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(Telegraph)   Exactly how much photoshopping are you allowed to do in a photography contest before the judges disqualify you for 'too much' photoshopping?   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 162
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24092 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Nov 2012 at 2:49 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-05 10:02:15 AM
My God. What have I done?

As for the topic, I see both sides. My first inclination is to say "whatever can be done in the darkroom is acceptable" when it comes to Photoshop. But that ignores the fact that digital technology has changed photography into something very different than the photography of only a generation ago. Some of that is for the good - I think it's great that photography has been democratized and everyone has a camera on their phone. The down side is that just because everyone has a camera doesn't mean everyone takes good photos, and too many people rely on Photoshop tricks rather than learning to take good photos.

That said Photoshop is a tool for Photographers just like a light meter or a flash unit. To deny photographers the use of a tool seems silly to me, like disqualifying a photo because they used a flash. I understand - and agree with - not rewarding obviously over-manipulated images, but I think that's for the judges to decide.
 
2012-11-05 10:03:43 AM
He did a hell of a lot more than adjust the levels and crop the image.

He digitally created shadows that could not exist.
He cloned-out a number of inconvenient features in the frame.
He adjusted exposure levels at radically different rates in different parts of an image.

I think we all agree that cropping and playing with curves is fine, but this is a contest to determine who took the best picture - not who can do the best post-production work. I also think the runner-up's picture of the projects in Glasgow kind of sucked and should not have won. It looks like it was pulled out of someone's vacation photos.
 
2012-11-05 10:09:05 AM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: A darkroom gives you a great deal of control over brightness and contrast, tone, etc.


Was there ever a way to increase as opposed to decrease contrast in a darkroom?
 
2012-11-05 10:13:44 AM

pkellmey: Any photo manipulation is too much 'shopping. Force straight RAW submissions and the problem goes away.


This. Or have an explicit list of what is allowed to be done to an image like exposure or cropping, but require that a RAW image is always provided for comparison.
 
2012-11-05 10:18:53 AM

Christian Bale: [i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

Too much photoshop? Nah, looks the same as it ever was.


There is water at the bottom of the ocean.

I entered a photo in a competition once and had to pick a category. Since I had used some filtering software to tweak it a bit (highlights, convert to B&W), I figured I'd put it in the digital manipulation category. Big mistake. I later assumed that probably everyone tweaked in the "normal" category.
 
2012-11-05 10:20:10 AM

manimal2878: pkellmey: Any photo manipulation is too much 'shopping. Force straight RAW submissions and the problem goes away.

This. Or have an explicit list of what is allowed to be done to an image like exposure or cropping, but require that a RAW image is always provided for comparison.


Good suggestion. I would even give a separate award for best post-production work so people recognize the difference between the art of photography and the art of post-production. They are both art, but should not be considered the same category.
 
2012-11-05 10:20:26 AM
My Cannon 35mm camera has been sitting idle for a long time. I started losing interest in photography when the digital world took it over. What once was an art can now be duplicated by an idiot with a cell phone.
 
2012-11-05 10:21:12 AM

pciszek: Was there ever a way to increase as opposed to decrease contrast in a darkroom?


Can you do that during developing the film? My darkroom days are long past so I don't remember.
 
2012-11-05 10:23:07 AM

pciszek: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: A darkroom gives you a great deal of control over brightness and contrast, tone, etc.

Was there ever a way to increase as opposed to decrease contrast in a darkroom?


One can increase contrast in the darkroom a multiple of ways. Develop film longer, use an intensifier on the negative, preflash photo paper, use a higher contrast print developer, use ferri bleach on the print, use selenium toner...
 
2012-11-05 10:27:33 AM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: But it's okay if you use GIMP, right?


Or pixlr?
 
2012-11-05 10:27:38 AM
What about using a CPL filter or a grad? You could argue that the human eye has much more dynamic range than any camera sensor so your doctored image is closer to life than the raw image.
 
2012-11-05 10:29:05 AM
I'm firmly of the belief that photography competitions should be done with analog cameras. Film development is an art in itself.
 
2012-11-05 10:45:06 AM
Psycoholic_Slag

What once was an art can now be duplicated by an idiot with a cell phone.

Not quite. A small-sensor cellphone camera can only do so much, no matter what you do in post. Plus, it's mostly the photographer that makes the photo. If someone doesn't have an eye for it, it doesn't matter what bells & whistles are employed after the fact. Garbage in, garbage out.

Digital has made photography much more accessible, and I consider that a very good thing.
 
2012-11-05 10:49:41 AM
I work in a photo lab...have been working in darkrooms since I was 7...have limited sense of smell due to years of exposure to darkroom chemicals...uses Photoshop every day...still misses the smell of fresh Dektol, stop bath and fixer...not even sure where my old Beseler is anymore...getting a kick out of the replies.
 
2012-11-05 10:52:43 AM
Just ask RugbyJock.
 
2012-11-05 11:02:18 AM
I like the idea of requiring the RAW file to be submitted along with the competition picture (though that could be an issue for lower-end contests where people have cameras that only give them JPEGs). That way the judges can look at it and see for themselves if that sunset was really there, or that man was standing where he seems to be.

What I'm seeing here that's very interesting is the split between the people who think there is (or ever has been) such a thing as a "real" picture and think it's possible to limit contest photography to that point, and people who recognize that there hasn't -- even glass plates still had to be developed -- and are divided on exactly where the line should be drawn. I strongly suspect that the people with more experience with photography, especially film photography, are in the latter group.

Back in the day, a friend of my father's bought a fancy camera setup and went to great effort to get good pictures. My father's pictures, even of the same scene, always came out better. Why? Because my dad sent his film off to Kodak to be developed, and his friend got his developed at the drugstore. It's never been about just what the camera sees. "Post-production" -- the choice of developing lab, in that case, and everything from the skill of the developer to whether they'd changed their chemicals within living memory -- has always made a difference.

In short, that mythical "pure" era of "real" photography is just that: a myth. It never happened. Two men taking pictures of the exact same scene, with very similar cameras, on the same brand of film, still got very different results because of how the pictures were developed. And this was slides, not even prints. (for the newbies among us, slides were developed film -- positives instead of negatives -- mounted in little frames and projected on a screen, usually to torment friends who forced themselves to smile and nod at one's vacation pictures)

In a class in high school, we made pinhole cameras. You can't get much simpler. An oatmeal box, a piece of aluminum foil (to make a good, crisp pinhole), some tape, and a piece of print paper, plus a multi-hour exposure. There is nothing, not even a lens, between the scene and the print. But still, when you put that paper in the developing solution, you had choices. How long would you leave it in for, at the very least. Changing that -- even with nothing else -- changed the print. Changed the picture. Changed, not what the camera saw, but how the photographer represented it to the viewer.

The issue is not whether image manipulation should be allowed -- some amount of it, even with the most primitive camera, is inevitable; it's an inherent part of the photographic process. It can't be excluded. The question is how much, and of which types, should be allowed.

There's also the matter of equipment. Take my DSLR and my iPod Touch: I can shoot RAW with the DSLR, but I don't have that level of control over the iPod's camera. It does its thing -- "enhancing" the image in whatever way its little silicon brain sees fit, which mostly seems to involve obsessively trying to focus on things I don't want it to focus on -- with no input from me. I like to think I can make better choices in that regard than the algorithms that manipulate the iPod's images but, all other things being equal, it can certainly get a better photo than an untouched RAW from the DSLR. It's doing a lot of the things I would do to that RAW (normalizing the contrast, for instance) automatically. Where does that fall on the manipulation spectrum? The iPod's photos are heavily manipulated, but not by me. While this isn't an issue for the sort of competition the article is about, that kind is a small minority compared to the contests run by local businesses and groups, most of which are open to anybody, whether they have a professional camera or a cell phone. It would seem silly to give preference to the people with the cell phone cameras or the point-and-shoot cameras because their cameras do all the image manipulation behind the scenes, while the guy with the DSLR has to do it himself.

"Only allow real pictures" isn't the answer ... not least because there never have been "real" pictures in that sense. Even directs positives -- slides, glass plates, pinhole photos -- still have to be developed, with all the opportunities for changing the result that exist. Again, remember my father and the guy with a similar camera but a bad choice of developing labs. And with prints, the opportunities multiply.

The trick is to allow digital equivalents of darkroom techniques while prohibiting digital equivalents of airbrushing.

Or, of course, to issue all participants sealed cameras, identical in all ways. That way the contest organizers would have total control over "developing" and "printing". No changes, not even cropping, could be done by the photographer. Auto-enhancement features of the camera would be prohibited as well (if the image data says they were used, the photographer is disqualified). That's still not exactly "pure" but at least everyone would be working under the exact same conditions.

