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View Poll Results: What's your internal reaction to a stranger askin you, "Is that photoshopped"

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  • The implication is that if I say 'yes' , they'll think I'm a cheating

    34 44.74%
  • Just an innocent question, move along!

    17 22.37%
  • They are wondering how to maximise the impact of their own images

    13 17.11%
  • They're really asking for a serve of gravy!

    9 11.84%
  • I'm considering saying no because that's the response they'd rather hear

    3 3.95%
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Thread: Poll: Is that photoshopped?

  1. #1
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Poll: Is that photoshopped?

    When a complete stranger approaches you to ask you about your work (whether it be in real life or online or any other method), and you are faced with the question "Is that photoshopped?"
    What is your internal response to the question asked?

    Actual response?

    I'm just wondering because that was the question every single person asked me today at the SALA exhibition opening!
    Nothing about the mechanics of taking the shot, the actual scene, how to get there, what it was like etc.
    It left me feeling a little odd and distressed to be honest because I was made to feel like a conman by saying yes judging from the sudden lack of engagement thereafter.
    Last edited by Dylan & Marianne; 07-08-2011 at 9:22pm.
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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  2. #2
    Member ksolomon's Avatar
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    Dylan, I have only been around here for a short time, but your photography is just fantastic and I for one hope to achieve a fraction of your skill in the years to come. Before understanding the digital age of processing I would ask the same sort of question. Can I suggest a standard response that would be great would be "yes I used my digital darkroom to develop this photo"

    I certainly wouldn't call you a conman and you shouldn't either. Most people just don't understand the digital darkroom until it is explained to them
    Kassy
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  3. #3
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    thanks kassy! the problem is, at these events, you don't have the time to explain it to them - especially when it's asked with a prejudgment in mind. I think probably exhibiting photography at an 'arts' festival such as SALA tends to elicit this response more because the concept of landscape photography as 'art' isn't that well accepted.

  4. #4
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    MISSING POLL OPTION: say "no" because the image is not Photoshopped.

    ^ I'll vote for that one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    thanks kassy! the problem is, at these events, you don't have the time to explain it to them - especially when it's asked with a prejudgment in mind. I think probably exhibiting photography at an 'arts' festival such as SALA tends to elicit this response more because the concept of landscape photography as 'art' isn't that well accepted.
    well you have to see it from their perspective Dylan.

    Landscape in general is about capturing and representing something that is reality, to be as realistic as possible (give or take a few enhancements) - unless you are trying to create some alien landscape feel. So to the artists and quirky creative types that go there to the SALA exhibitions, they may see Landscape from your work as something you may have created instead of capturing and are puzzled about it. Now I know that you havent created these because you captured them from your journeys, but they dont know that.

    Maybe in the future have a small section of behind the scene shots or a doco or slideshow of how and where the photos came from etc.

  6. #6
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    The media doesn't help here either (do they ever?) in that the term 'photoshopped' seems to have colloquially become a verb meaning 'to alter from reality' ie, over smoothing of model's skin, removing bumps from waistlines, or other 'allegedly' mis-leading things. What the layperson fails to acknowledge is the fact that all pictures are processed (even if it's done automatically in camera) and that lightroom/photoshop or similar must be used between the sensor capture and the image print.

    I suspect that they are really asking if any excessive or potentially misleading post processing has been applied (maybe HDR for example) or if it's a straight shot with perhaps some colour correction and a crop and that's it. Either way they're missing the point anyway and probably not worth getting upset about.

    I like the response above re 'the digital dark room' , especially as no-one can explain the nuances to every single person who asks the question...keep it short and move on. :-)
    Andy

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  7. #7
    Member ksolomon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    thanks kassy! the problem is, at these events, you don't have the time to explain it to them - especially when it's asked with a prejudgment in mind. I think probably exhibiting photography at an 'arts' festival such as SALA tends to elicit this response more because the concept of landscape photography as 'art' isn't that well accepted.
    It really is a shame that people come to these events with a prejudgment in their mind, I do also like the suggestion of JM Tran have a small brief of the photo, hopefully that will save your sanity in the times to come

  8. #8
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    thanks for the responses all and tony how could I forget that option !
    I think the problem is that Marianne and I do try to create a surreal feel to a scene hence it intentionally doesn't look real alot of the time. Oh well, grin it and bear it - the digital darkroom is a great response hehe

  9. #9
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    The term "photshopped" has so many meanings, most implying treachery. In the context of how they asked, you'd be within bounds to just say no.

    On the other hand if they were genuinely enquiring as to what software you use, you could say yes.

