Am I wrong?

ShooterJ

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It's a fair discussion but the way I see it, it's personal preference only. Is a Realist painting by Courbet better than an Impressionist piece by Monet? Nope, just different.

That said, there is something said for good technique. Be it photography or post processing or paintings, or sculpture or performance art. Some art is just bad :)

Sure, good technique plays a role in art. I seperate that from "keepsakes" though... a lot of photographers look poorly on snapshots... but it's different. I think talent sometimes gets in the way of "why".. the last photo I have of Cynthia was a snapshot .. and to me, it's worth more than anything that any photographer could produce with any amount of equipment.

It's not art, it's part of my life. I recognize that in others... so not every photo is designed to please the masses. I think if the intent is art.. cool, C&C is a great thing.. if you're generalizing EVERY photo.. then I'd say don't take yourself so seriously. Many people have a ton of snapshots that are low quality in comparison and worth more to them than all of your years of skill, training and knowledge.

ETA: Wasn't talking about anyone specifically ... just in general.
 
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Gavjenks

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I have been an artist my entire life dam near, and I understand that art is just that and as long as someone gets enjoyment from the work then its a good thing. But what happened to taking a picture of the sunrise using good technique and skill then enjoying your work.
Nothing happened to that, because it never existed as a universal reality. People have been routinely removing objects form cluttering the scene, etc. and altering the exposures and everything else in the darkroom since the dawn of photography.

And before that, painters were routinely adding objects that didn't exist for political and/or symbolic reasons into scenes and portraits, and not painting clutter that didn't matter, etc. etc.

None of these things represent a "loss of integrity" unless the photographer explicitly advertises the photo as "exactly the way the scene was when I first found it" which they almost never would.
 

amolitor

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There have long been wars over what is and is not "acceptable".

See, for instance, the war against Pictorialism, which from the vantage point of today strikes us (well, me, at least) as completely ludicrous. We have people practically dueling over claims that COMPOSITES are objectively a bad thing, but radical adjustments to local contrasts are OBVIOUSLY FINE.
 

pixmedic

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Unless you are specifically touting a photo as "absolutely true to reality", who cares how much, if any, editing has been done.

Did 18th century painters capture every wrinkle and blemish on a monarchs face?
Or every crumbling brick or broken piece of mortar on a castle wall? Or did they portray a more pleasing image? Or a stronger, more authorative image?

From the moment mankind has been able to capture an image in some form or another, be it stone, or canvas, or digital file, they have molded it to their liking.
 

Derrel

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As was proven on the TV show Mythbusters, a turd can actually be dried a bit, compacted, rolled into a ball, and then smoothed,buffed, and polished to exquisite roundness, smoothness, and sheen.

It *is* possible to polish a turd. I know this because I see it all over the web. AND--I saw it on Mythbusters too!


Polishing a Turd!!! Woo-hoo!
 
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imagemaker46

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It used to be shoot and then darkroom skill, now it is shoot and computer skill. The only difference is that so much more can be changed with software than could ever be done in a darkroom. The great darkroom techs were masters at what they could do using simple tools, they could drag out everything a negative had to offer. Now basic knowledge of editing software can do the same with an image.

There are photoshop techs that do amazing things, but what has happened is that people make unrealistic changes to create images that never existed.
 
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Stevepwns

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As was proven on the TV show Mythbusters, a turd can actually be dried a bit, compacted, rolled into a ball, and then smoothed,buffed, and polished to exquisite roundness, smoothness, and sheen.

It *is* possible to polish a turd. I know this because I see it all over the web. AND--I saw it on Mythbusters too!


Polishing a Turd!!! Woo-hoo!


So the lesson here is, the harder the turd is when you get it, the less polishing you have to do. Very fitting to the conversation.... :lmao:
 
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The_Traveler

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changing the entire color of the photo to portray an image that was not at all like it was shot.

But what happened to taking a picture of the sunrise using good technique and skill then enjoying your work.
I could understand touching up the photo a little but some of the things I am seeing aren't even close to the real image.

Yes, it's been happening since the beginning but that's sort of beside's the point.

Just like painters use brushes to do everything from painting a house, painting a beautiful scene, painting to make a record, painting in a new conceptual way, painting to make a point (Guernica), photographers can do the same.
Just because more technology is involved doesn't mean that photography isn't the same kind of tool, usable by clerks, technicians, artists and journalists.
 

peter27

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From an interview with John Hedgecoe in Amateur Photographer, June 2010:

John has seen great developments in photography during his long career, but is ambivalent about the changes brought about by digital imaging. ‘Digital has had both positive and negative effects,’ he says. ‘It has really opened up photography to a lot more people, and made it easier for people to produce good images. Photoshop is amazing, really, and a lot of the pictures taken by amateurs are as good as those shot by professionals.

