BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
 

Are PS'd photos still photos?


It seems that the more Photo Shop work you do to a photo the more likely it is to be chosen for use on this site. At what point does the photo stop being a photo and become an "art work"? Why can't they stand alone as they have for last 100 years?


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7/11/2007 8:22:02 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Photography is an art form. Pointing the camera and pressing the shutter is not photography, anymore than sawing a board makes me a carpenter. As long as people have been taking pictures, they have been manipulating them.

Even at it's most basic, photography is manipulation. Simply changing fstops and shutter speeds will create different ways in which the image is captured. Long before color film, photographers manipulated the final print in the dark room. This included dodging and burning, pushing and pulling, filters for contrast, and layering negatives.

Models have been airbrushed long before there was PS. Details were added and removed (now called cloned). Colors were adjusted, contrast enhanced, and saturation increased.

We use filters on our lenses, which change the way the image will look. A polarizer to pop the sky or remove reflections, a GND for exposure compensation between the foreground and sky. Colored filters to change the tint. Star filters, soft filters, selective focus... The list goes on.

There really isn't such a thing as "real" photography. When you look at a waterfall, how does it look? Does it look silky? Does it look still? Life is movement, and photography is still. How do you capture a running cheetah, or a drag racer? What about an image with 5 or 6 lightning bolts?

Where do you want to draw the line? That, in the end, is all that matters. You need to be comfortable with what you do. If you don't want to clone out a stray branch or powerline, then don't. If you feel comfortable changing the color of the grass from green to silver, then do it. Art is from the heart, and everyone will see it in a different way.


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7/11/2007 9:50:24 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  People need to spend more time thinking about when it starts to become a photo.


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7/11/2007 3:42:40 PM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  That was my point. If you take a good photograph you shouldn't need to alter it. If you can take a poor photo and save it by enhancing, then that's what Photoshop is useful for.

I am not saying that the enhanced photos aren't beautiful. I am just from a background that thinks a photo should be what you saw when you pushed the shutter button.


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7/11/2007 5:55:39 PM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  The camera rarely sees what I see when I depress the shutter. So I use Photoshop to achieve it. When I had my own darkroom, it was no different.

David put it very well.


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7/11/2007 6:40:38 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  Since the beginning, Photographers used the tools of the darkroom to help obtain their vision of a scene or to correct the limitations of film. I use Lightroom for this purpose, I don't use the digital filters that some people seem to love. I don't even do HDR. However I do own GND filters along with CLP filters for my lenses. I try to spend the time behind the camera rather than in front of a PC. Would I feel differently if I never shot film? I really don't know. Photography is changing every day. There was a time when most pros were saying that digital would never replace film, Now most of them shoot digital. This discussion is the same as the Raw vs Jpeg debate. There is no right answer.


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7/11/2007 6:53:29 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  "That was my point. If you take a good photograph you shouldn't need to alter it."


Tell that to Ansel Adams! LOL

You don't think Ansel had some creative darkroom techniques? Think again.


Pete


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7/11/2007 7:45:46 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  Well said, Pete.


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7/11/2007 7:55:20 PM

 
Alan N. Marcus   A tip of the hat to David B!

Well spoken - Well said

Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net


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7/11/2007 8:41:20 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  boy your chewing on the back leg of a dead horse there robert?
we now only see what we thought we saw.the blues and reds were deeper and richer.the sky was so much more vibrant.
gee robert,all you have to do whih yer box of crayons is stay inside the lines.
photoshop is a legality.the standard.dead rats come to life..and according to photo programs,are so friendly.
i'm still trying to figure out why they put different functions on dslr's.gonna still send them through the paint booth.
I always wondered if there were scuff marks on the back of the photo because of the number of times it was drug through photoshop??
bye


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7/11/2007 10:49:04 PM

 
Giordano 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2006
  My 2 cents....
Maybe we are at a point where the skills behind a monitor are far more important in the creation of a good image than the skills in the field with the camera in your hands.
If you are really really good at photoshop you don't need to be a good photographer.
I agree with David, it's a form of art...closer to digital art or computer art than photography, though.
This is just my opinion, and as Mike said, probably there is no right answer.

Gio


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7/12/2007 4:15:15 AM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  Gio, that's my point, it's art! I also agree with David.

What you do while behind the camera is still part of your creative process your VISION of the final photograph.

I just felt that the photos that are shown on this site should include a balance of both types.


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7/12/2007 4:57:45 AM

 
Giordano 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2006
  Robert, I agree with you.

I feel that the moment you take a picture should be your vision of the final photograph, not an idea of how use part of it with parts of other images to create a final product.

Some mentioned darkroom and the similarities with photoshop... why don't we think about slides.
To me they are an exceptional way to do photography and there isn't much you can do after you press the button on the camera...

