Any of the real photographers left?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iBallz, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. iBallz macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2007
    So. Utah
    All throughout high school me and a friend spent all our time with our photography. We each had $3-4K in equipment, knew all the local studio photographers, and even rented their studios to photograph girls we knew. (all with clothes on) and took many classes and learned from all of them.

    We learned how to set up the model how to have her hold her hands, arms, legs, torso, and head to keep her parts from not looking too fat, or too long, or uncomfortable in a pose.

    We spent a lot of time with lighting, slaves, strobes and light meters. I doubt most guys now even know what a light meter is.

    We went through roll after roll, to get just a few great photos.

    Now all I read is about how y'all are so into Photoshop!!?? Which version, which plug-in, blah, blah, blah.

    Can't anybody take a great photo without Photoshop anymore?

    Some of the girls were very pretty, yet not so photogenic, and others just were, now it seems you can make any chick look good with Photoshop.

    Some buildings are so awesome and worth getting a picture of yet there might be a sign or that one ignoramus who wont get out of your way, so just Photoshop them things out of there.

    I see such amazing photos on this site, yet wonder how many or how much is actually real.

    I had all my equipment stolen while in college,(mostly missed my list of models and their numbers:() so I sorta gave up my little hobby.

    I'd like to get a DSLR, and have fun trying to get some great shots.

    I dont have an issue with tweaking a shot for tone and colors, and even really enjoy the HDR's. I realize or eyes can adjust in split seconds to SEE all the range of colors in a scene, and a camera struggles with this. But I cant cut things out, or add things in.

    I'd like to see a post of non-doctored non-photoshoped photos.
  2. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2007
    Basically, photoshop and other software replaced much of the artificial lighting that was used back in your day. Nowadays, we have classes that teach you how to use photoshop because digital photography is now PHOTOGRAPHY. The population of traditional film users and darkroom manipulators has decreased and will continue to decrease. And there are many people who do take non-proctored photos, and are very good at it too, using DSLR's. However, it is my belief that the ART of photography has expanded in scope to include photo manipulation as a process of the art. Similar to darkroom effects in your days, photoshop manipulation allows photographers the chance to portray their work in a more personal and artistic manner that is uniquely their own. It's like painting or drawing a landscape and adding or taking away things you don't want in your picture; thus creating a unique masterpiece.
  3. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    Didn't photographers of old do some "editing" or "manipulating" in the darkroom?

    Slight sarcasm and still a serious question :eek:
  4. iBallz thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2007
    So. Utah
    Sure we did, so did Ansel.

    Like I said, I dont have a problem with working the colors, and tones, or even exposures. But to create or remove stuff from/to an image is sorta a cheat.

    Hope not to offend anyone here, but I guess my rant came from a shot in the HDR thread of the White House with the Washington Monument in the background with the fog. What an amazing shot! I've been there a couple of times and was trying to figure out where that was taken from. Is it even real?
  5. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    I'm a commercial photographer in Dayton, Ohio.

    From the age of 16 (I'm 23 now) when I started working at photography studios, and in photography school, I was taught that you should do as much as you can "inside" the camera. No Photoshop, etc. Get the lighting the first time, get the subject right the first time, etc.

    This was started because of film because each Polaroid and each piece of film was $$. It may not have been much back then but if you had an art director there, they didn't want to see 15 different Polaroids, they wanted it done with the first shot, if not two. And that second was if they wanted to change something, not the photographer.

    Now I've noticed a lot from my fellow photographers that we have started relying more on Photoshop. I'm guilty of it too....

    I'll take multiple photographs of a subject because I'll change the lighting here, or add some accent lighting there, etc. Then I'll blend each of those elements in the final photograph. Yes, it's cheating and relying on Photoshop but at the end of the day, not only do I like the photograph but the art director does so that means my bills are getting paid. If it requires me "cheating" then I'll do it.

    I guess it all comes down to that digital has made things a lot more easier in some respects. You no longer have to wait for the Polaroid to be developed or the film for that matter. Now it's almost instantaneous but that leads to more headaches. For example, now with digital the art director and stylist now know that they can see it right then and they expect more shots in the same amount of time it took for film. So if I got 4 shots done with film in 8 hours, now they expect 24+ shots done because they see that it doesn't take as long because I'm not developing anything.

    Also, take a look at this thread...

    Link to another post.

    Look for my post there in that thread. All of those photos were done with a 4x5 camera. Yes I photographed them with a digital back but I hardly did any extra Photoshop work on them. Also there is a run down of some of my equipment that I use for the commercial work I do.

