Photo-manipulations vs. photography

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Levantinian Regular Member • Posts: 153
Re: Computer art vs. photography
1

knickerhawk wrote:

Levantinian wrote:

Laybourne wrote:

But is the line between the two really as cut and dry as they make it out to be?

What do you think?

The line between photography and decorative art employing a digital image file and computer manipulation is quite well defined.

It is a photograph if the computer manipulation of camera generated digital file is restricted to the following:

  1. Restoration of image perspective to what it would be if the lens axis and the sensor x direction were both in the horizontal plane.
  2. Crop within the existing sensor frame.
  3. Correction of blemishes introduced by the foreign particles on the sensor surface.
  4. Correction for the colour temperature, light sensitivity and contrast, uniform over the whole image frame.

If there is any computer manipulation of the image file produced by the camera, it may well be art, but it is not photography.

That's an incredibly restrictive definition.

Perhaps a "very restrictive definition?" Yes, it is. Works for some, not for the others...

  1. All B&W images are not photographs...

We are discussing the definitions in context of digital photography. I do not see how are those rules disqualifying photographs taken on monochrome film or sensor?

Don Lacy
Don Lacy Senior Member • Posts: 2,064
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

So if I do say a Humming bird set up were I use a flower that I placed sugar water in then place a artificial back ground behind it and use six flashes to light everything it’s not a photograph according to your definition. So I guess my sons school pictures are not photographs either. I am confused when did the definition change and who changed it.

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality so my question is why in the process of of making an image does it matter when I distort reality. If I do it before I press the shutter it’s a photograph after I press the shutter in a editing program it no longer is a photograph one of the problems I have with that is when it was done in a dark room it was still considered a photograph. So why have the rules changed if I did a double exposure using film it’s a photograph if I combine two I’mages in PS it’s no longer a photograph.

If you do a double exposure you have two photos superimposed. You can have two photos in the same space or overlapping.

Do you understand what was capable using film it was not uncommon to take a exposure of the moon using a 300mm lens then take another exposure without advancing the frame with a wide angle lens changing the composition and now placing the moon in the sky were it never was. So again when I used double exposures techniques to place the moon were it never was in the scene it’s a photograph but if I do it later in a editing program using two digital captures it’s no longer a photograph. So you can see my confusion since both techniques accomplish the same thing.

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Levantinian Regular Member • Posts: 153
Re: Computer art vs. photography
1

lilBuddha wrote:

Levantinian wrote:

Laybourne wrote:

But is the line between the two really as cut and dry as they make it out to be?

What do you think?

The line between photography and decorative art employing a digital image file and computer manipulation is quite well defined.

It is a photograph if the computer manipulation of camera generated digital file is restricted to the following:

  1. Restoration of image perspective to what it would be if the lens axis and the sensor x direction were both in the horizontal plane.
  2. Crop within the existing sensor frame.
  3. Correction of blemishes introduced by the foreign particles on the sensor surface.
  4. Correction for the colour temperature, light sensitivity and contrast, uniform over the whole image frame.

If there is any computer manipulation of the image file produced by the camera, it may well be art, but it is not photography.

Wow is this ignorant of what was done in darkrooms well before a pixel or computers existed.

Not at all. A lot of decorative art (as opposed to photography) in the film era was done using chemical processes. The difference between those times and now is that then it was difficult to do, it was not not done on a massive scale, and that was perhaps the reason it was more readily accepted. But there were many that considered, for instance, Anselm Adams' creations to be crafty graphical  decorations, and not photography.

Don Lacy
Don Lacy Senior Member • Posts: 2,064
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography
1

mamallama wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

Offside wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

So a black and white photo is not a photo.

Got it.

I doubt any reasonable person would make the statement you just made. You probably know that.

I think the definition of what is and isn't a photograph is determined by what it is used for. The processing of a "true" photograph should not go beyond making only those changes to best represent what your eyes saw. That's pretty liberal.

Nothing wrong with staging a scene to create a photograph, the example being bird feeders, etc. I do believe it is best to clarify what was done if a scene is staged.

I generally agree with you. I was responding to the notion that a photograph can only be a representation of "nature and human beings with exactness" which mamallama seems to advocate, unless I've misread them.

Scene representation does not need to include color. The early photographs were all black and white or sepia and white.

Using that definition, even using a lens filter would render a photograph as not being a photograph.

Using a lens filter is an attempt to obtain a better representation of the scene, not an attempt to misrepresent the scene.

