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When is a photograph not a photograph

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Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
into graphic creation?

We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
balance.

Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
or removing faint telephone lines.

What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
behind a macro shot?

Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.

I'm curious about what people think about this.

-Mike
PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.

More about : photograph photograph

Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi Mike!

To me, everything revolves around "one's conception" of photography. In a
world where manipulation of a photo has become common place, the
photographer has the leeway to express him(her)self through the taking of
the photo and subsequent "arrangement".

While some painters would painfully "recreate" a certain scene, others would
seek more freedom and express themselves in other ways. This opened up the
way to many schools of painting. This is referred to as art (rubbish to
some).

In the same way, photographers are free to express themselves if they so
wish, using different lenses, filters and post photography manipulation.
This is not the same as modifying the photo to "trick the observer" or in
short, a photo that "lies". Sometimes, a particular scenery has "burned
itself into my mind". It is possible then to try recreate a particular mood,
say one of peace and tranquility. Arranging the photo to give the observer
this same feeling is indeed art, at least to my mind. This is NOT "trick
photography".

However, although Photoshop and the likes of it are in many people's houses,
although simple to operate, they do not confer good taste to every user. All
we need to remember is the advent of desktop publishing and the atrocious
flyers that people produced, with too many fonts, bolds and underlined, not
forgetting thick lines around text, etc.

Cheers,
Marcel
PS This should be an interesting an vigorous thread.


"Mike Warren" <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote in
message news:430322dd$0$83586$892e7fe2@authen.white.readfreenews.net...
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
>
> We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
> balance.
>
> Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
> or removing faint telephone lines.
>
> What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
> result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
> behind a macro shot?
>
> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
> -Mike
> PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
>
>
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mike Warren" wrote...

> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.

It was even more common when back in the days B&W film strongly favored blue
light.

> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?

As soon as you press the shutter button. :) 

IOW, IMO it's all the same.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Related resources
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike Warren wrote:
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
>
> We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
> balance.
>
> Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
> or removing faint telephone lines.
>
> What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
> result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
> behind a macro shot?
>
> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
> -Mike
> PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
>
>


This question has a long history. It is not unique to digital
photography. An accomplished darkroom person can do a LOT to a film
negative or transparency.

In fact, one of the earliest questions was, "is it art?" That is,
painters felt there was no such thing as an art photograph. If it wasn't
done entirely by hand, it wasn't art. Thank goodness we have come a
long way from that.

However, I think the question is of philosophical interest only, and is
not really an important question for art photography. For
photojournalism, though, it is indeed an important question.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike Warren wrote:

> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
....

An art teacher at my college once told me that even photographs are a form
of abstract art-- less so than a painting perhaps, but still abstract. Even
when you take a picture of someone, it is not real; tones, shades, lens
distortion of object size, loss of color if b/w, and so on make all
photographs a form of abstraction of the real world. So there is no "point"
at which manipulation of photo changes it into a graphic creation, the
original photo already is a graphic creation.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>into graphic creation?

My definition (whether film or digital) accentuating or minimizing what
is in the original photo (dodging, burning, toning) is a after-photo
'alteration', and filters on lenses are a before-photo 'alteration'.
Using Photoshop to lighten, darken, increase contrast, or remove redeye
is 'alteration', and even to posterize or solarize the photo is
'alteration'.

In comparison, deleting or adding something to the scene which was not
present in the scene at the time the photo was taken is 'graphic
creation'. Period. When I use the 'clouds' feature of Photoshop to
fill the sky on my photograph of a castle in Ireland, that is 'graphic
creation', or putting an Eskimo into the Sahara Desert (without flying
him there) is 'graphic creation'.

--Wilt
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike Warren wrote:
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
>
> We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
> balance.
>
> Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
> or removing faint telephone lines.
>
> What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
> result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
> behind a macro shot?
>
> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
> -Mike
> PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
>
>

I wonder about some of the images people have been sent to prison for
here in UK. Seems to me that pixels arranged in a certain way on a
computer screen cannot logically constitute a criminal offence,
particularly if no one can identify the participants. How is it
different to a picture I might paint and, if it was in the style of
Picasso, who could say what the underlying sentiments were?
I'm all in favour of the police clamping down on this stuff but I wonder
if the basic concept has been seriously challenged in the courts.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>Depends on your intentions. If you are trying to trick millions of
>Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country in the Middle East
>it might be a bit unethical to present the photo without explanation.

