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ChrLzs

MS Desktop Images - photoshopping OK?

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ChrLzs

Curious what others think about some of the Microsoft images that they roll out to enhance your startup experience....  My question - what constitutes a photograph, and how much cheating / editing / photoshopping is OK?  While I appreciate the way Microsoft rolls out some pretty nice images, am I being a pedant (or worse) by *not* liking the photoshop fakes that are scattered amongst the 'real' images..?

Here's the thing - I think photographs should be truthfully represented, and if they are heavily altered for 'artistic advantage' then that should be declared.  To me, a little overall enhancement (eg contrast and color saturation) and other 'cleaning up' is OK, eg removal of dust spots or even lens flares, perhaps even something like the removal of a person caught in awkward misstep, as long as the removal doesn't significantly affect the aesthetic of the original scene.

I start to draw the line at additions - eg adding seabird silhouettes (a recent example had two *exactly* matching seagull silhouettes, one of which at least had been obviously pasted on..).  IMO, even that should be declared - I believe a photograph should be a reasonably accurate representation of a scene that actually existed...  I guess I'm asking - what does 'reasonably accurate' mean, and when does a photograph become an artistic creation?

I get a bit disappointed when significant aspects of the scene are manufactured, and that is not declared.  Eg scenes where one area is lit by the sun at a completely different angle to other areas, thus showing that they have pasted two scenes that could never have been seen together in that way..

There is a classic example of another common practice being rolled out right now - it's a 'photo' of the Taj Mahal, with a riverbank and river in the foreground, with an almost perfect reflection.  On first glance it appears to be a remarkable catch, that would have required the photographer being very, very lucky, or visiting many, many times.... But on closer inspection it appears (and I'll explain why later) that the reflection shown in that river is 100% faked.  In other words, the 'photographer' has taken the top half of the image and reversed it, changing some colours and adding a bit of faked ripple in a few spots.  It looks real, but.... imo it definitely isn't.

I'll grant that the editing is very good, but they forgot one vital thing (and most photoshoppers do exactly the same thing when they try this) and that is the reflection must have a different perspective (view angle).......  Bzzzzt - it doesn't.

 

Anyway, am I being wrong in thinking that such imagery isn't a real photograph, and should be declared as such?  Or should I just let it go, as it's all just meaningless art...  I'll try to link to a copy of the image - unfortunately that can be difficult...  But if you're a Windows 10 user, look out for their new Taj Mahal image and let me know what you think..  Can you spot the telltales that it is fake?  Should this sort of 'artwork' be declared or is it OK to present it as a photograph of a real scene?

Edited by ChrLzs
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OverSword

:blink:

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eight bits

One of these?

https://spotlight.it-notes.ru/images/750a430dd3a636734679801b5df9816d

Anyway. I am less romantic about digital imagery than you seem to be :)

If the photo is supposed to be evidence of something, then I like the way it's done in courts of law. Somebody shows up with the image who can answer questions. If they made the image themselves, then one of the questions is usually "is this a reasonably accurate depiction of such-and-such?" If a machine made the image (like a photo of the licence plate of a car that ran a red light), then if both sides don't agree, then somebody is made available who can answer questions about what sets the camera off, who checks that the clock is accurate, etc.

And otherwise? Meh, if it contains "photographed" elements, rearranged for artisitic effect, then call it a virtual collage, lol.

Why am I giving that away? I could apply for a grant!

 

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ouija ouija

What a fascinating peek into your mind OP.  :unsure:

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Not A Rockstar

I agree with you ChrLzs, at some point it no longer is what is seen and becomes a creation of the person doing the editing - call it art if one must..

I feel like this at a museum. I like realism and do not equate it to surrealism in paintings.

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third_eye

If one were to be totally technical about it , a digital image isn't actually a photograph ... there is the digital print and then there is the photo, the thing that gives digital images that edge on all things aesthetics is actually the ease of manipulation or editing, so I guess its just a case of having a fashion model for a girlfriend or having a girlfriend who is a fashion model.

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ChrLzs
4 hours ago, eight bits said:

Yup.  That's the one.  I'll be back l8r to explain/show why I have a problem with it.

 

And to illustrate my point may I present this .. er.. thing.
https://spotlight.it-notes.ru/images/cbfa595b33b52c244ff3c1ae329bcece

?????????  Excuse my vomit.....  Anyone think that is a real scene?

4 hours ago, eight bits said:

Anyway. I am less romantic about digital imagery than you seem to be :)

As a fairly keen photographer, I sometimes enter competitions.. and often the rules are pretty much what I said above - if you don't declare your tomfoolery and it is significant, you can get into a lot of trouble..  I've been annoyed on more than one occasion to see 'creations' slipping thru the net.  Skills in photo-editing are very, very different to skills in capturing the initial image....

