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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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24115 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 12:10:34 AM
Stop making sense, subby.
 
2012-11-05 12:14:54 AM
blogs.photopreneur.com

Can you win posthumously?
 
2012-11-05 02:53:56 AM
The answer is none. None more photoshopping.
 
2012-11-05 02:59:54 AM
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.
 
2012-11-05 03:02:21 AM
You can't do an "Iran" level of photoshopping.
 
2012-11-05 03:06:50 AM
I think that adjusting levels might be okay, but any movement of elements of the image would be well into PS territory. I've been told that a big part of the genius of Ansel Adams was the result of tweaks in the development process.

Although we do appreciate the works that show up here.
 
2012-11-05 03:07:22 AM
If what you did could be duplicated in a dark room then it should be allowed. Anything beyond that should not be allowed.
 
2012-11-05 03:07:28 AM
No photoshopping should be acceptable in a photography contest.
 
2012-11-05 03:08:37 AM
But it's okay if you use GIMP, right?
 
2012-11-05 03:11:24 AM

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.
 
2012-11-05 03:11:43 AM
I used MS Paint.

Should I not have done that?
 
2012-11-05 03:12:58 AM
And no letting colour blind people look at it! They can't appreciate art like we can!!
 
2012-11-05 03:13:03 AM
 
2012-11-05 03:13:07 AM
I find it hilarious and sad that the winning photos from the competition were all about broken husks of formerly thriving civilization. Somebody needs a hug.
 
2012-11-05 03:18:37 AM

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.


Pretty much this. I used to add shadows to things in the dark room, and that was in highschool. I even used diffrent filters on the enlarger to adjust the image, dodged and burned specific areas, stitched negitives together, preformed double exposures to produce neat effects, tons of stuff. It was a bit harder then the computer is, But you could accomplish alot with a good enlarger and some time.
 
2012-11-05 03:23:08 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-05 03:24:59 AM

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.
 
2012-11-05 03:29:26 AM

bobtheallmighty: I even used diffrent filters on the enlarger to adjust the image, dodged and burned specific areas, stitched negitives together, preformed double exposures to produce neat effects, tons of stuff. It was a bit harder then the computer is, But you could accomplish alot with a good enlarger and some time.


ahhhhh. random ass double exposures. miss those. i also miss cross processing. ps cross processing isn't as random.
 
2012-11-05 03:31:06 AM
Here's an explanation from somebody with too much time on their hands: Link
 
2012-11-05 03:35:33 AM

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.
 
2012-11-05 03:40:34 AM

Krieghund: Stop making sense, subby.


This is not my beautiful photograph.
 
2012-11-05 03:40:55 AM
Too bad. I love that photo and have been up to Lindisfarne to try and recreate my own version. I won a minor competition using a photo of the castle with a tremendously dramatic sky. I told no-one it was a sky replacement job and I feel slightly guilty, even though the rules say nothing to forbid this.
 
2012-11-05 03:43:21 AM

Krieghund: Stop making sense, subby.


What you did... I see it.
 
2012-11-05 03:48:10 AM

wildcardjack: I think that adjusting levels might be okay, but any movement of elements of the image would be well into PS territory. I've been told that a big part of the genius of Ansel Adams was the result of tweaks in the development process.


Exactly. If it's a direct analog of a darkroom process, it's OK to do it in Photoshop. (IMHO)
 
2012-11-05 03:54:08 AM
Is this a trap?

i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-05 03:54:45 AM

ras django: ahhhhh. random ass double exposures. miss those. i also miss cross processing. ps cross processing isn't as random.


You can pick up good used 35mm film gear for pennies on the dollar, especially if you're not worried about compatibility with your DSLR system. You can get a good used Medium Format film outfit for less than an entry level DSLR.

I got two Canon Elan 7's for $50 each on EBay. Next purchase is some developing tanks and chemistry.
 
2012-11-05 03:57:36 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: 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'ld say give a good printer your hard wrought pure image and he/she would make it even better.
 
2012-11-05 03:58:13 AM
i.telegraph.co.uk

Too much photoshop? Nah, looks the same as it ever was.
 
2012-11-05 03:59:35 AM

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.


Do you mean to say that Photoshop wasn't a totally original idea and name? I always wondered where Photoshop got the inspiration for tools like "Filter" "Lens Flare" and "Magic Wand."
 
2012-11-05 03:59:40 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: I'm against those things as well.


You're also against bathing. What's your point and why should anyone care?
 
