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Doing it in camera. Is it worth the effort?


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 05:43 AM

I really like creating interesting images in camera - lots of trial and error and when you finally get the end result it is really satisfying.

But am I wasting my time? In these days of digital images that zap images straight into Photoshop is it really worth the effort of trying to create effects during my limited time underwater, when I could easily do them in a minute or so of mouse clicking?

As an example here are two images that I took yesterday. Both are "as shot" but was I wasting my time because I could easily have recreated them using radial blur in Photoshop. Or would the computer generated version lack the realism of actually doing it in camera?

Alex

p.s. The pictures were taken with a Sigma 28-70mm zoom (zoomed during the exposure). Nikon D100. Exp 1 1/10th @ f13, Exp 2 1/15th @ f13.

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 08:30 AM

I thought that this discussion would generate a bit more interest. Any opinions?

#3 herbko

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:13 AM

I thought that this discussion would generate a bit more interest. Any opinions?


You have to wait for thoes of us on the left coast to wake up and have a cup of coffee first. :)

They look great to me, but I don't think I can tell the difference between shot as in and made in photoshop. If that's the case with others then it probably not worth the trouble to shoot it that way.
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#4 SharkyUAE

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:31 AM

Better to have nice clean shots and do that sort of thing later in PS
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#5 MikeVeitch

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:39 AM

Hmm, i just posted this, where did it go?

I think it is better done in camera. Doing so is using your creative and artistic potential as a photographer. Anyone can post it in Photoshop.
After all we call ourselves photographers, not computer engineers.
Cool shots, nice job keeping the focus on the faces as well.

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#6 Giles

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 02:07 PM

Do it in Camera EVERY TIME but Alex was probably expecting this response from me. I have always said that digital photography should be no different from any other sort of photography when it comes to the artistic side.
For example you may have noticed in competition there are normally two categories, one for edited versions and ones for straight out of camera.

If you want to di ti all in photoshop then go for it, but you'll never push your envelope of abilities in photography if you just point and shoot. Infact those of us that have very expensive equipment and are just using it as point and shoot ... shame on you, you should have not wasted your money.

I think when people like Alex take shots like this they are showing us what can be done, with less work than post processing it all, and is more satisfying when you get it right.
Take a chance and get more pleased by your good results than you ever dreamed is what i say.
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#7 Detonate

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 02:43 PM

I would do those (similar to what you shot) in photoshop. You are likely to get better results.

#8 whitehead

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 05:42 PM

Do you think you are wasting your time? I think your photography is stunning, in all its forms - and the fact that you spend time on different techniques is what makes you such a great photographer. Truely, your work is an example to us all.

Sometimes late at night, after a few drinks (well probably more than a few actually!), I turn on a couple of minor lights, set my camera to a 4 second exposure and dance around my living room swinging the camera around. I will never show anyone the results but they appeal to me more than any my underwater snapshots I take. Its the closest I ever come to "photography". They make me happy when I look at them - using photoshop does not me happy in the least. I know it sounds a bit esoterical but the process of taking the picture and achieving a result is the part we truely enjoy. I think.

#9 divingmedic

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 06:59 PM

Alex, I have never seen pictures like that. If you hadn't said how you accomplished them, I would have assumed it was a Photoshop edit. They are very beautiful images and I tip my lens to you. I agree with those that say keep doing the art with the camera. It is the difference between a photographer and a graphic designer (manipulator).

#10 tshepherd

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 06:12 AM

IMHO, the ability to visualize the end result is what makes the photographer. So, in this case, the fact that you had a concept and could create it in either the camera or Photoshop is what's important, not so much as how he made it.

That being said, I do think that the closer you can come "in camera" to the resulting image, the better. This mostly applies in terms of lighting, exposure, composition, etc, but also with artistic intent.

I'd bet you get a lot of "wow, how'd you get Photoshop to do that" type comments though!

Nice work!
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#11 Giles

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 06:26 AM

I would do those (similar to what you shot) in photoshop.  You are likely to get better results.



I'd like to see it, I am not doubting anyones abilities in Photoshop, what I am doubting is the end result being as good, i.e. not looking like it went through photoshop.
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#12 Helge Suess

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 07:19 AM

Hi!

I can't see the samples referenced in this thread. What am i doing wrong?

--> now that I posted and logged in (I'm currently logged out in strange intervals) I can see them. Please dosregard the message above.

