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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Photoshoped images...We had a talk last night at the club and an illustrated exercise in rating images for national awards. I ...
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:27   #1 (permalink)
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Photoshoped images

We had a talk last night at the club and an illustrated exercise in rating images for national awards.
I was absolutely mortified at some of the creations of Photoshop being considered and passed off as photographs. Graphic art they may have been, even good graphic art but in IMHO not photographs. Even more worrying the lower award images were the heaviest photoshoped.
Are we sending the message to newcomers that gross image manipulation is the way to operate?
What are your views?
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Judges at my club often mention moving a feature (or features) in the picture to 'improve' the compostion. On a club night where we see images from international competitions the number of images manufactured from two or more pictures and HDR seem to dominate. This is why I won't be entering any internationals any time soon.

I think that I'm close to your position here. Editing is rewarded more than photography.

On a slightly different subject, another common thing that judges advocate is cropping with no consideration to or explanation of the crop taking the subject away from the third.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:56   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I think that with the ever increasing flood of images there's a tendency to look for 'different' and technically good without consideration to how it was achieved.

Over the last few years we've seen a landscape winner who elected to add some clouds and move the source of light, despite the rules forbidding (he was quite rightly disqualified). There's a wildlife winner with a pic of a raptor - and you can see jesses on the legs (apparently allowed!). The famous wildlife wolf shot that looked too good to be true - and was, seeing as it was a tame wolf and was trained to jump a gate! (disqualified). And those are just the more obvious ones!

If the rules allow digital manipulation as a means to get away from the vast number of unmanipulated images, then I guess that's one way to get the numbers down to manageable levels (and the cynic inside me suggests that's why they've done it). But I'd agree that Digital Manipulation deserves to be in a section of it's own rather than dominate a whole competition
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:49   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I have been regularly entering International Exhibitions for many years. My photography started long before digital though image manipulation started long before that as well. Ansel Adams added clouds from other images to his landscapes simply because film could not handle the dynamic range of many landscape scenes. This is also true today but we have the advantage that we can now use multiple exposures/HDR and, assuming that you use natural colours/saturation in HDR (many do not), the result can be a more realistic representation of what our brains/eyes perceived. So I would suggest that using HDR now is more natural than adding clouds from another image. However, I am not criticising Ansel Adams as it depends what the intended output is. If the intended output is a single exposure unmanipulated then clearly Ansel Adams fails but, if the output is intended to be a pleasing picture which is a reasonable representation of (say Yosemite) then Ansel Adams work is very successful.

One should always understand rules when entering competitions/Exhibitions. Most Internatonal, national (UK) and Club (UK) competitions have similar rules. Since I have been a camera club member (1980) record photography has only been limited to a very few categories ( mainly natural history, Travel, photojournalism). Ansel Adams adding another sky would not meet Travel rules but HDR would because it is just tonal adjustment. I have taken some very nice images of Eagle Owls in flight but have never entered them in a natural History category because the birds are classified as tame. There are a few people who cheat but that is true in other areas of life as well.

In my Club (one of the larger clubs) there are probably very few who do not readily use image editing (including a few who occassionally criticise its use). I think we all have a personal threshold for how much manipulation is appropriate. My threshold is quite high because I am interested in the artistic output so it is the end result that matters to me but even I sometimes cringe when I see some images which are completely artificially constructed. Although such images must be based on photographs or parts of photographs they are very close to digital art and a long way from photography. However, these types of images are allowed in most sections of most competitions so are valid. I actually admire many of them.

Having tracked this over many years, I have noticed that many of the most successful amateur photographers in Exhibitions in the darkroom era are still at the top in the digital era. The fact is that these were the people who led the way and most of them are artists rather than technologists.
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Old 04-09-2013, 15:40   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I mentioned this here a couple of years ago about getting it right in camera and got shot down in flames.