‘However, I think in some ways photography has become too easy. Many people don’t really know how to operate a camera and just let it make all the creative decisions. In the past, you had to work hard to get a really good image, but now it’s so much easier and that makes it much more difficult to be unique. Technology has made it less of a challenge and I think that has taken some of the magic and mystery out of photography.’

Read more at John Hedgecoe Interview - My Life in Pictures | Amateur Photographer


For my part I think that the developments in technology are a good thing generally speaking and have opened photography up new possibilities, and made it more accessible to more People. But, as in anything else, you can have too much of a good thing and people tend to go OTT with PP and not pay enough attention to good camera practice. It seems almost anyone can produce perfect souffles these days but few people know how to boil an egg.
 

bratkinson

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Could I get the quality of results I get today with what I had 25 years ago? Back then, I was shooting slides. It was right in the camera, no second chances for cropping, color correction, white balance (eg, correct filter), etc. Today, I can easily crop the picture to remove side clutter or for different print sizes, adjust the color renditions/saturation if needed, white balance, remove blemishes, remove unwanted clutter I failed to notice when I was taking the photograph, and present a "polished image" rather than "that's what the camera recorded".

Which is better? It's in the eye of the beholder.

Granted, there are those that go beyond, far beyond a few 'minor improvements' on their digital images. That's up to them. Some artists painted what they saw. Others painted what they envisioned. Others were out in left field...way out in left field. But that's my opinion. To each his/her own.

Recognize, too, that there seems to be 'trends' in what is considered good pictures. So often, we see threads on this and other photography websites asking 'how to get this look?' when what they are 'trying' to achieve appears more like simple overexposure to my eyes. Then there's the selective-coloring fanatics, and brown-tone coloring adherents, and on and on. I don't like any of it. But then, I'm a medicare-age old geezer. What appeals to a 20-something or 30-something is quite different than what appeals to this 60-something person. The same for food, music, home styles, cars, and just about everything else, for that matter.
 

imagemaker46

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I have been an artist my entire life dam near, and I understand that art is just that and as long as someone gets enjoyment from the work then its a good thing. But what happened to taking a picture of the sunrise using good technique and skill then enjoying your work.
Nothing happened to that, because it never existed as a universal reality. People have been routinely removing objects form cluttering the scene, etc. and altering the exposures and everything else in the darkroom since the dawn of photography.

And before that, painters were routinely adding objects that didn't exist for political and/or symbolic reasons into scenes and portraits, and not painting clutter that didn't matter, etc. etc.

None of these things represent a "loss of integrity" unless the photographer explicitly advertises the photo as "exactly the way the scene was when I first found it" which they almost never would.

I know and know of many situations where photographers have added or removed items to and from photographs while claiming that it was exactly the way they saw it.
 

Derrel

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grafxman

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Stevepwns, if you want to se photos that are essentially unaltered just look at mine. I don't crop, I don't change white balance, I don't add or remove color and I don't use any fancy editing program. I have photo editing software on my computer that can do a whole lot of stuff and I have used it but not anymore. I simply use Canon's DPP software which is a very basic application to brighten, darken, remove noise and sharpen if necessary. That's pretty much all. I just want to get a half way decent looking image that accurately depicts what I saw. I'm not an artist and I have no desire to be one. I suppose I'm more of a recorder or documentarian than anything.
 

cynicaster

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On the one hand I will admit flat out that the advent of digital—with all of its attendant convenience and versatility—is what originally drew me into photography. On the other hand, I can totally understand the sentiments of the photographer in that quote somebody posted about it being “too easy”, with arguably negative implications regarding the “magic and mystery” of the medium, and all that.

It’s the same in recording music. With a 10 year-old PC and less than $1000 worth of equipment I can churn out a recording of a multi-track song in my basement that would easily rival what was previously only possible in multi-million dollar studios. You think digital trickery is rampant in photography? If you dare to torture yourself for the sake of edification, check out a Bieber or Spears album… with all the layering, digital pitch correction, auto-tuning, brick-wall limiting, and all manner of other mangling, you will see what it really means to have a “creative result” that doesn’t remotely resemble the source material.

But, it’s pretty easy to see how we got here. Just like the vast majority of the booboisie can’t (or, at least, won’t) enjoy a meal unless it’s drenched in sodium, animal fat, and sweeteners, they are drawn to saccharine fakery in creative media, like mosquitoes to a bug zapper. Thus, the clown-shoes HDR dreck from Brady McTwitterpants receives 10,000 “likes” on the social network, while the technically flawless, artfully composed, and minimally manipulated image from J. Cellulose McGee gets just a few dozen. Anxious to claim the largest slice possible of the “likes” pie, newcomer hobbyist Bonnie Facebookian, with Instagram-equipped iPhone in hand, sets her sights on the work of Mr. McTwitterpants for inspiration, and the cycle continues.

Yeah, it sucks, but what are you gonna do about it? Just try to make art that excites you, and if somebody else happens to find it exciting as well, that’s just icing on the cake.
 

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