October 20, 2014, 01:32:48 AM

Author Topic: Wrong Photography Ethics?  (Read 38422 times)

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #150 on: May 20, 2013, 06:01:54 AM »
If I can do it in the wet darkroom (cropping, dodging, burning, filtering) then it's completely legal; adding to or subtracting from the photo I feel are iffy, they take away from the art of photography...that's certainly not to say that I have not photoshopped hundreds of contrails out of beautiful blue sky...but adding objects that do not exist is a no-no in my mind.

I know a lot of people go with this. But to me it makes no logical sense. What was so special about the wet darkroom that means photography can't progress?

The idea that "because light has gone through a lens to hit a sensor" so its a photograph makes no more sense to me. Whats so special about that?

I'll bet Mr A Adams would be happily photoshopping away if he were here today.

To me its a case of I'm trying to make an artistic image. I'm not saying to anyone that I'm making photographs, I'm an artist using a digital camera and computer to produce images. That way i'm not misleading anyone.

Some people will think its all computer generated and that makes it fake, and easy. Am I misleading them because most of it is done in camera and the computer part is not easy at all?

Do what you want to produce the image you want. Be honest with people. That might involve telling people how its done in detail, or you could just say I don't disclose details.

I too fail to see why doing something in darkroom is legit and doing it digitally not! Yes, I like the idea about not disclosing facts, the lesser said about a photo, the better. A photo should speak for itself.
Thank you!

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #150 on: May 20, 2013, 06:01:54 AM »

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #151 on: May 20, 2013, 06:05:43 AM »
This is the "I remember when......., things were so much better back in the day" argument. We are in today not in the past and today provides the tools to do all sorts of magical things. It amazes me how we torture innovators to desperately cling to the past. Turner, one of the worlds great painters was roundly abused in his day for his vision which was only reality as he saw it, now of course we recognize his genius. Surely photography is art, not just a representation or photocopy of the world around us. Manipulate your photo's however you wish and I for one will judge them purely based upon my own taste and not on others rules of right or wrong.   

Thank you Gary.
One day when there is technology greater than photoshop people might say 'its ok what can be done in photoshop and not in ....'.

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #152 on: May 20, 2013, 06:07:43 AM »
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!

:) :)

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #153 on: May 20, 2013, 06:10:41 AM »
My take is that it is OK to remove a few stuff when they were not supposed to be there, but not so much OK to add ... For example i hated that when Stockholm was full of contruction cranes all over the place and i couldn't take a pict without them ...

I doubt anyone would disapprove of what you have done. Not even RPL. Or at least not disapprove the way my photo has been disapproved by some.

I think you did the right thing to enhance the photo.

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #154 on: May 20, 2013, 06:11:36 AM »
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. Kitty kitty...

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #155 on: May 20, 2013, 06:12:53 AM »
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?

Thx

No, you have not. It looks better. It's not as if you added an extra cheetah. I don't even particularly think you need to disclose it. It looks natural.

There is a common theme on photo forums, with certain people suggesting that a photo should be what the photographer saw. Maybe if one takes that statement metaphysically (as in: saw in his mind's eye type of thing), I agree. Literally? I do not, and I find it funny when those same people then post desaturated images of their dinner at f/1.2 with the camera held at MFD. This isn't that theme, but it's kinda like it.

To me, the end product has always been about what I want it to be. I'm not a photojournalist; there are rules in that realm for good reason. When it comes to art, do what you want to do. Your image is art.

Thank you sir! Yes, all photography is LYING.

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #156 on: May 20, 2013, 06:14:01 AM »
If I can do it in the wet darkroom (cropping, dodging, burning, filtering) then it's completely legal

You might not be able to do it in the darkroom, but if someone else with a different skillset can, does it become legal?

Was it legal when Jerry Uelsmann shot all the requisite negatives, built the appropriate masks, and then used a series of enlargers to print this image in a darkroom in 1976?



That's great Artwork than involved good photography but the final product would be classified by me as Artwork.

This is meant to be artwork.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #156 on: May 20, 2013, 06:14:01 AM »

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #157 on: May 20, 2013, 06:16:31 AM »
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.

That makes two of us! But in my case I must not enhance nature pictures to much that it is a total lie. In other words if I photograph a running cheetah, I cannot put a lion behind it to create a false story.
Regards and thanks.

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #158 on: May 20, 2013, 06:22:50 AM »
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.

I have concluded by now that from the moment a photographer picks up the camera, reality in its true sense fails to exist.

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #159 on: May 20, 2013, 06:25:15 AM »
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

I understand what you saying. I looked at the photo a long time and the bland sky kept irritating me so I added the cloud. But the moment I did that I got bit unsure of myself and posted here to get advice from experts.

thepancakeman

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 457
  • If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #160 on: May 20, 2013, 12:22:22 PM »
I understand what you saying. I looked at the photo a long time and the bland sky kept irritating me so I added the cloud. But the moment I did that I got bit unsure of myself and posted here to get advice from experts.

If by "experts" you mean expert photographers, forget everything I said.  If you mean expert at having opinions, then mine are still valid.   ::)

FWIW, my local camera shop has a fairly regular contest (not sure if monthly or quarterly) and for the current one they are encouraging Photoshop manipulation.   :o

Hobby Shooter

  • Guest
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #161 on: May 20, 2013, 08:59:38 PM »
I understand what you saying. I looked at the photo a long time and the bland sky kept irritating me so I added the cloud. But the moment I did that I got bit unsure of myself and posted here to get advice from experts.

If by "experts" you mean expert photographers, forget everything I said.  If you mean expert at having opinions, then mine are still valid.   ::)

+1 on that regarding myself also.

As said, it comes down to what you will use the picture for. To hang on your wall or sell prints, then no problems at all. Even for publishing I would say, depending on which context.

Again Sanj, thanks for starting this thread it's important to have a philosophical discussion about what we do also.

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3507
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #162 on: May 20, 2013, 11:35:35 PM »
So many opinions on this subject and all of them are equally valid. 11 Pages worth...

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #162 on: May 20, 2013, 11:35:35 PM »

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #163 on: May 21, 2013, 02:07:43 AM »
So many opinions on this subject and all of them are equally valid. 11 Pages worth...

Yes RLP. Agree!

GMCPhotographics

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 728
    • View Profile
    • GMCPhotographics
Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #164 on: May 21, 2013, 03:55:44 AM »
To the Original Poster, I personally wouldn't try to make something out of nothing. Much of photography is about the quality of the light and background and not the target subject. It's the difference between a record shot and something of stature. Personally, I limit my post production to what ever I can efficiently do in Lightroom. But there always are exceptions, If I had a paying client who needed a specific shot to be taken on a day with poor quality of light and they had a lot of need and expectation....then yes I would pull a rabit out of the hat for them. If it was a photograph for stock or personal use....no, I would return on on a day where there was better light and a more interesting composition. I like to get as much as I can in camera.

There are other more "arty" types who say..."hey! Anything goes" and that's fine too...it's just not the path I choose to walk.



I would post a nice piccy here...but Flickr has made a mess with my account and I can't seem to view anything!

« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 04:10:54 AM by GMCPhotographics »

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« Reply #164 on: May 21, 2013, 03:55:44 AM »