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Thread: Photo editing

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    Photo editing

    I may be wrong, and I am only very new to photography, however it seems to me that most photos taken are adjusted using photoshop or an equivilent type of software. Now, again I may be wrong however I don't understand how a photo can be considered good if it has been altered using software. Surely this just means the software user is good at using a computer program.
    Again, I am new to these forums and photography and simply do not understand how a photo that has been computer enhanced could win a competition. If someone has an opinion on this I would be happy to here it.
    Last edited by ausbob; 22-11-2011 at 11:06am.

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    This is a huge question but suffice to say that you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. However if you start with something good then using software allows you to create something incredible. I would doubt that any professional thesedays does not at the minimum adjust either contrast, colour balance, exposure, saturation or vibrancy at least. Prior to digital this would have been done in the dark room. Its not cheating and there are categories within competitions that allow for more complex manipulations of digital imaging.
    I just read a new photographers resume that states they have a degree in IT which makes them therefore good at photography. I had to laugh because it all starts with the camera hence my initial statement.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, Ausbob. There have been a few discussions on this very topic. Firstly, you're not "wrong" in having that point of view, as there's no real right/wrong. However, most people recognise that most photos taken with any means whatever require "some work". In fact, when you take a digital photo the camera already does do some work on it, a lot if you just take them as Jpegs. When you otake them as Raw images, the raw converter has to eventually turn them into Jpegs or some other format, like Tiff. This requires some working of the original info.

    Now to an old film days analogy: even here your photo got "worked some" for printing, usually to get the negative to produce an averaged toned print. If the neg was too badly exposed you couldn't do much.

    The foregoing is a bit rough, but you'll get a heap of replies/references to earlier ones with this thread.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Taking the image using:
    the light;
    the chosen lens at a particular aperture
    the positioning of camera
    the chosen film (or sensor)
    the particular timing and duration of the Shutter Release

    . . . has always ONLY been a PORTION of the process of making a Photograph for presentation, critique or award.

    The Film is then developed (and that process can be manipulated)
    The Negative is then printed in the Darkroom (and that process also can be manipulated).

    There is no difference with digital only the processes and options are different.

    WW

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    If you shoot jpeg the camera computer is of course already doing image processing for you.
    Darren
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    And of course, using filters like ND's, polarisers, and all sorts of coloured filters would be a form of manipulation, but done in a different order. This is really just a spurious argument by people who prefer their manipulation process to the process of others. I mean, straight out of the camera might be mandatory for passport photos, but who wants to shoot them all day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Taking the image using:
    the light;
    the chosen lens at a particular aperture
    the positioning of camera
    the chosen film (or sensor)
    the particular timing and duration of the Shutter Release

    . . . has always ONLY been a PORTION of the process of making a Photograph for presentation, critique or award.

    The Film is then developed (and that process can be manipulated)
    The Negative is then printed in the Darkroom (and that process also can be manipulated).

    There is no difference with digital only the processes and options are different.

    WW
    I have seen online some of Ansel Adams darkroom worksheets for his famous prints - one has 27 steps and took him 4 days to get just how he had envisaged it when he shot the negative. Photoshop and other programs are the 'digital darkroom' where we exercise our judgement on the initial RAW image we have captured. Do you think it would be better to let the camera manufacturer set the parameters - which is exactly what you do if you shoot jpeg? I prefer to control it myself.

    And then there are photo montages / layers, which have always been about. There was a famous fuss at the Australian War archives (before the days of the memorial) when historian Bean objected to the fact that some of Hurley's WWI trenches images were darkroom 'sandwiches' of 3 or 4 negatives. Hurley maintained he only did this to create scenes he had seen but that were impossible to photograph in one 'go'.

    There is nothing new in photo manipulation and processes such as retouching, hiding blemishes etc. It is just easire for us all to do it with our digital darkroom.
    Odille

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    There is nothing new in photo manipulation and processes such as retouching, hiding blemishes etc. It is just easier for us all to do it with our digital darkroom.
    HAHA!
    I forgot to list the retouching of the print - I still have a full set of retouching inks and various scalpels and brushes.

    And certainly using Perspective Control in Digital Post Production is far easier than laying the cropping board below the enlarger at three skewed angles and also curling the paper whilst keeping it all perfectly still for 30 seconds and dodging and burning it also.

    WW

    Addendum:

    The filters and similar I thought of as part of the lens, but Yes, they should be listed separately I think, good point.
    Last edited by William W; 22-11-2011 at 3:58pm. Reason: added addendum referencing Snoopy's comment

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    "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

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
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    Thanks for that, I will keep an open mind

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    Digital software changes the pics heaps more than the dark room methods I would have thought. The ability with photoshop does for my thinking make pics look like 'how the hell did they get that nice pic' when it was a good photoshopper. I appreciate the ability of software but I do think it cheapens the shot even though some pics that have been touched up look breathtaking. I understand its part of the magicians bag of tricks but still, thats me anyway. Oh and I will early next year take the jump into learning a software package to manipulate the pics but still think a wow pic can be the difference in your photoshop skills and that's a shame.

