation. You are free to show your work to the world. If it pleases others you succeed.


To love this comment, log in above
8/19/2004 10:30:46 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  removing power lines is more like washing your car. Looks better, still need to do it right, but is there really anything to it.
There's nothing wrong with digital enhancements, and there is an art to it.
But things like removing power lines and similar things aren't any more artistic than if tried to get a picture of somebody because the expression on their face was what made a good picture. Then you later see that you got them with their eyes closed because they blinked. So you dig up another picture, copy their eyes and paste, and then you got the expression with eyes open.
Then show the picture, everybody says "look at her face,you caught it at the right moment"
Reply(whether you tell them or just think it)"actually I didn't, but since it would look better if I did, I made it look like I did"
Is it still going to be, "you took a great picture", or "that's an impressive program they make".
I've seen digital collages that were art, I've seen digital used to create lighting patterns that was artistic. And I've seen digital used to make objects look like other objects that is artistic.
But digital used to create a moment (such as create a sillouette of a bird and make it look like you caught a picture at the beach at sunset) I don't see that as artistic talent or skill. At most computer skill, more than likely just computer familiar.
More props to the one who knows the power lines in the background mess up the picture, but then goes to find another spot where they can get the picture they knew looked better.


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 12:54:05 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Sorry Gregory, I totally disagree. What I meant by artistic was that you have to be able to picture the minor variations in color and texture and figure out which part of the picture to take it out of. Power lines aren't a big deal,--you can just use the scratch tool. But what I removed from this picture, though a small part of the photo, took hours of careful detail work to get right. You notice my words "tricky cloning". I had to use several different brushes, clone techniques etc...and I was after a look that I knew I wanted. If I could have gotten a "clean" shot with as much sun showing it would have been far easier to snap the photo than do the clone work--and believe me , effort wise, I would have preferred it to the computer clone work. And I was honest in my information with posting this picture and not one person who commented on it said anything about the program--so maybe that's your subjective opinion and many others feel differently.

I did know the powerlines and other weeds messed up the picture, looked for a clean shot, couldn't find it--and so I took the shot anyway because the end result was worth it to me. And I'm still glad I did. :-) It's not a technique I overuse--and I get plenty of clean shots with no help from a clone tool so am not insecure about my ability in that regard. (Much more insecure about my technical ability than comp ability actually).

As for the eye comparison it's a lost point for me--I wouldn't do that as I would consider that capturing a moment. I would just get rid of the shot and hope to do better next time. But like I said, I considered this picture more of a type of painting.

Good day,

Karma


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 12:09:07 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  A few more thoughts. Just because I don't feel comfortable doing certain types of major composites doesn't mean I feel they don't require artistic skill. In the closed eye situation that Gregory mentions I'll just say right now that there is no way a simple cut n paste would do anything other than look stupid. You'd have to do a lot more extensive of an editing job than that and it would require some artistic ability to get right. I wouldn't be able to pull it off at my level. Putting a bird against a sunset requires proper placing, shading, imaginiation, and ability. It can easily be done clumsily and look like a botch job. The difference between a good composite and a crummy one would be artistic skill.

And another thing--while photography can be about capturing a moment, photography is obviously about more than just capturing a moment or we wouldn't be able to use filters, staging, lighting, etc...Often photography is about creating a moment.

Just some thoughts.

Karma


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 2:10:46 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  But I do think there is a distinct difference between an artist and a graphic artist. I think there is a huge difference between someone who makes beautiful natural images, and someone who takes multiple images and makes one beautiful image.

There is a huge difference and the two things require different processes. One is not better than the other, they are just very different.

Jerry


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 2:34:37 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Jerry, I totally agree with you. They are different processes. Both are artistic but in different ways. I find that usually people doing comosites are good in both areas. It's pretty hard to make one beautiful image from multiple ugly, poorly executed images, you know what I mean? There is no way that I have the skill to do a lot of the composites I see on this site!

Karma


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 2:39:16 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
 
 
  Untitled
Untitled
© x
Canon EOS 1V 35mm ...
 
  Untitled
Untitled
© x
Canon EOS 1V 35mm ...
 
 
I try to stay true to the art of photography, but I also like digital manipulation. So, to marry the two, I do things like this...


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 2:48:14 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Actually it's pretty simple to change a face when you have two similar pictures. So is filling in parts of the sky.


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 7:03:10 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Well, see! You're an artist. It's probably my lack of artistic skill that's holding me back....

:-)

Karma


To love this comment, log in above
8/20/2004 7:11:26 PM

 
Andy   
The arguments of artistic works are very interesting and the arguments may be refined by the more logical classifications of questions. I will list all possible arguments of more than one hundred seventy years of photography history [but thinking of two thousands of painting/artistic works debates from classic paintings to impressionists arguments to abstract paintings]. French impressionists also had similar, difficult debates in their beginning.

All old and new questions may be considered and included in the debates.

Classifications of all styles/purposes of artistic works.

