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Old Feb 27, 2010, 10:46 AM   #11
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Photography IS art.

All scenes are manipulated by the camera and lenses - using different apertures with the same scene will give you very different pictures. And different lenses do different things (like a picture I took of pier posts with a fisheye - definitely not "realistic"!). Add a colored gel over a flash or a colored filter, instant unrealistic picture. The photographer has a big influence over what the scene is - raise the camera up a bit and you show the architecture of a room. Move it down a bit and you have a human interest picture of a group of students. Which is the real scene?

Is it not photography to spend hours in a darkroom dodging and burning (think Ansel Adams)? What's the difference between doing that and doing the same thing on the computer?

Photography is art using lenses and accessories instead of brushes and paint to capture light and shapes - just a different media.

Photojournalism certainly has different rules for what is acceptable, but how often do reporters manipulate things? There was the incident of the L.A. Times photographer who took two frames, taken seconds apart, and combined parts of each of them to create a really dramatic picture. He got caught because a person in the background was in the picture twice and got fired. But how about those photographers who carry a teddy bear or other toy to document an earthquake or building collapse, placing the toy in the foreground to create a more dramatic shot? That scene wasn't digitally altered, but it was manipulated. My opinion is that both situations are unacceptable when it comes to photojournalism, but don't have a problem with either situation if you are talking about other types of photography.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 12:34 PM   #12
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Somewhere along the line, a photograph ceases to be a photograph and simply becomes a canvas.

Merriam-Webster defines photography as "the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip)."

So, as long as all you're doing in post processing is manipulating the levels of light, it's still "photography". But once you start doing something to a photograph that isn't related to the recordation and manipulation of light, then it ceases to be photography.

My first memory is when I was three years old. As he often did, my father took me to the Hayden Plantetarium, part of the American Museum of Natural History, in midtown Manahattan. Part of the presentation that day was how to photograph the moon. Taking a photograph of a perfectly full moon is rare, since the moon is only truly full for a few minutes. If you miss that opportunity, you capture an image of the moon with one side nice and sharp and the other side with a faint shadow. The lecturer said that astronomers will take a photograph of the moon a few days before the full moon, take another a few days after the full moon, and put the two together, creating a perfect image of a full moon with both sides of the moon equally sharp. So I learned at a very early age that someone could lie with a photograph, and I always try not to lie.
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Last edited by TCav; Feb 27, 2010 at 12:36 PM.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 1:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
After reading your responses so far, what I get is that anything done to a photo which corrects any distortions by the camera is ok – chromatic aberration, perspective distortion, color shift, focus problems, lens flare, exposure problems. But once you go beyond the scene shot such as I have illustrated here then it has crossed the line into the fantasy and shouldnt be considered a photograph, or at the very least an altered photograph. That said once Portrait Pro is applied to any photo then it automatically removes it from being a photograph to something further along. Maybe a portrait photograper should have another trade name like Portrait Manipulator. Im sure no photographer would let that big zit remain on the photo he/she expects to make some money on. Removing zits and wrinkles is done with the pure intention to deceive. In my above illustation Ive never seen that church at nite. I have no idea what the lighting would look like. I know the stained glass windows wouldnt be as bright because the outside has a protective frosty glass covering and the windows are meant to be seen properly only from the inside during daylight hours. So my imagination has forced it out of being a photograph but rather based on a photograph. Whether its art or not is another question. Thanks for your responses.
TCav, and I have both posted the definition of "Photography." That posted definition, as I said before backs up everyones position but mine...

Should this not end the discussion? Yet I look at that definition and note that it was given in 1840. Things have changed quite a bit. No doubt Photo-manipulation is almost as old as photography, even so, even so, let's take a look at the definition of "air plane"

Quote:
air·plane


–noun
1.a heavier-than-air aircraft kept aloft by the upward thrust exerted by the passing air on its fixed wings and driven by propellers, jet propulsion, etc.

2.any similar heavier-than-air aircraft, as a glider or helicopter.


Seems pretty clear, but yet we have another definition for "rocket ship."

It's a rocket propelled "air craft."

Why? Doesn't the definition for air plane include propellers, helocopters, etc? Why rocket ship? Why is there a need for a new definition, a seperate definition?

Going back to photography, if we accept as valid the definition presented in the dictionary, than a product of a modeling and rendering program IS a photograph. The language of such programs is photographic; doesn't that mean that a photograph can be "taken" even without a camera of Any Kind?

