/ Photos -To photo shop or not

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Chris63 on 17 Nov 2013
I've noticed recently a number of comments about the amount of work going into photos to enhance them. Now in the past people used dark rooms to improve the picture taken. My bet though is that virtually all the photos in the historical section of UKC have not been worked on and may be seen as all the better for it.

So what do you think? Is there a case for 'Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like when I took it?
andrewmcleod - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

Your eyes are much better than a camera, in that they capture a much higher dynamic range, so no photo ever looks like it 'looked'.
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

> So what do you think? Is there a case for 'Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like below when I took it?

Yes, unless the photoshopping is an honest attempt to make it look more like it really looked.

The problem I have is that nowadays whenever I see a photo with an impressive lighting effect my first reaction is not "wow, someone was in the right place at the right time" (for me, this is what photography is all about), but "mmmm, I wonder if that is a photoshopped lie". The current photo of the week on here is an excellent example; I just don't know if it's real or not (it may be, but my enjoyment of it is spoiled by the possibility that, for all I know, it is not).
The Pylon King on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

There is a case for all types of photos depending on what you are trying to achieve.

The same as music, from a raw live recording with no enhancement to a studio album that is manipulated to f@ck and everything inbetween.
Nicholas Livesey on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to alpinechris)
>
> [...]
>
> Yes, unless the photoshopping is an honest attempt to make it look more like it really looked.
>
> The problem I have is that nowadays whenever I see a photo with an impressive lighting effect my first reaction is not "wow, someone was in the right place at the right time" (for me, this is what photography is all about), but "mmmm, I wonder if that is a photoshopped lie". The current photo of the week on here is an excellent example; I just don't know if it's real or not (it may be, but my enjoyment of it is spoiled by the possibility that, for all I know, it is not).

My thoughts exactly and Mike Meysner's shot is heavily post processed if not full on HDR...very popular though it would seem!



Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to alpinechris)
> The same as music, from a raw live recording with no enhancement to a studio album that is manipulated to f@ck and everything inbetween.

That is a bad analogy; the music is man made and not an attempt to capture a pre-existing reality in the first place.

Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Nicholas Livesey:

> My thoughts exactly and Mike Meysner's shot is heavily post processed if not full on HDR...very popular though it would seem!

In which case it is sad that it is so popular - it's only going to encourage this sort of crap.

The Pylon King on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

The analogy is fine thanks.

The main thing is however you do it - do it well.
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> The analogy is fine thanks.

No, as I explained, it is not.

> The main thing is however you do it - do it well.

No, I'd prefer photoshopping to be done badly. If someone is going to lie to me, I'd prefer that they did it badly, so that I know they are lying and I can then ignore them.
ChrisJD on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

Oh please not AGAIN!

This was done to death here:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=564469
Tom Last - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
> [...]
>
> That is a bad analogy; the music is man made and not an attempt to capture a pre-existing reality in the first place.

Not really, far to deconstructive of you. If you want to go down that road then both music and photography are interactions/manipulation of various wavelengths, so in that case they're both from the same stable.
Chris63 on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: Yes AGAIN!Just ignore it for now.....Until someone raises it AGAIN in the not too distant future.
ChrisJD on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

Can't you just paste in the last thread to say everyone all the hassle?
ChrisJD on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:

Damn it - it wont let me - post too long, lol.
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Tom Last:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Not really, far to deconstructive of you. If you want to go down that road then both music and photography are interactions/manipulation of various wavelengths, so in that case they're both from the same stable.

The subject of the photograph exists whether or not a photograph is taken. The music does not have an existence independent of the composer.

Chris63 on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD I'd rather allow people to say what they want, there are actually some intersting points being raised comparing it to what people do with live recordings. Must admit I wasn't aware of the previous thread and having now read that thread it hasn't addressed my fundamental question. And anyway if I'd done a cut and paste it would be thread-shopping and I think something would be lost from the original thread.

Hope you appreciate that one
ChrisJD on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

Trouble is, anything interesting gets drowned out by the noise of axe grinding.
Chris63 on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: Yes you do have to be selective. Comes with age doesn't it?
Bulls Crack - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to alpinechris)
>
> Your eyes are much better than a camera, in that they capture a much higher dynamic range, so no photo ever looks like it 'looked'.

And/or what you perceive is very likely to be different to the hmm 'absolute' reality of what you saw. Impossible to define I know but your view of the image will be a composite depending on other environmental factors, motion, your feelings at the time etc etc So, if you 'see' an image that means something to you and you get home and your recorded image lacks something and, with artistic integrity, you put that perception back, then..imo..that's ok!
Bulls Crack - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:

i.e.impressionism
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Paul035 - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to the original question, I would much rather there was a distinction between photos displayed as they were taken, and those tampered with.

Whilst I can be impressed with all the fancy colouring, lighting etc, I think they should maybe be displayed under a heading 'Photo Art' or some such. And 'proper' pictures under 'Photos'. I realise all photography can be classed as art, but some way of making the distinction.

I agree with Robert, if its a nice view or scene, I'd like to know that's genuinely how it looked at the time, and through good timing and composition the photographer captured that moment, rather than spent ages on a computer programme perfecting it.
Paul035 - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Agreed, but don't you think it should be highlighted that impressionism is what it is, rather than reality.

~ not looking for a debate on differing interpretations of reality here, honest!!! ~
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> So, if you 'see' an image that means something to you and you get home and your recorded image lacks something and, with artistic integrity, you put that perception back, then..imo..that's ok!

Better to leave the image as realistic as possible and let others see what it means to them.

Fraser on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to anyone reading:

It's art. It's subjective. There are no rules, only personal preferences.

Get over it.
dissonance - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

What are your thoughts on the use of filters?
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> It's art.

I would like to bet that for the vast majority of people, it never enters their mind that their photographs are art. Because they are not; they are simply records of what they see. And that the vast majority of people would like to look at photographs knowing that they are an honest record of what somebody else saw.

> There are no rules.

Except honesty (or at least that should be a rule).

> Get over it.

No. I think it is an important issue.

Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> What are your thoughts on the use of filters?

If they make a photo better reflect reality/what the phographer sees, then fine. Just like any part of the phographic process.

Richard Carter - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

My view:
If it looks good, then it looks good - I don't really care how/why/when it was produced.
Photos are inherently artificial anyway even without photoshop, you already choose ISO, aperture, focal distance, composition, colour balance, contrast, etc. Even in the days of film photography half the stuff you can fiddle with in photoshop you just fiddled with using the choice of film.
chris fox on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

I tweak some pictures to reflect the same lighting as i see in my eye at the time of the shot. Sometimes i try to go a bit abstract but it's not really my forte ! My UKC shots have not been photoshopped. In fact the shot i took which is the cover of the Peak Limestone guide was not tweaked at all. No filters on the lens either. Shot in jpeg with just a few test shots to get the right lighting then waited to Julian to climb into the right position
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Richard Carter:
> My view:
> If it looks good, then it looks good - I don't really care how/why/when it was produced.

My view:
Attitudes like that are ruining photography. It's all rather depressing.
dissonance - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If they make a photo better reflect reality/what the phographer sees, then fine. Just like any part of the phographic process.

So manipulating using filters is ok but not with photoshop? Any particular reason?
dek - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Richard Carter:
'Even in the days of film photography'....?!...Tsk!

It's not gone away just yet!


It's only resting
icnoble on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Nicholas Livesey:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> My thoughts exactly and Mike Meysner's shot is heavily post processed if not full on HDR...very popular though it would seem!has not been used. I enjoy photographing church interiors. I used to use HDR (sparingly) but not any more. Since I got the D800 I shoot raw and as the dynamic range is huge i never need to use hdr for this kind of photograph.


It is quite possible that HDR

Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> So manipulating using filters is ok but not with photoshop?

That's not what I said.

I feel the same about photoshop as about filters or any other part of the process; as long as they are used as part of an honest attempt to depict reality, then they are fine. If used to dishonestly distort reality then they are just as bad.
stroppygob - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
> [...]
>
> Better to leave the image as realistic as possible and let others see what it means to them.

Using a digital camera is an artifice, unless you shoot in RAW your camera "develops" the image according to some pre-set internal software , (landscape, portrait, or other enhancement.)

When you used film cameras did you not develop the film? If you developed it, (or had someone else do so,) then the image was enhanced.

It's a very silly point.

Some of us, prefer to take control of the development and shoot RAW specifically so we can "develop" the image in a software (photoshop or other,) in a way which is most honest, artistic, or just produces as good an image as we can muster.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Using a digital camera is an artifice, unless you shoot in RAW your camera "develops" the image according to some pre-set internal software , (landscape, portrait, or other enhancement.)
>
> When you used film cameras did you not develop the film? If you developed it, (or had someone else do so,) then the image was enhanced.
>
> It's a very silly point.

What is?
>
> Some of us, prefer to take control of the development and shoot RAW specifically so we can "develop" the image in a software (photoshop or other,) in a way which is most honest, artistic, or just produces as good an image as we can muster.

And what is your point?

dek - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:
The Mountain photographer Galen Rowell used to get similar snide comments in the Pre Photoshop/Digital days.

'Red waterfalls' whatever next?

http://www.mountainlight.com/gallery.classics/images.html
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to alpinechris)
> The Mountain photographer Galen Rowell used to get similar snide comments in the Pre Photoshop/Digital days.
>
> http://www.mountainlight.com/gallery.classics/images.html

Yes, one or two of those are truly awful.

