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November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

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  #11  
Old 11-26-2009, 12:59 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

frank, i have a question regarding the rules, specifically, this one:

Quote:
This is NOT the forum for photo art filters or art programs and this is NOT the place to showcase your abilities with layers, masks, collages or overlays of multiple images.
does that mean absolutely NO retouching, touch-ups, dont-go-near-photoshop, etc? or does it mean more 'dont get too heavy on the use of photoshop' ??

i do realize this is a photography contest which implies photos not retouched in any way, but this being a retouch site and with photoshop and other programs being so closely tied to photos now, it's almost a synonym when you say photo you also are saying photoshop. and, if we also say that the old darkroom artists used to do things sort of photoshop like, do we again allow that sort of retouching or no?

so, which is the case here, just absolutely no retouching of any kind, or keep it mild and such that it still looks like a photo?

Last edited by Craig Walters; 11-26-2009 at 09:34 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2009, 03:58 AM
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Algarve Images Algarve Images is offline
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

Kraellin has a good point,
a lot of us around here can quite dramatically alter an image seemlessly and in high contrast black and white there will be major use of the "channels"...
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2009, 07:12 AM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

When I was looking for B&W information at the beginning of this contest, I found several sites were they suggested you take color pic then convert them. So this is what I did.
My feelings is that photoshop can be used but just to make adjustments to contrast/sharpness/small cloning. But not turn it into a painting, or add a texture.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2009, 05:01 PM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

Yes, this has become a very grey area.

From Darkrooms of the past to Photoshop techniques of today, photographers have honed their production techniques to present their vision as they see it.

Ansel Adams wasn't as much a great photographer as he was the dean of the darkroom. Does this negate the authenticity of his finished work?

Today, HDR is all the rage. These are not "pure" photographs. But rather images that capture more closely what the human eye is capable of seeing. Should these be discounted as not being real "pictures".

My understanding of the rules for this friendly competition is that the images have to look like a picture you'd pull from a pack of prints that you just picked up at the one-hour photo.

IMO, how you arrive at that "look" is your own business. If you want to take a couple of annoying birds out of an otherwise clear blue sky, or crop out your neighbor's garbage can, I see no problems with that.

Dodging and burning has been done forever, so that should be fine. Where I feel the moderator doesn't want this to go, however, is much deeper into photo manipulation beyond cursory tonal and hue adjustments.

Should it simply look like "a really nice picture"?

Any other opinions? Are there definable limits? If so, what are they?

Now that the subject has been raised, it might be nice to get a solid consensus.

Last edited by Southbay; 11-28-2009 at 07:48 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:54 PM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

The term "Photoshopped" has come to mean unrealistic, fake, shoddy, manipulated, liar, and a host of other not so nice terms. I cringe when I hear the derogatory tone and words of someone who has no real idea of the concept "Photoshopped". And what is worse, those people's minds are usually so entrenched in their lofty prison, they can't see how limited their thinking really is.

Yet, when that same person sees a fine art print or an Ansel Adams print, or a James Nachtwey print, or..., they ooh and ahhh not realizing that all of them have been manipulated in some manner.

Photoshop is a digital darkroom (and so much more...for another discussion) that has taken the chemical smell and all of the other darkroom mess literally out of the dark and into the public life of the computer where everyone now can dabble in the manipulation of a photo. It has also taken the hand retouching of past years into a whole new realm. Hurrah for that!

And that, IMHO, is the crux of the matter. Photoshop is out in the world for everyone. Now everyone can use this powerful program. And what is out in the world is often shoddy work. I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. My work, however, has progressed way beyond what I was when I began. And I'm still learning. Photoshopping something for me is trying to present what I see in my mind's eye.

I don't have any problem taking a photo (not for photo journalistic use) and boosting the colors in certain areas, fixing distracting blemishes, dodging or burning, sharpening, etc. I believe that any art photo straight out of the camera deserves the best I can do with it. In fact, previsualization and predetermination of a subject plays a huge factor in how a photo ends up.

