Too Much Photoshop Manipulation - where to draw the line...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by AdriaanSteyn, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. AdriaanSteyn

    AdriaanSteyn TPF Noob!

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    Hi there

    I have seen many photographs that have been IMHO over-photoshopped. This ranges from over-saturation to excessive filters and techniques added, making the photograph almost unnatural.

    I am somewhat of a traditionalist and feel that what could not have been achieved in a dark room during development should be interpreted as being over-photoshopped. Therefor turning a photograph into a painting.

    I am all for the "creative" side of achieving effects for artistic purposes, but does it really reflect on the photographer's ability?

    Where is the line drawn.......does the line even exist?

    I would like to see what others' opinion is regarding this.

    many thanks
    Adriaan
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The line doesn't exist for me. Art is art. You may not like all art, but over classifying art by what technique was used is too much thinking about it, and not enough feeling.

    The "ability" to use photoshop and use it well is something that must be learned as well as any traditional photographic technique.
     
  3. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree. When i first used ps almost 10 years ago...i had a tendancy to use every fliter and effect possible to create, what i thought was a cool image. Looking back now some of the stuff i did was comical, but it was all the learning curve of using ps. I gradually realised that less is more, and now i prefer using ps to enhance my photographs in the most subtle way possible. However if i feel like doing something more arty and stylised, i will use more ps to get the effect i need (see my vampire thread), but i'm not using ps for the sake of it....i'm using it to produce the effect i want.

    True......some images on here are over ps'd in my opinion too, but these people haven't been using it as long as i have and are testing the limits of the software. I am all for experimentation and creativity and will always encourage fellow ps users.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One can "over-manipulate" a Polaroid SX-70 print, too. :razz: One can take a traditional silver gelatin print and decide to hand color it in the traditional manner and only end up making it garish by being overly enthusiastic.

    It's not about how one chooses to manipulate or further enhance their work; it's about learning what works as far as toning, coloring, and finding what is aesthetically pleasing.

    The same "errors of enthusiasm" when learning something new will continue to be made, whether it's by a great piece of software like PS, or too heavy a hand after the darkroom with toners or other medium. :)

    (That said, I do agree a lot of people seem to love to slide up that saturation button to the point where it makes ya cringe.) :lol:
     
  5. AdriaanSteyn

    AdriaanSteyn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for viewing your opinions regarding this. I like Archangel's perspective whereby less is (in most cases) more and whereby it certainly is a learning curve we all go through.

    It certainly gives me a different perspective to photography

    thanks for all the comments
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion such as it is.... when you see something in your mind you should strive to make it happen whatever it takes.

    But in the words of a favorite person (me) that don't make it art...
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    How do you feel about these images?

    http://www.robertkleingallery.com/gallery/albums/uelsmann/aad.jpg
    http://www.andrewsmithgallery.com/images/uelsmann/jerry.jpg

    They were done by Jerry Uelsmann, all in the darkroom.

    I consider using the darkroom as a limiting factor (or the negative as the truth) as an artificial construct. Why that and not something else? It's too arbitrary. Why not only contact prints from colloidal plates?

    I don't mean this as a diss towards you. I'm just not fond of the viewpoint.
     
  8. Fate

    Fate TPF Noob!

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    Well as you all know all i ever do on PS is mess around with the contrast lol :D But im working on exploring it!
     
  9. panzershreck

    panzershreck TPF Noob!

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    photography was never a factual basis for truth

    it's just like the written word, it doesn't mean it's necessarily real, but it was based off of something real, with words it's an experience, with photography it's light illuminating something

    but i don't see people taking every word written as some kind of "truth"
     
  10. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    my ps work is only for cropping, levels and b&w conversion... so mostly everything you can do in a darkroom. Sometimes I play with filters and so on...
    but remember that most of thos things were also available in darkroom... like ...solarisation for instance... so as long as it is still photography (not computer graphics) I like it...
     
  11. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Ps is a tool, if you need it use it. I don't see a problem with that. Since I don't have the time to learn to use it, most any editor will do what I want. I do have photo shop but after the last crash I didn't reinstall it.
     
  12. Tkraz

    Tkraz TPF Noob!

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    This came up in conversation earlier on the day actually!

    My arguement was that using photoshop is just as much a tool as anything else in photography, its just a little bit frowned upon at the moment because it's new and often can get a bad press from some of the over enthusiasm shown in some of its uses. Also anything that replaces previously lengthy long drawn out processes by people who didnt have such an option beforehand, is bound to be met with some hostility before its accepted.
     

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