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How far is "to far" in post processing?

DaveRyder Plus
8 6.5k 17 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2020 7:21PM
Coincidently I viewed this yesterday......

clicknimagine Plus
12 1.1k 105 India
20 Oct 2020 7:35PM

Quote:And i can see you don't like monochrome images GrinGrinGrin...

Many thanks for the replies everyone, as well as the links, and has raised MORE questions. Especially if converting to B&W (Sepia and Cyanotype) takes away from the "truth"

Whatever gave you THAT idea @clicknimage TongueTongueTongueWinkWink

The answer depends on the definition of 'truth', and an image in colour may be a binary representaion of fact which is not real and always it defers from reality...mono images don't claim itself a real fact...
GwB Plus
2 100 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2020 9:59PM
It's all in the eye of the beholder, I enjoy a picture no matter how the final image was acheived, however how often have you been dished up a meal that looks nothing like the picture ?
I post process to try and cover up a lack of skill with a camera. Is that cheating or just using multiple skills to produce an image that people will find pleasing.
Big Bri 21 16.7k United Kingdom
21 Oct 2020 9:17AM
There are only 3 times you shouldn't manipulate to your heart's content:

1. when the rules of a competition say so (as discussed above)
2. when you are documenting something
3. when you are proving a copy of a person/pet to the subject/owner - they may not appreciate you thinking their complexion is bad, or eyes wonky, or nose a bit too big Wink
thewilliam2 5 1.6k United Kingdom
21 Oct 2020 10:21AM
There is a fourth: when we're taking evidence pictures that could be presented to a court.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2563 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2020 2:02PM
There are interesting points here. Don McCullin argues that b&w is more honest precisely because it doesn't pretend to be reality, it declares itself for what it is, an image.

My own feeling is that I want the image to be true to the experience, to what I felt when I took the picture, to how I saw the subject in my mind's eye. That's personal of course. I tend to see in b&w, in lines and structures. I am not greatly aware of colours unless there is something specific, dramatic. So a lot of what I do gets b&w conversion, it simply takes me back to how I visualised the image as I took it.

Truth to the experience means truth to the light. I really don't like replacement skies, as they so often look false. Bright, sunny sky, no shadows on the ground; or shadows going in the wrong direction...

I'll remove litter, items that I could have removed physically. Of the other examples cited by the OP -

Tree in the wrong place - move round to a better viewpoint, try a different focal length.

Lazy eye, and light reflecting on spectacles - remove the glasses and look for an angle on the face that minimises the eye problem. Remember too that it may be an important part of the individual's self-image, I personally know such a person.

And as for the initial question - if an image jumps out as heavily processed, if the processing becomes the first thing that you look at, if you think 'My God, that sky is fake HDR' - then it's gone too far.
lynbel 15 4 England
21 Oct 2020 4:37PM
At the local club anything goes, and the judges don't care either.
Dave_Canon 16 2.2k United Kingdom
21 Oct 2020 5:26PM

Quote:At the local club anything goes, and the judges don't care either.

Sounds like a criticism. I have been involved running camera clubs for decades and "judge's don't care" is not something I recognise. They normally judge according to the rules and guidelines supplied by the club.

realspeed 16 64 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2020 6:19PM
If you have to go that deep into photography I pity you all. The enjoyment of taking a photo has been wiped out with all the" is this or that" correct. As for competitions what quicker way is there to upset someone with" my photo is a lot better than yours" attitude.

Why bother to go and study photography and get a degree?. Just take a look at all the great painters throughout history, their pictures are worth millions. How much are those that copy worth in comparison?
Far better to be an individual and develope your own style and if other like it great if not who cares.

My advice is just go out and enjoy using your camera the way you want and photograh what you are allowed to photograph.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2563 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2020 8:02AM

Quote:If you have to go that deep into photography I pity you all....

I find that a strange statement. Would you say 'I'm passionate about history, I don't want to spoil it by studying it and thinking about it'? I have several passions - photography, history, languages, Shakespeare, sculpture - I cannot imagine enjoying any of them without wanting to explore in depth, know more, understand more.

One way to improve is to look at other people's photography, think about which images work, which don't, and then work out for yourself why. A major strength of this site is that it enables people to do just that, and to discuss their thoughts.
Mark_24 10 19 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2020 8:53AM

Quote: If you have to go that deep into photography I pity you all

Thanks for your opinion @realspeed, it's certainly given me something to think about. I also want to apologize for not having the technical, or theoretical knowledge that you have.

I DO enjoy what I shoot, however, is there anything wrong with getting a better understanding and looking into the history of a subject to gain a better understanding to improve myself? Obviously, I don't have your skill and understanding, so don't share your passion, but I have my passion.

And I am wrong to want to get a better understanding of the content/context behind an image to fully appreciate what is on show.
Big Bri 21 16.7k United Kingdom
22 Oct 2020 9:17AM

Quote:There is a fourth: when we're taking evidence pictures that could be presented to a court.

I thought I covered that in item 2


LenShepherd 14 4.6k United Kingdom
22 Oct 2020 9:26AM

Quote:I'm studying for my Photography Degree

This sets the parameters at a different level to camera club competion judging

Quote:Scenario 1 - You take a landscape image, could be anywhere, but there are a few things that you don't like about the image. There is a big tree that sits to the left-hand side of the scene and is distracting and would "look better" if it wasn't there. Plus the sky is a little dull, so you decide to replace it.

A landscape painter normally has no qualms about changing the composition somewhat, adjusting how the lighting falls on the scene and maybe removing things like cars.
Why should a photographer not do similar things to their photograph?

Quote: Scenario 2 - You shoot a portrait of someone, and they have a "lazy eye" and the lights are reflecting on glasses. Do you correct the eye and remove the reflections?

That depends to some extent on what the sitter wants - and to some extent on a portrait photographer who does not know how to avoid reflections on glasses.

Quote:And what is our intention when we press the shutter. Do we intend to capture real life, or a perception of what real life should be?

My intention on pressing the shutter is to achieve a result that satisfies me - with or without post processing.
saltireblue Plus
12 13.3k 83 Norway
22 Oct 2020 9:50AM

Quote:Why bother to go and study photography and get a degree?. Just take a look at all the great painters throughout history, their pictures are worth millions.

Most of the great painters served their time as apprentices, studying under the knowledgeable eye of the then best teachers - the equivalent of getting a degree today...
Dave_Canon 16 2.2k United Kingdom
22 Oct 2020 10:08AM
Mark, as you are doing a university degree, you should be discussing and asking questions as this is part of the learning process. I also suggest you look at some photography Exhibitions though appreciate that they are more difficult to find in these COVID times. My club has had to cancel all public Exhibitions though the club is functioning well by relying on Zoom and YouTube.

I recall many years ago, we displayed prints during the interval in judging evenings. I noticed that a large group had gathered around one of the images and half were saying it was amazing and the other half were rubbishing the image. The author was nearby so I asked him how he felt about the reaction. He smiled and said "they have only looked at my image and there is another 20+ images that they have ignored so why should I be unhappy". I think most artists (Painter or photographer) would rather that their picture was criticised than ignored.


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