2012-11-05 04:00:42 AM

clyph: wildcardjack: I think that adjusting levels might be okay, but any movement of elements of the image would be well into PS territory. I've been told that a big part of the genius of Ansel Adams was the result of tweaks in the development process.

Exactly. If it's a direct analog of a darkroom process, it's OK to do it in Photoshop. (IMHO)


So New Layer is out?
 
2012-11-05 04:00:58 AM

clyph: AverageAmericanGuy: I'm against those things as well.

You're also against bathing. What's your point and why should anyone care?


Can't you read his Fark handle?

He's here to represent the average american guy.
 
2012-11-05 04:04:09 AM

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


Uh...where do you think Photoshop got its name from? It's been done for decades.
 
2012-11-05 04:06:18 AM
Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.

Disqualified Photo:

i.telegraph.co.uk

New Winner:

i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2012-11-05 04:07:45 AM

clyph: AverageAmericanGuy: I'm against those things as well.

You're also against bathing. What's your point and why should anyone care?


Well, that was an unwarranted personal attack.

It's too bad. I thought there was a good conversation to be had here.

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

Uh...where do you think Photoshop got its name from? It's been done for decades.


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

In your living room or on a museum wall or in your photo albums, by all means, do your worst.
 
2012-11-05 04:08:38 AM

rocky_howard: Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.

Disqualified Photo:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

New Winner:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 450x620]


Two words: Onion Titties.
 
2012-11-05 04:08:57 AM

rocky_howard: Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.

Disqualified Photo:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

New Winner:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 450x620]


People like moody pictures.
 
2012-11-05 04:09:08 AM

rocky_howard: Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.

Disqualified Photo:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

New Winner:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 450x620]


I would tend to disagree.

I think the natural curves in the PSed photo makes me stare harder at it.

And that's what photography is all about, sir.

Staring at stuff until it's perfect.
 
2012-11-05 04:09:37 AM

Rezurok: Here's an explanation from somebody with too much time on their hands: Link


HOLY....FARK. I thought you were joking when you said too much time, but jesus, that guy is real life Photoshop CSI lol.
 
2012-11-05 04:10:23 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: rocky_howard: Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.

Disqualified Photo:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

New Winner:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 450x620]

People like moody pictures.


You just keep your opinions to yourself.

You saw what happened a few posts ago when you started spouting truth.
 
2012-11-05 04:10:59 AM

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


What's the solution? Send them to Eckerd? The darkroom processes are manipulation. The whole damned art is manipulation.
 
2012-11-05 04:12:22 AM

libranoelrose: I would tend to disagree.

I think the natural curves in the PSed photo makes me stare harder at it.

And that's what photography is all about, sir.

Staring at stuff until it's perfect.


Ah, you're a curves guy. I'm a lines guy. Especially diagonals.
 
2012-11-05 04:12:25 AM
hmmmm.

being that work could have also been done painstakingly in a darkroom before digital ....
this is sad...

i'm not a purist but everyone uses digital darkroom techniques now...

The Byrne photo is just better...

my opinion...

/worked in a darkroom
//smell the stop bath....
/// you want fries with that?
 
2012-11-05 04:14:19 AM
got my old bronica and a nice eos but i hardly ever use them. and chemistry is so messy. and the smell? ewwww.

clyph: I got two Canon Elan 7's for $50 each on EBay. Next purchase is some developing tanks and chemistry.

 
2012-11-05 04:14:30 AM

pnkgtr: Krieghund: Stop making sense, subby.

What you did... I see it.


Me, too, but I'll admit it took a little bit to sink in. Delayed effect. Very subtle. +1.
 
2012-11-05 04:15:46 AM

Zombalupagus: pnkgtr: Krieghund: Stop making sense, subby.

What you did... I see it.

Me, too, but I'll admit it took a little bit to sink in. Delayed effect. Very subtle. +1.


I think I don't get it. Fill me in to see if I do.
 
2012-11-05 04:17:22 AM

rocky_howard: Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.



Because it's a portrait. (?)
 
2012-11-05 04:21:10 AM

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 to agree with the Dodge/Burn in a contest, but exposure adjustment, levels and such I think are just fine. Basically, anything done in Adobe CameraRAW is fine, since you are basically just digitally choosing your development mixture. Once you've imported the photo into Photoshop, however, add your watermark and you are done. No filters, no layers (other than a watermark).
 
2012-11-05 04:22:50 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.


For how long should photographic skills be limited by the possibilities of a chemical process which has already been obsolete for ten years or more? In fifty years time there will be hardly any photographers around who have ever used film or paper.
 
