We’ve been having a spirited interaction about photography and photo art, I would love to hear your thoughts on this image.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at 10:51 pm
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The image itself is beautiful. The composition ,lighting ,and sensual reaction is the intention of the photographer who made the photo or art. It is a very personal decision as to whether this was taken “as is”,or created in post processing. As an outside observer I may have an opinion other than what the photographer intended,but that is my choice as is the presentation by the creator .
I think it is a beautiful image. I don’t know how it was created, I’ll guess it is a Luminar AI composite, but to paraphrase Rhett Butler, frankly my dear I don’t give a…you know the rest. It’s simply a beautiful image presented on a friend’s blog. My friend isn’t saying I shot this at xxx with Fuji camera yyyy after hiking zzz miles and staying out in the cold dark night for hours and hours. It’s just a beautiful image.
It is a beautiful image but two things come to mind.
1. I don’t recall any light sources when looking at that formation at the angle taken that would account for the two lateral horizon lights sources.
2. The milky way orientation angle seems incorrect in relation to the horizon line. It looks like it was placed on that angle to “balance” the shot. But I don’t know for sure without some checking.
Nice picture and artful but i’m guessing a replacement sky and artificial orientation. Art!
It is an actual photograph with no post, ohter than the usual exposure and white balance corrections.
This is the issue I have with post extremes, everyone’s first thought was, was it real? Interesting place we’re in!
I thought it was real because I believe I might have been standing not far from you when it was made! One of my favorite trips!
Yes You Were! It was a great trip!
I went on YouTube this morning and searched for “Is it wrong to replace Skies in your photographs?
I got several dozen videos on how to do it, none addressing my question!? Food for thought!
Is it ok to replace a sky in a photograph?
That’s just one of the questions that can be asked about what is or is not “ok” to do to create a photograph.
Is it ok to remove or “clone out” certain objects?
How much cropping is acceptable to isolate the subject from the surroundings?
How much can we change the color saturation or the hues of the photo?
Can we adjust the white balance? Or apply an Orton Effect to intentionally blur and add contrast?
There are many such questions that all relate to the discussion of what is or is not acceptable to do to a photo.
To further this discussion that Bill is presenting, here’s a link to a video by Adam Karnacz at First Man Photography.
The video is titled “Is There Deception in Landscape Photography?”
(Note: For the first 4 minutes he talks mostly about the social media aspect, but stick with it, the rest of the video is about Landscape Photography.)
I think perhaps most of us would agree with his basic statement that any changes we make as photographers become wrong or at least questionable if the intent is to purposely deceive the viewer. For me at least, I do agree with that. I would never wish to intentionally deceive or lie to someone for my own benefit. And obviously if someone ever asks me about how any of my photos were created, I will be brutally honest about it. But in practice, I still don’t know what this all means when applied to artistic changes in photography.
In this video, Adam Karnacz presents some examples. One example is a sunset foreground photo of a lighthouse combined with the night sky taken hours later at the exact same location. He is ok with this and probably most photographers are. However, to me, this has more potential to “deceive” the viewer than the last example in his video. His last example is of a cropped and content aware filled image of a small island and a branch in a pond. Adam feels he has gone too far with this image and has ventured into the realm of deceit. For me, though, I find this image beautiful and perfectly acceptable. In fact, I find it much less “deceitful” than the lighthouse image.
Adam Karnacz presented a basic statement that, on the surface, is easy to agree with: “We should not intentionally deceive our viewer.” But what does that mean? Just in the few examples he presents, I don’t think we’d all be totally in agreement with his conclusions for each specific image.
So what constitutes “deceit”? Is photography only allowed to portray a certain level of realism, and if we range beyond that limit, does our photography become unacceptable or have less value? As many rightly note, I think, certain genres of photography, such as photojournalism, should and must remain as close to reality as possible. And professional photographers must not intentionally mislead or deceive their audience about how their images were created to boost sales, workshop attendance, number of clients, etc. However, if my artistic intent is to use photography to create an image that transcends the objective and induces a subjective emotion or reaction in the viewer, then where is the deceit in using whatever photographic tool at my disposal to accomplish that?