  6. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Then you'll be crushed to learn that St. Ansel removed elements from his photographs in the dark room (Graffiti, telephone wires...) It's all about what the image maker is trying to achieve. Remember all those folks airbrushing negatives? Pin registers to sandwich them? Photoshop simply makes image manipulation easier, it didn't start the revolution. Are optical tricks any worse than Photoshop tricks? What's "worse" mean in the context of creating an image? How "faithful" a rendition was Velvia? Velvia pushed a stop to EI 80? Cross processing? Ever pick up a can to get it out of a landscape? Move closer to eliminate an object? You're representing a scene, there's no "cheating" because there aren't those kind of rules, and a false morality in that sense is silly- even a crop changes what's presented to the viewer.
  7. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    Don't forget the saying about large format photographers...

    They have strong backs and weak minds...

    That doesn't explains why I have degenerative disk disease in the lumbar part of my spine!

  8. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    First off, look up Gary Uelsmann. He creates his composites all in a darkroom. I'll even include an image of his in this thread...


    With that said, you're just a gearhead who knows nothing of photography. You stated how you knew so much of setting up the (not "a") model and how to light her. Nowhere did you add anywhere else about anything else you did, so it seems that all you believe photography to be is studio-based conventional formal portraits. So even with that, since your focus is on pose, you don't even know what a good portrait is. Seems you'd be too busy playing with lighting, slaves, and strobes (which by the way, could all be the exact same thing).

    I think you just don't know anything about the computer software and are intimidated, so you cope by attempting to demean it. When it fact, you don't know anything about it and can't even put together a reasonable argument against it.

    I believe you are of the mindset that the "camera doesn't lie," which is a complete lie. The camera begins lying when you adjust and are ready for your first exposure. Shallow or great depth of field? Compress the scene with a telephoto? High or low ISO for grain? Stand 3 or 4 feet away? Any ways you answer those questions are your first steps to retelling a situation, but none are the truth of how it was. If you set your shot up, is that even truthful BEFORE you raise your camera? Is it the physical representation or the idea that is important?

    You should take more classes before you offer more opinions that consist of berating and telling your own stories of "chicks" and an "ignoramus."
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I typically don't do anything with Photoshop (Pixelmator and Aperture, actually) that I didn't do with in my BW lab: I adjust curves, contrast, brightness, all things I could do in the lab. Obviously, it's easier now and doesn't cost money to make 5 versions of your favorite photograph and then choose between them.

    The only `real' Photoshop job I did was remove a girls acne for a friend's wedding album (she was pretty, but boy, she's not blessed with good skin). I agree with the others that it's about light and composition. Shooting RAW, making HDRs or stuff like that won't make a difference if you can't get the basics right.

    BTW, what's a `real' photographer? ;)
  10. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2007
    You beat me to it.
  11. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    You cannot turn back the revolution that is happening nowadays. I agree that anyone that wants to do some serious photography should do some shooting on film and spend some time in a darkroom but when it comes to making money everybody shall agree a digital DSLR combined with photoshop/lightroom etc. gives much more opportunities.
  12. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    To iBallz...

    I’m not posting to say that you are wrong or you are right... but merely to say that I shared (some of) your mindset a couple of years ago. My favourite film (Fuji Velvia) was being discontinued, which, for a semi-pro landscape photographer like me, was like being told that the wheel had been uninvented. I didn’t want to tackle digital, so I fully expected to give up photography altogether once I’d used up the little stockpile of Velvia in my fridge.

    I guess I’d fallen ‘out of love’ with photography too. As a film-based photographer, I felt I was at the end of something, not the beginning... and that’s never a good place to be. As a result, I wasn’t taking so many good pictures. The ‘spark’, it seems, had gone out.

    Then, nearly 18 months ago I had enough money in the bank to buy what I neded to go digital. Nikon D200 (always used Nikons), MBP, couple of lenses, Aperture software. I ‘splashed the cash’, half thinking that I was wasting my money. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to ‘get’ digital; I wasn’t sure if this old dog could learn a new trick.

    Well, to cut a long story short, I could! Going digital has been fantastic: a roller coaster ride, a steep learning curve. But, like the OP, I haven’t ditched my ‘old-fashioned’ ideas about getting it right in the camera. Yes, I have Aperture (shoot RAW, crop, level the horizon, tweak the levels... maybe produce pix that echoed what Velvia did for me). I have Photoshop too, but hardly use it except to upsize pix for picture libraries, or to remove something from a picture that I maybe should have noticed at the time of shooting. This is partly because I have yet to find my way around Photoshop... but mostly because I want to do the minimum of manipulation.

