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Old Jan 5, 2005, 8:35 AM   #1
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It was another dark, cloudy, rainy, miserable morning again today. So,
I decided to play around with the downy woodpecker pic I posted yesterday.
Here's what I did:
1. Duplicate layer (to be layer 2 as ref).
2. Used magic wand to select the white background on layer 2. Did an
invert selection and cleared the foreground. Re-inverted, expanded 5 pixels.
Filed the selection with grey.
3. Duplicated layer 2 -> layer 3. Selected grey area in layer 3 and did render -> clouds. Gaussian blur on this area at 60 pixel and set layer to luminosity blend.
3. On layer 2, created gradient from bottom to top, skewed somewhat to the left.
4. Played with curves on all three layers and amount of luminosity blend of layer 3.

So, Opinions anyone?

before


after
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Old Jan 6, 2005, 9:44 AM   #2
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Now, that was alot of work you went to woodmeister! I do think the result is more presentable than the original. Doing stuff like that is really a great way to learn how to use your image editing tool expertly.

I wonder... if this image were now good enough to sell, would you feel that you had to inform your viewing public that the image had been substantially digitally altered? Just a question I'm curious as to the answer and an issue which I've seen evoke lots of emotion and response from many people...
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 3:40 AM   #3
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I read this post last last night and was going to jump on an answer, until
I thought about it for a while.

I think there is a more basic question here. Should the original capture, digital or film,
be taken as an absolute or, as in any other artform, is it just a collection of data to be used as a starting point for the artist? My guess is, you would
get a whole range of answers, from the photographic purist who would
say what you see is what you get, to anything is fair game.

As a side note, I was helping a friend at her booth at an artshow, she does
work with water colors, and next to us was a photographer's booth. I didn't
hear any one ask if images were altered, they bought the work because they
liked what they saw. So I guess my final answer would be based on who I was
selling to. If I was selling to a magazine, I would be upfront about the
manipulation. If I was selling them at a show or on a street corner, I don't
think it matters because people would buy it because they like what they
see.
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 9:27 AM   #4
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woodmeister - very good response! :-)

In the discussions (battles?) that I've been witness to over this issue the opinions did run the gamut, just as you mentioned. It's an rwars type of thing among people exactly because people are different and cannot be expected to hold the same opinions regarding an issue that isn't so basic and clear cut.

Your rationalization of when and where and to whom you would disclose details of the image's editing seems well measured to me. My own personal comfort level allows me to get away with a blanket statement for all my images that they were captured with digital media and edited with digital editing tools to bring them more into alignment with what my eye (not necessarily the camera) saw at the time I took the shot. So, if I were exhibiting 20 pictures, I wouldn't be detailing what I did for each picture, but as part of my bio I would just state the above. The rules change a bit if my pictures were destined for photojournalistic purposes, as you also pointed out - IMHO, that purpose demands truth.

Thanks for thinking about the issue and talking about it!
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 2:10 PM   #5
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As far as I'm concerned, the person buying the piece does not need to know the details of how it got that way. If they buy it, they are simply approving of how it looks, and don't need to know any more than that. I know that's typically how I am when buying anything in terms of artistic type stuff. If it's pleasing to my eye, it surely doesn't matter to me how it got that way, if I wanted one, I'd take it if it was unmodified or not.



Now from a technical standpoint I'd probably be curious, however, it surely would not affect a sale to find out that it's been modified.



On the other hand if I was looking to hire a photographer for something, and found out every image taken is severely edited in order to compensate for not particularly knowing how toset up the camera, I might be a little concerned... I guess to me it depends on whether you're selling the art, or the service of photography...
***Edited*** Notice, I was notsaying you don't know how to set up a camera, I stepped back and re-read what I wrote and itcould be taken that way. Don't take it that way, I was justtalking in generalities in that paragraph...


Good looking photo by the way, both the original and the edited one...
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 4:40 AM   #6
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No problem Geoff. It was a good thing to get me thinking about.

BTW Tim, I understood the point you were trying to make, there was no need for the edit.
If I were hiring someone, I would probably have the same reservations.
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