Gio


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7/12/2007 9:02:45 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Gio, I respectfully disagree. While color positive transparencies (slides) are the same as negatives, in that what you captured is what you get on the medium, there are a lot of things you can do (and are regularly done) to enhance the print. Anything you can do with a negative, you can do with a slide during print. Also, slide film is known for capturing images very differently from "real life." Velvia, for example, is known for deep saturation and enhancements to blue and green. To achieve this look with a digital camera, post work MUST be done. How can this be considered wrong, when it was ok to get the same look with a specific slide film?

I believe that the argument that PS should not be used to "save" a poor image in irrelevant. If an image is poor to begin with, it will still show in the final product.

Not to say my images are great, but, to use them as an example, other than one glaring standout, can you tell me, without looking at the descriptions, which of my images have had PS done to them, and what specifically was done?


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7/12/2007 9:49:56 AM

 
Giordano 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2006
  David, I haven't taken a look at your gallery before...what great pictures you have!

Anyway....

Of course when you make a print out of a slide you can do a lot of things...I was talking about a slide as a final product.
But this is not the point...

We risk going too far, but even our eyes don't catch "real life", but if I use a filter or a particular film to enhance saturation or something else, I still have an image of something that exist.

If you take different images and take just a part of each one to make a new image, in my vision, you create something that doesn't exist.
Again about your images..that's exactly my point...it's hard to tell which image is "as taken" and which one has PS work done to it!

There should be a line or it's ok if in the future we'll see images of a giraffe walking on an iceberg or a lion head sticking out of a backpack?

Gio


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7/12/2007 11:03:57 AM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  I want to thank all of you who responded. I got exactly what I wanted, someone elses opinion. I was just beginning to feel that those photos that were manipulated were getting preferential treatment and more exposure. There is something to be said for those people who feel that what you see is, WHAT you get. Thanks, Robert


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7/12/2007 11:45:12 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Gio, thank you for your praise of my photos. While I was not fishing for it, it is nice to hear! ;-)

When using examples to emphasize your point, be careful to not lean to the absurd, because it makes the point lose impact. Your two examples (giraffe on ice and lion in backpack) would be immediately recognized as farce, and dismissed as "factual" representation. However, the argument is valid. There are many examples of photos being passed as factual, when in fact they were altered. Time magazine manipulating O.J. Simpson's mugshot. National Geographic moving the Pyramids closer together to fit on the cover.

This is not new to the PS era. As long as there has been photography, there has been manipulation. In the Civil War, it was not uncommon to composite negatives to achieve a more powerful image. Stalin had Nikolai Yezhov removed from a photograph. The Nazi Party was notorious for adding or removing people from pictures, as well as creating composites for greater impact. Were Robert Capa's Moment of Death or the flag raising on Iwo Jima staged?

I have two points here. First, the advent of digital photo manipulation was not the advent of photo manipulation. PS is unfairly blamed for something it has not done.

Second, we must separate factual, or photo journalism, photos from artistic images. My photo Moon Reflecting is not an accurate record of what I saw. Yes, the moon was reflecting in the water, and the moon in the final image is the moon that was shot. However, it did not line up exactly as I wanted it to, so the moon was moved over to create a more balanced image. The image is not lying to anyone. The moon was in fact reflecting in the water. Does it matter that it was moved over in the composition to create a more artistically appealing image?

Full Moon Over Denver is another image that is not "as shot." To get the moon and the city in proper exposure, I could not do it in one shot. I shot one for the city exposure, and another for the moon exposure. I then added the correctly exposed moon to the city image. Not only that, but the image of the moon is slightly larger than the one I replaced. Why? Because it appears more like it did in person, with a very large harvest moon. Is it an accurate rendition? Yes and no.

I shoot accurate representation, to a point. Maybe the sunset wasn’t as red as it is in the image (thought the Sunset in Utah is not color altered). Maybe the greens weren’t as vibrant. Maybe the clouds didn’t have as much contrast. Will I add a mountain where one didn’t exist? No. Then again I might, but I would label the image as such.

The majority of what is presented on BP is not presented as fact or photojournalism. If something is presented as such, but has been altered, then the integrity of the image should be questioned. But again, this is not a new phenomenon, and digital images in of themselves should not be demonized simply because the possibility exists of alteration.


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7/12/2007 3:01:44 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Care to give an example, real or hypothetical, of a bad photo that was turned into a good only because somebody knew some things with photoshop.
The cries of it's only because of photoshop sound just like stage mothers.
If this thread kept going I was going to mention the different slide films, but somebody beat me to it. Kodak has different Porta films. And there's Astia, Provia, and Velvia for Fuji. All slide, and all can be 100iso. If it were really about film is true and all true, there'd be no need for different types of the same speed film.


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7/12/2007 3:11:53 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  honesty with capture might be nice.probably ain't gonna happen in a lot of cases.
the really stupid idea to compare digital and photoshop with slide films,who knows.
friends who shoot digital save 5 in 100,on a 36 exposure roll I save at least 30.the it's goona save me or cover my a is,what,the way to go?
convience has never suited me.let's go chimping?
so david was offended by roberts obvious post about manipulation,so..most of the time offense comes from being a participant in such endeavours,really.
like being called a cheater eh.
so,don't show up or be there when the light is right,don't spend days working a scene,if it's wildlife,don't learn their habits.
actually I hope your all enjoying as much of life as possible,5 more shots I get to go get my film developed.then and only then will I see if I have learned.maybe I dozed off in a class of life ..
i've seen bad photos win contests,blurry,but artistic?
stalin.


