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Editing- to much? to little?


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#1 Aquashot

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 06:58 PM

This shot was an attempt to get a silhouette of the main subject (the turtle) and use flash to get some color from the reef below.

I was a little far from the reef so it did not get lit up as much as I wanted, and I had to selectively darken the exposure on the turtle to get more of a silhouette rather than just an under-exposed subject.

I was using an Olympus E-620 with two Olympus UFL-2 strobes set to ttl with the kit 14-42mm lens. I did not have much time to get the shot as the turtle was swimming at a fair clip past me, so all I got to do was aim the strobes to point away from it and towards the reef, frame and shoot:
ISO 200 1/60 at f13 at zoom of 14mm

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#2 Tjsnapper

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 02:10 AM

Hi Aquashot,
The main problems that I can see is that you really need to be in a position where the turtle is directly in line with you and the surface / sun-ball etc. as you are off to one side the sun will illuminate the top of the carapace and the silhouette effect will not really work. I think what you were doing / trying to do was correct and would have worked if, as you say, you were a little closer to the reef to get more illumination, you need some pretty powerful strobes to achieve a great silhouette and get colour from the reef unless you are really close in.

The title of the post is an often asked question, how far should you go? well it depends upon what and why you are shooting. If you are shooting for competitions then the rues regarding editing are usually pretty well laid down in advance. If shooting for an agency, for example, they have rules and regs regarding the use of filters even. Certainly if shooting for the US market, I have to declare the use of any filters that I use in my IPTC / Caption data when submitting images i.e. EDITORS NOTE; THIS DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE WAS CREATED WITH THE USE OF A POLARIZING FILTER or EDITORS NOTE, A COLOUR CORRECTION FILTER WAS USED IN THE CREATION OF THIS DIGITAL IMAGE.
Anyway, that aside, if you are using making the image for personal use then then you can do pretty much anything you want, however I think we all strive to get things right in camera and.

Just my two pence worth :o
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#3 Aquashot

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 06:36 PM

Thanks Tjsnapper,

I needed to be about 10 feet to my left and 5 feet closer to the reef to really get the shot I saw in my mind as the turtle swam by, sometimes you just ain't in the right place at the right time. Given the position of the sun, the turtle, reef and me there really was no way to pull off exactly what I wanted from the shot, at least at my level of skill manipulating settings on the fly.

Hence the solution to use editing tools to make it what I saw in my minds eye.

I suppose the editing question really depends on what the intended use/audience of the image is. If you are going for National Geographic style documentary, then I suppose not much is acceptable.

Striving to get things right in the camera is the best way (and less time consuming) especially if your aim is to represent as much as possible what the eye sees. However, no camera really does this, all photographs are an image created by artifice. Even Ansel Adams used burn and dodge and other darkroom techniques to alter images.

I suppose this is really straying form the intent of the forum, but it seems to me that how editing is viewed depends on weather you are looking for a photo that is a literal image of the scene or if the photographer is using the camera/computer as a tool to make an artistic representation of the scene.

#4 photovan

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 06:55 PM

Here is some light reading ... grab a coffee sit yourself down (well your probably already sitting down) ... there are 92 posts constructive posts on the subject here....
is it art or is it reality?

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#5 yahsemtough

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 04:50 AM

I agree with what others have suggested. That said if you are going to rely on some post editing as you suggest with Ansel Adams then I would suggest being focused on your composition and ensure that you get that aspect right to allow you to then do your post editing work starting with a solid image. :)

As you say it is always best and easiest to get the image as correct as possible in the camera and that is the approach I work at each time I shoot.

Cheers

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#6 TheRealDrew

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:55 AM

Here is some light reading ... grab a coffee sit yourself down (well your probably already sitting down) ... there are 92 posts constructive posts on the subject here....
is it art or is it reality?



There have been some others along the same lines, such as It Must Be Photoshopped and [Too Much Technology. Always interesting reading in those threads.


One of the things I mentioned was this Article on Digital Tampering Throughout History. Though we know it goes on, and may be familiar with some of them, I liked that one.

As to whether too much or little, it comes down to me where and what it is used for. Contests? They have rules. News? I would think it should be limited. Enjoyment for yourself or others? Whatever floats your boat and makes you happy. Of course there are areas that will be gray.....