Just what is a photograph

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Pat, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Pat

    Frank Arthur Guest

    Every image I ever made with a camera required a number of
    manipulations, selections and choices in order to obtain my
    interpretation of what that image will be. And every one is a
    Frank Arthur, Nov 26, 2008
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  2. Pat

    JC Dill Guest

    There is no such thing as an unprocessed or "untouched photo" because
    the camera shoots in a raw format, then converts to jpeg with settings
    programmed into the camera. The only difference between that image and
    the one you convert in your raw converter of choice is who programs the
    settings to convert the photo - the photographer or the person who
    programmed the camera. And obviously the photographer is better
    situated to make the adjustments necessary to render the photo correctly
    for the scene.

    JC Dill, Nov 26, 2008
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  3. Pat

    Guest Guest

    What if you use film and scan it?
    Guest, Nov 27, 2008
  4. Pat

    Pat Guest

    No, that's why it's called a print.
    Pat, Nov 27, 2008
  5. Pat

    JC Dill Guest

    Same issue - the scan needs to be processed into an image. There is no
    one-size-fits-all processing that works for all film. Different
    films/slides need different processing, and the correct processing will
    also depend on how the film or slide was processed in the first place.

    In the film days, we made a test strip before making a print, and then
    after making a print we usually made another one with sections that we
    burned or dodged. All of that processing was SOP for making a
    photograph. Today we do it on the computer rather than in the darkroom
    but the result is no less a photograph.

    JC Dill, Nov 27, 2008
  6. Pat

    Vance Guest

    Freshman? I was leaning to sophmoric.

    Vance, Nov 27, 2008
  7. Pat

    Peter Guest

    Depends on the club. Depends on the category. Nature category has rules
    similar to what you describe. Open category definitely does not, at least
    here and in New England. More than once I have heard judges comment that the
    image would look much better if it were reversed, or stating that on some
    images a person ought to be placed at a strategic location to add a center
    of interest. I am not familiar with the rules and practices in other parts
    of the country.
    Peter, Nov 27, 2008
  8. The normal film development process sharpens edges, as a consequence
    of the combination of speeds of exhaustion, diffusion, and agitation
    timings. If you then print the image on photographic paper a further
    element of sharpening is added for the same reasons in the process of
    developing the print.
    Chris Malcolm, Nov 27, 2008
  9. Pat

    J. Clarke Guest

    I'm not seeing the post to which you responded, so commenting here.

    What is "conventional for the film type"? For example, processing
    Tri-X (or Plus X or Pan X or whatever I'm forgetting) in Microdol,
    Dektol, or HC-110 at any of several different concentrations would all
    be "conventional for the film type", but they give different results.
    And then there's agitation . . .
    J. Clarke, Nov 27, 2008
  10. Pat

    Celcius Guest

    I'm not so sure about this.
    Certain paintings are so **exact in reproducing forms and colour** that they
    are deemed to be "photographs".
    Painting is usually seen as what I would call for lack of a better word,
    "interpretative". The artist either creates a mood (not necessarily
    reproducing the scene) or an "impression" or a statement... In the last case
    (and there are others), one needs to know more about the artist to be able
    to decipher / understand / appreciate the art work.
    In the field of painting, exact reproduction is deemed to be a "photograph"
    and is not appreciated.
    Celcius, Nov 27, 2008
  11. Pat

    J. Clarke Guest

    Deemed by who and do you have documentation to support that
    Sounds like you've been talking to "connoisseurs" and not to working
    Tell that to Rembrandt, van Eyck, and most of the other Dutch Masters.
    For that matter, you might find Picasso's early work enlightening.
    No, he's not famous for it but he wouldn't be famous without it--if he
    hadn't proved his chops with conventional work then his cutting edge
    stuff would have been ignored.
    J. Clarke, Nov 27, 2008
  12. Pat

    -hh Guest

    Actually, your .sig delimiter is "--", whereas it is supposed to be
    "-- " as per son-of-rfc1036. As such, there is something wrong with
    your .sig: it is incorrectly formatted.

    As per son-of-rfc 1036, the .sig delimiter line is only two hyphens
    (ASCII 45) followed by one blank (ASCII 32) and yours is missing the
    blank: its not supposed to be "--", but rather "-- ".

