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Thread: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Gawd...are people so anal retentive now that u can't enjoy a hobby as a hobby??

    Who cares if using post-processing, analog or digital means, makes a photo less pure? Last I checked, it was not illegal in national laws.

    Go out, shoot your photo, go home, post-process it to hell, or not...nobody cares. U only answer to yourself and nobody else.

    Anal rententive photogs rank up there with equipment whores and pixel counters...

  2. #22
    Moderator Clown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    personally i'm going with a quote from ansel adams:

    "No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit. "
    sigh.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClipperSG View Post
    Gawd...are people so anal retentive now ...
    Seemingly there are still plenty of such people, especially "photography" competition organisers.

    Anything from the darkroom is OK but touch Photoshop and you immediately disqualify yourself.

    Lets do a mental experiment: If you are "photography" competition organiser, what would you deem as "photographs" and what is not?

    For example you can "define" photographs as anything that came from a camera.

    Well then if i use multiple images from some camera - mine or otherwise, taken by me or conceptualised and planned by me, but I never touched the shutter trigger - and collaged them into some composition, will it be accepted for the competition?

    Perhaps it ought to be, since that is what photographs and digital imagery have come to be.

    And then again perhaps not, in the spirit of "traditional" photography - not in the sense of restricting a photo just to something "straight out of cam, blah, blah, blah" - but of the essence of photography in freezing a moment of reality in time for all times, in contrast to say a video or a painting. The former is time, motion and sound, and the latter can be entirely imaginary and impressionistic.

    So we can "define" photography to be frozen reality - something not imagined and something of time and in time but static and timeless. You can do anything - photoshop, collage, clone here and there, but as long as this essence is captured, it is a photograph.

    But what is "reality" or more accurately "potential reality"? Perhaps something that existed or could have existed in the "real" world.

    What do you guys say?

  4. #24
    Senior Member velasco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    Seemingly there are still plenty of such people, especially "photography" competition organisers.

    Anything from the darkroom is OK but touch Photoshop and you immediately disqualify yourself.

    Lets do a mental experiment: If you are "photography" competition organiser, what would you deem as "photographs" and what is not?

    For example you can "define" photographs as anything that came from a camera.

    Well then if i use multiple images from some camera - mine or otherwise, taken by me or conceptualised and planned by me, but I never touched the shutter trigger - and collaged them into some composition, will it be accepted for the competition?

    Perhaps it ought to be, since that is what photographs and digital imagery have come to be.

    And then again perhaps not, in the spirit of "traditional" photography - not in the sense of restricting a photo just to something "straight out of cam, blah, blah, blah" - but of the essence of photography in freezing a moment of reality in time for all times, in contrast to say a video or a painting. The former is time, motion and sound, and the latter can be entirely imaginary and impressionistic.

    So we can "define" photography to be frozen reality - something not imagined and something of time and in time but static and timeless. You can do anything - photoshop, collage, clone here and there, but as long as this essence is captured, it is a photograph.

    But what is "reality" or more accurately "potential reality"? Perhaps something that existed or could have existed in the "real" world.

    What do you guys say?
    WORD.

    that's what i meant.thank you for shedding some light. yesh people come pour your views.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    What about manipulation like making the person look slim when she is actually fat?

    80Kg becomes 40Kg type of photoshopping?

  6. #26

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Makes me think about an article i read a year back:

    Technology is legislation

    In essence - you cannot stop nor moderate Change fast enough.

    You have to think 3 steps ahead and implement 2 steps ahead.

    In photography, technology has bred skills in manipulation at a speed that no one can hope to catch up. What we are talking about here is trying to Control that. The simple fact is, you cannot. We are fighting a losing battle. We need to think differently on a macro (helicopter-view) perspective. this includes alot of other factors (social/economic) that may have (seemingly) nothing to do with photography itself.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Allow me to chip in my 2 cents.

    I believe Michael, Kit, Espion and the rest of the guys have answered your question pretty clearly.

