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Thread: When does a Picture become an Image (PP)

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    When does a Picture become an Image (PP)

    When does a Single frame from a DSLR cease to be a Picture and become an Image?

    We talk about Pictures in these forums alot, but are they pictures or blends of untold layers that have been dodged/burnt - over saturated - contrast adjusted, colours removed and or highlighted in set areas to make an image.

    Maybe we could suggest to Rick to change the name of this site to Aus Post Production. What do you think?

    I understand that before the age of the Digital Sensor, that Photograhers used different techniques to alter their negitives to give a desired result, but has it now gone to far?

    I @ M, raised a fair challenge regarding the model industry in an attemp to have the perfect face/look (All be it in a Post pushing at marketing ploys)

    We see this in several of our beloved Land/Sea Scape regulars, layered to the hilt to have their stamp/touch on a picture or is it now an image. Is it because they didn't have the right conditions and we have teh ability to alter the Picture so much.

    Would love to hear your thoughts, expecially from the Macro and Bird world, can they do this to make the bird look better with a pinkish sky, or the FG adjusted or their feathers blob or skimmed to loose/gain some weight???

    Have we lost the art of Photography?

    Or do you believe it's necessary to push the levels of Post Production to get your perfect shot?

    And so, good luck picking POTY or maybe Layered - Pushed/Pulled - Dodged/Burned - Over/Under Saturated - Liquified/Smudged/Skimmed Image of the Year...
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    Tricky question you have posed here

    One of the biggest misconceptions I have seen in recent times is how certain ppl tend to believe that photography for fashion or glamour/beauty is way over photoshopped etc, but failed to take into account the amount of work applied to land/seascape images. Which can have more PP done to it than any other photoshopped model image. When shooting for high end fashion stuff there is surprisingly not that much amount of PP applied, mainly due to time constraints/turn around time before publication - bar the occasional Liquify tool and airbrushing - which is not that much work compared to adding 5 or 10 new layers to a landscape shot and other alterations.

    I have a few colleagues and friends who uses a lot of chroma-key stuff for their genre of work. But they themselves acknowledge that what they are doing is more digital media and art than actual photography. As the actual photographed part forms less than 20% of the end image.

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    Yep agree with JM, Tricky subject Roosta , But I feel safe , Lately I've been shooting with no filters or tricky things , I don't know how to use layers for Multiple image blending , No HDR just as I shoot with the same processing as the film days , Levels, contrast ( selectivley) Some Dogding and Burning , All basic stuff , But I do understand where your coming from - Bill
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    I would agree.

    I have seen photos that have had sun rays and foggy effects added to create a mood. Even dropping in a dark ominous sky that looked nothing like the original scene. And they have won comps here on AP.

    My processing takes me less than 5 minutes on each photo. If I have to spend more than that, I delete it. My process is generally a levels adjustment, perhaps a curves adjustment, saturation boost (sometimes selectively), maybe clone out some small aspects (rubbish on the foreshore, dust bunnies), and sharpen.

    Usually I have about 4 layers, if that.

    I think the lines between photography and digital art have been blurred. Unfortunately no-one has set a RULE for photographers that says how much is to much.
    Last edited by ricktas; 09-01-2012 at 7:16pm.
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    I have a 10 min rule with my PP (cos I am old and slow on the computer) - basically I shot in RAW and use the RAW converter in PSE 9 to do a very quick adjustment and then in PSE I do a levels, brightness and contrast adjustment, sometimes a colur curves adjustment and an Unsharp sharpening (I hope that is the right terminology) and thats it.

    Sometimes with my underwater shots I will use the 'Dust and Scratches' filter to remove floaty stuff (backscatter) from the water.

    I know one guy who will spend an hour min on a photo in PS just to enter it in a comp - not for me.

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    Hello Roosta. I think people have to push their creative talent and diversify their presentation to suit what they need. I prefer natural - for me -but also visually like what others create without necessarily wanting the same for myself. I have had my first slr (a D90) for just over a year now. I try to limit my pp to what i think is acceptable for members to give me learning cc. i always check the levels and adjust and then I check for brightness and contrast -- get rid of the ffffff (member cc taught me about this as i knew nothing!!) Sometimes saturation (and i also sometimes use a grad filter on my camera ).. and then I sharpen. I would like sometime to post something "ok" but not anything done to it - straight out of the camera and ask what other members would do with it. It would be a very good learning experience even if they said "go back and try again". I don't understand layers or hdr at this point and just want to take good pictures. i like what others can do with this but I need to get better at the original picture.
    Kathy

    Using a Nikon D90 and 18-200mm VR lens

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    Photography is an art I believe. The photographer's interpretation is presented as a final artwork. The process of acheiving said artwork is up to the photographer and while there are differences I see between digital images that have been entirely changed from an original photo take to create mad popping surreal type art that definitely says " I am digital art and I'm altered" there are also photos deemed " artwork" purely due to a good eye and good light, with minimal pp...and they are something very beautiful in a different way.

    Finally there's just a really nice picture that doesnt seem like art, but more of a really nice moment captured. You wouldn't hang it on a wall, but you'd definitely treasure it. But an artist took it. And it's their interpretation of a moment captured, so is that art?


    Tricky one

    Each to their own

    I don't think we need rules to determine what we create is viable. An artist interpretation is just that. An interpretation. Only the tools differ. I think genre is a good word.

    As a fan of b&w creations....well they're all processed to get the required effect / presentation. If there was a limit on pp to deem something viable I think we'd lose a lot of good art. I mean photography started in b&w didn't it? So our color photography could be seen as a form of in camera pp.

    A good image is a good image is a good image. It's something great to capture the eye and the senses...and maybe even the soul.


    Again genre is a good word if one wanted to distinguish how the image got to be good.


