RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

The Difference Between Retouch and Restore

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #21  
Old 08-25-2002, 06:28 PM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
That's why I said there comes a time when we, as individuals, have to decide what's the right thing to do. Certain things are right or wrong, but there are many gray areas to be concerned with. For those of you who might change history through manipulation, I wonder if it would be a good idea to somehow put a note on the back (or the very bottom) of the photo saying that it was a manipulated image? Yes I know that it might be copied, but at least the original manipulated image would be so marked.

Ed
Reply With Quote top
  #22  
Old 08-25-2002, 11:44 PM
jeaniesa's Avatar
jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Colorado foothills
Posts: 1,826
Fascinating discussion! Ed, I was wondering the same thing about putting some sort of note on the back of the picture. I know there is archival ink available that would not hurt the photograph (and there certainly IS ink which would hurt an photo - so be careful!) Yes, it could be copied, but I can tell you that going through my grandparents old photos (they are deceased), it sure is helpful to have any note on the back to tell me who/what/when is in the picture!

Jeanie
Reply With Quote top
  #23  
Old 08-29-2002, 05:42 PM
Nick Carter's Avatar
Nick Carter Nick Carter is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Leichhardt, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 12
Hi! everyone
I posed the original question, I have been interested in viewing your answers, Vikki has answered simply, plainly and to the point, to my way of thinking anyway.
The main reason I asked the question, when I first started doing the challenges, Doug had set down the guidelines quite clearly, and I was happy with that, everyone was one a level playing field. I'm a mere beginner, but by observing and reading what others had done in a particular type of challenge, I could learn and apply those methods, but then I saw that that there were entries that plainly transgressed the guidelines, [ a restoration that was a blatant retouch ] and often they were done by 'Seniors', and were praised for it by other seniors. A restoration on a damaged image is open to individual interpretation to a degree as one cannot see just what the original was like in its pristine state, but that should not lead to large scale alteration. So I thought that possibly my interpretation of the guidelines was not correct, and decided to seek clarification.
Perhaps Doug could introduce a fifth challenge, an anything goes challenge, take any photo from another challenge and see what one can make of it, instead of altering the guidelines to suit oneself.
Reply With Quote top
  #24  
Old 08-30-2002, 09:46 PM
Jim Conway's Avatar
Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Posts: 212
Quote:
Originally posted by Ed_L
For those of you who might change history through manipulation, I wonder if it would be a good idea to somehow put a note on the back (or the very bottom) of the photo saying that it was a manipulated image? Yes I know that it might be copied, but at least the original manipulated image would be so marked.
Ed
Good thought!!! There needs to be some code of ethics in it before it can be truly classified as a "profession". When I truly "restore" a photo (that's doable in many cases), I don't know even what to call it because of the mass confusion caused by the wide spread advertising of "image recreations" as "old photo restorations".

Jim C
Reply With Quote top
  #25  
Old 08-31-2002, 01:19 AM
Lampy's Avatar
Lampy Lampy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 83
Here are some of my thoughts on defining some terms we use. I've tried to take the terms as they apply in the preservation field (where most of the terms originated from anyway) and try to apply them to digital work.

Preservation copy - scan and print without changing anything

Restoration - A catch all for manipulating, retouching, recreating losses, covering up damages and what not. (In the preservation field restoration is a term used for repairing and recreating to bring the piece back to it's original state or a state that might not be original but makes it "look good" and look pristine. This would include manipulating, adding in people or objects, removing things that are ugly or not acceptable, changing the color etc.). When dealing with original art this is rarely ethical and can often end up changing the value of a piece (inappropriately) or tricking the purchaser.

Retouch - an aspect of restoration where damaged areas are inpainted, touched up or recreated.

