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Non - Photographic posts

Scotty 16 64 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2005 7:45AM
Hmmm, think I am going to get shot down on this one, but here goes....

I've noticed that at varying times there is a surge of non photographic uploads. One recent one was of a poem, which had just been placed on a scanner. Another recent one was a blatant advert of a model.

Other photographs are more a testament to Photoshop rather than the actual image taken from the camera (digital or film).

Surely this is against the spirit of the site. Surely the spirit is what you can do with a camera in terms of exposure, timing and composition, and not what you can do with a computer.

Right enough, I am not saying Photoshop is a bad thing, but surely when you start to produce things that in no way could be produced in a traditional darkroom, does it then not become more of graphic design rather than photography. A photographic image may have been the start, but where does it end?

(Getting on tin helmet and ducking in trench!)

Scotty :o)
starstriders 16 1.6k United Kingdom
10 Apr 2005 7:50AM
An interesting discussion Scotty - no need to duck! I think the main point for debate is where does straight photography end and digital manipulation/graphical design begin?
patters 16 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
10 Apr 2005 7:58AM
Maybe your right, but I dont remember where this phrase came from, but 'this site is as capacious as a wizards sleeve' so it doesnt matter!
Scotty 16 64 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2005 8:00AM
Mmmm, quick comeback.....

Personally, I'm not a big fan of Photoshop. The majority of my photos are taken offshore, where I get to use a digi compact if I am lucky. Therefore I have to think what might make a good photo. If I find it is a poor photo when I get home, I delete it. I see no point in using photoshop in rescuing a crap photo. I might see a sunrise or something, then maybe might not get a chance to photo it for a couple of days, as I'M AT WORK!!! Unfortunately it gets in the way of my hobby!

I have no problem in digital manipulation, and I have a few photos in my portfolio that have been played about with, but the main point is that the initial photo is still the focus, not what has been done to it.

No matter how good the effect, surely composition is more important?!

I also have no problems with manipulation (digital or film) for things like dust removal, burning, dodging etc) but once we go further, are we not moving further away from photographic technique, and into more computer technique?

But that's possibly another discussion / rant / delete as appropriate!
starstriders 16 1.6k United Kingdom
10 Apr 2005 8:00AM
I like that phrase...~makes mental note~
SimJam 16 14
10 Apr 2005 8:38AM
I've looked at many an image on here and thought the reason the image is so good is more to do with the skill of using a computer than the skill with a camera.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but maybe that's the way digital is taking photography.

Scotty 16 64 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2005 8:46AM
Maybe a point Simon, BUT!

When we take away the camerawork, it isn't REALLY photography is it? (or is it?)

I would have said the creative work of photography should be done with a camera, film or digital. I see the advantages of digital, with instant image recall, no developing waits or costs initially, but when most of the creative work is done by computer, that isn't photography, that's digital imaging or graphic design.

Sure, it can be argued the same can be done in a trad. dark room, but the initial image still has to be there......

Not wanting to get into a digital vs film debate, but surely more stuff should be in the digitally altered category of the site. And more to my point, there is some stuff on here just isn't photography....

I just want to see the focus (pardon the pun!) be kept within guidelines. Why should something not taken by a camera be on the website....

(Back on with the tin helmet and back into my wet and cold trench!)

Scotty :o)
c_evans99 17 7.0k 1 Wales
10 Apr 2005 8:49AM
Don't poke the bear!
dougv 17 8.4k 3 England
10 Apr 2005 8:55AM
I can go along with you on that Scott.
I don't mind whether people use Digital Darkroom techniques or more Traditional, but people need to be honest and label their work accordingly.

Scanned stuff is OK provided you tell people it is scanned.
Some fantasy image made in Photoshop from several different images if OK, but again it needs to labelled accordingly.

Photoshop is an art in itself, and I applaud people who can produce some really outstanding work.
However, it is not photography and never will be.

I know where you are coming from here.

Falconer 16 16
10 Apr 2005 11:25AM
I am one that has not welcomed digital with open arms. It has taken away a lot of the skill and art to photography! At college there was nothing better than putting your hands into chemicals and seeing a black and white image appear on the paper!
I had an interesting chat with a sheffield lecturer Friday night. He thinks people are rushing too fast and committing too much into digital! We know that it will be possible to get a slide out of a file a hold it to the light in 30 years time but will a digital image still be as good as when it was taken?! It will be a long time before i let go of my transparencies and I have just bought an Xpan camera too! Smile
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
10 Apr 2005 11:50AM
Kind of a strange thread in a way.

