How much is too much ?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by monkeyleader, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. monkeyleader

    monkeyleader
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    I'm talking about photoshop manipulation. I know there is a school of thought that says the less PP the better the photograph, whereas others have achieved some amazing results using PS. Take a look at these and decide - one of my resolutions for 2007 is to actually learn Photoshop better as I would like to do more than the 3 or 4 simple commands I currently use it for.

    My own opinion is that they are two different skills - I admire both and know that sometimes there is a real need to use PP especially with potrait stuff. Having said that tho a photograph which grabs my eye and then I find out that there has been zero PP is fantastic !

    Nige
     
  2. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    I don't need to look at too many of those to decide!

    I use RAW editing software and that's about it.

    Bibble Pro by the way.

    So I do in - no particular order...
    Crop
    Resize
    Noise Ninja
    Rotate
    Sharpen
    Spot heal (yes marjorie dawes, 'dust!')
    Contrast
    Saturation

    Anything else - it's no longer a photograph and becomes a graphic design piece of work in my opinion.
     
  3. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    I think the question has to be answered on an individual photo basis and even then depends on what effect the photographer is trying to give. To me the linked photo still looks natural in the enhanced format and therefore perfectly acceptable to me as this type of portrate shot... if you look at some of the american potrate companies sites though they make their subjects look like vacant dolls, as a family potrate this is too much for my tastes but if it was for a freak show/ disturbing picture type thing then it would achieve its goals well.

    Personally I am not 100% sure that I do respect the photographer more who can get a shot with nil PS... without wanting to be flamed too much I think a lot of that can come down to kit (esp if you are talking studio type photos - someone with an onboard flash will not achieve the same photo standard as someone with a whole series of off board flash units and softboxes etc). PS is at least the universal leveller as anyone who has it or GIMP (which is free) has the ability to do the same effects irrespective of if they have spent £100 on their camera or £10,000 on a camera and studio and likewise if they have a £200 computer or a £2,000 one.

    I am certainly with you on needing to seriously improve my PS/ GIMP skills - I am always exceptionally impressed with the types of retouching done in those roll over images but wouldnt have a clue how to do it.
     
  4. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    Astaroth with all due respect I have a flamethrower pointed right at you.
    This is just typical of today's mp3 swilling 'watered-down' society.
    :rotfl:
    Where is the quality going ------------ I'll tell you..... DOWN.
     
  5. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    What's next 351D with Happy Slapper mode?
     
  6. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    hey.... i dont own a single mp3 :nono: ;)

    Post photo retouching is nothing new, it is simply easier to be done now that we have photoshop but if you go back to film days then people with their own dark room certainly did do post editing.

    Plus I can see no difference between using photoshop on a jpg image (if for example you dont have a camera that can shoot in raw) and using a raw editor... sure there are different levels of "PSing" you can do but I, with all due respect, would say you really are kidding yourself if you think that "only" using a raw editor isnt photoshoping your pictures.

    I personally would like to remove as much of the "kit" element as possible from what makes a good photograph and PS/ GIMP goes a fair way to doing this
     
  7. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    Photography seems to be no longer about taking photographs and more about whether you have CS2 or are able to transform the 'thing' that happened when the shutter opened - assuming a shutter was involved ;) - to make it into something else.

    We are not talking about photography. We are talking about software skills in image manipulation.

    I admit I manipulate the RAW files from my camera. But I don't take the ****.
     
  8. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    But image manipulation has always been part of photography - now it is simply easier for someone to do it post taking the shot than pre (pre often requiring specialist/ expensive kit). Take the classic example of architecture photography, you can prevent keystoning of a tall building by buying a tilt and shift lens or you can use perspective correction in GIMP.... I am curious why you feel that one makes a good photographer and the other makes a cheat esp when the only real difference is most likely that one can afford the £900 for a specialist lens (as well as a dSLR) and the other can only afford the free software?

    Photography has always been about producing the end result of a photo... pre and post manipulation has always been a part of that... nothing has changed other than the easy and accessability of the post manipulation part that is slightly removing some of the need of the pre manipulation aspects.
     
  9. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    Astaroth - sorry - I went off on one at you there a bit. It's been a long night!

    Tilt and shift lenses existed long before dSLRs though. It's all about altering the angle relative to the film plane - for 'film' you read 'sensor'.

    Some Pp has it's merits. But the extremes IMO are diluting the quality.
    I have owned an SLR for nearly 10 years, but have probably taken 99% of my photos since June this year on a dSLR.
    I have no right to preach the merits of not totally manipulating your digital RAW/jpg file into somthing compltetely different.

    For me taking photos is more about the photography and trying to actually capture what you intended to capture - not what you can 'get' from a file on your camera.
    We all have our own agenda.

    I liken the digital camera revolution to the mp3 revolution - there is too much $h1te music these days, and too many $h1te images that aren;t what they were when the 'shutter' opened. Everythign is being watered down these days. It's just how Britain is turning out - like America.
     
