**Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here) | High Sierra Topix  

**Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Windwalker » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:50 pm

Pretty tough to regulate the "no processing", folks would just shoot .jpgs and crank all of the camera settings up to get the same effects (contrast, saturation, , etc., etc. can all be manipulated in camera as well as in post processing). There are tasteful limits to post processing...some folks have taste and others, well... take it to extremes. Personally I shoot all of my photos in RAW....which means they have to be converted (processed). Then there is still the whole "documentary vs art" debate.



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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby mountaineer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:26 pm

However, if you are like me, 90% of your shots are still slides. The one I submitted here was a scanned E100VS slide.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby ERIC » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:45 pm

mountaineer wrote:However, if you are like me, 90% of your shots are still slides. The one I submitted here was a scanned E100VS slide.


Savage... ;)
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post-processing thanks everyone

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:13 pm

Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to start too much of a debate here. I think most people understand the point I was trying to make, and most seek a balance between an image that is representational but still evokes some of the emotional content of the moment. I'm not a strict reductionist in any sense, but I do know after a lifetime outdoors in a wide diversity of environments (I'm a volcanologist/geologist), when nature images are 'real' and are not; kind of a sniff test thing. I guess it is like cooking or wine- the more I understand it, the more subtlety one seeks.

Just my two cents, I appreciate the thoughtful responses (and yes, I've seen the images in the Bishop show-room and confess to cringing. I vote that we all pay Galen our respects and kindly move on to a different esthetic in the work, one that while less accessible is perhaps less prone to schlock...).
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby mountaineer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:19 pm

mokolumnekid speaks wisely.

In the Outdoor Photographer contest I mentioned before, a majority of the photos in the finalist category looked really cool, but they also looked heavily manipulated. Either in PS, or heavily filtered at the lense. I HATE that.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:21 pm

I remember a similar conversation several months back.
I agree that some types of processing may not appeal to a lot of folks who are
purist.
I to believed that any processing beyond the norm for raw photo's was heresy, but
I have changed my mind $ speaks and some buyers like that look, one of my pic's
sold 4X as many with the color-enhanced/vibrant look than the natural look!
Some photo site will tear you apart for using HDR, while others embrace it and prefer
it saying it gives the photo's a new look, different stroke for different folks.
One look is not better or worse than the others, photography is an art and the
last thing we need to do is stifle one's artistic visions.
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby MooseTracks » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:19 pm

Really interesting discussion here, and I'm glad it's not getting nasty! I'm also one who doesn't do much "post-processing" of my pics once they come out of the camera, nor have I figured out all the bells and whistles and how to use them on the Rebel XTi I bought this past fall. Actually, the shots I submitted were indeed from my little Sony PnS (DSC-700).

But then again, I'm not trying to sell my pictures professionally. There are a few hanging in the Whitney Portal Hostel for sale, but this is by no means a profession of mine. I'll stick to physical therapy.

However, I think the point of the contest here is simply to tell a few stories with the pictures we captured over the course of the year. To me, I can tell you where I was, what I was feeling, and why I chose that particular shot when I did. It brings back amazing memories of the efforts I put in over the year.

So, as for processing, I would be for less in a contest like this. If a photo commands a response of some sort -- an emotion, a turn of phrase, a second look -- then I've done my job. Congratulations to all the finalists! And here's to another fantastic year of getting out and sharing it with each other, however we choose to do so.

-L :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Buck Forester » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:39 pm

I vote that we all pay Galen our respects and kindly move on to a different esthetic in the work, one that while less accessible is perhaps less prone to schlock...).


Ahhhh... I respectfully mucho disagree-o! Galen Rowell is freakin' AWESOME and his images are el fantastico! I peruse Galen's gallery in Bishop with my jaw dragging on the ground. It's all a matter of taste, obviously, but there's a reason Fuji Velvia 50 film was the gold standard of landscape film (still is for film shooting landscapers).

If you take 20 different digital cameras programmed at the factory and take the same pics, you'll get 20 different renditions of the image, straight out of the camera. Which one is 'true'? None of them. The camera IS a processor. There are settings for sharpness, contrast, saturation, file size, different lens focal lengths which tweak perspective, etc. All these factors have to be determined by someone. Same with video cameras (each mfg has a certain look to their footage/images). Also the exposure makes a big difference in an image... under exposed or over exposed, in camera, looks different. Which reflects reality? What/who determines a perfectly 'exposed' photo? A washed out digital image 'straight' from the camera is not more true than a carefully processed RAW file.