2012-11-05 04:24:50 AM

rocky_howard: I think I don't get it. Fill me in to see if I do


David Byrne is the photographer of the disqualified photo. David Byrne wore ridiculously over-sized jackets with shoulder pads in the 80's and sang for the talking heads. .
 
2012-11-05 04:25:53 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: 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.


What about all the time invested in developing (haha) the digital skills needed? Isn't it doing a disservice to photographers who have taken that trouble to allow them to be trumped automatically by someone who just happened to be there when the sun was in a particular position?
 
2012-11-05 04:28:37 AM

Krieghund: Stop making sense, subby.


Done in one.
 
2012-11-05 04:28:56 AM
LOL, look at the same place but from a different photo done by another guy.

farm9.staticflickr.com

Yup, WAY TOO MUCH Photoshop.
 
2012-11-05 04:29:25 AM

moothemagiccow: So New Layer is out?


Depends on the blend mode.

You can do many layer effects in the darkroom by duplicating negatives and using masks and interpositives.
 
2012-11-05 04:31:11 AM

rocky_howard: Ah, you're a curves guy.


I am.
 
2012-11-05 04:35:35 AM

rocky_howard: LOL, look at the same place but from a different photo done by another guy.

[farm9.staticflickr.com image 640x366]

Yup, WAY TOO MUCH Photoshop.


i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-05 04:40:45 AM

moothemagiccow: The whole damned art is manipulation.


THIS.

Whether you do it with chemicals or software, the end result is the same.

Software is just easier. And less smelly.

I like to do it sold school every now and then because it forces you to be a better photographer.

I also like the idea of hybrid processes - shoot on film, scan it to digital, print to a negative transparency, and make a silver gelatin contact print from that (possibly using alternative processing). I've done a couple prints that way and they're amazing. There are a couple good books out there to get you started.

Basically you're replacing the enlarger with the computer.
 
2012-11-05 04:42:12 AM
www.youmoron.org
 
2012-11-05 04:45:15 AM
lootie hasnt made me smile so much in ages
 
2012-11-05 04:48:49 AM

American Decency Association: lootie hasnt made me smile so much in ages


You're welcome.
 
2012-11-05 05:04:00 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: It's a disservice to those who work hard for their pure shots.


Exactly. Quality isn't defined by the final product, it's defined by how much work you did to get there. Which is of course why I refuse to use a keyboard and do all my data entry by manually triggering a sequence of bits to the serial port of my computer (which is itself built from boards with hand-etched tracings, which I created using a knife I forged myself in a furnace powered only by my sense of righteousness). Anything less would lead to low-quality text, that while indistinguishable from high-quality text, required much less work to create and therefore is not "pure" enough for my standards.

If you want to have a "waiting for good lighting conditions contest" go ahead. I'm sure there are some people who love the idea. But you don't get to redefine "photography".
 
2012-11-05 05:12:06 AM

profplump: AverageAmericanGuy: It's a disservice to those who work hard for their pure shots.

Exactly. Quality isn't defined by the final product, it's defined by how much work you did to get there. Which is of course why I refuse to use a keyboard and do all my data entry by manually triggering a sequence of bits to the serial port of my computer (which is itself built from boards with hand-etched tracings, which I created using a knife I forged myself in a furnace powered only by my sense of righteousness). Anything less would lead to low-quality text, that while indistinguishable from high-quality text, required much less work to create and therefore is not "pure" enough for my standards.

If you want to have a "waiting for good lighting conditions contest" go ahead. I'm sure there are some people who love the idea. But you don't get to redefine "photography".


Horsecrap. Pure horsecrap.
 
2012-11-05 05:15:22 AM
Back in the days of film all those darkroom tricks were not allowed in most comps either, there were, and are, special comp categories for manips.

I take part in a super-amateur online series where the winner of each one sets the next subject and rules. Most people say no shopping beyond the usual post-proc. When I win I usually set a 'free' rule for my subjects for a change of pace.

The only important thing is that everyone involved is clear what the rules are and are playing to the same set, and judges know what they are judging. In this case that was not the way of it.
 
2012-11-05 05:25:10 AM
The guy who took this picture had his own system of developing film to get the tonal structure he wanted and then heavily manipulating light when he printed the photos, and he did pretty well as a photographer...both financially and with the critics besides. Maybe you've heard of him...Ansel Adams.

sfreporter.com
 
2012-11-05 05:27:07 AM
I think this also depends on which genre of photography you're judging in. Photojournalism should be minimal manipulation (or else stuff like this happens), landscape/nature/architecture should allow a little more, then fine art should be open to the imagination.