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7/12/2007 8:09:44 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Uh, Sam, it seems you might be the one getting offended. No where in any of my posts did I attack or become defensive. In fact, in many regards, I conceded the points being made. It seems to me you might be the one who has the issues.

As I said earlier, four of the images on my BP portfolio are film. I shot film for longer than I have shot digital.

Anytime you want to compare the amount of time put into shots, let me know. On one trip to Canyonlands I spent two different mornings hiking into Mesa Arch in the dark for the sunrise shot, only to come away without having shot any pictures (yes, with a digital camera) because the light was not right. I spent an hour or more setting up the red wing blackbird shot in my portfolio, taking the time to find the bird's favorite perch, and waiting for the light to be just right.

Attacking an entire group of photographers and making assumptions on the way they shoot simply because of the medium they use only shows prejudice and close mindedness.

Bad pictures, blurry, but artistic, have been winning contests long before digital.

By the way, if you are using 30 out of 36 shots, you are not being picky enough. The best photographers expect (expectED, actually, since most have moved to digital) to get at most 2 publishable shots per roll. Art Wolfe talks about putting 8 rolls of film through the camera in 5 minutes. I guess he was just spraying and praying, huh?

Sam, your comments are at times humorous, but at other times move toward insulting. Please do not presume to know my dedication to craft or time devotion, and please, do not personally attack me without provocation again.


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7/12/2007 8:59:27 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Actually digital shots do compare with slide shots. In the latitude of initial exposure, and the latitude in printing. The way slide film is manufactured for neutral tone or increased saturation vs. what you can do with the tonality of digital, keep it neutral or increase it slightly. But I stated that already, and I can't expect him to get that.
There's nothing that indicates that you can't keep 30 out of 36. It's relative. A good day, a good subject, a lucky moment. Or it could be 30 for Sam is start over with a new roll to another.
There is a stupid idea in this thread, but it came from the usual source.


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7/13/2007 10:01:15 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Greg, you are correct about keeping 30 out of 36. I pride myself on keeping my cool, but I admit that statement was probably out of line. I apologize to the OP and the group for letting a comment directed at me get to me, and taking this thread a direction it didn't need to go.

You are also correct about the comparison of digital to slide. They shoot very similarly.


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7/13/2007 10:21:24 AM

 
Erin  Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2007
  Sounds like the blind leading the blind.


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7/13/2007 10:21:47 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  More like it's that one guy on the freeway that drives like he's blind.


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7/13/2007 10:56:30 AM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  Well I certainly didn't intend, when I asked my ? to provoke anyone. My point was and still is do manipulated photos get chosen for display more then those right out of a camera. (of either type)

I spent 30 years taking photos that had to be just what I saw. They were often used in courtrooms for evidence. (So I have a different background in photography.) They could not be altered.

Digital photography has changed the way we view the world and will certainly continue at a pace we can't keep up with.

Keep shooting and keep coming back here to let the rest of us see, enjoy and comment on your work.

Thanks Robert (PD Retired)


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7/13/2007 5:06:44 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i never said you weren'nt a great photographer david.it's really nice if you would'nt imply that.


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7/13/2007 10:26:23 PM

 
Erin  Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2007
  Are PS'd photos still photos?

No, they're PS'd photos. If someone tells you nice photos, then you have to share with them that they are not really photos as they appear.

Here is a neat example. I got a brand new car last month and when my friend saw it he said "nice car". I said "well it not a car anymore because those aren't factory rims". Its a "car with new rims". Now if someone says "I like the rims on your new car" then I'm in the clear.


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7/15/2007 9:40:18 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Erin, I hope you're being sarcastic, because otherwise your car example is just ridiculous.

No sane person would look at a car with new rims and say that it's not a car anymore. Sam - you don't count - I said "sane person". ;-)

If someone tells me "nice photos", I don't have to tell them anything about how they were shot or processed. I just say "thank you".

If they ask how I captured a certain shot or acheived a certain look, I'm happy to tell them. People don't ask me if I removed a shadow or a powerline, or pasted new eyes on the third kid from the left who had his closed in the best shot. If they can tell, then I didn't do a good enough job.

If I show a portrait to a client and they say, "Wow, it looks great!", am I obligated to say, "Well, I softened the bags under your eyes and smoothed a few wrinkles, 'cause trust me, you don't look that good"? Ridiculous.

Marc Adamus has some breathtaking landscape images. I would never ask him what processing he did on the computer because I don't care. The end product is a beautiful image and it doesn't matter what it took to get it to that point. If you look at a beautiful image that won a contest and decide that it is somehow "not a real photograph" because it was likely manipulated on the computer, than I think it's just jealousy, and it's pathetic.


