Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?

Started Jun 12, 2012 | Discussions
agent888
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Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
Jun 12, 2012

So I took the OM-D out last weekend and snapped some pictures. The one below that I took, I used the Art Filter "Dramatic Tones" I think it is called. I really really liked the results, but I somewhat feel guilty about it. I want to be able to produce this sort of work on my own eventually with post processing and what not, I don't want to use art filters as a crutch.

How do y'all feel about it? Or is this a case of "Take advantage of all tools at your disposal but don't become overly dependent."

Guess I'm afraid to be labeled as one of those people that add a lens flare and sepia and then call myself an artist.

Bob Tullis
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In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

agent888 wrote:

So I took the OM-D out last weekend and snapped some pictures. The one below that I took, I used the Art Filter "Dramatic Tones" I think it is called. I really really liked the results, but I somewhat feel guilty about it. I want to be able to produce this sort of work on my own eventually with post processing and what not, I don't want to use art filters as a crutch.

How do y'all feel about it? Or is this a case of "Take advantage of all tools at your disposal but don't become overly dependent."

Guess I'm afraid to be labeled as one of those people that add a lens flare and sepia and then call myself an artist.

If that's your fear, you likely won't let that happen. Investigating different toolsets, features, in-camera and developing filters is part of getting a good sense of what is useful to one's objectives. Understanding what one's ultimate objectives can be the harder task.

So, experiment with whatever you can. You might want to get a good third party book for the editor you use, however. That will help you plunge the depths of what's possible without in-camera or post-editing filters. Mainly, use what works for you while you develop your own skill set. If a filter gives you what you want, great. When you have to settle for what it can do for you, that's when you'd want to lay your own hands on the exposure.

This isn't unbelievable, not as some scenes can take to that filter. It's quite nice, actually.

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"Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't." - Little Big Man
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thanos
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

Why should you?

You should try ART4 with white border. Instant hipstamatic (and much better resolution too). There are PJs (Damon Winter of the NYT for one) who win awards with such pictures.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

agent888 wrote:

How do y'all feel about it? Or is this a case of "Take advantage of all tools at your disposal but don't become overly dependent."

I am one who never uses art filters or scene modes, usually always PASM and jpegs for me. But.....

Then later I do see some situations where playing with the image would be fun.

So next holiday or outing, I think I'll shoot only RAW, then at home use Olympus Viewer 2 to convert the lot to my usual jpegs (Natural with adjusts) but also then play with a select few by running them through the art filters. Or run a tiff through PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate with the extra filters from the Nik plugins. Flexibility is what it's all about.

Often that in-camera jpeg done with art filter only may later need a straight treatment - that is lost unless there's a RAW available.

As an aside I've been testing the practicability of RAW only. My netbook that usually goes with me on major trips can convert 68 RAWs per hour with Oly Viewer 2, my at-home i7 notebook does 68 in 7 minutes. Might be a case in future of taking too many SDHC cards, shoot only RAW and bring the lot home to convert to jpegs. Just like film days but at least a bunch of cards is way lighter to carry than a bag of maybe 50 to 100 film canisters.

Regards....... Guy

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jerrysdean43
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

If you are having fun and enjoying yourself why woud you care what other people think?

A wise man once stated: "It's none of my business what people think about me"

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Polariser
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

agent888 wrote:

So I took the OM-D out last weekend and snapped some pictures. The one below that I took, I used the Art Filter "Dramatic Tones" I think it is called. I really really liked the results, but I somewhat feel guilty about it. I want to be able to produce this sort of work on my own eventually with post processing and what not, I don't want to use art filters as a crutch.

How do y'all feel about it? Or is this a case of "Take advantage of all tools at your disposal but don't become overly dependent."

Guess I'm afraid to be labeled as one of those people that add a lens flare and sepia and then call myself an artist.

This looks wonderful!

Be creative & enjoy the tools it gives you I always see ads on TV using "diorama" filters - I bet they don't feel guilty!

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radil
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to jerrysdean43, Jun 12, 2012

Those of us who are used to the dramatic tone might be bored by it at some moment. Most of the people I know dont know anything about art filters or postprocessing and just thinks that the pictures with the dramatic tone are great (great colour they use to say). I still use the filter quite a lot, but I have begun to be more critical of the scenes which I think fits the dramatic tones filter. Some pictures might look a bit "unnatural" but if you use it a lot I think you will be able to tell when they do and when they dont (and if you just thinks it looks great everytime, there is really nobody that should tell you not to use it - pictures of faces are usual examples of something the dramatic tone should not be used for, but some landscapes and cityscapes also becomes strange in a bad way)

In contrast to many in this forum, I think that the oly art filters are an important reason for buying oly - as well as the great jpg. If a camera can spare you time of postprocessing then why not? I dont have much time to sit in front of the computer during a work week, so I really appreciate anything that can make post process in camera (and if I really get a great shot using the wrong filter, I can always just process the raw file)...

I also believe that the aversion against the many new filters introduced in the pana gf5 is strange: why should we not want a dozens of filters? It does not cost anything and can be added without any limitations to usability for those who do not want them? Of course it is nice to have filters that can actually produce something you want to look at, but if oly or pana makes 50 interesting filters, I will be the first to (mis)use all of them...knowing that there might be several purist who will think that this is not what 'real' photographers do...

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efg40
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

I am a person who can spend hours editing shots. I can use layers, masking, plugins, and 685 different adjustment methods. I mostly enjoy it!

But if there's a way to accomplish the same thing that instead will take 3 seconds, I'll do it! Why not if the end result is pleasing? Who cares how you get there?

There are those who will turn their noses up at tools they decide are below them, but of course everyone on this forum takes modern shortcuts. (Anybody here still working in the darkroom?)

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Marla
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

Great shot! That is my immediate response. Looking more closely, I like it even better. Knowing you got it using an art filter makes no difference to me. It doesn't lose anything.

I also like the images I get from a few of the filters on the E-P3 so I love playing with them. And my friends look at the image and say "Wow!" And they don't care how I got the image either.

Enjoy!

And thanks for posting.

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Maria

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texinwien
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In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

One thing to keep in mind - you may want to consider taking the shot in RAW and using the in-camera conversion to various art filters. That'll give you the original to work with later, and you'll be able to see how that original looks with different art filters applied to it.

I haven't used art filters yet, but I've seen some pretty neat pictures taken with them. I don't think it's cheating - if you're doing photography mainly for the 'fun' aspect of it, who cares what makes it fun for you?

Neat picture, by the way...

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MrGubrz
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 13, 2012

1. who cares what anyone else thinks
2. use it like crazy, and youll burn yourself out with it anyways

3. take more photos and do less stressing out about what silly dpreview forum spazzes think about your photography theyll hate anything you do no matter what! hehehe

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Steven Wandy
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In reply to agent888, Jun 13, 2012

Seriously - I do enjoy PP my shots but ever since I got the Olympus E-30 (I think it was their first camera with Art Filters, at least it was the first I got) I have loved them.

Fell instantly in love with the Grainy B&W ones - reminded me of old Kodak Tri-X films.

Current favorite (on an EM-5) is the Dramatic Tone, though I do like the B&W version that was added on the EM-5.

What I like about using them (and to be honest I generally shoot RAW+JPEG so I also get an unaltered version), is you get instant feedback of that particular shot and the effect. That way I can decide if I want to change something while I am still where the shot was taken.
So no I don't think you should feel "guilty". Just enjoy yourself.

BTW - I do think the Dramatic Tone was a great selection for that shot you posted.

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forpetessake
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 13, 2012

agent888 wrote:

So I took the OM-D out last weekend and snapped some pictures. The one below that I took, I used the Art Filter "Dramatic Tones" I think it is called. I really really liked the results, but I somewhat feel guilty about it.

That feeling will pass, I don't know anybody who after the initial shock would continue to like the unnatural garrish look of Dramatic filter -- people look sick, nature looks nuked, -- what is it to like here? It looks like a botched HDR attempt.

I want to be able to produce this sort of work on my own eventually with post processing and what not, I don't want to use art filters as a crutch.

How do y'all feel about it? Or is this a case of "Take advantage of all tools at your disposal but don't become overly dependent."

