Is there a place left for unedited images ?
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    Eden
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    Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by Eden » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:49 pm

    Is there still a desire to get a good image from the camera or have those days well and truly gone with editing and processing software running rife?

    I love the fact that you can fix OR change an image /capture now days to the point where the original is almost unrecognisable from the final product sometimes. ( I just watched a youtube video where they replaced the whole skyline with a new sky from a summers day capture from another location and date(american video))

    Are the days of striving to get a great shot gone when you know you can sort things out later.

    I remember when you used black and white or made do with 100 ISO film because you couldn't afford the other options. (unless it was a very special occasion!)

    I cannot help thinking of Indiana Jones looking at a ninja doing his pre battle warm up with his Samurai Sword before attacking and then shooting him with his revolver !

    "so my Question is two part"

    - is there a place left for a thread of unedited /non processed images
    - are my thoughts too yesteryear, archaic or outdated to the point of being silly now days and is it worth having a section where only a crop of an image or not even that is allowed


    So please fellow forum members enlighten me or condemn me as your views will effect my views on the software I am about to start using and the role I will let it play in my photography

    I still feel like I am cheating every time I edit an image (even slightly) and can mentally justify cropping but am having a hard time with the rest

    Or can I go to confession occasionally and edit to my hearts content

    put me out of my misery please

    Eden
    I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.
    Kurt Vonnegut

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    Re: Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by Doug » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:58 am

    There are a number of things about the good old, bad old days of film that make me embrace all that digital has to offer and "for the next 36 shots you are going to shot 100ASA colour" is one of them.

    The other was that as an amateur the creative process stopped after taking the shot and I was at the mercy of the local processing lab how my 6x4's came out.
    I had to light tighten the laundry then set everything out and put it away to do my own B+W enlarging.
    If I liked one of my colour images enough to get an enlargement done it would cost too much to have a custom print done and I might not like the result anyway.

    This is where I am coming from when I say digital editing is the best thing to come to amateur photography.
    I can see all the detail of what I shot on a 24" LCD (not like a 6x4 print) and I can get it to look not only well adjusted for exposure and colour, but go further and make enhancements that better convey what the picture is about to me.

    Your camera does an edit when it makes a jpeg and the camera manufacturers realise that edit is not going to suit everything.
    In Canon's case they have "Picture style" where you have 5 different ways to edit the jpeg (standard,portrait,landscape,neutral and faithful) each of these styles uses different values of 5 settings (sharpness,contrast,saturation and colour tone).

    One way to look at it is "I don't need to edit because the camera has all these options".
    The other way to look at it is "I might was well be doing a basic edit because even the camera is telling me one set of edit settings will not suit everything".

    How much you edit is entirely up to the individual.
    You could take jpeg's and edit the ones that did not come out quite right.
    You could shoot raw and do just a basic edit like the camera would ,exposure,sharpness,contrast,saturation (I think colour tone is clarity) and since it is a raw file it would be a waist not to take advantage of highlight recovery when needed.
    I like to go a bit further with the ones I feel are the better shots and do tweaks that guide the eye to subject of the picture, sometimes editing out distractions through disguise or removal.
    Then you have people swapping sky's, which is not an area I want to get into, but to each their own.

    I think I saw that video or one like it. They changed a sky to one they shot earlier in the day and even did a very convincing reflection in the river of the new sky. Their thoughts on the matter was that they were a weekend photographer who does not have the time be be there the number of days for their best shots to have good sky's.

    Its not the way I like to do things, particularly for landscape, it would take the satisfaction out of getting that shot where everything comes together.
    I like photo manipulation where the result is obviously a bit wacky and serial I just don't have the skills and desire to try it myself.
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    Re: Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by W G » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:32 am

    Eden wrote:Is there still a desire to get a good image from the camera


    Yes there is Eden,

    And, oddly enough, it is still called PHOTOGRAPHY. Much of commercial practice lives there. But you will seldom see it practiced on recreational sites such as this.

    Good straight photography has challenges that many find insurmountable and so they opt for trying to make a dud shot into something of merit by playing with sliders and plug-ins and considering it accomplishment.

    The process starts with thinking about a subject: thinking about its properties, thinking about its appeal, and thinking about what it is that you want to say about it. Photography is, after all, a communication.

    In the process of shooting for my daily bread I have something of a brief to work to. JUst yesterday (Sunday) I had to go to the clubhouse of an outlaw motorcycle club and shoot a customised bike for the cover and centre feature of a magazine. Digital shooting is a commercial necessity: the quality never matches what we did with film on these shoots, but importance of the economics these days for outweighs any concerns with quality. That said, what remains a constant is to see the subject faithfully rendered with the clarity to allow the readers to see and evaluate all the modifications from both a mechanical and an aesthetic viewpoint irrespective of the medium. An overlay of my ego through manipulation and trickery on the pictures is just as much an unnecessary and irrelevant veiling of the required message today as it was back 29 years ago when I started shooting for the magazine.

    In addition to my commercial calling I also strongly pursue a recreational involvement with photography and this happens entirely with film ..... invariably in black & white. My recreational photography is perhaps even more stringently devoid of trickery than my commercial antics. I suspect that I am primarily a MODERNIST with sympathies to some aspects of POST-MODERNISM. I vacillate between the two but generally favouring a style of objectivity and so there exists an absence of desire for altering or shrouding the thing being focussed upon.

    Just as in the days of the wet-darkroom, there are those who love what used to be called 'special effects' and now seems to go by the simple epithet of 'editing'. I remember attending a seminar with John Sexton, a former assistant to Ansel Adams, at which he presented a slide-show spanning his career from a callow youth to the present day (1994). He showed a highly stylised picture of a pair of seagulls and said that when he did it he thought it was better than button-up boots. The truth was, however, that is was a shallow, stupid bad picture. Sexton explained that in retrospect what the image really conveyed was that he had not yet learned how to make a good picture and so had relied on other impact in an attempt to give justification and draw attention.

    In a way, I sort of compare the current situation with post-processing excesses with the stage of music when the synthesiser had just been invented. It went through a pretty outlandish time before settling into something usefully transparent that enhanced the motif rather than overwhelming it. I wonder how much longer it will be before the same levels of finesse are attained in recreational photography?

    One of the things that sets Doug (above) apart is that he has a sophisticated and confident vision. He finds great images in the world around him. He then applies whatever post-processing he feels will strengthen his vision. As yet I have not witnessed him shooting crap and turning it into a plug-in fest. Others aren't blessed with his vision and so they don't find that same strength of imagery in the world and so they flounder about trying to build a castle out of shit. It has never worked, and it will never work.

    Cheers,
    Walter Glover

    "Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi
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    Re: Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by Doug » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:20 am

    A good picture just needs a bit of buffing, but you can't polish a turd. :)
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    Re: Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by W G » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:50 am

    As a kid working in an advertising studio the expression was made to me: "You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter!"

    It was gratifying to see the Gruen Transfer celebrate the expression with the golden turd award a series or two back.

    Regards,
    Walter Glover

    "Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi
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    Re: Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by Doug » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:41 pm

    Your attetude is good Eden, getting it as good as you can in the camera requires the right mind set to take a good picture.
    Digital photography is far from perfect, there is no direct correlation between the light falling on the senor and an image being formed, unlike say with transperancy film.
    Its all a lot of electronic and mathimatical hocus pocus that we get something recognisable at all. Its the same as what is on a music CD is completely removed from sound waves.

    Digital is however a highly malable medium and with the right tools we can use our jugdement to get something that is close to looking right over the line.
    It is a skill however that takes some practice and our judgement can get lead astay and we can loose site of the goal.

    You might not improve on the jpeg output from a camera right away, you will make some shots worse, but when you get a feel for it you can make very worth while improvements both technically and creatively.

    As the great New Zealand, sage, philosopher and super model Rachel Hunt once said, "It won't happen over night but it will happen".
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    Re: Is there a place left for unedited images ?

    by Eden » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:24 pm

    W G wrote: "You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter!"


    You crack me up sometimes Walter, I laughed out loud at that :)



    Doug ,Walter thanks for the response,

    your both telling me what I want to hear and no doubt answering the "same old same old" questions that are heard from a newbie trying to get the training wheels off the bike

    Doug I am so looking forward to some tutorial time from you in regard to processing at the next meet ( more to come on that tonight or tomorrow )

    and as you intimate Walter, Doug's superb feel for (black and white in particular) processing is tugging at my initial inner (out of date) reluctance to process.

    I gravitate towards "black and whites" minimalistic feel even though this may be far from the truth on many occasions.

    I have enjoyed going out with Doug, Simsy and Evan to the meets and have realised I am over critical of some of the captures I get, especially when I see a very similar shot posted from the same environment I was viewing ( not as good but similar) with them

    I hope I can treat processing as If it were salt and pepper on my food and not let it ruin things.

    thanks for the input fellas

    cheers Eden
    I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.
    Kurt Vonnegut

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