ChrisJD on 18 Nov 2013
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:

Yes, I am sad and disappointed to have discovered that Ansell Adams was just as bad as all the current lying photoshoppers. I shall take his photos down of my wall and burn them.



I have no problerm with these. There is no dishonesty because there is no pretence at reality.

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ChrisJD on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)
> [...]
>
> Yes, I am sad and disappointed to have discovered that Ansell Adams was just as bad as all the current lying photoshoppers. I shall take his photos down of my wall and burn them.


That's great to hear - I'm sure the man wouldn't have wanted them on your wall.
dek - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to dek)
> [...]
>
> Yes, one or two of those are truly awful.

I agree, he could have at least waited untill there was a better transparency film available, than the flat, blue biased, dull old Kodachrome 64. :-)

ChrisJD on 18 Nov 2013

> (In reply to Robert Durran)


And can you post some photos/video of the burning please.
dek - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
>
> That's great to hear - I'm sure the man wouldn't have wanted them on your wall.

And here is a 'Straightforward' relatively unenhanced effort, to gaze at contemplatively on yer wall.......for the giveaway price of only $4.3 Million......
(Somebody loves it)
http://m.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/picture-perfect-us43-million-photograph-of-featurel...


Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
> And here is a 'Straightforward' relatively unenhanced effort, to gaze at contemplatively on yer wall.......for the giveaway price of only $4.3 Million......
> (Somebody loves it)
> http://m.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/picture-perfect-us43-million-photograph-of-featurel...

I'm glad its unenhanced, but if I had taken it I would have deleted it without even bothering to download it fromm my camera for a closer look. It's crap.

dek - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to dek)
> [...]
>
> I'm glad its unenhanced, but if I had taken it I would have deleted it without even bothering to download it fromm my camera for a closer look. It's crap.

Noooo! It's 'Art' baby!

ChrisJD on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It's crap.

Have a listen to these:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt

Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Noooo! It's 'Art' baby!

Shit art.

Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Have a listen to these:
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt

I shall.

Ramblin dave - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)

> Yes, I am sad and disappointed to have discovered that Ansell Adams was just as bad as all the current lying photoshoppers.

I love how you decide what photographers are trying to do without bothering to consult them (or in some cases actively ignoring their protestations to the contrary) and then accuse them of "lying" when they do something else.

It's like me deciding that all films must be documentary attempts to depict reality and then getting angry that The Wizard of Oz is trying to deceive me.
ChrisJD on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Can you edit your post to remove me - don't want to be tarnished!
MattDTC on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> I just don't know if it's real or not (it may be, but my enjoyment of it is spoiled by the possibility that, for all I know, it is not).

It's photo-porn, leaves you feeling rather unfulfilled; never as good as the real thing.

ChrisBrooke - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: The music exists only in time and space. It only exists when it's performed and as such the analogy is completely apt. Music being performed by musicians, be it a string quartet or a folk group, is a real physical event creating compressions and rarefactions of the air in a real physical environment which can be captured (and manipulated) with varying degrees of accuracy depending on the equipment, the creativity and the skill of the engineer. A purist could record a string quartet with a simple stereo pair of mics in an 'ideal' position and leave it at that. Funnily enough when you do this it rarely sounds that pleasing and doesn't actually sound like your subjective experience of the music in the room. So, you can add a couple of 'spot' mics, perhaps use a little EQ, maybe add some extra reverb to change the sound. Now, you can do this to try to get the recording to sound more like what you perceive in the room, or you can keep sculpting the sound to create something that never quite existed in reality but is subjectively a more pleasing aural experience.

The analogy is perfect. You can take a photograph with your camera, carefully setting aperture, shutter speed and exposure to best capture the image as you see it. Your success will depend on the quality of your equipment and your skill as a photographer. You can leave it at that but perhaps your shadows may be a little too dark compared to what you actually saw in person. After all, your brain is a much more accomplished post-processor than your camera and deals with contrasting light conditions much more effectively. So, in Photoshop you take your ideal exposure and lighten the shadows a little to accurately represent what you actually saw at the time. Or you take it further to create an image that never existed in reality but which you find pleasing. The analogy is perfect.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> I love how you decide what photographers are trying to do without bothering to consult them (or in some cases actively ignoring their protestations to the contrary) and then accuse them of "lying" when they do something else.

Fair enough. If Ansell Adams or anyone else was/is honest about what they are doing, then I have no problem with it; it's art and i can like it or dislike it.

What I dislike is when a photo is manipulated to deliberately distort reality without the photographer owning up to it; and this seems so widespread now that it is becoming impossible to look at almost any photo without at least some nagging doubts about its authenticity which spoil the enjoyment of looking at it.

> It's like me deciding that all films must be documentary attempts to depict reality and then getting angry that The Wizard of Oz is trying to deceive me.

As I've made very clear, I've no problem with blatant distortions of reality; you would have to be unbelievably naive to mistake The Wizard of Oz for a documentary. I've absolutely nothing against art including photographic art; my problem is entirely with photographic art dishonestly masquerading as photograhic depictions of reality. It is a lie.

I don't see this as any different from the expectation that people are honest about the style in which they climbed a route.



Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:
> You can take a photograph with your camera, carefully setting aperture, shutter speed and exposure to best capture the image as you see it. Your success will depend on the quality of your equipment and your skill as a photographer. You can leave it at that but perhaps your shadows may be a little too dark compared to what you actually saw in person. After all, your brain is a much more accomplished post-processor than your camera and deals with contrasting light conditions much more effectively. So, in Photoshop you take your ideal exposure and lighten the shadows a little to accurately represent what you actually saw at the time.

To which I have absolutely no objection.

> Or you take it further to create an image that never existed in reality but which you find pleasing.

To which I have absolutely no objection as long as you are honest about what you have done.

> The analogy is perfect.

Not perfect, though better if you take the existing sound waves as the analogy of "reality" rather than the music as written down on paper or in the mind of the composer (which is how I took it).

Kieran_John - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to dissonance)
> [...]
>
> That's not what I said.
>
> I feel the same about photoshop as about filters or any other part of the process; as long as they are used as part of an honest attempt to depict reality, then they are fine. If used to dishonestly distort reality then they are just as bad.

So are you not ok with someone using, say, Depth of Field in a shot? How about a wide angle lens?

Both of these "distort reality".

I'm in the camp that if a picture looks good and I like it, I don't really care if photoshop has been involved.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris: The thing is, whilst recording lets say a band. The whole process is to create the file recorded. Often an instrument is played directly onto the computer so there is no 'original sound' to try capture perfectly or distort. Music has intent, landscapes do not.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Kieran_John:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> So are you not ok with someone using, say, Depth of Field in a shot? How about a wide angle lens?

Depth of field might sometimes be ok - after all our eyes do not focus on all distances simultaneously.

No problem with wide angle lenses within reason.

> Both of these "distort reality".

Obviously a photograph is only a photograph; it is only ever an approximate depiction of reality and as such all photographs could be said to distort reality.

> I'm in the camp that if a picture looks good and I like it, I don't really care if photoshop has been involved.

And, if everyone thought like this, photography would become indistinguishable from art and lose almost all it's distinctive value.
interdit - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to dek)
> [...]
>
> I'm glad its unenhanced, but if I had taken it I would have deleted it without even bothering to download it fromm my camera for a closer look. It's crap.

I reckon you would have preferred the unshopped original.

Extraneous details such as dog-walkers and a factory building were removed by the artist via digital editing.[3] Justifying this manipulation of the image, Gursky said "Paradoxically, this view of the Rhine cannot be obtained in situ, a fictitious construction was required to provide an accurate image of a modern river."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhein_II
ChrisBrooke - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo: Quite. There's a distinction to be drawn between purist classical/folk/acoustic recording and contemporary/rock (to a degree)/pop/electronic music which create something which never did and never could exist in reality. Different music, different ethos, different 'ethics'. They're not necessarily capturing a performance, rather sculpting something completely new and artificial in accordance to the creative vision of the musician/producer. But the distinction is generally understood and appreciated by the listener. That said, classical purists might be surprised by how much editing (between takes) goes into making a classical disc. I used to do it for a living.

I suppose that speaks to Robert's point. If you're listening to a classical disc you expect to be hearing a representation of a performance that happened in reality by skilled musicians and captured as honestly and with as much fidelity as possible. You would be disappointed, and would perhaps feel cheated to hear that all the wrong notes had been corrected after the event, the soloist in the concerto had been overdubbed afterwards and her violin had been auto-tuned to correct intonation errors, however nice the final recording sounds. The intent and the process matters.

I guess Robert is arguing a similar thing in photographic terms. There's an expectation that photography is a record of things, not manipulated art.

Personally I like a well edited photograph and don't have a problem with 'enhancement' as long as it looks like it could have happened in reality. But I think I'd perhaps draw a distinction between landscape and portrait/still life. I don't especially enjoy over-hyped landscape images as I just think it can look like bad fantasy art, and I know colours don't really look like that in nature. I'd be happy to push it a bit further in other sorts of pictures.
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Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:
> I suppose that speaks to Robert's point. If you're listening to a classical disc you expect to be hearing a representation of a performance that happened in reality by skilled musicians and captured as honestly and with as much fidelity as possible. You would be disappointed, and would perhaps feel cheated to hear that all the wrong notes had been corrected after the event, the soloist in the concerto had been overdubbed afterwards and her violin had been auto-tuned to correct intonation errors, however nice the final recording sounds. The intent and the process matters.
>
> I guess Robert is arguing a similar thing in photographic terms. There's an expectation that photography is a record of things, not manipulated art.

