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Untouched photographs - do folk do them?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by MarthaRuby, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    That one's in the genre of this:

    Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn't you say?
    Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
    This one I caught in the SGV Tribune the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!!! They put in a correction the next day.
  2. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Probably try the same excuse with this...

  3. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    One view on this thread that caught my attention was that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Well actually, I believe you can. You can make the finest silk out of the incredibly ordinary, even the apparently flawed.

    I am currently reading a book on early pictorialism in photography. Extreme image manipulation from more than a hundred years ago. Very interesting and some great images.

    Last year I was having a nice stroll around the National Gallery and happened across a Constable (as I recall) where the artist had decided to pop a church that wasn't there into the scene for good measure, and quite a difference it made to the composition too.

    There's really nothing new under the Sun.

    There will always be places in photography where integrity to the original scene is a prerequisite so it is just a case of finding those places if you are one who opposes compositing and the like. Otherwise I think you have to just accept that there are occasion where you will be easily outflanked by the digital artist/faker - depending on how you see it.
  4. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Agreed. (but I'll deny it if anyone asks)

  5. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    The digital artist strikes again
  6. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    That was/is done quite a lot in painting, but photography is supposed to be different, isn't it? I know I am old-fashioned, but to me photography is recording what is there, albeit using angles, light, etc, to make it look how I want it to look.

    Painting is completely different, unless, of course, the painting is supposed to represent an actual scene. Anyone can add anything to a scene - I have seen it done many a time, and very well, at a club I once belonged to - but that doesn't make it a photograph. An image, yes; a picture, yes; an illustration, yes; but not a photograph.
  7. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    Who says it is supposed to be different? I am reading a book about pictorial photography from 100 years ago or more where there weren't any rules. Even if some say it is supposed to be any different you don't have to believe them. There is no body of law covering photography so you can do what you want, surely?
  8. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Provided you don't want to pass it off as a "photograph", yes.

    I have great respect for those who are able to "create" pictures from photographs; the problem nowadays is that one never knows whether to believe the results as being a photograph or a composite image. I know this is a simplistic view and that loads of people will disagree with me, but that is the way I see it.

    A painter has license to add or subtract what he wants, because he is not necessarily passing his picture off as an exact illustration. If a photographer is "taking" a photograph, albeit with his/her own choice of lighting, filter, aperture, etc, the result, good or bad, is a "photograph". Once that photographer adds or subtracts something he/she wished was/wasn't there, it is no longer the result of "painting with light" and becomes an "image" or "picture", not a "photograph".

    Regarding your reading about old photography, no, there were no rules, because people were experimenting, and there were, as you say, no laws governing what could and couldn't be done. There are still no laws as such, but in either case, it doesn't make the result a "photograph". Simplistic view, as I said earlier, but it is my view.
  9. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    "Photograph" means a drawing or image made by light; nothing more, nothing less. It doesn't imply accuracy, veracity or anything else. You wouldn't suggest that a seismograph implied anything other than an image made with or by earthquake or other earth-bound shocks, so why should a photograph be any different?

    A painting is again just that: someone recording something with a paintbrush and paint about his/her take on the world as he/she sees it; it doesn't matter whether it's abstract or realistic, it's still just a painting.

    There's no reason for anyone to add implications or interpretations to what are simple, basic terms.
  10. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    But how do you think people are passing images off as photographs? Where? I know there have been a few high profile competition entries rumbled.
  11. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    Sorry, you're misunderstanding what I said. I'm talking fundamentals: a photograph is still a photograph whether or not it's manipulated. A photograph is just one sort of image. Whether the image, or a photograph, is abstract, realistic, manipulated or not, is irrelevant; it's still an image, or a photograph.

    If an artist set out to paint, say, Salisbury cathedral, and decided to imagine and paint it as a heap of ruins, it's just as much a painting, as if it were of its actual state. A photograph is still a photograph, whether it has been manipulated or not, in just the same way.
  12. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    I was actually replying to a point made by Roy5051 (#148) , but your comment popped up before I hit the reply button.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roy,

    What is it painting with, then?

    If it's light, it's still a photograph. And if you make a photograph with multiple sources (normally multiple negatives, originally) it may be a composite photograph but it's hard to argue convincingly that a composite photograph is not, in fact, a composite photograph.


  14. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Precisely. We did it in the darkroom with negatives and we do it in Photoshop with digital image files. A composite photograph is still a photograph.

    In fact, according to many "official" definitions, elements that are captured photographically by means other than a camera (e.g. a scanner) are legitimate components for composite photographs.

    Roy is perfectly entitled to hold and state a different view, as long as he does not attempt to impose that view on anyone else or suggest that what he concedes is a "simplistic view" can adequately cover a very complex art such as photography.
  15. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    In the same way as others are entitled to hold your view as long as they do not attempt to impose it on others or suggest that their complex view is required to adequately cover a simple art like photography.

    Err, did I just write that out loud?

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
  16. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    In competitions, especially camera club competitions. It takes a very clever judge to spot some of the ones I have seen. There have also been a few "news" photos that have been proved to have been doctored.
  17. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't dream of it:)
  18. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    If it is against the rules of a club competition then I fully agree. However, surely the solution is to get the club competition winners to supply the original out of camera file for verification and if the rules have been transgressed then disqualify the image and hand the member a ban from the next x competitions. That would put an end to it.
  19. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    That's what happens in some of the major Natural History competitions where digital manipulation, other than very minor stuff, is explicitly forbidden. The rule was introduced after a couple of cheats were found.

    The rules often state that the 'raw' file must be available. Now, never having won one of these majors, I'm not sure whether they mean RAW (as in the native camera file) or raw (as in original unadulterated) nor am I sure how vigorously they follow through.

    Personally I'm happy that steps are being taken to weed out the cheats.

  20. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    I sometimes wonder if even then really skillful manipulating would be spotted, if someone was determined enough.

    I don't like it when relatively unaltered images are judged alongside either heavily manipulated or digitally created photographs, and are marked down because they aren't manipulated. That, to me, undermines the whole concept of capturing a picture with a camera - indeed, denigrates the skill needed to spot the picture in the first place.

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