  10. #10
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    Andy summed up my thoughts exactly and I would agree totally with Kassy re. the digital darkroom. 'photoshopped' has become a synonym for cheating and that is simply not the case in the vast majority of images.

  11. #11
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    LOL! I always reply with the truth .. that mine are Captured instead! (as I'm a CaptureNX user by nature).
    I tell em I don't have PS, but I do have LR3(now) and I've Bibbled and GIMPed them in the past, and now I occasionally FSViewer them .. but by and large I CaptureNX/ViewNX them.

    Main priority is to quell the possibility of any future discussion on the topic, as it bores me to death, and this works 99.9% of the time, except for the occasional strange one that insists on full knowledge of every possible image editing software variant currently available.
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    Oh, Dylan, I am sorry that you felt like you were being 'judged' in this manner. Today I was actually thinking about how your exhibition was going (whilst I was at dog training ) and I was thinking about how I can't wait to see it.

    I voted "Yes, but they will think I am cheating" because unfortunately the general public can't see that PS is exactly the same as the Darkroom but its for Digital. I too felt like I was cheating when I started here on the Forum and posted a thread asking this very question (yes, I was soon put in my place LOL).

    It is unfortunate that you can't sit them all down and explain that in reality you are doing exactly what Ansel Adams had done, and if he was taking photos today he would probably be using PS!!

    What you do is beautiful - it is absolutely extraordinary, actually, but I know from some very small experience working in a very, very small art gallery that people who wander through the rooms all of a sudden become well-knowledged art critics and will nit-pick the images/sculptures/exhibits until they are blue in the face. Unfortunately, photographics are the most nit-picked of the lot because of the digital aspect .... everyone thinks that everyone can produce YOUR results because they have a pretty good camera. But heavens forbid that THEY will use PS because their images will be pure and true to life!!

    Have a small smile on the inside knowing you are an artist and what you do to an image is pure magic, art in itself. Just ask anyone who has tried or is trying!!
    Monika
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  13. #13
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Actually, Dylan, I know exactly how you feel. Indeed, I sometimes get the same question, and of course the answer isn't always "no". People say to me "Do you use Photoshop?" as if this is the key to learning whether I am honest and trustworthy or not. I think you already know how I feel about that.

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    i'd ask them what makes them ask?
    Successful People Make Adjustments - Evander Holyfield

  15. #15
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    When a complete stranger approaches you to ask you about your work (whether it be in real life or online or any other method), and you are faced with the question "Is that photoshopped?"
    ........
    Maybe ask a question back. "What do you mean?"
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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  16. #16
    It's all about the Light!
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    The alternate to 'Shopped' is the so called straight out of the camera (SOOC)

    But SOOC is a total con job. (based on something I've posted before)

    Your digital camera does these things (at minimum) when shooting JPEG (to varying degrees depending on settings)...

    • Contrast/Brightness
    • White balance
    • Tint
    • Saturation
    • Noise reduction
    • Sharpening


    And all those adjustments are done by software that does what some geek programmer thought would be generically good and got put into the firmware.

    At least shooting raw and doing it in PP is more honest, i.e. not depending on that geek software dude.

    It is also context sensitive, i.e. adding/removing people in a news doco is not on, but removing a twig from a bird photo is more than ok.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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  17. #17
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Nonsense to part (a) - the geek programmer was doing his best to produce an accurate record of the scene (plus a little - and I do mean a little - extra saturation, depending on your selected picture style). As a rule, he will have been pretty successful. You can do the same with a raw converter, with more or less success depending on a range of factors.

    It is the failure of photographers to honour the spirit of the general expectation that they will strive to be honest in their work which results in nasty, mistrustful questions like "do you use Photoshop".

    Part (b) - the context sensitive point, makes much more sense, and I agree entirely. It's all about intent and honesty, nothing to do with whether you use this tool or that one. The key to the "is it Photoshoped" question is the underlyng implication - viz, that an honest picture is more valuable than a faked one. Most people would agree with that - but most people will put their hand in their pocket and pay money for a fake one 'cause it's prettier, just so long as they think that it is real!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    It is the failure of photographers to honour the spirit of the general expectation that they will strive to be honest in their work which results in nasty, mistrustful questions like "do you use Photoshop".
    how does one prove to the customer one way or the other, at the exhibition?

  19. #19
    Amor fati!
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    The people asking these questions often wouldjt have a clue about photography or editing, they are quoting a comon phrase from the media.
    I tell them no, i use paintshop pro.

    Sent from my TR718D

  20. #20
    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I would just tell them that that is the scene as I saw it.
    Keith.

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