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Green with envy over your beautiful photos

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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby maverick » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:23 pm

Do you not think Ansel Adams would have embraced HDR, as many of the other darkroom
techniques available to us now, an artist uses every tool that is available to him, but
uses them within there own perceived boundaries.
As JD mention sometimes we go with what the client wants, I say sometimes because
there are times when some one will ask to see a print in color as opposed the the b&w
it was originally shown in, and I will rather loose the sale, than changing what my vision
was when producing that print, money isn't my always the driving force.
There are times where I will exaggerate colors for certain clients because that is what
they like/desire, but I honestly do not like doing it because I am changing my own artistic
vision for money, and feel guilty afterwards selling out my own artistic integrity.
Nice work MK, really like #1 and #2!
My second job, where I have worked for 15 years, the people are art collectors (glass
ceramics), board members of Pilchuck up your way, and part of there collection is in
the De Young.
They have some gorgeous pieces, but there other home in SF where all the glass is
located looks like a fantasy land.



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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby John Dittli » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:00 pm

Dave, congratulations on your purchase, I think you'll like it. I can't believe HDR is even an issue, though like Fish, I've never been happy with the results myself. Perhaps I need to try some of the newer software. I've pretty much found the latitude of the 5d wide enough to cover what I like to shoot (though it takes a lot of post processing!)

Mav, let me clarify "shooting for the client". There is fine art and there is comercial art. I would never change a fine art print to meet a customers wishes, unless I agreed with their critique.

Comercial shoots are a different animal. If the client wants a purple sky, I'll give it to them. What I won't do is go against my personal (and legal) land use ethics by say, putting a mountain biker in Evolution Valley, or a climber on Delicate Arch.

Again, the purple sky may be a sellout, but since I quit my "day job" years ago, the client gets what they want.

BTW Fish, I love that graph!
JD
Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby SSSdave » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:32 pm

fishmonger >>>""...No matter what the medium - what you see is NEVER what you get in photography..."

One needs to be careful with such statements because many use similar statements to argue that since perfect is impossible, anything goes. A fallacy of tossing out the baby with the bathwater. What one can get when a subject is within dynamic range of color neutral film or sensor is potentially close enough to what a human eye sees that most people would state that image results are reasonably close to what they experience. That is in sharp contrast to much of what comes from pros today that if ordinary people compared results to what they experience would call them significantly manipulated.

That is a prime reason why Kodak produced EPN100 so commercial product pros could reasonably match subject logo and product color without resorting to darkroom tricks. That is one factor as to why Fuji came out with Provia 100F and Astia along with the challenge to those who complained for years that earlier Velvia had poor fidelity. Not perfect but as good as their best scientists could perfect. That is why commercial pros use Xrite tools like EyeOne and Gretag-MacBeth targets to calibrate their high end digital cameras before they shoot product subjects. So even with digital SLRs today, one can get reasonably accurate results if they buy the tools and applications to do so and learn how to use them. Unfortunately 99% of serious digital landscape and nature photographers don't.

With film like Provia 100F I use, the transparency if exposed correctly provides a record one can use on a light box next to their computer while editing to match what actually occurred. So one does not have to use one's memory days later as with uncalibrated DSLRs. To get results that match closely is not too easy unless one has good Photoshop skills with the aps tools to do so. Not something one is going to be able to do by reading some book or taking some PS beginners course. Its easy to quickly tweak image files using saturation, contrast, and hue controls for results that appear aesthetic while difficult to end up with reasonably hue/saturation/luminance accurate print file that will result in a reasonably accurate print on say a Lightjet.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/david_philosophy1.html
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby GH-Dave » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:47 am

Hello SSSDave,

I read all three sections of your philosophy, and I appreciate the work you put into explaining your craft and philosophy behind it.

I'm wondering if I might summarize and put into my own words what I think you are saying. Basically, aren't you saying that with the increase in technology and the rise of the digital format it is inevitable that photos more and more will come under some kind of manipulation? And that there is not necessarily an ethical issue with it unless one attempts to pass these highly manipulated photos off as what the photographer saw in reality? In which case, the photographer should post some kind of general notice explaining that he or she does some post-processing? Right?