Absolutely. Your version of the analogy is spot on.
>
> Personally I like a well edited photograph and don't have a problem with 'enhancement' as long as it looks like it could have happened in reality.

I have more of a problem when it looks like it could have happened, because then you don't know whether it is a lie or not. If it's clearly enhanced I can just ignore it.

> But I think I'd perhaps draw a distinction between landscape and portrait/still life.

Yes, I think there has been an understading that this discussion is about landscape photography.
Al Evans on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris: If I can tell a picture has been photoshopped I delete one point from my vote, If its really obvious I delete two points.
bpmclimb - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to alpinechris) If I can tell a picture has been photoshopped I delete one point from my vote, If its really obvious I delete two points.

The interesting thing to me about this thread is whether that sort of judgement is based purely on what you see, or what you know to have taken place. Would you deduct any points if you knew for sure that Photoshop editing had been done, but couldn't detect it?
Chris63 on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Interesting approach. Thanks
bpmclimb - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:
> (In reply to r0x0r.wolfo) Quite.
>
>If you're listening to a classical disc you expect to be hearing a representation of a performance that happened in reality by skilled musicians and captured as honestly and with as much fidelity as possible.

I don't. As a listener all I need is for a recording of that type to sound as though it was performed complete. I don't require evidence that it was actually played in a single take. And as a performer, I'm going to go for the fewest edits possible, because the more edits you do, the greater the danger that some will be audible, and the greater the danger that the recording won't have a natural flow. For me, these are practical considerations, not ethical ones.
Ramblin dave - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Fair enough. If Ansell Adams or anyone else was/is honest about what they are doing, then I have no problem with it; it's art and i can like it or dislike it.
>
> What I dislike is when a photo is manipulated to deliberately distort reality without the photographer owning up to it; and this seems so widespread now that it is becoming impossible to look at almost any photo without at least some nagging doubts about its authenticity which spoil the enjoyment of looking at it.

But what lengths do you expect them to go to to "own up"? You seem to have found out that a lot of photographers use post-processing, and have presumably done so without hacking into their computers or spying on them, so they must have owned up to it at some point. From my experience, most photographers are fairly open about their process if anyone bothers to ask them - the fact that their photos don't come with a big label explaining exactly how much post-processing was done on them is because they don't think it matters that much, or because they think that anyone who cares that much will already have put in the effort to find out.

If you were going to insist on everything being clearly labelled with the level of post-processing, you'd probably also have to insist that they explained clearly what other "artifice" went into the shot - if there's a person in it, were they caught unawares, or were they playing up a bit for the camera, or were they completely posed? Even if they've really "captured a moment in time", is that a representative moment in time such as you might often see, or is it one moment in a hundred years when the light is like this and the shadows are like that and there's just such a number of people and a load of similar ephemeral stuff has all come together? Is there stuff just out of shot that would completely change the "feel" of the scene? And have they moved stuff around or just shot the scene as they found it?

To be honest, if you've got genuine and philosophically consistent worries about the "authenticity" of the images rather than a kneejerk scepticism about new technology then it might be easiest to avoid photography entirely...

ChrisBrooke - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb: Yes, they're practical considerations. There should never be a danger that they become audible, because the audible edit is one you don't do in the first place! When I edited at a major UK classical label an average disc could have 2-300 edits over 60/70mins. That's quite a lot but the discs sounded great.
I guess you're right that the listener just wants a good sounding disc, but I still suspect they'd be surprised/disappointed if they were aware of the number of takes/edits involved in some discs. I remember going to hear the English Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican and being so impressed with how good they sounded live, 'unedited'! One gets so used to the artifice of record production, even with the likes of the LSO, the BBC Symphony, London Mozart Players etc... that I was really impressed at an orchestra sounding great live and uncut. C'est la vie.
Kieran_John - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Kieran_John)

> And, if everyone thought like this, photography would become indistinguishable from art and lose almost all it's distinctive value.

Well, I'd class photography as art so I'm not too worried about that!
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to alpinechris) If I can tell a picture has been photoshopped I delete one point from my vote, If its really obvious I delete two points.

How about giving it a 1 and a scathing comment?


Coel Hellier - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to the thread:

Came across this yesterday, thoughts on it (it's obviously highly manipulated)?

https://twitter.com/SciencePorn/status/401503936307535872/photo/1
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> But what lengths do you expect them to go to to "own up"?

Well, perhaps on UKC, a score of from 1 to 4 (unphotoshopped, to heavy photoshopping would suffice).

> You seem to have found out that a lot of photographers use post-processing, and have presumably done so without hacking into their computers or spying on them, so they must have owned up to it at some point.


No. Many photographs are blatantly photoshopped and I think it is a reasonable assumption that many others are more skillfully photoshopped without it being obvious just looking at the pictures (and that of course is the problem)

> From my experience, most photographers are fairly open about their process if anyone bothers to ask them - the fact that their photos don't come with a big label explaining exactly how much post-processing was done on them is because they don't think it matters that much, or because they think that anyone who cares that much will already have put in the effort to find out.

No, I'm not going to email the photographer every time I see a photo on UKC with an unusual or imprtesive lighting effect.
>
> If you were going to insist on everything being clearly labelled with the level of post-processing, you'd probably also have to insist that they explained clearly what other "artifice" went into the shot - if there's a person in it, were they caught unawares, or were they playing up a bit for the camera, or were they completely posed?

Well yes, ideally I would like to know.

> Even if they've really "captured a moment in time", is that a representative moment in time such as you might often see, or is it one moment in a hundred years when the light is like this and the shadows are like that.

Well I would hope so. To me landscape photography ia about capturing that rare moment in time and that is why all this dishonest photoshopping undermines it to such a large extent.

> To be honest, if you've got genuine and philosophically consistent worries about the "authenticity" of the images rather than a kneejerk scepticism about new technology then it might be easiest to avoid photography entirely...

What an absurd thing to say! I am concerned (and debating it on here) about it because I love photography and have no intention of giving up on it because some people abuse it.

Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to the thread)
>
> Came across this yesterday, thoughts on it (it's obviously highly manipulated)?
>
> https://twitter.com/SciencePorn/status/401503936307535872/photo/1

I like it (though the building adds nothing to the effect) because it shows how all the meteors coming from the same direction which a short exposure would not have shown (a bit like those star photos show the stars "rotating" about the pole star). The manipulation and long exposure are blatant and so not a problem.

badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
Personally, I want to create great images. I go out and shoot, and try to get as good images as I can, using whatever techniques are appropriate for the situation.

Any image is a unique perspective on reality, and not reality itself - even down to how you frame, where you shoot from, how you expose, how you focus - this is all the photographer's skills and creativity manipulating how they want the image to be. If this is one shot when the climber is doing something cool in an amazing location, so be it. If it's a boulder problem wher someone is trying a hard route, I might take fifty shots to get the one I like the best.

And when I come off a shoot, I look at the images I shot as raw material which then needs "polishing" to get the bets out of it (all RAW photos need to be 'developed' anyway). Typically, the LR or PS work is very light touches, but makes a big difference to the image in the end - I'm not fundamentally changing the image, just presenting it in it's best light.

I understand some people have a "straight out of camera" ethic (presumably they don't shoot RAW, because a RAW file is *too* straight out of camera to be useful on it's own without processing - for those that don't realise, when you shoot a JPEG with your camera, you are actually doing a significant amount of image processing on your image - the sensor data is sharpened, the colour gamut is modified, then the picture style is baked in with contrast, saturation and other adjustments before the image is then compressed - I'm just doing these type of adjustments on the back end to the RAW file, but with much more control about how I do it rather than expecting some Canon engineers to understand how I like my images to look ;)

So I'm not, for example, cutting out a climber from one shot, and putting him into a different location, or editing out ropes to makes things look more dangerous, or rotating to make the route seem steeper or anything that cheats the "story" or the image - I think most people would regard that as going too far - I'm trying to present and tell the story of that image in the best way possible.
Chris63 on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris: It would be fascinating to see a category for photographs that had not had any further enhancements. Just for interest.
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

just remember, *every* digital photograph has had enhancements, whether it's by the user, or by the technology itself - so there is no "true" real un-enhanced picture - photography has *never* been about capturing reality, it's always in some way an interpretation of, or a perspective of, a real moment..
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
> (In reply to alpinechris)
>
> just remember, *every* digital photograph has had enhancements, whether it's by the user, or by the technology itself - so there is no "true" real un-enhanced picture - photography has *never* been about capturing reality, it's always in some way an interpretation of, or a perspective of, a real moment..

Obviously. But the issue here is whether all the processing in the camera or on a computer leads to:
(1) the best possible reflection of the reality actually seen ("proper" photography)
(2) an attempt to show something not actually seen without owning up to it (lying)
(3) an attempt to show something not actually seen and owning up to it (art).

bpmclimb - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

I think people are less tolerant of the "warts and all" nature of complete-take recordings than they were; modern editing has moved the goalposts. In my experience, classical musicians have come to take this into account when embarking on a recording, Although we still value the "purity" of the single-take, in practice it's too tempting to avail ourselves of the technology to come up with something more seamless and polished. There's probably the same trend with photography.

At least classical music is still generally recorded with the whole group playing, even though many takes can be patched together. If this weren't the norm I think it would be a major loss. Fortunately, much classical music would be well-nigh impossible to put together with overdubs.

Which classical label did you work for, as a matter of interest?



Richard Carter - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

"My view:
Attitudes like that are ruining photography. It's all rather depressing."