4 hours ago, eight bits said:

If the photo is supposed to be evidence of something, then I like the way it's done in courts of law. Somebody shows up with the image who can answer questions. If they made the image themselves, then one of the questions is usually "is this a reasonably accurate depiction of such-and-such?" If a machine made the image (like a photo of the licence plate of a car that ran a red light), then if both sides don't agree, then somebody is made available who can answer questions about what sets the camera off, who checks that the clock is accurate, etc.

Yeah, that's about it...  I think MS should be more court like... :D

 

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Farmer77
5 hours ago, ChrLzs said:

Anyway, am I being wrong in thinking that such imagery isn't a real photograph, and should be declared as such?  Or should I just let it go, as it's all just meaningless art...  I'll try to link to a copy of the image - unfortunately that can be difficult...  But if you're a Windows 10 user, look out for their new Taj Mahal image and let me know what you think..  Can you spot the telltales that it is fake?  Should this sort of 'artwork' be declared or is it OK to present it as a photograph of a real scene?

No you are not wrong to think it isnt a real photograph.....and my initial thought was to say AND you should let it go because thats just society evolving and youll drive yourself nuts fighting it but IDK.

The more I think about it though I think perhaps if  knowledgeable folks such as yourself were raising a stink over these kinds of smaller transgressions it would bring an awareness to whats happening on a larger scale. Reality matters.

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ChrLzs

Interesting take, farmer..  I like it.  While it's not exactly a terrible crime, it is being untruthful, imo, and I don't think it is entirely 'victimless'.  I wonder how many photographers look at some of these images (that moon one I posted earlier being a good/horrible example), and then can't work out why their camera, no matter what lens or zoom setting they try, gives them that sort of result...  Then they give up and don't get into the hobby further, all because some *&^%$#'s cheat to get their images...

Sigh.

 

Added:

I should elaborate - if you click on that link you will find a composite image that has little to do with reality.  It's a night shot and shows a HUGE moon, with lots of detail, just above an ocean horizon.  And then there is a wide view of a town/city in the middle ground - clearly, the overall scene contains a very wide angle of view.  The problems?  Well, just two tremendous ones.. 

1. To expose the moon so that it shows detail, requires a very short exposure similar to that used in daylight.  If it was exposed for those city lights a much longer exposure is required and the Moon would just be a huge washed out white globe.  You cannot get a properly exposed moon and city lights and night scenery in the same shot.

2. The scene is a wide angle view of the city lights and ocean.  But the Moon is zoomed in - requiring a very, very long telephoto lens.  Again, you cannot get that effect in a single shot - the Moon should be tiny!  That's why it looks (to me anyways) so horridly wrong - it is a ridiculously impossible scene..

Edited by ChrLzs
Added a critique..
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Farmer77
7 minutes ago, ChrLzs said:

Interesting take, farmer..  I like it.  While it's not exactly a terrible crime, it is being untruthful, imo, and I don't think it is entirely 'victimless'.  I wonder how many photographers look at some of these images (that moon one I posted earlier being a good/horrible example), and then can't work out why their camera, no matter what lens or zoom setting they try, gives them that sort of result...  Then they give up and don't get into the hobby further, all because some *&^%$#'s cheat to get their images...

Sigh.

Not exactly what youre referring to but kinda :

My wife is a cosmetologist and she deals with unrealistic expectations set forth by photoshop and filters on a daily basis.Often "professionals" will put pics up of their work, dye jobs especially, that are so filtered they create colors that are literally impossible to do (lots of variables) .  That sets expectations not just for the clientele but for the less aware stylists as well leaving them smacking their shears and wanting to give up because they cant make the grade.

She went to a hairstylist convention not too long ago and said the most packed classes were the ones on how to properly use the filters on instagram.  I had just shrugged and went meh this is the future but your post kinda made me rethink that.

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third_eye

@ChrLzs

Its no secret that most Photography Competitions are just some glorified sale campaign pitch for specific equipment and brand names or labels, there are of course a few that have the famous/infamous names in their panel of Jury/Judges but in the end its all in the categories laid out listing the criteria they are looking at or for. Some competitions actually aren't about the photo/image at all but specifically looking for best /creative usage of the equipment or cutting edge technology they have available. Its been that way since the very early days of darkroom and chemical baths. Which category one enters the images/photo makes or breaks the bagging prizes, editing and manipulating photos used to have its very own category back then too.

If you look at even the most basic Digital Camera setups available today, the Filters and Modes is there as part and parcel even before the aperture speed setups and focal length delimiters. Heck there's even HDR available on the mobile camera phone devices, the days of analog is just the analog days, today in the digital age, those constraints isn't going to hold anyone or anything back.