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7/15/2007 12:44:12 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Great, now a 2nd driver on the freeway.


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7/15/2007 4:05:59 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ok,we know who erin is?
boy,feel the love.
so is in-sane the same as in-tune?probabably just in someone's world.i am gonna let yall narrow that down just to save grace/face?
I agree to a point.well, purist/pathetic?as in opinion/point of view.
was slick so far off?well..
cosmetic changes are complimentary,not to fool,but to augment a photo and in a sense a white lie as in not to hurt someone.
take photos of flowers.almost none are perfect,spots,bug bite marks.so not to look for perfection,create it.
I dought if we will ever co-exist.but maybe a middle ground.
maybe photos should be checked for steriods?i'm hopen dingus ya think'in that funny,but real.
and since jealousy is inherent in all endeavours,it just plain exists.
so,beep,beep,clear the passing lane,sam


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7/15/2007 8:19:47 PM

 
Shooting Star Photography   Perfectly stated Chris.


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7/15/2007 11:45:24 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  let me ask this then?? is shooting film, using velvia, make the resulting photo more or less a photo than shooting digital and running the velvia action on it in PS? IS using a high ISO film and a long shutterspeed wrong because what you saw was hardly visible to your naked eye but now very visible on film? oh and should I ? or shouldnt I use my flash to fill in the shadows? would that make the photo a fake?


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7/16/2007 2:39:13 AM

 
Giordano 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2006
  Craig,
one thing is to use Velvia or high ISO or long shutterspeed.
A complete different thing is to take the best parts of 2 or 3 pictures and create a new image...

Te difference to me is this: if I ask you where did you take the pic "manipulated" with particular film or high ISO, you can give me an answer.
One the other side, the answer for a composite image could be....complicate.

Chris,
please keep this conversation low...don't start with word like "jealousy and pathetic"...I may feel the same about people who discovered that they don't need anymore to sweat on the field to keep that power line out or wait for a good sky.

This is photography to me... patience, uncomfortable posture to frame the image as you want, a little bit of sweat, etc.....

But this is just my opinion.

Gio


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7/16/2007 3:40:40 AM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
  "...A complete different thing is to take the best parts of 2 or 3 pictures and create a new image..."

People have been sandwiching negatives and slides for years. The only difference is now we can do it on the computer. PS is simply a different technique or tool to achieve similar results.


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7/16/2007 5:26:37 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  Ahhh I see what you mean now Giordano...

Seriously, if you take different parts of different photos, it is a Composite Image... if you just manipulate one photo by removing distractions and boosting saturation and such, its a Manipulated Image, if you completely make one image from say..10 different elements, it would be Art..wether computer generated art or cyber art or virtual art what ever,, a Photgraph comes from a camera, Art comes from an artist. What ever way the artist creates his / her art dictates what type of artest he / she is. At any rate, to make a great piece of art, the elements used should , in themselve, be great pieces of art. So, is a photo something from a camera? yes but if its made up of many different elements, it would be an Image or just plain Art.


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7/16/2007 5:36:23 AM

 
David A. Bliss   William Notman - 1870

http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/keys/virtualexhibits/notmanstudio/themes/composites/page2.html

Henry Peach Robinson - Fading Away 1858(5 images)

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


"It wasn't called manipulation back then; it was called composite photography. One famous Hurley image of Shackleton leaving on his rescue mission for South Georgia in 1916 after their ship had been broken up by ice has a sky background of sun rays radiating from behind a cloud, much like a religious fresco from the Middle Ages. Hurley added it to the scene for dramatic effect."

http://www.theage.com.au/news/Reviews/Frank-Hurley/2004/12/15/1102787136584.html


By the above logic, these three famous photographers did not in fact create photographs, but produced "Image Art."


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7/16/2007 8:06:02 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Robert, don't worry about it, this topic will always get some very heated answers! ;-)

To be fair, your original statement was "Why can't they stand alone as they have for last 100 years?" It was because of this particular statement my answers have followed the course they have. I have shown (particularly with the examples in my last post) that photographs have been manipulated from the dawn of photography, and that there is no basis for assuming they have "stood alone." I am not telling anyone what is the "proper" way, though I will admit that my answers have had a slant ;-). I simply wanted to point out the history of photography, and that the arguments we are having now have been around for 150 years!! What's funny is that the photographs that were reviled 100 plus years ago are now looked upon as photographic masterpieces.

I cannot answer your question regarding which photos are chosen on BP contests. I personally have not seen a bias toward “manipulated” images. I could possibly say I have seen a bias toward “finished” photos. Then again, I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the contest winners in particular.


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7/16/2007 8:25:15 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Actually Chris ended with the words 'jealousy and pathetic'. But it did fit that example given.


