Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Started 4 months ago | Polls
knickerhawk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

mamallama wrote:

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.

Then what does your claim mean that the purpose of photography is to obtain as "exact" a representation of the scene "as the photographic capability allows"? Isn't a color representation a more exact representation of a rainbow than a B&W one? Again, you can't reconcile your claims.

Photography was well established and accepted before the means of recording color was ever developed.

OK, but color recording has been well established for many decades. You're implying that B&W recording/conversion is no longer a legitimate method of representation of a scene since there's now a more "exact" method available. And if you concede that B&W capture is still a legitimate means of recording a scene, then you're beginning the slide down the slippery slope. You better grab on as hard as you can to your conceptual dissonance because it's all downhill from here.

Even now there is no technology to duplicate the three dimensions of a scene and yet we have photography.

And love it...

Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,640
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

mamallama wrote:

MisterBG 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.

It's the difference between TAKING a photograph and MAKING a photograph.

A doctored photograph is not a real photograph. That is the issue involved in the 500px judgment.

So what about an IR photograph? Is it somehow not a photograph because it depicts an altered reality from that seen by human eyes and interpreted by a human brain?

Lin

Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,640
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

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.

So if an ND filter is used to make moving water look different, it misrepresents the scene and therefore is not a photograph?  You see there are all kinds of problems with making blanket statements. What the human eye and brain see and interpret are quite different than what another sentient creature might see. A cat sees things in darkness differently than a human so if the camera is set up to represent what a cat sees does that negate the definition of a photograph?  
The reality is that there exist many frequencies which humans can't see but which other sentient creatures can. So using a camera which can record these other frequencies by that definition would not qualify as photography?  It gets confusing, doesn't it?

Lin

Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,640
Re: Computer art vs. photography

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.

But the camera itself is a "computer," is it not?

Lin

gloaming Veteran Member • Posts: 3,954
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Don Lacy wrote:

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality ...

How do you 'distort' reality simply by replacing, or altering, what happened to be in place prior to your tripping the shutter, Don?  The brick I suspended where the hummingbird was 40 seconds ago (and which moved on due to my actions) is no more real or distorting than was the hummingbird when it was hovering near the feeder...or against a natural vs. black Bristol board background.

To illustrate, this image comprises a diorama in HO scale on which I have an HO scale Heisler geared locomotive representing, in scale, an item which exists only in museums or as rusting hulks at the bottoms of rivers someplace.  The image comprises four stacked images manipulated via software (CombineZP).  There is no distortion, except what opticians would term spherical, symmetric, astigmatic, registration error artefacts, and so on.  What the lens passed as images on each of those exposures is precisely what it was able to do because that is what was in front of the lens.  There Is no magic going on...what you see is what you get...except it's all rendered in focus.

The image conveys a false impression because there were never railway tracks over a bridge of the kind depicted this far east of the Beaufort Range shown in the distance.  But you can't say what you see isn't 'real', and if the imaging system captures what it must, then you have a photograph.  What would make it manipulated is that, after the system's rendering, one begins to introduce artefacts, or effects, or some other alteration using only software.  But, it would still be a photograph, just not one showing fidelity to what the camera produced, or the software that rendered four photographs fully in focus.

knickerhawk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Lin Evans 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.

So if an ND filter is used to make moving water look different, it misrepresents the scene and therefore is not a photograph? You see there are all kinds of problems with making blanket statements. What the human eye and brain see and interpret are quite different than what another sentient creature might see. A cat sees things in darkness differently than a human so if the camera is set up to represent what a cat sees does that negate the definition of a photograph?
The reality is that there exist many frequencies which humans can't see but which other sentient creatures can. So using a camera which can record these other frequencies by that definition would not qualify as photography? It gets confusing, doesn't it?

Understanding "reality" and its relation to the observer and the observer's representation of reality has been confusing from the era of Plato's allegory of the cave to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. We still have a lot to learn, but one thing we can be confident about is that the conception of a reality "out there" that can be faithfully recorded by a device is a simplistic one and, hence, the follow-on notion that any change applied to that faithful recording is somehow illegitimate is also naive. This topic is inherently a gray one. If we don't start the discussion with that fundamental understanding, we'll get nowhere with defining acceptable working definitions that reasonably balance of historical usage of the term, "photograph" with changing technology and social practices.

Don Lacy
Don Lacy Senior Member • Posts: 2,047
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

mamallama wrote:

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?

you really don’t understand what I am describing there is only one moon in the image by using a double exposures you place it in the sky were you want it the same as doing a composite in PS. Really you need to go read or study what was possible before digital.

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Don Lacy
Don Lacy Senior Member • Posts: 2,047
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

gloaming wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality ...

How do you 'distort' reality simply by replacing, or altering, what happened to be in place prior to your tripping the shutter, Don? The brick I suspended where the hummingbird was 40 seconds ago (and which moved on due to my actions) is no more real or distorting than was the hummingbird when it was hovering near the feeder...or against a natural vs. black Bristol board background.