Why? If the end result is a beautiful picture why should I care how it's made. I don't care if it's come out of a camera from the 1940s, a D4 or a £20 digicam so long as it looks good.

If I see two identical pictures hung on a wall, one was taken digitally and the saturation boosted in photoshop, the other taken using velvia to boost the saturation, should I just bin the photoshopped picture?
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Richard Carter:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Why? If the end result is a beautiful picture why should I care how it's made.

If you are happy being lied to then that is your problem. I'd rather not be.

> If I see two identical pictures hung on a wall, one was taken digitally and the saturation boosted in photoshop, the other taken using velvia to boost the saturation, should I just bin the photoshopped picture?

No, bin either or both if they are unrealistic.

ChrisBrooke - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb: I'm totally in favour of multi-take recording. From a producer's point of view I think finding a main take as a base and recording short patches works really well. But that also varies depending on the sort of work and requires a keen ear from the producer to maintain tempo/feel etc. Chamber music with short movements obviously require a different approach to an opera...anyway getting a bit too off topic.

I was at Chandos. I realise not a 'major' but the country's largest independent label. Over ten years ago now though, at the start of my career.
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Chris63 on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit: Yes good point. You clearly understand this issue well. C
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> If you are happy being lied to then that is your problem. I'd rather not be.

It all depends on the individual's personal take, doesn't it? Some people want journalism, some people prefer art, most people will fall somewhere between the two based on the context. Imo there is a place for both...

I don't regard what I do (in terms of "polishing" images) as "lying". When I get up in the morning my hair looks a mess. I'm happy to leave it that way when slumming around the house, but if I have to go out, or go to work, I have a wash, put on some decent clothes and sort my hair out and then I'm presentable. I'm not "lying" about the trie nature of my hair or my state of dress, just presenting myself is a good light.

Now, for my taste there are images I don't like simply because they are, to my eye, over-processed and too fake looking. That's just (speaking personally) bad art. But we all have our own personal take on what we like and don't like, appreciate and avoid, what we value - but I recognise that everyone's take is different and don't wish to enforce my personal tastes on anyone else who may have different tastes and values.

When you make images, regardless of the content, you hope it speaks to people, and you can't reach everybody, so you do what you want to do in the hope of reaching the ones who like it.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> It all depends on the individual's personal take, doesn't it? Some people want journalism, some people prefer art, most people will fall somewhere between the two based on the context. Imo there is a place for both...

I agree entirely. All I am asking for is honesty.
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
There is also the question of intent:- if I am documenting a particular event like climbing a multi-pitch route outdoors for the first time, then the "polishing" I will do is fairly minimal, unless I need to overcome some technical issues with the image itself (say, the exposure was wrong and left the whole image underexposed, I will bring back some detail so the end-user can see the actual content properly.) Unless you saw the original and compared the two, you wouldn't be able to notice anything had been done to it.

It will be a little different if I'm trying to make a really nice promo image of someone in a climbing wall looking awesome - then I may well stage the shot, try multiple times, use lighting, Photoshop out distracting elements that couldn't be removed during the shoot etc - a different context, and a different set of variables. I'm trying less to document a real event, and more to create an image to portray a certain emotion or message.
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
All I am asking for is honesty.

I know what you mean, but even this is subjective. For you, what kinds of things would you class as "lying"?

I think we all agree that doing stuff like editing out ropes, making the climbing seem harder than it is would be regarded as dishonest if the image was trying to be journalistic in nature (all bets are off in "artmaking" really :)

But do you consider removing some saturation because you like the look to be "lying"? What about cropping? (ironically the *one* tool photojournalists *can* use to control the image). Cloning out a rock in the background because it is visually distracting so the viewer can focus
on the climber more easily?

Where are the lines? They are certainly going to be different for every viewer...
bpmclimb - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

Years ago I recorded the complete Rubbra string quartets for Conifer Classics (playing cello). We got a good complete performance for each movement as a basis but then did an awful lot of patching. I seem to remember that the double CD of 100 mins or so was based on about 9 hours of recorded takes. All the classical recordings I've done since then (mostly chamber music) have used a similar strategy. By contrast, World/Folk music has been about half that, half overdubs.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> All I am asking for is honesty.
>
> I know what you mean, but even this is subjective. For you, what kinds of things would you class as "lying"?

Anything which is not an attempt to make the picture look more like the subject actually looked and without owning up to it.

> But do you consider removing some saturation because you like the look to be "lying"?

Not if it makes it look more like the reality.

> What about cropping?

All photographs are cropped as soon a they are taken anyway, (you can only point the camera in one direction) so there is a limitation on true depiction of reality built in from the start. So I suppose it depends whether you are being deliberately misleading by cropping something out.
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
-- But do you consider removing some saturation because you like the look to be "lying"?
- Not if it makes it look more like the reality.

No, it looks less like reality.

So basically, yes, you consider that to be lying? Ok, let's remove some more saturation - now you have a black and white photograph. B/W photos don't look *anything* like reality - you consider all B/W pics to be lying too?

See, there are all kinds of levels - and sometimes the end user might apply a valuation that wasn't never intended by the image-maker - like applying photo-journalistic values on an image that was never intended to be that, much like a recording of a song never promised that the singer sang the entire thing in one take...

Note - I'm not judging anybody, just entering the discussion and pointing out that all we have are endless shades of grey rather than absolutes, and I'm coming from the perspective of someone who is both a climber and a hobbyist and semi-pro photographer who does post-process images where necessary.

Photographic ethics is always a contentious one, and no surprise that here in the climbing community it's particularly highlighted because the sport itself is laced with a higher ethical content that most of sports or hobbies..
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> So basically, yes, you consider that to be lying? Ok, let's remove some more saturation - now you have a black and white photograph. B/W photos don't look *anything* like reality - you consider all B/W pics to be lying too?

No. A Black and white photograph is clearly just that and no-one is being deceived.
Ramblin dave - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
How subtle does manipulation have to be before something becomes "a lie" then?

A lie is an absolute thing (and quite a nasty term to throw around as lightly as you're doing) but something that a professional photographer or an art critic would immediately see as obviously artificial might be subtle enough to fool a casual audience. And something that a casual but reasonably alert audience would spot as being obviously fake might not be noticed by someone naive who isn't paying attention. So when does it become a lie?

And what if it's a famous photographer like Andreas Gursky (or Ansel Adams, come to that) who's well known to use a fair bit of manipulation and who has discussed the matter at length - are they allowed to assume that their audience are reasonably well informed and hence aware of that, or does the photo need to come with an explanatory label every time it appears in any context?
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> How subtle does manipulation have to be before something becomes "a lie" then?
> So when does it become a lie?

When it is done deliberately to deceive.
If someone tells me they saw a stunning sunset yesterday when they did not, then that is a lie. If someone manipulates a photograph of a very ordinary sunset to make it look stunning, then that too is a lie.

> And what if it's a famous photographer like Andreas Gursky (or Ansel Adams, come to that) who's well known to use a fair bit of manipulation and who has discussed the matter at length - are they allowed to assume that their audience are reasonably well informed and hence aware of that, or does the photo need to come with an explanatory label every time it appears in any context?

Well that is tricky. Obviously I am disappointed to hear that Ansel Adam's photos are so heavily manipulated and were not primarily about being in the right place at the right time, but, if he was perfectly open about it and I just didn't happen to know, then it is just my unfortunate ignorance.

Ramblin dave - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> All photographs are cropped as soon a they are taken anyway, (you can only point the camera in one direction) so there is a limitation on true depiction of reality built in from the start. So I suppose it depends whether you are being deliberately misleading by cropping something out.

Surely that should be more of a worry to you than digital manipulation, then?

I mean, doing genuinely significant manipulation in photoshop without it being really obvious seems like it should be quite hard - the most I ever go for is gently tweaking the colour curve to get slightly darker darkness and even that's easy to overdo. But taking an atmospheric landscape shot by pointing the camera away from the cement works or the A-road or the party of students with the portable stereo is a no-brainer...
Ramblin dave - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> When it is done deliberately to deceive.
> If someone tells me they saw a stunning sunset yesterday when they did not, then that is a lie. If someone manipulates a photograph of a very ordinary sunset to make it look stunning, then that too is a lie.

But a lot of people would say they have no intention to deceive - they've manipulated the photo to make it look nice and are making no claim that it represents reality. But you've barged in and assumed without consulting them that they are making that claim, and then called them a liar because a claim that they never made isn't true.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Surely that should be more of a worry to you than digital manipulation, then?
> Taking an atmospheric landscape shot by pointing the camera away from the cement works.......

I'm not sure that bothers me too much; if you look that way, you can't see the cement works.

I'd be much more bothered by cropping out the top rope hanging just to the side of a solo climber.
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
- If someone manipulates a photograph of a very ordinary sunset to make it look stunning, then that too is a lie.

I'd maybe agree with that if they had explicitly posted some text saying "Look at this amazing sunset I saw last night, I've captured it just as it appeared to my eye".

But:- *you* have implicitly decided that the intent must have been to show the amazing sunset they had seen and have decided since that wasn't the reality it must therefore be a lie.

What if the photographer then told you they had never intended to present this as reality, but that they wanted to make a nice sunset and after playing around with some filters etc they ended up with a pleasing image that they posted. It's just a nice image, that's all. You've decided that the artist/photographer has deliberately lied, when this isn't the reality.

There is no intention to deceive, just the intent to make a good image they liked. It's a creative impulse. Photography is image-making, not only documentary in nature, and the very act of photography is creative image making.