    If I'm not mistaken one underlying issue here can be found in several of your questions, which are as follows:

    • "Whether it is a dishonest act (quoting from one Flickr user who commented on my photo) since the rawness of the picture is no longer retainable."
    • "well in that case, there are alot of dishonest people out there. In sites like deviantart where categorization is mandatory, most heavily-photoshopped works are still channeled in the Photography sections and it is accepted."
    • "Is there still sentiment from others like " this guy is not even great had he not have Photoshop to help him out" that kinda thing. "
    • "This bothers me since there are still people going around saying how a photo being recognized is not worthy as manipulations have been carried out in the process to make it outstanding."

    Basically, your concern is that some people are saying that some photographers are dishonest because they edit their pictures. Should it bother you? You shouldn't.

    Who are these people really? Is it really us or them? Most non-photographers that I meet don't really care if we over saturate the picture or dodge or burn this or that or liquefy that bulging tummy to make her look sexier. She'll even give you a kiss if you make her look better and frame your picture on her wall! And... who couldn't use a kiss from a very attractive lady?

    Most people who call others dishonest are the so called "purist" or the ignorant. The purist are merely "recorders" of the scene. They are simply "photographers", not artist (note the quotes.) Ignorant people are those who think pictures can be made solely through a camera. They didn't know that a picture is not made by a camera and there's a huge difference between a good photo and a good picture.

    If it's the photographer's intention to please everybody he'll surely be disappointed. I'd go with Ansel's quote anytime in Clown's post. Ken Rockwell makes awesome pictures and yet some people in some forums call him an idiot.

    Even with high-end film or digital cameras, photos need to be pre- and post-processed as Kit explained. The "lines" are drawn according to the standard of the organization who use the photo such as photo.net as posted by Michael. Newspapers and many magazines require photographers to submit their photos unedited and they decide what to do with them later. Even with his pictures the photojournalist already employ his creative skills in the way he projects his subject(s). Check this website from the world renowned photographer Karl Grobl for an example. For many other requirements, people "enhance" their photos for competition purposes or for the general consumption.

    Do note however that if a person uses a photo to mislead others into something else for his/her sole benefit then that has nothing to do with photography. The keyword is mislead and that translates to dishonesty for if the rule (as in news reporting) is that you present the image as it is and you broke it then what else do you call it? Stupidity? Could be. Greed? Possible. Cheat? Time and again, we've seen some photojournalists and others fall into that temptation.

    For the rest of us, what rule(s) do we really have?

    We don't draw the line unless we're bound. We're "photographic" artists and it's our motto, at least mine, to cross every line to come up with the most pleasing, unique and creative picture.
    Last edited by gpjuson; 7th August 2008 at 11:56 AM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    Seemingly there are still plenty of such people, especially "photography" competition organisers.
    Amen to that..and might I add CS also has its share of anal retentive photogs.

    Looking at some of the comments they leave on photos posted in the general forums (not the Critique Corner), they think of themselves as some photo demi-gods or such who lay down the rules of how a photo should be shot. To that I say BS.

    Everyone of us looks at a particular scene with very different thoughts. Some want to capture the emotion, some want to capture it in a reporting style, others want to soften the scene, some rely on post-processing to bring out the contrast and subject...its endless.

    So when someone says "The composition is wrong" or "The focus should be on the subject"...I say "You suck your eggs your way, I suck mine my way."

    I have never bothered with the so-called "elitists" and I don't intend to. Their views are just personal opinions, that's all. Its just because they can make it as a pro, they think that their words carry weight. Well not to me, Bud...

    What defines a composition..some stupid Rule of Thirds?? If everybody follows it religiously, you can imagine the mass-produced syndrome of every photo looking the same. Then when someone doesn't follow the Rule of Thirds, suddenly we say that he/she is very creative.

    Well, sure he does..because he's not stupid like the rest to stick to an arbitrary "concept" defined by some pro, whom the rest of the population doesn't even know. So after seeing thousands of "Rule of Thirds" robotic-like photos, here comes someone that says "Screw It!" and its like a breath of fresh air in his photos.

    I took part in last year's Canon Photo Marathon..which was my first photography contest..and I only have this to say "BS walks and Money talks". Go figure.