    I know about darkroom manipulation. I know about Ansel Adams burning and dodging. I know about the selectivity of shooting this rather than that... and choosing a viewpoint to exclude something I didn’t want in the picture. BUT... my main motivation, with film and digital, is to capture well-lit landscapes... and there just ain’t no Photoshop plug-in that can recreate the light that God or Nature provides. Also, I want to spend my time outdoors, with the wind ruffling what’s left of my hair, rather than hunched over a computer screen. I already spend far too long on workflow, keywording, metadata and noise: words and concepts that had no meaning for me 18 months ago.

    OK, the OP was provocative in mentioning ‘real’ photographers. It sounds like ‘real men’ or ‘real cowboys’: a suggestion that digital photography is a tad effete and that it was ‘real photographers’ who built log cabins in the prairies and killed buffalos with their bear hands.

    But don’t give the OP a hard time. Photography isn’t just about those buzzwods; it’s an emotional thing. The phrase I come back to, again and again, is this: “I don’t try to photograph what a place looks like, but what it feels like”. I may have thought up the phrase, or pinched it from somebody else. I can’t remember. But it sums up my relationship to both the landscape and photography.

    I watch, with bewilderment, as people run crap pictures through Photoshop, trying on different ‘effects’ like a woman tries on dresses in a shop. I don’t see the point. A crap picture will always be a crap picture, even if you give it the HDR treatment, add an etherial glow, make the sky purple or add a couple of flamingos to the scene... for no better reason than you can.

    The fundamentals of photography haven’t changed much, which is why it wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined to go digital. Hell, it took me 25 years to learn about light (and I’m still learning), but just a few months to learn the new skills needed in the digital world (and I still have a lot to learn about that too).

    It’s easy to adopt a polarised position: we either jump on the latest bandwagon... or stick with the tried and tested, the old ways. The reality can be ‘mix & match’... taking the best of old and new to make photographs that really resonate. I’m trying HDR, for example, but for specific reasons rather than making ever pic look like a nuclear bomb’s gone off!

    My passion for photography has returned; the spark has been rekindled. And, amazingly, I’m taking far better pix now than i was, say five years ago. But it is, I hope, a passion that’s combined with both discipline and restraint, ‘cos I want to carry on producing ‘real’ photos... not Photoshopped cartoons.

    Doctored and non-doctored shots? Well here’s a shot that’s straight (ie relying on the light, and what I saw)..


    And the heavily 'shopped version...


  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    iBalls, I do exactly what you're saying. I rarely ever use Photoshop, and I just accept the photo I have taken. Now, I do shoot in RAW, and I do adjust contrast, tone curves, etc, but I never remove things from shots, or add them in. I just photograph what was there. I don't know if that makes you feel better.

    Generally speaking I don't really agree with what you're saying, but I do agree in some ways. I enjoy taking photos, and I think photography is about the actual "taking" of a photo, and "seeing" things. Photography relaxes me, which is why it's my hobby, I guess. It's not a coincidence. ;) If I need to wait for a while for people to move out of my way, then I wait. I can completely remove things, or add things in via Photoshop, but computer expertise isn't why I began my photography hobby. I just like taking photos.

    Here are 4 photos of a waterfall I took recently. I shot this waterfall for over 1 hour, and these things don't exactly "move". ;) In over one hour, I got 5-6 keepers, and it wasn't even crowded! It's surprising, because this waterfall is so incredible. I spent my time just waiting, breathing in the air, and walking around because I had to either wait for people to get out of my shot, or I had to incorporate these people into my photo in an effective way (to my eyes). So I waited for people to shuffle around. Watching people randomly shuffle around means their body positioning and how they stand will be a surprise, or disappointment. least it's real. I certainly don't want 7-8 tourists scattered around my photo, but I didn't mind having 1 or 2 people add to them.

    Three of these photos incorporate people, and one does not. Generally I like them all, and I didn't have to
    (or want to) edit people out. I just used them in my photo. :)

    Attached Files:

  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Run a search on me and you'll find the images that I've shared on here -- and you'll see plenty "non-doctored non-photoshopped photos." :) I have CS3 but I tend to use Aperture for most of my post-processing, as I just do the basics, no fancy footwork with layers and filters and all that other.....

