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Old Jan 12, 2012, 8:21 PM   #41
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It seems to me that everyone accepts some post processing, but the crux of the discussion seems to surround how much processing we personally feel comfortable with before the image turns from a photo to a piece of CGI.

A purist might say that anything but an image shot at 50mm is distorted, and they'd have a point. But to think that anything done while capturing an image reaches some level of 'content purity' seems a bit odd. The image straight out of the camera is already subjected to the internal algorythms of the camera, which are intended to produce an image of acceptable quality through various corrections.

From there we have noise reduction. Color correction. Sharpening. Unsharpening! (LOL). Contrast. Some will say that only the image out of the camera is 'pure', yet many will accept these adjustments as natural. Just like gramma did.

Then we can enhance the sky color. CPL? OK for some. Do it in the computer? OK for some. Pure? Not so much in either case.

Photojournalism can be as pure as anything else in the press. We have an idea we want to convey, so we take a picture of something that supports the idea. In doing so we exclude some things, include others, and in doing so we attempt to influence others. Pure? Not so much. I remember a photo of Saddam H., along with 'evil Bert', on display for the press while the crowd, in Iraq, held banners with statements in English. Tell me that wasn't staged for the benefit of the U.S. viewing public. It's almost like the Heisenburg uncertainty principle all over again - you can't take the picture without altering the event. Pure? Not so much. But I digress.

So when does a photo turn into CGI? The answer is simple and I'm surprised that no-one has brought it forth yet. You see, [content deleted for space considerations]
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 12:03 PM   #42
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Talking to the wife last night (we do talk sometimes) and she reminded me of a term I hadn't heard or used in years from our film days "Trick Photography". A term that was used back in the 70's for anyone that changed the final print from what was really there at the time. What I find funny is back in film days we had to be almost force to manipulate photo, ie: selective coloring (hand painted) and I hate doing anything to a photo. Just thought it wasn't right or pure. Now it's, lets see what I can do to the picture using the computer. Oh well, times and people change.
Comments always welcome.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 12:29 PM   #43
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When I first started seeing digital photographs, I was struck with how overly enhanced they seemed. Too much contrast, colors too saturated, often with sharpening artifacts, so when I bought a digital camera, I went to great pains to avoid the 'digital look'. in setting up for printing, I was able to get prints which exactly matched what I had taken the picture of. Proof of which, I took a couple floral pictures, printed them, and placed the prints next to the originals and took another picture. I found out, of course, that I couldn't get any interest (or sales) for natural looking photos. Entered one in a contest and it was completely ignored - re-processed the photo to (to me) excessive levels of everything, and entered it again the next year and did very well. Have also done informal polls and find that accurate representations of reality do not interest people - they prefer brighter colors and more contrast, with greater sharpness than exists in nature. If you want to sell something, rather than just satisfying yourself, go for the 'Disney Look', and post-process.

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Old Jan 13, 2012, 1:53 PM   #44
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let me preface this with the statement that I work in IT as a Business Analyst. I work on projects to provide business solutions. To me, it all comes down to the following:
1. What is the intent of the final product and it's use.
2. If there is an end-user, what are the requirements of that end user?
3. Are there any rules or regulations governing the product?

So, if you are producing an image for your own personal consumption you can, to my mind, do whatever you want. Period. If you are producing photos for your family and they like bright colors, even if they're artificial and like uber-sharpened images then that's perfectly fine.

But, when you start talking about photojournalism then things change. There it is taboo to alter the 'reality' of the image. The image has a different purpose than the image in the other case so the rules are different.

How much PP work I do on an image completely depends on usage. For example, I have no issues with using affects to bring out vibrant colors in some landscape work. This is no different then choosing Velvia film back in the day. It's not photojournalism. My artistic vision is to accentuate the colors. And, when I've taken family photos I've been known to clone out some objects in photos where I felt I and family would enjoy the photo more. I'm not publishing the work, so removing the coke can on the table doesn't hurt anyone and people like the results better. Or, removing acne on a photo of a family member. No one wants a nice 11x14 photo on the wall where they have a big zit. So, thanks to PP it's gone.

Now, when I was doing work for a paper, none of that would occur.

The point is: requirements come from two places: your end-user and any regulatory agencies. As long as your end-user doesn't want something that is in violation they get to set the rules for what PP work is acceptable. If that end user is the photographer, they get to set all the rules.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 2:17 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
When I first started seeing digital photographs, I was struck with how overly enhanced they seemed. Too much contrast, colors too saturated...
We must be from different generations. In my day, Kodachrome was the very definition of over-saturated color...
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 2:59 PM   #46
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Yes, to a very large degree, it is about intent and the end use.

My situation is similar to Brian's in Vermont. I photograph landscapes, seascapes, etc. for sale at the various local galleries, here on Cape Cod.
My experience is quite similar in that, if I bring in a new work that hasn't been pp and a little HDR added, the gallery folks are not impressed. However, when I boost the intensity of the colors, then everyone is happy. I sell some prints, the gallery folks are happy because they sold something and made a few bucks and the buyer is happy to have a remembrance of their vacation.

Photojournalism is a totally different type of photography. One that, while I understand the importance of, I'm not involved in.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 4:13 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
It's true, photojournalism you shouldn't be making any changes apart from colour correct, noise, exposure and size. It's all about accurately capturing what is happening at the time. I would be worried if a PJ was changing things, then you start getting into the realms of what we see in major magazines where things are not really what they seem
So well said......

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