So a 10 stop ND filter is ok because it does not misrepresent the scene because this is what I saw when I set up this image. Actually it is what I envision plus it had the added benefit of eliminating the people walking on the pier since it was a four minute exposure and they did not stand in one place long enough to be recorded. If I had decided not to use a ND filter but stacked 100 images in PS it’s no longer a photograph again I am not sure how you can claim one is a photograph and the other isn’t and more important why is your definition more accurate then mine.

The photographic process is not perfect but its purpose is to obtain an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows. Deliberate attempts to misrepresent the scene is what deviates from being a real photograph. That distinction makes it clear what is a photograph and what is art based on the photographic process. Can some photo art be passed off as a photograph? Yes. But that does not change any definitions.

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lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Computer art vs. photography

Levantinian wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

Levantinian wrote:

Laybourne wrote:

But is the line between the two really as cut and dry as they make it out to be?

What do you think?

The line between photography and decorative art employing a digital image file and computer manipulation is quite well defined.

It is a photograph if the computer manipulation of camera generated digital file is restricted to the following:

  1. Restoration of image perspective to what it would be if the lens axis and the sensor x direction were both in the horizontal plane.
  2. Crop within the existing sensor frame.
  3. Correction of blemishes introduced by the foreign particles on the sensor surface.
  4. Correction for the colour temperature, light sensitivity and contrast, uniform over the whole image frame.

If there is any computer manipulation of the image file produced by the camera, it may well be art, but it is not photography.

Wow is this ignorant of what was done in darkrooms well before a pixel or computers existed.

Not at all. A lot of decorative art (as opposed to photography) in the film era was done using chemical processes. The difference between those times and now is that then it was difficult to do, it was not not done on a massive scale, and that was perhaps the reason it was more readily accepted. But there were many that considered, for instance, Anselm Adams' creations to be crafty graphical decorations, and not photography.

Yeah, I was a bit suspicious about the board name, thank you for confirming those suspicions.

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,308
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

So if I do say a Humming bird set up were I use a flower that I placed sugar water in then place a artificial back ground behind it and use six flashes to light everything it’s not a photograph according to your definition. So I guess my sons school pictures are not photographs either. I am confused when did the definition change and who changed it.

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality so my question is why in the process of of making an image does it matter when I distort reality. If I do it before I press the shutter it’s a photograph after I press the shutter in a editing program it no longer is a photograph one of the problems I have with that is when it was done in a dark room it was still considered a photograph. So why have the rules changed if I did a double exposure using film it’s a photograph if I combine two I’mages in PS it’s no longer a photograph.

If you do a double exposure you have two photos superimposed. You can have two photos in the same space or overlapping.

Do you understand what was capable using film it was not uncommon to take a exposure of the moon using a 300mm lens then take another exposure without advancing the frame with a wide angle lens changing the composition and now placing the moon in the sky were it never was. So again when I used double exposures techniques to place the moon were it never was in the scene it’s a photograph but if I do it later in a editing program using two digital captures it’s no longer a photograph. So you can see my confusion since both techniques accomplish the same thing.

You still have two photographs of the moon on the same image. The image with two moons is what is not a photograph as there is no reality of a small moon on top of a large moon.

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 330
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

I really can't stand this type of debate because it seems to me as if all everyone does is either play obtuse or play fast and loose with terms to make their point.

Look:

  • Photography is the art and skill of capturing an image with a camera. That is literally what "photography" means. "Photo"=Greek for light. "Graphy"=write. So, "to draw or write with light."

It is not:

  • Taking photographs and creating what we used to call "photo montages" or "photo illustrations." Photo montages and illustrations employ photography, but the resulting image is not photography. This type of stuff falls under the realm of GRAPHIC ARTS (as in graphic illustration and design), not photography.

So, if the resultant image was directly from a camera, it's a photograph (whether there was enhancing, dodging, burning, boosting of color is irrelevant). If the resultant image is a composite of multiple elements from different images, then it's just a photo composite/montage/illustration, like below:

Credit: www.breyer-composites.com

Some people argue that there's a gray area. The only area where I think it would be a gray area is if the person doing the composites is clearly a photographer himself/herself and is using photographic techniques to create images that still look and feel photographic. Jerry N. Uelsmann is a guy who falls under this category. His photographs were clearly "manipulated", but in the end of the day, he shot those photographs himself and merged them in the dark room as a photographer, not as a graphic designer or graphic illustrator.

Outside of that, there's no gray area when it comes to images that were clearly pieced together by non-photographers who are just remixing images, and I have no problems with people making a clear demarcation between that sort of thing and photography. The reason why is that we're reaching a point where people who don't even know how to use a camera want to be considered "photographers" just by virtue of having "Photoshop skillz".

This problem is why there have been an increasing number of cheaters entering competitions for photographers. People are going around thinking, "I can't shoot for crap, but my work should be considered photography because I know how to blend and merge other people's photos to make a beautiful photograph."

misterodd
misterodd Senior Member • Posts: 1,284
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

lilBuddha wrote:

misterodd wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

I completely understanding your line of thought and it's a fair definition

relatively consistent with the opinions of many individuals and groups, photographers and non-photographers, alike.

In a broader sense, perhaps a socio-philosophical sense, however, even "photography" is inherently "manipulative" as it provides no context, especially historical context.

It is not a socio-philosophical sense, but in a the way reality works, sense,

I think you did not understand what I wrote.  We are talking about how a photo can be manipulated intentionally or otherwise and what would constitute this manipulation.  The person I replied to provided an overt case of manipulation.  I provided one that was less so.  When a critique is carried out,  a set of criteria is required to judge and make distinctions.

An image is one signifier among an inexhaustible many and can fall prey to the machinations of those who do not use photography to enlighten or edify or inspire others.

What? Photography is not meant the enlighten, edify or inspire, it is making images by recording light. It can be used to enlighten, edify or inspire or whatever motive the maker and/or viewer wants. But that is not its purpose.

Photography can be used to enlighten, edify, or inspire others, among many things.  I never made the claim that photography was only ever used for these ends.

You wrote that photography is "making images by recording light."  I suppose this was your definition of the purpose of photography.  But this is not a definition of the purpose.  It is only an ever-so-brief explanation of how photography works, in a technical sense.

I think you may have not fully comprehended the arguments in this exchange.

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knickerhawk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,417
Re: Computer art vs. photography

Levantinian wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Levantinian wrote:

Laybourne wrote:

But is the line between the two really as cut and dry as they make it out to be?

What do you think?

The line between photography and decorative art employing a digital image file and computer manipulation is quite well defined.

It is a photograph if the computer manipulation of camera generated digital file is restricted to the following:

  1. Restoration of image perspective to what it would be if the lens axis and the sensor x direction were both in the horizontal plane.
  2. Crop within the existing sensor frame.
  3. Correction of blemishes introduced by the foreign particles on the sensor surface.
  4. Correction for the colour temperature, light sensitivity and contrast, uniform over the whole image frame.

If there is any computer manipulation of the image file produced by the camera, it may well be art, but it is not photography.

That's an incredibly restrictive definition.

Perhaps a "very restrictive definition?" Yes, it is. Works for some, not for the others...

  1. All B&W images are not photographs...

We are discussing the definitions in context of digital photography. I do not see how are those rules disqualifying photographs taken on monochrome film or sensor?

Well, ALL digital sensors are monochrome with respect to each channel. So what? Are you, therefore, saying a B&W output image/print generated from just one of the channels in a digital camera is a legitimate photographic image but a B&W image generated from all four channels can only be called "decorative art"? Likewise, does this mean that viewing any color photographic image on a B&W monitor or printing it on a B&W printer magically transforms it into something other than a photographic image? Does this also imply that a B&W print made from a color negative (which used to be a fairly common darkroom option with the right kind of B&W paper) is NOT a photographic print, but rather "decorative art"?

Does your silence with respect to my other examples mean that you have no answers or are you just taking them one at a time?

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,308
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

lilBuddha wrote:

mamallama wrote:

The photographic process is not perfect but its purpose is to obtain an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows.

No, no it is not repeat it all you wish but that does not make it true. Photography is making an image by recording light. That is it, full stop.

Shining a flashlight on photosensitive paper will not make it photography.

The photographic process is deciding what to record, from where, at what time, with what lens, using what shutter speed and aperture, processing that image and deciding on display mediums

The idea that a photograph captures reality is a distortion of reality.

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,308
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

knickerhawk wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

Offside wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

So a black and white photo is not a photo.

Got it.

I doubt any reasonable person would make the statement you just made. You probably know that.

I think the definition of what is and isn't a photograph is determined by what it is used for. The processing of a "true" photograph should not go beyond making only those changes to best represent what your eyes saw. That's pretty liberal.

Nothing wrong with staging a scene to create a photograph, the example being bird feeders, etc. I do believe it is best to clarify what was done if a scene is staged.

