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Old Aug 19, 2011, 9:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zeshane View Post
In fact the dilemma is, should I actually edit a real world image? The integrity of the image changes once you edit it. Thoughts on this would also be welcome.
Don't forget the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle. Just by taking the picture you irrevocably altered the events surrounding the activity. Coupled with Chaos Theory, you may have started a chain of events that will end the world in December, 2012.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 3:06 AM   #12
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@Iowa Jim

It would be nice to take a picture which would bring the world to end and be crowned as the only ONE responsible for it.

@Tjsnaps

"If you edit conveys the feeling you had when you took the pic. Then your integrity is intact."

That is a very interesting thought. Very Ansel Adams like. I saw a documentary on him today and the way he post processed to bring about the drama and the feelings, I think you've just put it right into words.

@tacticdesigns

Yes you are right. A photograph is essentially the perspective of the photographer first and it is his interpretation that that would eventually influence the audience to a larger extent. So the way he/she sees the world is important to bring out that feeling in the photographs. Nothing wrong with that I think.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:32 PM   #13
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RE: "taking the picture you irrevocably altered the events..." That's like what The Strobist was saying a couple of weeks ago. He was commenting on how photojournalists were suppose to portray the world realistically, but as soon as you point a camera at someone, the subject reacts differently. I'm paraphrasing and probably messy it up a bit, though. To get something that a person doesn't react to the camera, you probably are talking about candid shots.

And what little reading I've done on Ansel Adams, he took everything into account. When he was taking the picture, he already had ideas about how he was going to process it, and how the chemicals and papers that he was going to print to would react, and burning and dodging. That's the concept of his Zone System, isn't it? I've not read the books yet. But I think I'm just about there to sit down and read them. [EDIT. So as far as editing the picture afterwards, Ansel Adams was totaly with that.]

As for what I was hinting at, and as you caught, since we are choosing when to pull the trigger, inevitably, the picture is ingrained with our influences, what we are aware of, what interests us, etc, etc, etc. Whether we are aware of a lot of our surroundings or a little, either way we can't walk away from that. [EDIT. The view that has been captured has already been "edited" by us the photographer.]

Here's something else to keep the question or conversation going . . .

What is physically there, what the camera captures, what our minds perceive we see, and what we felt. Are they the same thing?

Take care, Glen
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 1:41 PM   #14
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I have always said "The camera may not lie, but the photographer lies his azz off" And photojournalist are the biggest liers on the planet.
Not to mention that it's rumored that some of the biggest names in photography have done things like cut branches off of trees, that were interfering with the shot...

Reality is completely subjective...

Compartmentalizing a person into a frame the size the lens will allow, alters reality, because we the viewer do not see the entire "picture" as it were... But, having a clear view of the entire area, would likely not make a good photograph. Photographers have to pick out only the most interesting things to put in their frame. This completely distorts the reality of the situation.

I'm of the mind that less processing is better. But, the moment you decide to take a photo, you have already processed the reality right out of the scene. Lens, camera type, flash, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, color balance, white balance, all of these things that we can do in-camera, change the reality of the subject.

A lot of photo-journalistic images are black and white. As I look around, I see lots of different colors in my world. Shooting in black and white film, or changing an image to black and white (in camera or in Photoshop) absolutely changes the reality of the situation. I suppose you could argue that 3% of the population is completely colorblind, and therefore black and white can be construed as reality, for some people...

How is it any less real to move something out of the shot? If you can move the camera so that the item isn't inside the frame, can't you equally move the item so that it isn't inside the frame?

And as has already been mentioned, the moment you ask someone for their permission to take their picture, you've altered reality. They will be unconsciously posing. For instance, they are not as likely to do something that is seen as impolite or improper, if they know someone might take their picture while they do it.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 2:07 PM   #15
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Sense of humor aside, our interactions do change the world around us. But more in step with this topic, it is perhaps laughable that any image of a scene could be considered 'natural'. Consider this:

Light coming from the object is interpreted differently, albeit slightly in most cases, by each viewer, who then forms an opinion of the object;
In the case of imaging, that light is refracted through several glass elements that probably magnifies or shrinks the image to an extent;
The light strikes an electronic light sensor to create a digital code representation of the image;
That digital code is then converted into a format with some adjustment for data errors, 'sharpness', and 'contrast' (JPEG conversion), that can be 'seen' by a computer, which then re-creates the image on an LCD screen;
We then use the image on-screen to tweak it by removing elements we don't want to see (cropping);
We then perhaps attempt to alter the color so it appears vibrant and interesting;
Then we wonder if we, in doing that last step, have made liars of ourselves for twisting the 'natural' image.

In short, no-one can truly claim the digital 'high ground' for purity in this regard (egad, am I talking about God, politics, medical ethics, or photographs?). Except maybe the HDR savants, who go beyond what the eye can see in one instant, making the image more real than I can see (humor back on...).
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Old Aug 22, 2011, 12:35 AM   #16
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Well to round off what everyone is saying, I think its pretty ok to edit a picture as long as it retains the aesthetic value and carry a certain emotion that was captured when the photographer clicked. I for one have edited some pictures for hours and hours just to bring out the feeling I felt while taking the photograph. HDR has certainly made a lot of dull things appear really cool and I go with that. I have saved a few pictures just because of HDR.
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