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Photoshop. Unethical?

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#81 Graham Abbott

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:21 AM

Wow Alex, yet another awesome shot. what magazine is this going out in?

#82 spaceman_spiff


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Posted 23 August 2008 - 05:39 AM

while reading this thread, I get the impression that in water image manipulation seems to be ok, while out of the water is not. Also there seems to be a lot of argument about what is purist and real and what is manipulation.

Maybe it wouldn't hurt to remind ourselves that photography, even film, from it's humble beginning, had very little to do with realism. People are just constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. I don't seriously think anyone is going to ask about wether any image has been processed by a computer in a couple of years, it will be implicitly assumed. To that end, I think you won't know what a digital camera has done to your shot without telling you pretty soon. A quick flick through my Nikon advanced menus reveals noise reduction and other image manipulation built in....while I see nothing wrong with that, I'm sure that is a trend that is going to intensify in future models.

I also don't get the whole skill debate. In water manipulation with a digital camera is photographer skill and photoshop is not? I guess this is an emotional subject. Things the photographer does when, or closely after shooting, or multiple attempts, give them the feeling of investing work into the picture when it's taken, or close to that time in the case of multiple shots (nobody ever said that was unethical right?). It is personally rewarding and satisfies people's artistic streak, i.e. the emotional reward of being more in control of the picture the moment they take it. It gives the photographer a more intense feeling that it was "them" who took the picture. Easy to feel threatened when that can be done in a different way.

With UW photography being one of the traditionally most highly manipulated areas of photography anyway, no light without massive strobes, color adjustment to make the light look like at the surface, to name a few I just fail to see the point? Wide scapes of blue green, badly lit water are boring...nobody would bother shooting it.

It's not what is there, it's what you make others see.

#83 John Bantin

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:13 AM

The problem arises when you ask the question "Who did the manipulation?"

Back in the days when I was a photographer (proper) we had to shoot things for real because retouching was so expensive. If we needed a shot of 50 horses in a Scottish glen we had to transport 50 horses to a Scottish glen to take the picture. Today it can be done in the computer. The problem arises when someone who doesn't really know what it is meant to look like to be believable does it. That's why today we see so many advertisements with pictures that do not look credible. The man who assembled it on the computer did not have a reliable point of reference. The art director of the mag I mainly supply to has his own ideas. He has never been underwater but thinks he knows what it looks like, just as he thinks all people who go diving look like Jessica Alba. If he starts assembling pictures on his computer they will inevitably be rubbish but he won't think so!

So I guess it's ethical if it represents the reality it claims to represent.

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