    Unfortunately there are those who take photos who, when they make a mistake, shrug and say, "oh, well, I can just fix that in Photoshop." There are those who take a perfectly decent photograph but who then feel compelled to play around with it by adding special effects and such. Then there are those who strive to take the best photograph they can right in-camera and who then present it to the world pretty much the way it was shot.....

    There is quite a lot of debate in the photographic community about "photography" vs "digital art."

    There's plenty of room in the world for all the different types of photographers and digital artists!
  15. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    I'm sure the "real" photographers are out taking photos instead of coming online and complaining about photoshop ;)
  16. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    The very fact this thread exists reaffirms what I've long suspected: Photographers often have laughably huge egos.
  17. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Glad someone mentioned Jerry Uelsmann. University of Florida devotee!

    he came to a class of mine, spoke, and everyone but me seemed to not know who the hell this old man was. at the end he gave away some posters, and i asked him to sign mine. Everyone followed suit after that...

    He was contracted by Adobe, years ago, to make an ad for PS using PS. He did, and felt the darkroom was much more at home for him. I dont think he's touched PS since.

    If you want to talk darkroom technique, you can do no better than Jerry. Ive seen some of his original prints up close, they look incredible.

    Photoshop took what you can do in the darkroom, and made it less messy.

    Seriously, how much time, paper, chemistry did it take to make a single Uelsmann image? Alot more than today's photographer is willing to spend. :cool:

    Attached Files:

  18. Sirus The Virus macrumors 6502a

    Sirus The Virus

    May 12, 2005
    I still use film, and develop my own stuff. But I see the uses for digital though, and understand why it's so popular.
  19. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Great topic cause you got the passions going.

    My mother was a photo retoucher for actually famous photographers. She had a lightbox kind of device where the light inside shown through a glass window onto which she layed a B&W negative. With various little tools and chemicals she could touch up the negative.

    Mostly this meant removing and softening things to make the subject, usually portraits, look better. No warts or skin defects lived, wrinkles went away, eyes were lively once again. Years were eliminated. Everyone looked young and clear, the kids were cute, Everyone was happy!

    Except my mother, who got a flat rate no matter how nasty the subject was and was always complaining about that.

    She could not alter overall contrast or lighting, sharpen or any of that to any great extent, but she did some work on bad shadows.

    However, she did some colorization (if that is the term) where she would apply color to a B&W print. She was an artist, so she was good at that. Imagine, turning a B&W into color by hand! Why didn't the photographers just use color film? I'm not sure. I think the colorization was considered to be an artistic process suitable for expensive formal portraiture, rather than "just" color. It is also likely that many of the photographers just weren't set up for color. They did their own developing and printing then and color would have been a huge expense and learning curve, not to mention difficult.

    I use Photoshop Elements as I am too cheap and my computer too outdated for the full Photoshop. I have colorized portions of my usual foggy day photos, made a sea scape look like painting and of course removed red eye, overhead wires and all that. And I have certainly played a little with contrast and sharpening, although my D40 and even my old P&S 950 do a great job with exposure and I hardly ever have to play with that.

    This is all to say that things are really not that different, just easier and less smelly (our house smelled like photo chemicals), faster and better on your eyes (if you have a decent monitor).

    What I do see in your post is an admiration for classical training. Going through the poses, lighting and all that would be great training for any photographer.

    There is an analogy in woodworking. Many famous woodworkers went through classical training where they became one with the wood and used only hand tools to make complex projects. Later, they went to power tools for obvious reasons. Still, the artists amongst them still turned out art, just a lot more conveniently.

    I think that photographers who go through that sort of process, working in dark rooms, working to get the correct exposure and all in the first place tend to be better at their craft than those that maybe spend more time fixing problems on their computer. Still, it is the art and you can't fake the subject, the vision or the design no matter how you go about it. And, conversely, how you go about it does not automatically preclude a good result.
  20. art gardiner macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Cairo, Egypt

    Most of today's SLR's (analog or digital) have very respectable light meters built into the camera's body. While they do very from manufacture and make / model, most are capable of spot, center (selective diameter ranging from 4 - 13mm; &/or average metering), as well as matrix metering modes. So, depending on what, where, and how you are shooting - most photographer's won't be able to use an incident light meter due to proximity restrictions. Thus, the need for a separate light meter just isn't on many photographer's must have lists - especially when they are first starting out.

