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Old Apr 6, 2005, 1:34 AM   #1
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All too often I see some great pictures here. I'm not complaining; I'm wondering how much post-processing is being done to the photos. Some are too good to be true and some could use a little work. I'd like to see more pictures in the RAW. Not raw as in format but raw as in un-retouched.

How else is one to do a valid critique for a picture? Do we comment on the poster's experience with software or the use of the camera? I'd like to see what the user is doing with his camera not his computer.

Just my take on it.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 2:09 AM   #2
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CCWKen wrote:
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All too often I see some great pictures here. I'm not complaining; I'm wondering how much post-processing is being done to the photos. Some are too good to be true and some could use a little work. I'd like to see more pictures in the RAW. Not raw as in format but raw as in un-retouched.

How else is one to do a valid critique for a picture? Do we comment on the poster's experience with software or the use of the camera? I'd like to see what the user is doing with his camera not his computer.

Just my take on it.
My opinions, Others may vary..

This question, and in some cases, Fight, is as old as photography itself.. Even with film there are manipulations going on.. Color corrections, dodge, burn, perspective corrections, etc.. Even the old masters, such as Ansel Adams, would manipulate to some extent in the darkroom.. Expose for shadows and process for highlights to affect contrast.. Zone system 101.. (still works with digital to some extent).. Rarely were his prints "in the raw".. At least according to what I've read..

The camera is doing nothing more than recording light.. No matter what medium (digital or film), how many do-dads and gadgets are on the camera, it just focuses and records light. If you want to get even deeper into it, with digital, what you see isn't necassarily what passed through the lens. It is the result of some in camera manipulation, color correction, sharpness, etc. The end result photo you see here is the result of composition and presentation.. Regardless of how it came to be.. Comment on whatever impresses you (or doesn't) about the end result..

Jeff
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 2:47 AM   #3
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That's all fine and dandy but bears little to the reasoning behind the critiques. If we were all Ansel Adams, we probably wouldn't care what was said. My point is that the critiques seem to be more on what's going on at the keyboard than behind the lens.

I'll just have to bear that in mind and comment on what fabulous software and artistic talent the shutter bugs have. What a waste of some really good cameras.

:sad:
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 3:31 AM   #4
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The question most often is not whether, but how much. And how much is too much. I generally shoot raw, which always requires some post-processing.

Critiques are, or should be, about the final image that the photographer decides to commit to print or public view. I think that if one includes elements which are not part of the original image, that the viewer should be so informed, and make judgements on that basis.

My personal feeling is that contrast, saturation, level adjusments, and sharpening, are all perfectly normal manipulations, and reflect what a photo labgenerally does with film. Cloning in a new sky, or pasting a subject into a completely different background are something else.

As Jeff said, it is the end result that we comment on.

brian
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 3:43 AM   #5
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Very interesting. Independant of the International Color Consortium, or the digital profile of your camera, while it's true two cameras...same make same censor...can still interpret colors differently, I agree it would still be interesting to know which ones have had no surgery. Or how much. Or post both, before and after to give us an idea of where the real talent comes from. I applaud either skill. The end result is as much to be appreciated after software adjusting, as a skillful (or lucky) right out of the camera shot. I know I try the best I can to get a keeper "raw" as you put it, and if I do, I treasure it. Thanks, best regards...

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Old Apr 6, 2005, 4:16 AM   #6
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The real pic is when the end result is what the photographer intended. Should we post 3 individual images when exposure bracketing is used? Do you prefer to see my under exposed images when I intentionally do so to avoid blowing highlights. When a photographer knows prior to pressing the shutter release how he will process the final images requires a great deal of experience and knowlege.

It is rare that a mediocre image can be photoshoped to an excellent image, unless you create an intirely different image.

I'll continue to share finished images that look good and that I am proud of. I rarely do any more in post than film photographers do when developing thier images.

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Old Apr 6, 2005, 6:23 AM   #7
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CCWKen, That's a good question. Likeyou said, it is very hard to know the true photographer's skill. But from my personal experience, when I frame a shot or set my aperture and shutter speed, I'm thinking ahead to my post processing. I know I have my limits in Photoshop. But majority of the time, when I do post processing, I do Auto-Level or Auto-Contract or Auto-Color andmaybe some filter effects. Like Rodney mentioned,as the photographer starts practicing more and gets better at what he/she does, the time they spend in Photoshop minimizes to a point where it's only used for achieving results that cannot be attained with a camera. Usually, these post processed pictures are good pictures to begin with but they're great pictures due to the post processing.

Here's a sample of the original pictureand themodified...this one took a while since I was learning a few things as I was doing it. This is a sample of what you mean. I spent way more time in Photoshop than I did taking the picture - but I did this way back as a learning experience.

RAW:



Post-processed:

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Old Apr 6, 2005, 9:34 AM   #8
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newbieX wrote:
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CCWKen, That's a good question. Like you said, it is very hard to know the true photographer's skill. But from my personal experience, when I frame a shot or set my aperture and shutter speed, I'm thinking ahead to my post processing. I know I have my limits in Photoshop. But majority of the time, when I do post processing, I do Auto-Level or Auto-Contract or Auto-Color and maybe some filter effects. Like Rodney mentioned, as the photographer starts practicing more and gets better at what he/she does, the time they spend in Photoshop minimizes to a point where it's only used for achieving results that cannot be attained with a camera. Usually, these post processed pictures are good pictures to begin with but they're great pictures due to the post processing.

Here's a sample of the original picture and the modified...this one took a while since I was learning a few things as I was doing it. This is a sample of what you mean. I spent way more time in Photoshop than I did taking the picture - but I did this way back as a learning experience.

RAW:



Post-processed:
You've provided great examples here. Both images demonstrate your skill level as a photographer. The second demonstrates your skill level as a photographer and photo editor. There is nothing about the edited version that elevates your skill as a photographer. Great job!

Rodney
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 10:31 AM   #9
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To add to what jsiladi mentioned, if you shoot print film and take it to the local drugstore for processing, some manipulation will happen there--color balance, exposure, maybe contrast--and nobody seems to mind that. When we shoot digital, we have to do that ourselves on the computer.
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Old Apr 6, 2005, 2:47 PM   #10
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I'm not sure if yer all missing the point here or not. Me, I am fine with anyone's photoshop skills. Just as an aside, tho...I am also curious to see how my " through the lense only" shots stack up against some of yours, minus the photoshop skills. I have equal respect for both skills as I've said, and I'm not trying to hijack this original post. I do a lot of work on the keyboard too. And I am currently studying with some knowlegeable folks with one of my goals being to improve PS skills. I cannot get enough of the kind of shots that look great right off the flash card. Doesn't matter if they are yours or mine, I love seeing them. (wishing they were all mine...but...) And the more I see of this kind of shot the more excited and hopeful I am that maybe one day I can get a few more by seeing yours and you saying how yuh did it. Of course the same is true of the PS ones too. I do like to know how they're done too. That's a big plus of digital. You really can make up for some things (by PS) that are lacking in the first shot. (RAW requires some work, but does qualify IMO) The shot of the young lady is a nice example of the before and after and is what I'd like to see. My apology to CCWKen for being so windy on his excellent post. Thanks,

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"KennethD
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