The shots are great. Yes, you might do it in PS but it's different. I also did a few slow shutter speed pictures to capture motion recently. You could do this in PS too but it isn't that sporty. To me, it's more catching the moment than dreaming up something I haven't sort of seen.
Posted Image
(BTW, where is the shutter lag, when you need it?)
It maybe is the old gap between slides and darkroom work. UW photographers tended to do slides traditionally, therefore "push the button and live with the result" is more common amongst them than "take a few shots and let's see what it turns out to be in the darkroom".

I also lock myself up in a small room (without involving alcohol) sometimes and then I start crying about my pictures. It happens always when I see some samples of the sort mentioned in this thread.
Not beeing fully satisfied with the own results is what is driving us forward. Thanks to people like Alex I've got lots of ideas and hints to improve my own work.

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#13 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 08:58 AM

IMHO, the ability to visualize the end result is what makes the photographer.  So, in this case, the fact that you had a concept and could create it in either the camera or Photoshop is what's important, not so much as how he made it.


I agree with Tom.

It is usually the case that if you want to create something special and interesting in Photoshop - you have to shoot elements specifically for the image while UW. Great photoshopped images tend not to come from poor starting images.

Alex

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#14 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 09:03 AM

I would do those (similar to what you shot) in photoshop.  You are likely to get better results.


I'd like to see it, I am not doubting anyones abilities in Photoshop, what I am doubting is the end result being as good, i.e. not looking like it went through photoshop.


This is a 1 minute example done in Photoshop. Just make new layer. Apply zoom blur. Fade layer opacity to the desires level. Use eraser to pick out details of main subject, in this case you, Giles!

Alex

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#15 Detonate

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:43 AM

You'll get a lot more precise control in Photoshop. I'm all for creative lighting, and taking the best photo possible, yadda, yadda...

For instance, I was reading about a technique were you double expose 2 images to create a single image. That's cool and all, but had you taken them seperately and combined them in photoshop, you'd end up with more control over the transparency of each exposure, and the positioning resulting in a better overall effect.

And I doubt an interested party will care how the image was created.

With that said, if doing it in photoshop does not make you happy, then I wouldn't do it.

#16 Detonate

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:48 AM

Here is an example of how Photoshop can be useful:
http://homepage.mac....kini/index.html

:)

#17 kdietz

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 12:21 PM

Jim...does Christy know you look at this stuff :)

BTW, picked up the 80-400VR today....couldn't resist....I used your trick....bought it from a guy at work :P

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#18 Helge Suess

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:22 PM

Hi!

It's for sure better to prune the image than the coral ;-)

The sample with the girl is quite extreme. I wouldn't go that far for my own pictures. It depends what you need it for, though. After hours in PhotoShop, the girl looks like the art director wants to see her, not the way she actually looks like (and thus causing thousands of teenies to hate their own imperfect bodies and end up with anorexia or a surgical implement as a "12th birthday" present).

It depends what you want to show. I removed lots of irritating details (there's always that nasty fin you didn't recognise when you pushed the trigger while doing WA shots) mainly in WA shots. Sometimes it's hard work and I wished that I'd watched more carefully when pressing the button.

As for double exposure, it was the only way to achieve this with slides. I wouldn't do it inside the camera nowadays (couldn't do it anyway ;-)

It's a thin border between technical aid (isn't white balancing RAW already cheating a bit?) and composing an image nearly from scratch out of a series of shots.
Both are legal approaches as long as you state how you did it. From an artistic view the result is the only thing that counts. There might be a problem with contests in the future. Traditionally, there was a number of slides sections (wreck, macro etc.) and an "artistic" one where you were allowed to apply any manipulation possible. Where should we draw the line now?
WB, Levels, cropping, removing backscatter, ... ?

Helge ;-)=)
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#19 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 05:07 AM

isn't white balancing RAW already cheating a bit?


I often jokingly comment in talks that shooting JPG is more of a cheat than RAW. If you shoot JPG you are letting some software programmer at Nikon or Canon (or wherever) decide what you images should be like - rather than controlling factors like white balance, contrast and saturation settings of your images yourself.

Shooting RAW makes your image much more your own work!!

#20 Detonate

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 05:35 AM

In my view, setting all the RAW settings after the photo is much more of a cheat, than doing special effects in Photoshop.

If you want to be the "purist" you can set the WB, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, etc... In camera before taking the photo to prove you are the ultimate artistic visionist Xtreme™.

Crops, backscatter, exposure, are great examples of things I would consider best done in the camera.

I like to try and use the best tool for the job to obtain my goal. But everyone is different.

What is more impressive, the Egyptions building the Pyramids by hand and crude tools, or the engineers that designed and built the worldest tallest building, Taipei 101, Taiwan.

A lot of that depends on what is your goal. To build the tallest structure by Hand? Or just to build the tallest structure.