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7/16/2007 10:38:01 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  and I took that personally?we all know better........
if some would'nt pick people out or selective statements made,it could be better.as in a member makes a statement based on his/her own judgement/knowledge,a supporting cast should'nt be necessary.
giordano,ya just took it wrong.us americans.talk like this is acceptable in every conversation.some are offended some are not.just avoid the french.ta da...
I enjoy the banter,and maybe a lack of a sense of humor,at times.
don't just agree,make a statement,and then assume your going to be judged stupid/wrong.film at 11 greg.
sam


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7/16/2007 7:24:48 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  "...us americans..."

First Bush, now Sam is representing.


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7/16/2007 11:56:20 PM

 
Erin  Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2007
  So if the makeup artist did a bad job of covering up a pimple and I use my healing brush on it, it is no longer a photo.

So what should we call it?


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7/17/2007 6:21:41 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  re-touched photo!

lol the thing to remember here is.... EVERYTHING has a name... remember when the homeless were "Bums" or the Physically challenged were "Handicapped" and before that they were "Crippled"? Evrything has a name and its never the same throughout the years.. now Retouched photos are manipulated.. And to take it one step further...Photos are becoming files because more are kept or shared on computers than in print! I have about 16 photo albums at home.. onle two are all digital prints..the rest are film prints.


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7/17/2007 6:31:58 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  that's just plain rude greg,me in the same sentence with bush.i like a nice bush,but not the politicl ones.i'm even ok with a bikini wax.
my bad greg,we americans.i suppose it's possible some here have'nt contributed to freedom.not to exclude the idea or the concept.
craig has a good take on this.fat kids,skinney kids,kids who climb on rocks.short kids,sissy kids,even kids with chicken pox.
bye


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7/17/2007 9:29:02 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  ...Like Hotdogs, Armor Hotdogs... the dogs kids love to Bite!!!!

Thank you!
Thank you!

Dont Applaud, just throw Money!!


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7/18/2007 4:11:57 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Disclaimer: Any use of the plural form of pronouns or proper nouns by Sam to signify any person or animal, living or dead, do not reflect the thoughts or feelings of any of the afore mentioned person or animal and should not be taken as such. They should only be taken as to reflect the thoughts or feelings of his own person.
Thank you.


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7/18/2007 7:02:36 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  wow,i love a good disclaimer.i got ta laughin so hard.
my bad,nouns and whatever.
oh geeez.
my favorite animal;beaver.....
fan of a good camel toe...
so robert,ummmm,wanna play with the big dogs,which I have no current fetish,learn a bit of the ropes or don't compete.myself?i don't like it but I don't enter.
i'm well aware the photos were'nt as captured.not the guidelines.only the final result.they,and who are they,will blow smoke somewhere,and say ya can't take a bad photo and make it good.
seems that went by the way.
meathead,well not really meathead,hotdog filler.


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7/18/2007 9:27:32 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  "Marc Adamus has some breathtaking landscape images. I would never ask him what processing he did on the computer because I don't care. The end product is a beautiful image and it doesn't matter what it took to get it to that point."

I don't think Marc Adamus does much post processing in PS. He knows how to use a camera and if you'll read the descriptions on his photos you'll notice he uses filters on his lenses for a lot of his shots.

I love landscape photography and practice shooting landscapes every chance I get. I'm not good at landscape photography and no amount of PS can fix them. Trust me, I know :o)!


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7/18/2007 9:59:17 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So he uses filters. It's digital. He post processes. It's a photo.


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7/18/2007 10:58:15 PM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  Sam, I wasn't planning on running with the big dogs. I was trying to see if anyone else felt that photos that had been altered were preferred by those judging them. My photos are for my enjoyment, and anyone else so inclined. If you don't like them, then don't look.

It is quite obvious that you are looking for photos that we won't see here. Time to move on.........Again, Thanks to all of you who responded to my question. I enjoyed all the galleries of you that have one.


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7/19/2007 4:23:41 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  To answer your question, it seems you might be able to feel comfortable in finding Sam to feel as you do regarding judge preference.
As far as seeing photos that aren't, they're there.


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7/19/2007 5:03:05 PM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  Greg, I wasn't looking for comfort from anyone. I was just asking a question which is what I thought this forum was for. This has become personal for some, as passions for both camps have come forward.

I just felt some of Sam's remarks were taking us away from the subject. Feel free to do what you will with your own photos.

I have enjoyed photography for over 40 years and I, am COMFORTABLE in that fact.


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7/19/2007 6:55:15 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  well robert,the judges do judge by,as mentiond final outcome.is it about capture?no.was it as taken?not even a criteria.
mabye we could ignore atmospheric conditions,or even say i'm not going to spend several days,or weeks trying to capture a scene.
greg's saying get over it.get the paint brush out.
levity robert,just me.
I take my side.i look for no one to support me and I look not to support no one.unless you have only one leg,stand on your own,and yet I feel people with one leg can stand on their own.
see,i do get sidetracked.
this has been ongoing for years robert.art/capture/result.
sam


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7/19/2007 9:50:55 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  I don't paint, just take pictures.



Although I think it'd be cool to be able to draw real well.