  10. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    I never said that T&S lenses werent older than dSLR - I would say that I hinted that the exact opposite was true :confused:

    It comes in exactly where it should.... judge the photographer by the picture they show you not at some intermediary stage.

    Take 2 photographers of equal skill one with a dSLR with T&S lens and the other with a point and shoot, tell both to take a picture of a very tall building and compare the pictures straight out the camera. It really doesnt take much guessing to say which would be the better picture.... (never liked the keystoned look personally). Does this mean we have actually failed to find 2 photographers of equal skill or that we are as much judging the photographers on their kit list/ spending power as we are on their skill?

    Allow both photographers to use free software to retouch their photos and the 2 images would be much closer in quality than straight from the camera... hence it reduces the kit element and increases the skill

    If you say you respect a photographer more for what comes out the camera without any post manipulation including PS and RAW editing then you are 50% saying that you respect someone with the best kit list more than you are saying that you respect the person capable of producing the best end photograph (in my opinion)
     
  11. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    I doubt it would be possible to set up a blind test with one film photgrapher and one digital photographer but I guarantee the film photpgraphs will look more natural.
     
  12. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Film -v- digital is a whole nother arguement.... was thinking blind test of 2 digital cameras - after all there is no straight out the camera for film as they have to be developed which is close to your RAW photo processing
     
  13. onefivenine

    onefivenine
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    Precisely.

    That is all I think we should be doing - and anything else is graphic design and not photography.
    This months comp entry looks more like something out of Star Trek than a photo. (Although I did like it and I did vote for it).
     
  14. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    I think we all have our own tastes but ultimately a person should use what ever tools they want to achieve their end goal.

    If they want perfectly natural photographs then I agree that PS is less likely to create this unless you are a true expert at it, if someone wants an image that looks like it came from Star Trek then it is more easily achieved using PS.

    What I do however disagree with is the argument that someone who can afford studio lighting and a snoop etc to give the classic portrait photo effect on hair is any better a photographer than someone who cannot afford this setup but can achieve the same effect through image manipulation (be that photoshop or in the darkroom for those using film). Saying the reverse does quickly make photography an ever more elitist pursuit.

    Does the boundaries between photography and graphic design get blurred? Guess it depends on your definition of both but the answer is probably yes... but then why should this be a problem? Our definition of many things evolve over time and boundaries change.
     
  15. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    If I have to mess around with PS, I delete the photo.

    All I do is crop, adjust saturation to make it black and white (the 350D won't take photos in B&W on board) and I sometimes turn the contrast up a bit.
     
  16. sivraj494

    sivraj494
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    Surely it is a photograph withoyt any manipulation of any kind. Howevere when we start to use manipulation with our photos they then become images and therefore not photographs anymore?

    Jarvis
     
  17. colbec23

    colbec23
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    I'm not sure from reading iandrews' description that he has done much more than some of the various steps you set out in converting from RAW. He has upped contrast and added a warm tint - two effects that might have been achieved with filters had he been using a DSLR, which he wasn't. You used an ND grad on your own shot, for good reason, and it improved your shot. Is doing the same with PS bad?

    Graphic design comes when you add in things that weren't there, or sometimes take things out. I once cloned a person out of a nice shot of a botanic garden. It made the shot a whole lot better, and ended up showing what would have been there had I been able to wait a bit longer for him to get out of the way. I didn't have time and didn't want to miss the shot. I would say it's still a photo, and I still took it.

    Some of the shots of models on the OP's link are I would say getting towards graphic art - some elements of the girls are entirely computer generated i.e drawn from scratch, rather than cloned in (or out). No disrespect to the models, but some of the finished products bear little relation to the original shots and are verging on the Lara Croft.

    Generally, I am with Astaroth on this one - PS etc can be a great leveller, can replicate some of the things that would always have been done in the darkroom and can help turn good shots into great ones, or half decent shots into good ones. It can't turn a totally crap shot into a great one without stepping over into creative art - nor can it give you a skilled photographer's eye for subject or composition.
     
  18. bodoman

    bodoman
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    i can feel another digital montage rant coming on :devil:
     
  19. colbec23

    colbec23
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    wondered how long it would be til you sniffed this one out!!:D
     
  20. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Is there such thing with a digital camera? Sure the camera may set the colour temperature if you set it to auto white balance and make other manipulations to create the jpg file but these are still manipulations of what the sensor has "seen". RAW is the closest we have to without manipulation but then this isnt a useable format as the WB etc hasnt been set.
     
  21. inkinoo

    inkinoo
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    I don't know what people's objection to using Photoshop or other photo editing software is. For example, you can easily make a photo lighter or darker by changing the aperture. You have now changed the appearance of what could originally be seen with the naked eye; how is that any different to using Photoshop? What about filters? Does not now mean it is not a true representation?

    With photography now almost exclusively digital, the creating of a photo is no longer simply about using the camera. It is the entire digital workflow process from taking, editing to displaying
     

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