I generally agree with you. I was responding to the notion that a photograph can only be a representation of "nature and human beings with exactness" which mamallama seems to advocate, unless I've misread them.

Scene representation does not need to include color. The early photographs were all black and white or sepia and white.

Using that definition, even using a lens filter would render a photograph as not being a photograph.

Using a lens filter is an attempt to obtain a better representation of the scene, not an attempt to misrepresent the scene.

The photographic process is not perfect but its purpose is to obtain an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows. Deliberate attempts to misrepresent the scene is what deviates from being a real photograph. That distinction makes it clear what is a photograph and what is art based on the photographic process. Can some photo art be passed off as a photograph? Yes. But that does not change any definitions.

There is no way to reconcile your claim that "scene representation does not need to include color" with your claim that the purpose of the "photographic process" is to "obtain [as] exact [a] representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows."

Representation does not mean duplication of every attribute of a scene. Photography was well established and accepted before the means of recording color was ever developed. Even now there is no technology to duplicate the three dimensions of a scene and yet we have photography.

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Don Lacy
Don Lacy Senior Member • Posts: 2,064
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

So if I do say a Humming bird set up were I use a flower that I placed sugar water in then place a artificial back ground behind it and use six flashes to light everything it’s not a photograph according to your definition. So I guess my sons school pictures are not photographs either. I am confused when did the definition change and who changed it.

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality so my question is why in the process of of making an image does it matter when I distort reality. If I do it before I press the shutter it’s a photograph after I press the shutter in a editing program it no longer is a photograph one of the problems I have with that is when it was done in a dark room it was still considered a photograph. So why have the rules changed if I did a double exposure using film it’s a photograph if I combine two I’mages in PS it’s no longer a photograph.

If you do a double exposure you have two photos superimposed. You can have two photos in the same space or overlapping.

Do you understand what was capable using film it was not uncommon to take a exposure of the moon using a 300mm lens then take another exposure without advancing the frame with a wide angle lens changing the composition and now placing the moon in the sky were it never was. So again when I used double exposures techniques to place the moon were it never was in the scene it’s a photograph but if I do it later in a editing program using two digital captures it’s no longer a photograph. So you can see my confusion since both techniques accomplish the same thing.

You still have two photographs of the moon on the same image. The image with two moons is what is not a photograph as there is no reality of a small moon on top of a large moon.

So a double exposure is not a photograph got it. Your wrong but that’s besides the point because in reality you don’t get to define what I’d a photograph and more importantly you don’t get to define my photography.

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,308
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

Offside wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

So a black and white photo is not a photo.

Got it.

I doubt any reasonable person would make the statement you just made. You probably know that.

I think the definition of what is and isn't a photograph is determined by what it is used for. The processing of a "true" photograph should not go beyond making only those changes to best represent what your eyes saw. That's pretty liberal.

Nothing wrong with staging a scene to create a photograph, the example being bird feeders, etc. I do believe it is best to clarify what was done if a scene is staged.

I generally agree with you. I was responding to the notion that a photograph can only be a representation of "nature and human beings with exactness" which mamallama seems to advocate, unless I've misread them.

Scene representation does not need to include color. The early photographs were all black and white or sepia and white.

Using that definition, even using a lens filter would render a photograph as not being a photograph.

Using a lens filter is an attempt to obtain a better representation of the scene, not an attempt to misrepresent the scene.

So a 10 stop ND filter is ok because it does not misrepresent the scene because this is what I saw when I set up this image. Actually it is what I envision plus it had the added benefit of eliminating the people walking on the pier since it was a four minute exposure and they did not stand in one place long enough to be recorded. If I had decided not to use a ND filter but stacked 100 images in PS it’s no longer a photograph again I am not sure how you can claim one is a photograph and the other isn’t and more important why is your definition more accurate then mine.

The photographic process is not perfect but its purpose is to obtain an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows. Deliberate attempts to misrepresent the scene is what deviates from being a real photograph. That distinction makes it clear what is a photograph and what is art based on the photographic process. Can some photo art be passed off as a photograph? Yes. But that does not change any definitions.

What you are recording is a composite or long exposure photograph. It is a photograph because the scene that was recorded did exist at one time in history. You did not manipulate to alter what you recorded. That you did not record the people only because your setup was not sensitive enough. An image does not need to record everything in the scene to be a photograph.

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lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

mamallama wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

mamallama wrote:

The photographic process is not perfect but its purpose is to obtain an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows.

No, no it is not repeat it all you wish but that does not make it true. Photography is making an image by recording light. That is it, full stop.

Shining a flashlight on photosensitive paper will not make it photography.

The point is 'an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows.' is not the definition of photography.

The photographic process is deciding what to record, from where, at what time, with what lens, using what shutter speed and aperture, processing that image and deciding on display mediums

The idea that a photograph captures reality is a distortion of reality.

lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

misterodd wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

misterodd wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

I completely understanding your line of thought and it's a fair definition

relatively consistent with the opinions of many individuals and groups, photographers and non-photographers, alike.

In a broader sense, perhaps a socio-philosophical sense, however, even "photography" is inherently "manipulative" as it provides no context, especially historical context.

It is not a socio-philosophical sense, but in a the way reality works, sense,

I think you did not understand what I wrote.

And I am pretty sure you did not undestand my reply.

We are talking about how a photo can be manipulated intentionally or otherwise and what would constitute this manipulation. The person I replied to provided an overt case of manipulation. I provided one that was less so. When a critique is carried out, a set of criteria is required to judge and make distinctions.

All photographs are manipulations, no philosophy necessary. Philosophy come in further down the road when we begin to discuss what manipulation changes definition.

An image is one signifier among an inexhaustible many and can fall prey to the machinations of those who do not use photography to enlighten or edify or inspire others.

What? Photography is not meant the enlighten, edify or inspire, it is making images by recording light. It can be used to enlighten, edify or inspire or whatever motive the maker and/or viewer wants. But that is not its purpose.

Photography can be used to enlighten, edify, or inspire others, among many things. I never made the claim that photography was only ever used for these ends.

Your phrasing certainly implies it.

You wrote that photography is "making images by recording light." I suppose this was your definition of the purpose of photography. But this is not a definition of the purpose. It is only an ever-so-brief explanation of how photography works, in a technical sense.

Photography has no purpose, photography is a process.

Photographers have purpose.

And, of course, viewers can infer purpose.

I think you may have not fully comprehended the arguments in this exchange.

I understand just fine, but I do disagree.

Dan Hudson
Dan Hudson Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography
1

Personally, I am not looking for reality. I use my camera and my digital darkroom to produce something I like. Reality versus changing dof, vibrance, sharpness and composition are fun things for an artist to manipulate under the spectrum of photography. To capture reality does not require one once of artistic ability.

To some of us the camera is a tool, not an instrument of limitation. Why can't the results of our efforts in the use of photographic tools rate as photographs whether copied, created or recreated? At worst can we call a combination of edits and creations using photographic tools and images a collage instead of a photograph? Even so, I understand what some are thinking....let's differentiate between absolute photographic reality (no manipulation) and a touch of artistry (visual manipulation) to achieve whatever goal.

Seems, purpose is the idea that decides what name an image gets...."photography" or "art". Would be nice to have both on the same plate except maybe in extreme cases. Some of us have no need to be identified as a photographer to justify our photographic efforts. I like the pure and I also like the so called contaminated. The level of like depends on the results to me. Who really cares the level of purity? If I used a camera in the process, it is photography, at least in a broader sense.....Dan

If someone photographed a sheet of music and then was able to through whatever processes he designed, convert that visual image into sound, we would call it a photograph of sound.

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Dan Hudson
Dan Hudson Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Re: Adding emotion

You speak like an artist.

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misterodd
misterodd Senior Member • Posts: 1,284
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

lilBuddha wrote:

misterodd wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

misterodd wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

I completely understanding your line of thought and it's a fair definition

relatively consistent with the opinions of many individuals and groups, photographers and non-photographers, alike.

In a broader sense, perhaps a socio-philosophical sense, however, even "photography" is inherently "manipulative" as it provides no context, especially historical context.

It is not a socio-philosophical sense, but in a the way reality works, sense,

I think you did not understand what I wrote.

And I am pretty sure you did not undestand my reply.

I did understand what you wrote despite the rather crude diction used in your explanation.

We are talking about how a photo can be manipulated intentionally or otherwise and what would constitute this manipulation. The person I replied to provided an overt case of manipulation. I provided one that was less so. When a critique is carried out, a set of criteria is required to judge and make distinctions.

All photographs are manipulations, no philosophy necessary. Philosophy come in further down the road when we begin to discuss what manipulation changes definition.