    So to those that take for the pleasure of photography, don't tread down the path of being a slave to your equipment, don't micro-count your dots, and most important of all, as long as you are happy..keep doing it.

    The moment you get stressed or lose sleep over it...walk away. Life's too short..Enjoy it.

  9. #29
    Senior Member velasco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    My teacher once said " There is no right or wrong answer in Literature"

    And followed that religiously and what I got was an experience so rich and vibrant with all the detours in my imagination and creativity.

    I hope photography will soon be in the same thought and logic. Simply aesthetic, thats how I like to look at it.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by velasco View Post
    My teacher once said " There is no right or wrong answer in Literature"

    And followed that religiously and what I got was an experience so rich and vibrant with all the detours in my imagination and creativity.

    I hope photography will soon be in the same thought and logic. Simply aesthetic, thats how I like to look at it.
    Let me correct u on that...photography was born in that thought and logic.

    Its anal retentive clowns that have destroyed it with their crap to the point that people take it as the de-facto situation.

    So you don't have to hope for it...just ignore the crappers, and you will discover the full joy of photography as it was conceived.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Why do we even care so much?

    For me, I downgraded from $20k plus of equipment and top processing softwares to a Pns and printing directly from an inkjet printer.

    The results satisfy me, and I enjoy it. Think thats all it matters. Now, what does it take to satisfy you?

  12. #32

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Button Mushroom View Post
    Why do we even care so much?

    For me, I downgraded from $20k plus of equipment and top processing softwares to a Pns and printing directly from an inkjet printer.

    The results satisfy me, and I enjoy it. Think thats all it matters. Now, what does it take to satisfy you?
    Your next mission is to package your experience, and sell it to the thousands of lost sheep photogs in the forum, who have been misled by the voices of stupidity...

  13. #33

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    There may not be right or wrong but there still remains aesthetics, and there still remains good and bad ...

    And rules are a summary of the general case, but they are not "it".

    For example the rule of thirds: it is a summary of a pleasing balance of elements. Now what's "it" is balance, and people - or even machines - applying the rule may get "it", knowingly or unknowingly of the concept of balance.

    But if you know - or can see/sense intuitively or otherwise - what a pleasing balance is then you have no need for the rule of thirds.

    However if you are to say there is no need even for balance in a picture/photo, then that is questioning the very notion of aesthetics itself, and is a different matter from rules altogether.

    Ultimately for me there is some aesthetic reference/standard against which a thing can be judged good or bad. And my reason for believing so is that it is ultimately a human thing, as we all bleed when cut, feel pain and love, etc in the same ways. So the same with beauty: all humans response to it similarly.

    And doing away with aesthetics is not necessary the same as presenting and discovering beauty or truth - and to me these two are the same - to be seen.

    And then sometimes money or prizes become the reference standards, ie what sells or what wins competition are deemed as good. And that is really the essence of prostitution.

    But then this is really way way OT.

    For the question here is not what is a good or bad photo, but what is a photo?

  14. #34

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    However if you are to say there is no need even for balance in a picture/photo, then that is questioning the very notion of aesthetics itself, and is a different matter from rules altogether.

    Ultimately for me there is some aesthetic reference/standard against which a thing can be judged good or bad. And my reason for believing so is that it is ultimately a human thing, as we all bleed when cut, feel pain and love, etc in the same ways. So the same with beauty: all humans response to it similarly.
    U hve your own definition of balance, in which u have all your aesthetics concepts to back it up..that's fine and I respect that.

    Just keep it on your side of the line and don't contaminate it on others by implying that its the only thing that matters in photos.

    U have expressed it very clearly by saying that ultimately that is what u based your photography on. However your reference or standards may not necessarily apply to the rest of us.

    If you take it and critique photos based on your own personal standards, then it smacks of high-handedness and arrogance. Personal standards are not a valid benchmark...and there will never be one in photography...because its not quantifiable.

