Scanning ethics ????

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by stradibarrius, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    When I scan a negative to post on the web, how much manipulation do you feel is ethical? When I shoot digital it is a different situation but when I shoot film I want the process to be analogue. But as we all know to share our film photography on line we have to scan a negative or a print.
    Some "sharpening" seems to be necessary maybe some contrast???
    What are your thoughts. Please accept this question in the spirit it is being asked.
    When I post here I want to show my analogue skills and not my PhotoShop skills.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    My personal standard is, if I cannot do the same manipulation in darkroom, I won't do it in computer based editing.
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Exactly my method and mottot too. I scan all my negatives as an untouched negative using Silverfast software and HDRi.
    Then I convert the file into 8-bit grayscale positive.
    I rotate and crop as necessary.
    I adjust tonality to make it look like a print would, to the best of my ability.
    I dust spot.
    I re-size.
    I sharpen.
    I sometimes add a bit of warmtone, which would look much like a vaguely selenium toned warmtone paper print.

    It's basically all in the spirit of what a finished silver gelatin print would look like. The trouble is, my darkroom prints almost always look better, so there is a bit of a moral dilemma involved.

    - Thomas

     
  4. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Your scan should simulate the print.
     
  5. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Would you dodge, burn, crop, alter contrast/exposure or tone a traditional photo print? Unless you are some kind of photography analog to the The Dogme 95 Bretheren there's no reason why you shouldn't.

    I see no reason why you shouldn't use digital techniques that mimic techniques you would use in making a traditional print.

    Go ahead and use exposure/contrast settings. Color, Levels and Curves adjustment layers are all right by me. Using layer masks and smart layers to burn/dodge or highlight a feature of the photo like you would in a real photo are all right. If it is your artistic intent, I don't have any problem with somebody using false color to create something like a "faux cyanotype" effect or similar.

    I would not use the Vibrance/Saturation controls to create false color. I would not use very many filters to alter the image at all, except for some minor sharpening, if it is necessary.

    However, I LOVE digital spotting! I can spot an image using Photoshop in about 90 seconds where I sometimes feel like it would take me hours to do the same thing by hand. Using Photoshop to spot an image is probably the most aggressive thing I would do.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Whatever it takes to make it look like a print, yes.

     
  7. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you scan to show what the print would look like, i'd do whatever makes it look like the print of the negative.

    If you scan to have a half-product, destined to become something in its own right (i.e. not an illustration of what the print of the negative would be like), i'd do whatever is needed to get the final result the way i want it to be.

    Sometimes, though, it's easier to make the scanned image look like the way you want than it is to get a print look that way. And then what?
     
  8. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Why is this discussion taking place on APUG??
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Personally, I think it's valid. Because neg scans are allowed in the gallery here, and the framework of scanning negs and to gain an understanding of what might be considered ethical and allowed could be downright important.
    Last I checked, the rules for uploading pictures to the gallery are not even defined.

    - Thomas

     
  10. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Minimal intervention for me if possible but I absolutely treat as I would a darkroom print. Cropping if necessary, a little dodging/burning, contrast, brightness and that's about it. Printing with Piezography, I am stuck to whatever inks I am using so no adjustments there. It's either K7 special edition or selenium gloss and I change papers as I would in a darkroom to achieve slightly different looks.
     
  11. urbantarzan

    urbantarzan Member

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    As a minimum: black point has to be defined in the scan, then you correct for magenta/ other color casts and finally saturation. A sligt contrast and curves may be needed. Scans may need a little sharpening, but sharpening more than a few points tends to accentuate grain. If you need to manipulate more than that, you might as well have shot in digital format.
     
  12. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    My feelings are like what most of you have expressed. If I do it by a traditional method then it is ok. The challenge and fun of ME is trying to get it right in the camera so that it is easy to print.
    For me personally, making the shot something that it is not through digital manipulation is not the way I want to achieve my results.
     
  13. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Absolutely!
     
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  15. This is a good, and valid discussion, for this forum. I'm in the middle of developing a batch of film, which I'll scan (selected frames), to subsequently display in the gallery, here.

    And, I too, am under the determined impression that one shouldn't manipulate "straight" imagery outside the limits of what a finished print is intended to look -- in other words, basic techniques employed in a wet darkroom.
     
  16. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't think you should scan the negative, digitally manipulate it, and then say that it represents the print. I think that you should scan the print, or even rephotograph it with a digital camera. Unless the negative is your actual art object, but I always thought they looked weird, what with the sun all black and everyone with white pupils.
     
  17. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Half the time, I scan in a print I've made...matching it to the scan is then fairly easy and straightforward.
     
  18. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    Whatever it takes to make the image come out the way you want it. Why limit yourself? I do as little digital manipulation as possible because I don't like to work on my computer, but if I need to do something, I will. I don't see it as an ethical question unless you are somehow required to do no digital manipulation. Then none is acceptable. If it is your project, do what you need to do.
     
  19. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The "rule" for APUG is to match the physical print or transparency as closely as possible with the display. Negative scans should be mostly un-manipulated except for some sharpening/contrast/brightness/CC adjustments. "Finishing" a neg scan in PS for display in the APUG gallery goes a bit against the spirit of things. For a non-APUG application, whatever floats your boat.

    This kind of discussion is allowed on APUG, as it relates directly to scanning for the APUG portfolios and galleries, and as long as it doesn't grow to exceed the scope of the OP.
     
  20. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I would say that if one were to do that exclusively, the gallery would be a pretty empty place. Let's face it, not every negative is worth printing and I'm sure darkroom time, for the few professionals aside, is at a major premium for most of us mere mortals.
     
  21. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Thanks, Jason! Sounds very clear and straightforward.
     
  22. fotch

    fotch Member

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    What everyone has said. If you start using PS layers and making a new picture out of it, then, its no longer representing an traditional film shot.

    Of course, the alternative is to print 43,000 prints and bulk mail to everyone. :tongue:
     
  23. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I would agree with the above. BUT, I don't understand why the question was placed in the alternative processes forum specifically. I mean, since when scanning is an alternative process!?

    Regards,
    Loris.

    Edit: In case someone decides to bring it up, I can tell in advance; perhaps "scanography" could pass as an alternative process BTW - worth to discuss at least...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2010
  24. Edward_S

    Edward_S Subscriber

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    One of the reasons I became a subscriber was to have access to the gallery, and I always enjoy seeing other people's work. But I do feel that I can learn the most from scans of actual prints, because then I know that such a picture is actually possible with analogue techniques, and it gives me something to aim for.

    On the other hand, doing it by analogue methods is a two-stage process; it could be argued that the negative is as important as the print, so why not show those too?

    But there must be a limit somewhere - if I scanned a negative, turned it blue, added a few other arty effects and said "this is what it might have looked like as a cyanotype", then presumably that is going too far for the APUG gallery?

    Edward.
     
  25. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Quite right. I hadn't noticed that. Moved to Presentation and Marketing.
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Some people have shown neg scans first, and then scans of prints. It's educational.

    For me, I didn't have a choice for over a year, having been without a darkroom. Can't wait to make more prints and share those instead of neg scans.