Ah, who needs photos?
What are ya, some sort of liberal leftist wacko?

>Keep in mind that ALL photos are lies.

Very well said.
Guess that makes me a good liar.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Try this for starters, http://www.answers.com/topic/graphic .

Another question, "Is it hotter in the South or in the Summer?" Will E.

"Mike Warren" <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote in
message news:430322dd$0$83586$892e7fe2@authen.white.readfreenews.net...
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
>
> We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
> balance.
>
> Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
> or removing faint telephone lines.
>
> What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
> result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
> behind a macro shot?
>
> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
> -Mike
> PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
>
>
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike Warren wrote:
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
>
> We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
> balance.
>
> Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
> or removing faint telephone lines.
>
> What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
> result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
> behind a macro shot?
>
> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
> -Mike
> PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
>
>
Technically, any manipulation would make it a 'graphic creation'.
However, adding, removing, or changing any significant picture element
would do that, in my opinion, which manipulations of color, and lighting
to make the picture better represent what the photographer saw would
retain the 'photograph' designation. Just my opinion.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike Warren wrote:
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?
>
> We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
> balance.
>
> Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
> or removing faint telephone lines.
>
> What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
> result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
> behind a macro shot?
>
> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
> -Mike
> PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In the Art world, many feel that an image that starts out as a
photograph is generally accepted as a photograph, regardless of how it
ends up. Ex: convert the photo to a watercolor in photoshow, and print
it on watercolor art texture paper, and it is still a photograph. This
keeps thing very simple. Brian
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thus spake Mike Warren unto the assembled multitudes:
> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?

I would contend that a photograph stops being a photograph as soon as *any*
manipulation is done to the originally captured image. After that, it's
just an image with photographic origin. I think the word is Greek in
origin, translating literally as "light written" or "light writing" or
something like that.




--
Andy Clews University of Sussex IT Services
(Remove DENTURES if replying by email)
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:43:19 +1000, "Mike Warren"
<miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote:

>At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>into graphic creation?
>
>We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
>balance.
>
>Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
>or removing faint telephone lines.
>
>What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
>result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
>behind a macro shot?
>
>Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
>I'm curious about what people think about this.
>
>-Mike
>PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.

First let's define what you call a "Photograph". Are Moholy-Nagy's
Photograms, Photographs?

Is directly minipulated Polaroid film, a photograph?


*****************************************************

"It is a good thing to read books, and need not be a
bad thing to write them, but in any case, it is a
pious thing to collect them."

Fredrick Locker-Lampson
(1821-1895)
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>I like heavily modified photos, but presenting them without some form
>of explanation is wrong.

The final presentation IS the explanation.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>> Talk about dragging your political agenda in by the left hind foot . . .

>Not at all. I'm pro war.

That's about like being pro cancer.

Can we assume you're posting from Iraq?
If not, why not?
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Proteus" <nospam@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:N7IMe.11744$0E5.1029@fe05.lga...
> Mike Warren wrote:
>
>> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>> into graphic creation?
> ...
>
> An art teacher at my college once told me that even photographs are a form
> of abstract art-- less so than a painting perhaps, but still abstract.
> Even
> when you take a picture of someone, it is not real; tones, shades, lens
> distortion of object size, loss of color if b/w, and so on make all
> photographs a form of abstraction of the real world. So there is no
> "point"
> at which manipulation of photo changes it into a graphic creation, the
> original photo already is a graphic creation.

The real question is one of purpose.
If the purpose is to represent a captured piece of reality, or "moment in
time," then the manual exclusion or introduction of any subject/object
element would negate the legitimacy of that true moment of reality. White
balance and other minor adjustments are not relevant to that question so
long as the goal is to render the most humanly-perceived rendition of the
reality.

In this most strict sense, this "rule" would be limited primarily to
documentary photography.

Any area other than documentary is entirely debatable, and will never be
settled in mutual agreement.
This is why one must understand one's own intent as a happy-snapping
photog...AND...one's audience/client/end-use as a pro or PJ.

The rest of the palaver is all moonshine because it's entirely dependant
upon who is asking and who is answering the question. Opinions will forever
remain all over the board, and will continually ebb and flow with the times.

