The battle over digital manipulation claims another victim.
The battle over digital manipulation claims another victim.
What do you think of the statement
- Competition founder Charlie Wait said: “This is extremely regrettable and it appears there was no deliberate intention to deceive the judges, but the level of manipulation means that this photograph gained an unfair advantage in this category and in winning the overall competition." -
It seems to me that if the competition rules were clear then there was a deliberate attempt to deceive. One does not accidentally substitute a sky in a photo. It takes some effort.
I haven't read the rules, so I don't know. I believe though that they mentioned "excessive manipulation", so obviously there was a degree of manipulation accepted. Interesting too that the bloke who highlighted it on his blog also got disqualified for the same thing. Oh Ye without sin and all that.
Actually I misread the article. The bloke who wrote the blog did not get disqualified. It was someone else. I went and read some of the blog. Made it a bit clearer for me.
If the rules use terms like 'excessive' how is that detected and/or judged?
Lets face it using that rule many AP comp entries would be DQ'd
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Possible more important is that AP could never enforce a rule like that. Personally, I don't think substituted skies belong in photo comps, but if you can't enforce a rule, then there is little point to it.
I read a bit more too and it seems that he openly does composite images and he did not read the fine print on entry. So it could have been an innocent mistake.
Last edited by Steve Axford; 06-11-2012 at 3:28pm.
To me, this is a really tough one. We all know that some degree of manipulation is required when using RAW images. And at what point is too much.
Is it similar to athletes who choose to have two cups of coffee, or energy drink prior to an event. Or that athlete that takes performance enhancing drugs.
Is what Dylan does to his images too much? Is Mick and Adam overdoing their self potraits? And is there a set level of photoshopping known to the photography industry that could be classed as too much?
Has it got to the point in the industry were pro TOG's need to produce that outstanding image by photoshopping the hell out of it, just to get anywere?
Yes it is a little unfair to we that haven't got the talent, or time to learn the complexities of all that is to know about editing software. But S**t happens.
All in all it's what the viewer, or the purchaser like about the image. Not the amount of manipulation that goes into it.
My 2 bobs.
Honesty is best policy.
CC is always welcome
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But - do we want the purchaser to get disillusioned when he buys a beautiful landscape only to find later that the sky has been put in from another scene and he doesn't like that? Now I think that could be fine, provided we clearly tell the purchaser. It's like false advertising.
There will always be a line. I think that few of us would accept an image that was completely digitally created as being a photograph. But how much "creation" is acceptable. We have to decide that as a community, and the outside world will judge us on it. If we go too far, we will be seen as devious, untrustworthy, unethical (like politicians or journalists). But what is too far? I tend to think that anything is acceptable, provided you are clear with what it is. I think the problem comes when people fail to say that their image is a composite.
Last edited by Steve Axford; 06-11-2012 at 4:00pm.
I can understand both points of view regarding manipulation. From a personal perspective, to me its about enhancing what's in the photo rather than adding in something that wasn't there, like the one where the walker was added to the picture. Sky replacements have always been an easy option and so I don't do a lot of those. Putting 10 grand on it though does increase the temptation. Of course he'll always be known as the guy disqualified from first place. Being disqualified early wouldn't have been nearly so bad. Mistake or not, the mud will stick.
I will use this weeks POTW as an example... How many of the images in this weeks comp were actually taken in B&W? Do Rick, Kym and the mods actually draw the line and disqualify those that have been "manipulated".
This were it is tough. Do the authors of the images in POTW have to add "this was colour" to the title? Or do we go "darn that's good, I'll give it a 10"
What percentage of the worlds population would know the difference whether an image has been manipulated or not. (Unless it stands out like dogs balls) In fact, how many in the photography industry would know or care whether an image has been photoshopped, if they really like the image?
I think that's a bit meaningless with digital photography, since there is only a colour sensor and therefore the image is always taken in colour. For me, manipulation can mean many things, but does not include the change from colour to B&W, since nothing is added that was not originally there. Of course even this is debatable (since we are debating it).
What is acceptable in one field may not be in another. In this case it was a photo comp that specified a real landscape. We all know (we do anyway) that commercial photography can be heavily manipulated, but we generally accept that a journalist's photo of a warzone should actually be that warzone.
Sorry, missed your post Andrew
Last edited by Steve Axford; 06-11-2012 at 4:56pm.
I think that this goes to the heart of the matter. If an image has been manipulated in such a fashion as has occurred with the contentious image in question then Mr Byrne should have done the right thing and said that it was a composite or heavily manipulated image at the time that he made his entry. Basic tweaks such as Levels, Curves etc do not, to my mind, constitute overmanipulation (unless they are done to an extreme in order to gain a certain effect) whereas substituting a completely different sky for the one that was "as shot" is definitely heavy manipulation of an image. Competition rules should dictate what an acceptable level of manipulation is allowed beforehand and I have to agree with the contest organisers in that the photo was given an unfair advantage due to the manipulation on the grounds that some people are more skilled at using photo editing software than others.
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I still think, and I haven't seen the rules. If the rule states "No composite images" Then fair is fair. But if the rules states "No excessive manipulation" and the image was very good to start of with, and he has added a bit of sky from another of his images. And with his skill takes 10 seconds to complete the image. Then to me thats not excessive.
Another example.... I know that I @ M uses little if any editing in his images, and dtoh uses a fair bit. So is I @ M disadvantaged when it comes to open comps when up against Dylan. No he is not. Because Andrews images are excellent from the camera, and they are a different style of image.
A fair few of Dylans images are composites. 3 or more photos of varying exposures, blended together to create an awesome image. He never states "This is a composite" unless asked how he did it.
So to me it's splitting hairs. It's either get good at editing, or try adapt to a different style where creating that awesome image requires little or no editing.
There has also been a few threads on this very argument, and the results are always the same. Some like it, some don't.
The majority of the cameras on the market use a bayer sensor array and that is based around the RGB colour scale. There are a few exceptions, the Sigma foveon sensor and the Fuji sensor have differences to the norm but are still based on a colour sampling method.
There was a new Leica model introduced a while ago that is purely a monochromatic camera and as far as I know it is the only current body that can only do a B&W image.
Certainly as far as Nikon goes, if you take an image in the NEF (raw) format with monochrome selected in the menu system you still have access to all the colour information captured just by using the free software that comes with the camera body.
There are also cameras modified to record Infrared images which make very nice B&W images.