So, going back to my original post. I'm just a guy who wants to pick up after a long hiatus from backpacking and get back out into the wilderness to enjoy God's creation ... and incidentally to take some shots about which the folks back home will say, "Wow!" Back in the day, when I did quite a lot of backpacking, photography was not an interest at all. Mostly, others I went with brought cameras, and I went without. I regret that now because all I have is fading memories, but no photos of my trips to show my kids.

So, if I'm faced with a landscape shot that is beautiful to my eye, but challenging for the dynamic range of my camera and I come home and do a little HDRing on it to bring it up to what I thought I saw, then there shouldn't be any ethical issues with that -- no explanation necessary. However, if I push the HDR settings into the range of eye-candy, and it is obviously manipulated, then I might mention that when I show the photos to friends and relatives. Do I have it about right?

I appreciate the ethical considerations that you and others face as professionals, but I believe that people like me that are just out to take photos for fun have more latitude to get a little more "artsy" with it, and to enjoy using the wide range of tools that are available to us.

Dave
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby maverick » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:49 am

Hi GH-Dave

There are no written rules unless you submit your photo's to a magazine or a contest
that specifically let's you know there terms, and if client asks whether HDR was used
than of coarse you would answer truthfully, but most folks do not know what HDR
is, or what a photoshop action is, they are just interested in the photo itself and
not how it was processed.
Many people with old school thinking, or folks who want to continue with certain
practices denounce HDR, and other manipulations, as not being really to the eye
or cheating.
Adams, Rowell for example used processes that manipulated there photo's like
dodging and burning, or using Velvia to get vivid unrealistic colors.
The whole unwritten rule thing is very subjective, and again, if you are about
profit than you embrace the newest technology, especially if helps sales, and is a
look clients like!
I personally tried HDR for a while but have back down a little since it does give
an over cooked looked if not used correctly, but in the right hands is can look
very natural, I prefer the Fusion process from Photomax Pro, which just combines
the photo's like you would in photoshop, an it does a good/realistic job.
The last thing you should do is allow any one person or group to stifle your artistic
expression because of there ridged views, guide lines or philosophy, go out and enjoy
yourself, and use what ever process you wish, and follow your own guide lines, that's
why we have chocolate and vanilla ice cream, to each his own!
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby fishmonger » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:58 pm

SSSdave wrote:fishmonger >>>""...No matter what the medium - what you see is NEVER what you get in photography..."

One needs to be careful with such statements ...

With film like Provia 100F I use, the transparency if exposed correctly provides a record one can use on a light box next to their computer while editing to match what actually occurred.



Not sure if we are on the same page or not, but I think I don't really want to limit myself to what "actually occurred."

Here's some Provia for you, scanned the way it looks on the light box, but trust me, this is NOT what it looked like to any of the 50,000 who were in attendance that day. In fact,This is not underexposed. It's just the right exposure for the light around 2pm on a sunny Ohio August day and the background was not black, but a line of backlit trees. This shows how poor slide film really is at capturing the dynamic range that's out there in front of you (and I loved that aspect of it):

Image

then sometimes it is all about showing what you can't see at all with your bare eyes, here brought to you courtesy of a high shutter speed and a 840mm focal length:

Image

You can record things only a camera can see - unedited, just scanned and contast adjusted from a 25asa C41 original (anyone remember that fantastic Ektar 25 film?):

Image

or you use a lens that gives you a perspective no human could experience without the camera optics, again no edit here, straight from the Provia original, and everything goes if you have the gear. Nowadays I would probably stitch this image and take 3 more to get the most extreme view

Image

And to round this out, here something only I saw, for a fraction of a second, no filters, no tricks, recorded straight from the slide, but about as different from what others next to me would have seen as it gets:

Image


Obviously, these are extreme examples and not really related to static landscapes, but the point is that what you record on film, even without any post processing, can be rather remote from what a human standing in the same location looking at the same scene would actually remember seeing. Photographic tools go way beyond what our eyes can perceive and I find it rather challenging to take photos in a way that's different from what you see, and, honestly, I have no problem with "anything goes" as you may be able to tell from the above examples. In fact, that's probably what I like most about photography. Taking straight images of what is in front of me is a "do I really have to?" job. Unless it is something inherently worth taking a picture of (Sierras), it usually asks to be infused with some creativity and technique to make the mundane more interesting. If I had been able to use modern digital techniques in those days I worked professionally, I know that I would have done so, because everyone you're competing with will use it, too. I see no reason to stop others from hacking their images to a level that's surreal, however, you have to have a good image to begin with to make it worth looking at.

