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Ethical Considerations

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  #41  
Old 08-27-2001, 10:34 AM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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Yes but in our business, the original stays the same. Even if we changed things the daugerrotype is still there untouched. All we do is try to bring out the image that is to faded to appreciate.

As to the value of a document copied in perfect order, the meaning is still there in the words but the phisical worth has dropped significantly with the copy. You'd you pay full price for a copy of an original?

As for creating forgeries, that has been done for as long as man has been around. It didn't take the digital age to make that a possibility. It's been done to religious icons and in the art world and we have been trying to safeguard our money by trying to add features that make counterfieting more difficult. There will always be those motivated by greed and dishonesty, we can only live by our own code of ethics. It's just the world we live in and things won't change because we are more advanced.
DJ

Last edited by DJ Dubovsky; 08-27-2001 at 10:37 AM.
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  #42  
Old 08-27-2001, 11:39 AM
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Dj, Good points. I am really,though, not as concerned with the money value of copy vs original ( although there is an interesting thread contained therein) as I am in preserving the original in an improved but still accurate state. The problem of forgeries, as you so accurately point out, is probably never going to go away. However the well meaning but misguided restoration of an old photo is a somewhat different can of worms. When do you STOP restoring and START admiring? Tom
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  #43  
Old 08-27-2001, 01:25 PM
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Ahhh.... but then beauty and art are in the eyes of the beholders. I have a client who wants her black and whites made color because to her they seem more real. Yet there are those who prefere the simple beauty and contrast to a good black and white. It boils down to who is paying and what they want to see in the final outcome. As long as the original is left alone I don't think there's that much to worry about. What of the restorers who do work on the originals themselves? Wouldn't this question apply more to them since they are infact changing the one and only? Who can answer such a question? It's a real thinker hey?
DJ
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  #44  
Old 08-27-2001, 01:42 PM
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AH yes, but consider: Changing the mode,from color to BW or vice versa, doesnot affect the Historical content of the image, as in the actual objects placement,composition, shape,size, etc.. Many Museums and collectors may perfer displaying retouched/restored images as should something happen---oh well, lots more where that came from, instead of AARRGHHHHHH. Since the original will never be put on public display, folks will only have the retouched/restored version to examine and what they see they will accept as accurate, thus....When to stop working on such an image and when to start enjoying? Tom
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  #45  
Old 08-27-2001, 02:01 PM
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Oh yes, the Colorization question is going to have its own thread methinks. What an interesting can of worms there. This IS FUN!!!Tom
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  #46  
Old 08-27-2001, 02:49 PM
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Hey, this has turned out to be quite a thread. It seems to me that when we are talking about restoration of historical documents, we should be thinking about restoration while using the same techniques as were used on the original. When something of great historical value is copied, then worked on, it would IMHO, be just that -- a retouched copy of the document, as would be the case with a Daugerrotype or a piece of work by Monet. It has not been restored to it's original state, or even close to it. Maybe restoration has different meanings, depending on the type of original? What are your thoughts on this? How far back do we go, and how accurate do they need to be to be called restorations?

Ed
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  #47  
Old 08-27-2001, 03:14 PM
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Good post ED, there are many winding paths through this forest and I think that if we dont examine them and get each others input there could be problems arise at some point in time. Ethical considerations are not just an abstract idea--they will ,do and SHOULD guide our decisions when we formulate a plan of action for restoring a photo or document. I tend, on historic or plainly antique stuff to only sharpen and remove obvious mold,scratches,stains etc. BUT only if they are isolated to areas where no objects/people are located, At those areas I will OCCASIONALLY do light cloning but ONLY if it willnot cover, blur or in any other way degrade the image or ADD to it in a way which could change the meaning the photo is representing. I often get queasy about restoring portions of damaged carpet images etc., as the value of them as regards what type, pattern it is,and so forth can be vital to accurate dating and as a source of information for researchers. Tom
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  #48  
Old 08-27-2001, 04:07 PM
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I think you're so right Tom. And among researchers, you might include genealogists who could be looking for certain tell tale signs about an era long gone. Chris gave one example about the photo that someone thought was from 1914, but he knew that it was more like 1917 or 1918. Changing a photograph could really play havoc with any kind of research.

Ed
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  #49  
Old 08-27-2001, 05:08 PM
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BINGO. It is beginning to appear that along with the joy of this work there are some serious responsibilities. Lets say someone comes to you and wants you to do some restore work on a photo that would alter it in a rather major way and that the restore is to be sent to a relative looking for info AND that a competitor of yours had refused to do the work the customer wanted done And that there was, say, a $250 price tag in it and you could do the job in an hour. Any thoughts folks? Tom
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  #50  
Old 08-27-2001, 07:00 PM
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Hey, you could start with Teddy Roosevelt---oops he's already got one---uh---ANDREW JACKSON!! GO for it!. Actually the first words I was reported to have said were " NOW SUPPOSE THAT..." I love playing Devils Advocate! Seriously, I have been approached to do work which was similar to what I described by a well meaning customer who wanted to send a "very nice" copy to a relative researching the family tree. Nothing underhanded there, the lady simply wanted the photo to look nice which included removing about 3 other family members and assorted relatives whom, the client thought, were not importiant. Now, she didnt offer large compensation and had NOT been refused service by anyone else and I explained to her that for the purposes of research of the type her relative was doing, it was best to just sharpen things up a bit remove some minor scratches and adjust the tone. She was happy with that once she understood WHY you dont start turning a piece of family history into a "FRANKENPICTURE" especially as the whole purpose in this case was to see the faces. As to the unethical,underhanded and down right illegal things---As this technology continues to grow in popularity and refinement, these things are going to assume a very large role in how we do our work---and for whom. As has been said on this thread by others, the potential to cause great harm to people is very real. Everyone who takes the time to develop the skills necessary to do exquisitely detailed work IS going to face a situation similar to this where ethics are tested by money. Better to be prepared with an answer backed by firm conviction than to be caught Flat footed. I admire you mercenary approach!! Subtle but effective. Tom
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