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Elli and Ted

Is this allowed

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Hi, I would like to now if this is allowed or fair. I played around with this photo of these small squid in PS and got this out of it. Maybe the colours are not correct but it looks much better than the pic left. Should I keep my fingers off things like this?. what do you think?.

post-5424-1134684231_thumb.jpg

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Probably not allowed for competitions, but no problem for you personal gallery.

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It depends on the competition. Many competitions allow adjustments to white ballance and colour. On these I would say it is fine.

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I'm don't really care about competitions myself, but if there is a contest where basic white balance and curves adjustments to correct obvious color casts are not allowed, what would be the point of entering that competition as a digital photographer?

 

On that shot, had Elli and Ted taken a white balance reading using a neutral gray target underwater first, then shot it as a TIFF or JPEG, the result "out of the camera" would have been very similar to the adjusted version on the right. Minus the slightly extreme sharpening, perhaps, but as we know, most digitals also do in-camera sharpening as well, and some offer a choice of sharpening intensities. And some digitals also offer the equivalent of a choice of in-camera tone curves providing more or less saturation too.

 

I think we're long past the point where it's possible or useful to draw a rigid line between the kinds of digital adjustments (white balance, tone curves, sharpening) that can be done in the camera (or are done automatically, by default) as opposed to post-processing adjustments using a program like Photoshop.

 

Shooting RAW, there is no absolute a priori setting for colour temperature. Inevitably someone (or some program) - the photographer, the programs in the camera, or the conversion program - has to make some choice - unless there's a contest with rules that state all digital shots have to be taken with white balance set at 5000 or something absurd like that. And if film photographers are allowed the option of using a highly saturated film such as Velvia or Provia, then surely digital shooters should also be allowed flexibility in choosing more or less saturated tone curves as well.

 

Frogfish

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I agree -- go ahead and to color adjustments. But I'd be surprised if there weren't real color artifacts when looking closely at an image edited to that extent, and I'd also guess that it would be difficult to get a large print to look good.

 

Robert says that in-camera WB would produce the same effects, and I agree. However, even done in-camera, the red channel would be a huge mess.

 

Any experienced judge will see it for what it is, and will take that into account when judging the image (which probably means something different to every judge).

 

Given two images that are really great, if one of them has nasty color artifacts, and the other doesn't, guess which one is going to win?

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I'd like to say that i love the correction result yet also beg to differ on the achieving it in camera as a digital photographer.

 

sure we have advantages of white balance digitally, but I have tried to get into shooting RAW and then adjusting and converting, but I love shooting JPG and getting the results instantly like you do with film .. it's very possible and cuts down on your after procesessing.

 

Post procesessing is not the be all and end all ... you CAN get good shots straight off with digital so don't be forced to give up on that.

 

Personally I am all about less work = more fun

 

but at the same time I also am amazed at what can be done with an image after it is taken.

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Eric,

 

I agree that "the red channel would [still] be a huge mess" whether WB adjustment was done in-camera or post-processing. That might not be the case if the image was taken with a red/orange filter, which would still require a radical WB adjustment at some stage in the process.

 

Although I don't participate in photo competitions myself, I am very interested in the question of where we as a community want to draw the line between reasonable and "illegitimate" post-processing techniques. I think we all have an interest in ensuring that photo contest organizers understand that position, assuming of course that something like a common view actually exists or eventually emerges.

 

Personally, I expect within a few years that the film categories in photo competitions will decline in importance, becoming something analogous to a classic cars race limited to vehicles in 100% stock manufactured condition.

 

As for shooting digital raw versus jpeg, surely that's simply a matter of personal choice and preference, related in large part to what we want to do with our images.

 

Frogfish

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I'm starting to shift my opinions twords manta ray. Unless we're puting in or taking out something thats not there, Why put limitations on using the tools available to everyone. You may argue that results would come down to computer skills, as some well known photoghraphers have pointed out. I would argue that artistic results are ultimately what impresses me with shot. If the fabulous shots by marcello on the favorite of the year thread, were "manipulated" i wouldnt think any different of them.

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If you were a traditional film photographer entering a competition; would you not be allowed to use your darkroom skills?

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This is digital photography not film. Creativity and skill can go from behind the camera to behind the computer screen. An image is an image, if it looks bad it looks bad if it's good it might win. I am involved in seeing over 150 images per month in a local competition with critiques. Nature catagories and photo journalisim are specific to no enhancements other than brightness and contrast. A good photoshop user can fool anyone anyway. If is is a hack job it won't win. Anything that makes an image better or interesting I am all for. If combineing images I feel the photographer should take all the pictures, no using stock stuff with your own stuff.

 

The top photoshop guys are true creative artisits, combine that with some quality photography and things advance to the next level. Someday this question will never be asked just as younger people don't know what a record and record player were.

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