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checklg Oct 7, 2002 1:46 AM

Dragonfly at Musselburgh, 6 October 2002. Used Macro and optical zoom on CP4500, cropped in Photoshop.

For a more complete view see -

Klaus DK Oct 7, 2002 2:41 AM

Nice shot. Very much details.

checklg Oct 8, 2002 6:43 AM

Thank you. I experimented this weekend by changing the Image Adjustment and Image Sharpening options on the camera from Auto to Normal, but left the Saturation Control at zero. As well as cropping in Photshop I also applied some additional contrast and a little bit of unsharp mask.

Klaus DK Oct 8, 2002 6:54 AM

Yes, and you got a nice pic. I think that it proves, that it's not all up to the camera. It's also very important what we do to the photos afterwards. But down to earth it's nothing else than a darkchamber, isn't it! If someone would call it cheating - then what isn't ? cheating! What about when you use the settings in your cameras menu - it's a kind of manipulation. It's not always a goal in itself to catch the reality.
(Oops, got a bit philosophic there...)

checklg Oct 11, 2002 7:13 AM

Modified images
Klaus, I think you've raised a number of interesting points here.

If I take a photograph with my old camera (purchased 1976) I try a few bracketing shots and then pop the film into the chemists for developing and printing. If the picture doesn't come out quite how I'd like it - tough - I've done my own black and white printing in the past but I never did colour.

Now we have a very fine degree of control over the camera settings and arguably an even finer degree over the final image, due to packages like Neat Image and Photoshop. We can use these tools to try and suppress the noise and bring out the finer qualities of the image. I believe that the fact that we can do this contributes to what I'd describe as the "ultra-realistic" tendency of digital photography. I think that "less is more" when it comes to modifying the image from the camera, but we do have to consider the target media. Particularly how the image may look as a thumbnail if we aim to publish on the Internet.

But we don't have to stop there. We can use these techniques to bring out latent qualities in the subjects that we photograph. I was looking at the detail of a patch of mica on a previous photograph and tried to imagine how it would look if it was beginning to melt (in my defence it had been a rather hot sunny day). So I polished the detail with Neat Image (effectively telling Neat Image that image detail was noise) and then added a plastic finish and enhanced contrast with Photoshop. I like the attached result but it may not be to everyone's taste.

Klaus DK Oct 11, 2002 8:44 AM

Hi Graham.

That's exactly my point. You can do ANYTHING to a photo - someone WILL be pleased. The camera is important - but it depens on a lot of parameters such as who gonna watch, how much do you manipulate it, colors etc.

I like your photo for it' s colors, but now no one can tell what it is. So you have to like it for the colors, contrast and what you see in it.

If you look at my gallery, you also see a high degree of photomanipulation.

By the way - I also remember the earlier days in the darkroom, the smell, the fluids and red lights. My wife bangin' at the door to get me out of there. Some fine days - now she just drag my chair away. Yes it's a lot easier for everyone , but then again now we're all ones and zeros!

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