Heck, the camera can't even record the dynamic range the eye can see, so in many cases you actually *have* to heavily-post process to actually attempt to show reality in the image - a simple case in point - you should a climber on the rock, and to expose him as you eye sees it, the sky blows out and goes white. This is not what we see with our eyes. In order to reproduce what we see with our eyes in the image, we must reduce the exposure of the sky with "tricks" - maybe HDR, maybe grad filters on the lens, maybe just pulling down the sky exposure with a tool in Lightroom - whatever.

So here is an intentional "lie" to make the image appear *more like* reality.

Hmm... grey indeed! :)
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
- But a lot of people would say they have no intention to deceive - they've manipulated
- the photo to make it look nice and are making no claim that it represents reality. But
- you've barged in and assumed without consulting them that they are making that claim,
- and then called them a liar because a claim that they never made isn't true.

Exactly my point...
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> But a lot of people would say they have no intention to deceive - they've manipulated the photo to make it look nice and are making no claim that it represents reality. But you've barged in and assumed without consulting them that they are making that claim, and then called them a liar because a claim that they never made isn't true.

But I would like to think that we can still start from the assumption that, unless told otherwise, a photo is an honest attempt to depict reality. If not, then almost every photo has to be treated with suspicion and for me that spoils the pleasure of looking at them.

Climbing is a good analogy. You used to able to assume that if someone said they had done such and such a gritstone route then they had just walked up and climbed it. But now with the proliferation of compromised styles such as headpointing and use of pads, it is bgenerally considered reasonable to expect people to be honest and say how they climbed the route.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> What if the photographer then told you they had never intended to present this as reality, but that they wanted to make a nice sunset and after playing around with some filters etc they ended up with a pleasing image that they posted. It's just a nice image, that's all. You've decided that the artist/photographer has deliberately lied, when this isn't the reality.

They have lied by omission. If youn think the word "lie" is too strong then, fair enough, pick another word. The point remains the same.

badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
- But I would like to think that we can still start from the assumption that, unless
- told otherwise, a photo is an honest attempt to depict reality.

As always, it depends on the context. What you say would not be true for a whole range of imagery, including everything in fashion or glossy magazines, all product photography, pretty much all images used for marketing purposes and many may more cases.

That an image depicts reality is an assumption, and is one factor, and certainly not the only reason for the existence of many images...

- Climbing is a good analogy.

Indeed. Let's take another example - I take a good photo of my mate climbing a route - the photo looks good, he's on a crux move, the scene is great, he's wearing a red t-shirt, everything is good.

I post the image online, and say here's my mate on route XX.

Now, I've made no indication of whether this guy finished the route, dogged it, fell off, or even just staged the pose - I'm made no claims at all, other than here is a shot of my mate on route XX.

You might assume that this guy climbed it. That assumption may or may not be correct. I then tell you that, half a second later after the pic was taken the guy fell off. It doesn't change the image at all, but if you've assumed he climbed it, and I then tell you he didn't, you might perhaps accuse me of intentionally lying by posting that image.

Or you might not, you might decide that the image was an accurate reflection of that reality when it was taken, so in your book it's ok.

In any case, you are always making assumptions about the intent of the photographer, and judging the image based on those assumptions. I'm not entirely sure whether I'm ok with that (though, practically, we are all probably guilty of it in some way, or in varying degrees).

I just appreciate a good image more than I appreciate a journalistic record of an event - your values may well be different. But I do see you point and don't entirely disagree - cropping out a top rope for example, in my book is just an attempt to remove a distraction from a image, rather than a claim that the route wasn't top-roped, but you may well interpret that differently - again, you've made an assumption on the intent of the photographer that may well be innaccurate...
badwabbit on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
- They have lied by omission.

Well, that's where we disagree... ;)
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bpmclimb - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)

>
> Climbing is a good analogy. You used to able to assume that if someone said they had done such and such a gritstone route then they had just walked up and climbed it. But now with the proliferation of compromised styles such as headpointing and use of pads, it is bgenerally considered reasonable to expect people to be honest and say how they climbed the route.


So music was a poor analogy, but climbing is a good one :)

I suspect people generally consider analogies to be good when they support, or can be made to support, their argument. Present company included (including me).

Having said that, the climbing analogy does rather fall down in one respect: details of modes of ascent are generally expected, as you say - the databases have convenient categories for us, but surely this is not the case with photography. There is generally no requirement or expectation to publish details of the type and extent of editing. You might think there should be, but that's a different matter.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> As always, it depends on the context. What you say would not be true for a whole range of imagery, including everything in fashion or glossy magazines, all product photography, pretty much all images used for marketing purposes and many may more cases.

Maybe, but I was really thinking of landscape and climbing photography.

> Indeed. Let's take another example - I take a good photo of my mate climbing a........I've made no claims at all, other than here is a shot of my mate on route XX.

> You might assume that this guy climbed it.

No, in fact, I wouldn't.

> Or you might not, you might decide that the image was an accurate reflection of that reality when it was taken, so in your book it's ok.

Yes. No attempt has been made to deceive me; you just said your mate was "on" the route.

> In any case, you are always making assumptions about the intent of the photographer.

I would just like to know what the intention is and I would LIKE to be able to assume an honest depiction of reality unless told otherwise.

> I just appreciate a good image more than I appreciate a journalistic record of an event - your values may well be different.

I appreciate good "journalistic" images (or "honest" as I call them). The two things are not mutually exclusive.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Having said that, the climbing analogy does rather fall down in one respect: details of modes of ascent are generally expected, but surely this is not the case with photography. There is generally no requirement or expectation to publish details of the type and extent of editing. You might think there should be, but that's a different matter.

Of course I do. For the same reasons as in climbing: honesty. That is my whole point. And the fact that it is not the norm in photography is the whole problem.

Chris63 on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris: Having read all of the comments so far I wonder if there is a difference between trying to improve the photograph and trying to improve the picture or image that the photograph is of. And whether this matters at all?
stroppygob - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Using a digital camera is an artifice, unless you shoot in RAW your camera "develops" the image according to some pre-set internal software , (landscape, portrait, or other enhancement.)
>
> When you used film cameras did you not develop the film? If you developed it, (or had someone else do so,) then the image was enhanced.
>
> It's a very silly point.

> What is?

> And what is your point?

My point, which anyone can see, is that there is no such thing as "Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like when I took it?"
a) It's a photographic representation of what was seen, not the view itself in that time and space.
b) All photographs are digitally/developmentally altered and enhanced to a greater or lesser degree. This can be via choice, or via accepting teh camera software, or developers, intermediary actions.
c) The best that one can say is; "'Here is the photo that I took, and this is what I wanted to show of how I perceive it looked when I took it."


Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> The best that one can say is; "'Here is the photo that I took, and this is what I wanted to show of how I perceive it looked when I took it."

Which is different from: "here is the photo that I took and it is the best I/the camera/the processing can do to represent what any human there would have actually seen"

You seem to think the best you can do try to impose your take on how you interpret the subject on me (the hint is in the word "wanted"). Fine, if that is what you are doing, then let me know and I can choose to ignore you.

I'd rather you let me make up my own mind.


stroppygob - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Oh grow up. You're the one with the bee in his bonnet, how many replies have you posted here?

I was just expressing my views.

If you do not like them, or have a closed mind, don't read them.
stroppygob - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'd rather you let me make up my own mind.

Over thirty replies of yours I counted before I gave up, I have made three. Yet you have the gall to accuse me of; " best you can do try to impose your take on how you interpret the subject on me",.

Mote and beam pal, mote and beam...
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Over thirty replies of yours I counted before I gave up, I have made three. Yet you have the gall to accuse me of; " best you can do try to impose your take on how you interpret the subject on me",.

After quoting your <The best that one can say is; "Here is the photo that I took, and this is what I wanted to show of how I perceive it looked when I took it>, so I have no idea why you are so upset.

What's your problem?
If you don't want to engage in an interesting debate then don't bother posting.

Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Oh grow up. You're the one with the bee in his bonnet, how many replies have you posted here?

It's called engaging in discussion

> I was just expressing my views.

And I was replying to them.
It's called engaging in discussion.
>
> If you do not like them, or have a closed mind, don't read them.

Why not?
It's called engaging in discussion.



bpmclimb - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to bpmclimb)
> [...]
>
> Of course I do. For the same reasons as in climbing: honesty. That is my whole point. And the fact that it is not the norm in photography is the whole problem.

Correction: YOUR whole problem. It's certainly not a problem to me, and from this thread you appear to be in a very small minority in thinking that it matters quite this much if someone tweaks a photo.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Correction: YOUR whole problem, and from this thread you appear to be in a very small minority in thinking that it matters quite this much if someone tweaks a photo.

Yes, I (and others) think it is a problem, and if we really are a small minority I think it is sad for the future and integrity of photography as something distinct from art.

Paul035 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:

I have to say I agree with the vast majority of what Robert is saying. I think a lot of the arguments against are people playing with semantics.

Obviously a heavily altered photograph can still be very impressive, but it is not a capture of the scene the photographer experienced.

For example, last winter I walked into Lochnagar under an incredible pink red sky which I took a picture of. It is impressive (to me at least) because its a colour of sky that is rare and was very visually striking. Though the photo itself was fairly average.

I'm sure somebody could easily create the same effect using a computer programme and display the picture. Would that still be as impressive? To me, no. When I look at lanscape pictures it is the nature/the view contained within them and that individual's ability to capture it that I am impressed with.

