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The Death of Photographic Portraiture

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deviant  103024 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 4:22 AM

What I find disconcerting is this.

Though I am not a fab photographer by any means I have been on manual for two years rarely use PS for anything other than adding a curve some unsharp mask and posting.

Most effects I achieve, are performed in camera; either through deliberate mis-setting of exposures shutter speeds etc... for effect. Or through messing with WB settings at capture. I am increasingly getting comments about 'nice use of photoshop' when it's something like zoomburst or slow synch flash, WB or whatever else. I wonder why not learn to do stuff prior to capture, use filters etc... then do anything else in PS if required. Surely otherwise it's like trying to make the orient express out of a train wreck!?

I would be interested in other peoples thoughts on this (especially Keithh's).

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ljesmith  101092 forum posts United Kingdom
20 Jun 2005 - 4:42 AM

I think that understanding how effects are done in camera (and how they look) is very important for knowing how to get the effects right in photoshop. High key is a great example, most you see are so far out that they look bizarre, if you spend time getting it right in camera you learn how it should look.

Remember that we are meant to be photographers not computer experts, I think that it is going wrong if you spend more time on photoshop than you do taking pictures.

elowes  102832 forum posts United Kingdom
20 Jun 2005 - 5:07 AM

I like portraits, I take a lot but post few, mostly kids.

I don't think I would want to exhibit mine as over the years they have not really improved and few really satisfy me.

I find the portraits / people section (along with a lot of other stuff, is it the holiday season?) to be slow and dull of late. Yes there is some very good work but generally it's just OK (or poor occasionally).

Hazard  101192 forum posts United Kingdom
20 Jun 2005 - 5:14 AM

Not to sure that this started off as a thread about photo-shop but seem to have turned into one.

As for portraits I think its probably one of the most difficult areas of photography to get right and do well.

As for photo-shop, who ever said this was a traditionalist site, its for everyone. If you don't want to use editing software then don't, if you do, then do.

It seems that some people are suggesting that its cheating in some way. It's not cheating, It creating an image or improving an image.
You could say having a better camera was cheating,
or that digital was cheating
or that the camera itself is cheating.

I think as long as your happy with what you have created and how you created it then thats what really matters.

20 Jun 2005 - 5:50 AM

Yeah, right on Shane! Personally I think that unless a photo is taken with a non-digital camera where you have to do all the metering calculations in your head, hold the camera yourself, certainly have no access to white-balance and contrast settings, have no filters, no fitted lenses and develop it yourself in a darkroom built by yourself.....then it is taking all the skill out of photography Smile

covey  91672 forum posts Ireland
20 Jun 2005 - 6:10 AM

Back on topic Smile

Is it that people are not taking/posting these type of shots?


Is it that the modern trend is to not appreciate such postings, bearing in mind RC's are judged on clicks.


steve neil
20 Jun 2005 - 6:19 AM

LOL Mike

Quote: More essential than a camera, Steve?

Well, I guess you could say the bottom line is if you don't have a good eye, then a camera and/or PS aint gonna make you a good picture Keith. I think it all goes to show how complex photography really is and why it takes years to master.

keithh  1022788 forum posts Wallis and Futuna29 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 6:28 AM

But the use of PS will slow you down....I often hear that..oh never mind, I can Photoshop it...phrase.

The joy of photography, especially digital, is when you download it, tweak the contrast, which is the same as choosing a film, sharpen it, and print it...everything else was done before with light and exposure.

spaceman  105166 forum posts Wales3 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 6:32 AM

It's a distinct form of creative imagery, somewhere between photography and art - phart, say.
As someone pointed out there's a specific category for DM photographs/images so there's no problem.

steve neil
20 Jun 2005 - 6:36 AM

Phart - LOL, that's brill.

Course the other angle is trying to develop a unique style and PS can certainly be overused in this respect.

takui neko
takui neko  10849 forum posts Spain11 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 6:41 AM

That photoshop or other digital software can hinder the learning of making a good photograph, I agree, as much as Auto settings will hinder it, as much as bad observation can hinder it, in short, as much as a lack of dedication and the need for fast, painless results will hinder it.
That of course if someone is aiming for high quality photography, for those who just want to have a memory,a record of a moment this struggle is out of question and they too have a place among photographers.

20 Jun 2005 - 6:47 AM

Not sure its that different to writing a story. Do you spend the time getting spelling, puncuation and grammar right as you type it? Or correct afterwards? And flesh out the narrative/description as you go, or later?

If the storyline is c***, then no amount of correction will make it good - and no amount of embellishing with flowery description and prose

But its certainly easier to correct/embellish as you go along and at the end you have the satisfaction of getting it right straight off. However, the end result can be the same whichever route is taken

digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 6:51 AM

Quote: That photoshop or other digital software can hinder the learning of making a good photograph, I agree, as much as Auto settings will hinder it

Photoshop and auto settings are simply tools. What really hinders learning is laziness and/or lack of thought.


keithh  1022788 forum posts Wallis and Futuna29 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 6:54 AM

and Auto on your camera will at least help you work on composition at the very start.

takui neko
takui neko  10849 forum posts Spain11 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2005 - 6:56 AM

Surely, dont get stucked just in one part of my description, I agree with those views above, to anything creative one must start with a good ground or as good one needs to start making it better.
As a personal note for instance, my joy is to have certain image in mind and know what kind of photo I need in order to give them manifestation, so when I download it and make the corrections you mention I know I have the material I need to further manipulate.
In the end all will come to ones approach to the subject and ones standards on the creative process.

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