A camera sees differently than the human eye, the lattitude and dymanic range aren't anywhere near the same. If you take a picture during a bright day in the forest, does it reflect "reality" to see 'black' shadows from trees that you could easily see detail with your eye? Does a washed out sky at sunset relfect reality because that's how your camera shot it? If you expose for the lighter sky, does the horribly dark foreground reflect reality, even though in 'real life' it wasn't so?

The "straight from the camera" proponents are either not aware of how different cameras process images, or willing to live with the limits of the specific camera in hand regardless of how they capture reality. Most 'straight from the camera only" propoents have bright daytime shots and few 'magic hour' shots, because magic hour is very difficult for a camera to capture and retain 'reality' due to the big differential in lighting and color. Galen Rowell used GND filters to "balance" light to be more in line with what the human eye sees in real life, so you could get that beautiful sunset properly exposed AND the remaining landscape properly exposed. That can't be done in camera with one shot, the physics and limitations of film or a digital sensor won't allow it. Rich, deep colors come from properly balanced light and usually during magic hour times. Of course Photoshop and HDR can be way overdone, but there's a difference between "in camera" and properly adjusting a photo. You should see some of my Velvia 50 slides, I actually have to desaturate some scans the colors on the slides are so rich. Right time, right place, right filters = Galen Rowell = sweetness. The aesthetic type of photography is of course subjective, but the physics/limitations of 'in camera' is science and IS manipulation and does have huge limits on capturing 'reality'. I find 'in camera only' shots to be my least realistic because of these limitations.

But that said... it's all good! :nod:
It's all about the WILDERNESS!!!

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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Windwalker » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:34 pm

The human eye is a wonderful creation....the camera never captures all that we see.
Nicely said Buck! :thumbsup:
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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Buck Forester » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:40 am

Image

Here's an example of a magic hour shot that would be impossible to capture in camera if you just pointed your camera and clicked. This is in Granite Park up the Pine Creek drainage, between Honeymoon Lake and Italy Pass.

If you exposed for the sunlit peaks, those would be fine but the foreground would turn nearly black and the photo would be useless. If you exposed for the foreground then the mountains would be blown out, probably completely white if you could even see them at all. A toss away shot. The difference in lighting is way beyond what a digital sensor or frame of film could capture accurately.

I had to use a 3-stop hard GND filter over my lens (Singh-Ray / Galen Rowell), putting the 3 stops of dark area over the bright peaks to keep them from blowing out, while still allowing for a properly exposed foreground. This is more like what my eyes saw at the time, what I experienced, rather than a blown-out toss-away in-camera image. I don't know Photoshop very well (this image was shot on film), but there are bracketing techniques you can use to properly expose each element in the composition without changing the composition, and then layering them in Photoshop to get a properly exposed image. The results are the same as a physical GND filter (sometimes better), and one of these days I'd like to learn how to do it, but I'm set in my ways, ha! Galen Rowell once wrote about the day when a camera will be able to take multiple exposures and combine each exposure in camera, resulting in a properly exposed photo. If it more honestly represents what the eye sees, then that's a good thing IMHO.

One of these days we'll have cameras where each pixel (millions of them on the chip) can individually properly expose a scene, resulting in near perfect exposures. In camera. One shot. We can do close to the same now, but it takes filters and/or tweaking in Photoshop to make up for the limitations of the sensor/film. I would think a 'purist' would want to make sure they captured the beauty of the wilderness as they saw it, and not so concerned about what came out of their preset cameras where some guys in the chip factory determined image parameters. That said, we do see a lot of over-processed images in post (artists rendition, nothing 'wrong' with that though, and it's easy to spot), but that is not the fault of Photoshop or filters and is not (to me) a logical argument for "in camera only" renditions of images.

I came late to the party so I apologize, ha! But I am cleaning up on all the leftover pizza and m&m's. Gracias.
It's all about the WILDERNESS!!!

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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby Buck Forester » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:10 pm

Image

Arrow Peak over Bench Lake. (didn't know how to resize it)


Image

Night kayaking, Mono Lake.

Ha! In good fun, here's a couple 'badly manipulated' Photoshop images! :D They're real photos but they had blown-out skies so I just added black to the sky, and white dot stars. Don't be fooled by these highly skilled PSed images! ha ha!
Last edited by Buck Forester on Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's all about the WILDERNESS!!!

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Re: **Photo Contest Discussion (all discussion here)

Postby mountaineer » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:55 pm

Hey Buck. That bottom photo was in NG Adventure magazine, wasn't it?(The daylight version that is.:))

What is funny is what you think your best shot is nobody notices. And what you think might not be a good image people drool over. Harper Collins publishers in NY contacted me and they want to purchase one of my photos for an upcoming book cover...the photo they chose was not nearly one of my best, but it grabbed their eye so who am I to argue?
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