That said, if you're going to be judging photoshopped photographs, the photographer should have to submit the RAW image with the PNG to show the original photograph and the manipulations they apply to their artwork. Not only would this assure they followed the rules, but would show the extent of their work they put in to the photo. Photoshop is a learned skill, and being able to use it well is, I think, harder to effectively use a camera.

At the end of the day, it's all how the artist uses their tools to get the end result. Some photographer's have achieved much better effects in a dark room than with photoshop. Same the other way around. There just has to be some rules when reality is demanded because even though photography is the closest we've come to capturing the real world, it's really easy to fool people with.
 
2012-11-05 05:29:30 AM

Iplaybass: Horsecrap. Pure horsecrap.


I'm afraid I have no "pure" horsecrap. As soon as it becomes available I mix it with grass clippings (from the lawn that I cut by hand, one blade at a time, using flint blades rendered from Chert nodules in the limestone deposition I've laying, grain-by-grain) and bake it into bricks.
 
2012-11-05 05:29:32 AM

Drunk Astronaut: The guy who took this picture had his own system of developing film to get the tonal structure he wanted and then heavily manipulating light when he printed the photos, and he did pretty well as a photographer...both financially and with the critics besides. Maybe you've heard of him...Ansel Adams.

[sfreporter.com image 607x792]


I remember watching the NG special on Ansel Adams where he went through his process of taking and developing a photograph. The level of expertise and sheer magnitude of equipment he was proficient with was staggering. It also really made me want a large format camera.
 
2012-11-05 05:30:06 AM
i.telegraph.co.uk

When your photo resembles a prog rock album cover, it's over-photoshopped.
 
2012-11-05 05:39:58 AM

Cornelius Dribble: [i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

When your photo resembles a prog rock album cover, it's over-photoshopped.


I think the way the sun is clearly straight ahead but the shadows are waaay over to one side is a bit much. Tweaking one image seems rather different from gluing two together.
 
2012-11-05 05:50:27 AM
Guys you HAVE to have limits on manipulation or people who take actual photographs will be effectively excluded... it is photogrpahy not 'imaging'.

We can render amazing pictures in 3D of things that never existed, should those be acceptable entries? All agree not, so have agreed there is a line, it is simply a matter of where it should be.
 
2012-11-05 06:05:14 AM

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

Uh...where do you think Photoshop got its name from? It's been done for decades.


img824.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-05 06:08:48 AM
Didn't read thread, but anything past color correction and cropping is basically cheating. You cannot add new information into the picture.
 
2012-11-05 06:36:50 AM

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.
 
2012-11-05 07:17:17 AM

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

For how long should photographic skills be limited by the possibilities of a chemical process which has already been obsolete for ten years or more? In fifty years time there will be hardly any photographers around who have ever used film or paper.


Exactly. I've never used film in my life or a darkroom, and neither have a lot of my generation (millennials). We don't have the learned sense of how it was done before to transfer that theory over to Photoshop, and it's be quite a time and money investment in something you are not going to use. That's like forcing prospective drivers to master equestrianism first, because a lot of the rules of the road stem from that era of transport.
 
2012-11-05 07:34:01 AM
learn how to use a paintbrush to apply paint on a canvas.
 
2012-11-05 07:37:58 AM
This guy should have submitted it to an Iranian photo contest instead.

I couldn't find it but I remember just a couple of years ago there was a winning photo from an international contest that was also later disqualified when they discovered any kind of photoshopping. It was a photo with a Chinese worker injecting a birth control drug into a pigeon with tens of pigeons filling out the frame behind her in a dramatic fashion. Turns out they discovered that the photographer went back and cloned two of the birds to fill in a bit of a gap so they tossed the image out.
 
2012-11-05 07:52:19 AM
It's a photography contest, not a digital art contest.

When you get in to adding elements, taking away elements (I'd allow dust spot removal, personally), creating something that you didn't see and photograph - that's digital art. Levels and light adjustment, sure. A camera still can't take what we can see for a photo and those adjustments are often needed to make it how we saw it.

I was disappointed to read in a major photography magazine about a photographer that added mist to flamingos in a swamp to add drama. That's not a photo, he didn't see it. He created it.

The other example was birds flying between two trees with the sun as the backdrop. He said he took a picture of the trees and sun, looked down at his bag for something, looked up, saw the birds to the right of the tree and took the photo. He later moved the birds to between the trees. His reasoning was that it had happened he just missed the photo. Assuming the birds did fly through the middle he still missed the photo - too bad. It's still digital art.

I don't enter contests because I'm not good with photoshop and I don't want to be.