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    Quote Roo : 'how the hell did they get that nice pic' when it was a good photoshopper

    If you shoot jpeg, The little processor in the Camera does some automatic processing for you on the image you took

    I choose to shoot RAW and I use a bigger processor (My Computor) to do the same thing with an image editing program , IMO thats not Photoshopping

    Took this yesterday, So this is Photoshopped, Shot in RAW and processed in both Lightroom and Photoshop
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    Last edited by William; 23-11-2011 at 6:26pm.
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    William, maybe you could also post the OOC raw to sure that you don't need to go overboard with processing, but some is worthwhile. (I'm assuming that's what it would show )
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    The brutal reality is that as you get more experienced and better behind the camera you will realise how important post processing is to making a piece of art

    It's a bit if a right of passage in the photography world I think

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    In reality, the only people who give a damn about how an images is produced, are other photographers. The general public and customers generally do not give a damn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    William, maybe you could also post the OOC raw to sure that you don't need to go overboard with processing, but some is worthwhile. (I'm assuming that's what it would show )
    As per request Mark. Untouched RAW, Not even sharpened , Just put the frame around it
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    Last edited by William; 23-11-2011 at 9:01pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    People seem to assume that the camera and lenses are perfect, and capture the shot with exact and precise reproduction of the scene the lens is pointed at. Guess what, lenses are far from perfect, glass has imperfections, sensors cannot capture the full range of brightness that the human eye can see. sRGB and AdobeRGB are often used colourspaces that digital cameras use as the basis for the colours that the sensor can capture, yet they are are only part of the full range of colours that nature can produce and that the human eye can see.

    As the light fades at the end of the day, humans see lovely dark rich blue skies, and reds and oranges in the sunset, and we can also see into the shadows. Yet our cameras end up giving us a grainy finish as the sensor cannot deal with longer exposures and or higher ISO's. Yet the human eye doesn't see this scene with graininess.

    Our cameras and lenses are imperfect tools, why should we be accepting their imperfections if they are producing a result that is not what the human eye saw at the time. Photoshop allows us to correct those faults in our capture technique and gear quality.

    So if you have a perfect camera and perfect lens, go ahead and stop using editing, but if your gear is not perfect..well there is a solution, so why not use it?

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    Member Roo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    The brutal reality is that as you get more experienced and better behind the camera you will realise how important post processing is to making a piece of art

    It's a bit if a right of passage in the photography world I think
    I read what you said in the other thread that Ricktas linked here and I agree with mostly what you said and strongly agree with your quote of "I think this has a lot to do with negativity surrounding the often ridiculous plasticisation of magazine covers". When a person can turn a large person with warts on there face into a super model from the original pic is morphed into something completed different and unattainable to a non savvy photoshop person, more so, that was not able to be done old school lets say in the dark room. That's not art that's just manipulation of pixels imho. Yes that could be the "purist" view of mine that you referred to but like I said I am embarking on Photoshop early next year and look forward to the journey that comes with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roo View Post
    Digital software changes the pics heaps more than the dark room methods I would have thought. The ability with photoshop does for my thinking make pics look like 'how the hell did they get that nice pic' when it was a good photoshopper. I appreciate the ability of software but I do think it cheapens the shot even though some pics that have been touched up look breathtaking. I understand its part of the magicians bag of tricks but still, thats me anyway. Oh and I will early next year take the jump into learning a software package to manipulate the pics but still think a wow pic can be the difference in your photoshop skills and that's a shame.
    Everything you can do in PS could be done in the print darkroom. As I said, it is easier and faster, but not new. WW's point about perspective correction in the old wet darkroom is a good one, it used to be a nightmare! Transparencies were a different kettle of fish, but even there by pushing and pulling film speed and development time you could manipulate 'reality'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    William, maybe you could also post the OOC raw to sure that you don't need to go overboard with processing, but some is worthwhile. (I'm assuming that's what it would show )
    Mark, RAW files are not suitable for use straight out of the camera, and to post it here it would have to be converted to a jpeg, so straight off you lose the sense of how it really looked 'straight out of the camera'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    Mark, RAW files are not suitable for use straight out of the camera, and to post it here it would have to be converted to a jpeg, so straight off you lose the sense of how it really looked 'straight out of the camera'.
    You can't view the RAW file, even on your camera. What you see is the embedded JPG created as a preview file. Some RAW files have two or three embedded JPG files. CR2 files when put into Zoombrowser (Canon Software) allow you to "extract" the embedded JPG, or to "convert" to JPG. The extracted JPG would probably be the closest you'll get to seeing what the RAW really contains.

    There seems to be a fixation with some about wanting to see the original versus the finished article. As I mentioned earlier, this seems to only worry other photographers.

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