Most of the tools in PS emulate techniques used in wet printing. Had digital photography not been invented, then more than likely many of the qeuries would have concerned darkroom procedures and techniques.

As for digital files not lasting as long as slides....well not all slides last forever either.

I can never undestand those who view digital work through suspicious eyes...I actually do LESS work in post processing than I ever did with film.
Scotty 16 64 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2005 12:02PM

In my initial post, I think I tackled something that could be taken two ways.

1) I am not anti digital, as I have 3 digital cameras of some sort knocking about. This thread is not about film vs digital. Judging by the amount of digital pictures posted, it would be a foregone conclusion which would win, unless the film buffs don't scan their stuff in!

2) I am sort of getting frustrated by non photographic posts, which are nothing to do with photography - that are just scanned articles, or adverts. I'm also interested in what is photography, when most of outcome was achieved by software and not anything to do with a camera. I just feel more people should be posting in the digitally altered section and let people know. Is it not a case we will assume somebody is a good photographer, when in fact they are just better at mouse work.....

Personally, in my opinion, if Photoshop could only do half as much, then I bet we'd see the good postings on EPZ drop....

Besides, in my opinion, (Getting ready to dive into trench again!) what percentage of people using film actually do their own dark room work anyway? I never did, and all my photos were done on camera.... no post processing.

Before I go, I know I'm not brilliant, my portfolio will show you that, but I am just trying to learn!
UserRemoved 17 4.2k
10 Apr 2005 12:12PM
I used to do my own darkroom work for my theatre contract.

I remember trying different grades of paper, selective dodging and burning, ballsing it all up and starting again.

One particular print I will remember to the day I die, involved a group of kids with veils and shaws looking skywards and each face lit with a single dim spotlight. In all of the seven photos I took one of the kids was blinking somewhere, in half of them (the best ones) the light was shining off one kids glasses. I remember dodging out faces and burning in with a different negative using a template I'd cut out from a print of one of the negatives. Then trying to get the edge to look natural. I went through the sandwiching negatives phase on that one as well - taking two negatives and cutting out parts!
Then finally getting the print done the way I wanted it, toning it drying it and spotting with various things from shavings of HB pencil to 'nose grease' (LOL remember that).

That one print took me 3 days of darkroom work to do. Not to mention the stink of the place, the disposing of the chemicals and the unknown pairs of ruined trousers and shirts Wink And why oh why did everything smell (and taste) of salt and vinegar for days afterwards Wink

In the last production I did something similar - it took less than five minutes with the clone tool, increasing contrast and the dodge and burn tools. I even put glints in their eyes.

Now ask me which was more manipulation and then ask me if I miss the darkroom.

Although I do take the major point of its more about knowing when to leave alone with photoshop than what to use. Just because there are all those wee buttons and menu items it doesnt mean you have to use them.
One recent upload went on about using gaussian blur to blur the background (not getting at anyone) and feathering and blending and healing tool. Why not just stick it to f2.8 or f4 or your lowest f number?
Scotty 16 64 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2005 2:52PM

That strikes both of my points!

Exactly, if we can do something in Photoshop without poisioning ourselves with fixer, developer etc. then why shouldn't we?!! I see the point of using PS, but I think that there should maybe be a line where is it a photograph, or not.

Essentially, is not photography a manipulation of light through lenses onto film, then manipulated again using chemicals and then using light and lens again to get it onto the paper?

My point is that if you use PS to achieve a result that could be achieved in a darkroom, then no problem, that's still photography....

If you use PS to create something more than can be done in a darkroom, is that not more computer based than to do with the camerawork? The point of film vs digital is not a debate I wish to enter, as I do use a slide/neg scanner to upload film and make minor adjustments due to not developing my own film....

Your last point about f stops said it all.....
starstriders 16 1.6k United Kingdom
10 Apr 2005 3:19PM
I miss using a darkroom too sometimes. I'll never forget the first b+w print appearing in the developer tray. It was a photo of some electricity pylons in a field. Awful photo but it was magic. LOL!

I think a lot of digital manipulation has the potential to make people lazy when they take their photos, saying: "oh yeah, well, I can edit that out later" etc. I think this is rather sad for photography.

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