Y'know, that might be an interesting contest.
 
2012-11-05 11:21:10 AM

madgonad: He did a hell of a lot more than adjust the levels and crop the image.

He digitally created shadows that could not exist.
He cloned-out a number of inconvenient features in the frame.
He adjusted exposure levels at radically different rates in different parts of an image.

I think we all agree that cropping and playing with curves is fine, but this is a contest to determine who took the best picture - not who can do the best post-production work. I also think the runner-up's picture of the projects in Glasgow kind of sucked and should not have won. It looks like it was pulled out of someone's vacation photos.



Sounds like a shiatty contest for who can twiddle a knob and push a button better.

I make a living from photography, and anyone who is really into it as an art will tell you that the art is in the print. All those tools, whether they are analog or digital, are there to help the artist express their vision. As mentioned, Ansel Adams mastered darkroom manipulation.

Some people complain about digital photography, but I find they are usually old timers who haven't bothered to learn the new tools and are stuck in their ways. To those of us that have learned them, it is a wonderfully creative time and the overall level of the art has never been higher or more accessible.

In this case I wonder if perhaps the original winner was a bit of a ringer. Some contests are definitely aimed at more amateur levels where the average entrant wouldn't necessarily be a master of technique.
 
2012-11-05 11:28:38 AM
l.yimg.com
 
2012-11-05 11:34:24 AM

madgonad: I also think the runner-up's picture of the projects in Glasgow kind of sucked and should not have won. It looks like it was pulled out of someone's vacation photos.


It would take a sick, sick mind to have a holiday in Port Glasgow (which isn't the same as Glasgow, by the way).
 
2012-11-05 11:35:38 AM

manimal2878: This. Or have an explicit list of what is allowed to be done to an image like exposure or cropping, but require that a RAW image is always provided for comparison.


Do the silver nitrate boys have to submit negatives as well as prints?
 
2012-11-05 11:50:51 AM
Interesting.

I took a photo of an old church with looming storm clouds above it but with a speed limit sign smack in from of the church, overwhelming the church front.

Talked to my semi-profession B-in-l about it. He said 'shop out the sign to make a better photo.

I think that's wrong because then it isn't what I shot. I'm now thinking about doing it to see what it will look like.

(Been taking photos for almost 50 years)

As for the article's photo: when comparing it to the non-'shopped pic it is too over the top.
The light and shadow angles don't even match up.
 
2012-11-05 11:51:38 AM
I went to school with some pretty gifted tech geeks who used software to create computer generated pictures that were nearly indistinguishable from what could be created from a camera if it were possible, but I think I would have issues with someone submitting a Tie Fighter "photo" in a photography contest.
 
2012-11-05 11:58:21 AM

Mock26: If what you did could be duplicated in a dark room then it should be allowed. Anything beyond that should not be allowed.


uelsman was doing in the 60's in a darkroom what most can't do today in potatochop.

/i've composited simple things in the darkroom
 
2012-11-05 12:01:37 PM

Worldwalker: Y'know, that might be an interesting contest..


We had a Farktography theme kinda like that earlier this year..."Straight Out Of Camera"...no post-processing of any kind allowed, including cropping...

Straight Out Of Camera

/coincidentally, I won that particular contest.
 
2012-11-05 12:03:41 PM
img651.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-05 12:10:28 PM

orbister: manimal2878: This. Or have an explicit list of what is allowed to be done to an image like exposure or cropping, but require that a RAW image is always provided for comparison.

Do the silver nitrate boys have to submit negatives as well as prints?


Sure, but in a decade or so I doubt they will exist.
 
2012-11-05 12:14:41 PM
You know that the Farktographers have their own set of rules for here, right?
 
2012-11-05 12:17:07 PM

Christian Bale: [i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

Too much photoshop? Nah, looks the same as it ever was.


do512blog.com

Green screen isn't Photoshop, exactly.
 
2012-11-05 12:19:39 PM

pciszek: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: A darkroom gives you a great deal of control over brightness and contrast, tone, etc.

Was there ever a way to increase as opposed to decrease contrast in a darkroom?


over develope the negative, in multi grade paper use more of a magenta light, local contrast just rub the area while it's developing in the tray.
 