    One thing to remember is that along with advances in the photographic realm, the internet (with sites like this) offer people around the world the ability to study, and learn any given subject without having to go through the traditional classroom environment. Hence, why you find many asking how things were done, what equipment was used (too including computer software) - the studying of art, and it's craftsmanship has traditionally (as in the past 5,000 years) evolved from an apprentice mimicking the work of their master so that they can learn the technique, and selectively use it later to make a separate body of work their own.

    Through out the history of photography - photographers have passed manipulated bodies of work off as "true" or "real" representations of events, places, or things. Take the great Alexander Gardiner's "Civil War Sniper" - this photograph was published in many newspapers around the world, and in many photographic history books depicting a Confederate Sniper laying dead in his spider whole while still gripping his rifle. Many years later it was found to be a staged photograph - in which Alexander Gardiner moved both the rifle and the soldier into position, as well as moving several items out of the position so as to create a more pleasing image.


    Stated that Gary Uelsmann (actually, it's Jerry Uelsmann) has been manipulating his images in the darkroom for the last several decades. His work is among the best, much of which many photographers today still cannot do as successfully in photoshop.

    As for the great Ansel Adams - while many have already stated that he has removed items from negatives, dodged and burned to create a completely different image, as well as utilizing filters to both in the creating of the negative as well as in the darkroom - later towards the end of his life, started using the microwave to quickly dry his test strips so as to be able to speed up the drying time in order to see what the image would look like after "dry-down."

    My point is, photography is about light. The means by which it is captured and stored - to the way it is presented / shown; has always been, and will continue to be, an ever evolving art form. Many of the great photographers of the past utilized modern methods for their day in creating their images. This trend will continue to evolve, as will people's perceptions of what is, or is not to be considered - art.

    Live for the moment, and learn from the past.

    Art Gardiner


    Actually one of the main reasons why most photographers of the time period didn't use color film, was due to it's "presentation" shelf-life. Basically, color film and paper that was in use up until the early 1990's did not do well under many lighting conditions. Both, the negative and photograph needed to be kept in a controlled environment in order to slow down the deterioration process. Film would turn to a magenta cast over time, and fade. Color photo paper, would (depending on brand, and style) shift in hue, and fade at such a rapid rate that many professionals photographers would offer a five year replacement warranty on their fine-art color images.

    Just a little color photo history for those interested.
  21. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Absolutely. I'm no 'purist'... and not even sure what a purist would be in photographic terms. But I see photographers shooting on dull days, with unrevealing light... and then expecting to weave some Photoshop magic. But, IMO, it doesn't work. Not really...

    It's my particular pleasure to wait for the light to become interesting or revealing, and I seem to have the patience to stand around for hours (and, hell, it may not happen at all that day...). But it's maybe a similar amount of time that I might spend faffing around with PS... and I'd rather be outside, getting cold and wet, than indoors, being warm and dry. Well, that's what I'm trying to convince myself, anyway. :)

    I love the photographic process, but, for me, it's what happens 'on the day' that matters. But, hey, photography is a 'broad church'; we've all got our own ideas...
  22. iBallz thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2007
    So. Utah
    Frankie, you're right, I've forgot what I knew 20 years ago, (which wasn't much then) so I know less now. I guess what got me thinking was, I was in a store the other day looking at the postcard rack, and thought why is it that every postcard has this huge moon perfectly placed in the center of an arch, or right next to the perfectly lit mountain and so on... I always figured getting the right shot was and still probably is about timing. But maybe not with expensive software?

    Oreo, ok, thats cool. But to remove acne or red eye, iPhoto makes easy work of that, as well as changing colors, cropping, and such. Why do I need PS?:confused:

    teleromeo, true, however I dont intend to profit from taking pictures. Just have fun.:)

    Doylem, thanks for the reply! Very well said! Crap photos will still be crap photos:D Excellent picture there too. I liked the photoshopped example! The little white thing is gone, and I'm cool with that. Some seem as if entire buildings are missing and planets added. That was very well done!

    Abstract, them are great photos! And the people look cool in that shot, they look like hikers that finally got to their destination. My luck usually has it, I'll get off the tour buss for a 5 minute break to see something cool like that, and some doofus is down in the middle of it with his 1987 VHS video camera slung over his shoulder for like ever, then decides to sit down and eat lunch while I've got 30 seconds till the buss leaves. So maybe PS has its place for me?? But again great Photos!

    Clix, thanks for understanding. I'll look up your work. I too am thinking of getting Aperture. I'm just not sure why I need to spend another 6-7 hundred bucks on even more software?

    dorno, true true!:D

    Valdore, damn you!

