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But is it photography?

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bungeejumper
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But is it photography?

#565960

Postby bungeejumper » February 3rd, 2023, 8:47 am

Yes, I know this is a well-worn topic. But.... :|

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-64472234
Tony North has been named winner of this year's International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.

His picture was taken in the island of La Palma, ..... and also won first place in the Breathing Spaces section of the competition.

North achieved the final image by combining two different exposures; one of the sky and one of the foreground.

This isn't photography, surely? It's a collage made up of two entirely separate digital manipulations, taken at different times, and the judges don't seem to mind.

Never mind the fact that the top of a dormant volcano is an odd place to try for a garden photographer's prize!

Next year, I expect he'll go for the triple by entering it for the Turner Prize? A few more artistic paint splashes, and he should be there. :(

Then again, maybe he'll put sunflowers on the moon instead?

BJ

pje16
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Re: But is it photography?

#565962

Postby pje16 » February 3rd, 2023, 8:55 am

bungeejumper wrote:This isn't photography, surely?BJ

Exactly, it's not a Photoshop competition

monabri
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Re: But is it photography?

#565971

Postby monabri » February 3rd, 2023, 9:16 am

Surprised it won, not a lot different (idea wise) to many other photos of the night sky.

https://www.google.com/search?q=taking+ ... =504&dpr=2

MaraMan
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Re: But is it photography?

#566088

Postby MaraMan » February 3rd, 2023, 4:45 pm

I agree it shouldn't have won a photography competition. It maybe should win an electronic image manipulation comp. These comps have been like this for too long, you only have to look at Wildlife Photograher of the Year over the last 10-15 years.
Photoshop is a different skill to photography, make them use film again I say.

Ba humbug

MM

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Re: But is it photography?

#566157

Postby servodude » February 3rd, 2023, 11:51 pm

Wasn't the famous photo of the flag being raised at Iwo Jima a composite?

And wasn't photoshop developed to recreate lots of what you would do in a darkroom (which might be an excuse to link to this article I've returned to read several times over the years https://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/ )

At least it appears there WAS something to photgraph unlike https://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/cameras/man-or-machine-is-this-australias-most-controversial-photo/news-story/bfd17c03d661d7b1a41aba3e64205e31

Grey areas all around

-sd

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Re: But is it photography?

#566165

Postby Pendrainllwyn » February 4th, 2023, 5:58 am

Agree with comments below. The North “photograph” doesn’t do anything for me. Looks fake. For me gardens are about nature. Natural things.

Pendrainllwyn

bungeejumper
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Re: But is it photography?

#566204

Postby bungeejumper » February 4th, 2023, 9:48 am

servodude wrote:Wasn't the famous photo of the flag being raised at Iwo Jima a composite?

And wasn't photoshop developed to recreate lots of what you would do in a darkroom (which might be an excuse to link to this article I've returned to read several times over the years https://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/ )

People have been using faked or composite photo effects for propaganda purposes since the 19th century - not least, during WW1 and WW2, when the newspapers wanted punchy, stirring images for their front pages. Or, less nobly, when Stalin or Mao fell out with people and wanted them vanished from the record. Victorian or Edwardian photographers also made good money out of faking up scenes of ghosts and apparitions for the seance and spiritualist set, which lasted well into the 1920s and beyond.

But, as some here will know, I spent most of my career in the press and publishing business, where composites and fakery are rightly mistrusted because they have few other purposes apart from deliberately distorting the facts. :|

There's no point in wishing that today's techno-deep-fakery could be reversed or abolished, of course. The genie is out of the bottle, and that's that. But it feels, to me at least, as though a line is being crossed when you can win an international photography prize with a compilation of shots taken over many hours or even days, and then post-manipulated to death on Photoshop.

Art, it might be. A personal interpretation of the truth, it might be. But it's a competitive smack in the face for every photographer who's spent hours, days or months waiting patiently for the right five-hundredth of a second, and then got it.

BJ

ReformedCharacter
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Re: But is it photography?

#566214

Postby ReformedCharacter » February 4th, 2023, 10:02 am

servodude wrote:Wasn't the famous photo of the flag being raised at Iwo Jima a composite?

-sd

Not a composite, but it's complicated...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima

RC

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Re: But is it photography?

#571211

Postby stevensfo » February 26th, 2023, 1:13 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
servodude wrote:Wasn't the famous photo of the flag being raised at Iwo Jima a composite?

And wasn't photoshop developed to recreate lots of what you would do in a darkroom (which might be an excuse to link to this article I've returned to read several times over the years https://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/ )

People have been using faked or composite photo effects for propaganda purposes since the 19th century - not least, during WW1 and WW2, when the newspapers wanted punchy, stirring images for their front pages. Or, less nobly, when Stalin or Mao fell out with people and wanted them vanished from the record. Victorian or Edwardian photographers also made good money out of faking up scenes of ghosts and apparitions for the seance and spiritualist set, which lasted well into the 1920s and beyond.

But, as some here will know, I spent most of my career in the press and publishing business, where composites and fakery are rightly mistrusted because they have few other purposes apart from deliberately distorting the facts. :|

There's no point in wishing that today's techno-deep-fakery could be reversed or abolished, of course. The genie is out of the bottle, and that's that. But it feels, to me at least, as though a line is being crossed when you can win an international photography prize with a compilation of shots taken over many hours or even days, and then post-manipulated to death on Photoshop.

Art, it might be. A personal interpretation of the truth, it might be. But it's a competitive smack in the face for every photographer who's spent hours, days or months waiting patiently for the right five-hundredth of a second, and then got it.

BJ


For me, the best photos are those candid photos that capture the emotion of that moment.

The still-life examples are really just a test of one's mastery of HDR, Lightroom, Photoshop etc.

There are loads of tricks you can use, such as a slightly longer exposure with the camera on a tripod, that makes flowing water look blurred and silky. It's been used so much that most photographers agree that it's become boring, but you still find them everywhere.

Some of those artistic computer-altered photos would be great as posters on the wall.

But I agree, it should not be considered true photography.

Steve

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Re: But is it photography?

#573149

Postby BobbyD » March 5th, 2023, 9:08 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Yes, I know this is a well-worn topic. But.... :|

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-64472234
Tony North has been named winner of this year's International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.

His picture was taken in the island of La Palma, ..... and also won first place in the Breathing Spaces section of the competition.

North achieved the final image by combining two different exposures; one of the sky and one of the foreground.

This isn't photography, surely? It's a collage made up of two entirely separate digital manipulations, taken at different times, and the judges don't seem to mind.

Never mind the fact that the top of a dormant volcano is an odd place to try for a garden photographer's prize!

Next year, I expect he'll go for the triple by entering it for the Turner Prize? A few more artistic paint splashes, and he should be there. :(

Then again, maybe he'll put sunflowers on the moon instead?

BJ


The only detail given about how the image was achieved is that it is two different exposures.

Would you still have a problem with it if those two exposures had been combined in camera, on film or using built in HDR?

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Re: But is it photography?

#573166

Postby Hallucigenia » March 5th, 2023, 10:42 pm

pje16 wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:This isn't photography, surely?BJ

Exactly, it's not a Photoshop competition


Well - by allowing editing, it's at the very least not a pure point-and-click competition.

Where do you draw the line on technology? Only Box Brownies? None of this new-fangled colour film? For that matter, surely "true" photographers don't mess about with modern technology like film, they use plate cameras as God intended?

And then there's other kinds of technology, like using planes to get to exotic deserts.

As for "they're not gardens", well about half the categories are landscape-type ones which presumably won't have many "gardens" in them but presumably that's what they want or they wouldn't have the category.

But I'd agree that the whole landscape + Milky Way thing is rather overdone, I would have given the top prize to one of the others just for that reason.

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Re: But is it photography?

#573173

Postby Lanark » March 6th, 2023, 12:42 am

I have been to a couple of Royal Photographic Society exhibitions and all the entries were like this, photoshopped to within an inch of their lives. They should rename the RPS as the Royal Photoshopping Society.

There is some skill in good photoshop and multiple exposures of the same scene taken with a tripod do have their place when the dynamic range is too high to get a photo otherwise. But when you are generating something that is impossible to see with the naked eye I think you have crossed a line into fakery.

bungeejumper
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Re: But is it photography?

#573191

Postby bungeejumper » March 6th, 2023, 8:44 am

BobbyD wrote:The only detail given about how the image was achieved is that it is two different exposures.

Would you still have a problem with it if those two exposures had been combined in camera, on film or using built in HDR?

Unlikely. The other detail, which surely doesn't need to be mentioned in an article, is that half the image is of the billion-starred night-. time sky and the other half is in daylight, with sun on the heather and the mountains. I'd be interested to see the camera that could pull off that trick?

BJ

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Re: But is it photography?

#573272

Postby Hallucigenia » March 6th, 2023, 12:33 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
BobbyD wrote:The only detail given about how the image was achieved is that it is two different exposures.

Would you still have a problem with it if those two exposures had been combined in camera, on film or using built in HDR?

Unlikely. The other detail, which surely doesn't need to be mentioned in an article, is that half the image is of the billion-starred night-. time sky and the other half is in daylight, with sun on the heather and the mountains. I'd be interested to see the camera that could pull off that trick?


In their defence - it could be moonlight. Pushing it to be able to detect colours but I guess it's possible at a full moon.

But this discussion does rather presuppose that a "traditional" point-&-click image is somehow a "true" representation of the world and that Photoshopping is somehow "faking" - when all photography is making implicit assumptions about eg colour responses which are not "real", or at least "as perceived by humans". Is our experience any less real than that of eg an insect that can see in UV?

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Re: But is it photography?

#573277

Postby BobbyD » March 6th, 2023, 12:41 pm

Hallucigenia wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:
BobbyD wrote:The only detail given about how the image was achieved is that it is two different exposures.

Would you still have a problem with it if those two exposures had been combined in camera, on film or using built in HDR?

Unlikely. The other detail, which surely doesn't need to be mentioned in an article, is that half the image is of the billion-starred night-. time sky and the other half is in daylight, with sun on the heather and the mountains. I'd be interested to see the camera that could pull off that trick?


In their defence - it could be moonlight. Pushing it to be able to detect colours but I guess it's possible at a full moon.

But this discussion does rather presuppose that a "traditional" point-&-click image is somehow a "true" representation of the world and that Photoshopping is somehow "faking" - when all photography is making implicit assumptions about eg colour responses which are not "real", or at least "as perceived by humans". Is our experience any less real than that of eg an insect that can see in UV?


There are other 'traditional' techniques which might have been used to attempt something similar, for example using a single long exposure but 'painting in ' the foreground with a torch, or just combining two separate exposures in the dark room...

Is this writing with light? Yes. Should these new fangled calligraphy pens be allowed? ...


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