Mark
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> However, I think the question is of philosophical interest only, and is
> not really an important question for art photography. For
> photojournalism, though, it is indeed an important question.

Excellent point. Digital manipulation of aerial photos aimed at defrauding
a city development board, for example, is not the same as creating a really
cool Absolute Vodka advert. :) 

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Proteus" <nospam@nowhere.net> wrote

> An art teacher at my college once told me that even photographs are a form
> of abstract art-- less so than a painting perhaps, but still abstract.
Even
> when you take a picture of someone, it is not real; tones, shades, lens
> distortion of object size, loss of color if b/w, and so on make all
> photographs a form of abstraction of the real world. So there is no
"point"
> at which manipulation of photo changes it into a graphic creation, the
> original photo already is a graphic creation.

Perfectly put IMO.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> >Depends on your intentions. If you are trying to trick millions of
> >Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country in the Middle
East
> >it might be a bit unethical to present the photo without explanation.
>
> Ah, who needs photos?
> What are ya, some sort of liberal leftist wacko?

OMG! - If you knew me you'd laugh that you asked that. I have a reputation
for being so right wing I make Bush look like a bleeding heart liberal. :) 

> >Keep in mind that ALL photos are lies.
>
> Very well said.
> Guess that makes me a good liar.

You are indeed. I was admiring your photos again today. Too bad about the
Baylor thing. ;) 

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

will e wrote:
> Try this for starters, http://www.answers.com/topic/graphic .
>
> Another question, "Is it hotter in the South or in the Summer?" Will
> E.

The South is hotter than a string is long, and
the Summer is as hot as the sky is blue.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Brian" <brian@showprints.com> wrote in message
news:1124306880.435633.211490@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> In the Art world, many feel that an image that starts out as a
> photograph is generally accepted as a photograph, regardless of how it
> ends up. Ex: convert the photo to a watercolor in photoshow, and print
> it on watercolor art texture paper, and it is still a photograph. This
> keeps thing very simple. Brian

By your definition, a hand-painted painting based on a photograph (an
activity many painters do) is still a photograph. So there it is.
:) 
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> Technically, any manipulation would make it a 'graphic creation'.
> However, adding, removing, or changing any significant picture element
> would do that, in my opinion, which manipulations of color, and lighting
> to make the picture better represent what the photographer saw would
> retain the 'photograph' designation. Just my opinion.

What the photographer saw in his head as the representation of the scene?
Or what he /thought/ he saw as a realistic interpretation of the scene? A
photographer visualizes the final product before he snaps the shutter. He
can create mood by changing the level of exposure, aperture size, camera
placement. In each of these decisions he is choosing to interpret the
scene. What if he decides to move a glass of wine 3 inches to the left for
better composition before taking the photo? Did he just make a graphic
creation? What if he does it after? Does timing change the fact that the
process began with a camera? What about cropping 20 photos and pasting them
together to create a collage? Is that a graphic creation or photography or
both?

Keeping in mind that Mike said...

> > -Mike
> > PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.


--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Andy Clews" <A.Clews@DENTURESsussex.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:D e06fv$a82$4@south.jnrs.ja.net...
> Thus spake Mike Warren unto the assembled multitudes:
> > At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> > into graphic creation?
>
> I would contend that a photograph stops being a photograph as soon as
*any*
> manipulation is done to the originally captured image. After that, it's
> just an image with photographic origin. I think the word is Greek in
> origin, translating literally as "light written" or "light writing" or
> something like that.

So the very moment you develop the film, it is no longer a photograph? Or
in the digital world the very moment the camera runs it's noise reducing
algorithm, applies white balance, and compresses to JPG it is no longer a
photograph?

I'll have to rename my storage folder from "Photos" to "Images Derived Via
Photographic Processes" <g>

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

What is the "originally captured image"?
How does a camera that captures an original image not "manipulate"?
What of the lens? We see 180 degress + How does a 50mm compare? How about a
28mm?
What about the automatic WB?
A photograph is the capture of AN image. How well it does it is another
matter.
Marcel


"Andy Clews" <A.Clews@DENTURESsussex.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:D e06fv$a82$4@south.jnrs.ja.net...
> Thus spake Mike Warren unto the assembled multitudes:
> > At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> > into graphic creation?
>
> I would contend that a photograph stops being a photograph as soon as
*any*
> manipulation is done to the originally captured image. After that, it's
> just an image with photographic origin. I think the word is Greek in
> origin, translating literally as "light written" or "light writing" or
> something like that.
>
>
>
>
> --
> Andy Clews University of Sussex IT Services
> (Remove DENTURES if replying by email)
>
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mark² wrote:

>
> "Proteus" <nospam@nowhere.net> wrote in message
> news:N7IMe.11744$0E5.1029@fe05.lga...
>> Mike Warren wrote:
>>
>>> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>>> into graphic creation?
>> ...
>>
>> An art teacher at my college once told me that even photographs are a
>> form of abstract art-- less so than a painting perhaps, but still
>> abstract. Even
>> when you take a picture of someone, it is not real; tones, shades, lens
>> distortion of object size, loss of color if b/w, and so on make all
>> photographs a form of abstraction of the real world. So there is no
>> "point"
>> at which manipulation of photo changes it into a graphic creation, the
>> original photo already is a graphic creation.
>
> The real question is one of purpose.
> If the purpose is to represent a captured piece of reality, or "moment in
> time," then the manual exclusion or introduction of any subject/object
> element would negate the legitimacy of that true moment of reality. White
> balance and other minor adjustments are not relevant to that question so
> long as the goal is to render the most humanly-perceived rendition of the
> reality.
>
> In this most strict sense, this "rule" would be limited primarily to
> documentary photography.
>
> Any area other than documentary is entirely debatable, and will never be
> settled in mutual agreement.
> This is why one must understand one's own intent as a happy-snapping
> photog...AND...one's audience/client/end-use as a pro or PJ.
>
> The rest of the palaver is all moonshine because it's entirely dependant
> upon who is asking and who is answering the question. Opinions will
> forever remain all over the board, and will continually ebb and flow with
> the times.
>
> Mark


I totally agree. Completely a matter of degrees, how much a photo is
distorted for the sake of art, from the original portraying the subject as
closely as possible regarding shape, features, etc to distortions of object
edges, colors, introducing new objects or removing objects from a photo,
etc. Even the mere fact that a photo crops out subjects is a form of
distortion-- the human head/eye can pan and scan a scene and take in more
info than the limited cropped subjects of a photo that tell a story.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Goes well with the approach "All that is passed is a ruin". Does it matter
to anyone how one sees that ruin? It does for the one concerned. So why not
make it as one wants to remember that ruin? ;-)
Marcel

"Mr. Mark" <e.cartman@southpark.com> wrote in message
news:xOJMe.35666$dJ5.23504@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> "Proteus" <nospam@nowhere.net> wrote
>
> > An art teacher at my college once told me that even photographs are a
form
> > of abstract art-- less so than a painting perhaps, but still abstract.
> Even
> > when you take a picture of someone, it is not real; tones, shades, lens
> > distortion of object size, loss of color if b/w, and so on make all
> > photographs a form of abstraction of the real world. So there is no
> "point"
> > at which manipulation of photo changes it into a graphic creation, the
> > original photo already is a graphic creation.
>
> Perfectly put IMO.
>
> --
> Mark
>
> Photos, Ideas & Opinions
> http://www.marklauter.com
>
>
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mr. Mark wrote:
> "Proteus" <nospam@nowhere.net> wrote
>
>> An art teacher at my college once told me that even photographs are
>> a form of abstract art-- less so than a painting perhaps, but still
>> abstract. Even when you take a picture of someone, it is not real;
>> tones, shades, lens distortion of object size, loss of color if
>> b/w,
>> and so on make all photographs a form of abstraction of the real
>> world. So there is no "point" at which manipulation of photo
>> changes
>> it into a graphic creation, the original photo already is a graphic
>> creation.
>
> Perfectly put IMO.

Well, then.

I imagine ol' Proteus' furrowed forehead as he contemplates the
teacher's assertion, and thereby abstract a graphic in my mind's eye.
Somehow I manage to render that graphic into an interperable
representation of Proteus at work in the fields of creativity.
Although my product does not correspond in any of four palpable
dimensions, and is not an actual photograph of Proteus in particular,
my intent is that it be seen as Proteus' front head aspect, and I so
title it:

"The Face of Proteus"

My abstraction is a bit farther removed than is someone's photo
impression gleaned from actual reflected light from actual Proteus'
rostrum and associated areas, but there it is. I have made a photo of
Proteus' face.

If I'd had some genuinely Proteus-influenced photons to channel, would
that be obvious to the casual observer? No.

Could I, given sufficient familiarity, conjure up a Proteus Face
similar enough to himself's actual configuration to obtain a "Yes"
estimate from 95% of his acquaintances, and without using a single
photon ever bounced off Proteus? Yes.

So, is the fact of photography resident in the substance of a
representation, in the intent of the intender, or in the "eye" of the
beholder?

None of the above: it's in the process:

My extraction of appropriate elements from the environment and
presentation of them results ( I always hope ) in an apprehension of
my intent. No one of the segments of the process exists without the
others. No element appears the same to all observers. The only
constant is the fact of the process, and the only evidence of that is
the play of shadows on a cave wall.

--
Frank ess
"In this universe there are things that just
don't yield to thinking—plain or fancy—Dude".
—J. Spicoli, PolyPartyPerson
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:43:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote in message
news:CEMMe.2897$ct5.2008@fed1read04...
>
> "Brian" <brian@showprints.com> wrote in message
> news:1124306880.435633.211490@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > In the Art world, many feel that an image that starts out as a
> > photograph is generally accepted as a photograph, regardless of how it
> > ends up. Ex: convert the photo to a watercolor in photoshow, and print
> > it on watercolor art texture paper, and it is still a photograph. This
> > keeps thing very simple. Brian
>
> By your definition, a hand-painted painting based on a photograph (an
> activity many painters do) is still a photograph. So there it is.
> :) 

Hmm.. that's food for thought.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:05:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mr. Mark wrote:
>> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>
> It was even more common when back in the days B&W film strongly
> favored blue light.

I mean changing the sky completely. Darkening it by using
orange or red filters on B&W is less severe since just having
the picture in B&W is already changing it.

>> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>> into graphic creation?
>
> As soon as you press the shutter button. :) 
>
> IOW, IMO it's all the same.

Changing tone and contrast etc are mild forms of manipulation
which I don't have a problem with but adding a rock from one
picture into another is going too far.

I just can't decide where to draw the line.

Removing power lines and other man made objects from a
landscape to me is just as fake but the picture is destroyed by
leaving them in.

-Mike
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:05:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <4303363a$0$83956$892e7fe2@authen.white.readfreenews.net>,
"Mike Warren" <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote:

> Mr. Mark wrote:
> >> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
> >
> > It was even more common when back in the days B&W film strongly
> > favored blue light.
>
> I mean changing the sky completely. Darkening it by using
> orange or red filters on B&W is less severe since just having
> the picture in B&W is already changing it.
>
> >> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> >> into graphic creation?
> >
> > As soon as you press the shutter button. :) 
> >
> > IOW, IMO it's all the same.
>
> Changing tone and contrast etc are mild forms of manipulation
> which I don't have a problem with but adding a rock from one
> picture into another is going too far.
>
> I just can't decide where to draw the line.
>
> Removing power lines and other man made objects from a
> landscape to me is just as fake but the picture is destroyed by
> leaving them in.

I think this is one example that would make it digital art.

If there were telephone lines there, the picture should not have been
taken in the first place.

Although you might be able to uses inks on the film print to remove the
lines it is quite laborious and I would just not bother with it.

Maybe it's the fact that in digital you are able to make every shot a
keeper makes it digital.

>
> -Mike
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:05:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mike Warren" <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote in
message news:4303363a$0$83956$892e7fe2@authen.white.readfreenews.net...
> Mr. Mark wrote:
>>> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>>
>> It was even more common when back in the days B&W film strongly
>> favored blue light.
>
> I mean changing the sky completely. Darkening it by using
> orange or red filters on B&W is less severe since just having
> the picture in B&W is already changing it.

