View Poll Results: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation Before You Consider It Cheating??

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  • Adjusting Levels, Curves, Contrast, etc

    123 80.39%
  • Adjusting colour saturation

    110 71.90%
  • Digitally dodging/burning in selected areas

    78 50.98%
  • Adding elements to the picture (e.g. moon)

    40 26.14%
  • Removing elements from the picture (e.g. distrating lampposts, wires)

    67 43.79%
  • Creating out-of-the-world pics that bear no resemblance to real life (e.g. person holding a ball of fire)

    42 27.45%
  • Digitally "slimming down" your subject

    41 26.80%
  • Digitally Replacing/changing backgrounds (putting yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower digitally)

    36 23.53%
  • No digital manipulation is acceptable - it's cheating

    10 6.54%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

  1. #1
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    Default How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    before you consider it cheating?

    Regards
    CK

  2. #2
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    I think anything done digitally to match the original scene or transparency is acceptable to me. Removing or adding elements to an image will finally lead to a public doubt about the creditablily of an image. I would prefer to have a not so pleasant image, but my viewers trust that it is true and real.

  3. #3

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    Anything goes!

    You'll need both photography and technical (pshop) skills then.

  4. #4

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    I try not to. but with my fung-y lens...bo bian...had to adjust levels if not all soft.....geez.
    One-North Explorers
    | Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos |

  5. #5

    Default Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    Originally posted by ckiang
    before you consider it cheating?

    Regards
    CK
    I think it cheating!

  6. #6
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    I have had numerous and long debates in other overseas forum. It had been a long drawn discussion and there are basically 3 camp to the entire issue.

    First camp. They believe that film and digital are the same. Manipulation is acceptable at all levels and since it had been performed before in the film era, and hence is digital acceptable. There is no moral issues involved.

    Second camp. They believe that digital manipulation is cheating. It doesn't involve skills with photography but instead skills with the computer. Film era manipulation such as filters, multiple exposures and darkroom techniques are acceptable cos they constitute a certain element of photographic skills. Digital manipulation brought the cheating to another level which this camp didn't accept.

    Third camp (Incidentally, I was one of the advocate in this camp). They believe that both digital and film manipulation is acceptable but question the morality of it. If an image had been manipulated with age-old techniques such as cropping, dodging and burning and using of filters and color saturation, it is acceptable. However, digital manipulation such as changing the realism of the image is also acceptable. More importantly, it is to report a blow-by-blow account of what had been done. Not to hide the truth and try to pass it off as a "real" photographic image. To report it allows for both artistic and realistic writing of light. If someone perceives photography as an art, so be it. But don't deny manipulating it digitally. Be truthful about it instead of being ashamed of it. For those who perceive it as a truism, so be it.

    [Edited to remove a "a"...grammatical error]

  7. #7
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    Default

    Wow! I ticked every single box except cheating...

  8. #8
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    For me, anthing goes as long as the owner declares what has been done.

    If no declaration, then my limit is is set to cropping, histogram, colour correction and USM. Softening is OK also, and is often obvious without the need to declare.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  9. #9
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    For me it's a borderline issue where photography stops and graphic art takes over.

    In a purely traditional sense for me the following are acceptable:

    Colour Matching and varying colour
    USM
    Levels Adjustment
    Cropping
    Dodging / Burning

    While the following come more under 'artistic photography' as these techniques have been used and are well established in the conventional film industry:

    Airbrushing colour on to B/W images
    Masking and adding items (moon, ghosts etc).
    Sandwiching images
    Simulation of accepted print materials and tones, eg: cloth, and other specialist print media, selenium toning, sepia etc.

    However items that to my mind at least transcend photography and move in to the realm of graphic arts include:

    Limb thinning and body sculpting.
    Blemish removal
    Image manipulation calculated to deceive the viewer (eg. The addition/removal of people, backgrounds and objects)
    Wholesale image manipulation.

    Furthermore I believe strongly that any manipulation above leveling and USM should be reported to the viewer, so they can make up their own mind if the shot really is a good example of camera craft, or an indicator of how good the person is at digital manipulation.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  10. #10

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    its just evolution. i like digitizing pics but the "pros" will think its cheating, just as u the "pros" will be considered cheaters in the eyes of master painters. u gotta open ur mind to evolution. period!

