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  1. #1
    arigram's Avatar
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    Adding/Subtracting from the Image

    I would like to know where do you stand on the issue of adding or substracting elements from an image. I don't mean making a part lighter or darker I mean cutting off portions or adding complete visual elements when did not exist in the beggining.
    Is it still considered a photograph? Or does it fall in the general category of "two dimensional image" photographically created?
    Does photography have an deeper essence or is it just what you produce with a camera somewhere in the creation stage?
    For example having the negative of a landscape and using another negative to enter the moon in the scene. Or cutting off a tree or two by dodge/burn. Or somehow erase a man that walks past your image.
    Let me make myself clear that I do not consider cropping as such because being bound by the viewpoint of a lens and/or the size of the negative, choosing your viewpoint is another matter.

    My stance is that a photograph ends with a negative. What you do in the printing stage is for the presentation of the photograph. The creation of an image with different means have other names and essence (photocollage, photograms, etc). Now with digital this whole matter has been clouded as with a "overwritte save" you make your new creation the original.

    I believe that the essence of the photograph is the capture of a material scene with one shutter click and is what seperates it from the other two-dimensional visual arts such as painting, gravure, etc

    What is your stance?
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram

    For example having the negative of a landscape and using another negative to enter the moon in the scene. ...

    I believe that the essence of the photograph is the capture of a material scene with one shutter click ...
    Is it different if you sandwich two negatives to insert the moon from making a double exposure on one sheet of film - a daytime scene with a night moon, maybe with a different lens? Then the result is one neg, but two shutter clicks to make it.

    Personally I dodge and burn quite happily, but even cropping makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, although I still do it. Anything involving changing the elements of the image seems quite wrong.

    On the other hand, doubtless many people have tried to "photograph the wind" (as I have), using multiple exposures of trees or grass in motion. Why does it seem ok to do that in camera, but not at the printing stage?

    There's nothing like a bit of inconsistency to keep life interesting

  3. #3
    bjorke's Avatar
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    When you frame, you cut away what's out of the frame.

    When you snap, you take away the volume and the color (even color film is jsut an approximation), you take away the air and the sound and the smells and reduce everything to stillness.

    To worry about the absolute truth of the thing after that is a bit self-deluding.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  4. #4
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Photography for me is simply a means of communicating an event, idea, memory or, in fact, anything that I wish to pass on or share with those who are prepared to view it. Therefore, if I have to make one image from two or more negatives then so be it: if I can capture the whole thing in one exposure, great! I see no difference in significant burning and dodging on a print made from a single negative and creating the final image by any other means. My take is that the end result is the important element and I'm happy to do whatever is required to best present the reason for making the image in the first place.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  5. #5

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    As far as a work of art goes it matters not at all how you got there--whatever you do or don't do to the negative is fine--including drawing on it, combining it, collaging it, cropping it, to name only a very few of the many possible things.

    One does, or should do, what gives one the most pleasure in the process. Personally, I get the greatest satisfaction when I see things complete on the ground glass. For me, that is an intense and incomparable moment.

  6. #6
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion that intent and usage have to play a major part of any image manipulation issue. If the intent is to deceive and the usage dishonest, the manipulator has crossed the line, whatever the media.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7
    arigram's Avatar
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    What I should clarify is what I consider the distinction between an image and a photograph. When you are creating an artwork you can use any means necessery, I have no problems with that. An image is an image no matter how it was created.
    What I am talking about is photography which for me is a sub-category of image making. I draw, I paint, I do computer graphics, I do all kinds of two dimensional art (and sculpture as well, but that is beyond the point).
    But a photograph for me is not what is on the printed paper, but what is on the negative. That's why I very rarely crop and when I do it was because I lacked the necessery lens or set up for the photograph.
    But then that's just me so I happy to read people's philosophy.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I agree with Ralph. As long as it's not presented as journalism or documentary or in the case of advertising a faithful representation of the object being advertised, I see nothing inherently wrong with image manipulation. It has been part of photography virtually since the beginning. Virtually all professional portraits from the late nineteenth-century until the 1960s (and a substantial amount even after that) involved hand work on the negative and the print.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram
    What I should clarify is what I consider the distinction between an image and a photograph. When you are creating an artwork you can use any means necessery, I have no problems with that. An image is an image no matter how it was created.
    What I am talking about is photography which for me is a sub-category of image making. I draw, I paint, I do computer graphics, I do all kinds of two dimensional art (and sculpture as well, but that is beyond the point).
    But a photograph for me is not what is on the printed paper, but what is on the negative. That's why I very rarely crop and when I do it was because I lacked the necessery lens or set up for the photograph.
    But then that's just me so I happy to read people's philosophy.
    As I know, there is possibility to make negative or slide on printer from digital file. So, one make image using digital camera, or even drawing at computer, and make with computer printer slide of that art piece viewable on slide projector, or negative which can be future be printed in darkroom, just like "normal" negative. So, it is expression of artist, communication through two dimensional visual art technique (and since result is slide or negative, you can imagine what it is...), or whatever, but is it a photograph? Remember, in this case we have existing slide or negative of that art piece, but we didn't make that slide or negative with film camera, and with developing in photo chemicals, we made that slide or negative with computer and printer. So, is it a photograph?...

  10. #10
    arigram's Avatar
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    Certainly there are all kinds of ways to make a negative.
    I remember when I saw the first negative maker for computers that the local university had, some fifteen years ago.
    But that is still not the point I am trying to convey.
    What I am talking about is the instanteneous creation using captured light from the material world. You can challenge my words (is an exposure of an hour or more instanteneous, and so on) but I think you know where I am getting at.
    With all other arts there is a long creation process of building up slowly the final artwork.
    The only other parallel I can make with photography is chinese painting which comes out of the philosophy of writting: what you did is what you did, you can't go back and change it.
    Photography for me is even more like the writting of a chinese character: a mind focused on the writting brush, one stroke, one character. You can't go back and change what you did. If you didn't succed you move on.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




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