Actually, in the early days of B&W phototgraphy, skies were changed
completely in the darkroom, not just altered by using filters at the camera.
The plates of those days were extremely sensitive to blue light and
extremely insensitive to red light. This resulted in photos that had
totally washed out skies because the general overall exposure that produced
a workable negative of the landscape was far greater than what was needed to
get a properly exposed sky. Most landscape photographers had an inventory
of properly exposed glass plates of skies and clouds that they used by
masking and dodging & burning during double exposures when printing to get
good detail in both the land & the sky. I guess for a specific scene they
could also expose one plate for the sky and one for the land and then do a
double expsure in the darkroom printing.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:05:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mr. Mark" <e.cartman@southpark.com> wrote in message
news:WqJMe.19765$Oy2.2201@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> Mike Warren wrote..
>
>> >> Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>> >
>> > It was even more common when back in the days B&W film strongly
>> > favored blue light.
>>
>> I mean changing the sky completely.
>
> So do I. In the early days they needed rather long exposures and the sky
> would often go white. So it was supposedly common practice to have stock
> photos of properly exposed sky laying around to use as backgrounds for
> shots
> that would otherwise have white (aka zone 10) skies.
>
>> > IOW, IMO it's all the same.
>>
>> Changing tone and contrast etc are mild forms of manipulation
>> which I don't have a problem with but adding a rock from one
>> picture into another is going too far.
>
> heh heh.. you said "manipulation" heh heh..

OK--I know Bret is Butthead...
....Should we assume you're Beavis?
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:05:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"kz8rt3" <kz8rt3@mail.com> wrote

> If there were telephone lines there, the picture should not have been
> taken in the first place.
>
> Although you might be able to uses inks on the film print to remove the
> lines it is quite laborious and I would just not bother with it.

Certainly cloning wasn't invented by Adobe. ;) 

In practice I tend to strive toward this same purist view of photography,
but in theory I think the very act of creating a 2D image and pushing it
through a wire to a printer is as un-true editing out the powerlines. My
standard argument goes something like this: The photo of the place isn't the
place and you can't actually experience the place through the photo. So it
doesn't make any difference what you do to the photo after the fact - there
is no way you can actually make the photo any less real because it is
already un-true, fake, a sham. I think it was Plato who was anti-art for
this very reason - art removes people from reality and it is 2 degrees of
separation from the realm of ideals. Plato was an ass, but his point isn't
totally lost on me.

> Maybe it's the fact that in digital you are able to make every shot a
> keeper makes it digital.

If that were true there wouldn't be so many really shitty snapshots all over
the web. ;) 

Even though digital manipulation saves time and makes photo editing more
accessible to the masses, it doesn't replace a good eye or technical and
aesthetic ability.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
August 18, 2005 3:08:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike Warren wrote:

> At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
> into graphic creation?

When you've created something that didn't exist in front of the camera when
the shutter was pulled.

At least that's the rule I use for my images. An example, if I had added an
insect to this image, it wouldn't be a photograph to me.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/redflower....

If I had added the fly to the above shot, even though it would look just
like the photograph below taken a few minutes later, I still wouldn't have
considered the below a photograph.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/fly.jpg


SInce both of these are images of something that existed at a point in time
in front of the camera, they are photographs.

In this shot, I cloned out a telephone pole and the phone lines so it's no
longer a photograph. You can't go there, photograph this and ever make it
look like this shot without digitally manipulating it. Nothing wrong with
doing this as it drastically improved the image, but at least to me this is
where the line in drawn between a photograph and a digital image..

http://stephe_2.tripod.com/church.htm


One other picky example. The below shot had some pieces of trash in the
foreground that I picked it up before I took the shot. I consider this a
photograph because again this scene did exist in front of the camera when
the shutter was pulled. If I had digitally removed the trash,(Even if I had
actually picked up the trash AFTER the shot was taken) I wouldn't consider
it a photograph because it didn't exist in front of the camera at the point
in time when the shutter was pulled.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckcweb....

I'm sure other people have their own "line" or maybe no line at all? This is
just where mine is. Thanx for posting the question!

--

Stacey
August 18, 2005 3:15:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mr. Mark wrote:

> In each of these decisions he is choosing to interpret the
> scene. What if he decides to move a glass of wine 3 inches to the left
> for
> better composition before taking the photo? Did he just make a graphic
> creation?

No because it existed that way in front of the camera when the shutter was
pulled, it's a photograph.


> What if he does it after? Does timing change the fact that the
> process began with a camera?


Yes. If you change it from something that existed in front of the camera to
something that never existed in that form at the point in time the shutter
was pulled, it's a graphic creation.


> What about cropping 20 photos and pasting
> them
> together to create a collage? Is that a graphic creation or photography
> or both?
>

Photography, unless you start adding/moving or creating elements.

Just my take on this and it doesn't mean a "graphic creation" is less worthy
that a photograph. I do both and no one knows but me. I do have to say I'm
more proud of my good photographs than my good graphic creations.

--

Stacey
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Celcius wrote:
> In the same way, photographers are free to express themselves if they
> so wish, using different lenses, filters and post photography
> manipulation. This is not the same as modifying the photo to "trick
> the observer" or in short, a photo that "lies". Sometimes, a
> particular scenery has "burned itself into my mind". It is possible
> then to try recreate a particular mood, say one of peace and
> tranquility. Arranging the photo to give the observer this same
> feeling is indeed art, at least to my mind. This is NOT "trick
> photography".

When I see an amazing landscape I don't initially notice the car parked
in the middle of it but if I were to look at a photo of the same scene the
car would jump out at me.

> However, although Photoshop and the likes of it are in many people's
> houses, although simple to operate, they do not confer good taste to
> every user. All we need to remember is the advent of desktop
> publishing and the atrocious flyers that people produced, with too
> many fonts, bolds and underlined, not forgetting thick lines around
> text, etc.

That's the problem. With Photoshop anything can be done. I took
a photograph of my niece and her husband a few years ago when
they got married on a tropical island and placed them in a snow
scene as a joke. It looked real but should it be presented to a
viewer without explanation?

-Mike
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mike Warren" <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote in
message

> That's the problem. With Photoshop anything can be done. I took
> a photograph of my niece and her husband a few years ago when
> they got married on a tropical island and placed them in a snow
> scene as a joke. It looked real but should it be presented to a
> viewer without explanation?

Depends on your intentions. If you are trying to trick millions of
Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country in the Middle East
it might be a bit unethical to present the photo without explanation. If
you are trying to make a social commentary through satire, then no problem.
Probably everyone has somewhat different standards of ethics, but as long as
you're not hurting anyone it's ok in my book.

Keep in mind that ALL photos are lies. The world is color, yet many of us
shoot in B&W. The world is 3D, but we render it as 2 dimensional. We shoot
from strange angles to create fresh perspective. We put makeup on before
portrait shoots and use artificial lighting. And so on and so on...

In a very real sense, the very act of taking a photo is the act of telling a
lie.

Ansel Adams referred taking a photo as as creating the desired "departure
from reality".

So there you go. :) 

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mr. Mark" <e.cartman@southpark.com> wrote in message
news:ryJMe.19767$Oy2.13795@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> "Mike Warren" <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote in
> message
>
>> That's the problem. With Photoshop anything can be done. I took
>> a photograph of my niece and her husband a few years ago when
>> they got married on a tropical island and placed them in a snow
>> scene as a joke. It looked real but should it be presented to a
>> viewer without explanation?
>
> Depends on your intentions. If you are trying to trick millions of
> Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country in the Middle
> East

Oh, good grief.

Talk about dragging your political agenda in by the left hind foot . . .

N.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <ryJMe.19767$Oy2.13795@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
"Mr. Mark" <e.cartman@southpark.com> wrote:

> Ansel Adams referred taking a photo as as creating the desired "departure
> from reality".
>
> So there you go. :) 

The only purpose of any work of art is to communicate what can't be put
into words.


"It is like two artists who paint the same scene. If you try to find
unity in those two pictures on the canvas, you will be utterly confused;
but if you perceive the scene itself, you will find there the unity that
has been translated into two different expressions."

J. Krisnamurti
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ansel was a smart guy. He had a way with words.
Paul

Mr. Mark wrote:

snipped

> Ansel Adams referred taking a photo as as creating the desired "departure
> from reality".
>
> So there you go. :) 
>
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> > Depends on your intentions. If you are trying to trick millions of
> > Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country in the Middle
> > East
>
> Oh, good grief.
>
> Talk about dragging your political agenda in by the left hind foot . . .