With no caption either way then yes I'm pretty sure most people would assume that was the photo as it was taken.
bpmclimb - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Paul035:
> (In reply to bpmclimb)
>

>
> With no caption either way then yes I'm pretty sure most people would assume that was the photo as it was taken.

I wouldn't know whether it's most people, or half of them, or whatever. Sounds like guesswork to me. What I do know is that I wouldn't automatically assume that.
stroppygob - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> What's your problem?
> If you don't want to engage in an interesting debate then don't bother posting.

Said the man who initiated the rancour with; "You seem to think the best you can do try to impose your take on how you interpret the subject on me (the hint is in the word "wanted"). Fine, if that is what you are doing, then let me know and I can choose to ignore you.

I'd rather you let me make up my own mind."


When no one had imposed anything on him, no one had asked him not to make up his own mind, who had offered to ignore me following his lies about my attempt to 'impose" a view on him.

How old are you son? Ten?

Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Said the man who initiated the rancour with; "You seem to think the best you can do try to impose your take on how you interpret the subject on me (the hint is in the word "wanted"). Fine, if that is what you are doing, then let me know and I can choose to ignore you.
>
> I'd rather you let me make up my own mind."

No rancour. I was just saying that I would rather see as accurate as possible representation of what you actually saw rather than what you "wanted" to show. And if that is not what I am seeing I'd like to know so that I can ignore it.

> When no one had imposed anything on him, no one had asked him not to make up his own mind, who had offered to ignore me following his lies about my attempt to 'impose" a view on him.

By showing what you "want" to show of course you are imposing your own interpretation on me.

> How old are you son? Ten?

If the best you can do is be childish then may I suggest you leave the discussion to others.
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Paul035:
> (In reply to bpmclimb)
> With no caption either way then yes I'm pretty sure most people would assume that was the photo as it was taken.

Perhaps, not necessarily as it was taken, but processed (both in the camera and afterwards) to best represent what the photographer actually saw.

Actually, I'm not sure most people (myself included) would assume that and that is the whole problem (see my very first post in the thread); because nowadays the ubiquity of photoshop and suchlike means you have to take every picture with a pinch of salt - you just don't know whether it is processed to best reprsent reality or not. The value of "genuine" photos is lost because you no longer know when you are actually looking at one.

MattDTC on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

I agree with what you are saying (and admire you staying power!), but I feel it amounts to flogging a dead horse. The process we now see with the ‘glorification’ of landscape photos is the same process you see in many strands of modern life. Look at any advertising image, be it landscape, people, homes, etc, the image is to some extent secondary, the promotion of perfection is of primary importance. People prefer to feel they are living an idealised fantasy of perfection, rather than an apparently ‘drabber’ version called reality. It’s a safer and self adoring version of life and one that humans appear to find irresistible.
Paul035 - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:

> I wouldn't know whether it's most people, or half of them, or whatever. Sounds like guesswork to me. What I do know is that I wouldn't automatically assume that.

Yes I am probably wrong in that assumption, looking back at responses.

I still think there should be a different classification of photographs.. e.g. 'representative' photographs or 'artistic' / 'impressionist' photographs for want of better terminology. Both definitely have their place.

Out of interest, what do nature and wildlife photography competitions do - are they generally open to any amount of doctoring, or is there a list of rules that a photographer must comply to as regards photo shopping??
dissonance - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Paul035:

> Out of interest, what do nature and wildlife photography competitions do - are they generally open to any amount of doctoring, or is there a list of rules that a photographer must comply to as regards photo shopping??

Different competitions will have different rules.
Although speaking of faking shots. Is it ok to use a tame animal in such a way to suggest it is wild?
ads.ukclimbing.com
interdit - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Paul035:

> Out of interest, what do nature and wildlife photography competitions do - are they generally open to any amount of doctoring, or is there a list of rules that a photographer must comply to as regards photo shopping??

Rule vary, but most follow a similar theme to the rules of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Comp, here

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/enter/guidelines.jsp

Specifically, with regards to shopping -

4. Image adjustment guidelines

The image should be a faithful representation of the original scene.
Localised adjustments should be used appropriately.
Allowances will not be made for poorly colour-managed, over-saturated, or over-sharpened images.

Some adjustment or editing is allowed.
The objective is to remain faithful to the original experience, and to never deceive the viewer or misrepresent the reality of nature.

Adjustments that are allowed:
removal of sensor dust spots
removal of chromatic aberration
removing background noise (in moderation)
levels (in moderation)
curves (in moderation)
colour (in moderation)
saturation (in moderation)
contrast work (in moderation)
shadow and highlights (in moderation)
sharpening (including selective sharpening) in moderation
cropping in moderation and as long as a suitable high-res TIFF file can be supplied for printing a large exhibition display
dodging, burning and toning (in moderation)
neutral density gradients (in moderation)
removing lens vignetting
panoramas ie panoramas created from several images that have been taken from the same location and at the same time, and then combined or stitched using digital techniques, and resulting in a wider view than can be achieved with most wide-angle lenses. Stitched images are only allowed in the following categories: Animals in their Environment, Botanical Realms, Creative Visions of Nature, Eric Hosking Award, Nature in Black and White, Wildscapes and the young categories – 15-17 Years, 11-14 Years and 10 Years and Under. (NB: stitched panoramas must be declared in caption information)
Multiple exposures are allowed if this is a feature of the camera and the result is one single file. Entrants must state in the caption if their image is a multiple exposure.
Adjustments that are NOT allowed
adding or removing animals, parts of animals, plants, distractions, people etc
composites and sandwich shots that add elements
interdit - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Paul035)

> Although speaking of faking shots. Is it ok to use a tame animal in such a way to suggest it is wild?

Absolutely not allowed.
And has caused big upset in the past.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jan/20/wolf-wildlife-photographer-award-stripped


Even when not taking a shot for competition the generally accepted ethics are that one captions and tags an image as 'captive' if it is not wild.
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> People prefer to feel they are living an idealised fantasy of perfection, rather than an apparently ‘drabber’ version called reality. It’s a safer and self adoring version of life and one that humans appear to find irresistible.

So it is all part of or symptomatic of the tide of heavily promoted evils of self delusion which are destroying society: the fashion industry, impossibly thin models, the X-factor, The Bake Off etc. etc.

Not safer. Very dangerous.

MattDTC on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> Not safer. Very dangerous.

Yeah I agree, I should have written 'apparently' safer.
badwabbit on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to interdit:
- 4. Image adjustment guidelines

Yep, that's pretty much a broad summary of the sorts of things I may do to an image, although I may from time to time clone out a particularly distracting element that couldn't be taken care of at the time - but then, I'm not entering competitions...

Composites or something similar I might do for fun, but that's a different type of thing.
bpmclimb - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to all:

What do people think of simply aiming the camera in such a way as to give a false impression? For example, a shot of a climber on a very short route, but with the ground excluded and the angle optimised to make the route longer and/or steeper. If we're going to object to what we perceive as dishonesty in photography, it could be argued that that's a bigger offence than enhancing colour, for example, or Photoshopping out an abseil rope.
badwabbit on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

Indeed. Or wide lenses that make the scene exaggerated in certain ways. Or long lenses that compress the depth of the scene. Or exposure settings that under or overexpose (as I've already mentioned above).

These are all creative choices that are part of the whole way a photographer wants to image the scene, and they have little to do with reality the way our eyes see things. If you always want a scene the way the eye sees it, you should only ever shoot with around a 50mm lense, which is the typical focal length of our eyes. Any other focal length is not showing reality as our eyes see it (though it is a different kind of reality).

Really - there is no such thing as "truth" in photography at all - we just have a lot of choices as photographers as to how we want to make an image, or how far you want to go. And that is just as true of a quick phone snapshot, as it is on something that is taken on and worked by someone with skills.

Blue Straggler - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to badwabbit:
>
>
>If you always want a scene the way the eye sees it, you should only ever shoot with around a 50mm lense, which is the typical focal length of our eyes. Any other focal length is not showing reality as our eyes see it

It is not to do with focal length but with field of view. 50mm on a 35mm or full frame camera presents an image with the same field of view that you would typically get WITH ONE EYE CLOSED.
35-38mm is more typical of what you see with both eyes open, which is why a lot of "point and click" 35mm compact cameras settled on this focal length (I imagine the 50mm originally became ubiquitous because early photographers were so accustomed to seeing the world through one eye...?)
badwabbit on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
Yep, I was just giving a quick over-simplification to emphasise the point...
Blue Straggler - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:
> (In reply to all)
>
> What do people think of simply aiming the camera in such a way as to give a false impression? For example, a shot of a climber on a very short route, but with the ground excluded and the angle optimised to make the route longer and/or steeper.

Have you been looking at my gallery again? :-) I asked Robert about this the last time he regurgitated this polemic, and because the pictures were in black and white he said that they were fine because they weren't pretending to be something that they were not (nice grammar by me there).
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=175264
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=175266
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=211794


I wonder what he thinks of this one :-)
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=219722
bpmclimb - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to bpmclimb)
> [...]

> I wonder what he thinks of this one :-)
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=219722

Where did you find someone with such enormous hands?
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to bpmclimb)
> [...]
>
> I asked Robert about this the last time he regurgitated this polemic, and because the pictures were in black and white he said that they were fine because they weren't pretending to be something that they were not (nice grammar by me there).
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=175264
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=175266
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=211794

I really hate the first one (but I don't mind because I only wasted a second of my life on it).

