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To Photoshop or not? The Poll.

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by stevegreen, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    I'm no photoshop expert, in fact i know virtually nothing about it, but, having had a bit of a play with it the other night I started to realise just how powerful this software is.

    My 'ear' picture that I have submitted this month was transformed with a simple auto balancing of colours etc. (i'll upload it soon and link it here so you can see the difference), so, the burning question is.......

    Should image manipulation be allowed in the Photo Competition?

    At the moment it's limited to simple red eye reduction and sharpening/blurring. I personally agree with a comment made by Geordie Jester that over manipulation isn't a good idea ( he quoted sticking the Taj Mahal behind a pic :laugh: ) but, colour correction etc can make a massive difference to the 'quality' of the picture.

    I wanted initially to just keep it a simple photo competition without PS savvy entries making it impossible for less savvy people to have a chance at winning (myself included in that by the way), but, my guess is that most entrants will have some idea on digital photo manipulation, so why exclude it.

    As I don't know the program very well, i will have to leave it to those more familiar with it to suggest some limitations, without making it complicated :lesson:

    So, what do you think, it's our competition, it's all for a bit of fun, it's all designed to help us learn and get advice, should we relax the rules? Either Yes or No, no mid ground :)
     
  2. Mylo

    Mylo
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    My vote is yes, but not excessive amounts of manipulation.
     
  3. JayX

    JayX
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    seperating it into a photography competition and a photoshopping competition would probably be for the best. not allowing photoshopping makes you a better photographer, as you have to learn the manual controls rather than doing it at the mouse and keyboard later, but there's no doubt PS allows you to create a far better "image" in the long run.
     
  4. stevegreen

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    I dont think splitting it into two separate competitions is for the best, my mian concern about allowing image manipulation was that it could detract from the photo and become a Photoshop competition, with some of the more professional users using the program to produce stunning photo works giving less adept users no chance. This could make the competition less popular or more daunting to new entrants. On the other hand it could provide inspiration.

    :confused:
     
  5. Mylo

    Mylo
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    The ear manipulation is about my limit anyway as I only have PSP. Simple colour balancing helps, adding noise and stuff does not in my completely amateur opinion.
     
  6. dolph

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    I've voted yes - not really bothered either way to be honest (still haven't got round to this months entry) -

    starting to get fed up with the whole thing yet steve....!??!
     
  7. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    No way. It took me ages to decide what to take for this months competition. i like that kind of a challenge and it's always interesting to see what other people do too :smashin:
     
  8. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Having backgrounds in traditional photography and being a professional compositor I don't see photoshopping images to be vastly different from what professional photographers can do at the print stage : just a lot less time consuming and more transparent. ( ignoring colourspace issues)

    A good image is a good image . Ensure you are not compromising the original image with your tweaking though ( crushing or clipping are bad generally)

    Where would you draw the line with technology interfering with the creative process?
    Pin-hole cameras? Making your own emulsions?

    Its rare to expose a neg and then print it with no modification even if its just cropping into an image. You always make decisions as to the contrast range you print also.
     
  9. Gary D

    Gary D
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    i clicked no - but i meant yes - D'OH!

    maybe if it is allowed then you should have to submit both the before and after pictures so that you can see what has been changed.


    gary
     
  10. Garrett

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    I think it should be more or less be only cropping and even that I have only cropped one for a comp.
    The competition is about taking photos not how good are you at photo manipulation.
     
  11. Mr.D

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    Short of chopping two vastly different images together ( which will likely look pants anyway) I don't see anything wrong with for example bracketing your shots and chopping detail into the shadows from two different exposure ranges : given how clippy most digital cameras are.

    Pulling lumakeys and modifying the contrast range in certain areas.

    taming some of the unatural colours in isolated areas of the plate.

    taming harsh hilights.

    Like I said if its a good image its not important how it arrived , even documentary work is modified in this way. (sometimes more extremely than this even)

    None of these things is outside the remit of a traditional photographer . At the other end of the scale photo-retouching using airbrush and even just paint has been done for over a century on even some of the most respected fine art photography.
     
  12. Adrenochrome

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    Jeez it's all for fun just take the pic then enter it no manipulation please.

    If we allowed manipulation it would be akin to fondling silicone enhanced boobies :nono:

    Adrenochrome.
     
  13. Mr Cat

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    I don't have access to photo manipulation software - and i guess others will be the same....an unfair disadvantage I'd say.....:(
     
  14. Geordie Jester

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    I agree with Mr D, even in darkrooms, you can develop the same photograph in a number of ways.

    And look at magazine group tests of different developers/shops. They end up with all sorts of differences in tone/colour/contrast.

    I personally think that we should allow most photoshopping enhancements.

    ...or agree on a wider set....

    like

    LEVELS (contrast/brightness/colour saturation etc)
    SHARPENING
    SOFTENING
    NOISE REMOVAL
    CROPPING

    Or.... maybe (apart from bandwidth issues) a copy of the original snap. Im sure most people would be happy to own-up to what has been done to the shot too.
     
  15. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    I didn't understand a word of Keith's post :blush: That shows just how much I know!

    I don't get your point Tom :laugh:
     
  16. Adrenochrome

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    The point being they may look good but ultimately they are fake :)

    Adrenochrome.
     
  17. Mr.D

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    All images are fake :focal length , film stocks , lens apertures , shutter speeds , print stocks , contrast filters , exposure times for neg and print are all things that change the way an image looks even in a supposedly unmodified image.

    Its highly unlikely you can take a rubbish image and make it wonderful with any amount of manipulation but you can take a good image and make it that little bit better.
     