What is missing is a "conservation" type result. In conservation the goal is to preserve, stabilize and repair/retouch to a degree but not to restore. Because know one can truly know what the photograph looked like when it was originally made a conservation copy would preserve the existing color and appearance of the piece and repairs would be made to eliminate cracks and tears but losses would not be recreated with new objects or people. And things would not be removed. As mentioned this can change history or value. Losses instead are "toned in" with a color or texture that allows the blank area to blend with the rest of the image so it is not a glaringly obvious loss. Partial objects are sometimes recreated if enough information is provided in the image. Manipulation would not be acceptable.

There is a lot of controversy over using digital cameras /scanning of images in the preservation field because of the potential for the manipulation of images.

I hope this makes some sense to someone out there!!!

Another two cents from me!

--Heather

Reply With Quote top
  #26  
Old 09-07-2002, 01:19 PM
Jim Conway's Avatar
Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Posts: 212
Heather, you surprised me with the idea that the word "restoration" could in any way be a "catch all" term. I have always thought of it as exacting (other than the way the term is loosely kicked around in photography)!

It would be difficult for me to imagine raising millions for a "restored" Statue of Liberty if the project had been nothing more than a replica by a different artist and designer, using new and different materials, being built on the other side of the harbor! Wouldn't that be Las Vegas style "restoration"? :-)

Here's a link to another version that may be of interest on the topic:

http://www.assoc-restorers.com/r-art...storation.html

Jim C
Reply With Quote top
  #27  
Old 09-08-2002, 01:56 AM
Lampy's Avatar
Lampy Lampy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 83
I appologies for my thought process being unclear and confusing in my previous post. In part it was due to the time of night and that there were a lot of thoughts running through my head. After thinking about it further and debating the terms with my husband I've decided to take another stab at it!

This is an interesting topic because the terms have been muddied a lot as Jim mentioned. The terms we use for dealing with original pieces (preservation, conservation, restoration) can not be carried over "as is" into the digital world. So as a result those terms need to be defined and understood and by understanding them new terms, relating to the digital world of restoring images, can be created (I use the term restoring loosely for the moment).

First let me say that historically people have paid a lot of money to have items restored that have resulted in virtually recreated pieces. In fact they have paid money specifically to have a piece altered. This has been the tragic side of the restoration field. I've watched painting conservators attempt to take off overpainting by zealous restorers who have literally kept parts of a face but painted over/changed everything else about a portrait by a famous painter. In some cases the owner of the painting has requested that the attire be changed/mordernized/updated in other cases a woman was too vuloptuous (sp?) and a thinner appearance was desired. Needless to say recreated masterpieces and even forgeries are, unfortunately, fairly common in the art world.

The unethical practices of past restorers is one of the reasons conservators have strived to set themselves apart from the restoration community. (Other reasons include - an emphasis on preservation rather than asthetic appearance, extensive education in history/materials/techniques, and use of chemically stable and removable materials to name a few).

That said what I was trying to get at with [digital] restoration being a catch all (probably not the best choice of words) is that manipulating, retouching, recreating losses and covering up damages are all things that can be utilized in the process of digitally restoring an image to bring it back to it's altered but pristine appearance. I say altered and pristine rather than original because this is what "restorers" working on original pieces have given us as examples.

My interpretation of the "restoration" challenge on Retouch Pro is to attempt to make the image whole again or bring it back to it's original appearance without necessarily manipulating, coloring, adding or subtracting items. To me this is trying to be as true to the original as possible prior to any damage. This could be considered an ethical restoration or a historically accurate restoration rather than an asthetic restoration (made to look pretty).

So to summarize my current thinking... there are three levels of digital work that we can do:

1) Preservation Copy - change nothing just duplicate the image that is provided

2) Digital Restoration For Historical Accuracy- All attempts are made to create an image that resembles what the original looked like when it was produced

3) Digital Restoration for Asthetic Improvement - Making it look good using all the methods available to us. And if a client desires this can include removing or recreating people or objects.

As always this is just my thought process on a computer screen! A long winded thought process at that!