    The problem with photography is that people seem to take delight in espousing one's personal standards as one everybody should follow or be guided by. This is what I'm against.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClipperSG View Post
    Personal standards are not a valid benchmark....
    Exactly.
    Last edited by espion; 7th August 2008 at 01:18 PM.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClipperSG View Post
    If you take it and critique photos based on your own personal standards, then it smacks of high-handedness and arrogance. ..
    Uh... not necessarily in some cases. It maybe just a case of someone scratching his ar$e and wondering if the photo could use a splash of paint, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClipperSG View Post
    The problem with photography is that people seem to take delight in espousing one's personal standards as one everybody should follow or be guided by. This is what I'm against.
    With all due respect, sounds like a personal standard to me as well, don't you think?

    In any case, standards or not, can't we just all agree that Mona Lisa looks fat?
    Last edited by gpjuson; 7th August 2008 at 01:39 PM.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by gpjuson View Post
    Uh... not necessarily in some cases. It maybe just a case of someone scratching his ar$e and wondering if the photo could use a splash of paint, no?



    With all due respect, sounds like a personal standard to me as well, don't you think?

    In any case, standards or not, can't we just all agree that Mona Lisa looks fat?
    Oh..I dun have standards..I won't dare to with the amount of "experts" in this forum.

    My is more of a principle, where I'm against people forcing their half-assed "standards". All I'm asking is for everybody to keep it on their side of the lines, and don't pollute this forum with them.

    So any discussion about whether is one up to standards will be met with a "that's crap" answer from me.

    And yes..she's fat..but that's my personal standards...
    Last edited by ClipperSG; 7th August 2008 at 02:01 PM.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClipperSG View Post
    Oh... I'm against people forcing their half-assed "standards". All I'm asking is for everybody to keep it on their side of the lines, and don't pollute this forum with them.

    So any discussion about whether is one up to standards will be met with a "that's crap" answer from me.

    And yes..she's fat..but that's my personal standards...
    Well it seems we are discussing with a unique person who is very firmed in insisting that he cannot tolerate the true meaning of standards in doing a task such as making a photograph.

    Also goes without saying that not having a standard would mean to him like having freely the entire ocean for him to venture.

    How wonderful if all people can live to learn or learn to live without having to conform to a certain living standards?

    And how wonderful when every person can make a photograph with or without a camera especially even without knowing the basics in what making a photograph means, demand or require?

    Admire his vivid foresightedness and visionary thinking.


  19. #39

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    I live my life without conforming to accepted standards. I see people following so called standards, and yet it makes them more miserable and stressed than before. I have no wish to accelerate my expiry date.

    I repeated my Os even though I was in Express stream, then enrolled in VITB when I couldn't enter anywhere. After I came out from NS, I said "Screw it", and entered headlong into an industry where papers count for next to nothing. After 15 years, I'm where I'm in the industry following my own path, which the industry doesn't even see it possible.

    My family is not subscribed to modern standards of raising kids. They can eat fast food anytime of the day, play any toys or computer games as long as they want to, are disciplined with a cane and brought up to approach life and the world with an open mind and curiosity. I don't view school grades as the be all and end all.

    I take the same path with all my hobbies too. I started with film 25 years ago and had a mini darkroom in the flat for self-processing. I do not believe in Kodak's "How to take photographs" book and I do not follow standards for film processing. I will take a camera and shoot to my heart's content on my own judgement and nobody's else.

    I took part in one photo competition, last year's Canon, and its going to be my first and last one in life. As espion mentioned earlier..I regard photography competition organisers as anal retentive. The world doesn't revolve around them.

    I believe we have to each blaze our own paths in our short time on Earth. At the end of the day, I answer to myself and nobody else. If anybody doesn't like it, I can only sat "C'est la vie"

    I wish more photogs would lighten up and enjoy the hobby for what it really is...a hobby.
    Last edited by ClipperSG; 7th August 2008 at 09:36 PM.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Enough is enough? Where to draw the line?

    ok, so your grandfather story.. means you want a cookie?

    just remember that everyone answers to themselves.. if you push your ideology of "lack of answering to anyone" to everyone else.. then it would be very sorely ironic indeed. food for thought for you. cheers.

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