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by naresh666
    its just evolution. i like digitizing pics but the "pros" will think its cheating, just as u the "pros" will be considered cheaters in the eyes of master painters. u gotta open ur mind to evolution. period!
    Now can we have this again in a form that is intelligible?
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  12. #12

    Default

    ok i shall try..

    i do not consider digital manipulation cheating. Because i feels its just evolution. One more step for mankind ( in our case , ppl who capture the moment.). Manipulation with the computer , i feel is not different then wat a photographer does in the darkroom. Dodging , burning , sandwitching and so on. If the "hardcore" film to print only ppl think that digital is cheating , then the "pros" will be considered cheaters in the eyes of master painters as well. Calling this cheating is not opening ur mind to evolution. Then would you ppl who call digital manipulation cheating , consider Jerry N. Uelsmann a cheater. I do agree that he did wat he did to give his pictures a surrealist effect. and he did not try to pass of scenery with objects edited as original. So this wat i am saying , its just evolution. i read here in the forums when a guy said he would rather show a not so nice pic and be proud that its original then to manipulate to make it look good, no offence to that guy in particular but i just am tired of this " since i do not know how to do it i shall diss it " attitude. Man... ulimately u wanna have a pic that looks good. I bet u every last cent that if u show a regular person a photo thats its a little crappy but not manipulated and another photo thats nicer but got the levels . contrast or brigthness adjusted or maybe a dog or litter removed and in whole looks better, the audience will appreacite the "touched up" pic and does not give a $h!t if ur picture is untouched . so PERIOD. ITs evoulution! either u accept it or STFU coz its gonna trample over ur stoneage ass
    Last edited by naresh666; 22nd February 2003 at 04:11 AM.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by naresh666
    ITs evoulution! either u accept it or STFU coz its gonna trample over ur stoneage ass
    It's one thing to produce surrealist images using digital manipulation a point which really belongs in the realm of graphic arts anyway with the photograph (or digital image) being merely the chosen medium of expression, against for example the use of paint, charcoal or other materials.

    However the point people are trying to make and the one you seem to be missing is that while such artwork as Ulesmann et al is fine, be it conventional or digitally manipulated the wanton manipulation of an image to create a misleading representation of an actual event or person is morally and ethically objectionable and as such should be fully disclosed.

    Classic examples of such manipulation in the traditional sense (ie film/paper) occured during the Cold war era where both the USSR and China had official policies whereby people who were made 'non persons' ie: officially ceased to exist; were expunged from official photographs and records lest their "crimes" be remembered by the masses.

    In recent years there have been numerous cases where newspapers and magazines worldwide have similarly manipulated images to change the perception of truth as portrayed in the original image. However in most cases they have been found out and forced to issue apologies.

    On a day to day basis in fashion and womens magazines the world over wholesale digital manipulation occurs that the public are not aware of. Typical manipulation includes removal of minor photographic imperfections such as over exposured patches of skin and the removal of blemishes etc to the more ethically dubious practices of 'body sculpting' where thighs, buttocks and limbs are reshaped to suit the whim of the art director and advertiser. So why is this bad? A quick trawl round the net on subjects such as Annoreia Nervosa and Bulemia should suffice to produce sufficient anecdotal evidence as to why such practices should be curbed.

    Of a far more worrying nature is the digital manipulation of images by intelligence agencies and other governmental organisations and NGO's to hide deceptions or change public and political decisions. Such manipulation when done with skill is impossible to detect. Indeed I recall a discussion with a Kodak Digital Group Manager in the late 1980s where he admitted that the technology and techniques were already in place and being used by security forces to completely alter an image to the point where it could be used to deceive a judge or jury in a court case or to persuade a country to go to war etc.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  14. #14

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    Of a far more worrying nature is the digital manipulation of images by intelligence agencies and other governmental organisations and NGO's to hide deceptions or change public and political decisions. Such manipulation when done with skill is impossible to detect. Indeed I recall a discussion with a Kodak Digital Group Manager in the late 1980s where he admitted that the technology and techniques were already in place and being used by security forces to completely alter an image to the point where it could be used to deceive a judge or jury in a court case or to persuade a country to go to war etc.

    heard of this too. scary eh.?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    Originally posted by scanner
    I think it cheating!
    me too. I belong to the second camp then.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    Digital manipulation is an extension of what the photographer is trying to express. I believe a photograhper has the right of freedom of expression, and that covers both pre and post processing.

    If the photographer may increase/decrease exposure to illustrate an effect, why cant it be done in post processing? The arguement that digital manipulation is not photographic skill, then I can take the arguement that dark room skills is not photographic skills. The two are definately related, as is digital manipulation/PS skill related to photographic skills.
    deadpoet
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    Just simply cant accept "adding / remove " elements to the photographs if i will like to look at it in a photography point . I would still prefer those flim matter like what u shoot is what u get kind of flow but the fact is 98% or most of us is not gd enough or we just need to make use of the little bits of PS to make our works better alot .

    Otherwise adding and removing or creating out of this world stuff will most likely make the editor of the image looks a graphic designer more then a photographer .

  18. #18

    Default Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    v far....as long as it works visually hahaha

  19. #19

    Default Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    hmm.. then does the photo developer 'cheat' for us when they correct colour and exposure for the prints, whether it's digital or film??

    And have you all seen instructions scribbed on draft prints telling graphic designers what to do with an image before it appears on a magazine??

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How Far Can You Accept Digital Manipulation

    no restriction... I love digital manipulation...
    the only border for me are imagination, skill, and tools...

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