You do understand that I am not talking about any particular philosophy or rigorous system of thought, don't you?  We are discussing ideas here.  And any time ideas are discussed and debated one can not escape philosophy, critical thought.  It envelopes everything.  It is the basic frame work, the ground in which arguments are built and put forth.  We all drink from the well of knowledge, do we not?

An image is one signifier among an inexhaustible many and can fall prey to the machinations of those who do not use photography to enlighten or edify or inspire others.

What? Photography is not meant the enlighten, edify or inspire, it is making images by recording light. It can be used to enlighten, edify or inspire or whatever motive the maker and/or viewer wants. But that is not its purpose.

Photography can be used to enlighten, edify, or inspire others, among many things. I never made the claim that photography was only ever used for these ends.

Your phrasing certainly implies it.

Making critical judgements requires rigorous logic, a body of knowledge, and an extraordinary sense of the world around us, among other things.  If we look carefully at this exchange, I have used words like "enlighten," "edify," and "inspire," in contradistinction to words related to "machination."  I have not implied that photography, or photographers, as you would prefer, only do the things mentioned above.  It's best to see the forest for the trees.

You wrote that photography is "making images by recording light." I suppose this was your definition of the purpose of photography. But this is not a definition of the purpose. It is only an ever-so-brief explanation of how photography works, in a technical sense.

Photography has no purpose, photography is a process.

Photographers have purpose.

And, of course, viewers can infer purpose.

The difference between "photography" and "photographer" is little more than a semantic differentiation.  There's no reason to split hairs here.  It's unnecessary and only causes confusion.  It's obvious to most people, that the individual photographer is the agent doing the photography, isn't it?  If one were to say that photography didn't have a purpose this would be wrong.  Because for some people, photography does serve a specific purpose, to document, to teach, to explore one's inner being, etc.  This would be the same as saying art doesn't have a purpose, and I'm fairly certain almost no one would make such an assertion.

I think you may have not fully comprehended the arguments in this exchange.

I understand just fine, but I do disagree.

I genuinely believe that we can not come to terms here.  But this happens every single day when people discuss and debate and defend their ideas.  It's perfectly fine.

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,308
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

mamallama wrote:

Photo manipulations imply distorting reality which is not photography. Things like blue screening and cutting objects out of a scene are distortions of reality and thus not photography.

So if I do say a Humming bird set up were I use a flower that I placed sugar water in then place a artificial back ground behind it and use six flashes to light everything it’s not a photograph according to your definition. So I guess my sons school pictures are not photographs either. I am confused when did the definition change and who changed it.

Only on a dpr forum are there arguments about the definitions of very simple fundamental things:

Dictionary definition:

Photograph: representing nature and human beings with exactness.

Both of your examples fit the above definition of a photograph.

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality so my question is why in the process of of making an image does it matter when I distort reality. If I do it before I press the shutter it’s a photograph after I press the shutter in a editing program it no longer is a photograph one of the problems I have with that is when it was done in a dark room it was still considered a photograph. So why have the rules changed if I did a double exposure using film it’s a photograph if I combine two I’mages in PS it’s no longer a photograph.

If you do a double exposure you have two photos superimposed. You can have two photos in the same space or overlapping.

Do you understand what was capable using film it was not uncommon to take a exposure of the moon using a 300mm lens then take another exposure without advancing the frame with a wide angle lens changing the composition and now placing the moon in the sky were it never was. So again when I used double exposures techniques to place the moon were it never was in the scene it’s a photograph but if I do it later in a editing program using two digital captures it’s no longer a photograph. So you can see my confusion since both techniques accomplish the same thing.

You still have two photographs of the moon on the same image. The image with two moons is what is not a photograph as there is no reality of a small moon on top of a large moon.

So a double exposure is not a photograph got it. Your wrong but that’s besides the point because in reality you don’t get to define what I’d a photograph and more importantly you don’t get to define my photography.

Think: photographs records reality. How many earth moons are there?

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,308
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

lilBuddha wrote:

mamallama wrote:

lilBuddha wrote:

mamallama wrote:

The photographic process is not perfect but its purpose is to obtain an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows.

No, no it is not repeat it all you wish but that does not make it true. Photography is making an image by recording light. That is it, full stop.

Shining a flashlight on photosensitive paper will not make it photography.

The point is 'an exact representation of the scene as the photographic capability allows.' is not the definition of photography.

You are correct about that. I have never seen that definition.

The photographic process is deciding what to record, from where, at what time, with what lens, using what shutter speed and aperture, processing that image and deciding on display mediums

The idea that a photograph captures reality is a distortion of reality.

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