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Thread: Photo Assignment: Weekend 12/15/07

  1. #31
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eosnut View Post

    Now I realize that a square picture is not going to be very good for a Christmas card, so I guess I won't start my active participation this week.
    How do you know if the square picture is going to be very good for a card? The card hasn't been designed and laid out yet. A good picture on a square card is still a good card. If you have something in mind I can speak on behalf of the Holiday Card Team of the Foundation we would like to see it. (Is it weird when I talk about myself in the first person plural? )
    -=Brad

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  2. #32
    Master of Digitation
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradfordBenn View Post
    How do you know if the square picture is going to be very good for a card? The card hasn't been designed and laid out yet. A good picture on a square card is still a good card. If you have something in mind I can speak on behalf of the Holiday Card Team of the Foundation we would like to see it. (Is it weird when I talk about myself in the first person plural? )
    Touche' I guess I was thinking "inside the box" (a rectangular one)

  3. #33
    grossjohann
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestune View Post
    Ansel Adams said, “The negative is the score, the print the performance.”

    My favorite photography instructor would grade us not only on our prints but also the processed film and contact sheets of our B&W or color negatives. The rational was to learn how to make consistently good exposures and compositions, creating a more efficient and productive darkroom and hopefully better photographers. Other reasons for examining our contact sheets were to see just how efficiently we used our film, meaning, shooting to fill the frame so we would need as little cropping as possible and to see how many exposures we used to get “the” shot.

    What I’m saying is SNC 1923 has set up a great template for learning the most basic, often difficult, but essential step in creating a photographic image, that is to look at and constructively critique photos before any manipulations occur. Ansel Adams was a master of negative processing and print manipulation, but it all started with “the score.”

    It’s really difficult to not crop or “tweak” a photo before posting, but it is a terrific learning experience. Perhaps we could consider leaving the original guidelines in place, that is, post only one photo with no alteration (other than sizing for the forum.) And then those that want to could take there one image and re-submit a processed, altered, posterized, dodged, burned, cropped, split toned or just tweaked image for a second critique. Discussion of image alterations and techniques could follow the second submission. The second submissions could be on the same thread the following week or on a different thread. Just my two cents worth….
    +1

    Alright, Guys.

    We all must acknowledge the difference in the photographic technology available today vs. in the past.

    The printing process of the past required a great amount of skill, and those most skilled could correct for errors on the negative, or could adjust the photograph slightly to suit their inspiration. Yes, some have done amazing effects with film photography, but like “heavy photoshopping” this is a subject for a different thread.

    My point is that in the past, the exposure was difficult to achieve as was the actual print. Both of these skills needed development before one could be a good photographer.

    With exception of very specific professional digital cameras and professional lenses, today’s digital cameras eliminate the need for post processing because they can store the image in the same medium in which they will be displayed. Most of the digital pictures which are taken never make it to paper; rather they are displayed on countless screens. Once a .JPG, the files never “need” to be adjusted. Few of us can study a negative and see subtle shadows and/or vibrant colors, so the traditional photograph must be printed to be appreciated (or not so).

    Add to this digital technology which makes photography virtually automatic. The standard P&S cameras available to the general public today with auto focus, auto exposure, facial recognition (up to nine faces at once…and then finds the best focus!), vibration reduction, auto ISO, flash intensity, and a host of presets for “sports”, “portraits”, “landscape”, etc… which have been tuned so that we barely need to understand how the combination of shutter, aperture, flash, etc. should be used together for the desired effect makes great digital photography easy for virtually anyone.

    My 10 year old daughter can take crystal clear snap-shots which are nearly always just what she wanted, or more because the camera “saw” subtle details in the image that she didn’t.


    I think the question is:

    Is this a PhotoShop class, or is it a Photography class? This is up to Tom to decide as it was he who set the rules, “No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software).”

    The challenge is to learn to better use the photographic instrument, and then to keep your wits about you in the heat of the moment. This is an essential piece to the photography puzzle; not to mention an important life lesson (particularly for those who voluntarily put themselves at risk for the sake of personal enjoyment).

    Further, may of us have been impressed with Tom’s ability to see the process behind the image. This is possible because of his careful eye, and of his experience in this field of photography. Adding digital alteration to the submitted image may muddy the waters to the point where the teacher can not aid in the development of the student.

    This has been a great discussion, I have to admit that few of my shots have ever made it to print or frame without some “post processing” in PhotoShop or the like. This is hardly scandalous as most of you have already pointed out the long-standing tradition of adjustment after the fact, but in the case of this exercise…

    …I choose not to alter the images which I submit for Tom’s careful review.

  4. #34
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Interesting the debate starts this week

    What is interesting to me is that the rules are the same as last Photo Assignment, and the one before, and ... etc.

    I am not against considering a photoshopped, digitally altered image for the Foundation Holiday Card, but the purpose of this thread and assignment is to better our skills as camera operators, not computer operators.

    If you have something you would like to submit for the Holiday card that is computer composited, yes, it would still be welcomed with open arms and be considered for the card project.

    -=Brad
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    Beginning Camera Operator.
    -=Brad

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  5. #35
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I vote for straight out of the camera, no Photoshop.

    Images that might have been less than successful might be useful for a parallel PS thread, if we had someone on here that could explain basic PS operation and think of an assignment each week. Where each week the photography thread works on a composition theme, the PS thread could work on a specific task in PS. Participants could produce before and after images to show how they've applied the current week's skill to an image.

    This would require significant time investment for the thread leader, as they'd have to essentially prepare a lesson each week. This might be better to do on a biweekly or monthly basis, I think. The result, at the end of a year, would be a rich online reference of how to use PS.
    Dave Swider
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  6. #36
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    I vote for straight out of the camera, no Photoshop.
    There have been some excellent points made about traditional film technique versus digital-age photography, and photography in general. I too believe the absolute best approach to this, keeping the nature of these threads educational, is to use an image that is as unaltered as possible. The one exception I see is cropping (see bluestune's posts above). If someone doesn't crop a poorly framed image, or doesn't see the finer image within the larger frame, then they are demonstrating a compositional weakness*. Composition (IMO) is one of the most critical artisitic skills a photographer can develop.

    Despite this being the digital age, the print is still the standard by which photography is judged--because we can't share prints we're using this electronic medium to display our work. A submission should be posted as it would be displayed in a conventional sense.

    I don't mean to get on a soapbox, but it doesn't make sense to me for Tom to point out a photo could be cropped differently if the shooter doesn't have that capability. Conversely, if they submit a shot that is cropped, and Tom (or anyone else) suggests better or different cropping, then the photographer is still learning from the experience.

    *Recognizing the photographer should have strived to compose in a manner that would minimize the need for cropping.

    Lastly, I think every comment made on this topic has merit. I see both sides of this debate. A few of the finer points have become a conundrum. (I know I am being annoying because I don't participate that much. I'll shut up now. Sorry. )
    Ben Ricci

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  7. #37
    franze
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    three pages of banter, I'm a true moderate. Post a topic, review the submissions. Crop, shop, whatever. Nobody's paid to get a grade, nobody's going to lose their job if they give a harsh review. Some folks want to get better at photo shopping, some want to improve their "in camera" skills. To each his own.

    To put it another way, I don't photo shop cuz mostly I'm an old school guy, loved the thread about "the taste of it, the schmell of it, the texture" yeah, I could tell if I had fixer on my fingers in the dark....... BUT, I'm interested in seeing what people do when they photoshop. I suppose for me I'd like to see the before and after in a photo shop submission. But I don't think this thread should be overcomplicated or over governed. " Let them eat cake"

    Merry Christmas y'all

  8. #38
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricciphoto View Post
    SNIP

    *Recognizing the photographer should have strived to compose in a manner that would minimize the need for cropping.
    SNIP
    I'm glad for the rules to post the unaltered picture.

    I took a slug of pictures this weekend at a friend's graduation. In the past, I would have cropped almost every shot, and corrected lots of other stuff. I found I was doing a more thoughtful first shot and rarely need to make changes.

    Thanks, Tom, for helping me develop the composition skill I'm still finding.

    Voni
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  9. #39
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    I'm glad for the rules to post the unaltered picture.

    I took a slug of pictures this weekend at a friend's graduation. In the past, I would have cropped almost every shot, and corrected lots of other stuff. I found I was doing a more thoughtful first shot and rarely need to make changes.

    Thanks, Tom, for helping me develop the composition skill I'm still finding.

    Voni
    sMiling
    I think that's the objective. Consider that most of the people here are using their P&S to replace a P&S film camera. They wouldn't perform cropping or play with the prints. They'd take them to Walgreen's, right?
    Dave Swider
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  10. #40
    Living in exile Threeteas's Avatar
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    What's this weekend's theme again?

  11. #41
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    I think that's the objective. Consider that most of the people here are using their P&S to replace a P&S film camera. They wouldn't perform cropping or play with the prints. They'd take them to Walgreen's, right?


    If you have photoshop and know how to use it, use it.
    If you don't have it, don't stress.
    If you have a great DSLR, good for you. Use it.
    If you don't, don't stress.
    In the end, no matter what you do, it's still the person behind the lens that makes the photo, not the technology.
    Just take pictures.
    Present them as best you can.

    If the picture flat out sucks, maybe someone will tell you why and how to do better next time.

  12. #42
    Living in exile Threeteas's Avatar
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    If you want to treat this as a work in progress, perhaps we can take it from this stage through to finished, by 1st Jan, using tips.

    The thing is, I don't use this thread for finished works, or even the best pics I've taken that weekend. I don't regard it as a gallery, more of a classroom. For instance, the flames on this pic are not right. What can I do?

  13. #43
    Living in exile Threeteas's Avatar
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    Why do I prefer this? Is there a reason I should?

    Title: Thawing out.

  14. #44
    grossjohann
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    I like to use a slightly longer shutter speed when shooting flames. It gives them a more ethereal look.

    Unfortunately, the weather made for poor motorcycling the weekend, and since I’m not rebuilding a /2 in my living room (this project is planned should I ever need a quick divorce) my shots are a little contrived.


    All I want for Christmas
    Last edited by grossjohann; 01-20-2008 at 02:27 AM. Reason: Image lost when thread moved to Photography Forum

  15. #45
    grossjohann
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    Icy lament
    Last edited by grossjohann; 01-20-2008 at 02:28 AM.

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