Let me ask a question. Would you rather remember a huge zit on the end of your nose ten years down the road or a blemish free picture that didn't embarass you? Would you rather remember how beautiful the Grand Canyon was on that memorable, once-in-a-lifetime trip or the garbage you somehow didn't see before you snapped the shutter?

So as for this contest and whether or not an image is photoshopped. I say go for it. What I interpret from the rules supplied is that this is NOT an art forum. We don't paint on our pictures in this forum. There is one of those just up the page from this one where we can do all of the painting we want. It is one of my favorites haunts on this site. But I won't be putting that stuff in the photography forum. I'll just be using "darkroom" techniques here.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Janet
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2009, 07:18 AM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

I think Janets criteria is pretty good and just about sets the standard, the "zit thing" was funny too he he!
Gary..
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2009, 05:14 PM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

Craig,

Janet's post explains it well, but since the original wording for the rules was inserted by me when I was the moderator, let me also address your question. It seems to be a question that just won't "go away" since it's one that I've read a thousand times since I first joined a photography forum on AOL in the early 1990's when most people still used film cameras and many argued that digital photography was NOT TRULY PHOTOGRAPHY.

This forum was started to give members who liked to use their cameras a place to discuss and share their photographic interests -- apart from their other interests in restoring old photos, retouching photos for advertising or fashion work, creating photo-art or montages from their images -- all which already had their own forums for such interests.

There is much to be said for images that have come straight out of a camera, and for the skills and knowledge that influence the look of an image AS SHOT by the camera and photographer. However, cameras--film or digital, are NOT capable of capturing images that match what our human eyes can see, and photographers have made changes to photos since photography was invented. As Janet so colorfully explained, the smell of the darkroom is gone, and the lab is inside our computers.

Basically, what I had considered allowable is the same work that would be done by the photo lab if you had dropped your film off to be processed and prints made: dodging/burning or shadows/highlights or Levels/Curves adjustments to exposure of highlights, midtones, and shadows; color corrections, if necessary, which may include changes to color intensity, rendition of hues, and transformation from color to black/white (which can be done in the camera, but is probably handled better in post-processing); and cropping.

There were a few submissions durng the first year that brought up questions about whether the use of photo art filters had been used. I realized that it would be difficult to know for sure, and more difficult to prove, and that hard feelings and arguments were not going to be any fun for forum members or moderators. So I added a few words about NOT using art filters etc. to show that we wanted to rate a photo on the skill of the photographer more than their Photoshop skills.

So, hopefully, members who enjoy using their cameras can agree on limits to post-processing that still shows the skill of the eye and the mind of the person holding the camera/lens.

P.S.
People can use software and their drawing skills to make images that look like photos without the use of a camera --

http://basangpanaginip.blogspot.com/...ector-art.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin View Post
frank, i have a question regarding the rules, specifically, this one:

does that mean absolutely NO retouching, touch-ups, dont-go-near-photoshop, etc? or does it mean more 'dont get too heavy on the use of photoshop' ??

i do realize this is a photography contest which implies photos not retouched in any way, but this being a retouch site and with photoshop and other programs being so closely tied to photos now, it's almost a synonym when you say photo you also are saying photoshop. and, if we also say that the old darkroom artists used to do things sort of photoshop like, do we again allow that sort of retouching or no?

so, which is the case here, just absolutely no retouching of any kind, or keep it mild and such that it still looks like a photo?
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2009, 07:36 PM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

My husband read this post and wanted to comment. He said, "Besides this site is RetouchPro and not Camera Raw." Whatever that means.

There are some good comments here. How about moving this editing part of this thread to its own thread? We might generate more discussion that way.

Janet
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2009, 12:08 AM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

ok, thanks. that's basically what i wanted to know
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2009, 06:33 PM
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Re: November 2009 Photo Competition: Discussion

Now I'm going to ask a stupid question. Why were so many entries shot in color and then converted? Is that really better than shooting in black and white to start with?
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