Does RAW conversion count as manipulation?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by GreenSlime89, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. GreenSlime89

    GreenSlime89 TPF Noob!

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    I've entered a photography competition and one of the rules is that no manipulation is allowed. The only problem is that I shoot RAW files on my 20D and convert in DPP. This lets me boost saturation and apply filter effects without quality loss. If I don't convert them without boosting the levels and saturation it looks dull and flat. So do you think that RAW conversion counts as manipulation? I've sent a letter to the organisers but they haven't responded yet. So do you think it would be okay for shooting RAW for the competition or should I stop the RAW shooting until I hear otherwise?
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Without conversion you would not be able to present a photo!
    So how could RAW conversion be manipulation?
    If the converter offers you several things to change the RAW data before you convert it, then be it. You could as well also have changed the parametres in your camera to something different than what you now have. You have the chance to "manipulate" your photos in-camera, you can shoot with the highest sharpness, saturation, contrast and whatnot, if you so choose. Is that already manipulation? No.
    So why would making your RAW files look like YOU want your photo to be be manipulation?
    I say: no it is not.
    Heavy PS work would be.
    But sometimes even that is necessary (maybe not for the competition you are talking about, but I am thinking of something that has happened to me only of late) and only makes a photo enjoyable, while the original does not.
    But that takes us away from your question.
    Well, my answer is clear: RAW-treatment prior to conversion is NO manipulation.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Exactly. It's no more manipulation than that which would be done by the camera in order to produce a Jpeg.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Is printing in the darkroom manipulation? You have to do it in order to present the image don't you? same goes for RAW's.
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If that is manipulation, then so is using fuji velvia.
     
  6. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    I consider anything I could do in a dark room short of cross-processing to be "not manipulation."

    So things like color balance, dodging and burning, using curves filters, etc are all ok with me.

    It's really a personal interpretation unless they have a specific set of what is and is not allowed in digital processing software.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You will manipulate the image when you save it out in a printable or displayable form. If not, then the camera itself will manipulate the image. The contest organizers don't have a very clear idea of what manipulation means. Simply doing a test strip in an enlarger and choosing an exposure time is manipulation as well.

    I think what the contest organizers have in mind is that they want the image to look like the original subject looked when you photographed it.
     

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