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Author Topic: Wrong Photography Ethics?  (Read 34848 times)

sanj

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #165 on: May 21, 2013, 06:06:06 AM »
This is an interesting article from Bryan Peterson on this issue. Thought I'd share

http://bryanfpeterson.blogspot.in/2010/06/every-photograph-is-lie-yet-within-that.html


He says: "Personally, I have NO problem with any image that has been dramatically altered, as long as it is 'believable' OR so obviously altered that it's not even a question e.g. fantasy, dream-like photographs. I don't mind the 'lie' that is created from a dramatically altered image, since I have felt for years that every photograph is a 'lie' anyway, but my problem with the dramatically altered 'lie' is that it can lead one to believe that a given landscape or cityscape really does "look like that" when, as it turns out, there is no such place on earth."

Thanks for the share! In my photo, such clouds do exist in that part of the world.

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #165 on: May 21, 2013, 06:06:06 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #166 on: May 21, 2013, 07:19:18 AM »
Thanks for the share! In my photo, such clouds do exist in that part of the world.

What about the bushes you removed, are there bush-less areas up to the horizon so you could theoretically have gotten this shot around the corner at another time w/o editing? Aren't these cats often around bushes to get cover before attacking their prey?

These things decide if it's more of a "photo" to me than cleaning up distracting objects just for the sake of "a "clean" and perfect shot. I'm often unsure if I should "clean" up my own pictures in the background, it's really a hard decision if this alters it just a bit to avoid distraction or if it's already my personal "this doesn't feel right anymore" category.

Don Haines

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #167 on: May 21, 2013, 07:47:02 AM »
You have to look at the intent.

The aspect of altering photos that gets to me is when a photo is faked to be misleading. It can be done with or without photoshop.... like a news story about a car accident where children are hurt and someone throws a big stuffed animal into the scene to try to make it a tear-jerker.

If the altered picture is so silly as to be unbelievable, I can accept that it is in good fun, but not the sneaky ones that attempt to deceive.

For example, big storm and flooding hits New York... Photos start to appear like the shark swimming in the subway and on flooded streets.... those are attempts to deceive. The one of the Statue of Liberty hiding behind the pedestal as a huge wave crashes against it or the ones of Godzilla are obvious fakes with no intention to deceive.

If I took a moonlanding picture, added something to the image like a wire, and started to claim that it was proof that the moon landing was faked in a studio, that would be an attempt to deceive..... while Lucky the cat in the picture is obviously not.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 08:05:14 AM by Don Haines »
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sanj

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #168 on: May 21, 2013, 08:45:28 AM »

It's when you start adding elements not in the original capture, It's no longer photography.

I could not agree more, adding to the image changes it to photographic art; however, subtracting (the corner of a building, a flying bird, contrails, et cetera) is perfectly acceptable.  Obviously anything you can do it a wet darkroom, you can 'legally' do the same in photoshop.

Sir if you are serious, I do not understand your logic. Regards.

dstppy

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #169 on: May 21, 2013, 09:38:24 AM »
You have to look at the intent.

The aspect of altering photos that gets to me is when a photo is faked to be misleading. It can be done with or without photoshop.... like a news story about a car accident where children are hurt and someone throws a big stuffed animal into the scene to try to make it a tear-jerker.

If the altered picture is so silly as to be unbelievable, I can accept that it is in good fun, but not the sneaky ones that attempt to deceive.

For example, big storm and flooding hits New York... Photos start to appear like the shark swimming in the subway and on flooded streets.... those are attempts to deceive. The one of the Statue of Liberty hiding behind the pedestal as a huge wave crashes against it or the ones of Godzilla are obvious fakes with no intention to deceive.

If I took a moonlanding picture, added something to the image like a wire, and started to claim that it was proof that the moon landing was faked in a studio, that would be an attempt to deceive..... while Lucky the cat in the picture is obviously not.

Darned straight it's unbelievable.  That's obviously a sound-stage at Area 51.

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awinphoto

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #170 on: May 21, 2013, 10:07:51 AM »
yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image?  For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself...  I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)
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CarlTN

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #171 on: May 21, 2013, 10:36:28 AM »
yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image?  For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself...  I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)

Disagree, I think both pixel peeping and photo ethics are perfectly valid subjects to discuss on a photography forum, even a rumors forum (since there are sections meant to discuss things other than rumors).  12 pages is nothing on here, some of the threads go to what, 30 or more pages?

I do agree that worrying about whether an image has been altered or not, can be more of a trivial waste of time, in this day and age. 

However, I also agree with Don Haines, because pictures with an intent to deceive, could very likely be done by some of the same sort of people who would use the IRS to gain political power, or perhaps even to begin "cleansing" a certain group of people...and I don't mean with soap!  "The end justifies the means..."

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #171 on: May 21, 2013, 10:36:28 AM »

agierke

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #172 on: May 21, 2013, 11:05:00 AM »
Quote
yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image?  For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself...  I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)

i agree completely with this notion, as i tried to state before. i understand people who have not considered this topic before trying to hash out their position on this but it has been a longstanding discussion in photography going back to the late 1800's.

the fact is that photography is incapable of depicting "truth". it can only depict a singular viewpoint and "manipulation" begins the moment a photographer looks through the viewfinder and "chooses" what will be shown in the frame and what will not be shown in the frame. nevermind any post that occurs after the fact.

it brings to mind the images that came out of the aftermath of Katrina, in particular there was an instance where news outlets ran a photo of a white family "scavenging" for supplies while an almost identical photo of a black family doing the same thing had headlines attached stating they were "looting". truth in photography is a myth. it is simply a means of communicating an idea, story, or feeling and in the end it falls upon the viewer to determine what truths a photograph holds for them.

so if you want to subscribe to contrived notions of what makes a photograph real or true or whatever...you are welcome to it. i personally don't want to limit my own ability to tell a story how i want to tell it by applying a set of rules that don't make a whole lot of sense considering that manipulation has been inherent throughout the history of photography since its inception.

oh, an National Geographic is far from being the standard bearer for for what "real" photography is. on the contrary, it is a very narrow slice of what photography is and can be.
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CarlTN

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #173 on: May 21, 2013, 11:09:18 AM »
Quote
yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image?  For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself...  I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)

i agree completely with this notion, as i tried to state before. i understand people who have not considered this topic before trying to hash out their position on this but it has been a longstanding discussion in photography going back to the late 1800's.

the fact is that photography is incapable of depicting "truth". it can only depict a singular viewpoint and "manipulation" begins the moment a photographer looks through the viewfinder and "chooses" what will be shown in the frame and what will not be shown in the frame. nevermind any post that occurs after the fact.

it brings to mind the images that came out of the aftermath of Katrina, in particular there was an instance where news outlets ran a photo of a white family "scavenging" for supplies while an almost identical photo of a black family doing the same thing had headlines attached stating they were "looting". truth in photography is a myth. it is simply a means of communicating an idea, story, or feeling and in the end it falls upon the viewer to determine what truths a photograph holds for them.

so if you want to subscribe to contrived notions of what makes a photograph real or true or whatever...you are welcome to it. i personally don't want to limit my own ability to tell a story how i want to tell it by applying a set of rules that don't make a whole lot of sense considering that manipulation has been inherent throughout the history of photography since its inception.

oh, an National Geographic is far from being the standard bearer for for what "real" photography is. on the contrary, it is a very narrow slice of what photography is and can be.

What is "truth"?  If you can answer that, then what is the meaning of life?

Sporgon

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #174 on: May 21, 2013, 11:21:48 AM »
Quote
yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image?  For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself...  I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)

i agree completely with this notion, as i tried to state before. i understand people who have not considered this topic before trying to hash out their position on this but it has been a longstanding discussion in photography going back to the late 1800's.

the fact is that photography is incapable of depicting "truth". it can only depict a singular viewpoint and "manipulation" begins the moment a photographer looks through the viewfinder and "chooses" what will be shown in the frame and what will not be shown in the frame. nevermind any post that occurs after the fact.

it brings to mind the images that came out of the aftermath of Katrina, in particular there was an instance where news outlets ran a photo of a white family "scavenging" for supplies while an almost identical photo of a black family doing the same thing had headlines attached stating they were "looting". truth in photography is a myth. it is simply a means of communicating an idea, story, or feeling and in the end it falls upon the viewer to determine what truths a photograph holds for them.

so if you want to subscribe to contrived notions of what makes a photograph real or true or whatever...you are welcome to it. i personally don't want to limit my own ability to tell a story how i want to tell it by applying a set of rules that don't make a whole lot of sense considering that manipulation has been inherent throughout the history of photography since its inception.

oh, an National Geographic is far from being the standard bearer for for what "real" photography is. on the contrary, it is a very narrow slice of what photography is and can be.

What is "truth"?  If you can answer that, then what is the meaning of life?


We've been here before Carl - The answer's 42  ;D

CarlTN

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #175 on: May 21, 2013, 11:32:15 AM »
Haha, good one, I forget which movie that is from...Monty Python's "meaning of life" I assume?

So, the meaning of life...is Jackie Robinson?  Ok :P

Marsu42

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #176 on: May 21, 2013, 11:52:14 AM »
Disagree, I think both pixel peeping and photo ethics are perfectly valid subjects to discuss on a photography forum

+1 ... I cannot get my head around it that people read a thread they're not interested in, this one or technical "pixel peeping" and waste their time even more commenting how useless and boring it is and that they couldn't care less.

or perhaps even to begin "cleansing" a certain group of people...and I don't mean with soap!  "The end justifies the means..."

Personally I find a discussion about this informative and wouldn't subscribe to a relativistic and "there are no ethics" point of view - the latter has prominent protagonists in history who thought that reality is what you make it :-)

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #177 on: May 21, 2013, 12:00:16 PM »



Those who are capable of making awesome changes/modifications will continue to do so while those who are incapable will continue to crib that it is unethical.


Bingo.

Blanket statements like "compositing is not photography" don't hold up in all cases. HDR photos are composites of several shots. Are they not photography, simply because they were combined after the fact? You could have achieved the same thing if you used a grad-ND filter, so does using a filter mean the photo is 'not photography'? What difference does it make if you did the composite before the click or after?

Also, compositing doesn't always mean introducing something that wasn't there. The photo below is 3 different exposures, composited together in Photoshop. Point to the element that wasn't actually there.




Loving this topic, it's one of those topics I try real hard to read everything before replying, but, well, I guess I am breaking that rule..

As shown here - HDR - is it still photography?  Others say that even just a composite isn't photography.  If this set of bracketed images where taken as layers in photoshop and manually combined - is it less or more of a 'photograph' than the hdr?  ANd yes, as pointed out below, this is pretty much the poor mans way of preserving dynamic range in the image because yes - you could create a very similar effect grad ND filters and polarizers..

Given the tools we have to push and pull images..when is the line crossed?  reading through this link that was brought up earlier - http://www.creativepro.com/content/scanning-around-gene-old-way-photo-retouching, a lot of what we're doing is really been there done that - new tools and tech make it easier, but I do remember back in the days of the darkroom - in my first photography classes in 1992 being instructed on how to take a print and use markers to add color (yes, the dreaded selective color!!!!). 

Getting it in camera ---yeah, its an awesome and amazing feeling - I love using external lighting to create images - I show my clients what things are looking like on the camera back and they say - that looks more like a painting.  But, sometimes like on a wedding you just don't have the time to set all that lighting up.  Your also not picking the time of day to shoot, and its generally in high sun, 2-5 PM, worst time of the day for shooting.  So you end up with a shot that has the people exposed right but the sky overblown.  I will often take a single image (depending of course on how overexposed the sky is), duplicate it, process one for sky and one for the people the people, then export to PS and merge/composite. 

We toss around these words - manipulation, graphic art, digital art, true photography...where is the line?  Unless we back track and make cameras that lock images so what you see at the time of exposure is what you get ---it's all manipulation.  So you used a grad filter in lightroom...it's still manipulating the image..  Like in the process above - duplicating then pushing one and pulling another -- it is something that can be done in camera, with the use of external tools (lights).  I'm attaching an unedited image here, showing a scene that uses external lighting to balance the sky and the people - camera exposing for wonderful sky, lighting for the people or they'd just be dark shadows, part of the landscape, not the subject.  what would happen here if I did not have those extra lights (or a reflector/multiple reflectors)?  You'd be stuck exposing for the family at the expense of the surrounding environment.  The only way around that is to be creative in post, or go the other way of shooting on a tripod, and using 2 images (one exposed for sky, one exposed for people) - or the quick and dirty way of pushing and pulling duplicate images and merging... selective brushing, digital grad filters, or snagging a purely landscape shot and using that sky ....or just sucking it up and saying bye bye sky!

this is only scratching the surface of this --- when you consider all that can be done in post...I'd say doing a composite to preserve the DR of a scene is a much more true photograph than one where you remove every facial blemish, remove the double chin, wrinkles gone....poof, you look 20 years younger...or wow, I just puppet warped you and now your 20 pounds lighter!  Where is the line?    I often struggle with this for portrait/wedding clients --where you want them to be beautiful, but, if you take it too far, yes they look wonderful but then you get people saying ---I didn't even realize that was you!

yes, landscape/.nature work is different than portrait/wedding work...I do both !  And you know what, one of my fav things to do is night time work, long exposures (I'd love to do day time ones, just don't have enough ND filters to slow things down enough) - and more times than not right out of camera the image is surreal.  With both of these kinds of shots (externally lit and long exposures) most assume it's all photoshop trickery. 

So again, where is that line in the sand? Is it as simple as ---if you can pull it off in lightroom it's real, but the moment it hits photoshop it isn't?  Oh wait, there's that spot removal tool in lightroom...

Really now, why do we shoot in RAW at all if we aren't going to push and pull our images?????  If a real photo is a non processed image - then why don't we all just shoot in jpeg and save our $$$ by not buying software, what comes out of the camera is real and that's that????
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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #177 on: May 21, 2013, 12:00:16 PM »

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #178 on: May 21, 2013, 12:08:13 PM »
As long as the photographer is not entering a competition and not breaking its rules, to me it doesn't matter what the photographer does with the image, it is his image, his vision  ...as far as I'm concerned he can remove/add whatever he wants. Those who are capable of making awesome changes/modifications will continue to do so while those who are incapable will continue to crib that it is unethical.

+10^99999

If I were to buy a print to hang on my wall, I would have chosen #2. Whoop-de-do, he played with the sky, but the essence of the shot remains the same.... three big wild cats. If you want to carry the logic through, people should not sharpen images, or color balance, or crop.... Even the act of pointing the camera or zooming in/out is to modify what is being represented.

Put things in perspective, it's not like Godzilla is walking along the skyline...It's a nice image. I like it.

LOL!!!!
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Chuck Alaimo

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #179 on: May 21, 2013, 12:14:03 PM »
If I bought that PHOTO from the OP I wouldn't care about the edit because looking at it everyday would better my mood.


I personally wouldn't buy a print like this, just not my thing...but...if it were, and the image drew my eye enough to want it, why would I care about what was done to it...whatever was done obviously just made me want it more, hence why I have it on the wall.  If I were that person and I found out after buying that the clouds were added in, would I really take it off the wall and burn it then send nasty letters to the artist?...  I wouldn't...but then again...what do I know - when this sells for 1.9 million...maybe none of us know anything...lol - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/nude-bea-arthur-painting-by-john-currin-sells-christies-auction_n_3284898.html?utm_hp_ref=arts
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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #179 on: May 21, 2013, 12:14:03 PM »