Tired of wondering if a photo is a photo or if it's digital art - it does a disservice to the great photographers.
 
2012-11-05 08:07:39 AM

wildcardjack: I think that adjusting levels might be okay, but any movement of elements of the image would be well into PS territory. I've been told that a big part of the genius of Ansel Adams was the result of tweaks in the development process.

Although we do appreciate the works that show up here.


Pretty much this. Adjusting light levels, color balance, compositing images to create an HDR image -- which, I'm told, the newest generation of cameras will actually do in-camera -- are OK IMO.

When somebody starts moving, removing or adding elements to create an image of something that never existed, it's no longer landscape photography or wildlife photography (remember that guy who got busted faking award-winning wildlife shots). It's some kind of photography, sure, and it's art, but it's not qualified for this competition.

JohnNS: I don't enter contests because I'm not good with photoshop and I don't want to be.


You need to find the competitions with good judges. Mrs czetie is a pro nature photographer who judges a lot of club competitions -- you've probably seen one of her photos because after it took her three days of getting up before dawn and returning to the same spot to get the exact right mix of light and weather and fall leaf color, it was ripped off for one of those downloadable wallpaper ads that used to show up in pop-up ads -- and she is very strict (and pretty effective) at excluding overly photoshopped stuff.
 
2012-11-05 08:14:35 AM

rocky_howard: Now, Photoshop or no Photoshop, how did the former winner beat the new one? It's a much better photo in every sense of the word.

Disqualified Photo:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x283]

New Winner:

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 450x620]


That second picture is of Bouverie, Port Glasgow, I think. I used to live not far from there. Surreal place.
 
zez
2012-11-05 08:15:11 AM
www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

/not photoshopped
 
2012-11-05 08:15:13 AM
in my personal view, as long as you are not editing out, or adding in content, its ok. 50% of photography is what you shoot, and 50% how you process the image. Its been that was since Ansel Adams.

You can take a large-format camera, and go set up where Adams set up, wait for the exact same time if day and weather conditions, and the output image will likely not be as good as his, because of the magic he worked in the darkroom. darkroom = photoshop.
 
2012-11-05 08:19:26 AM
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.
 
2012-11-05 08:19:31 AM

Drunk Astronaut: The guy who took this picture had his own system of developing film to get the tonal structure he wanted and then heavily manipulating light when he printed the photos, and he did pretty well as a photographer...both financially and with the critics besides. Maybe you've heard of him...Ansel Adams.

[sfreporter.com image 607x792]


He stayed with the sky in the image he took rather than replacing it with a more interesting but physically impossible sky for dramatic effect though...

JohnNS: It's a photography contest, not a digital art contest.

When you get in to adding elements, taking away elements (I'd allow dust spot removal, personally), creating something that you didn't see and photograph - that's digital art. Levels and light adjustment, sure. A camera still can't take what we can see for a photo and those adjustments are often needed to make it how we saw it.

I was disappointed to read in a major photography magazine about a photographer that added mist to flamingos in a swamp to add drama. That's not a photo, he didn't see it. He created it.

The other example was birds flying between two trees with the sun as the backdrop. He said he took a picture of the trees and sun, looked down at his bag for something, looked up, saw the birds to the right of the tree and took the photo. He later moved the birds to between the trees. His reasoning was that it had happened he just missed the photo. Assuming the birds did fly through the middle he still missed the photo - too bad. It's still digital art.

I don't enter contests because I'm not good with photoshop and I don't want to be.

Tired of wondering if a photo is a photo or if it's digital art - it does a disservice to the great photographers.


Also a great big bag of THIS.
 
2012-11-05 08:23:53 AM
i.telegraph.co.uk

Cornelius Dribble: When your photo resembles a prog rock album cover, it's over-photoshopped.


www.pxleyes.com

They both have two suns in the sunset for example...
 
2012-11-05 08:25:15 AM
They didn't have photoshop in the 40's!!!

media.tumblr.commedia.tumblr.commedia.tumblr.commedia.tumblr.comi758.photobucket.comi758.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-05 08:26:42 AM
The big problem comes down to the rules and to what extent the person who set the rules is aware, not just of what can be done today digitally, but what could be done a decade or two ago with film.

My late father was an active participant in his local color slide club, Some competitors entered spectacular pictures they got by "sandwiching" slides -- that is, if they had one with a great silhouette of a tree, and another with a great sunset, putting both in a single slide mount so they got a tree silhouetted in front of a sunset. That's easy to do in Photoshop, of course -- but, while it was permitted in film (though I agree with my father; it shouldn't have been) it would never be allowed today if done digitally.