The classifications of questions on artistic works arguments are:

1. debates by the tools [brush, camera, chemical darkroom,digital darkroom]

2. debates by the purposes of photo artistic works
[a] evidence photo by policemen
by NASA scientists
by government officials
[b] artistic purposes by photo artists
[c] non-artistic works by hobbists

by manipulation levels by evidence cameramen
by sharpening
by enlarging/re-sizing
by contrast changes
by deleting/adding minor elements
by darkening the sky [many 1940 traditionalist photo artists did.]
by darkeing the moon

3. debates by classification of artistic works

no manipulation 1930-1950
avant garde; Man Ray, pioneers
by new contents
by new tools
by the level of change after firtst exposing photo before the final printing

the color vs. b&w [the nature is color]

reform/deform/destructing your original natural form/shape/structures

by the level of scientific accuracy
e.g., the two moon;
3-leg human; etc.
wrong colors for a special bird type
by the level of montage/compositing
the level of acceptability of manipulation
assembling and adding [adding ten more birds to your photo to form a nice triagle]

the level of contents
from portrait/wedding to photojournalist works and to photo artistic works

accuracy debate of nature photo [e.g., birds, etc.]

[r]evolutionary changes of styles
classic/traditionalist
impressionist
digital artists [If you are a judge and a traditionalist in the photo competitions, you will give bad scores to digital artist's photos. This will have a big problem, and some contests list digital artist works under a separate category that is very good method, but many contests do not. ]

Here are my list of questions for debates, and this list is not a complete yet.
Please add your questions for debates. By listing and organizing the comprehensive questions, our debates will be more systematic and scientific.
After reading this comprehensive list of questions, some people will say the answers will be obvious.

Andy Riew



To love this comment, log in above
8/22/2004 7:00:53 AM

 
Shawn D. Spicer   DC,

How do you remove phone wires?

Shawn


To love this comment, log in above
8/30/2004 5:41:16 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I'm not DC but...If you have picutre it 7.0 there is a scratch removal tool for restoring old photos. I find this the absolute best tool for removing things like Phone Wires because it's very easy and fast. I pretend the wires are scratches and it works like a charm. Cloning can become tedious click work.

Karma


To love this comment, log in above
8/30/2004 6:09:07 PM

 
Nancy (Peaches) Harker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/10/2007
  HI, I am new here. I found this thread, forum very interesting to everyones views whether it be art or photograhy.
I am in agreement with a few of you.
Pamela - I agree that if a picture has had something changed don't hide it. It is your own work don't be afraid to say what you did. You should be proud of what you did. It was your own idea what made that picture. I think a person should be honest as to what they did to get that finshed piece of work.
"Howards Comments -
Are they both photographs?
Are they Art?
Does it matter anyway if I like them?
Does it matter if other viewers like or dislike them?"
I feel that you started out in the first place with the idea to photograph that perfect picture. It does not always come out the way you expected or wanted.
The "Perfect Picture" in your mind there is something always going to be in the way or that piece of dust that you didn't want but just showed up. You wished it wasn't there but you can't move it in the way you want when you took that picture.
For instance, I like to photograph my cats and kittens. Now one kitten may sit in a way that is so cute but their not sitting where I had wished they were or one may have looked away. I don't want one kitten but want the other.
I see nothing wrong in making "YOUR" photograph into YOUR CREATION of what you saw it as in the first place.
You KNOW as a photographer there are programs to get you to what you wanted in the first place. Thats what the programs are for. To make photographs "YOUR OWN" piece of CREATIVE Photographic Art.
To me the finished piece of work is a photograph you took and made it "YOUR OWN CREATION.
Does it matter what others think?
I don't think so. Everyone has their own perspective and opinion as to what photograhy and art are.
Does it matter if others like it?
I don't think so as long as YOU are happy with "YOUR" finisihed piece of work. It's always nice if others find it good but not everyone is going to like everything that someone else has done.
It's just a fact of life that not everyone is going to like the same thing as somone else does.
Everyone has their own ideas and I think we are and can be allowed to show our own expression.
Is it art or a photography?
Do we not frame it and hang it on the wall or put it in a photo album?
I think it is both.
It is a creation of our own individual expression that started with a idea we had in our minds, photographed it and we turned it into a piece of creative expression of art for everyone to enjoy.
I myself find the answer to this question is to be what each of us has in his or her own minds. What "YOU" think is all that matters.
I myself have ejoyed looking at the photos of everyone and say keep up the good work and "JUST HAVE FUN WITH WHAT YOU ENJOY DOING", as it shows in each and everyones own individual expression.


To love this comment, log in above
3/14/2007 7:51:08 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  National average price of gas this time 2004, $1.75


To love this comment, log in above
3/14/2007 10:21:42 PM

 
Who Me? 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/19/2007
  who cares, without PS or whatever you use, ya'all suck. I can tell by your settings and the outcome you get. And if it is not listed with your photo then we know for sure you are trying to hide something.


To love this comment, log in above
3/14/2007 10:50:59 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.