Does it have to be "realistic?" I think that's a choice and there's a huge threshold beyond what a 50mm at f8 in a well lit scene can do to record something most would describe as very similar to what you see with your own eyes. Throw in some back lighting and you have to fill flash or mess with curves in photoshop to get something recorded that's close.

I suppose our philosophies are vastly different. I must have worked too long shooting the same subject over and over again, pushing the envelope of having something new, interesting and unique to show, rather than to drop off another roll of same old same old stuff. I also would not call myself a serious landscape photographer. I just bring the camera along to have some memories and I like to stretch the envelope of the tool. Right now I'm just dying to see what I an do with an infrared-converted camera body - in search for an even more surreal way of looking at the world around me.

And the quiz image of the day - straight from film or photoshopped? I guess you already know the answer. Sorry for all these non-Sierra images, but I felt they are the best way to illustrate my point.

Image
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby John Dittli » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:29 pm

Impressive Peter. And I thought shooting skiing was challenging!

JD

All shot on film btw
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby SSSdave » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:14 pm

GH-Dave wrote:Hello SSSDave,

I read all three sections of your philosophy, and I appreciate the work you put into explaining your craft and philosophy behind it.

I'm wondering if I might summarize and ...I believe that people like me that are just out to take photos for fun have more latitude to get a little more "artsy" with it, and to enjoy using the wide range of tools that are available to us.

Dave


Think we understand each other thankyou.

Fishmonger ought to read my pages also as his post doesn't reflect what he assumed about my own positions in his post. Such does reflect what some with narrow minded positions have always stated. The major issue I have is more serious photographers posting strongly manipulated material without any explanation as though what they present to their public audience was essentially what occurred and was so captured.
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby fishmonger » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:51 am

SSSdave wrote:Think we understand each other thankyou.

Fishmonger ought to read my pages also as his post doesn't reflect what he assumed about my own positions in his post. Such does reflect what some with narrow minded positions have always stated.


I'm quite happy to be part of the unwashed masses and do what I like without any philosophy other than pure curiosity what may come out of a particular technique. I don't try to educate nor do I lay claim on any particular ethical use of photographic tools. There are more important things to worry about than what people do with cameras. It's all toys and I play with them. Some people are way to serious about things that in the end are rather irrelevant in the bigger scheme of thigns.

Some people just have a gut feel for what makes a good photograph, while others need to publish a photographic manifesto to explain why all their photos look alike. :moon:
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby STRETCHMAN » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:44 am

Well stated fishmonger, SSSdave needs to get off of his "High Horse." :partyman:
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:58 pm

fishmonger in your previous post you certainly acted as though you were serious given your need to present a long explanation with images that I thought was misplaced as that obviously did not reflect more detailed explanations I linked to. You were the one that wrote in big capital letters "NEVER" that I thought was too broadly posed, that you admittedly then picked out some extreme cases in the next post as substantiation. If that was the case you should have indicated you really meant "sometimes". Had that been in what you wrote, I would not have responded.

You further stated "Does it have to be "realistic?" that implied I was taking such a position somewhere. It is true that there are many debating the issue that take that position so I felt a need to distance myself in case that was what you were assuming. I clearly state in the link and have done so for years on many forums that I don't have any issue with those that enhance/manipulate images as long as they are honest with their public audience. Not a style I personally have interest in considering such art photography much like graphic artists produce for commercial advertisements. That is what I was referring to that you obviously didn't go to my link to read. Instead you presented a bunch of examples why you think capturing images with fidelity is flawed.

There have always been some photographers that embrace image manipulations that seem to dislike those who take the position that nature can be reasonably captured so are quick to argue about how such is impossible just as you did. As though it somehow makes their own style less legitimate so they feel a need to eliminate the possibility of reasonably accurate styles.

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http://www.davidsenesac.com/david_philosophy1.html
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Re: Green with envy over your beautiful photos

Postby rlown » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:41 pm

so.. here's a challenge.. show us the raw and then the retouched photo..

There is obviously some great art in the photography here, let alone being in challenging places to take certain pics..
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