2012-11-05 12:22:59 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: AverageAmericanGuy: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: AverageAmericanGuy: No photoshopping should be acceptable in a photography contest.

Photographers have been shopping their images since film was invented. A darkroom gives you a great deal of control over brightness and contrast, tone, etc. You can crop, and you can even control specific portions of the photograph without affecting other areas. It's seems silly that it's against the rule to do with a computer what film photographers do by waving little paddles around.

I'm against those things as well.

To be fair, I'm only against these things in the milieu of photography contests.

Where one person spends a month of their lives staked out to capture the perfect shot with the sun in the right place in the sky and the weather just so, another will take a mediocre base image and dodge and burn until what he's looking for 'pops'. It's a disservice to those who work hard for their pure shots.


I have the exact opposite opinion of you. It annoys me when I see someone who's only claim to being a "photographer" is that they take a bunch of pictures, wait up odd hours to keep trying to get that perfect shot, and hit a button. I feel it is unfair to those who have actually taken the time to learn how to use an enlarger and dodge/burn tools, or even those who just know Photoshop. Being able to stake out a great shot shows some dedication, and it requires a good eye. But I don't see these as creating art in the same way as someone who can turn a fairly simple base image into a work of beauty.


I've always said that the art and science of the photographer is 10% with a camera and 80% in the darkroom. (Now, in the age of digital manipulation, I'd put it as 20%/ 75%)

The number of kids i see who pick up a camera and shoot everything, and just select their best shots, that they got by happenstance, and call themselves "photographers" annoys me greatly. It would be like if someone guessed on 1/2 of the ACT or SAT, and managed to get a perfect score honestly thought that they were brilliant because of the results.

pkellmey: manimal2878: pkellmey: Any photo manipulation is too much 'shopping. Force straight RAW submissions and the problem goes away.

This. Or have an explicit list of what is allowed to be done to an image like exposure or cropping, but require that a RAW image is always provided for comparison.

Good suggestion. I would even give a separate award for best post-production work so people recognize the difference between the art of photography and the art of post-production. They are both art, but should not be considered the same category.


I agree, except that I would call the categories "Photography" and "Raw Photography" And the RAW category would have to be wet process, and the submission would be done in undeveloped negative form. Prints would be made to determined specifications. It wouldn't be about who could find the best subject matter and click a button, or who could get the best color-correcting DSLR, it would be about who understood the medium, who could know what the light would do when it hit the film. What would happen afterward, and exactly how the photograph would look once processed. It would be taking what is normally the minor part of photography (taking a picture) and making it into the entirety.

I bet you would have a bunch of crap and a few amazing photos.
 
2012-11-05 12:32:47 PM

rockforever: You can't do an "Iran" level of photoshopping.


ronabbass.files.wordpress.com
/obligatory
 
2012-11-05 12:35:40 PM

orbister: You miss my point. Will photography be defined by "darkroom processes" in ten years? fifty? a hundred? Should film users today be restricted to the manipulations possible in the daguerreotype process?


Yes, yes they should. If you want the image to be considered a "photograph" and not something else (maybe "digital work or art" until we come up with a catchier term) then it needs to be restricted to no more manipulation than was available in the early days of photography.

I would have said "no manipulation whatsoever" but some of the information presented in this thread has made me adjust that.
 
2012-11-05 12:40:24 PM

farker99: I used to be a 'wet' photographer. Icky liquids and getting the timing right was a pita.

Now I'm a digital photographer. I live by the following: If I could do it wet, then it is OK to do in PS. 1 Negative, 1 Print. Ansel did this, and his saying was "The negative is the score, the print is the performance". I've seen the original negative displayed with 8 different prints next to it. Each print was cropped, dodged, lightened or otherwise different from the others. No 2 were the same.

What was done with this photo to modify it went beyond simple digital darkroom manipulation and into the realm of digital art. That wasn't the contest and from what I read about it the DQ was justified.


Ansel loved industrial shots too.

media.smithsonianmag.com
 
2012-11-05 12:42:33 PM

The Why Not Guy: pciszek: Was there ever a way to increase as opposed to decrease contrast in a darkroom?

Can you do that during developing the film? My darkroom days are long past so I don't remember.


Push processing achieved it to some extent.
 
2012-11-05 12:45:08 PM

Psycoholic_Slag: My Cannon 35mm camera has been sitting idle for a long time. I started losing interest in photography when the digital world took it over. What once was an art can now be duplicated by an idiot with a cell phone.


