Is it ok to flip the negative?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by darkosaric, May 22, 2012.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I have a picture of a running kid from center to the left. While scanning I have turn the negative other way and I got kid running to the right side. And it looks better running to the right.

    So my question is: is it ok to flip negative in the darkroom to make mirror image on silver print?

    edit: I want to hear more than one opinion about this :smile:

    thanks,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2012
  2. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Yes.
     
  3. antmar

    antmar Member

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    Why not? as far as there are not any letters or numbers in the image.
    I do it quite often cause I always see the mirror of reality from my Rolleiflex.
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Portrait photographers have been flipping negative almost as long as photography has existed, because clients are used to seeing a mirror image of themselves and they are more acceptable to them, and not reality.
     
  5. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    yes, it is. I flip some of my images, since they were composed with a WLF, and look wrong when printed right.....
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It depends on the context of the image, in this case there's no reason not to flip it.

    Ian
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yes.
     
  8. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    As long as there are no 'tells' in the picture like printed words or numbers or cars with the steering column clearly visible, no one will be the wiser. ( yes, i know some countries have right-side steering, but if the photo's location is obvious from the context, it will look 'wrong'.)
     
  9. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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  10. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Most of us read from left to right, so movement from left to right seems natural.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I once read about a portrait photographer who would produce the proofs as mirror images for the customer to choose one then print the actual image the right way round.


    Steve.
     
  12. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Thank you all for feedback, now I see that this is a common thing to do :smile:.
     
  13. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Go ahead and print your pictures the way you think looks best. Just be on the lookout for reversed text and similar things. I have seen pictures where text is reversed but 90% of the people still don't notice.

    The only possible drawback is that the base side of the film will be toward the paper instead of the emulsion side. You might see a slight loss of sharpness because of that.
    Even then, 99% of the people would never notice.

    For reference, film projectors in movie theaters operate with the base side toward the screen.
    This is because most release prints of movies are made by contact printing film on film.
    Not only does the great majority of people not notice the difference, most of them think that's the way things should be.

    Since a photo enlarger is just a projector, I propose the same applies to photography.
    If you can flip the film in a movie projector without anybody noticing, you can flip the film in an enlarger and nobody will notice.
    You would probably need to magnify the image to extreme sizes to notice the difference.

    I only bring this up so you are aware of it but, even if you do notice a difference, chances are that you would be the only one who does.
     
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  15. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Thanks Worker 11811. It is efke 25 film, and I don't print larger than 30x40 cm - so no problem there :smile:
     
  16. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Every carbon print I make is "flipped" -- I use a single transfer method and this flips the image. I usually compose with this in mind.

    I can see why you want to flip yours -- nice active image!
     
  18. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Normally it would be OK to do whatever, it's your picture, you are its sole owner and master. If there is something you can be sure to be able to rule upon on your life, it's your pictures.

    For photojournalism that would already be a wrong practice. But I suppose this was not a photojournalistic image.

    If the picture is made for the "consumption" of people attending the event (a marriage?) and local to your church, then flipping the image might cause a sense of "innatural" because you also flip the architectural features - bell tower to the left coming from the bridge, instead of to the right - and the orientation - sun coming from the opposite direction it normally comes.

    If the boy had been framed on its own, no problem. Framed as it is, if you hang it to your wall everybody seeing it will tell you that the sides are reversed...
     
  19. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I'd bet most won't notice. Or they might realize something is different but not be able to figure it out 'cause they wouldn't be thinking of that. Good way to test how observant your friends are. Go for it.
     
  20. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I will go for it :smile:. I was there with 2 friends (not photographers). And this photo I made just for me, not for commercial use, event or anything like that.
     
  21. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    Only if the kid has bilateral symmetry.
     
  22. M Stat

    M Stat Member

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    In my opinion it would look much better printed normally, so why flip it?
     
  23. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It's a creative call. I wouldn't do it if there's signage or any writing in the picture. As a matter of fact, when I shoot with my Mamiya RZ without my prison finder, I sometime flip my neg when I print it because that's how I saw the shot with my WL finder when I did the shot.
     
  24. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    When flopping a negative, you are interfering with forces in the universe that you may not want to disturb. As you know there is a parallel universe that is co-existing with this one, and in that universe that boy actually went in that direction. Now you have made him go that direction in our universe as well.

    Because of you, that boy and everything in that picture, has been forever doomed to live with only one choice in their life instead of many.

    I hope you are ready for the consequences of playing God.
     
  25. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Yes... unless one is representing something "as it is in nature"... and even then it's okay, IMHO, provided one discloses that information.

    Blansky is a doomsday Demigod... pay no attention to his warnings. :wink:
     
  26. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I don't worry too much about parallel universes. This science stuff is all hokum anyway. But, by taking the boys picture, you have stolen his soul, or at least part of it. Now he is doomed, not only in this world, but for all eternity. The damage has already been done. Print it how you wish.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2012