Now I have a few PS plugins to boost my poor landscape technique with the rest

I normally say if I crop / boost my macro tho.
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Old 04-09-2013, 16:40   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I do think even with all the manipulation in the world, you still have to get the basic image right in camera, as Chris has said. The old saying "You can't polish a turd", still holds true

I use a fair bit of photoshop in my images, using adjustment layers to get the sometimes hyper real feel I want for my still life work, but if the basic image was't focused properly or the exposure was wrong, all the photoshop in the world would not make the shot work.

Luckily there is room for everyone in photography and whilst some of these overdone images are in vogue & winning this year, next year they won't be. It will probably be horrible instagram stylee shots winning Now don't get me started on those!
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Old 04-09-2013, 17:51   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Quote:
"You can't polish a turd", still holds true
If the tales I've heard from former Royal Yaght ratings are correct it doesn't hold true
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:28   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I know I've seen a video on you tube! You can indeed polish a real one

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Old 04-09-2013, 22:15   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I have drifted away from elements now. Favouring viewnx2 for all my processing.
If I need special effects I will use is but I get such a crisp nice shot I really don't need it.
Plus I think I was over processing some of my shots.
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Old 04-09-2013, 22:39   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Have to say, my latest mono I just posted is very processed, but the result was what I had in mind when I took the shot. I knew just a straight shot wouldn't work.
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Old 05-09-2013, 00:42   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I believe the image should be how you seen it once edited
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:15   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

How you saw it with your eyes or in your head ? Or both? That sounds about right to me
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Old 05-09-2013, 13:27   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I used to enter an exhibition every year called "East Antrim Exhibition" with some moderate success but have not taken part now for some years. Prints were selected and awards given and the exhibition was displayed in various venues for the next 12 months around Northern Ireland the standard was very high. Now the exhibition is DPI images and shown on one night only and awards given the colour entries can be seen here
2013 EXHIBITION (Colour)
As you can see the amount of manipulated images to my mind it is a Photoshop exhibition rather than a photographic exhibition. For B&W 2013 EXHIBITION (Mono). I know my work would not now even be selected it is just how times are changing.
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Old 05-09-2013, 18:31   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Whipspeed, "god love ya". I have a few wonderful granddaughters, Your welcome anytime. Anyhow,,,
With the nutty camera stuff I work very hard at, "Using the light from the camera" and using what looks good. Right now I enhance color pictures, and try not to make the IR and Blue light from the others the main part of the picture. If you could see the reflective effect the 3 light sources from the camera I use and click between in layers, it' so exciting. I can't draw worth a "t d" ,,my pictures are abstract no matter how hard I try. I love the real world effects photography brings to me. I don't feel PS should go beyond a percent of presentation so the camera receives most of the credit. Thanks for the laugh Whippy....
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Old 05-09-2013, 18:32   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipspeed View Post
How you saw it with your eyes or in your head ? Or both? That sounds about right to me
Sounds good to me to, happy medium
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Old 05-09-2013, 19:48   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

the fashion in the SPF these days is the same really heavily photo shopped and compilation images.. people putting Photographs in have no chance.
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Old 05-09-2013, 20:13   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Interestingly though, I got a photo in Amateur photography the other week & it was only very simply processed & I've entered 3 into an exhibition in Leicester & all three were accepted & again, they were all minimal processing. I also got a runner up in a landscape comp last year with what was just a tweaked RAW file.
However, in the world of camera clubs, it seems that the really heavily worked stuff does well in the big competitions, which on the face of it seems a bit mad.
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Old 06-09-2013, 00:20   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

i dont enter any comps etc other than camera clubs
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Old 06-09-2013, 00:53   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipspeed View Post
Interestingly though, I got a photo in Amateur photography the other week & it was only very simply processed & I've entered 3 into an exhibition in Leicester & all three were accepted & again, they were all minimal processing. I also got a runner up in a landscape comp last year with what was just a tweaked RAW file.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:54   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Just thinking, this is a really hard call ...

I'ld like to believe that in-camera solutions are the true photos, but I go back to film days when solarising was all the rage. Having processed an image until it was almost a line drawing (3 reversals I think) I was given some compliments by the judge (is this not unlike digital manipulation??). On other occasions I had taken straight shots in camera (one was multiple exposure) and was accused of manipulation - these were slides !!

... however there's so much that the modern digital camera can do I find that it's difficult to say that it is PS only. I go with the idea that what you visualised when you took the shot should be what you show - however if you are a competent artist with a highly creative flair, that can be far more obtuse than expected. PS has just made it easier for the less competent artist to play around and get a different result. But as I said it is a really hard call to decide the break point.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:50   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

As some of you know I have been into photography for a long time, in my darkroom days my images were always made better with ideas that came from my head! But you could always reconize the final image of where it was taken and of what it is, I have been into digital photography nearly since day one, my first learning curve as to speak was......the least you do in photoshop the better that quote was from a very well known photographer still stands with me! So my final image would be a check on contrast, color, rubber stamp all the little bits out that I dont want, slightly darken the corners, check the highlights, unsharp mask, then save as, or print, all my images I class as real photographs which have been seen with my eyes! Everybody is different in their ideas of the finished picture and its entirely up to them what they do with the final image as long as they get some enjoyment out of what they are doing thats all that counts....
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Old 06-09-2013, 16:32   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Everybody is different in their ideas of the finished picture and its entirely up to them what they do with the final image as long as they get some enjoyment out of what they are doing thats all that counts....
For me this is the main point of my photography.
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Old 06-09-2013, 17:35   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Everybody is different in their ideas of the finished picture and its entirely up to them what they do with the final image as long as they get some enjoyment out of what they are doing thats all that counts....
I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head there Des.
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:17   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Totaly agree Des, I used to have PS but found I was getting a bit "sloppy" taking my photos, relying on "getting it back" with the software, I have now got rid of PS and it has made me think more about what I am doing, and when it is spot on I get a huge feeling of "chuffedness". I use DXO to process my images and that lets me remove dust spots in the skys, and adjust levels and curves, and lens aberations and thats all I need now.
It is almost a feeling of freedom not worrying how long I will need to be on the computer "sorting" photos,
and gives me more time for actualy taking them.
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Old 07-09-2013, 23:05   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Interesting comments.
I was going to say they will be taking a paintbrush to them next but of course for those of us old enough to remember they have already done that
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:05   #26 (permalink)
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Interesting comment Blackadder that PS was making you sloppy. I've always found that I want to get it right in camera, regardless of whether I want to do a straight shot or something more processed. I wouldn't want to rely on getting it back in PS because quite often, apart from some basic stuff you can't get back what isn't there.
It seems, looking round here and different forums there are really two quite divided camps on processing.
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:09   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Im also of the opinion whilst i agree that many talented photoshop users do well in competitions its to me going against the individual who hasnt got the expertise in PP yet can take a very good picture straight out the camera Personally im of the opinion that the two shouldnt be entered into the same class but judged totally separate
Its the same old story at times in competitions its not what you know but who you know
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Old 08-09-2013, 22:01   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Quote:
Originally Posted by muscle750 View Post
Im also of the opinion whilst i agree that many talented photoshop users do well in competitions its to me going against the individual who hasnt got the expertise in PP yet can take a very good picture straight out the camera Personally im of the opinion that the two shouldnt be entered into the same class but judged totally separate
Its the same old story at times in competitions its not what you know but who you know
Well in the major competitions like landscape photographer of the year, they are separate, in the main group, only processing the RAW file is allowed.
I don't think though it's a case of who you know as most images in competition are judged without the photographer being known.
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Old 08-09-2013, 22:46   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

I'm sorry to say IMHO you need a certain type of photograph to win club competitions, and I do win club competitions. Last one was a projected image with 90 entries.

One of the reasons I stayed away from clubs for a long time

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Old 08-09-2013, 22:57   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Photoshoped images

Mind you sometimes they don't need photoshop

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