If you limit someone to "just what the camera saw" you're not limiting them to what could have been done with film; you're limiting them to a lot less than could have been, and routinely was, done. As has been pointed out up-thread, the genius of Ansel Adams was not just in pointing a camera in the right direction at the right time, but in the work he did in the darkroom. That's why one photo is a spectacular piece and another is a vacation snapshot.

But where do you draw the line?

Is cropping legal? Never mind a darkroom, you can do that with a pair of scissors! In fact, you can still do it with a pair of scissors; print your picture out at a larger size and physically cut it to the size required for the contest. No digital manipulation at all, not even any chemical manipulation, but the picture has been changed.

How about adjusting the exposure? Make it a bit lighter, a bit darker, etc? Not only a common darkroom technique, but one so common that it would be considered irresponsible and/or sloppy work not to do it during development. So how about digitally?

What about ... well, I can go through the gamut of Photoshop tools and list film analogs for many of them. As has also been pointed out up-thread, that's where they came from. Sharpening an image, for instance, would seem to be over the line ... but "unsharp mask" (a powerful image-sharpening filter) is a digital implementation of a film process.

This isn't a new problem. My father was annoyed about people physically enhancing photos in the 1970s (the sandwiches). They also cropped them with black tape, they sandwiched them with gradients, they did all kinds of things. And this was just slides, where you're looking at the original film.

Photographers have been manipulating images pretty much since the process of printing was developed. The minute you move beyond a glass-plate camera to one that requires some intermediate step, whether it is simply projection like those slides or more complicated prints like the works of Ansel Adams, something is being changed along the way as an inherent part of the process. How long do you leave the print in the developer tray? That can make a huge difference, and it's an integral part of darkroom work; you have to pick some time, and whatever that time is affects the final result.

Another example: I have a DLSR and an iPod Touch. The pictures I take with that DSLR are going to be better, technically, than pictures I take at the same time in the same place with the iPod. All else aside, it's better glass. Do we want to judge equipment? Am I a better photographer, more worthy of a prize, because I'm carrying one camera instead of the other?

People who don't know much about photography say "no Photoshopping" because they think that will produce the "pure" prints of the film era. They don't realize that those prints were never "pure"; there was always some type of manipulation, some artistic decisions (even "how long do I develop this?) involved.

The other problem is that there is no good answer, or at least no one answer. I think most of us can agree that cropping should be allowed, and everyone except the people who used to do it with film can agree that adding or removing elements from an image should not be allowed. But what about things like adjusting the exposure? Tweaking contrast? Removing red-eye? (I was printing out some small signs for a client last week, and the Kodak print kiosk kept trying to get me to let it remove some imagined red-eye ... from close-ups of flowers) Adjusting color channels? Sharpening the whole picture? Sharpening part of the picture? Blurring part of the picture? In between cropping (you can do it with scissors) and adding, removing, or replacing elements (that sunset never happened in that place) there's an enormous gray area.

The only answer, I think, is for the people setting contest rules to be photographers themselves, and be fully aware of the types of both physical and digital image manipulation so they can determine what they do and do not want to allow. They have to pick a spot and draw that line, and in order to do so they need to thoroughly understand the continuum the line is being drawn on.

By the way, my personal rule of thumb for what I consider acceptable in my own photographs (non-competitive) is that anything which affects the whole image -- as someone said, basically somethingI can do with the RAW file -- is okay, but modifying only a part of the image takes it from photography to artwork. That said, I do occasionally do the digital equivalent of airbrushing ..."hey, there are some white specks on the black blanket the kitten is sitting on, I'd better fix that" ... but for a picture I'd send to my mother-in-law, not a picture I'd enter in a contest. I still haven't made up my mind about exposure gradients (I suppose I could just buy a neutral gradient filter and screw that onto my lens, and avoid the whole problem!) but they feel "wrong" to me.

So, really, the rules have to be spelled out. They can't be "not too much Photoshopping" but, rather, how much and of what elements is acceptable. And unless someone knows photography well, they're going to have a very hard time there.
 
2012-11-05 08:32:11 AM
Any photo manipulation is too much 'shopping. Force straight RAW submissions and the problem goes away.
 
2012-11-05 08:33:44 AM

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

For how long should photographic skills be limited by the possibilities of a chemical process which has already been obsolete for ten years or more? In fifty years time there will be hardly any photographers around who have ever used film or paper.


it is not longer photography and becomes more of an illustration or painting once you go beyond the normal "darkroom" processes.
 
