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View Poll Results: Should photo manipulation be allowed in the forum?
1. Always 10 43.48%
2. Never 1 4.35%
3. Occasionally, on a challenge basis. 12 52.17%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Nov 1, 2008, 4:28 PM   #11
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Lets face it. Most "Photoshopping" is horribly done, anyway.

I say there should be film challenges. No edits, straight from the scanner, taken from a manual camera with no light meter; can't use on-camera filters, tripods, or even neck straps. That's real mans photography.
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Old Nov 1, 2008, 5:31 PM   #12
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Gerafix wrote:
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Lets face it. Most "Photoshopping" is horribly done, anyway.

I say there should be film challenges. No edits, straight from the scanner, taken from a manual camera with no light meter; can't use on-camera filters, tripods, or even neck straps. That's real mans photography.
Hehe Itake ityou know the "photo contest" thingies in newspapers, right? Send up to 3 images for a given challenge etc.

There was a nice challenge some weeks ago: you meet at a certain place/time, borrow a analog/film camera loaded with a film worth of 12 shots. You get your challenge and have to be back next day. They collect the cameras, develop the photos and then everybody can judge. Something for you, I guess?

Your idea with the "film challenges" is great, we could set rules for this and use current equipment. Example: shoot in RAW with a given size (mp). Use "M" mode, set everything manually, including focus. Use in-camera metering where available (i.e. Pentax can do this) or an external light meter. Use custom WB set at your location. You get the idea: do it the "old" way. Take the image straight from the camera, resize with a given technique (e.g. bicubic, should be there in all programs) to a given size (e.g. 900px longest side) and 3:2 ratio. No other manipulation. How does that sound?

I only fear this will limit the number of entries dramatically...

Yours,
Th.
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Old Nov 1, 2008, 7:11 PM   #13
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Taking the photo directly from the camera as a finished picture is not avoiding manipulation, it is merely letting someone do the work for you., namely the technicians that programmed the firmware.
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Old Nov 1, 2008, 7:18 PM   #14
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Walter, Brian and Angie pretty well sum up my feelings. There was much more participation in this forum when we just worked on our photographic skills not our computer skills.

Bob H.
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Old Nov 1, 2008, 7:49 PM   #15
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bhammitt wrote:
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Walter, Brian and Angie pretty well sum up my feelings. There was much more participation in this forum when we just worked on our photographic skills not our computer skills.

Bob H.
I would have to say "ditto" for me as well.

I have not been participating lately, but it had nothing to do with the subject of the recent challenges. I have just been incredibly busy.

I would like to see this forum focus on traditional photographic skills. Challenges that might be given as assignments in a photography class. I am not opposed to photo-manipulation. I just think there are other forums and opportunities to express that aspect of this craft.

I will happily continue to participate in those challenges that I feel will help me improve my skills. I will quietly and respectfully refrain from those that don't interest me.

BTW, I want to express my appreciation to all of the moderators and thank them for their input on my photos. I don't always necessarily agree with them but I certainly respect and welcome all of their comments.

Onward and upward,
Steve
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Old Nov 2, 2008, 6:30 AM   #16
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There has been a marked decline in participation in recent challenges, and I think the comments in this thread go a long way in explaining why. I enjoyed playing with the manipulation tools and the challenge of it forced me to learn some new computer techniques, some of which I will probably incorporate into my everyday photography. However, they didn't get me out taking new photos.

The best challenges for me have been those that forced me to work with the most technically complex equipment I own--my eyes and the right frontal lobe of my brain. When because of shooting a challenge, I begin to look at scenes in front of me and see a photo that I might not have otherwise seen, then the challenge has helped me grow as a photographer.

A couple of examples: Since the challenge on "Rays" in summer 2007, I have become far more aware of this phenomenon and have taken advantage of it on numerous occasions to produce memorable photos. Similarly, the natural Framing challenge in spring of 2007 enlarged my vision to include those foreground elements that can effectively highlight by putting into a frame.

