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Poll - Do you consider removing an object from an image ‘cheating’? 5/3

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    It all depends what sort of integrity you wish to retain in your non-news, non-natural history photographs*. And also whether you wish to use any software manipulation at all. There are, or at least were a couple of seasons back, a significant proportion of members in some camera clubs who are or were extremely hostile to post-production manipulation. Or, you may wish to go totally the other way and only ever produce 'constructivist' images, taking out most of one or more 'captures' to compile a creation. Beware though, the word going round at present is that the constructivists may 'have had their day'.

    I have to admit that I would flatter some portrait sitters at times by using some soft focus, usually at the print making stage, with film. So why not with digital? Similarly, I would burn in a sky or corners or foreground or dodge parts of a print during exposure or retouch tiny light areas as well as spots or lines if intrusive or spoiling the effect that I want. Again, why not with digital?

    * For those who may not know there are rules/conventions concerning post-production removal in these genres and breaking them may have very severe consequences.
  2. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Can I take an example.The photograph of Tryfan on the cover of the latest AP which most subscribers will by now have seen. I would leave the A5 as it is because it has become part of the landscape, but I would have cloned out the light coloured minicoaches in the car park because they distract attention towards the edge of the picture. I would think that such a removal is acceptable because their presence is only transient.
  3. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I understand that this is not your own opinion, but I have to say this approach strikes me as being near ludicrous.

    What these people are doing is substituting a 3rd party interpretation (that of the designers of their cameras, image processing software, or film etc.) for their own. The camera/software/film always presents just one interpretation of the scene, and, post processing can be used to bring it back to how it actually appeared on the day. Skilled photographers in the digital era should take full responsibility for their own work, rather than delegate the task to others.
  4. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    How a scene actually appears on the day to the photographer is a purely subjective interpretation. It is perfectly possible that what the camera sees is objectively correct and post-production merely reflects what the photographer believes that he/she saw.

    Gogster likes this.
  5. Gogster

    Gogster Well-Known Member

  6. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    There is an argument there for sure, but would it not be interesting to take the same scene with several different cameras, some maybe shooting raw and others JPG (and some film) and compare the results. Which one would provide the most accurate reflection of the situation?

    In truth you can't normally use raw files without some manipulation, they're far too flat, while every camera manufacturer has their own interpretation when it comes to JPG production, with regard to colour balance, saturation, contrast etc. Then even within the software processing of a given camera model there are alternative settings, portrait, landscape etc - which is the more appropriate? The same is true of raw converters, plenty of options ( I've just looked at my copy of LR, there are 18 possible variants). Do you just ignore those settings and hope for the best?

    Of course this devious manipulation is nothing new, the earliest photographers would take multiple images of, for example, a seascape, and combine a range of exposures to compensate for the technical limitations of the media. The resulting image would more accurately represent the actual scene than a single exposure.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  7. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Just a question Did anyone count the water lilies in Monet's garden to make sure he had not missed any out?
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well precisely. Or moved them to make the composition nicer, or failed to paint some litter, or whatever. For photography as art, the concept of cheating just doesn't exist.
    Even for documentary photography, it's naive to assume it even purports to tell the truth in any meaningful way - just by the choice of framing a shot, the photographer is choosing how to depict a scene. A good example is the Top Gear Cenotaph story - the production team were shooting one way, which wouldn't include the Cenotaph, the passer-by at right angles to it which made it look as though it was the main backdrop. Both views are true for a given value of the truth, but they're certainly not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Nothing whatsoever to do with removing bits post-production, but down to the story the photographer wanted to tell, and without knowing what they're up to in this regard, frankly it's rather pointless worrying if they altered the original colour balance or removed a lamppost from somebody's head.

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