View Full Version : Photographic accuracy???

11-04-2010, 12:00am
Is there such a thing as photographic accuracy or do all lenses lie?
Do photographs render someone's version of the truth?
Is it about light level, angle of view or post-processing manipulation? Did the ball touch the basketball ring to cause a shot-clock reset or not? Was the pass forward or not in NRL? Did the ball touch the batsman's glove or not in cricket? How many blemishes does the supermodel have on her face?
Does "photographic accuracy" count for anything or is it the post-processed image that counts?
Who has checked out some of the new features of the up-coming Photoshop CS5 such as Content Aware Fill?
I'm not naive when it comes to "image improvement" but the new tools make it harder for me to ever believe "photographic evidence" again.
Am I being cynical?
Give me some positives about being a photographer.

11-04-2010, 1:58am
From what i hear over and over, is that any journalistic photography can not be altered at all, apart from some slight sharpening, exposure etc, but definitely no pixel pushing.
Commercial, womens mags, advertising, fine art etc, that's a different story.
But like you mention, even a lens or the way something is shot can give a different perspective of the truth.

11-04-2010, 8:05am
photographic accuracy counts for everything for me, as I try desperately hard to try to get the best possible shot at the time of exposure, but I'm not immune to having processed an image to a final product either.

Not being a huge fan of HDR technique(but only because I'm no good at it :p) I tend to do all my landscapes with filters or just wait for a better time of day, etc, etc... and all other types of photography for me are hit an miss. If I miss the shot, I won't over process the image to either add or remove content tho.

The only thing I'd like to have in my processing software is the ability to clone out lens/filter flare spots a lot more easily, as in, it's got to take a minute or so to do... not 1/2hr with a crap result, as I tend to get.

Even tho there is a lot of reluctance by die hard photographers, ie. those that prefer to capture 99% of the image at the time of exposure, to these kinds of post processing tools, I think they're still important and valid to the photographic community.

I @ M
11-04-2010, 8:28am
Is there such a thing as photographic accuracy or do all lenses lie?

Give me some positives about being a photographer.

Lenses don't lie, people lie.

The positive part is that we have the power to go and take photos in any way that we desire to record the scene as our minds registered it.

If we want to present images exactly as the camera recorded them and be happy in our own minds that it is a true and accurate rendition of what we saw at the time, use the ability and all the technology that comes with today's cameras, lenses and software to do just that.

If we want to create an art masterpiece using the aforementioned technology and alter the image that we saw into something that hardly resembles the scene in anyway then that is simply another tool in our toolboxes.

If we want to deliberately mislead and deceive others for fraudulent gain or reward by using the technology available ( I am not suggesting that you do want to do that ) then you know that answers to that as well as all of us and it involves a good long hard look at ones self.

11-04-2010, 8:33am
One +ve about being a photographer is that you don't have to worry about what to do with all that spare money lying around

Another +ve is that there always an excuse not to do the ironing

11-04-2010, 8:42am
One +ve about being a photographer is that you don't have to worry about what to do with all that spare money lying around


Ain't that the truth?

I use minimal post processing because I've got minimal to use. I still like to catch the shot as "recorded."

I don't like the idea of getting up at 10 am, taking a shot & then post processing to make the shot look like it was taken at sunrise.

11-04-2010, 8:45am
Do you always believe your eyes? What the camera captures and "sees" is interpreted by your eyes, and brain. Do you trust them to always be accurate?

Lenses can affect the outcome, take a very wide angle lens, it can distort horizons, bending them and making them look 'odd', what we do in PS is correct that.

What about your computer, is the screen calibrated, and are you therefore producing photos with good colour accuracy?

I think you are 'thinking to much', photography is an ART, it is the ART of capturing light and presenting that capture to the world as a photograph. Enjoy it!