I understand that photography in general struggled from the early days to be accepted as an art form. Painters, sculptors, art critics, etc. viewed photography as a craft, not an art. I believe we have progressed beyond that and photography, at least in certain presentations, is accepted as a fine art form. I wonder, though, if these questions about what is or is not acceptable are perhaps an extension of, and another way of framing, the discussion of whether photography is a craft or an art form? If we try to determine a limit of what we can acceptably do to a photograph, are we emphasizing the craft of photography above, and at the expense of, the art of photography?
Extremely well stated! I believe both craft and art are important and necessary! I agree that intent to deceive is the dividing line! Art for arts sake must be allowed as well!
Well-stated and I absolutely agree with your points. No one asks a plein air painter if the scene they’ve painted on their canvas is an accurate depiction of the scene they saw. I think you’re right, Rick, that the on-going dispute about whether photography is art or craft is behind a lot of this. My own attitude with respect to landscape photography is that I try to accurately depict the scene I’ve photographed. At the same time, I do use color balances, vibrance saturation adjustments, or selective adjustments to modify the photograph in a manner that I believe reflects the scene as it influenced me. Every time one of us shoots a scene in color and then changes it to black and white, we have modified reality – the landscape was not black and white! I will clone out parts of the photograph that I think interfere with my “view” of the scene. If I could have gone over and removed a rock or cut off a branch, or removed a leaf or pulled up a weed, then I feel that cloning is justified (and environmentalists should thank me for not messing with nature!). On the other hand, I will not composite in things that would not have been in the scene – I don’t clone an animal into a stream, etc., even if one could have been there. I’m not opposed to replacing a sky (the sky does change, and we can’t be there for all the different skies that will be present over the course of time), but I will readily acknowledge that and all other changes I make to a photograph. If we are presenting our work as art (or even as craft) then the “reality” of the scene was only a starting point for us anyway. But, as everyone seems to agree, if we’re presenting our photographs as the “truth” of the scene (photojournalism), we have an obligation to present the scene as it was without modification other than minimal standard processing.
My first thought was it was a wonderful image. I did not think about the processing of the image. I took it as a truth. If Marvin the Martin was standing on one of the rock pillars, I would be questioning how much post processing was done even after reading all the comments and replies. I may be too trusting of others in expecting that the image is representing the some basic truth and am offended when that trust is violated.
Wish everyone was as trusting!
When a painter paints he/she paints, at least in my opinion, with emotion, impression, etc, rather than strict realism to the last detail. I look at my images the same way. I want to create a message, emotion or impression, etc to the viewer – thus, for me, post processing including cloning, moving, adding in elements is okay. It’s my art not documentary or photo-journalistic photography.
I have no problem even idealizing the reality in shots that are primarily memories of where I have been. When I recall a memory in my mind, I don’t think that I remember the litter or “telephone pole”, but the main subject of what I am recalling. So why the fuss as long as we are honest in what we say about our image either directly or by inference. So there! My two cents.
Maybe if I was a better craftsman I could live with less modifications.
That maybe true of us all!
It is beautiful! Wow!
You know that I am a BIG fan of editing. It’s just plain fun! I decided long ago to not give anybody else permission to define or restrict my art. I am not a photojournalist. I don’t work for a newspaper or somebody like National Georgraphic. I will clone with abandon. I will apply filters, add textures, correct perspectives, stretch pixels, etc. Why not? In one of my popular photos, I took liberties with digitally moving a leaf to a different spot for a better composition. Changing it in post saved me from getting my feet wet in the field. I’ve never replaced a sky, but I may just give a whirl sometime for a little entertainment!
I’ve had non-photographers tell me that I am “cheating” by doing ANY editing. It’s ludicrous to think that one should give total control to the camera on how the final image should look. And besides, I shoot RAW. So editing is required! Who are they to tell me how I should create my art? Photography is for my enjoyment. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Perfectly good story to stick to!
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