    If it wasnt for some of your awesome images I've ever seen first, I'd still be happy with my little SD800.:eek:

    carlgo, true, I guess its nothing new, just easier. Thats is what bugs me to a bit, someone will post a picture either on a blog or an email of someone famous without there pants on or someone else's body, or even realtors, what the...? Were them picture of themselves their high school photos? If they can doctor an image that looks that real, what am I really getting with an outdoor landscape shot?

    Thanks for all the replies. All points taken, I need to relearn all over again, and if one piece of software keeps me in the 'club' then so be it, I'll get it.
  23. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2005
    haha. its funny, because its true.

    Nope, no real photographers left, just you:rolleyes:

    I only use photoshop and iPhoto mainly to edit colours, and what not. But I see nothing wrong with editing it the way you like it. photoshop is a tool, used to edit photos. Like ive heard before, it is not a verb, just cause you used photoshop to edit it, doesnt mean you photoshoped it, so to speak.
    Photography is an art form... do as you see fit, and what interests you.
  24. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What's "real". Back when the movie camera was invented the first way they tried to make movies was by filming a stage play. They simply set the camera up and framed the stage and left it running. Turned out that the end product did not look real. Later they learned to cut film, move the camera between shoots and jump quickly from long shots to close ups. No real human does this with there eyes. Do you really move your viewpoint in an instant? It turns out "yes". The cuts in a modern move simulated what the brain does with the information your eyes send to it.

    We do the same thing in still photography. We try to creat what the viewer would have perceived has he been there not what the viewer would have seen. Ansel Adams was know as someone who greatly manipulated his images. He made huge adjustments and even preferred black and white because he said it allowed large departures from "reality" where as color had to be printed pretty much "straight". Any ways, he said his intent was to print an image so that the view feels the same as he felt when he saw the subject. He was trying to capture emotional content, certainly not a literal image.

    Another question: What is Art? Let's say I mounted a web cam on my roof and it send out an un-edited and non-post processed stream of images 24x7. These would all be "real" photographs Next look at the oil painter. He starts with a blank canvas and creates everything. Compared to a Photoshopped image the oil painting is even more "fake" but we always call painting "art" (even if it is "poor art") and no one would think to call a webcam art.

    Maybe the more of image content that comes from the artist and this less that is done by the machine that more we are likely to call it "art".

    Another subject: What's "real". I like to photograph underwater. If you are 50 feet beow the surface the sunlight has been filtered and most of the red light is gone. So if I see (say) a starfish wth my eyes it looks green/grey. If I aim a powerfull light on it the color changes to yellowish and then if I photograph it with a good strobe light it comes out yellow, red with blue and white specs. Finally if I take it out of the water and look at it in sunlight it loos different again. What is "real" Do I print it as a diver would have seen it with unaided eyes, as it would look if brought up to the surface? Both are un-natural. Human eyes where not made to work under 50 feet of water and those amimals can't live in air. So I try to print them using Ansel Adam's advice: Think about how you want the viewer tho feel about the subject.

    Here are some examples. I try never to change the main subject much but I think backgrounds are fair. In one case I "popped" up the color in the backgrond but left my daughter unchanged and in another I took the color saturation on the backgrond down 15% and blurred. The eye always sees relatively so messing with backgrounds changes to way we see the subject.
    All of there were shot with a hand held Canon A80 point and shoot It is an older 4MP model. (I have a DSLR too, but there just happen to be A80 shots)
  25. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2006
    Nassau, Bahamas
    This thread is one of many that's throwing the fuel onto the fire of "photography vs. art". I'm not criticizing the thread, as I have my own strong opinions on the matter.

    Bear in mind that what i say applies only to artistic photography; in photojournalism, we all know that extensive editing is a no-no.

    For example, I feel that editing out aspects of a photo (telephone wires, signs, etc.) is fine. Yet I also feel that adding elements INTO a photo is wrong too, i.e., adding moons to postcards.

    Even in my own work I'm full of contradictions; some photos I love with little to no editing; others I feel I have to edit extensively to create the photo I want.

    I suppose that when you come down to it, that's what it's all about: what one wants a photo to look like, and there's no common consensus on what the rules are to achieve this.

    I suppose times have changed, and with increased technology comes the ability to cheaply and edit photos even more extensively. Some are purists who hate photoshop, and others are devotees and are passionate of what the new technology can bring to the medium.

    In the end, as long we each stay true to our feelings on the matter, all's fair.

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