Last weekend we went up to Anglesey, an island off the north-west of Wales. Amongst other things there are plenty of sea birds to photograph. I thought this frame worked quite well other than the slight cropped upper wing (just the very tip of the one flight feather missing).
I cropped full size (5164x3456 pixels), but moved the crop box up a little with the new box automatically filling in with background blue. It did, however, need 'cloning in' to avoid the harsh edge between old and new as well as adding in that missing wing tip. The final result is:
1) acceptable or not to do this sort of thing (especially if you don't own up to it)? 2) a properly constructed film shot would be extremely good, but significantly more difficult to get anything like the same result. 3) composition? Often it is down to luck (or cheating with photoshop). However as Gary Player, the South African golfer, said several years a go "Yes, I am a lucky golfer and the more I practise the luckier I get." Digital does let you fail with less cost than analogue.
Yea, well done Dave, I can't tell where you PSed it. If it is acceptable to do I guess would depend on end use at least for me. For my own use and entertainment it would not matter, for commercial a disclosure would be good and for work such as news reporting never acceptable. That is only my belief. Mind you it is an accurate interpretation of what you saw but missed the framing on. With PS you now have the sort of freedom painters have always enjoyed in interpreting a scene. I think I'll stop now before my head starts spinning, it is that sort of subject.
Post by nikkortorokkor on Aug 13, 2011 18:14:33 GMT -5
I like the re-framed shot, and agree with your comments re cost of failure in digital.
A different perspective, which I got while listening to a judge's comments at a camera club competition is, 'is it still a photo, or is it graphic art?' The judge in question failed to award prizes to a number of obviously manipulated digital images because they had crossed the border between photography and graphic art. Yours is still a photo, despite the digital touching up.
Somehow related, about 30 years ago, I saw a B&W photo get criticized in a competition for too obvious dodging. Yet, if you still remember the days of B&W newspapers, heavy dodging and burning was almost a trait of 'on-the-ground' photojournalism.
'Cropping is for farmers' is yet another axiom which seems overly restrictive, though I used to repeat it ad-nausium when I worked exclusively in E6 colour reversal.
Which is my way of saying, the arguement is perpetual and predates digital by many years. I think it will go on forever.
At least your gull isn't as controversial (or costly) as the current legal debate over airbrushed models in cosmetics commercials. Now that IS ethically questionable IMHO.
BTW, my maternal ancestors (all Edwardses and Robertses, the lot of them) came from the ridiculously unpronounceable village of Dwgyfylchi (to the non-Welsh, I'm not making that up!) - not actually on Anglesey, I understand, but within sight of it. Hope to make the pilgrimage one day
Michael, I'm never quite sure when something stops being a photograph and becomes graphic art though I take that judge's point.
I have a few photos (well, more than a few really) where the final result is spoiled by such as a tree branch 'taking the eye'. Now I presume that judge would be against photoshopping it out. However, I presume he would find it acceptable to go on location with a saw and prune the offending tree to make it look neater for the photo.
I like your phrase "cropping is for farmers". I believe it has some truth to it, particularly for 'slide' photography. Getting it right in the camera is by far the best option.
I agree with you on the cosmetics debate. It's a bit like speeding a film up so you can make a claim that 'our car is the fastest in the world and here is the film to prove it."
We went past your ancestral home, Dwgyfylchi, last week. It sits just between Conwy and Penmaenmawr. The main road follows the coast, forced there by the big hill that sits at the back of Dwgyfylchi. On the other side is the rather pleasant Sychnant Pass. Penmaenmawr, by the way, means 'great stone hill'. It is a big lump of granite. Let me know if/when you plan to visit. It's only just over an hour to that area from where I live.
I have read this discussion with interest. My feelings are that the degree of acceptable manipulation is totally dependent upon the intended purpose of the final product. If the image is intended to represent an accurate recording of an event, then the least amount possible should be used, and then only to enhance information that is already in the negative, or the file, as the case may be.
For example, consider the use of photographic evidence in a court of law. When I was earning my paycheck as a badge-carrier, one of my duties was to serve as the crime-scene and evidence photographer. I also took many surveillance photos. Many times small details (vehicle license numbers, for instance) could only be discerned after dodging and burning in the darkroom. In order for those photos to be admissible as evidence, (at least in our jurisdiction) we had to document every step we took, and the results had to be duplicable by other technicians. Because these procedures were strictly adhered to, our results were rarely challenged.
With the advent of the digital "darkroom," this has changed. Images are being routinely challenged, as they should be in my opinion. While it is still possible to preserve the chain of evidence, and track the procedures used, at this point in time the veracity of photo "evidence" has been severely challenged. I'm sure that as procedures and policies are put into place, that the evidentiary value of photographic images will increase. For now, they remain a powerful investigatory tool, but somewhat diminished in the courtroom.
On the other hand, if the intent of the image is to evoke some of the "feeling" (whatever that is) of the event, then manipulate away! All of us have done so with varying degrees of success. Dave, your seagull shot is a masterpiece, and perfectly illustrates this point.
These two shots, taken many years ago, also illustrate my point. They depict a cherished memory of my son at an airshow. The first is as shot. The second, taken just a couple of minutes later, has had the safety ropes and posts edited out. Is it a dead accurate depiction of the scene as it actually appeared? Obviously not. But what is important, to me, is that it is how I wish to remember it.
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2011 9:01:18 GMT -5 by olroy2044
Roy, excellent removal of the posts and rope. The scene could have been as you depict it. Someone could have come along and taken them away and you would have it exactly as you depict it.
While photos are easy to manipulate it is significantly more difficult to do anything to video. At 20ish (depending on system) frames a second even half a minute of video is a lot of manipulation. It can be done though - indeed I have done it just to see if I could. I would think that digital movie shot on a phone is probably more acceptable than a digital still for this reason.
I am always amazed how on (some) films someone goes out in pitch black on a surveillance photographic job, takes some photos and then returns to the darkroom to end up with perfect 10x8s - no blur, no camera shake and no grain: perfectly framed and exposed too.