  18. Techno

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    Some people can afford better cameras than others though, is that not unfair?

    Don't know why I'm responding because my pics are all way too poor to enter. I do enjoy looking at the entries though! If the change comes in I may be up for 'shopping your pics though Mr Cat 'cos I know my way around that baby!
     
  19. Mango Bob

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    As long as people declare what they've done I don't see a problem. People who photoshop will know that some people won't vote for them on the grounds that they've doctored the picture.

    I for one would be interested to see what people can do with the program and learn how they did it.

    Perhaps if you declare you've photoshopped, post a before and after picture so people can decide if you've improved a good picture or made it all up.

    Why stifle people's creativity? Photoshop will allow people to be more expressive.
     
  20. seany

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    All's i've ever done is cropped, resized and used levels... If it gets to a stage where people start moving objects for better composition then that's a big no no for me. But getting rid of noise and stuff is ok. Everybody so far that has won the comp has been picked because they liked it, not because it had no noise in ect...

    As far as i remember, a dslr as not won the comp yet. So it's all about the photograph and not the camera. Which is a good thing

    I think the amount of manipulation is enough already, So i've voted no
     
  21. Geordie Jester

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    but 'levels' was the starting point for this conversation. Currently it is not on list of steves' allowed manipulations. likewise noise filters wernt allowed.

    so it sounds like really you do want the 'current guidlines relaxed'.
     
  22. giroboy

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    Why not judge things on their artistic merit and creativity? Surely it matters more that an image expresses that month’s theme ?

    A good shot is a good shot regardless of how it has been achieved. Photographs are not 'real', they are an interpretation of the real world based on the photographer’s view of the world and the technology used to capture the image (be it film or digital).

    I am a self-declared luddite. I much prefer film to digital. However, I’m not shy about manipulating an image through my choice of lens, filter, film stock or development method.

    Some argue that manipulation using Photoshop takes less skill. It is true that the barrier to entry is lower (no need for a darkroom and loads of fancy kit) but there is still a significant degree of skill and creativity required to do a good job. A crap image Photoshopped by a talentless goon will still be crap.


    /rant over
     
  23. Mr.D

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    On the other hand its actually very easy to take a good image and destroy it by manipulating it . It takes real skill to modify an image digitally and really aesthetically improve the image rather than just make it different/worse. To be honest most of the so-called pros have utterly pathetic digital retouching skills.

    You have to have a pretty extensive understanding of photography and film behaviour well beyond the average professional photographer to be effective at anything like an impressive level.

    And I'm not floating my own boat here as its not really my field , I'm a motion picture compositor which has similarities and other complexities ( animation being the main one) but I can get away with murder in comparisson to a gallery level retoucher/manipulator. And I probably still have to know as much about cinematography as I do with pushing pixels about in a computer.

    Most of the really good professionals don't even use photoshop as it regarded as not being transparent enough!

    Unless you're fortunate enough to be truly gifted an image manipulation package in the hands of an amateur photographer is akin to giving a formula 1 car to someone who has just passed their driving test (your going to crash at the first bend).

    So in order to stop raving:

    I don't think you should explicitly mention if a shot is manipulated , if no-one notices and the image is good you've done a good job end of story

    Using photoshop et al is unlikely to give you much advantage anyway beyond fairly minor coarse tweaks and is more likely to damage your original image if you don't know what you are doing.
     
  24. seany

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    I had no idea that you wasn't allowed to use levels:laugh: It only really improves the the brightness and contrast ect...

    But it's been proven time and time again that it's all about the photo. As long as the composition remains the same, then brightness and contrast and the like is about as far as it should go,which is what i thought was allowed already:confused:

    Cropping which is allowed, changes the composition far more then any noise filter ever could actually.


    Like i said before, people aren't really interested about the noise from what i've seen. Infact when i used levels on my underexposed goose, it added noise:laugh: which is the only time i've used it.
     
  25. stevegreen

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    Interesting that Seany has used the levelling in PS and yet no one picked up on it, maybe then it should be allowed as disallowing it is pointless if no one notices anyway.

    For me the difference in pictures when i manipulated my ear pic was amazing.

    It's neck and neck at the moment :eek:
     
  26. Geordie Jester

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    how about we just declare what 'enhancements' have been done........then when it comes to the vote each month, members can express their feelings by boycotting the entries that they want to ?

    When are you closing the poll steve ? Is this going to be a democratic decision ?!
     
  27. Mr.D

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    Surely this is unfair and only indicates the boycotters level of misplaced ludditism.
    Let the images speak for themselves.
     
  28. HotblackDesiato

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    A new bambino means i'm not likely to make regular submissions for a while at least... though i've got nice idea for the noise theme! ;-)

    It's a bit of fun though isn't? I've no idea how you'd police a no, or limited, post-processing rule. So would say it should be allowed.
     
  29. stevegreen

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    I'll close it when it drops down the threads and make a decision at the start of the next comp in January. It will be decided by the poll results, yes.
     
  30. minimad

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    I don't see a problem with white balance, levels and saturation adjustments, after all, that would normally be done by a lab or in the darkroom anyway. This (to me) is photo manipulation. Not convinced that opening it to chopping and changing is a wise idea, even down to changing the background of an image.

    You can see the type of "chop & change" I mean at www.worth1000.com. I really don't think this is the place for that type of thing.

    The contest was started as a happy-snaps type contest, and already the quality of the submitted shot has improved so much that I suspect it's putting some members off entering at all! I'm not complaining, I think the photos we're seeing are fab, but to add the w1k type stuff would certainly put me off altogether.

    Down Boy!
     

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