"A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said 'I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.'

He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: 'That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove."
 
2012-11-05 01:03:25 PM

mcreadyblue: The Why Not Guy: pciszek: Was there ever a way to increase as opposed to decrease contrast in a darkroom?

Can you do that during developing the film? My darkroom days are long past so I don't remember.

Push processing achieved it to some extent.


You can also throw a red #5 filter under the projector...

/standing by!
 
2012-11-05 01:06:11 PM

lilbjorn: [img651.imageshack.us image 750x368]



Those are panorama misaligns. Some lenses (especially consumer grade wide angles) have distortions in the optics that make seamless stitching difficult.
 
2012-11-05 01:15:28 PM

LittleBrother: I bet you would have a bunch of crap and a few amazing photos.


And you have a large collection of photoshops and very few real photos.
 
2012-11-05 01:18:26 PM
"... but the level of manipulation means that this photograph gained an unfair advantage in this category ..."
That's how much is too much.
 
2012-11-05 01:28:42 PM
How about the requirement that the original, unaltered photograph be displayed side-by-side with the final submission?

I'm also adding BOOBS so you bother to read this.
 
2012-11-05 01:44:33 PM
i243.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-05 02:36:35 PM

GibbyTheMole: I don't do contests, because I feel they're crap. Imposing rules on what is "good" or "bad" only limits art. What matters is that the person looking at it (in the case of art or photography) or listening to it (music) gets something out of it.


You sound like your photos are fat.
 
2012-11-05 02:55:28 PM

orbister: gaspode: Guys you HAVE to have limits on manipulation or people who take actual photographs will be effectively excluded... it is photogrpahy not 'imaging'.

That seems reasonable, but I don't see why those limits should be set by what was possible back in Ye Olde Days of silver nitrate.


I agree completely with you.. it should not be arbitrary but principled. This is in fact how things usually work. 'all image' adjustments, graduated filters, things that do not constitute adding or removing elements or 'drawing' on the image are generally considered okay, as is systematic noise removal, mild sharpening/unsharpening, cleaning up actual image errors etc. Most of that stuff was not really doable in darkrooms in anything like the same way.
 
2012-11-05 03:02:49 PM

LittleBrother: I bet you would have a bunch of crap and a few amazing photos.


I'm not disagreeing with your post but I think the above is true for any photographer, film or digital. Sure, you increase the odds substantially by learning and planning as much as you can, but even the best of the best do a lot of shooting before getting that one amazing image.

I think that's one thing photographers at any level need to remember. It's easy to get discouraged when you only get a few shots out of dozens or even hundreds that you like. That's part of the game. You learn from your mistakes and try again, and hopefully next time your batting average improves.
 
2012-11-05 03:20:18 PM

Monty845: There is clearly an acceptable level, as even your digital camera is "photoshoping" what it saves to produce a better photo (Unless your using a raw format). Most people would say that adjusting levels/colors across the whole image is also acceptable manipulation. Once you begin using tools to alter specific portions of the image, it becomes totally a matter of opinion on how much is acceptable. Without seeing a before and after picture, you can't really judge whether what was done is acceptable, and the article didn't have one.


Second this. I would even consider some HDR work to be acceptable--I've seen HDR shots that look totally realistic, the only reason they were HDRed was to cope with a scene with too much contrast between a dark interior and an external light source.
 
2012-11-05 03:22:05 PM

MorePeasPlease: How about the requirement that the original, unaltered photograph be displayed side-by-side with the final submission?


But there's the rub.

What is the "original, unaltered photograph"?

For example, I have a Canon T3i DSLR. It's set to save both RAW and JPEG files for each picture. Which one would you call the "original"? They're both produced simultaneously by the same camera, but they can look totally different. And if I set the white balance, color curve, etc., to match my memory of the scene when I open the RAW, that will be something else again.

And what about someone whose camera doesn't save RAW files at all? Pretty much any camera less fancy than that T3i (it's a low-end DSLR) only saves JPEGs. They will all have been extensively modified, not by the person taking the picture, but by the person who set the values in the algorithms that process the picture when saving it as a JPEG. Those pictures probably undergo more extensive adjustment and correction than what I do to a picture in Photoshop ... but are they more "pure" in some way because some photographer (or some programmer) at the manufacturer's HQ picked what changes to make, rather than the photographer on the scene?