To illustrate, this image comprises a diorama in HO scale on which I have an HO scale Heisler geared locomotive representing, in scale, an item which exists only in museums or as rusting hulks at the bottoms of rivers someplace. The image comprises four stacked images manipulated via software (CombineZP). There is no distortion, except what opticians would term spherical, symmetric, astigmatic, registration error artefacts, and so on. What the lens passed as images on each of those exposures is precisely what it was able to do because that is what was in front of the lens. There Is no magic going on...what you see is what you get...except it's all rendered in focus.

The image conveys a false impression because there were never railway tracks over a bridge of the kind depicted this far east of the Beaufort Range shown in the distance. But you can't say what you see isn't 'real', and if the imaging system captures what it must, then you have a photograph. What would make it manipulated is that, after the system's rendering, one begins to introduce artefacts, or effects, or some other alteration using only software. But, it would still be a photograph, just not one showing fidelity to what the camera produced, or the software that rendered four photographs fully in focus.

I altered the natural scene I changed the reality it’s still a photograph as far as I am concerned and it would still be a photograph if I altered the BG in PS. My point is simply that to claim a photograph must represent reality is a new definition and one that was way to many holes in it to hold up.

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sirhawkeye64 Senior Member • Posts: 2,826
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Laybourne wrote:

On DPR's homepage, there's a story about how 500px has drawn a distinction between what it sees as photography and what it considers a photo manipulation.

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

What do you think?

I had posted something similar years ago on here regarding a similar subject.

Here's my take on the debate.... if you have an image that has been modified to a point where the content is no longer about what the original photograph was taken, then I personally would consider that photo manipulation. Say, you take a beautiful sunset, and you composite someone in that sunset, or you composite someone into another photograph, then I would consider that photo manipulation.

But making adjustments to a photo that otherwise remain "intact" (meaning you haven't changed the intent, subject matter, etc) then I would still consider that to be photography.

I think where the fine line falls for most people, is when you start modifying the overall subject matter of the photo is when photography cross over into the realm of photo manipulation. We manipulate photographs as photographers in camera to get the content we want, but again, IMO, it's what happens after you take the picture that I think differentiates photography from photo manipulation.

I would venture to guess that a generic definition for photo manipulation would be any changes to a photo from its original content/form.

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lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,376
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

knickerhawk wrote:

Lin Evans 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.

So if an ND filter is used to make moving water look different, it misrepresents the scene and therefore is not a photograph? You see there are all kinds of problems with making blanket statements. What the human eye and brain see and interpret are quite different than what another sentient creature might see. A cat sees things in darkness differently than a human so if the camera is set up to represent what a cat sees does that negate the definition of a photograph?
The reality is that there exist many frequencies which humans can't see but which other sentient creatures can. So using a camera which can record these other frequencies by that definition would not qualify as photography? It gets confusing, doesn't it?

Understanding "reality" and its relation to the observer and the observer's representation of reality has been confusing from the era of Plato's allegory of the cave to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. We still have a lot to learn, but one thing we can be confident about is that the conception of a reality "out there" that can be faithfully recorded by a device is a simplistic one and, hence, the follow-on notion that any change applied to that faithful recording is somehow illegitimate is also naive. This topic is inherently a gray one. If we don't start the discussion with that fundamental understanding, we'll get nowhere with defining acceptable working definitions that reasonably balance of historical usage of the term, "photograph" with changing technology and social practices.

One problem is that people do not start with conversation with an understanding of the historical use of photography. Much of what people argue against in digital is fundamentally unchanged from film. Digital makes things easier and in many cases more versatile and powerful, but most of what we do is fundamentally no different to what has been done in the nearly 200 years of photography.

Jake2046
Jake2046 Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

For me...enhancing a photo still a photo. Once you start to composite different elements into the photo it becomes art. Jerry Uelsmann...I consider him a photographer creating art.

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

Lin Evans 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.

But the camera itself is a "computer," is it not?

Camera is primarily an optical instrument that captures the light intensity of the visible points in three-dimensional scene in front of it on a two-dimensional sensor or film inside it. If it is a digital camera, then yes, there is a computer that records the intensity (and colour components) of each pixel into a digital file, performing (in general case) only the transformations covered by item (4) above.

There might be other corrections that are caused by imperfect recording characteristics of the sensor, or the imperfect optical characteristics of the lens, but those are uniform over the frame of the sensor and do not materially infringe on the restrictions specified above.

A perfectly objective rendering is an unobtainable ideal. The restriction outlined above help in keeping photography within the realm of communication where most viewers believe that if they were at the same spot as the photographer, at the time the exposure was made, what the scene depicts is what they would have seen. The art of the photograph, if it exists, is the consequence of the creative selection of the place and time of the exposure, and not of the artist's emotional manipulation of it - which is the domain of another art form, namely painting.

lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,376
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

misterodd wrote:

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.

