Home
Thursday, June 21, 2018
2:10:49 PM
Users online: 0   You are here >> Home > Photography and Video

Forums | Photography and Video Forums search
Forum FAQ
   
  1  
When does "photography" cease to be "photography"?
moz 
11/7/08 6:04:14 PM
SuperHero
Titan


As I've said before, I'm a n00b to digital photography, and photography in general. But I have strict ideas on what photography means to me.

This has only come into significance with the advent of digital manipulation of the images.

I am currently in a learning phase; trying desperately to absorb all the knowledge I can about digital photography. Part of this phase includes the purchase and study of reading material.

One of my recent magazine purchases was running a "photo" competition, the winner of which was 2 images overlayed, an image that could not have been produced without the use of a computer program. Many of the runners-up where also heavily digitally modified.

To me, that is not photography. That is (for want of a better term) "shopping". Or maybe “digital art”.

I'm all for using the plethora pf programs on the market to enhance/cut/correct my dodgy images, but in the end, I believe a photo comes down to the skill of the photographer, not the skill of editing.

I get a much greater personal satisfaction of being in the right place, at the right time, and hopefully having the skill to capture the perfect image.

I'm interested to see the opinions of others in this regard.

So, when does a photo become digital art?



-----
Look at that... A bear... mining for coal.


stadl 
11/7/08 6:39:35 PM
SuperHero
Titan


At its root, photography is pictures painted with light.

The process of utilising light and producing the picture can be a simple pinhole camera onto a viewing screen, or something involving using composites of pictures with lights shone through (an enlarger) them to create more interesting light combinations that are captured as a picture.

Then, as a painter would manufacture their pigments, a photographer could adjust their chemical processes that turn the light into a picture and develop them in a different to normal way that produces a desired different effect.

So by that definition, I'd suggest post processing that applies to the whole image for the purposes of compensating or modifying the capture mechnaism is acceptable.

Colour curves/white balance, Image stacking & HDR all are very obvious cases of the sort of thing that may be done in-camera or make up for a limitation of sensor technology, that a person chooses to perform later in the process. (Stacking images to make up for a camera with lower sensor sensitivity or to avoid noise, is really not that different to selecting to push the developing of low ISO film, and colour curves to compensate for lighting is just an alternative to putting a filter in front of the lens).

USM masks and noise reduction are the sort of things that many cameras do in-body. Doing these in post processing is just the photographer participating more in the process.

Even cropping/recomposition can be a chance to make up for a lens focal length or sensor aspect ratio that doesn't suit the image you wanted to create.

But area specific modifications, line removal anmd things that modify the presented content of the scene (not things like dust-speck remobal) are where I think the image starts deviating from "painting with light" and becomes digital art.

-----
...so brilliant in fact, that by simply harnessing the power of one live frog, it.. it.. uhh.<poke> <poke>
World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

Waffles, Lots of Waffles... And Chips...

Antraman 
13/7/08 6:01:47 PM
Champion

Interesting question man. I tend to agree with you both. I think a true photograph is an image of what is seen or "could be seen" with the right lighting conditions, which means manipulation of light/dark and colour balance is ok, but not additive or subtractive colouring or detail.

Also I think processes which compensate for the failure of the technology are OK, such as noise reduction, red eye removal, sharpensing, softening etc...but technology that adds effects that aren't"seen" in nature or in the subject are not.

IR, UV and filtered photography I also think is OK, as its just a change in the electromagnetic spectrum that the film/CCD is recording, but using 2 coloured tone filters to change sky etc is not.

Also, I do not think merging, different images into one is acceptable for true "photography, although its fine if its termed "art", whether commercial or fine.

Anything beyond that, well, one may as well just open up photoshop...

-----
Mischievious 89.22%, Slacker 75.46%, Troublemaker 99.98%, Jokester 49.85% (The Bart Simpson Test)

Athiril 
13/7/08 6:27:54 PM
Titan

Photography is never not photography no matter what filter you use or how you edit.

Photography stops becoming photography, when you dont set contrast, sharpness, saturation levels, white balance, exposure, focus, aperture manually, etc etc, when you use your camera in automatic mode, then it becomes for lack of a better word: lomography.

Basically, photography with artistic, emotional intent removed.

-----
Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

The_Psychonaut 
13/7/08 8:27:45 PM
Champion

Quote by Athiril
Photography stops becoming photography, when you dont set contrast, sharpness, saturation levels, white balance, exposure, focus, aperture manually, etc etc, when you use your camera in automatic mode, then it becomes for lack of a better word: lomography.



Seeing as though changing the contrast, sharpness or saturation levels on a digital camera is in effect implementing automated processes, I believe this argument boils down to 'If it's not all manual equipment recording to film, it's not photography'. Essentially, I believe this argument misses the point of photography.

The equipment you use, or the methods you employ to capture an image are irrelevant in my opinion. The most important thing is capturing your interpretation of a subject as it would be seen in your minds eye (i.e. photographing something with 'artistic, emotional intent' - which can be done without any understanding of how a camera works). This can be interpreted in different ways, but to me it means that it's ok to shoot in auto mode, crop the image or make minor lighting adjustments, but not ok to artificially alter the focus, clone out objects etc.

-----
Knowledge is power, power corrupts.
Study hard - Be evil

Athiril 
13/7/08 8:49:49 PM
Titan

It's not automated, I think you missed the point. :P

It is okay to clone or heal out objects.

Examples: Sensor dust spots.

People in distant parts of landscapes such as beach sunsets which you couldnt shoot without them in it, but your intent was to capture a personless beach.

A peopleless street (multiple photos, stacked, automated people removal).

Distracting elements you didnt want in the picture in the first place.

Major and huge lighting adjustments are perfectly fine too - you intended to shoot a high contrast portrait - but by nature the RAW image off your sensor is very neutral.

-----
Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

Athiril 
13/7/08 8:54:09 PM
Titan

I use tools to make the image I had in mind, want, or have been commissioned to make, ie: an artist, I am not there to simply "press the shutter button" and record a snapshot of how the camera wants to take a picture.

Composition, focus, exposure, lighting, technical settings which have an effect on image (shutter speed, aperture, etc) is only half of an artists work.

The other half is development of the image, then post-processing and editing.

-----
Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

Antraman 
14/7/08 3:35:39 PM
Champion

Athiril, I interpret what your'e saying there as using photography to produce art.

-----
Mischievious 89.22%, Slacker 75.46%, Troublemaker 99.98%, Jokester 49.85% (The Bart Simpson Test)

Mademan 
26/7/08 10:11:58 AM
Disciple
obviusly you've started life out in the digital sphere. Overlaying two images was quite a simple process in the B&W darkroom, either split the exposure between two negatives, or sandwich them together in the enlarger's holder. HDR range was a more complicated process of expansion of the film's tonal range through manipulating the exposure and subsequent processing, but still just as simple. Cloning and spotting were done either via airbrush or a "spotting kit". If you think modern photoshoppers are good, you should take a look at the work of Stalin's propaganda department.

To me, Photography stops being photography when you introduce other elements, such as vector art or 3D modelling, where photography - the static image, merely becomes a component of the overal "digital piece". Others would disagree. Cartier Bresson would turn in his grave at the mere mention of the word "cropping". I agree with Athiril, and I'll sumarize his points as there being a line between "snapping away", either on full auto or just not paying attention to your image in general, as opposed to taking the time and using your own skill and knowledge to get what you want from the scene.

-----
Intel q6600 | Gigabyte X38-DQ6 | 2GB Kingston HyperX 8500 DDR2 | MSI nx8800GT | Logitech G15

"Oh, I don't mind...but the government probably will"

  1  
Forums | Photography and Video