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  #1  
Old 02-14-2003, 09:33 PM
ronners ronners is offline
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Default Photography v. Reality

I've noticed recently in a number of forums that the question of 'photographic ethics' seems to be under debate. Essentially, it comes down to the fine line between the photograph as a 'true' representation of the original scene, and the photograph as digital art.

To my mind, and you may disagree, there is no such thing as a true representation of the original scene. When you take lens irregularities, film imperfections, and file (re)compression into account, you'll probably never be able to capture what was originally there.

In essence though, this is never the goal of accomplished photographers. The master of the art uses photography as a means of expression. This means that they invariably have an idea of how they wish to represent a given scene, then work to achieve that. Take Ansel Adams 'Zone System' for example. Being both an artist and technical master, Adams excelled at producing his vision of the world around him. This meant, for example, extensive use of filters in 'pre-production' and darkroom wizardry when creating the final print.

Digital techniques simply give us a more efficient, and less error-prone, means of realizing our own vision.

This is where the conflict lies. If I take a photo of a location and make extensive modifications to make it look 'just right', then you as a viewer don't learn anything about that place at all - hence contravening the original intention of TrekEarth.

So, whilst it's not reasonable to be so strict as to ban the use of filters and post-production, I think that we should all remember that this forum is a means of introducing others to the world around us through photography. By all means strive to realise your own personal vision, but if you post a photo here it should at least be representative.

In addition, I'd like to see TrekEarth mature into a learning vehicle as well as a travelogue. If you work on a photo then let us know what you did so that others can learn. In that way we may just achieve the balance.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2003, 03:43 AM
kentokyo kentokyo is offline
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Default Re: Photography v. Reality

I have to agree with Ronners. The overall purpose of this website is to introduce people to the world around them. While some people would like to get feedback in order to improve their photography, some people just want to show what they've experienced. Therefore, it’s a choice of the photographer if they want someone to work on their photo or not.
Like Ronners says, “If you work on a photo then let us know what you did so that others can learn. In that way we may just achieve the balance.”
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:08 AM
adam adam is offline
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Default Re: Photography v. Reality

I agree with what Ron wrote. Besides offering a place where people can learn more about the world around them, I hope that as photographers, we can learn from each other to better improve our technical and artistic skills as well. The more information (technical as well as descriptive) explained in each photo's Notes section, the more useful and interesting it will become for everyone.
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:15 AM
adam adam is offline
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Default Re: Photography v. Reality

"Therefore, it’s a choice of the photographer if they want someone to work on their photo or not."

Yes, this is exactly why I developed the 'Workshop' feature in the first place. To encourage members to participate together to improve each other's images through visual imagery, and only on images the photographer has decided is 'ok' to edit.

Even if a photo is not offered up for a workshop, the more information contained in the photo's Notes section, the more useful and interesting it is for everyone.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2003, 07:05 AM
GunDawg GunDawg is offline
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Default Re: Photography v. Reality

Well Put ... You make me feel better.
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