Language is about communication and this is not always facilitated by grandiose vocabulary.

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.

No, it doesn't. One could make the case for the argument that it should, but humans are wired to make quick, instinctual judgements. Humans have evolved the ability to reason, but are still strongly governed by instinct.

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 set up a false dichotomy between those who seek to 'enlighten or edify or inspire' and those who do not and their potential "machinations".

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.

The purpose of a photographic device is to facilitate making an image using light.* The purpose or philosophy of the photographer is orthogonal to this.

The process itself has no inherent purpose or philosophy. The reason this is important is because of threads like this one where people say "The purpose of photography is..." thus attempting to limit the discussion to their subjective determination.

*Some other forms of electro-magnetic radiation qualify, but for the purposes of this discussion it is light.

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.

FrankyM Senior Member • Posts: 2,323
Little boxes
1

The fact is we all live in imaginary boxes whose walls are made of arbitrary rules within which we can justify to ourselves that we needn't step outside of our comfort zone. For some people those boxes are large granting a lot of freedom, for others they are small and restrictive.

The discussion of what is or is not photography in relation to photo editing is really just a problem for those who want to live in little boxes.

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,124
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Lin Evans wrote:

mamallama wrote:

MisterBG 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.

It's the difference between TAKING a photograph and MAKING a photograph.

A doctored photograph is not a real photograph. That is the issue involved in the 500px judgment.

So what about an IR photograph? Is it somehow not a photograph because it depicts an altered reality from that seen by human eyes and interpreted by a human brain?

Lin

Whether it can be viewed or perceived by human eyes has nothing to do with it. It is whether it represents something that is real or not. What the IR photograph represents something that is real. But an image of an actual 747 airplane in my living room does not represent anything that is real and thus is not a photograph.

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gloaming Veteran Member • Posts: 3,954
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

I just don't see how.  The instrument lets photons in through a lens, past the shutter, and records what it 'sees'.  Doesn't really matter what it is, how it got there, how many people handled it, or what it looks like.

Maybe we need to introduce the idea of 'depiction' and keep that as the focus of the distinction between what was presented to the camera and then what was rendered.  My Heisler photo is obviously not a real depiction, whether one notes the fact that the foreground is false and the locomotive and rolling stock are scale models.  We don't even need to deal with plausibility. Instead, the image IS a photograph because all items presented in the image were reflecting photons as true objects in their own rights.

FoPar Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Stephenhampshire wrote:

This is before any cloning to remove errant TV arials etc. I did all thiis in the darkroom years ago, digital merely makes it easier.

If you remove historical data points, it is no longer an authentic photograph.

FoPar Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

Lin Evans wrote:

So what about an IR photograph? Is it somehow not a photograph because it depicts an altered reality from that seen by human eyes and interpreted by a human brain?

Lin

Just because the human eye cannot see something does not mean it is not there.

An infra-red photograph is a photograph taken using infra-red light. If cars and aerials are removed it is no longer authentic.

FoPar Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

photography may be considered special because it, uniquely, can represent reality with a strong level of authenticity

undermine this and it just becomes an inferior form of painting

with digital processes it has become more difficult to catch out false photographs but it still needs to be done

perhaps if this becomes impossible, photography will become worthless or just another bow string for the visual artist

FoPar Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Photo-manipulations vs. photography

gloaming wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

Both of my examples distorted reality or more important show a false reality ...

How do you 'distort' reality simply by replacing, or altering, what happened to be in place prior to your tripping the shutter, Don? The brick I suspended where the hummingbird was 40 seconds ago (and which moved on due to my actions) is no more real or distorting than was the hummingbird when it was hovering near the feeder...or against a natural vs. black Bristol board background.

To illustrate, this image comprises a diorama in HO scale on which I have an HO scale Heisler geared locomotive representing, in scale, an item which exists only in museums or as rusting hulks at the bottoms of rivers someplace. The image comprises four stacked images manipulated via software (CombineZP). There is no distortion, except what opticians would term spherical, symmetric, astigmatic, registration error artefacts, and so on. What the lens passed as images on each of those exposures is precisely what it was able to do because that is what was in front of the lens. There Is no magic going on...what you see is what you get...except it's all rendered in focus.

The image conveys a false impression because there were never railway tracks over a bridge of the kind depicted this far east of the Beaufort Range shown in the distance. But you can't say what you see isn't 'real', and if the imaging system captures what it must, then you have a photograph. What would make it manipulated is that, after the system's rendering, one begins to introduce artefacts, or effects, or some other alteration using only software. But, it would still be a photograph, just not one showing fidelity to what the camera produced, or the software that rendered four photographs fully in focus.

If it's an authentic photo of your diorama then it's a true photograph, if it's not an authentic representation of your diorama then it isn't

the extent of its authenticity must be judged by you. if you say it's authentic and it isn't then it's a lie, a falsehood

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