    Similarly, your 6 line length exceeds the McQuary limit (4 lines of at
    most 80 characters each)

    Since you're explicitly interested in compliance to common netiquette
    for usenet, please remember that charity starts at home and lead by

    -hh, Nov 27, 2008
  13. Pat

    Celcius Guest

    You're absolutely right.
    Furthermore, for fun, I consulted a few dictionaries published before 1980.
    By and large, all said that a photograph was a picture made by a camera
    through a lens and talked about emulsion on a film, plate, etc. Obviously,
    digital photography changed all that.
    Interestingly, one should note that what we see may not be what is / exists.
    Colours are different depending of light or medium. For example, underwater,
    reds fade fast with depth. Colour blindness give people a different
    perspective on a particular scenery.
    The other problem is that the eye adjusts more faithfully (if we can use the
    term) to a particulat situation than the lens. This is where Photoshop comes
    in .-))) The whole matter is to try to reproduce the scene as remembered.
    This is where we get into all this discussion. We then get into Spyder
    Utilities, different screens and what not.
    Of course, there is also the art aspect: making a black and white out of a
    colour photograph or in a colour photograph turned B & W, to isolate a
    particular thing which one keeps in colour... etc., etc.
    I think the important thing is not to fool the onlooker. If tricks are used,
    it should be clear.
    Celcius, Nov 27, 2008
  14. Pat

    -hh Guest

    My apologies, you're correct. An attribute of pesky proportional

    Nevertheless, you're still exceeding the tradition of 4 lines max.

    Into the killfile with ye.

    -hh, Nov 27, 2008
  15. Pat

    Mark Thomas Guest

    Bravo! The nub..
    Mark Thomas, Nov 27, 2008
  16. Pat

    tony cooper Guest

    The photo club which I attend, which has about 500 members, uses these
    Color Images – acceptable for inclusion whether or not they have
    undergone digital manipulation.

    Monochromatic Images – acceptable for inclusion whether or not they
    have undergone digital manipulation. The desaturation of a color image
    to make it monochromatic is acceptable, provided the desaturation is
    complete and not selective. Only color images that are completely
    desaturated should be entered in this category. Any partially
    desaturated images that result in a mixed color/monochrome image are
    not allowed in this category, and should be entered as a Color Image.
    The definition of Monochrome includes sepia toning prints, or any
    other single color toning.
    Entries have been submitted, and judged, that are clearly Photoshop
    compositions. Some have been collages. They don't tend to score
    high, but they are definitely allowed. The judges are members who are
    professional photographers; sometimes from this club and sometimes
    from other clubs. Month-before-last the judging for the digital
    entries was done by a photo club in Scotland.
    tony cooper, Nov 27, 2008
  17. Pat

    Peter Guest

    Our rule is similar.
    We allow one accent color to monochromes. Before digital, accent colors were
    frequently hand painted.

    What an interesting concept. While have some members who are very
    competative, most submit just to hear the comments and feeback. I will
    mention that idea to our board.

    Our local clubs are organized under an umbrella organization. Some of them
    have no competitions, just critiques. IMHO the work of their members is
    Peter, Nov 28, 2008
  18. Pat

    tony cooper Guest

    The members of the camera club travel quite a bit and seem to meet
    camera club members from several other places. It can be a problem
    having the same judges each month, so they work out "guest" judge
    exchanges. We've had judges from several different countries, states,
    and towns. Since it's a digital-only competition, it works out fine.

    You really get a different perspective with a fresh set of judges.
    The "house" judges get too predictable.
    tony cooper, Nov 28, 2008
  19. Pat

    mianileng Guest

    Those of us who think that a grossly altered image is no longer a
    photograph do not object to a certain amount of adjustment. It is
    only when excessive manipulation causes major changes in content
    and appearance that it is no longer a photograph.

    Why is it that the "anything goes" brigade often chooses to
    ignore the above qualifications which have been stated often
    enough? In-camera processing and minor corrections in PP are not
    the same thing as *major* alterations to suit one's artistic
    objective. The key word is "major".

    When careful unobstrusive restoration is done to an old master
    painting, that does not make the painting any less the work of
    the original artist. But if the restorer makes significant
    changes in style and content, then it is no longer wholly the
    work of the original artist.

    When a picture of a model is shown on the cover of a magazine,
    the original background substituted with a different one, with
    insets and anything else the editors want to include, the picture
    of the model is still a photograph unless it was heavily altered.
    But the whole page is NOT a photograph of the model. It is a
    creation using photographs.
    mianileng, Nov 28, 2008
  20. Pat

    Surfer! Guest

    It's very simple so far as I am concerned. If the original (or
    originals) were made by the action of light (any source) on some kind of
    light-sensitive substrate then it's some kind of photography. However
    much or however little it's been manipulated and however many images are
    or are not combined, I'd still call it photography.

    I only struggle when the item is a mixture of the above plus art work -
    someone drawing or painting.

    Is it art? If the creator says it is then it is, even if I don't think
    it's good art.

    But really it's much more fun to get on with producing photographs or
    whatever, or go flying, than discuss what is an is not a photograph, or
    Surfer!, Nov 28, 2008
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