Not at all. I'm pro war. Just don't think we need to make up excuses to
invade evil countries. That they are evil should be reason enough.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 3:15:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mr. Mark" <e.cartman@southpark.com> wrote in message
news:6INMe.36012$dJ5.15748@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>> > Depends on your intentions. If you are trying to trick millions of
>> > Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country in the Middle
>> > East
>>
>> Oh, good grief.
>>
>> Talk about dragging your political agenda in by the left hind foot . . .
>
> Not at all. I'm pro war. Just don't think we need to make up excuses to
> invade evil countries. That they are evil should be reason enough.

But you think someone (presumably the Bush administration) was "trying to
trick millions of Americans into believing there are WMD in a small country
in the Middle East"? Which means you think Bush et al. never really believed
that there were any such weapons. It's not the fault of bad intelligence or
anything like that, but a deliberate lie to the American people? You're in
the camp that claims to actually believe that, and promotes it as an honest
assessment?

N.
August 18, 2005 3:17:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:

> On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:43:19 +1000, "Mike Warren"
> <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote:
>
>>At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>>into graphic creation?
>>
>>We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
>>balance.
>>
>>Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
>>or removing faint telephone lines.
>>
>>What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
>>result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
>>behind a macro shot?
>>
>>Adding a better sky is now easy and seems to be fairly common.
>>
>>I'm curious about what people think about this.
>>
>>-Mike
>>PS. I'm talking about art photography not photojournalism.
>
> First let's define what you call a "Photograph". Are Moholy-Nagy's
> Photograms, Photographs?
>
> Is directly minipulated Polaroid film, a photograph?
>
>

Yes, unless someone takes parts of one Polaroid and places it on top of
another, then it's a collage.
--

Stacey
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 4:29:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <430322dd$0$83586$892e7fe2@authen.white.readfreenews.net>,
Mike Warren <miwa-not-this-bit@or-this-cairnscarsound.com.au> wrote:
>At what point does graphic manipulation convert a photograph
>into graphic creation?
>
>We start by perhaps burning in the sky and changing the white
>balance.
>
>Intermediate stages would be things like adding a colour cast
>or removing faint telephone lines.

Adujstring the colour balance, contrast, etc. to more accurately reflect the
way you perceived the scene when you took the photograph isn't something
that I'd regard as "cheating" in this regard. However, removing objects in
the scene, or:

>What about removing a background digitally to achieve the same
>result that could have been done by placing a piece of black card
>behind a macro shot?

....is probably a step beyond the position where I'd be happy to call the
result a photograph.

The following may be of interest:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/manipulation
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 6:51:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <dWNMe.20059$Yx1.7182@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
"Mr. Mark" <e.cartman@southpark.com> wrote:

> > So when you start with a digital camera you can't call it photography
> > anymore. It is digital photography. But after thinking about it I
> > wouldn't even call digital photography photography at all.
>
> Based on the definition I think you CAN call it photography and don't need
> to make the distinction. The definition says "sensitized surface." If the
> digital sensor isn't a sensitized surface it's not anything at all. :) 

I gave this a lot of thought in the past.

"the art or process of producing images on a sensitized surface (as a
film) by the action of radiant energy and especially light."

So I thought, is the surface of film the same as the surface of the CMOS?

There is no real "surface" in a digital camera. If the CMOS is the
surface then why isn't the image there? So maybe you can say the surface
is the Flash Card. But that surface is reformatted and reused and can
you point to it? There is no surface until it is printed, and that is
mostly done by ink, not by light. With film, the negative is the
surface. Done. Photograph.

You see the definition says "producing images ON a sensitized surface"
not "producing images THROUGH a sensitized surface".

I say if it is not a film negative, it's not photography.

Yeah, I am nit picking. But to say they are both photography without
qualifications diminishes both.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 7:34:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> >> Talk about dragging your political agenda in by the left hind foot . .
..
> >
> > Not at all. I'm pro war. Just don't think we need to make up excuses
to
> > invade evil countries. That they are evil should be reason enough.
>
> But you think someone (presumably the Bush administration) was "trying to
> trick millions of Americans into believing there are WMD in a small
country
> in the Middle East"?

No, not at all. Jesus, lighten up, get a life.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 7:35:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> >Not at all. I'm pro war.
>
> That's about like being pro cancer.

Yeah, about the same. I figure the same type of companies make money off
war as do cancer. ;) 

> Can we assume you're posting from Iraq?
> If not, why not?

No. Did my time.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
!