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Over Manipulation of Images?

adrian_w Plus
10 3.7k 4 Scotland
26 Oct 2012 1:00PM

Quote:And anyone who describes their own work as 'fine art' has their head to far up their own.... in my opinion.

And your problem is???? Wink

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tezquirk 5 27 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2012 1:33PM
Good Question .. ( Paulcookphotography ) That i cannot answer ? All these different concepts of art ( photography , Paintings , Digitally manipulated 3D graphics etc Must be categorized in some way shape or form , But who can judge what image fits where ?? Thats the question .. Wink
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
26 Oct 2012 2:22PM
why must they be categorised? just sit back an enjoy the image.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2012 2:44PM
And tell me where manipulation becomes 'over-manipulation'. That phrase means nothing more than 'I don't like it'.
If you think about it, 'over-manipulation' means 'excessive' but if the image is exactly what the creator wanted, it is (by definition) the right amount of manipulation irrespecitve of how much has been done.

As a matter of interest, can anyone write rules for a competition that would withstand scrutiny? There are some where you need to provide the raw file and show that the only changes made are global changes.
tezquirk 5 27 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2012 5:28PM

Quote:And tell me where manipulation becomes 'over-manipulation'. That phrase means nothing more than 'I don't like it'.

Everyone has an opinion Tongue Me , I like Digital/ Graphic art , I have pictures all over my house , But when Digitally Manipulated art is winning Photography competitions , Where do we draw the line , National Geographic say they should not be entered into competitions , I agree , Only if they are OVER Manipulated ..

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2012 9:20PM

Quote:Only if they are OVER Manipulated ..

tezquirk 5 27 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2012 10:39PM
Meaning .. I think Normal editing is ok for competitions , But , I don't think they should be entered into photography competitions if they are over Edited /manipulated ..
27 Oct 2012 12:57AM
I think what mikehit is saying is where is the line on over edited/manipulated.

Remembering that in a lot of the more recent digital cameras they have built in presets that can alter an image as you take it (saturation, effects, etc). You are still taking the photograph and the camera itself is doing the manipulation as its captured. Or of course you could do the same in Photoshop (other editing software available, lol). Or in the darkroom or at a processing lab if you are using film.

I am assuming NG mean you are allowed to make minor crops and adjustments to colour balance, brightness and contrast, but without a clear line on what is and isnt acceptable (for them), then its difficult for an entrant or viewer to decide what is right.

On the note of manipulation, i would just like to mention a recent discussion i had with some folk who were learning photoshop skills from me. They were looking at some of my work and were asking how certain images were created and i gave them a brief walk through of the stages. It was very interesting when two images were compared. The one they believed to be more of a photoshop creation was actually the image that had seen the least editing. The effect was created more from creative lighting and filters (on camera and lighting gels) and DOF. The other was a composite that was re-lit in Photoshop and various plug-ins. Now, dont get me wrong, i was not trying to deceive anyone and would be clear on the process if asked or was entering it to a competition, but its interesting how a group of people perceive an image

Also, on the subject of 'normal' editing, we are in the year 2012. Photography has changed a lot, as has processing and editing. Yes, the same fundamental principals still exist (or we cling to), but things have changed. We now see (from another thread) that some people always shoot in landscape and crop to landscape later. Editing/manipulation in one form, and something that wasnt 'normal' practice. We can shoose whatever ISO we want as we take a shot, without changing 'film' or it making an effect on film (a form of manipulation commonly used on film cameras). So is 'normal' the same normal as it was 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 years ago? No, of course not. Photography and art, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and is the vision of the artist/photographer. Its what their vision is, and to me, that is the way it is supposed to be.

And yes, some images ARE over edited. Sometimes you can go too far and it ruins an image, and sometimes it really didnt need so much, but i do think an attitude (not so much from sponsors/hosts of competitions, but from our peers) that you cannot move forward is only going to hold photography and the photographer back
arhb Plus
10 3.3k 68 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 9:26AM
I would add to the above that 'over' manipulation is part of the learning curve in photo manipulation.
We all have to start somewhere, and this is normally when the work is less refined, or more noticeably 'over' manipulated.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2012 9:46PM

Quote: But , I don't think they should be entered into photography competitions if they are over Edited /manipulated ..

Quote:I think what mikehit is saying is where is the line on over edited/manipulated.

Thanks, Paul - that was just my point. If you can't define it you can't design rules against it, other than to say 'global changes only' Or 'no composites'.
27 Oct 2012 11:32PM
It's all a matter of taste...

For some the deep fried Mars bar and chocolate chip pizza are perfectly acceptable. Equally there are the those that will ridicule any dish that has fewer than 15 ingredients.

But when it comes to the crunch, we all know the delight in the of the purity of the simple slice of toast & butter with a cup of tea. Wink

I've always enjoyed the stunning Image Quality that is presented in National Geographic and very much agree with their stance.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 12:40PM
A photographer I know won an award for a sports picture by staging it but entering it in a competition as taken during an event. That's another form of manipulation.

There were two points of view on it in AP. One was 'crafty B***rd but good picture, well done', the other that the photographer had misrepresented what the picture was and should be disqualified.

My take was that if I ever entered a competition for that sports award, since the photographer was allowed to keep his prize (quite a lot of dosh and some camera equipment), I wouldn't go to all the trouble of turning out for the event, getting wet, cold or whatever, I'd just stage the picture I'd like to have got in my own good time.

Ditto a landscape of, say Scotland. Why take all the risks with the Scottish weather to get a landscape competition pic? Just make a landscape with one of the very good landscape creation programs and put in something Scottish to give it the impression of a real location. After all, it's only the image that counts, isn't it?

Personally, I think that the spirit of the competition matters too. For others if there is no rule specifically against what they are doing, they hold it to be acceptable. Both points of view can be argued. But if there is a prize for the best picture taken at an air show, it shouldn't be won by a shot showing a plane from another day's show against the background of the competition show in my opinion.

Does it matter? Who can say? But certainly many of the most skilled amateur photographers will be put off if what they do can with their camera in real time is trumped by someone entering a convincing composite.
Canonshots 7 141 13 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 2:10PM

Quote:And tell me where manipulation becomes 'over-manipulation'.

It becomes over-manipulation when it crosses the fine line between improvement and falsification.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 3:08PM

Quote:It becomes over-manipulation when it crosses the fine line between improvement and falsification.

Nope....no clearer.
Falsifying the light by dodging and burning? Falsifying by increasing saturation of colours? Falsifying the scene by cloning out errant leaves or telegraph wires? Falsifying by repositioning a person in the image? Falsifying by swapping the sky from a different image?
I can see what you are getting at, but unfortunately your definition of 'improvement and falsification' will be different for different people.
newfocus 11 647 2 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 5:05PM
It always struck me that one of the greatest manipulations of an image is removing colour entirely by shooting on black and white film. It can give a very different mood/impression from what's actually seen, particularly if coloured filters are used. Yet B&W film is seen as a very 'pure' form of photography still.

Personally, I think compositing, including simply swapping skies is a step too far for my tastes unless the image is clearly meant to be fantasy/unreal but as long as the intention isn't to mislead the viewer it does just come down to personal preference, which in turn would make any kind of 'rules' almost impossible to agree on.

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