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Thread: Professional Photographers and Editing

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    Professional Photographers and Editing

    Just wanting to know do most professional photographers photoshop their portrait photograph to a large extent or do you think natural is better?

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Professional photographers take the photographs and then give them to the professional photoshop operatives to soften skins to plastic consistency, remove any ugly ugly ugly things like pimples or other such unsightly skin blemishes, increase the size of busts and decrease waists.

    Guess which sort of photograph I prefer to see and take.
    Andrew
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    No picture out of camera will ever cut it professionally. EVERY photo can do with something (eg constrast, sharpening etc). The degree that you go into things like skin smoothing really only depends on the images end use
    Darren
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Professional photographers take the photographs and then give them to the professional photoshop operatives to ....


    ... increase the size of busts and decrease waists.

    Guess which sort of photograph I prefer to see and take.
    Ummmm...



    I know which I'd prefer to 'see'.

    But as for taking/processing/adding my name too them ... I prefer the natural method too.
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    For the love of what I see.
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    Whilst not a professional I do take a lot of shots and have no problems showing them around.
    Until late last year I was of the opinion that what came out of my camera, other than maybe a little cropping, is what I should show. What happened late last year is I read an article by a world renowned photographer and he said that "if everything goes right, which it rarely does, then maybe 10% of my images will get cropping and a little sharpening. The reality is that there is always something that has to be adjusted and I live with that." He went on to say that his inspiration was from a photographer from the early fifties who's images alone were nothing special. But his post processing was.
    It was then that I decided to look further at post processing. Now I still like to keep the processing to a minimum and I have set the maximum minimum I will use. If the image fails that then it is left alone for another day.
    Peter.

    Some of my photo's are at www.peterking.id.au

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    Depends on the intended use of the image really, as kiwi said.

    But something to remember, good PSing can look very natural too. Sometimes the best editing is when the image doesnt look like its been edited at all
    Hi Im Darren

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Firstly, there seems to be a recent trend where people are proudly announcing "I don't edit my photos". Well you damn well should!

    Remember here that editing and photoshopping are the same thing. People have taken on board the term photoshopping to mean digitally editing a photo. Not just editing it in the software package called Photoshop.

    Editing of photos is not something that suddenly happened 20 years ago when the advent of the computer and photo editing packages. Photos have been edited in the darkroom since the first ever photo was taken in the 1820's. Some of the world's best photographers did amazing things in their darkrooms, including Ansell Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson and more. They edited their photos! However sudddenly in the last 20 years we see a new generation who declare "I don't edit my photos". News Flash, until your photos presented on AP or elsewhere are as good as the above named masters, you damn well should!

    Now back to the OP's question about portraiture. Everyone should (consider the above paragraphs), but how much editing is up to you and/or your client. You would have to have a range of editing techniques available to you, cause the editing done for a friend's baby shoot will be different to that needed for the cover of Vogue, but edit you must.

    The trick is having the editing skills in the first place and then knowing when and how to apply them to suit the particular shoot you are working on.

    So to the New Age purists, you go ahead and live in your belief that your photos do not need editing, and thus that your technique, camera, lens and sensor can somehow be perfect and not improved on and bypass nearly 200 years of experience, but if you want to make the most out of the results from your photos, learn how to edit!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    I think theres a common misconception that if an image has been "Photoshopped" it automatically looks fake. That is certainly not the case if you know how to use the software.

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    Following from Rick's comments I don't believe its possible for an image to be presented in a viewable format without some form of 'editing'. If you are shooting in jpeg you are simply asking the camera manufacturer to automatically edit the raw data with predefined settings (which is fine if you are happy with that) much as converting an image later with a raw processor is also applying base settings/edits. To my mind you are either an 'auto editor' (by selecting jpeg) or a 'customer editor' (by using applying custom settings in computer out of camera).

    Where it can get objectionable I believe is when the end image is a 'false' impression of the reality rather than an enhancement etc and the term 'photoshopped' to me can mean the manipulation of an image so as to change a reality in the scene. That gets to a credibility issue which is an important one for photographers because it can effect the value of the pursuit. There it depends on the tolerance of the audience for the intended output (ie. for an advertising shoot adding objects might be fine but dropping a few lions into a picture of a zebra herd in a fine art wildlife shoot may not).

    Just my view.
    Check out my new site - www.wattsgallery.com - feedback welcome

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Hmmm... Lets hear from one of the best: Ansel Adams quotes...

    Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.
    No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.
    Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.
    The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.
    You don't take a photograph, you make it.
    Remember that Adams himself was known for being a master in the darkroom.
    From a bio: http://www.photographywest.com/pages/adams_bio.html
    With more than half a century of camera work behind him, Ansel Adams stands as one of America’s greatest landscape photographers. His career is punctuated with countless elegant, handsomely composed, and technically flawless photographs of magnificent natural landscapes. No contemporary photographer equaled the lifetime contributions of Ansel Adams in bringing public recognition of the art of photography or taught so widely the techniques of black and white photography. His strength as an artist is largely attributed to his tireless investigation of the methods of photography, developing a careful darkroom technique of exposure and development he called the Zone System.
    Personally I think Ansel would have loved digital camera's and Photoshop because of the increased creative capabilities.
    Edit 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System#Misconceptions
    The Zone System has often been thought to apply only to certain materials, such as black-and-white sheet film and black-and-white photographic prints. Adams (1981, xii) suggested that when new materials become available, the Zone System is adapted rather than discarded. He anticipated the digital age, stating
    I believe the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them.
    Edit: http://www.amazon.com/Print-Ansel-Ad.../dp/0821221876
    The Print is the third and final book in The Ansel Adams Photography Series--the seminal guides fully revised by Ansel Adams shortly before his death in 1984. The Print, now available in paperback like the other volumes in the series, belongs on every photographer's shelf. It covers the entire printmaking process, from designing and furnishing a darkroom and experimenting with your first print, to mastering advanced techniques such as developer modifications, toning, and bleaching, and burning and dodging. This thorough guide is filled with indispensable darkroom techniques and tips, and amply illustrated with photographs and technical drawings. It is an indispensable tool for mastering the complex art of photographic printmaking.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattsgallery View Post
    Following from Rick's comments I don't believe its possible for an image to be presented in a viewable format without some form of 'editing'. If you are shooting in jpeg you are simply asking the camera manufacturer to automatically edit the raw data with predefined settings (which is fine if you are happy with that) much as converting an image later with a raw processor is also applying base settings/edits. To my mind you are either an 'auto editor' (by selecting jpeg) or a 'customer editor' (by using applying custom settings in computer out of camera).

    Where it can get objectionable I believe is when the end image is a 'false' impression of the reality rather than an enhancement etc and the term 'photoshopped' to me can mean the manipulation of an image so as to change a reality in the scene. That gets to a credibility issue which is an important one for photographers because it can effect the value of the pursuit. There it depends on the tolerance of the audience for the intended output (ie. for an advertising shoot adding objects might be fine but dropping a few lions into a picture of a zebra herd in a fine art wildlife shoot may not).

    Just my view.
    True, but this only happens when bad editing lets you know that the photo has been edited.

    I have presented this on AP before, but give this test a try: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...12&id=12601003 and you will see that the 'false' impression can be so well done that you cannot tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattsgallery View Post
    Where it can get objectionable I believe is when the end image is a 'false' impression of the reality rather than an enhancement etc and the term 'photoshopped' to me can mean the manipulation of an image so as to change a reality in the scene.
    Just my view.
    100% agree .. There is a big difference between image editing and image manipulation.

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    I dont have a problem with manipulation of an image in context of art as opposed to editorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I dont have a problem with manipulation of an image in context of art as opposed to editorial
    I suppose thats the thing isnt it ... context.

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdazzler View Post
    100% agree .. There is a big difference between image editing and image manipulation.
    And if this manipulation is valid depends on context.

    A documentary/journalistic image should not be substantively changed. (Say giving Gillard blonde hair as a silly example)

    But if it is a creative work then all bets are off.
    Eg: One of Mick's http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=56873

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    And if this manipulation is valid depends on context.

    yep agree again ... thought thats what I said above ^^^^^^^
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 25-06-2010 at 9:43am.

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    there is a distinct difference between photoshop for magazines etc and what is used to bring out detail and enhance a portrait for a a "normal" customer I would think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post

    But if it is a creative work then all bets are off.
    Eg: One of Mick's http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=56873
    Mick still hasnt "altered" the scene itself though Kym ... hes only added artistic interpretation to the overall look of the image through processing technique. Im sure the blender and burgers were actually on the bench when he took the photograph and not manipulated in later. I guess thats the difference when it comes to image manipulation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    True, but this only happens when bad editing lets you know that the photo has been edited.

    I have presented this on AP before, but give this test a try: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...12&id=12601003 and you will see that the 'false' impression can be so well done that you cannot tell.
    Rick, I think there are 2 different issues here, one as you rightly point out is where poor technique is used which is inexcusable but the more concerning issue I believe is that there is a risk to the value that society places on photographer's work generally where image manipulation (vs necessary editing which I cover above) is done very well to the point that people don't know if any credit in the scene still lies with the original photographer. In fact now the more amazing a scene or shot the more people question in their own minds whether image manipulation (given it is far easier to do than it once was) is at play.

    An interesting thread.

    Cheers
    Josh

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    Just a postscript - I did the test that Rick linked above which is great and I encourage everyone to give it a go. Interestingly I reinforced my point in that I incorrectly picked 2 of the 12 and in both cases I assumed they were CG and didn't give credit to the photographers original work.

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