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7/20/2007 3:02:04 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Steering clear of some of the emotion here, this thread has some great ideas/ideals. The real answer seems to me to be that what a photograph is will be what an individual wants to define it as. Photography as an art has several parts, some in the taking and composition and knowledge of capture, and more in the arena of darkroom in printing ('more' as in addition to, not that there is more to that end of the art of it).

To use other art forms as an example, Jack Kerouac resisted the idea of editing his writing as it is said he felt writing was more of an impulse and that it captured a moment; other writers have been tireless editors of their own work, such as Raymond Carver, who would continue to edit and version his stories even after they had been published. I don't know that either perspective is more correct, but likely the perspectives influenced these writing styles.

It is perhaps possible to see in these examples that the artist themself has to make a decision as to what is important for the art to portray. In photography there is considerable influence of captures in the moment, in a way that you will not have in painting...it is a facet and component of photography, but not necessarily a better or more important one than expertise in the darkroom or digital editing. If you think that photographs are soley to capture a moment, your photography will likely be much different than someone who thinks of it in a more fluid and changeable way.

To me editing images is a large part of the joy and the art of it (as I said in my BetterBlog today). To me some of the joy of working with images would be lost without that exploration. But it also seems totally valid that one might appreciate the art of capture, which is, no doubt, a skill of its own.



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7/20/2007 9:36:13 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i like the post richard.i admit I don't have a blog,but irrevelent.well.
the frustratations of the new members and beginners is unforgiving.
please check out our recommendations on camera models and reports to purchase the next best thing.well yes you have to edit,and what plug in ya got.
noise ninja?not the screams ya hear during a good martial arts fight?
this is not the general members problems or questions.white balance I thought was settled back when kennedy was in office.real close to user friendly controls.real close to what?my last camera was a point and shoot or an instamatic?
I have seen the adds for the mentor series.it costs money.that's not a mentor.babysitting or instruction,but not mentor.
mentor means you have the passion to share or give of knowledge of your own free will.
I liked your post.we are all of a different capture/result.
so a post to calm us down?not a direct response to roberts question.hmm.why not just say yes and not take the political approach?not to say mediaiation doesn't have it's place.
i've been in board meetings and town meetings and asked to,well,leave.
so i'm probably not right,yet I question what I think is right,kinda like insanity has a virtue?chuckle,chuckle.
I still can't believe hooters doesn't have furburgers on the menu,are they going amish on us?well mennonite.
sincerely,signed.


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7/20/2007 8:42:19 PM

 
Robert Brosnan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2003
  Richard, I read through your blog and I appreciate your comments on my original question. I want to say thanks for bringing us back to subject. I think that someone who uses photgraphy as their main source of income would need to post process to get as much value from a photograph as possible.

You didn't offer an answer to my question though. As well as many of the others. They have all stated their position on whether or not post processing does or doesn't change a photo.

Do these post processed photos get more attention from those people judging them? Are they better?


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7/20/2007 9:14:53 PM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
  "Do these post processed photos get more attention from those people judging them? Are they better?"

Robert, if you had worded your original post this way, I think this discussion would have been much shorter. In your original post, though, you asked,
"At what point does the photo stop being a photo and become an "art work"? Why can't they stand alone as they have for last 100 years?"
This is a totally different question, and has been asked here before in some form or another, always sparking the same somewhat heated discussion.

It does seem from casual observation that processed photos do get more attention from the judges.

'Are they better?' well, that is subjective and will bring on this whole discussion again.


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7/21/2007 5:43:29 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  I answered the parts of the questions that I felt I was qualified to answer, and I think touched on my answer in the last sentence. I have limited insight into the judging process and can only approach that answer from what I would look for and my impressions--that is, if I were to be judging. In other words, I can't speak as a representative of betterphoto on that topic, and really do not know the final answer. I doubt there is one.

"Do these post processed photos get more attention from those people judging them? Are they better?"

This is, of course, impossible to answer, and that is why I didn't. I would think that images that are post-processed to their potential would garner similar attention to images practiced religiously using capture as the immediate endpoint--if both methods are practiced to their potential. That is, if you practice capture as an immediate endpoint, your skill in using camera controls to achieve effects and setting up the shot (everything from depth-of-field and mise en scène/composition to filtering and lighting for color balance, contrast and saturation) should be honed so that post-processing is not necessary. It seems like a tall order, but if arguing that capture is the art, that would be how to best play it out. Even then I would think that some post-processing (picking out dust specs on an otherwise perfect photo) is remaining true to this perspective on art. Converting color to black-and-white and/or toning images seem, to me, to be a gray area for this perspective on art.

On the other hand, there are measures taken in post-processing/correction that I think would harm chances of placing in the contest -- perhaps, to some extent, excepting the Digital Darkroom category. That is, stock/overused/cliché effects, poorly applied corrections (oversharpening, heavy-handed noise reduction), and editing mistakes would seem to be fair measure of part of what would negatively affect chances for digitally enhanced images.