A major problem, I think, is that there are people who believe there was some utopian past where photographers chose what picture to take, and all of their artistry was in picking that scene; nothing else mattered. In reality, that time never existed. The art of photography has always been at least as much about the editing and processing -- the "post-production" -- as it has been about the choice of image. It fools us because a photo looks like a frozen moment of reality, but it isn't. In fact, a photo is more like a painting than most people realize. The difference between a vacation snapshot and a picture of the same area on a postcard or in National Geographic isn't that the professional photographer was magically able to shoot the perfect picture. No, it's in what he did with the picture (or pictures) he took.

Also, in regard to the comment about taking multiple pictures of the same scene: How do you think the pros have always done it? When you look at, say, the photos that accompany a story in National Geographic, since I just mentioned that, do you believe that the photographer took those pictures exactly as printed and only those pictures? One of the advantages that the pros always had was expense accounts. That professional photographer might have gone through a whole roll of film taking shots of one tree -- different exposures, different angles, etc. Then he picked the best ... or decided, when he got them back, that none of those would really work after all. The amateur couldn't afford to do that. Film was expensive. Processing was expensive. If you were the average photographer, you got one chance. Now ... well, we've all got endless film! I can put the equivalent of ten rolls of 26-exposure film on a single chip for my DSLR, and I carry a couple of spare chips (I'm actually more worried about battery life -- despite a spare battery, too -- than storage). Like the pros of old, I can now afford to take as many shots of a subject as I need to be sure I can get it at its best.
 
2012-11-05 04:13:20 PM

AverageAmericanGuy:
Yes, and in a photography contest, I think the use of photograph manipulation is out of place.


Photography refers to both the actions of making an image and the "printing" it for display.

Printing used to be just that. Going into a darkroom and using various tools and techniques to create the finished print. Great photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and many others took as much pride in their darkroom skills as they did their ability to capture images. The digital darkroom is just a much a part of the creative process as the physical darkroom was.

It's ridiculous to think that for photo contests, people should just print the straight image from the camera. Most of the time an image doesn't actually reflect the scene that was shot. Contrast issues, colors look different, etc. It's prefectly acceptable for someone to work with an image so that it looks like what scene looked like.
 
2012-11-05 04:44:37 PM

orbister: madgonad: I also think the runner-up's picture of the projects in Glasgow kind of sucked and should not have won. It looks like it was pulled out of someone's vacation photos.

It would take a sick, sick mind to have a holiday in Port Glasgow (which isn't the same as Glasgow, by the way).


I used to live there. I wholeheartedly concur.
 
2012-11-05 05:22:15 PM

Some Bass Playing Guy: AverageAmericanGuy:
Yes, and in a photography contest, I think the use of photograph manipulation is out of place.

Photography refers to both the actions of making an image and the "printing" it for display.

Printing used to be just that. Going into a darkroom and using various tools and techniques to create the finished print. Great photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and many others took as much pride in their darkroom skills as they did their ability to capture images. The digital darkroom is just a much a part of the creative process as the physical darkroom was.

It's ridiculous to think that for photo contests, people should just print the straight image from the camera. Most of the time an image doesn't actually reflect the scene that was shot. Contrast issues, colors look different, etc. It's prefectly acceptable for someone to work with an image so that it looks like what scene looked like.


QFT.
 
2012-11-05 05:36:40 PM

Worldwalker: But there's the rub.

What is the "original, unaltered photograph"?

For example, I have a Canon T3i DSLR. It's set to save both RAW and JPEG files for each picture. Which one would you call the "original"? They're both produced simultaneously by the same camera, but they can look totally different. And if I set the white balance, color curve, etc., to match my memory of the scene when I open the RAW, that will be something else again.



RAW format, straight up as shot for the comparison pic.

Some Bass Playing Guy: It's ridiculous to think that for photo contests, people should just print the straight image from the camera. Most of the time an image doesn't actually reflect the scene that was shot. Contrast issues, colors look different, etc. It's prefectly acceptable for someone to work with an image so that it looks like what scene looked like.



It's not at all that ridiculous if it's side-by-side with the final work. It would show what the photographer did to enhance the base RAW, not necessarily to weed out excessive digital tinkering, as it would also show the skills and artistic eye employed to achieve the final image-the photographer's vision. 

I know you guys love this idea, stop toying with me!
 
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