Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,847   Posts: 1,582,775   Online: 848
      
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    282

    When Ethics Become Semantics

    There have been a number of interesting discussions in this forum regarding the ethics of presenting a computer generated illustration as a photograph, and a recent posting here uses the term "fauxtograph" to describe this practice. I have never understood what would lead a person to misrepresent their work. But it seems we have now reached the point where respected organizations will publish fauxtographs by weasel wording the definition of what is real and what is not.

    Many folks may have seen the 2010 National Geographic Photography Contest images. There are some truely remarkable shots in this collection - some the result of pure luck, some the product of a great deal of skill, and some so photorealist that they are painful to look at.

    But the ones that really caught my eye are several shots of the night sky, brightly lit with stars, with some interesting terestrial object as a counterpoint. Every one of these is obviously a fake. Anyone who has tried to photograph the night sky under the best conditions (high altitude desert, no moon, dry cloudless night) knows that even with the fastest lens (f1.4), with the fastest film (ISO 1600 or equivalent sensor thingy), these uber-bright skies require somewhere between a 1-2 minute exposure. Since a 50mm lens will show star trails at 30 seconds, these shots can only be made with a tracking mount. This, of course, requires another stationary image of the foreground to prevent the mount movement from blurring the "stationary" earth.

    It seems that all that was needed to transform such a composite image from a direputable trick into an art form was to give it a fancy new name - High Dynamic Range. Now you can take as many shots of a scene as you want, keep what you like, get rid of what you don't - basically piece it together like a jigsaw puzzle. Voila, it's a photograph.

    Don't get me wrong. This isn't a criticism of the image, per se. Some of these are very creative and interesting. I certainly don't have the patience or the skill to sit for hours, blending together pieces on an image. So why do some folks deny their creativity with one medium (Photoshop, et al) by misrepresenting their work as photographs?

  2. #2
    bvy
    bvy is online now

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    995
    Images
    40
    I made this statement in a digital photography forum: "Photography begins and ends with the release of the shutter. Everything else is... well, something else." Needless to say I was blasted for it. The Photoshoppers came out in droves (an exaggeration) to protest my suggestion that what they do isn't photography.

  3. #3
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,010
    So is Jerry Uelsmann's work not photography? The fact that he combines images in the darkroom instead of photoshop doesn't change the fact that his photos are fakes; the scenes not real. Made from combining images. HDR for digital photography isn't near as fake, its simply a way to overcome the technical limitations of the digital camera, since its dynamic range is limited compared to film. The original poster has no room to talk about others anyway. Look at his website, all the photos there have had the saturation bumped way up in photoshop, no film gives that kind of color, not even Velvia.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

    Become a fan of my work on Facebook

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    8,021
    Images
    4
    Who cares what "photography" is? Just shoot and print good shit, and be happy about it. Sure; it's bullshit work. I agree with you...but that is just an opinion based on taste, with all the lack of import that any opinion carries. Can any of us do any better, and if so, why don't we do it or shut up (or both)? Really. Who cares. I am tired of people on the Internet trying to define terms as if they really mean something anyhow. Just shoot. Print. Have fun. The world is full of assholes and idiots. Just let it lie. Bad and misrepresented art is not going to kill us.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-27-2010 at 05:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5
    MaximusM3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    NY
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    756
    Images
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Who cares what "photography" is? Just shoot and print good shit, and be happy about it. Sure; it's bullshit work. I agree with you...but that is just an opinion based on taste, with all the lack of import that any opinion carries. Can any of us do any better, and if so, why don't we do it or shut up (or both)? Really. Who cares. I am tired of people on the Internet trying to define terms as if they really mean something anyhow. Just shoot. Print. Have fun. The world is full of assholes and idiots. Just let it lie. Bad and misrepresented art is not going to kill us.
    Agree. Not even worth discussing, really.

  6. #6
    Maris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    752
    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    So is Jerry Uelsmann's work not photography? The fact that he combines images in the darkroom instead of photoshop doesn't change the fact that his photos are fakes; the scenes not real. Made from combining images. HDR for digital photography isn't near as fake, its simply a way to overcome the technical limitations of the digital camera, since its dynamic range is limited compared to film. The original poster has no room to talk about others anyway. Look at his website, all the photos there have had the saturation bumped way up in photoshop, no film gives that kind of color, not even Velvia.
    Jerry Uelsmann's work is photography because he photographs several black and white negatives on a single piece of paper-backed photographic emulsion. This process is conventionally, and often unthinkingly, called "printing" but it is photography all the same.

    There is nothing about a negative that prevents it from being the subject of a photograph.

    There is nothing about photographic paper that prevents it from being used to take photographs.