So in all seriousness, we have here a delemma. It would appear that most of those who disagree with me, would not go so far as to say that the product of rendering programs are photographs. That you at least need a camera to be a photographer.

I believe in dictionaries and definitions. But definitions change over time. Isn't this one of those times?

If all the above makes sense, isn't it time to redefine things? We cannot have it both ways. Either the definition is valid as is, or it needs to be changed to eliminate certain aspects which are way out of line.

"Photography"

"Photographic Art"

These may not be exact, but they will give the reader of captions an idea of what they are looking at.

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Old Feb 27, 2010, 1:55 PM   #14
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I don't think it's as complicated as it is being made to sound. We already have two terms that describe what we are talking about....no need to create another. When talking about the artistic part, the word photography applies and I think we all agree the definition is still valid. When we are talking about accurately documenting a scene or event as it appeared, photojournalism applies.
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 2:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rjseeney View Post
I don't think it's as complicated as it is being made to sound. We already have two terms that describe what we are talking about....no need to create another. When talking about the artistic part, the word photography applies and I think we all agree the definition is still valid. When we are talking about accurately documenting a scene or event as it appeared, photojournalism applies.
Well, no offense, but you are dodging the definition. Either the definition is valid, or it's not. Either ANYTHING that creates a photograph is part of the definition or it's not. And if we're going to redefine what photography is, (which is what you, and I are doing) then how will we redefine it?

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Old Feb 27, 2010, 3:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chato View Post
Well, no offense, but you are dodging the definition. Either the definition is valid, or it's not. Either ANYTHING that creates a photograph is part of the definition or it's not. And if we're going to redefine what photography is, (which is what you, and I are doing) then how will we redefine it?

Dave
I guess I just don't get it. I said the definition is valid and that I agree with it. Anything that creates a photograph should be part of the definition, but a camera must be part of the equation. When we refer to photojournalism, the standards become different and more rigid. I don't think I'm dodging anything.

I'm also open to the fact that things of changed fairly rapidly since computers and software came into the picture and the waters have been muddied a bit.

Ultimately, my opinion is just that...my opinion. Whether that's right or wrong...
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 3:34 PM   #17
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Let's just agree that photography has grown some in the past 150 years and that there is room for sub-genres. It still has a basis in the camera as the primary generating instrument. Break the rest down as you will.

Chato writes:Seems pretty clear, but yet we have another definition for "rocket ship."

It's a rocket propelled "air craft."

Not quite true. By definition, a rocket does not require external atmosphere to operate, and is useable where there is no air, so 'air craft' does not fit. tsk, tsk.

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Old Feb 27, 2010, 3:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Let's just agree that photography has grown some in the past 150 years and that there is room for sub-genres. It still has a basis in the camera as the primary generating instrument. Break the rest down as you will.


brian
Agreed!!
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Old Feb 27, 2010, 3:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rjseeney View Post
...I said the definition is valid and that I agree with it. Anything that creates a photograph should be part of the definition, but a camera must be part of the equation. When we refer to photojournalism, the standards become different and more rigid. I don't think I'm dodging anything.

Ultimately, my opinion is just that...my opinion. Whether that's right or wrong...
Since a photograph is a photograph and since there is Nothing in the definition about cameras, then a photograph from a rendering program meets the definition - Which is why I call it a delemma. And it also means that you do Not agree with the definition.

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Old Feb 27, 2010, 4:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Let's just agree that photography has grown some in the past 150 years and that there is room for sub-genres. It still has a basis in the camera as the primary generating instrument. Break the rest down as you will.

Chato writes:Seems pretty clear, but yet we have another definition for "rocket ship."

It's a rocket propelled "air craft."

Not quite true. By definition, a rocket does not require external atmosphere to operate, and is useable where there is no air, so 'air craft' does not fit. tsk, tsk.

brian
Err. by definition, from Mr. Dictionary, a rocket ship IS a rocket propelled "air craft." And yes it's also a rocket propelled space ship.

Look, as I said before, we need definitions. People have to know what the other person is talking about. If the present definition is valid, than instead of me talking about my modeling and rendering programs I will be talking about my interesting photograph generating programs. And you wont know what the heck I'm actually talking about. I will hang my "creations" in a gallery, and they will be called "photographs," since By Definition, they Are photographs.

Dave

Last edited by Chato; Feb 27, 2010 at 4:05 PM.
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