My thoughts on manipulation are not that different from most of those who have posted in this thread. Most of us agree that the primary focus needs to be on the photography, not on mechanical aspects such as photo manipulation. I see nothing wrong with adjustments that enhance the central aspects of the photo. Modern digital photography presupposes a workflow that will include such adjustments. Many DSLR's, in fact, are set up to produce an image that is somewhat neutral, leaving room for adjustment in post-processing to emphasize those qualities the photographer wants to push.

Cropping, resizing, levels, curves, sharpening, etc--these are all basic workflow techniques that I would expect to do on any photo before I show it to anyone else. I think the real issue comes when we talk about all the fancy little doo-dads in the effects menus of our editors, and , of course, that handly little clone stamp tool.

I see nothing wrong with cloning out a minor distracting element, but I do think the line should definitely stop short of allowing elements to be combined from multiple images I like a phrase from what thkn said: "manipulation is ok, as long as the reason for the manipulation is to show the things that were there when the photographer took the image."

Digital photography is not film photography. Great film photographers used their own sets of post-processing tools to get the most of their images. To slavishly insist on "out of camera" product is to not maximize the tools we have.

I have rambled longer than I intended, but this subject has bothered me because it has been so divisive on this board. I have come to respect the many talented photographers I have met here. I feel like it would be a real pleasure to go out and spend a day shooting with any of you. (It was a true pleasure to share a lunch with one of our moderators, selvin, this summer.) Because of that, I hate to see personality conflicts intrude on our community.

Regardless of where we put the line, I will go along with the feeling of the board and will continue to contribute.

Paul

Edit: BTW, calr ...I voted in the poll for the third option, but I would have liked to have seen a fourth option....Limited manipulation at all times. When manipulation is made a part of the challenge description, there is a tendency to shift the focus to that manipulation, rather than the photo.

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Old Nov 2, 2008, 11:38 AM   #17
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Gerafix wrote:
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Lets face it. Most "Photoshopping" is horribly done, anyway.

I say there should be film challenges. No edits, straight from the scanner, taken from a manual camera with no light meter; can't use on-camera filters, tripods, or even neck straps. That's real mans photography.
What a wuss. a real man would just poke a hole in a shoebox and then duplicate the image digitally by individually colouring each pixel! Preferably using binary, but hex values could be allowed on occasion. :lol:


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Old Nov 2, 2008, 11:56 AM   #18
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in all seriousness, i think lack of participation comes down to a couple of factors. I think that the challenges are often too concrete and narrow, as in "Rays", where you have a very limited time to catch a natural phenomenon, IF it happens during those two weeks and IF you have your camera, etc.

I would like to see more abstract topics. In one Shoot Out-esque club i was once in, we had a challenge that was simply called "Green". Lots of room for creative interpretation. for example, a shootout called "fury" could have models in a heated argument, an angry and moodily-lit close up portrait, or a glimpse of nature's fury in the form of a storm. Challenges should encourage creative interpretation rather than doing the same thing everyone else is doing. Emotions, colours, philosophies - all of these have a fantastic range of unique interpretations available ("justice" has many connotations, some could even interpret it as "just us" and i think that is perfectly acceptable - we're not keeping score and it's an exercise in creativity). I feel as though when the challenges are too narrow, concrete, or prescribed, everyone's going to end up with the same thing (part of the reason i enjoyed the no-holds-barred manipulation last time). Ersatz filters are cool but they have a been-there-done-that feel to them and I think it's a bit tapped out to be honest.

I am totally on board with trojansoc's idea of all-the-time, limited manipulation (with the guidelines relaxed a bit from where they are now).

Sorry for the way this reads. it's a bit higgeldy-piggeldy (lots of parenthetical statements here :lol

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Old Nov 2, 2008, 3:58 PM   #19
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+1 to trojansoc's comments. Well said.


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Old Nov 2, 2008, 6:32 PM   #20
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What do I think? I think it's a real shame that this board has gotten so boring with all this bickering. I agree with Trojansoc mostly.
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