the danger of talking tech....

weepete

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Hi all.

My wean has just gone into second year at high school and their social subjects (that's history, geography and mordern studies to normal people!) teacher has decided to run a class project where they will be submitting a couple of photos into a competition. She asked at a recently held parents night if we could provide a phone that can take photos so she could take the kids on a field trip and get copies of the photos. I said that's great, and we could go one better as our daughter has a p&s camera that she could take, but I also asked about usin. g other gear and if the photo could be taken outside of school (with the intension of letting the munchkin loose with my DSLR, and giving her a bit more creative control). No problem the teacher said, obviously it's not the kind of gear that the school could provide but if she wanted to use any stuff she had at home that'd be fine.

That's when I made my error, really I should have just kept my mouth shut but me being me I like to know. So, I asked about the rules and spesifically about post processing and whither she'd need us to provide the raw file or not as I've heard some places want it. Obviously your not allowed to put something in that isn't there or anything like that she said with a wee laugh but I'll let the kids know in the next class. That's ok I said in my most reassuring tone, I'm talking about digital developing, not image manipulation. And that was that.

She explained the rules to the kids on Monday, which amounted to you're not allowed to use Photoshop but stuff like spot removal is ok, and she's refusing to let us know who is running the competition or give us a copy of the rules even though she's been asked directly. The only conclusion I can come to is that she knows nothing about photography and is afraid that providing a proper copy of the rules will lead to cheating or trying to push the boundaries. It's infuriating when the assumption is that if you use Photoshop or other editing software that it's cheating.
 

Atavar

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how are you going to do "stuff like spot removal" without using photo editing software?
 

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Since you don't know for sure, be wary of any unscrupulous photo dealer "judging" the competition. I would make sure her photos are archived with her name attached.
 

Overread

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Since you don't know for sure, be wary of any unscrupulous photo dealer "judging" the competition. I would make sure her photos are archived with her name attached.

I don't think companies are quite desperate yet to be hunting after school kids pictures - esp as schools tend to have blanket polices over the whole institution that would restrict or prevent that in the first place (and asides which most kids are not old enough to sign such an agreement to enter anyway).

It's likely just the teacher running a competition and suddenly one parent is a PHOTOGRAPHER - the blanket silent treatment is likely to prevent the dangerous photographer parent from helping their kid get an unfair advantage over the others by finding loopholes. It's just a bit of fun - treat it as such and leave it be.
 
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weepete

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how are you going to do "stuff like spot removal" without using photo editing software?
That's the question mate. The pendant in me says fine, the no Photoshop rule is ok as we mostly use Lightroom for our editing anyway, and I can always use one of the other editing packages if that's the case ;) But my dad head says be reasonable and keep any editing to a minimum. Tbh its not a bad lesson to be trying to get things right in camera anyway.
 
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weepete

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Since you don't know for sure, be wary of any unscrupulous photo dealer "judging" the competition. I would make sure her photos are archived with her name attached.

Good tip Designer, though I doubt it will be an issue I'll make sure her name is on the exif data. Thanks
 
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weepete

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Since you don't know for sure, be wary of any unscrupulous photo dealer "judging" the competition. I would make sure her photos are archived with her name attached.

I don't think companies are quite desperate yet to be hunting after school kids pictures - esp as scho. ols tend to have blanket polices over the whole institution that would restrict or prevent that in the first place (and asides which most kids are not old enough to sign such an agreement to enter anyway).

It's likely just the teacher running a competition and suddenly one parent is a PHOTOGRAPHER - the blanket silent treatment is likely to prevent the dangerous photographer parent from helping their kid get an unfair advantage over the others by finding loopholes. It's just a bit of fun - treat it as such and leave it be.

Its definatley being run by some geographic organisation, though I'm not sure which one and can't seem to find it on the web.

The thing that bugs me most is the assumption, and there's two in there. A that A) she has inadvertently implied I'm actively going to cheat and B) that using spesifically Photoshop is cheating.

Now I'm a play it fair kinda guy, I always have been so that really bugs me. But hey ho, it probably speaks more about this teachers personality than mine. As for treating it as a bit of fun, that's exactly what we will do mate. I'm just having a wee moan because it means that what I think are perfectly valid techniques like focus stacking, panoramas and HDR are out.
 

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weepete - I think teachers see a lot of "cheating" that isn't cheating but just parents doing what they feel is natural which is helping their child to succeed. Most of the time its not an issue nor a problem, but sometimes you get those overly competitive parents who can be a nightmare as they must have their kid win all the time. Distancing the parents from the process is one protective method teachers use to try and ensure that its the kids doing things not the parents.
 

bogeyguy

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It's a social studies class, not a photography class. Like you said, you should have kept quiet. I don't think the teacher is looking at the photos for their skills. I think the teacher is looking to see what her students are seeing thru their eyes.
 

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I think the teacher is looking to see what her students are seeing thru their eyes.
I agree. I think you're making this way too much about photography equipment and editing and whatnot, and that was never at all the point.

She probably doesn't want you to use photoshop, because most of the kids don't HAVE photoshop, which makes it an unfair advantage. The teacher likely does not want one kid's photos to look amazingly more fantastic than everybody else's purely due to her dad having a bunch of software and so forth, and not because of actual photographic perspective and vision.

Even the whole "take photos at home instead of on the trip" is really pushing it, in my eyes, and is probably again undermining the point of the exercise: comparing students' vision and perspectives on a shared experience.

I don't think you should use photoshop OR lightroom or anything else (that would be really obnoxious and clearly taking advantage of ignorance-based loopholes), and I don't even suggest having your kid take pictures out of school, either, even if the teacher said it was okay. That seems like all it would accomplish is to possibly lessen the value of the project for your child due to not having a comparable photograph to insightfully compare to the other kids' photographs. If two people take photos of the same thing, the differences are likely going to be much more illustrative and informative than if they take photos of two different things.

If you want the kid to play with your DSLR out of school, why not just give the kid the DSLR occasionally outside of school, unrelated to this trip or this competition? You don't need any special class projects or teacher permission to lend your own child your own DSLR on your own time.
 

Ballistics

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Who cares about "fair". Not everyone has a P&S or a DSLR either. Just let her shoot with your DSLR, "develop" it, and enter it. Forget about anyone putting down your interest to go above and beyond for your kid and reading too deeply into it.
 

unpopular

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In popular nomenclature "photoshop" means to alter an image to make it not represent the subject in an objective way. Really, this whole post seems pretty silly to me.
 

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