2012-11-05 08:43:07 AM
Water dissolving and water removed.
 
2012-11-05 08:44:28 AM

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

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


Is this what's left of Manhatten?
 
2012-11-05 08:48:52 AM

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


Except it wouldn't. For instance, if a straight RAW submission is required it would be simple to make a decent sized exhibition print as shopped as one would like, put it on a copy stand, and shoot it RAW with, for instance, a nikon macro lens on a canon 5D using a fotodiox adaptor. No lens data exists using a non-chipped lens, and one would just use an appropriate color temperature light source and exposure time and there is no way any one would be able to tell.

/hasselblad, tri-x and rodinal ftw
 
2012-11-05 08:48:57 AM

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


so then it becomes about the equipment, two people taking the exact same photo, the high end raw photo will look better.
 
2012-11-05 08:49:47 AM

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


I agree especially in the context of a competition, I'd add that the only manipulation allowed is at the moment of exposure - stuff like lens filters, f/stop, etc.

Manipulating stuff in your own free time is fine, I remember compositing, burning, etc. in the dark room as well as messing around in photoshop, tho if somebody asks you should probably own up to manipulating the shot... Or just call it art and move on, no need to lie
 
2012-11-05 09:03:26 AM

rocky_howard: LOL, look at the same place but from a different photo done by another guy.

[farm9.staticflickr.com image 640x366]

Yup, WAY TOO MUCH Photoshop.


Maybe it is the same photo.

/came for the Lootie level of PS, leaving satisfied
 
2012-11-05 09:07:29 AM

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

so then it becomes about the equipment, two people taking the exact same photo, the high end raw photo will look better.


As long as they are not shooting the exact same scene from the exact same angle, it does not necessarily come down to the equipment. I know of several local photo contests where they used the same subject, but allowed them to change the angle. A lot of the cheaper equipment absolutely kicked butt over ridiculously expensive cameras because the photographer knew how to use their level of equipment to its fullest potential. That is where the skills really show.
 
2012-11-05 09:19:56 AM

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

For how long should photographic skills be limited by the possibilities of a chemical process which has already been obsolete for ten years or more? In fifty years time there will be hardly any photographers around who have ever used film or paper.

it is not longer photography and becomes more of an illustration or painting once you go beyond the normal "darkroom" processes.


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?
 
2012-11-05 09:30:52 AM
It's gone much too far whenever Mr. Lootie makes an appearance. Tragic, really.
 
2012-11-05 09:39:11 AM

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

For how long should photographic skills be limited by the possibilities of a chemical process which has already been obsolete for ten years or more? In fifty years time there will be hardly any photographers around who have ever used film or paper.

it is not longer photography and becomes more of an illustration or painting once you go beyond the normal "darkroom" processes.

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?


And to extend this idea of "darkroom processes" a bit. HDR photography is pretty much a digital application of using the zone system. Unsharp masking is a darkroom process. Perspective correction can be done in camera, or in darkroom. Analog photography is currently inhabiting roughly the same space in art as printmaking right now. Photography simply means "writing with light". To try and define what constitutes an unmanipulated image is very blurry. As there is really no such thing.
 
2012-11-05 09:45:54 AM
orbister

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?


Exactly.

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.

Sometimes I don't do anything to the photos I shoot. Sometimes I shop the Hell out of them. I have an idea of what I want something to look like before I shoot it. Granted, II try to get it as close to that idea right out of the camera as possible, but if it needs shopping, I won't hesitate to do it 'til it looks like I want it to.

I don't do photography to please some uppity purist judge with a stick up his ass. I do it for me, and for the people who wind up looking at it.
 
2012-11-05 09:54:39 AM
I've been a photographer for 40 years. In film days, the rule was, if it is in the negative, and you can draw it out by dodging and burning the image, it's legit. Ask Ansel Adams. If you are adding crap, it isn't

RAW is the equivilent of a negative. If the camera captured those dark clouds and such, and you can draw them out in the digital darkroom, it should count.

I shoot lots of architecture, and a compress the dynamic range so that, in most cases, you can see the inside and outside of the home at the same time. I don't consider it "photoshopping".

Link
 
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!
 
2012-11-05 05:39:24 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.



It doesn't even need to be what the scene looked like, but rather how the scene felt to the artist. Ansel Adams said something to that effect.

It is pointless to debate whether it looks 'real' or not, because with photography there are already so many inherent interpretations that take place before the image is even seen.