If you read the How To Win portion of the Photo Contest Guidelines, there is this statement (slightly out of context): "...whether you are a traditional film photographer or a digital photographer, knowing your way around a simple software program will likely help you win." The reference is to scanning images, but the point is that you may need to adjust images to appear optimally on computer screens (rather than on paper). Again, the suggestion that an image needs to look its best to compete.

I don't know that there are many images in the finalists and winners that are images that could not be taken without significant post-processing. In fact I see at least one excellent shot where a few specs are left in the image that strict digital editing would have removed. On the other hand there are one or two obviously retouched photos – one being from the digital darkroom category.

Having been a part of the site as a visitor for fun before I thought to become more involved as an instructor, I entered the contest a few times. Some of what I considered my better images garnered no attention at all, ranging the full gamut from nearly un-retouched images that looked like digital speculation and abstraction, to heavily retouched images that had virtually no reason that they could not have been shot as they were. My conclusion was that the competition is pretty good, that only the best images will stand out, and that perhaps my take on what was ‘best’ was not the same as everyone else’s. I was willing to live with that. Taking care with entering the right images in the right categories and staying diligent is important. There are between 25,000-30,000 entries a month, and of that I think you get about 2-3% as finalists. Odds are not with you, so expecting immediate success is a bit optimistic. Enter, and review the finalists and winners, and learn from what appears there. If it were easy to win, there would be no challenge. I know that for the brief time I was an entrant, it inspired me to get out and shoot some extra, even when I didn't have the time, and I gained from the experience even if it was mostly in pushing and questioning my own perspective on the art of photography.

Keep it fun! I think it is the best thing you can do.


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7/21/2007 6:34:47 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  One last thing: Someone suggested "If you are really really good at photoshop you don't need to be a good photographer."

I have to completely disagree with that. If you are good with Photoshop you are unlikely to remake an entire image so that it has great composition, better interplay of light and shadow, etc. It is FAR more difficult to recreate a scene convincingly in Photoshop than this statement suggests -- and you will likely never take the pains to create an image pixel by pixel. If there is nothing in an image as shot that makes it worth working on, you won't bother taking it into Phhotoshop to 'fix' -- I don't think it matters who you are or how good you are with Photoshop. I first worked on images taken by professional photographers as a digital technician for a photography book publisher, and learned Photoshop that way. Realistically, and though I had been taking pictures for a long time before working as a digital image editor, it took time to get my photography to a level where I thought it was worth working on my own images instead of someone else's.

Being good at Photoshop does not ultimately become an excuse for being bad at photography. Instead of spending time behind the camera to get it right, you will spend much more trying to fix what went wrong. Photoshop may give you some latitude, but understanding and being able to implement both ends (capture and post-processing) will likely give you the best chance to get the best results. There is still art to tthe capture and the darkroom, as there has been from the outset of photography.


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7/21/2007 7:26:13 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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Sharon 's Gallery
  Robert ask, "Do these post processed photos get more attention from those people judging them? Are they better?"

Not to contradict Richard but it has been my experience with the contest that post processed photos do get more attention. I've been entering the contest for a while now and have observed that the judges seem to prefer pumped up color. Study a few of the regular winners and see what they have in common. You will find vibrant and sometimes overly saturated wins in their galleries. Just take my word for it if you want to win.

One last thing: Someone suggested "If you are really really good at photoshop you don't need to be a good photographer."

Richard responded, "I have to completely disagree with that."

I too disagree with that. You can't make a bad photo good in Photoshop. If you don't nail the exposure you'll introduce artifacts into the final image if nothing else.

One final thought, Robert. It seems as though you are a proponent of minimum editing if no editing. You can not shoot a RAW file with a DSLR and not do some editing. If nothing else you will end up with a photo full of spots from a dirty sensor as Richard previously mentioned, and a very boring photo colorwise regardless of what filters you use or what you see through the viewfinder. I do recall I stated earlier that Marc Adamus probably does not do much post processing, but I did not mean to imply he doesn't do any post processing. It has to be done.


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7/21/2007 8:12:13 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  If post processed photos get favored, that should indicate that images are favored on being a good image in the same way that a black and white print needed dodging and burning to get it to the point of being presentable by the photographer. Even prints from slides are dodged and burned.
This topic always comes across as sour grapes because it's based on a blanket and automatic assumption of something unrealistically done if it's a digital picture. If a film picture stands alone, is that just slide film, or is it a print from negative film?
If the judges were presented with portraits all shot with velvia, except for a hand full of portraits shot with astia, they might pick the astia shots do to velvia's extra color saturation. But do the opposite with flowers and you might get the velvia shots as winners. That's not film standing alone, but the end results could show judges favoring one over the other.


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7/21/2007 11:42:37 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  I was tempted to post an unedited photo from a RAW file here but I have more pride than that ;)!


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7/21/2007 12:13:58 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  I am sure if PS was avaiable 100 years ago, they would have used it too. My dad was a photographer in the Aerospace Industry for years and he spent hours cleaning up photos in a dark room. He thinks its amazing just how far it has come. He would have loved PS to cut out all that. None of his photos were right off the camera, all had lots of work in the dark room.
Ansel Adams revolutionized B/W photography with his metering techniques and he was bashed for a long time about it. And thats just it, the technology has advanced to the degree it is simplified, better results, easier to achieve. This is like arguing a photo is only a photo if done on film, film was the only format available. If you want to go back to purity, better go back to glass, when putting an actual image to view on something was born.
With that being said, there are more photographers that are able to produce high impact images with PS, it is harder to stand out in the crowd. Photos of 100 years ago can not compare with today technology. There will always be that crowd that doesn't like change. Maybe there is a market for a purist site, film only, no dark room editing or PS. After all digital is another genre. Nothing like a grainy, slightly underexposed underdeveloped colorless photos with dark areas and blown out spots to admire. Can't wait!


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7/21/2007 7:16:49 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
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  "Nothing like a grainy, slightly underexposed underdeveloped colorless photos with dark areas and blown out spots to admire. Can't wait!"

LOL Vicki! I had my share of those! Still do sometimes if I don't fix 'em in PS :o)!


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7/21/2007 7:30:32 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  update vicki,it's now called a histogram.
wasn't a film/digital question,it was an after the fact of capture and maybe excess use of editing that the judges are leaning towards.
ansel was known for darkroom tech/applic, arrrrgh.
your dad was probably removing ufo's.they weren't specks.
so vicki,since I shoot film,all the digital shooters who contact me and ask how I achieved that, should be refered to you?all in levity,it's a discussion.
c'mon sharon,ya sure?


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7/21/2007 8:01:51 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
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  I am never sure of anything, Sam!


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7/21/2007 8:29:05 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Should we tell him that he disagreed and agreed with her at the same time?


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7/21/2007 8:39:39 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  You tell him, Gregory. He probably wouldn't believe me ;)!


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7/21/2007 9:11:48 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  "... Adams also pioneered the idea of visualization (which he often called 'previsualization', though he later acknowledged that term to be a redundancy) of the finished print based upon the measured light values in the scene being photographed.


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7/21/2007 9:12:25 PM

 
Erin  Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2007
  Sam. time to pick up digital ehhh
I make better pics with closed eyes
PS know you. not
gutter boy needs another pill/squeeze
damn those lab coats


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7/22/2007 9:14:21 AM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  Well said Erin and you spoke "Samlish" very well, he should understand that perfectly.


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7/22/2007 9:22:39 AM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  We shouldn't criticize or attack the way people speak or write. We all come from different backgrounds. I hope this isn't going to become a malicious thread


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7/22/2007 12:14:38 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  The guy is rude and ignorant 90% of the time and most everybody has a hard time trying to figure out what he saying or even why. "We" are only returning like behavior. The only participation he has on this site is comments like "when Kennedy was in office" Oh, and here is another choice comment "I still can't believe hooters doesn't have furburgers on the menu,are they going amish on us?well mennonite." Lovely


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7/22/2007 12:38:51 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  Vicki, I agree. The comment about Hooters was uncalled for.


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7/22/2007 12:42:46 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  "Photography is the process of recording pictures by means of capturing light on a light-sensitive medium, such as a film or electronic sensor."

"Adobe Photoshop, or simply Photoshop, is a graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems. It is the current market leader for commercial bitmap and image manipulation, and is the flagship product of Adobe Systems. It has been described as "an industry standard for graphics professionals."

"Photo editing is most commonly subtle (e.g. alterations to coloring, contrast, so forth), but may be explicit also (e.g. overlaying a head onto a different body, changing a sign's text). Image editing software can be used to apply effects and warp an image in whatever way possible until the desired result is achieved. Sometimes, after photo editing, the resulting image has little or no resemblance to the photo from which it started."
Wikipedia.com

"Are PS'd photos still photos?"

Maybe it's time to officially re-define photography from just..."capturing light on a light-sensative medium".


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7/22/2007 1:02:29 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  As odd as it may seem, the best way to deal with comments that are appalling is to ignore them. Re-quoting gives them focus. If you want to ignore something in your images you make it blurry ;-)

Bob, I don't think we have to redefine photography just because the physical film darkroom has gone digital. If we still consider it a darkroom process, things are close to being the same as they were. There have been some incredible darkroom wizards.


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7/22/2007 4:53:44 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  like erin said,i make better pics with closed eyes.and you agreed?
so I made a comment about life in general.i have never been to a hooters.
spit my name out vicki,sam.not the guy,sam.the religous sects in iraq are based on offense to such postings.
hope your all ok.


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7/22/2007 9:42:55 PM

 
Erin  Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2007
  New question

Is Sam still Sam when he drinks alot? No, he is Drunk Sam. Some people might enjoy him in that state, some might not.
Everytime we see him coming down the thread we say "oh boy, here comes Drunk Sam", but we still listen to his mummbling because we think maybe oneday he will be sober and make sense.


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7/23/2007 9:46:32 AM

 
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