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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 2nd January 2015
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What is photograph?

Apologies for putting this in the lounge but it seemed the best place.

Yesterday afternoon we were at my parents and my Dad showed us a CD of photos from their camera club competition, some of which were being submitted to DPIC(?) and asked us to mark them out of 15. We didn't give that many high marks.

We gave high marks to a blue tit, owlet and red squirrel which hadn't done well as the club members knew they were "staged" and the guy always enters/displays bird photos and they are tired of them.

Anyway, to the question, what is a photograph? My Dad had created a storm in a tea cup, which was 4 photos merged in Photoshop. We gave it low marks as to us it wasn't a 'photograph' (but they are all photographs he said)! Creatively it was very good, and with a politician or banker and some currency signs would have made a good magazine cover. If we were judging creative Photoshop techniques then it would have scored well, but amongst single images we didn't rate it.

He describes me as a traditionalist as I'm not massively into Photoshop. However he describes Olympus Art Filters as Photoshop.

So is a photograph a record or a place or person at a given time warts and all? Or is it the result of images merged in Photoshop.

Sorry that got a bit wordy, I hope you can follow it!

Amanda
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Old 2nd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

I prefer to use the term image rather than photograph. That allows a much wider range of subjects and techniques. IMO I think that in general manipulated work is more likely to be accepted in camera clubs rather on forums and by non photographers.
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Old 2nd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

What is a photograph well this seems very much a debate in all camera clubs. I recently attended a adjudication for awards and straight photography didn't appear to do that well. There was many what you would call altered reality images.
But is this really photography?
More time had been spent in Photoshop creating the image.
When does it stop being photography and become art?
What I am see to be popular in competitions and adjudication be they be RPS or PAGB is Altered Reality and Goth/Steam Punk.
I would describe myself as a traditionalist, as I believe I take photographs and not create images on a computer.
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

I have no problems with images created from photographs that have had post-processing techniques applied to them - so long as it's clear that the image is an artwork and not a factual record of something (e.g. natural history). It's the end result that matters. Art is art, no matter how it's made. Of course, there's good PP and bad PP, but that's part of the creative artistry too.
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

That's a very good question, Amanda. The lines between photography and digital art can become quite blurred sometimes. That was one of the things that drew me back to film. I don't have a clue about layers and masks and stuff in Photoshop, and I don't want to know either. At least with film images you know where you are and there's no danger of straying into the realms of digital art. Images can be manipulated in the darkroom, of course, but at least that's using traditional techniques.

Whether my photography has improved since going back to film is a moot point, but I'm happier and that's the most important thing. I just developed a roll of Velvia this evening and the sheer joy of holding the film up to the light as it came out of the tank and seeing that I'd absolutely nailed it in terms of exposure and composition in some of the shots definitely makes the effort of faffing about with film worthwhile. And those Velvia shots - you can't get any purer than that in terms of what a photograph is.

And here endeth the sermon on the use of film...
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

I agree with the 'traditional' approach but with adjustments to correct the image if desired, although I hate the 'spray painted' look done in some portraits. However, manipulated images that are no longer just a photograph, I think, should be given their own category in any judging. They are (or hopefully are) still made up from photographs & should have their place in clubs etc.
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Yes, a very good question, sure to bring out some responses. I have heard club members on both sides of the fence, each pushing their own view, I doubt if the argument will go away.
For me it is the image that counts, whether 'photoshopped' or not. I remember reading about Ansell Adams, how his prints had been worked on in the darkroom, the 'reality, being in his head perhaps?
An interesting article in the PAGB newsletter http://www.pagbnews.co.uk/e-news/en1...hLiftShift.pdf, denies the myth that only heavily manipulated images 'can succeed in PAGB competitions, in Salons, and in the Awards for Photographic Merit.'
I must say that I like to get thing right in camera, but it is not always possible, so some editing is needed, especially as I shoot in RAW.
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Hi there Amanda!

I think that a photograph can be anything taken with a camera - whether processed or not. When you start making images composed of several different photographs mixed together then that would be an image, rather than a photograph. The same is true when a photograph is altered to the point where it no longer resembles the original subject to the point where you cannot tell what the original subject was - ie an abstract.

Not all photography is art - reportage should be the original photograph totally unmolested, but not every photograph is reportage, so some adjustment is reasonable - I would personally say that using layers to throw a background further out of focus would still give a photograph, but dropping in a totally different background from another photograph would give an image.

I hope this helps,

Cheers,

Ralph.
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

I can see where the OP is coming from on this. Is it a photograph if it is taken in the IR range, or the UV end of the spectrum, neither of which we can see with the naked eye? Is it a photograph if more than one image has been used to give one print?
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Sometimes I take a photograph and use it as a starting point to adapt and create an image with. Most of the time the original "photograph" is still a huge part of and clearly discernible within the newly created image.

Sometimes I take a photograph and don't want to change a single element of it.

Sometimes I take a photograph for work record purposes which must remain completely original and unenhanced.

Photoshop is only an electronic version of the old chemical darkrooms so I really don't mind or have strong feeling either way.

Some of the early pioneers of photography freely admit to spending hours in the darkroom enhancing their work.

The debate over original "untouched" or how much "Photoshop" was used really does divide opinions.

I know someone personally, who won a summer themed photographic landscape competition by putting a large silk poppy exactly where he wanted within his cornfield composition. In the photograph it looked exactly like a real flower. He told the judges it was "a lucky find" - which is at the very least being economic with the truth or as others have said, simply deceitful. However, his deception won him first prize and he kept quiet.

