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29886823
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join:2005-03-29
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Originals

Hi,
I've heard the view promulgated by some here that many good artistic photographs require no post processing at all, and that careful attention before the shutter is pressed is all that's required.

Let me suppose that 100 photographers and 100 painters stand before a landscape, and ask that they produce their version of a work of art. It seems to me that the painters will produce a wide variety of paintings as seen through their eyes, while photographers will produce what their cameras see, with practically no difference in the photographs.

I'm of the opinion that without post processing, it is virtually impossible to produce a photographic work of art. It's the only way to stamp our photographs with what we see with our eyes.

If you have any comments I'd like to hear them. I think the subject is worthwhile, and it has a direct bearing on what we post as finished artistic images. Please note that I'm talking about photography as an art form.


darcilicious
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Forest Grove, OR
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1 edit

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said by 29886823:

many good artistic photographs require no post processing at all, and that careful attention before the shutter is pressed is all that's required

I would agree with this.

I would also agree that post-processing is another aspect of photography as art.

I don't think there's a good, single definition of what constitutes "art" in the realm of photography.

I liken it to music, I suppose. Acoustic vs electric, live (with or without processing) vs recorded (without or with processing). It's still all music, most just have a preference for specific kinds of music.

(edited to fix small typo)
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬


orion940
Attractive like a magnet
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join:2001-12-23
Windsor, CT
reply to 29886823
I agree. I had no control over post processing with a film camera, I don't do much now.

O.
--
Windsor, Home of the Decorative Zamboni


Tex
Dave's not here
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reply to 29886823
William Turnage (biographer) described Ansel Adams' approach to the postprocessing of an image like this:

quote:
"He manipulated the work tremendously in the darkroom. He always said that the negative is the equivalent of the composer's score and the print is the equivalent of the conductor's performance, and the same piece of Mozart is conducted differently, performed differently, by different orchestras, different conductors, and Ansel performed his own negatives differently."


SueS
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Macon, MO
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5 recommendations

reply to 29886823
I find that is a simplistic point of view. The whole point of making art with a camera is not just standing there and shooting with a group of other people. The photographer gets to choose the lens, the time of day, the light, the time of year, the perspective, the weather, what is included and also what is left out. This all happens before photoshop.


donoreo
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join:2002-05-30
North York, ON

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reply to 29886823
One should always try to "get it right in the camera" but a majority of professionals shoot in raw format and that ALWAYS requires some sort of post processing.


29886823
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reply to SueS
said by SueS:

The photographer gets to choose the lens, the time of day, the light, the time of year, the perspective, the weather, what is included and also what is left out. This all happens before photoshop.

Even after all the initial preparations I think you will be left with a technically good photograph, without however going beyond what the camera, lens, exposure etc are capable of. Painters choose essentially the same things as photographers; however these things go far beyond just an initial palette, and for the most part paintings are 'works in progress'. Getting it right the first time may be possible for photographers, but I suspect it is a rarity. For most of us who are trying to produce artistic photographs post processing is simply part of the craft that makes the difference between what the camera sees and what you see.


SueS
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join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
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2 edits
I have no problem with photoshop. My photos that I like the best are the ones I do the least to. I do cropping, sharpening, curves, and maybe cloning or dodging and burning something small.

Often, unless you are exceptional at working with photo software and a very good artist the work can be seen, by others. I don't want my photos to look photoshoped.


Nezmo
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reply to 29886823
Many film photogs finished their photo with copious amounts of 'post-processing' in the dark room. Dodge and burn for example.

Who cares how it's done. It's the final image that counts.

Edit: Missed Tex's post above initially, sorry.
--
My Gallery
Formerly Nezmo


SueS
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Macon, MO
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1 recommendation

reply to 29886823
If you are taking a photo and adding texture, making it look like an oil painting or a myriad of other things you can do to photos with software, I call that digital art and it goes into its own category. Digital art has no boundaries in my opinion.

I think what everyone defines as digital art is varied.


jaykaykay
4 Ever Young
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reply to 29886823
"I'm of the opinion that without post processing, it is virtually impossible to produce a photographic work of art. It's the only way to stamp our photographs with what we see with our eyes."

I wish I had kept our communication from when you first found DSLR. You were dead set against post processing, period! I am happy to see that you have embraced the benefit of having it and using it when need be. It's always the best to try to shoot for the image that you don't feel requires such actions, but it's also nice to see that you now fully understand the benefits of its use.
--
JKK

Age is a very high price to pay for my maturity. If I can't stay young, I can at least stay immature!

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DownTheShore
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reply to 29886823
The only way to create a work of art with an unprocessed image, IMO, is if all the stars aligned properly when you took the image, and if you have the ability to recognize that alignment. For someone like me, that's a virtual impossibility because I simply don't have the skill or know enough technique.

Speaking of 100 painters interpreting a landscape differently, this summer the kidlets attended classes at an art center, and every day outside the classrooms on the hallway floors the artwork was laid out to dry, whatever. It was fascinating to see all the variations on a single object, and the various skill levels of kids under the age of 12. Some of the artwork was amazing.
--
Patriotism is not waving a flag, it is living the ideals

I want to retire to the Isle of Sodor and ride the trains.

Life is just better when Jeter is in the lineup.



b8264d
Hello? Hello? Is there anyone out there?
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reply to 29886823
said by 29886823:

Hi,
I've heard the view promulgated by some here that many good artistic photographs require no post processing at all, and that careful attention before the shutter is pressed is all that's required.

I agree that an in camera image can be a work of art but the photographer has to have the willingness and patience to hone his/her vision or style to do it. I don't think it can be done just by picking up the camera and shooting.

I think we rely too heavily on post processing to make an image.

I've always wanted to get a few photographers together to test and see if the individual photographers would take different images of the same scene. I think the results would be interesting.
--
www.jrslaterphotography.com


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to 29886823
"I've heard the view promulgated by some here that many good artistic photographs require no post processing at all, and that careful attention before the shutter is pressed is all that's required."

Stop listing to Ken Rockwell....
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.


tmpchaos
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reply to 29886823
Not using post processing is akin to (using your premise) limiting the palette of the painters.

The basis of photography throughout the years has always been to get the best possible image in he camera (which may require filtration for black and white, for instance), then to decide on the final interpretation of the image when post processing. As I've said before, photography always involved choices based on the limitations and ranges of the materials used to produce it. Taking the same image of the same scene with different films results in vastly different 'raw' results, depending on the sensitometric characteristics of the material. This is echoed today by the colorimetric response of the sensor of a given camera. Not using post processing limits you to what the film or sensor sees- not what you see.

The recorded image, be it film or digital, is only an interim step towards producing the final work.
--
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