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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:46 AM   #11
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I'm bothered by post processed images (I can't bring my self to say 'photo shopped') when someone attempts to slightly enhance nature and pass it off as 'real', whatever that means. ...
So you would object to Ansel Adams' use of darkroom techniques to enhance his photographs?

From USA Today: Ansel Adams' heirs skeptical over $200M lost negatives claim:

"Adams is renown for his timeless black-and-white photographs of the American West, which were produced with darkroom techniques that heightened shadows and contrasts to create mood-filled landscape portraits."
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 11:28 AM   #12
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I'm bothered by post processed images when someone attempts to slightly enhance nature and pass it off as 'real', whatever that means.

For example, if someone alters a photo of a Western Tanager to make it's reddish-orange head more red than seen in nature, it doesn't matter if the photo is considered a staggering work of genius, because all I see is FAKE.
Is it possible to alter a photo "slightly" to pass it off as "real" when the purpose of the editing is to make the photo look like it does in real life? We all know that when you take a photo, it almost never looks like it does in real life. (ever heard of the expression: this photo just doesn't do it justice"?) Sometimes editing is needed to make something look more realistic. That can be done without making something look fake.

You immediately jumped to an extreme so it fit your argument better. According to you, any editing (even "slightly") will make a photo look more exaggerated than in real life. My opinion is that a photo looks less than real right out of the camera. Editing is often needed just to bring it to the point of realistic. So, i 100% disagree with your argument that says that any editing will make a photo look fake and "over the top" compared to real life. Now don't get me wrong, it is easy to go over the top, but editing is a real skill. And when done properly, it can really enhance a photo to look more like you are seeing it in real life with your very own eyes.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 12:56 PM   #13
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The real art to post-processing, IMO, is to make the photo look like how we remember it.
I have printed photos straight from the camera and compared them side-by-side with the original, and the print tends to fall short of capturing reality, so Eric is correct that some processing is needed in most cases. I tend toward the realistic look, but others go more towards artistic. It seems to be a matter of taste.

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:40 PM   #14
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When you're at a scene and you look at different things, your eye and brain automatically adjust to the amount of light. When you look at something in the shadow of a tree, your pupil opens to let in more light, but when you shift your gaze to a clearing in bright sunlight, your pupil closes to limit the amount of light that enters your eye.

When you take a photo of the scene that includes both the object in the shadow of the tree and the brightly lit clearing, the camera adjusts its exposure settings to record the entire image. The result is often a combination of underexposed areas (shadows) and overexposed areas (highlights.)

Post-processing is often just a way to correct the exposure of the shadows and highlights, the same way our brains do in real time. Surely you don't object to that.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:14 PM   #15
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Define 'a photo'

Then anything which fits that definition ceases to be 'a photo' when it ceases to fit the definition.

Then forget that because it doesn't matter. All that matters is whether or not what you have sculpted from the raw material your camera provided is delivering the results you wanted as well as it possibly could. If you weren't trying for realism then it doesn't matter if it looks realistic. If you did want realism then it does. If realism is to be held up as a essential quality of a photo then I suggest that there is really no such thing as a 'black and white photo' as the lack of colour immediately makes it unrealistic (except maybe if the subject is penguins, polar bears or zebras)

As long as you like looking at it, who cares what it is?
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 4:26 PM   #16
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Photography is painting with light... It is a "Representation" and NOT the actual image... It is subjective
to the style and taste of the artist producing that representation... Picaso did not produce exact mirror
images of his subjects, he produced a representation designed to inspire an emotion...

Unless you are photographing for medical, industrial or scientific reasons, etc, then whatever YOU the ARTIST
decide is right, IS right...

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 4:30 PM   #17
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These days it seems any old photo can be tweaked up in photoshop, aperture or lightroom. But what is the resulting product? Is it still a photo as captured by the camera or is it digital art?

If you are a purist wouldn't you prefer your photos unretouched?
I find this to be a useless (almost existential) question...
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 5:54 AM   #18
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You immediately jumped to an extreme so it fit your argument better. According to you, any editing (even "slightly") will make a photo look more exaggerated than in real life.
No, what you called extreme is a carefully chosen example of my belief. I've got no problem with processed images. Altering the image after exposure has been a part of photography since the beginning.

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So, i 100% disagree with your argument that says that any editing will make a photo look fake and "over the top" compared to real life.
Never said that.

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Now don't get me wrong, it is easy to go over the top, but editing is a real skill. And when done properly, it can really enhance a photo to look more like you are seeing it in real life with your very own eyes.
I agree. It's the 'under the top' editing, for lack of a better term, that bothers me. It's someone tweaking photo colors who doesn't know the subject matter well. Get far enough away from the subjects colors and the viewer knows that was the editors intent. Move just far enough away from the subjects colors so that someone knowledgeable of the subject knows that subject has never been that color in any light or under any conditions and it takes me a while to get past only seeing the fake.

Here is a non-photo example of the principle I'm trying to explain. If someone restored a classic car to original showroom condition but decided to tweak the factory color because of today's aesthetic sensibilities, a big chunk of the people in the audience at a high end auto auction would know immediately that the color was off. The color difference wouldn't matter in the slightest if the car was being presented as something other than a '100% true to the day it was new' restoration.

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Old Dec 23, 2010, 7:19 AM   #19
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Talk all you want but if it looks like a photo its a photo and if it doesnt its not. Is that simple enough? Anything else is just a typing exercise.
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 8:24 AM   #20
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i needed practice with my typing. So all was not lost.
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