Photo Editing

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by PeterBraden, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. PeterBraden

    PeterBraden TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi
    I a, going to be quite contoversial to provoke a discussion :p .
    Basically, I think that there should be a distinction between edited photos and photos "as are". The issue really applies more to digital, with photoshop being so accessible it is really easy to "tweak" your images.

    I have been noticing a trend toward editing as the norm rather than the exception. Certainly it is tempting to adjust a squint horizon or move some stray tourists out of an otherwise perfect shot. But are these edited photos really as honest as an unedited photo? It is hard to learn from your mistakes when they are so easily corrected, and rather than learning good technique, is it not stopping you developing your skills?
    I feel that the photographers that make an effort to do the work "in camera" (when the picture is being taken): checking to see that the photo is lined up correctly, exposed right and waiting for the best composition; are having their efforts devalued by those who snap away and patch up later. What do you think? Should there be a distinction between edited and unedited photographs. Is it just being "artistic" or is it promoting laziness?


    Peter
     
  2. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    Hi peter, and welcome to the forums.


    I would be very careful about starting this discussion as it has surfaced before and things went south very quickly.

    that being said, i'll leave the thread open for discussion until someone becomes argumentative, and when and if that happens i will close it.


    thanks!

    md
     
  3. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Every photo is "Edited" in some way, with the possible exception of slide film. Therefore you'd have to mark everything as edited. In my opinion the only time that one should distinguish from "edited" and non-Edited is in journalistic photography where a manipulation could falsify the facts of a scene being presented to the user. I also like to know if I shot has been heavily edited, whether it be in the darkroom or on the computer. Other than that I could care less becuase in the end it's the end product that matters.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This has been discussed to to death before...

    I tend to think that people who consider themselves purists in this matter (those who don't like digital editing); a) are not very good at it and don't consider it an art unto itself. b)are not very versed in traditional dark room techniques.

    One of the most famous photographers, Ansel Adams, worked just as hard or harder on perfecting his images in the darkroom as he did actually capturing the image.

    Image manipulation has been around for 100 years, digital just makes it easier to do...but not necessarily easier to do well.
     
  5. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    9,325
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Poland, Sz-n
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I hate PS... I really rarely edit shots. the only thing I "improve" is straightning tilted horizon. Well this is the only think I can really do :) ok... and sometimes I ad a border. But that's all. And people here know that I don't like ps works and very often I criticize pictures which were edited too much.

    Big Mike said it has been discussed here many times. Yes, I remember a few threads about this certain issue, but I think that maybe whe could add a "subforum" like this where the PS challenge is, and there we will be posting the shots that were edited somehow and others will have to guess what was added or improved?
     
  6. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    5,313
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    England! w000t!
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think we need to detemine what you actually mean by editing? converting an image to black and white? tweaking?

    Another point, is if your job is photography, your client is not going to say "I prefere this one, but as that one isnt edited, ill have that one"
     
  7. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    8,345
    Likes Received:
    68
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    Well... I wonder what the reason for the distinction would be. Would it be to proclaim, "I did this without the help of 'tweeking,' so it's worth more."? Or, "Hey, look what I learned!" Or, "Bet you can't do this without your 'tricks.'"

    My neighbor sometimes brings me a bit of desert... a piece of cake... some cookies. Very nice. I NEVER need to know if it's from a box mix or from scratch. I just enjoy the cookies.

    -Pete
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Great analogy Pete. I completely agree. Most things, especially art, should be observed with an open mind...not with preconceived notions of how it was created.

    Although, there can be some extra appreciation for things that are harder to do...bake a cake from scratch or capture a perfect image.
     
  10. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    I usually appreciate home baked cake more because it's better: it was made with better quality ingredients with more attention to detail. But I have had home baked cake that was burnt which doesn't happen in the store bought ones. Either way I like the one that tastes better :)
     
  11. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Compostela, GZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'd say that at the end you always notice the difference between good home made cookies and those bought in the supermarket. The same with the pictures. But that doesn't mean that you just cannot edit! As Big Mike says, that's just part of the process of taking a picture.
    My point is that you'll always notice when the editing has been made by a bad photographer to cover her/his mistakes. If the photographer is no good, editing won't really make the miracle happen. On the other hand, if the photographer is good, the picture will sure be nice, and editing will make it even better.
    In short: for a bad photographer, editing won't really work that way (making the good picture out of the bad) and for the good one, editing is just another part of a well-done process. The cookies not only have been properly made, but also properly baked ;)
     
  12. PeterBraden

    PeterBraden TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Scotland
    Thanks for the replys. The thread you linked to was also very interesting.
    I had thought this might have been a common subject but couldnt see anything on it with a quick scan of the previous messages.

    I guess what I define as "editing" an image, is that which is better classed as painting. I realise that cropping and adjusting colour balance has been done as standard practise in darkrooms for years. Using tools such as the clone brush has been a relitavely new innovation though, and what before would have required a huge amount of skill has become relitavely easy. I am not devaluing photoshop work, I have spent a huge amount of time working with it and editing photos is far from easy, I just mean that it is easier than in the past when some changes were almost impossible compared to now.
    I see that edited photos have equal artistic merit as unedited ones however I still believe there has to be some distinction. When seeing a beautiful picture, an amauter may just dismiss it as photoshop work, even though capturing the image was done all in camera using a great amount of skill and experience. Should the craft of photography decline as photoshop skill increases?
    I hear the argument of garbage in garbage out however it is still possible to make an average picture look good with editing. by painting onto the image, the potebtial to improve the image is almost infinite, at what point does the photo cease to be a photo and become a painting?
    Using photoshop to this extent is extremely rare of course and I see that I am playing devils advocate a little.
    I guess I believe that photography is as much about capturing a moment as the final image. The moment is captured in camera as a historical record if you like. Is it right to edit that picture or is the essence of the moment degraded by doing so?

    Peter
     

Share This Page