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Author Topic: Wrong Photography Ethics?  (Read 38589 times)

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2013, 06:34:13 PM »
Most of us are not forensic photographers who shoot crime scenes and dead bodies ... photography for me is a passionate hobby and an art form ... I'm no good at drawing or painting or sculpting  ... the closest I can hope to get to any decent art form is making images and manipulating them the way I like ... I am happy to manipulate and change images so they are pleasing and/or compelling to look at ... even if it mans adding a lighting bolt or removing an ugly wire or add an extra cheetah or make a fat person look a little slimmer (in fact I routinely use liquify tool to make people, with a big paunch, look a little slimmer) and as a photographer it gives me great joy to see people feel good about themselves when they look at the images I've manipulated ... I don't give a damn if the so called "purists" think it is unethical ... I thank God everyday that photography is my hobby and that it gives me a chance to look for beauty in the world around me and if I can't see it, I'll just manipulate that scene in photoshop, and I don't need to worry about being unethical coz I am not a forensic photographer shooting crime scenes and dead bodies.
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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2013, 06:34:13 PM »

Don Haines

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2013, 06:48:22 PM »
Most of us are not forensic photographers who shoot crime scenes and dead bodies ...

Funny you should mention that as an example of photo purity..... It's also a great example of extreme image manipulation...

I am not a forensic photographer, but I do take a number of inspection and verification photos. Sometimes it takes a lot of image manipulation to be able to see serial numbers and scratches in metal.... Highly doctored can be a good thing.....
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unfocused

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2013, 07:46:01 PM »
I believe even "photographers" in the film era would combine more attractive skies (with clouds) to enhance landscapes. No photoshop. It's still photography high and mighty people.

Well, as a matter of fact, 19th century photographers like Timothy O'Sullivan did combine clouds and foregrounds on prints made from glass plates. In part, because the plates were not able to capture the full spectrum of light, so to recreate the scene they had to merge images.

But, keep in mind that in the early days of photography, documentary ethics were not well-defined. Roger Fenton's famous image of cannonballs on the road in Crimea being a classic example. Remember that photography was viewed as a substitute for newspaper illustrators and, of course, artists took great liberties with scenes when they were drawing images for the press in the 19th century, so photographers thought little or nothing of recomposing a scene to make it more interesting. (For example, Alexander Gardner's "Rebel Sharpshooter" who was most likely moved to the spot where Gardner took the photo).

Of course, just because something was done in the past doesn't make it right and today, no respectable news photographer would dream of re-arranging a scene. It's a career ending move.

Still, we are not talking about news photos here. These are grey areas and one must determine what one is comfortable with. I think the only deadly sin would be to intentionally deceive. (See the discussion a year or so ago about the "art" photographer who claimed to have gotten a picture of the moon rising over the desert that was clearly debunked by dozens of people on this site and others)
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eml58

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2013, 07:58:02 PM »
Most of us are not forensic photographers who shoot crime scenes and dead bodies ... photography for me is a passionate hobby and an art form ... I'm no good at drawing or painting or sculpting  ... the closest I can hope to get to any decent art form is making images and manipulating them the way I like ... I am happy to manipulate and change images so they are pleasing and/or compelling to look at ... even if it mans adding a lighting bolt or removing an ugly wire or add an extra cheetah or make a fat person look a little slimmer (in fact I routinely use liquify tool to make people, with a big paunch, look a little slimmer) and as a photographer it gives me great joy to see people feel good about themselves when they look at the images I've manipulated ... I don't give a damn if the so called "purists" think it is unethical ... I thank God everyday that photography is my hobby and that it gives me a chance to look for beauty in the world around me and if I can't see it, I'll just manipulate that scene in photoshop, and I don't need to worry about being unethical coz I am not a forensic photographer shooting crime scenes and dead bodies.

Pretty well what I feel as well, well said.

Hi Sanj, the "African" Dilemma in June July, no Clouds. Photography to me is a form of Art, as mentioned above by 'Rienzphtoz', it gives some of us the opportunity to create something from what's around us, something hopefully that will give pleasure to others. Manipulation has pretty well always been part of Photography, the Wet Darkroom in todays digital world has simply been replaced with the likes of Photoshop, On One, Nik etc, every Photo I take goes into LR4 on to Photoshop and often into On One or Nik etc, I don't believe by doing this you are changing the Image to a degree where it is no longer the scene you originally Photographed by working elements within the original Image by developing the Image through Layers to a final Image, my view.

I do feel there is a difference though between Photography and Graphic Art, someone produced a Photo earlier of a chap with a Black Moustache, it's a good not to subtle view of the difference between the two, Photography/Graphic Art.

Essentially it's your Photo, you should NEVER feel poorly or confused about your own Photography, do with it what you will so long as the end product is first & foremost, what makes YOU feel good. I would offer only one caveat to that view, If your entering a competition you should offer up the fact that you have "added""subtracted" components into the Photograph (By this I don't mean removing sensor dust spots), then people will judge the Image on that Basis, not on the basis that the Image is anything else.

Personally I like the changed Cheetah Image, except for the lack of the Tree line, to me it looks more pleasing, but I still wish we could get lovely Cloud formations in Africa in June, unfortunately we need to go in December for the Clouds, and Africa in December is a bitch.

And Sanj, great choice of Thread for the morning, don't think I've seen a thread grow as fast as this for some time, and some insightful views from everyone.
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sanj

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2013, 09:11:21 PM »
Thank you everyone for taking time to comment. I learnt a lot.
Appreciate.

dilbert

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2013, 09:30:26 PM »
I found the sky boring and added clouds to make it more interesting.

Do you think this is cheating? I really want to know.

Am very confused. I have made changes but not altered nature. Have I done something wrong?

What is your goal?

To create a piece of art or to depict reality?

If you're creating art then adding clouds is fine.

If you're trying to depict reality then obviously no.

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2013, 09:40:19 PM »
Thank you everyone for taking time to comment. I learnt a lot.
Appreciate.
Hi Sanj, as always you bring something interesting to this forum. It made for an interesting discussion without too much polarization.

Pretty much all my photos goes into LR4 where I will work more or less with them depending on what I will use them for. I do some work for my children's school, for website, promotion material etc, then I shoot medium JPEG and only adjust some WB and little bit of exposure sometimes. I am now preparing for my first exhibition and of course for those I spend alot more time on each photo.

I am originally from Sweden. I think it was last year or so, a wildlife photographer won the wildlife photograph of the year or something, the subject was a lynx. There are plenty of them in Sweden, but you rarely see them. People started to question the picture and finally the guy came out and admitted that he had taken the picture of a lynx at a zoo and then pasted it into a regular winter landscape. I guess his career as a wildlife photographer came to an abrupt end.

Having said that, I think we are allowed to do whatever we want with our pictures as long as it's clear what we've done, depending on the purpose of the picture, art, documenting a scene, publishing etc.

Sometimes though, I just accept that the sky was white that day.

thanks
J

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2013, 09:40:19 PM »

Hobby Shooter

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2013, 09:42:17 PM »
On the other hand, one could have cropped it so that the cheetahs was down in the left corner watching an army of sasquatches fighting Nazi tanks.

kennephoto

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #68 on: May 09, 2013, 10:35:28 PM »
This is a pretty stupid topic. It's all opinions vs opinions. It's never going to go anywhere. To the OP I like your photo either way, heck put the trees back and add a thunderstorm enter it into a contest and win. Heck if the contest doesn't state you can't edit photos then go for it! Everyone else has access to the same tools as you do. People can take photos of cheetahs if they want to. What's the big deal? No one wants a boring photo, if that's what the OP saw but nature changed before he could get the photo then recreate to how it was in the minds eye. If I bought that PHOTO from the OP I wouldn't care about the edit because looking at it everyday would better my mood. Is the film negative the photo and everything after is a print or copy of the photo? This debate will be even worse 100 years from now, when photography will probably have evolved yet again. How about Instagram are those photos or digital art? Just enjoy life and take photos or whatever you want to call them! Print them share them sell them. Enjoy what you and others create and stop wasting time criticizing!
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This is a pretty stupid topic.
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Enjoy what you and others create and stop wasting time criticizing!
That was a bit critical, no?  :)  Seems like, "I like his image" would have been more apropos!


I did say I like his photo! And I truely do, ethics shouldn't apply to this. If that's what he wanted the photo to look like or how he saw it and he's got the ability to make it so then by all means do it.
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kennephoto

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #69 on: May 09, 2013, 10:41:56 PM »
On the other hand, one could have cropped it so that the cheetahs was down in the left corner watching an army of sasquatches fighting Nazi tanks.

And even then that's not extreme manipulation because I bet that can be done in a matter of minutes. It's just clouds, and the already existed in the photo why not change the clouds to fit the feel and complete the image. Bah humbug. Time to go look at photos for inspiration as I fall asleep. Oh and someone add the nazis tanks that would be fun to see them driving on the horizon.
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #70 on: May 10, 2013, 04:59:58 AM »
Most of us are not forensic photographers who shoot crime scenes and dead bodies ...

Funny you should mention that as an example of photo purity..... It's also a great example of extreme image manipulation...

I am not a forensic photographer, but I do take a number of inspection and verification photos. Sometimes it takes a lot of image manipulation to be able to see serial numbers and scratches in metal.... Highly doctored can be a good thing.....
Interesting point, I think I understand what you are saying... in fact I too photograph a lot of drill pipes and other equipment related to onshore/offshore drilling rigs which have serial numbers that are really hard to see (due to rust, wear & tear etc) and most of the time I have to mess with the exposure and contrast sliders to make those serial numbers visible in the final image (but for the last 1 year or so I've been using Matt Kloswkowski's HDR presets in lightroom for those kind of images ... it really works well for difficult to see serial numbers, with just 1 click on the preset) ... having said that, when I say "manipulation" I meant adding a new element/subject to the image which wasn't even there in the first place e.g. adding a lightning bolt, rainbow, tree, few extra clouds etc in PP, in fact I use green screen quite a bit for our rig models and composite them with images of the sea ... those images are used on our company brochure, newsletters, presentations etc ... whereas for a forensic photographer that would be a punishable crime, let alone unethical ... but as a hobbyist photographer, I would have no qualms in introducing a new subject (which wasn't in the original photo) into my post processed image.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 05:15:55 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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EchoLocation

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #71 on: May 10, 2013, 05:11:50 AM »
In my humble opinion (which is often wrong - not the humble part), unless you are taking photos to go into a newspaper or photos that are intended to prove a point (i.e. polar bears swimming and drowning in iceless water etc. - no need to debate the example I chose) there is no such thing as ethics.

Any line that anyone choses to stand on is simply aesthetics and preference.  There is no absolute.  Photography and art are supposed to be interpretations of reality.  Now, if you tell me your photo is pure reality and it isn’t that’d be cheating.  If you just ask me if I like it, the fact that it is a composite is not relevant.
I think this is a very logical argument. I don't particularly "like" the idea of images being photoshopped and changed beyond just lightroom style editing, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening constantly everywhere around us. In this day and age, I think we should all just expect editing and it is difficult to draw the line on what is acceptable and what isn't. Unless this is being used for some reason and besides just to entertain then I really don't see an issue with it at all
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Hobby Shooter

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #72 on: May 10, 2013, 06:20:34 AM »
Without hijacking your thread further, this week I visited one of the poorer provinces here in Cambodia. We stayed overnight at a friend's house, went for local BBQ, took some pictures and enjoyed ourselves. Out motorbiking we passed a house with a group of ladies hanging back not doing much. They had a small stand set up there where you could buy water, cigarettes and stuff. We bought some water and started talking to them, then took some photos. I didn't bother much about setup and all as it was a bit cramped there. However, we promised to get them some prints which I have now tended to so they are on their way to them and will arrive tmrw. OK, long story leading up to why I would have liked to have Photoshop, the picture below is of one of the children there, it's a very pleasant shot, she went after me to get several pictures taken of her. This was the best hadn't it been for her older sister or cousin just moving into the background wearing a red shirt. The background was all nice and green but this just ruined the picture. I did lower the red saturation in LR so it wouldn't be too visible, but still.

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #72 on: May 10, 2013, 06:20:34 AM »

jimjamesjimmy

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #73 on: May 10, 2013, 08:13:53 AM »
i was recently on safari and two american tourists were treating the locals like part of the trip. elephants.lions...african children. i found it very uncomfortable.  would you drive around your home town taking photos of young girls?  or the guy who works in the local shop?   i find the whole photography tourist thing very odd sometimes, and god knows what they think of us.

jimjamesjimmy

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2013, 08:19:10 AM »
to add to the original discussion, i went to a talk by one of the worlds top wildlife photogrpahers, and he has a famous photo of a polar bear close up. he disclosed it was actually a stuffed polar bear that was in storage in the local area,he took a tight wide angle close up of his face!!!    it went on to be one of his best selling images.

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Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2013, 08:19:10 AM »