"Black and white" is an interesting one though - perhaps because it is so historically and culturally ingrained. If we invented "Blue and Red" now, I don't expect it would catch on.
>
> I wonder what he thinks of this one :-)
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=219722

It's a humorous gimmick. Quite clever. Not too offended

Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:

> What do people think of simply aiming the camera in such a way as to give a false impression? For example, a shot of a climber on a very short route, but with the ground excluded and the angle optimised to make the route longer and/or steeper. If we're going to object to what we perceive as dishonesty in photography, it could be argued that that's a bigger offence than enhancing colour, for example, or Photoshopping out an abseil rope.

Yes, if done with the intent to give a false impression, then it is obviously dishonest. If it is more a portrait of "the move" or the climber, then probably ok. It's really a separate though related debate.
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Paul035:
> Out of interest, what do nature and wildlife photography competitions do - are they generally open to any amount of doctoring, or is there a list of rules that a photographer must comply to as regards photo shopping?

Or, more to the point here, what are the rules in landscape photography competitions?

Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply all:

Just had another look at this week's top ten photos on here. The more I look at the photo at number one the more grotesque it appears. Try comparing it to jon's stunning shot of the Chamonix Aiguilles at number four; crisp natural colours that evoke the tingling excitement of actually being there on a chilly autumnal day. It's like comparing an over made up old tart with the fresh face of a beautiful young woman. Just my opinion.

interdit - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Paul035)
> [...]
>
> Or, more to the point here, what are the rules in landscape photography competitions?

Again it varies, For example, different categories with different levels of adjustment allowed with the Landscape Photographer of the Year.

http://www.take-a-view.co.uk/termsandconditions.htm

10) Digital adjustments.

For images entered into Classic view, Living the view and Urban view, the integrity of the subject must be maintained and the making of physical changes to the landscape is not permitted. You may not, for example, remove fences, move trees or strip in the sky from another image. Minor adjustments to levels and curves and cropping of the image are allowed. We may request the RAW file or original camera jpeg for any shortlisted image. TAV reserves the right to disqualify any image that they feel lacks authenticity due to over-manipulation. The judges will allow more latitude in the ‘Your view’ category, which aims to encourage originality and conceptual thinking. High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging techniques & stitched panoramas are allowed in all categories. Please see How to enter for further details.
badwabbit on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
- The more I look at the photo at number one the more grotesque it appears.

I don't like it either, it's just not to my taste. I find it over-processed and just not a great image. I only like HDR when it's either done very sensitively of when it's particularly suited for a certain image, and it takes a fair degree of skill to do them well.
stroppygob - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to stroppygob)

> No rancour.

Bullsh1t.

> I was just saying that I would rather see as accurate as possible representation of what you actually saw rather than what you "wanted" to show.

Which, as I have long said, is an accurate representation of my perception of the scene. Which will be conditioned by my ability to represent what "I saw" via the camera and software.



> And if that is not what I am seeing I'd like to know so that I can ignore it.

That seems to be your one response here; "If you don't say what I like, I will ignore you," yet you blunder on shouting; "Me! My way and NO OTHER!! Me!! I must get what I want!!"

> By showing what you "want" to show of course you are imposing your own interpretation on me.

How can it be other? Isn't what I perceived "I saw" my own interpretation? So people should take photos for no reason? So people should take photos without caring about what is portrayed? So people should all set their cameras to "neutral" or Raw" and just allow those to be shown? (Forgetting of course that by your choice of camera you have already imposed an interpretation.)

How can one NOT impose that when taking an image? So you are saying people should take pictures, but if they look nothing like what they saw, due to camera problems, lack off skill, variations in lighting, etc etc all the factors which influence the taking of image, then they should not show them?

Should the camera decide what was seen? On what setting?

> If the best you can do is be childish then may I suggest you leave the discussion to others.

Nope, not doing it. You're like a little child at the egocentric stage, demanding we all conform. Grow up sunshine.
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Bullsh1t.

If you want to be like that, I'll give you one more chance before I get fed up with trying to engage in reasonable discussion with you.

You wrote: "The best that one can say is; "Here is the photo that I took, and this is what I wanted to show of how I perceive it looked when I took it."

Now whether this is what you meant at the time I don't know, but it is all I had to reply to.

I replied: "You seem to think the best you can do try to impose your take on how you interpret the subject on me (the hint is in the word "wanted"). Fine, if that is what you are doing, then let me know and I can choose to ignore you."

With the phrase "what I wanted to show of how I perceive it looked", you seemed to be clearly implying that you are being selective in interpreting what you perceived (rather than best representing reality) and therefore imposing your interpretation on the viewer. Now that is fine by me as long as I know that is what you are doing because I can then choose to ignore the picture if I am not interested in your personal interpretation.

My whole argument in this thread is that I have a perfectly reasonable problem with not knowing or being told when an image is not an honest attempt to represent reality.

Now if you actually meant something else (and from your largely incoherent ranting in your last post, it seems you might have)you could have clarified this in a civilisied way straight away rather than going off on your childish personal attacks.
>
> That seems to be your one response here; "If you don't say what I like, I will ignore you," yet you blunder on shouting; "Me! My way and NO OTHER!! Me!! I must get what I want!!"

No. You are perfectly entitled to your view. You just didn't seem to like me disagreeing with it and engaging in discussion about it.
Michael Ryan - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to alpinechris)
>
> Oh please not AGAIN!
>
> This was done to death here:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=564469

As you know Chris, it's done to death on the various photography forums and will be ad infinitum.

I got involved in my first one a few months ago, it was very edifying.

A few Ansel Adams quotes....there are so many good ones...

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”

“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships"..


and one that has changed for good....

“Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.”

Not anymore they don't.

Who was that slagging off Galen Rowell.....come on he was only using ND grads to sort that wide dynamic range.

Anyway, I blame Thomas Knoll and that darned saturation slider in Photoshop, the greatest sin in landscape photography.

But of course that is just my opinion, and opinions are like....

Mick

Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
The thread below (in which I tried and failed to provoke the debate going on in this thread) more or less perfectly illustrates the point I have been making in this thread: I've never been there, I've never seen a photograph of them before; I don't know whether they really look like this or whether the photographs are enhanced and to what extent; I want to be astonished but can't quite bring myself to be so because I might be being deceived:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=566370&v=1#x7532875
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:

> A few Ansel Adams quotes....there are so many good ones...
>
> “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
>
> “Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships"..
>
> and one that has changed for good....
>
> “Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.”
>
> Not anymore they don't.

And judging by the first two quotes he only has himeself to blame.
ChrisJD on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> I want to be astonished but can't quite bring myself to be so because I might be being deceived:

oh for FFS, get over it.
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> oh for FFS, get over it.

If you are not interested in a discussion (whish others are interested in) then why not just not bother posting? FFS.......



dek - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)
> [...]
>
> If you are not interested in a discussion (whish others are interested in) then why not just not bother posting? FFS.......

Would you be less disgusted by the No 1 if the foreground was in deeper shadow?
What is it thats getting on your tits about it anyway, I dont think you've stated why specifically?
ChrisJD on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)
> [...]
>
> If you are not interested in a discussion (whish others are interested in) then why not just not bother posting? FFS.......

That's my contribution - you need to get over it. Jeeez, you are 47, not 6.

Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Would you be less disgusted by the No 1 if the foreground was in deeper shadow?

Sorry, I don't know what photograph you are referring to,

> What is it thats getting on your tits about it anyway, I dont think you've stated why specifically?

If you are referring to the general issue, I've done so several times and I don't think I can make it clearerv than in my post at 23.00 above.

Dispater on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> oh for FFS, get over it.

+1

ChrisJD on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
>
> Would you be less disgusted by the No 1 if the foreground was in deeper shadow?

I'm guessing that Rob probably thinks it is a No2

Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> That's my contribution - you need to get over it. Jeeez, you are 47, not 6.

I have absolutely no idea why anyone should consider it childish to be concerned about or interested in this isssue. Maybe some people are so far up their own arse in "creative" or "artistic" photography that they have completely lost touch with what photography can do which art cannot.

It is you who is being childish FFS.

dek - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
This weeks 'Number One' In the top ten, voted for?!

Michael Ryan - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)
> [...]
>
> If you are not interested in a discussion (whish others are interested in) then why not just not bother posting? FFS.......

Whilst it is an interesting discussion, there is no end to it. You will never change anyones values or position by a discussion here or anywhere.

You'll just end up getting more full of piss and vinegar.



ChrisJD on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

No really, you do need to get over it.
Robert Durran - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> This weeks 'Number One' In the top ten, voted for?!

Ah. I see.

Difficult to visualise, but, yes, I think that might make it more realistic - at the moment it does look a bit like several photos badly patched together.

Robert Durran - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> No really, you do need to get over it.

I may have to, unfortunately, accept that it's never going to go away. Not the same thing.

Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)
> [...]
>
> Maybe some people are so far up their own arse in "creative" or "artistic" photography that they have completely lost touch with what photography can do which art cannot.

I'm all ears what you think that is. What is it that 'photography can do which art cannot'?

I've seen very little discussion on the different types of photography on this thread.

Are we just talking, 'landscape photography; or 'climbing photography', or 'fashion photography', 'documentary photography', 'cookbook photography', 'press photography' , 'wildlife photography' or what......

All have different rules that can be broken.

Robert Durran - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> I'm all ears what you think that is. What is it that 'photography can do which art cannot'?

Give an as faithful representation of reality as possible (on a flat piece of paper of finite size).

Of course when artists try to do the same with paint (I think it's so metimes called "photographic" art) it's generally considered of little artisitic merit - presumably because they might as well have taken a photograph.