Is there any difference in changing reality "in the field" or on a computer between sticking a large silk poppy in a cornfield composition or by adding one in electronically?

Wasn't there a professional photographer a couple of years ago who won an award for an "Animals in the Wild" competition when in fact he photographed a tame wolf jumping a fence? I seem to recall he was stripped of the prize when he admitted the wolf was a tame one from a managed centre.

Details of faked photo here from January 2010

http://www.theguardian.com/environme...award-stripped

Perhaps we want or expect reality in our "photographs" but accept drastic alterations for what we perceive as "images".

How many shades of grey are there in the OP's great original, thought provoking question?

Last edited by latestarter; 3rd January 2015 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Link to fake photo added
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cariadus View Post
That's a very good question, Amanda. The lines between photography and digital art can become quite blurred sometimes. That was one of the things that drew me back to film. I don't have a clue about layers and masks and stuff in Photoshop, and I don't want to know either. At least with film images you know where you are and there's no danger of straying into the realms of digital art. Images can be manipulated in the darkroom, of course, but at least that's using traditional techniques.

Whether my photography has improved since going back to film is a moot point, but I'm happier and that's the most important thing. I just developed a roll of Velvia this evening and the sheer joy of holding the film up to the light as it came out of the tank and seeing that I'd absolutely nailed it in terms of exposure and composition in some of the shots definitely makes the effort of faffing about with film worthwhile. And those Velvia shots - you can't get any purer than that in terms of what a photograph is.

And here endeth the sermon on the use of film...
As far as negatives being manipulated in the darkroom take a look at the early work of J K Potter all images manipulated from negs, ground breaking stuff back in the late 80's early 90's. Let's not forget that Ansel Adams was a Master at manipulating negatives in the darkroom too.

Purist or Artist or magnificent Image maker!!

Tom
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Is a vegetable a Vegetable if its a Curry ?

Photographic Images are created in camera - but wait, even the Great Ansell Adams "tweeked in the darkroom" and lots of others

"Vanners" are not quite what they first appear to be - as in "Horse Breeds" ; "Customised Vans" and "images with their roots in camera"

"Photographic Art" has it roots in camera, but has been post processed on a computer in Artistic Software

It is all so Creative and I lurve having fun with "images" but the die hard Photographers tend not to even like a border around a photographic image "because it has been messed about with".

PS added "BUT it is all about each and every one of us having a CHOICE and preference. Competitions state "the category of entries", so entrants just have to check this and spectators/viewers of competition entries

Nothing in this life is forever! Evolution happens - hence once a questionable bred horse was described a "Vanner" by Nagsmen/Grooms and the breed/showing Societies - now Vanner equines have a Breed Society and Stud Book - that is impressive development ... perhaps Photographic Images can enjoy the same

PS now "Vanner" describes custom edited "Vans" with their roots in a "white Van"

Long live "Imagine Publishing" who are "One of the world's leading technology content companies. Imagine publishes 21 print and digital magazines, 29 websites, over 250 bookazines a year, and employs 150 creatively driven people at its Bournemouth offices.

http://www.imagine-publishing.co.uk/

and Corel Photo Editing and Digital Imaging

http://www.corel.com/gb/all-products/

especially Corel Painter and Corel Essentials
http://www.painterartist.com/gb/product/paint-program/

and just loookie at some of the Digital Artwork Images created here

http://www.paintermagazine.co.uk/user_newest.php

TUTORIALS are here - come and join us "the possibilities are endless"

http://www.paintermagazine.co.uk/tutorials.php

but I fully respect and appreciate if you prefer "photographic images" un edited

Happy everso Creative 2015
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomphotofx View Post
As far as negatives being manipulated in the darkroom take a look at the early work of J K Potter all images manipulated from negs, ground breaking stuff back in the late 80's early 90's. Let's not forget that Ansel Adams was a Master at manipulating negatives in the darkroom too.

Purist or Artist or magnificent Image maker!!

Tom
Tom we can be one and ALL
ps you took some of the words out of my keyboard

Happy ultra Creative 2015
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

I prefer to think of myself as a photographer and image maker, Tom put it well.

But just for fun let me play devils advocate to the extreme.

What is a photograph, well the modern definition is now

Quote:
A photograph or photo is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic medium such as a CCD or a CMOS chip.
Not long ago the term just referred to film and light sensitive emulsions.

But light falling on a sensor does not create a image on the sensor but a lot of ones and zero's which are then interpreted by a computer built in to your camera.

So in reality it is a manipulated digital image and not a photograph, so only film produces a true photograph.
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Old 3rd January 2015
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Re: What is photograph?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post

http://www.imagine-publishing.co.uk/

and Corel Photo Editing and Digital Imaging

http://www.corel.com/gb/all-products/

especially Corel Painter and Corel Essentials
http://www.painterartist.com/gb/product/paint-program/

and just loookie at some of the Digital Artwork Images created here

http://www.paintermagazine.co.uk/user_newest.php
Many thanks for those links Chevvy - really interesting some of them.

Some of the images are clearly heavy manipulations of someone else's original creation which look really striking but I do recognise the original image used as a starting point.

Are there any copyright infringements created for this type of image where someone clearly adapts anothers original work?

I've never worked in this area before so I'm not sure how the laws on copyright work and I'm only being curious.

I really enjoyed dipping into those links though - some very interesting works in there.
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