11-04-2010, 8:49am
You might as well buy a kodak $50 P&S if you just want to take happy snaps by the way

11-04-2010, 10:04am
As someone who works in sports broadcasting, I can tell you that there's not post work done on any of the live video shots you see and the camera angles chosen around the NRL or cricket pitch are chosen so as to provide the smallest ambiguity possible for any given video-ref decision. Also, I believe, there are certain rules for journalists when it comes to re-touching.

As for the art of photography, I don't know that there is a 'truth' as such. Relativity is important and whilst I was at my sister-in-laws this easter I was playing 'I-Spy' with her 7 year old son who said he spied 'something green'...it turned out to be the red dot on the kitchen wall socket that tells you it's turned on. His eyes told him that red dot was green as he's partially colour blind. Likewise photos can tell you whatever the camera's settings told it to see...within reason.

Yes a lot can be done with re-work, and a lot through light-lay, filters etc...but that's art and it lives in the eye of the beholder...but when it's important (sports decision) generally what you see is what you get :-)

11-04-2010, 10:28am
Babu - please post some photo's (as an example) and stop raising theoretical threads.

All lenses will affect the light that passes through them - this is not news.
Then the film/sensor will only record a portion of the light received.
Post processing will change things further.
So what?

Mate - get out take some photos, post them for CC here in 'members' photos' and you will learn at least 1,000 times more about photography than by posting threads like this. Seriously!

Also: Why not have a look at some photos and offer a Constructive Critique of those images, that also helps you learn.

Dylan & Marianne
11-04-2010, 11:39am
I put the question to you - what is truth when you refer to an image
Is it what the eye saw at the scene?
Are you referring to what a camera can capture at a scene?

As an example, the human eye has much much more dynamic range than DSLRs.
Therefore , if I process and blend a few exposures such that I present to you, what I believe I saw at the scene , is the resulting HDR scene untruthful? or is it representing what I want you to see in that scene without you having to be there.

You've asked for some positives about photography - here are some ( and I hope these get rid of your cynism or perhaps photography is not for you?)
1. Landscape : location, being there is the most breathtaking aspect for me. Getting there, recording the scene and that moment in time and sharing the beauty of it with other people. It is what I want to present to you to best reflect not only the so called accuracy of the scene, but its mood.
2. Weddings : Sharing the emotion of the day with the bride and groom. Sure there are those spontaneous techinically imperfect shots that capture emotion exactly, but depending on the couple and location, various processing moods bring out the feel of what they wanted in the day.
3. Post processing HDR style: you look at the original three exposures , you think , that is NOT what the scene looked like (not accurate maybe?) and you know that in the one image you could not have captured what the eye saw exactly. You process an image, it approximates what you saw and conveys how you felt about the scene - accuracy of recall perhaps? it is certainly alot more accurate than what appeared in that +2EV blown out shot that got the shadows or the -2EV shot that got the highlihgts right.

Don't be cynical, go out and enjoy the process of taking the photo, and the process of presenting it in whatever format you wish - accurate to whatever definition that makes you most comfortable.

11-04-2010, 9:57pm
I try to not use PP a lot aside from a bit of a crop. For journalistic photos definitely don't change anything, maybe change the exposure by less than a stop. Woman's mags seem to ignore that rule... Sad fact of life :(

11-04-2010, 10:35pm
Give me some positives about being a photographer.

I enjoy taking photos, making images or whatever else you wish to call it.

11-04-2010, 11:29pm
I think you are 'thinking to much', photography is an ART, it is the ART of capturing light and presenting that capture to the world as a photograph. Enjoy it!

Could not agree more with Rick, Photography is an art and it's up to you to express it the way you see it (whether I like it or not) there is no right or wrong way.

You need to find "your thing" be it landscapes, inanimate objects, weddings etc do what pleases you not us and have some fun with it.



12-04-2010, 10:42am
but you'd be surprised how much Ansel Adams spent in his darkroom.

I think it is well known the Adams image capture is considered ok, whereas his darkroom skills were exceptional.
Which raises the old time shift hypothetical, how much would he have loved a decent DSLR, PC and Photoshop?