> I've seen very little discussion on the different types of photography on this thread.
>
> Are we just talking, 'landscape photography; or 'climbing photography', or 'fashion photography', 'documentary photography', 'cookbook photography', 'press photography' , 'wildlife photography' or what......

It has basically been about landscape photography, but has touched on climbing and wildlife photography.











Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Give an as faithful representation of reality as possible (on a flat piece of paper of finite size).

To do that you have to use tools and techniques: both in camera and after. Is that OK?


> Of course when artists try to do the same with paint (I think it's so metimes called "photographic" art) it's generally considered of little artisitic merit - presumably because they might as well have taken a photograph.

Some photographers call what some photographers do to their image as digital painting - it's when you stray from reality and the image looks false, or reality is enhanced. The most common these days are over saturation, over sharpening and HDR.



dek - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Don't forget to mention the 'Light' Mick! For some dedicated shooters that's what it's all about. A scene photographed at 6am can look totally different to be same scene a few hours later.
Gordon's Cuillin book, I think illustrates this point perfectly.
ChrisJD on 20 Nov 2013
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> To do that you have to use tools and techniques: both in camera and after. Is that OK?

Of course!

> Some photographers call what some photographers do to their image as digital painting - it's when you stray from reality and the image looks false, or reality is enhanced.

I think that is a good description. It is art!
Robert Durran - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> So come the revolution, would these guys be up against the wall?
>
> http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/night_sky___astrophotography.shtml

They do nothing for me as art, and as photography they don't offend me because there is no chance I could mistake them for an attemopt at realism.

So no, they would not be up against the wall; bad art is not a crime.
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> Don't forget to mention the 'Light' Mick!

S'all about light ; o )
Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2013


oh and sunsets, over-saturated ones......guaranteed to get top marks on any website.

In fact any over-saturated image....we are hard-wired to like intense colours, especially reds, and women more so.

What is the evolutionary purpose of that? Berry picking?

Michael Ryan - on 20 Nov 2013


....and then another big question concerns composition, most can recognise a composition that is pleasing to them, but why is the composition attractive?

Do the elements of a composition; shapes, lines, repeating patterns and how they are arranged have some significance to the human brain?
stroppygob - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:

> I've noticed recently a number of comments about the amount of work going into photos to enhance them.

> So what do you think? Is there a case for 'Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like when I took it?

No. There is no case.

All digital cameras have software which adapts, refines, or "develops" the image.

So what you woudl be saying is; "Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like when my camera developed it."

Isn't it more honest to say; "Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like when I developed it" (Or photoshopped it.)

Isn't it more honest to own the development of an image (from RAW for example) to the finished article?

Why not criticise the "old" photos you lauded, as most of them would have been deveoped by second parties?
Robert Durran - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> Isn't it more honest to say; "Here is the photo that I took and this is exactly what it looked like when I developed it" (Or photoshopped it.)

Yes, but I'm not sure what the point would be; obviously all photos are the result of processing both inside and possibly outside the camera.

I suspect what the OP probably meant was "here is the photo I took and it shows as near as possiible what the scene looked like when I took it".

The case for honesty is when the photographer is not in a position to say that.



Chris63 on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

That is exactly what I meant. I notice that some in the discussion are being very selective around what they want to take literally and what they wish to distort (perhaps like their photographs). FOr example I have not lauded the older photos. If you read what I said I used the words 'may be seen to be better for it'. I did not suggest that I think they are better.
Chris63 on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

I didn't laud over them. I said 'may be seen to be the better'
stroppygob - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:


Yep, but you didn't say how or why they may be seen as better. Can you clarify?
Chris63 on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob: Yes I can, I was referring to the type of photograph that appears to be nothing more than point and click. Now I know that technically speaking there is no such thing as that because of the amazing things cameras do these days.

This posting has certainly got me thinking though......
Blue Straggler - on 21 Nov 2013
Robert Durran - what do you think about the use of flash, especially fill-flash in outdoor portraits i.e. to brighten someone's shadowy face in the foreground when the camera is metering for a brighter background? Is a "false reality" being created here and does this render the photograph worthless as a true representation?

Robert Durran - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> Robert Durran - what do you think about the use of flash, especially fill-flash in outdoor portraits i.e. to brighten someone's shadowy face in the foreground when the camera is metering for a brighter background? Is a "false reality" being created here and does this render the photograph worthless as a true representation?

Not really bothered about it to be honest. I suppoose if it is a portrait with the context relatively unimportant then getting the face properly lit is fair enough.
Ramblin dave - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
And presumably a lot of long exposure / clever lighting stuff (eg light-trail shots or those ones of someone frozen in the moment on NTBTA at the Plantation with star trails in the background) fall under the heading of adequately obvious that you're not worried?

For what it's worth, I actually don't much care for the majority of heavily processed hyper-real photos, but I think that's because my tastes mostly seem to run to understated shots that work because of small details and composition and stuff rather than super-dramatic lighting and psychedelic colours. But in either case, my interest is in whether the image strikes a chord on some level and captures something I can relate to (and this is a level that a lot of HDR shots and so on fail on), not in whether it's a literal representation of what I would have seen if I'd been in that place at that time.

Out of interest, does anyone know how much post-processing and manipulation Fay Godwin used to go in for?
Robert Durran - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> Robert Durran - what do you think about the use of flash, especially fill-flash in outdoor portraits i.e. to brighten someone's shadowy face in the foreground when the camera is metering for a brighter background? Is a "false reality" being created here and does this render the photograph worthless as a true representation?

No doubt you are trying to back me into a corner here and next you will ask me about lighting a building or a boulder problem in the hope I'll end up admitting I'm not bothered about full on "light painting" or whatever it's called. Well no, I'm not bothered (though nor am I interested!). All I'm asking for is integrity and honesty; I just want to know when I'm looking at art and when I'm not.

Blue Straggler - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> No doubt you are trying to back me into a corner here

Wrong

> I just want to know when I'm looking at art and when I'm not.

Yes this is what I was getting at. If use fill-flash to light a person's face so that the exposure matches the background, is my photograph now "art" instead of "documentary"?

I am not poking you with a stick, I am genuinely interested in what your "rules" are.

Robert Durran - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Yes this is what I was getting at. If use fill-flash to light a person's face so that the exposure matches the background, is my photograph now "art" instead of "documentary"?

> I am not poking you with a stick, I am genuinely interested in what your "rules" are.

If you really push me, I won't be able to give absolute rules, perhaps only guidelines; a photo can only ever be an approximation to reality so there will always be grey areas and room for subjectivity.

As for the portrait thing, obviously the face is going to be the most important bit, so I've no objection to lighting that properly. As far as matching the background, I suppose it would depend on how important the context of the background is. A comparison could be made with wildlife photography, where the background habitat could be very much part of the context and should therefore be as realistic as possible (assumimg realism is what is important and to be aspired to).

This thread has mostly been about landscape, where I think the totality of the scene is important and should therefore be as authentic as possible (unless of course the intention is "art", in which case I would like to be told!).

A question for you. If you ahd to label this week's Number 1 photo on here as one of the following, which would you go for?:
(A) Good realism
(B) Botched realism
(C) Good art
(D) Bad art

Michael Ryan - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)

> A question for you. If you ahd to label this week's Number 1 photo on here as one of the following, which would you go for?:
> (A) Good realism
> (B) Botched realism
> (C) Good art
> (D) Bad art

Enhanced reality.

It's a stitch of two images.
He's used tone mapping.
Foreground seems sharpened (clarity) or really good use of depth of field/hyperfocal distance.
Little bit of saturation.

Only thing I don't like about it is the two fence posts on the floor, it spoils the leading line of the fence line and hill edge leading to the horizon.

Wish I'd been there. It's a great photo.

Chris63 on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:

By the sound of it though if you were there you wouldn't recognise the place
Ramblin dave - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
I'd put it somewhere between C and D. But that's also where I'd put things like this:
http://lvxphotography.net/masterpieces-of-photography/robert-doisneau-le-baiser-de-lhotel-de-ville/
or this:
http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/tag/henri-cartier-bresson/

(Well, actually I'd put them a lot closer to C, but that's not the point...)
ads.ukclimbing.com
stroppygob - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to alpinechris:
> (In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> By the sound of it though if you were there you wouldn't recognise the place

On the contrary, due to the "work" done, I think it would be FAR more recgnisable, as the work has compensated for the camera's limitations.
Robert Durran - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to alpinechris)

> On the contrary, due to the "work" done, I think it would be FAR more recgnisable, as the work has compensated for the camera's limitations.

If that was the intention I'd give it (B)Botched Reality, though it might be (D)Bad art.

Robert Durran - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Only thing I don't like about it is the two fence posts on the floor.

I find those relatively inoffensive.

> Wish I'd been there. It's a great photo.

No, it's a dreadful "photo". But I also wish I'd been there; I might have taken a decent photo (but then again, maybe it was actually a very drab day and no photo would have been any good)

Blue Straggler - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
>
> A question for you. If you ahd to label this week's Number 1 photo on here as one of the following, which would you go for?:
> (A) Good realism
> (B) Botched realism
> (C) Good art
> (D) Bad art


C-and-a-half
He has achieved what he wanted, but I don't like it much because the orange is too fierce.
Michael Ryan - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH)

> No, it's a dreadful "photo".

Interesting.

I say I like it and it's a great photo.

Some these days say that the quality or how a good a photo is subjective and that there are no bad photographs.

I disagree.
stroppygob - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Michael Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I not a fan of it, the orange has been over saturated. But each to their own.

De gustibus non est disputandum.

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