    There is nothing about placing multiple exposures on a single piece of sensitive surface that prevents the result from being a photograph.

    Jerry Uelsmann's photographs of negatives that do exist can be read as pictures of scenes that don't exist. There is a big difference between "picture" and "photograph". Some photographers don't spend much time fussing over the difference and I guess the digital world can't conceive there is any difference.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  7. #7
    Maris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    752
    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Who cares what "photography" is? Just shoot and print good shit, and be happy about it. Sure; it's bullshit work. I agree with you...but that is just an opinion based on taste, with all the lack of import that any opinion carries. Can any of us do any better, and if so, why don't we do it or shut up (or both)? Really. Who cares. I am tired of people on the Internet trying to define terms as if they really mean something anyhow. Just shoot. Print. Have fun. The world is full of assholes and idiots. Just let it lie. Bad and misrepresented art is not going to kill us.
    The people who care what "photography" is are the ones who look at a photograph and take the mental journey to connect the photograph with something in the real world. This journey is not something worth doing with paintings, drawings, or digi-graphs because they don't offer an indexical relationship between subject and picture. Photographs (uniquely!) do offer this indexical relationship.

    It is perfectly legitimate to embrace pictures at first reading and accept them as a beguiling pattern of marks on a plane surface. Suspending enquiry, suspending disbelief is a pleasant entree to a comfortable world of fictions were "seeming" is indistinguishable from "being".

    Photography is a ticket out of this world.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  8. #8
    phaedrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Waltershausen, Thuringia, Germany
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    463
    Images
    11
    I think HDR digital image manipulation easily leads to these discussions because it is a *poor* simulacrum of our perception of a scene with highly different luminosities. Like objects in the "valley of uncanniness", it disappoints an unspoken assumption that a photograph should look like our perception of the world. Artistically, we need this base as a backdrop against which we exert our creativity, thereby moving the picture away from pure representation. If a technique does that on it's own without our interaction, we're a bit miffed.
    BTW, I'm in the Cole Porter camp: "Everything goes".

  9. #9
    BetterSense's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    2,882
    I think HDR digital image manipulation easily leads to these discussions because it is a *poor* simulacrum of our perception of a scene with highly different luminosities.
    Except I happen to think that HDR digital image manipulation is a MORE accurate simulacrum of our perception of a scene with highly different luminosities. The reason HDR is jarring is because it frustrates our visual memory which is/has been based on photographs and regular digital images, not because HDR is actually a poor representation of our visual reality. The human visual is capable of taking in and compressing a very high scene brightness range.

    I find it interesting that most people, in my experience, upon seeing HDR for the first time, say something like "it looks like a painting" or "it looks like a videogame". Both paintings and videogames are completely constructed imaging techniques; when asked to draw reality, people draw something with more compressed tones than photographs.
    f/22 and be there.

  10. #10
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,010
    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Jerry Uelsmann's work is photography because he photographs several black and white negatives on a single piece of paper-backed photographic emulsion. This process is conventionally, and often unthinkingly, called "printing" but it is photography all the same.

    There is nothing about a negative that prevents it from being the subject of a photograph.

    There is nothing about photographic paper that prevents it from being used to take photographs.

    There is nothing about placing multiple exposures on a single piece of sensitive surface that prevents the result from being a photograph.

    Jerry Uelsmann's photographs of negatives that do exist can be read as pictures of scenes that don't exist. There is a big difference between "picture" and "photograph". Some photographers don't spend much time fussing over the difference and I guess the digital world can't conceive there is any difference.
    Well you've dug yourself in a hole on that one, because there have historically been photographic printing processes that did not involve the final print material being light sensitive. Edward S. Curtis printed his photographs in an etching press from copper plates. By your definition, they're not photographs. Problem is, no one who matters agrees with you. Every history of photography ever written, ever museum that includes his work, every gallery that sells them calls them photographs. Because they are.

    The insistence that there is 'one true path' in photography is born of ignorance. Study the history of photography, if you do you'll drop the bigotry against digital work because photography, like painting, is a broad collection of related art media. All types of photography, including digital prints, have in common the use of a light sensitive initial capture. There are a number of different chemicals used for this to make films, plates, papers, and digital sensors. A digital sensor is just chemicals that give off electricity when light hits them, arranged in a grid and filtered for color and connected to electronics that count the amount of electricity produced by each spot.

    I would suggest that most people who get all upset because someone is 'cheating' by using a computer or digital camera would be better served worrying about the quality of their own work. If it sucks, no amount of whining and running down those using a different media will make you look good. It makes curators and dealers walk away from you. If your work is good, then you'll still be turning off educated people whose help you need to succeed, thus ruining your efforts at making good art.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

    Become a fan of my work on Facebook

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin