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The Myth of the Unmanipulated Image

 
 
Ryan McGinnis
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      01-18-2011
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A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
with. While one can certainly defensively hold a position that there is
a line to be drawn where manipulation takes a photograph beyond truth,
it's very difficult to maintain a position in which only images farted
directly out of a camera qualify as "real" photographs.

http://www.bhinsights.com/content/my...ted-image.html

I recently went to a talk put on by a Natty Geo photographer who went to
great lengths to describe how he never digitally corrected any of his
images (or cropped them), and how everything we saw on the screen was
right out of the camera. His audience of mostly college students ate
this crap up. As someone who used to work pre-press, it astounds me how
ignorant even top-notch first-in-their-field photographers are of how an
image goes from slide to a magazine or a digital projector screen. They
get how a camera uses light to create an image on film or a sensor, but
after that, they close their eyes and everything is Magic to them That
Must Not Be Spoken About. Unless you are holding the undeveloped slide
in your hand, the image has been processed. Scanning an image requires
processing it by definition; how it is processed is up to the scanning
technician and the scanning hardware/software. Getting images to look
good even on good a Flexo press printing on heavy slick paper requires
quite a bit of post processing -- it's just done by prepress folk, not
photographers (who merrily go on their way thinking that their 'virgin'
image remains unsullied).

- --
- -Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key: 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/dJSi08 Images@Alamy: http://bit.ly/aMH6Qd
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Eric Stevens
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      01-18-2011
On Mon, 17 Jan 2011 21:58:04 -0800, Savageduck
<savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:

>On 2011-01-17 21:20:31 -0800, Ryan McGinnis <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>> Hash: SHA1
>>
>> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
>> with. While one can certainly defensively hold a position that there is
>> a line to be drawn where manipulation takes a photograph beyond truth,
>> it's very difficult to maintain a position in which only images farted
>> directly out of a camera qualify as "real" photographs.
>>
>> http://www.bhinsights.com/content/my...ted-image.html
>>
>> I recently went to a talk put on by a Natty Geo photographer who went to
>> great lengths to describe how he never digitally corrected any of his
>> images (or cropped them), and how everything we saw on the screen was
>> right out of the camera. His audience of mostly college students ate
>> this crap up. As someone who used to work pre-press, it astounds me how
>> ignorant even top-notch first-in-their-field photographers are of how an
>> image goes from slide to a magazine or a digital projector screen. They
>> get how a camera uses light to create an image on film or a sensor, but
>> after that, they close their eyes and everything is Magic to them That
>> Must Not Be Spoken About. Unless you are holding the undeveloped slide
>> in your hand, the image has been processed. Scanning an image requires
>> processing it by definition; how it is processed is up to the scanning
>> technician and the scanning hardware/software. Getting images to look
>> good even on good a Flexo press printing on heavy slick paper requires
>> quite a bit of post processing -- it's just done by prepress folk, not
>> photographers (who merrily go on their way thinking that their 'virgin'
>> image remains unsullied).
>>
>> - --
>> - -Ryan McGinnis

>
>I have to agree. The RAW NEF files as they come from my camera are not
>a representation of the reality of the scene as I see it, or as I
>visualize the image I would like to present.
>Manipulation of some type has always been a part of photography, from
>the magnificent accident in the developing tank, and darkroom print
>work, to enhancing information contained in a digital file, using
>whatever tools are available to achieve a pleasing result.
>As to who finds that result pleasing whether it was a result of wet or
>digital processing will always be subjective.


Mr Hardwidge will be rotating in his grave.



Eric Stevens
 
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peter
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      01-18-2011
On 1/18/2011 12:58 AM, Savageduck wrote:
> On 2011-01-17 21:20:31 -0800, Ryan McGinnis <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>> Hash: SHA1
>>
>> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
>> with. While one can certainly defensively hold a position that there is
>> a line to be drawn where manipulation takes a photograph beyond truth,
>> it's very difficult to maintain a position in which only images farted
>> directly out of a camera qualify as "real" photographs.
>>
>> http://www.bhinsights.com/content/my...ted-image.html
>>
>> I recently went to a talk put on by a Natty Geo photographer who went to
>> great lengths to describe how he never digitally corrected any of his
>> images (or cropped them), and how everything we saw on the screen was
>> right out of the camera. His audience of mostly college students ate
>> this crap up. As someone who used to work pre-press, it astounds me how
>> ignorant even top-notch first-in-their-field photographers are of how an
>> image goes from slide to a magazine or a digital projector screen. They
>> get how a camera uses light to create an image on film or a sensor, but
>> after that, they close their eyes and everything is Magic to them That
>> Must Not Be Spoken About. Unless you are holding the undeveloped slide
>> in your hand, the image has been processed. Scanning an image requires
>> processing it by definition; how it is processed is up to the scanning
>> technician and the scanning hardware/software. Getting images to look
>> good even on good a Flexo press printing on heavy slick paper requires
>> quite a bit of post processing -- it's just done by prepress folk, not
>> photographers (who merrily go on their way thinking that their 'virgin'
>> image remains unsullied).
>>
>> - --
>> - -Ryan McGinnis

>
> I have to agree. The RAW NEF files as they come from my camera are not a
> representation of the reality of the scene as I see it, or as I
> visualize the image I would like to present.
> Manipulation of some type has always been a part of photography, from
> the magnificent accident in the developing tank, and darkroom print
> work, to enhancing information contained in a digital file, using
> whatever tools are available to achieve a pleasing result.
> As to who finds that result pleasing whether it was a result of wet or
> digital processing will always be subjective.
>



What the f64 school means is not changing the image to add or subtract
something that was not in the original image. e.g. digitally placing an
Indian in a red canoe in the middle of that lake. That thought has been
corrupted to a point of absurdity. According to the PSA, nature
division, in a nature shot it's OK to put a cold insect on a flower and
then shoot the flower, but it's not OK to put that insect there digitally.


--
Peter
 
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Ryan McGinnis
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      01-18-2011
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On 1/18/2011 3:10 AM, bugbear wrote:
> Ryan McGinnis wrote:
>
>>
>> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
>> with.

>
> Provocative|? It's stating the very obvious.
>
> BugBear


One would think, but I have had long and fruitless conversations about
this topic with many people who believe that only a slide straight out
of a film camera (or worse, a JPEG straight out of a digital camera) can
truly be considered "manipulated". These folk usually have their noses
held high, and say things like "Yes, I don't have nearly as many keeper
shots over the years as a lot of people do, but I that's because I do it
the hard way instead of taking shortcuts".

- --
- -Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key: 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/dJSi08 Images@Alamy: http://bit.ly/aMH6Qd
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Ryan McGinnis
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      01-18-2011
On 1/18/2011 9:23 AM, Ryan McGinnis wrote:

> One would think, but I have had long and fruitless conversations about
> this topic with many people who believe that only a slide straight out
> of a film camera (or worse, a JPEG straight out of a digital camera) can
> truly be considered "manipulated".


Erm, "unmanipulated". Oh what a different two letters make.

The above post has now been manipulated.

--
-Ryan McGinnis
The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key: 0x65115E4C
Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/dJSi08 Images@Alamy: http://bit.ly/aMH6Qd
 
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Paul L
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      01-18-2011
On 1/18/2011 8:23 AM, Ryan McGinnis wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On 1/18/2011 3:10 AM, bugbear wrote:
>> Ryan McGinnis wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
>>> with.

>>
>> Provocative|? It's stating the very obvious.
>>
>> BugBear

>
> One would think, but I have had long and fruitless conversations about
> this topic with many people who believe that only a slide straight out
> of a film camera (or worse, a JPEG straight out of a digital camera) can
> truly be considered "manipulated". These folk usually have their noses
> held high, and say things like "Yes, I don't have nearly as many keeper
> shots over the years as a lot of people do, but I that's because I do it
> the hard way instead of taking shortcuts".
>
> - --
> - -Ryan McGinnis


The image has always been manipulated. In the old days we would start
by deciding on film to use. E64 or K25 ? Both had their own way
with the captured image.

In the digital age, every single image we see has been manipulated, even
if it is only by the in camera JPEG processor. Purists that avoid
processing are the ones with the flat looking images


Paul
 
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Rich
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      01-18-2011
On Jan 18, 12:20*am, Ryan McGinnis <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
> with. *While one can certainly defensively hold a position that there is
> a line to be drawn where manipulation takes a photograph beyond truth,
> it's very difficult to maintain a position in which only images farted
> directly out of a camera qualify as "real" photographs.
>
> http://www.bhinsights.com/content/my...ted-image.html
>


The guy could be lying. His sunset shot could very well have been as
dull as his 1st rendition was. In-fact, unless the guy is completely
clueless as to how to expose for a sunset, what his camera recorded in
RAW was what was there and he tweaked it to show more colour. We've
all done it, but it isn't realistic. Ever see those sunsets were
everything is red, including the land, people, pets? Those are all
heavily manipulated for effect. There are unembellished images, but
most find them dull. Seems like only yesterday people where
complaining about entry-level DSLRs and unrealistic, bright colours
they produced.
 
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Paul J Gans
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      01-18-2011
In rec.photo.digital bugbear <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim> wrote:
>Ryan McGinnis wrote:


>>
>> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
>> with.


>Provocative|? It's stating the very obvious.


Not to people who think their images are unmanipulated.

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--- Paul J. Gans
 
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Paul J Gans
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      01-18-2011
In rec.photo.digital bugbear <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim> wrote:
>Ryan McGinnis wrote:


>> On 1/18/2011 3:10 AM, bugbear wrote:
>>> Ryan McGinnis wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
>>>> with.
>>>
>>> Provocative|? It's stating the very obvious.
>>>
>>> BugBear

>>
>> One would think, but I have had long and fruitless conversations about
>> this topic with many people who believe that only a slide straight out
>> of a film camera (or worse, a JPEG straight out of a digital camera) can
>> truly be considered "manipulated".


> "unmanipulated", I assume you meant


>It might be an unmanipulated negative(or slide), but reality/nature/the thing
>in from of the lens has already been beaten to a pulp!


>w.r.t the scene, what are exposures, apertures, filters, focal lengths
>if not manipulations?


>Let alone (this is more journalistic than artistic)
>deciding *where* to point the camera and *when* to press the shutter.


I wear glasses. Everything I look at has been manipulated.

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--- Paul J. Gans
 
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Charles E Hardwidge
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      01-18-2011
"Ryan McGinnis" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:4d352323$0$12280$c3e8da3$(E-Mail Removed) eb.com...

> A rather quick and provocative article -- and one that I fully agree
> with. While one can certainly defensively hold a position that there is
> a line to be drawn where manipulation takes a photograph beyond truth,
> it's very difficult to maintain a position in which only images farted
> directly out of a camera qualify as "real" photographs.
>
> http://www.bhinsights.com/content/my...ted-image.html


Had a post drafted then nuked it. Someone is just after page hits and any
discussion is just a time sink.

--
Charles E Hardwidge
 
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