    Like Kathy said , I want to learn to take good photos that need little pp to correct technical errors on my part...but I wouldn't want my artistic flare quashed if i added to them to make them even more impressive.How people present their photos is the very act of art...and I would not like to lose the art of photography at all...ever.
    Last edited by Kerrie; 09-01-2012 at 8:42pm.



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    Here you go, a challenge to see how good you are at picking.

    Post your results in this thread:

    http://area.autodesk.com/fakeorfoto/challenge

    I got 5 right..sheesh!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    When does a Single frame from a DSLR cease to be a Picture and become an Image?
    A picture is an image.
    Two images combined creates another image.
    Do what ever else to it, makes another image.
    It's not new, just more accessible in the digital world.
    I don't necessarily like it much, but heck, if the image looks good to you (and maybe others), so be it.
    I use no processing software other than DPP that came with the camera. Maybe I'm under processing.
    Good topic Blue.

    Got 7.
    Last edited by Mark L; 09-01-2012 at 8:57pm.
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    I got 5 but I think it was guesswork!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    A picture is an image.
    Two images combined creates another image.
    Do what ever else to it, makes another image.
    It's not new, just more accessible in the digital world.
    I don't necessarily like it much, but heck, if the image looks good to you (and maybe others), so be it.
    I use no processing software other than DPP that came with the camera. Maybe I'm under processing.
    Good topic Blue.

    Got 7.
    Switch image and picture and it still means the same. I am another one who if it takes more than 10 minutes to get right it is not worth working on, and I still don't know how to use layers.
    I got 6.
    Keith.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Here you go, a challenge to see how good you are at picking.

    Post your results in this thread:

    http://area.autodesk.com/fakeorfoto/challenge

    I got 5 right..sheesh!
    Got 8 correct.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawko02 View Post
    -- get rid of the ffffff (member cc taught me about this as i knew nothing!!)
    What is this = ffffff ?

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    This is the age old question Bluey. Is it a real picture, or a make believe one? I like to have a picture make me feel something when I view it. personally though I do very little PP. I don't do dodge and burn, I don't do layers, I couldn't even if I wanted to. The most I do is an automated pano stitch and a few odd adjustments in LR or DPP. Most of my shots pass without much fanfare or comment. Are they that bad? Probably. They look so flat and plain compared to others. Then I do try something a bit risque and it usually fails miserably. If I was an accomplished photoshopper I could make them pop off the screen and delight the masses, get heaps of comments and everybody may like them a whole heap more. At the end of the day though isn't that what everybody wants? To view something that makes them say WOW, what a shot that is! It looks great. So, as much as I always said I was against a lot of PP I am slowly coming around to the fact quite a lot of shots need it and are infinitely better for it. And as long as the viewer loves it, who really cares if it is not perfect and as the eye saw it? It is the WOW factor, or feeling the image gives us that counts probably moreso than how it got that way.
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    Sunrise Chaser
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    I got 7

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    I got 7!
    Call me Roo......
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  17. #17
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    I got six - but I didn't take heaps of time choosing either.

    With my birding, I used to try and change my images - not anymore. Now I try to get it right in camera and position myself right out in the field to get the best image possible without distractions etc. All I do is soften the background and sharpen the bird. In raw mode sometimes I will add fill light and fiddle with the exposure if necessary.

    I think because of bokeh from the telephoto lens, people think its photoshopped in my bird photos, but I do not do anything much to my backgrounds. I not really into backgrounds that show no shape of the environment, if that makes sense.

    edit: I don't mind pp, but I just wanna get the birds all the time and spend less pping the blighters. My people shots, now that is different.
    Last edited by Shelley; 10-01-2012 at 12:42pm.
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    I got 7.

    No effort or thought, just guessed each one as computer generated.

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    Hello Roosta. The"ffffff" - I click on the colour picker tool in Gimp and tick the show info window and then on the white in the picture which is generally clouds. If you get the fffffff or eeee etc then it is over exposed and I need to alter the brightness and contrast (at least that is what I do)
    Last edited by hawko02; 10-01-2012 at 1:48pm.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    Tricky question you have posed here

    One of the biggest misconceptions I have seen in recent times is how certain ppl tend to believe that photography for fashion or glamour/beauty is way over photoshopped etc, but failed to take into account the amount of work applied to land/seascape images. Which can have more PP done to it than any other photoshopped model image. When shooting for high end fashion stuff there is surprisingly not that much amount of PP applied, mainly due to time constraints/turn around time before publication - bar the occasional Liquify tool and airbrushing - which is not that much work compared to adding 5 or 10 new layers to a landscape shot and other alterations.

    I have a few colleagues and friends who uses a lot of chroma-key stuff for their genre of work. But they themselves acknowledge that what they are doing is more digital media and art than actual photography. As the actual photographed part forms less than 20% of the end image.
    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Yep agree with JM, Tricky subject Roosta , But I feel safe , Lately I've been shooting with no filters or tricky things , I don't know how to use layers for Multiple image blending , No HDR just as I shoot with the same processing as the film days , Levels, contrast ( selectivley) Some Dogding and Burning , All basic stuff , But I do understand where your coming from - Bill
    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I would agree.

    I have seen photos that have had sun rays and foggy effects added to create a mood. Even dropping in a dark ominous sky that looked nothing like the original scene. And they have won comps here on AP.

    My processing takes me less than 5 minutes on each photo. If I have to spend more than that, I delete it. My process is generally a levels adjustment, perhaps a curves adjustment, saturation boost (sometimes selectively), maybe clone out some small aspects (rubbish on the foreshore, dust bunnies), and sharpen.

    Usually I have about 4 layers, if that.

    I think the lines between photography and digital art have been blurred. Unfortunately no-one has set a RULE for photographers that says how much is to much.

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