Thanks for listening,

Heather

Last edited by Lampy; 09-08-2002 at 02:06 AM.
Reply With Quote top
  #28  
Old 09-08-2002, 06:30 AM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
I have to admit that the "catch all" phrase kind of took me by surprise too. Thanks very much for clarifying your views on the matter. Digital restoration for asthetic improvement is not something that I, personally, think of as "restoration". But I'm not a conservator, or even close to it. Just my personal interpretation.

Ed
Reply With Quote top
  #29  
Old 09-08-2002, 08:53 AM
Lampy's Avatar
Lampy Lampy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 83
It's funny because I never really thought of it any other way. I guess it's because 99% of the things I digitally retouch/manipulate are scanned old originals.

For interest sake I decided to go on google and type in digital restoration and digital retouch to see how people are using the terms. In the majority of cases retouching came as a subset of restoration and restoration was used as the descriptive term for the overall process that the business does. That's not to say that there weren't the occasional retouchers for new image because there were some.

When I typed in digital manipulation I got fewer restoration businesses and more graphic design type applications. However it seems that many digital restorers don't use the term manipulation in there descriptions and still provide the same type of services (removing people etc.) under their restoration services.

I'm not sure if this means anything but it was interesting to look at how words are being used.

--Heather
Reply With Quote top
  #30  
Old 09-08-2002, 12:18 PM
Jim Conway's Avatar
Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Posts: 212
Conservators believe in documentation - so I'll stick with that - and as Ed suggested, just continue to let the world know in attached annotations "this is a copy of.." or the list of "fixes" that were made when I'm working on the originals..

It has never occurred to me to change the "look" on an original restoration assignment other than to rebuild deterioration or damaged areas. An "image recreation" (not an original restoration) is priced much, much lower, so no confusion to my clients there! In all of the orders that I have handled I've only had two requests that I can think of for doing odd things to an original. One was a little old lady who wanted her "dotted" dress simplified - did that - then she found another dress she liked - and like working with Mrs. Winchester on her house, she decided she was going to spend her megabucks playing with photo restoration like paper dolls so we sent her somewhere else! The other was a guy who wanted a MG baseball card "fixed" - sent him packing as well so, from my experience, that type of problem is a very limited one.

To get a sample of why "defining" is important however (and becoming a major problem), all you have to do is spend an hour on Ebay - the sellers are offering old photos made yesterday and it can be so confusing (knowledgeably or otherwise) that you don't dare bid on an "original" anything without inquiries to try and determine exactly what they mean by "old photos".

In our business we try to keep it simple so there is no confusion in the minds of our prospective clients and to make it easy to discuss our work on the phone. As a "Restorer", I can fix old photos and bring them back to their original look. Yes the damage still shows but it is subdued to the point that it is acceptable and it is still an original! The second option is what most others call "restoration". We call it "recreation" (with new materials). I think it is a more descriptive term, simple to explain and using it reduces any chance of misunderstanding where we can do both.

As a "Conservator" the word "materials" belongs in there. I'm a "Photo Materials Conservator". In my case that job title has nothing to do with restoration - it's more scientific and like collecting and disseminating forensic evidence, you look for problems and why they are happening. For example, the work that I've done on testing RC papers (for major museums and in conjunction with other researchers) to determine the causes of rapid deterioration. Other examples include fire safe tests, disaster prevention planning etc. - so the fields (and assignments) are totally segregated in my work - and no burred lines over which is what!

I'm not in agreement that "digital" changes any of this - it's just another tool and part of the problem in the definitions is confusing the public with the tools that we use instead of explaining the work that we do.

Jim Conway
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Retouch Pricing !!! i.ilievski Work/Jobs 9 06-18-2007 07:22 AM
First Restore skydog Image Help 23 03-05-2006 08:58 PM
Retouch "Challenge" Legacy~Art Image Help 8 11-11-2005 10:09 AM
Missing Details & Restore arcadhia Image Help 23 08-15-2005 01:39 PM
May 05 Contest Discussion T Paul Contests 118 06-21-2005 10:12 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved