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How far is "to far" in post processing?

thewilliam2 3 1.5k United Kingdom
22 Oct 2020 11:22AM
In normal times, students would gather in formal or informal groups for discussion. Zoom isn't quite the same.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 710 England
22 Oct 2020 12:16PM

Quote:I thought I covered that in item 2

You did.

Quote:you should be discussing and asking questions as this is part of the learning process

Exactly. Debate is good, it's not always comfortable.

Quote:I think most artists (Painter or photographer) would rather that their picture was criticised than ignored

That's true, rather like 'no publicity is bad publicity'.
hobbo Plus
9 1.7k 3 England
23 Oct 2020 8:06AM
My take on this is pretty simple......

If itís a serious macro study of an insect,bug, spider, plant fungus etc... then the golden rule is to record the item as close to the original as possible with no post processing whatsoever, except, perhaps for a crop....

The second way is to attempt to catch exactly what you want in the viewfinder, first time, again, perfect light, exposure and composition.....requiring minimum post processing.

Thirdly..... You shoot in whichever way you use photo-processing software to....enhance colours, adjust tonal values, increase sharpness, introduced grain, asdjust perspective, not altering the shot hugely, but getting it to the standard YOU like....unless itís for a is YOUR creation.

Fourthly.... As your creation, you can do...WHATEVER YOU LIKE. .... with it.... no matter what, there are no boundaries or rules.... being over-processed is in the eye of the beholder.... a Marmite... result.....

Finally..... make a close and serious study of what has gone before....from the earliest studies of Gas Stations.... to ....the most obscure abstractions .... BEWARE .... Clubs, Judges, Committees and Rules.... unless you really want to win that prize.....

LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2020 8:33AM
In the background is the new express train - AI.
So far this year at the touch of a mouse you can change the sky to one you want, straighten peoples heads, remove wide angle geometric distortion in a an image - and much more.

Depth of field adjustment has been common in smart phones for a few years.

A little way from Ai, with focus stacking it is not difficult to dramatically increase dof on an insect, HDR requires little more than 3 images taken ideally on a tripod and increasing or reducing the size of important details in a composition is not difficult.

What is possible now in the time it takes for a black and white image to appear in a developing dish could not be envisaged 20 years ago.

What the next 20 years will make possible with AI is part guesswork - other than it will be much more than now.
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2020 11:05AM
The advent of these additional post processing features has been reflected in competition rules etc. It is normal even in nature competitions to allow focus stacking and HDR. In the case of focus stacking, I am not aware of an alternative. Once you have selected the smallest aperture, what can you do to increase the DOF other than focus stacking? HDR was needed to compensate for low camera sensor DR but this is now less important as recent cameras have much higher DR. Replacing a sky is altering the truth of the image so is not acceptable in many competitions and, I believe, at least some of these processes will replace the sky with a sky from a library so it will no longer be your own work and thus barred from almost any competition. However, replacing the sky with one of your own is fine though I would not normally do that unless creating and alternate reality image.

I will readily crop an image, use Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, dodging and burning, correct distortions and generally make tonal adjustments to the Raw file. So although we have a lot of automated tools which make decisions based on analysing the image, we still have reasonable control of the outcome. However, it cannot be long before we have a single plugin to "improve" the picture.

23 Oct 2020 2:20PM
I can understand and fully agree that photos offered as journalism should depict the reality of the event - though much bias can still be introduced by simply picking the angle or the moment. For all other categories however, I view photography not as capturing reality, but as a tool for creating an image and can see no good reason to restrict creativity.

As for competition rules, competition organisers are free to set the rules that suit them, no-one is obliged to participate.
peterjones 18 5.1k 1 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2020 3:36PM
Competition and photo-journalism rules apart each to their own.

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