Guess I'm afraid to be labeled as one of those people that add a lens flare and sepia and then call myself an artist.

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MadsR
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In reply to agent888, Jun 13, 2012

to the wonderful world of post production... Learn to see what the final image will look like, what you want it to look like, and then take it. Art filters can be a great help to visualize at least until you can "see" it in your head even before you take the camera to your eye.

I am not a fan of art filters myself. I can do better myself, and can imagine the final image, but I can see why it would be a great help to learning this skill instead of "the hard way"...

Don't feel guilty about using these, use them to your hearts content, then as you learn to see and learn to do, you will find that fiddling with the art-filter menu before taking each shot is a waste of time and you start to just take RAW and do the effects in PP knowing what you want and how to get there.

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J R R S
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No guilt required
In reply to agent888, Jun 14, 2012

Mate - I feel guilty I am using photoshop and not programming my own OS!

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sean000
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Re: Doing it yourself has its downsides as well.
In reply to agent888, Jun 14, 2012

agent888 wrote:

So I took the OM-D out last weekend and snapped some pictures. The one below that I took, I used the Art Filter "Dramatic Tones" I think it is called. I really really liked the results, but I somewhat feel guilty about it. I want to be able to produce this sort of work on my own eventually with post processing and what not, I don't want to use art filters as a crutch.

You can learn to do this kind of processing relatively on the computer, but of course mastering many of the different effects takes time. There are a number of approaches to post-processing an image to an final result that is stylized in a dramatic way, made to look vintage, black & white, etc.

  • Using camera settings or art filters in-camera

  • From scratch using only the tools built into your image editor (whether it be Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements, etc.)

  • Using free (or pay) presets or actions and then tweaking them.

  • Using plugins like Nik Silver Efex or Color Efex, Topaz, etc.

If you like the looks but don't like playing on the computer, art filters are the way to go... especially if you shoot RAW+JPEG so you can always do something different with the RAW file if you don't like how the art filter turned out.

If you like to play, then starting with some free presets or actions and deconstructing them is a good way to learn if your image editing software has presets or actions available. You can also look up instructions for how to get just about any look you want on the Web... at least using Photoshop or Lightroom.

Plugins like the ones from Nik (Silver Efex, Color Efex, Viveza) offer their own presets and tools for quickly getting the look you want and then fine-tuning. They aren't necessary, but nice to have if you get really into this stuff.

How do y'all feel about it? Or is this a case of "Take advantage of all tools at your disposal but don't become overly dependent."

Exactly. I think the Do-it-yourself approach also has downsides. More time post-processing and less time shooting. With the art filters you can look at the result and decide whether you like it or not. If it's good, you're done!

Guess I'm afraid to be labeled as one of those people that add a lens flare and sepia and then call myself an artist.

I think it's always good to play with a photo you really like, but you don't want to use a style just because you like the style. It needs to fit the subject or mood of the photograph. I've often spent time playing with a photo in Silver Efex or Color Efex only to decide that it looks best processed in a straightforward way with embellishments. Other times I think adding some drama or a different look really adds something.

I think in this case the dramatic filter adds something. This type of processing works well with dark clouds and weathered monuments or buildings.

Sean

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Ednaz
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Only if you're a photojournalist
In reply to agent888, Jun 14, 2012

Art is about accuracy of emotional representation, not visual representation.

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tokyoaaron
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Re: Art Filter use - Should I feel guilty?
In reply to agent888, Jun 14, 2012

When I first started doing "serious" photography with a Konika Hexar Silver and rolls of Fuji Reala my primary concern was capturing realistic lighting, colours, tone, and so on.

Since going digital, I find myself increasingly "making" instead of "taking" photographs. It started with post processing, and now includes using one art filter in particular on my e-p3 (Grainy Film).

I have my camera set to capture both jpeg (Grainy Film) and RAW. That way, I can also play with an unaltered copy of the image in Lightroom.

I understand your desire to understand and be able to control the creative process. At the same time, I think it's useful to be patient with yourself and respect the learning curve. So use an art filter if it produces the result you want and, if you're so motivated, play with a RAW and see what you leanr by attempting to duplicate (improve on?) what the camera can do for you.

Just my two cents.

Aaron

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