1. The choice of lens - there's nothing natural about wide angles or telephotos.
2. The look of the film - different films have very different responses to color. See: Velvia vs. Provia.
3. The digital equivalent to #2 is that every camera records color different as determined by an engineer in Japan, and then the white balance setting on the camera or raw software afterward.
4. Raw digital data is recorded in a linear fashion, but our eyes do not perceive light linearly. Therefore the data must be fit to a curve that an engineer developed or it will look very flat. Different manufacturers of cameras use different curves to give their camera models a unique flavor.

Personally, I don't care for how the engineers look at the world. I like to provide my own interpretation. The tools I use to develop digital images allow me to do this.
 
Sio
2012-11-05 08:35:26 PM
Lots of great comments in here from some of you farkers!

It took me a while to feel ok even doing a basic adjustment in my photos. Ironically it was my photographer father who told me that it was perfectly fine, and explained that it was no different than what he did in the darkroom. After that I felt better about it, and my pictures looked even better for it.

As my dad is always telling me, it's not the camera that makes the photo, it's the person who takes it. He particularly likes to tell me that when I'm drooling over his Mark III...
 
2012-11-05 08:38:32 PM

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.


Most photo contests should require people to also submit the originals. For one, it would allow the audience to see just how much an average shot could be improved in the absence of perfect dramatic lighting and such, with the judicious application of processing skills. A post-processing contest like that might even require intermediate shots and a basic description of the manipulations, and have at least one award on the merits of the tutorials.

Admiring art is fine, but inspiring and teaching budding photographers is a very worthwhile talent.
 
2012-11-05 08:59:50 PM

Sio: As my dad is always telling me, it's not the camera that makes the photo, it's the person who takes it. He particularly likes to tell me that when I'm drooling over his Mark III...


This is definitely not true for night or high-contrast shots. Even with manual control, a lousy camera will either give you total darkness, a sea of grain, or a motion blur, if it even focuses at all. (So will lousy film, so it's not exactly a new problem.) It can be overcome, but results always have that quality that makes you feel like you could have done better.
 
2012-11-05 09:11:43 PM
i47.tinypic.com
 
2012-11-05 10:02:55 PM
farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2012-11-06 12:33:14 AM

Haliburton Cummings: The Byrne photo is just better...


If you photoshop it, it's no longer a "photo", it's "digital art".

This is a photography contest, not a digital art contest.
 
2012-11-06 12:51:06 AM

if_i_really_have_to: Haliburton Cummings: The Byrne photo is just better...

If you photoshop it, it's no longer a "photo", it's "digital art".

This is a photography contest, not a digital art contest.


What is it if you modify it in the darkroom?
 
Sio
2012-11-06 01:53:46 AM

foxyshadis: Sio: As my dad is always telling me, it's not the camera that makes the photo, it's the person who takes it. He particularly likes to tell me that when I'm drooling over his Mark III...

This is definitely not true for night or high-contrast shots. Even with manual control, a lousy camera will either give you total darkness, a sea of grain, or a motion blur, if it even focuses at all. (So will lousy film, so it's not exactly a new problem.) It can be overcome, but results always have that quality that makes you feel like you could have done better.


Well yeah, I mean if you have an old as dirt camera that severely limits your controls over shutter speed and aperture and take a photo in the same spot at the same time as a much more adept camera, even if it's slightly older as well, the differences will be pronounced. I see that when I'm taking test shots of something using two different cameras, especially when I get them into editing software. I'm only just scratching the surface in learning the hobby, so I take a lot of test shots comparing settings with my various cameras...

However, you can hand fifteen different people the exact same camera with the exact same settings and send them all to take shots of the exact same thing, you will get shots that look like a three year old took them, and you will get shots you want to hang on your wall. And of course, everything in between. Sometimes the three year old took the shot you want to hang on your wall... but that's another thread...
 
2012-11-07 12:23:47 AM

profplump: If you want to have a "waiting for good lighting conditions contest" go ahead. I'm sure there are some people who love the idea. But you don't get to redefine "photography".


Part of landscape photography IS waiting for good lighting or weather conditions. Part of photojournalism is being in the right place at the right time.

But it's only one part. Post-processing of both the negative (or the raw file) and the print are essential portions of the creative process. Darkroom work (whether chemical or digital) is what separates the good photographer from the average photographer.
 
2012-11-07 02:51:59 AM

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.


add to this the fact that x number of people could go to the same site and shoot the same subject and you'ld have x number of entirely different photographs.

but, yeah, essentially THIS
 
2012-11-07 03:06:31 AM

Worldwalker: (even "how long do I develop this?)


hell. how long do i expose this?

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
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