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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:51 AM   #1
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I have been looking at some lovely Autumn photographs on various sites. I'd love to take some photos like that, but there are no locations locally that look nice.

If I was to take two or more photographs from different locations and use Photoshop to blend them into one photo, would that be frowned upon?

The end result might be a beautiful picture, but would the fact that Photoshop had been used, degrade it?

In a photographic competition I imagine it would be cheating, but otherwise if the end result is nice, does it matter how it came about?
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 11:17 AM   #2
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As long as the basic composition is the same I see no problem with enhancement of a photo such as cloning out lamp posts wires etc and saturating color and using the curves etc.

However to take say three different shots of different places and blending it is not a true representation of a photo, I class that as clever digital art and would never do something like that for competition except where the criteria states digital art.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 12:37 PM   #3
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Well, if it's a photographic competition which states no post-processing is allowed is one thing. It would be cheating indeed. But I think that the point made about "digital art" is very accurate. Perhaps, to be OK with your conscience you could mention the post-processing made each time you post your photo. About being frown upon... I agree that it's better, and in some aspects perhaps even "more respectable" to have a great picture directly out of the camera and post it as such. But, if YOU take one or more pictures, and then YOU use your Photoshop skills on them, why should the result be something not to be proud about?

Well, just an opinion.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 4:15 PM   #4
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I wonder whether you are loking round for views that look like the scenes in other people's pics, rather than trying to see pictures in your surroundings ?

I lived in Coventry for almost 40 years (Binley, Stoke and Wyken) and whilst I agree that it is not a scenic wonderworld, I have some shots that I am pleased with taken along the Sowe Valley walk, for instance. A little further afield there are (or were) some nice wooded stretches of the canal around Brinklow which would show some nice autumn colours, I should think.

I do not know your transport situation, but how about the Stoneleigh area ? And Kenilworth and the River Avon ?

OK, I realise that this doesn't answer your question - I agree with the comments that thhe others have made - but these are just a few thoughts that struck me as I read your post.

Regards, John
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Old Oct 24, 2004, 12:27 PM   #5
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Yeah, I think you are right. I am looking at other photos and thinking there is nothing locally like that.

I have an Olympus E-20 and my father has the E-1. We often go out on a "photo shoot" but come back with nothing special.

Transport is not a problem. I know the places you are talking about. I don't have a photographer's eye so I'm probably missing lots of things.

I'd prefer to be able to take a good photo rather than mock one up in Photoshop. I think I just need a few years of practice.

I always seem to end up with "record shots" rather than photographs.

Anyway thanks to everyone who replied here.
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Old Oct 24, 2004, 7:18 PM   #6
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Pekkle wrote:
... I'd prefer to be able to take a good photo rather than mock one up in Photoshop. ...)
Even if you are trying to create an image in PhotoShop, it is easier and the result will be better if you start with a good photo.

Think of PhotoShop as your "digital darkroom". All sorts of tricks can be done there, but the basic processing is worth learning. Your camera's settings (contrast, brightness, EV bias, saturation, white balance, ...) are somewhat analogous to choosing the film for a chemical camera. And like film, how you process the digital image can make a big difference in the final result.

The first time you dig a bit of detail from a dark part of a properly exposed photo will convince you of the value of post processing.
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 3:32 PM   #7
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It is a bigger question than the previous answers may have led you to believe. We are getting into the distinction between photography and imaging.

Photography is the process by which we capture reflected light onto a photosensitive surface, focused by means of a lens,and yieldinganimage.

The expectation that the photograph captures the actual scene is why photographs are allowed in evidence in court. If your car is damaged in an accident, they take pictures to prove the extent of the damage so that you can go ahead and have the car repaired without having to keep it in the damaged state for sake of the court. They accept the picture as a true representation of the reality of the damage.

In photojournalism, the integrity of the photograph is as important to the credibility of the newspaper as the truth of the story that they write. People seeing a photograph in a newspaper have the expectation that it is a true representation of the events referred to in the story.

Most people, in everyday life, have the same expectation that a photo that they see is also a 'true representation' of the real scene or the person or the event.

However, there are situations where that is NOT the expectation. We don't necessarily expect that advertising photos are exactly as they came from the camera, and photos of obviously fantastic things (like winged purple elephants buzzing the Golden Gate Bridge) are self explanatory and produce no confusion in the viewer.

Then we come to the difficult 'middle ground'. For artistic reasons, an artists my decide to alter an image to achieve a certain effect. That image may be indistinguishable from a photograph taken directly from the camera but it is unethical for the artist to pretend (either by directly lying or by allowing people to assume) that the image hasn't been altered.

So, for artistic reasons, GO AHEAD! make whatever alterations you want. It is your work of art! But let people know that the image is a composite. Don't blow your integrity by trying to claim that you did indeed see the moon rising in the North when you really pasted it in because you thought it would look good.
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 8:22 PM   #8
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It should not be forgotten that even with film, unless you do the developing yourself, the lab is probably enhancing contrast, sharpness, maybe even playing some with the color.... all without even telling you.

So if anyone tells you than doing anything to a photo is no longer a photo, then they really don't know what happens to film when you get it printed.

I generally agree with the people above. Blending photos together really isn't photography any more, but it can still be beautiful. So go and do it... just don't miss-represent it.

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Old Nov 17, 2004, 3:13 AM   #9
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Of course, there's a very significant distinction to be made between adjusting contrast and "the moon rising in the North". One merely addresses exposure - with very definite limitations -, while the other manipulates composition - with seemingly no limitations.

I like your post, Meryl. The distinction between photography and 'imaging' is very well explained.

"...it is unethical for the artist to pretend (either by directly lying or by allowing people to assume) that the image hasn't been altered." I could not agree more.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 9:12 AM   #10
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I agree, thanks meryl for that excellent post.
I personally choose to make the photos so blatant when i have done more than cropping that it is beyond obvious. Apart from raw conversion these days i don't really do much in the way of "computer art" but it is fun and amusing on a rainy day.:lol:
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