Cheer up shutterbug ... and say cheese ...

~

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Timothy

@ChrLzs, I’d prefer that every image included a link to the original image, along with a declaration that the image shown has been altered, along with a log of changes made. 

I don’t like something being passed off as natural when it has been edited or even just filtered heavily. 

Similarly; advertising is a gripe of mine: Eg. Fast food.

An independent authority of secret shoppers should order 100 of the product, and supply a realistic representational photo of the product for the company to use in their advertising. (The Big Mac looks better these days, but still is usually a long stride from what’s advertised) 

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third_eye
2 hours ago, Timothy said:

Similarly; advertising is a gripe of mine: Eg. Fast food.

Practically all food in photography actually ....

~

Quote

 

~

Mar 24, 2016 - Food photographers have all kinds of tricks they use to make food — or what appears to be food — look appealing on camera. ... Ice cream, often photographed using mashed potatoes, was created using lard, powdered sugar, and food coloring. The bloom, or dusty look, on grapes is added using talcum powder.
 
~
 
Mar 25, 2018 - We're having a bit of a food photography fest here on Photocritic today, what with it being International Food Photography Day. We've already ...
 
~
 
Food photography is a still life photography genre used to create attractive still life photographs of food. It is a specialization of commercial photography, the ...
 
~
 
Aug 31, 2017 - Light from the side: Lighting from the side of your food is a great way to bring out the shadows and bright spots of certain food textures—such as bread, meat and cheese. This is especially important when photographing food that balance a lot of textures, like sandwiches and burgers.

 

~

 

 

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ouija ouija

I wish you had said right at the beginning that your main concern was with images entered in competitions. Without that information your first post makes you seem somewhat neurotic! :lol:

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Timothy
55 minutes ago, third_eye said:

Practically all food in photography actually ....

~

Oh yup, I am aware. Blasphemy on so many levels. 

When individuals do it with their own photos it’s hard to be critical of entities.

But the world would be a better place IMHO if any media used for advertisement purposes etc. was original and unedited.

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third_eye
3 minutes ago, Timothy said:

Oh yup, I am aware. Blasphemy on so many levels. 

When individuals do it with their own photos it’s hard to be critical of entities.

But the world would be a better place IMHO if any media used for advertisement purposes etc. was original and unedited.

Welcome to the open market world of Capitalism . having experience as a front line grunt in the Advertising business has taught me that there is no such thing as a better place in the real World, only a real World in some better place.

~

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Timothy
11 minutes ago, third_eye said:

Welcome to the open market world of Capitalism . having experience as a front line grunt in the Advertising business has taught me that there is no such thing as a better place in the real World, only a real World in some better place.

~

Can you please explain that for me? I’d be bad at advertising...

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third_eye
1 minute ago, Timothy said:

Can you please explain that for me? I’d be bad at advertising...

To keep it short and sweet, so was I , I was either constantly arguing with the client or with the Art/Creative Director. One side wants only what is best for the money bangs and the other side wants only the banging money. Real or better has nothing to do with anything, its not a this or that problem, its just how things has evolved on the technological scale, pick up any magazine from the 70's 80's 90's and then compare them with anything post Y2K

Heck just look at TV programs along that time line and you'll see in with pictures worth the million words

~

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Timothy
29 minutes ago, third_eye said:

To keep it short and sweet, so was I , I was either constantly arguing with the client or with the Art/Creative Director. One side wants only what is best for the money bangs and the other side wants only the banging money. Real or better has nothing to do with anything, its not a this or that problem, its just how things has evolved on the technological scale, pick up any magazine from the 70's 80's 90's and then compare them with anything post Y2K

Heck just look at TV programs along that time line and you'll see in with pictures worth the million words

~

I am still lost as to what you’re trying to explain to me. But I do want to understand.

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BorizBadinov

More of the internet's slippery slope. Things seem innocent until suddenly they are a huge problem when something fake is used to dupe the public, usually for a profit or agenda.

Truth in many things seems to be adjustable for intent and there are very few rules governing new technologies and thier use. It's a delicate situation.

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third_eye
2 minutes ago, Timothy said:

I am still lost as to what you’re trying to explain to me. But I do want to understand.

I don't believe anybody actually understands, all it is is what there is to know, Advertising is totally reliant on the Market conditions and what the technology that is available at hand. Printing, cameras/photography , medium such as paper/magazines/tabloids or screen media such as TV / movies or the radio circuits. today one must add the internet into the mix. What one wants and what one is willing to pay is reliant on what there is that can be done for the budget one can afford. That's all there is to it.

If you want to pull what's right or wrong into the back and forth you'll find that its mostly relegated to the fine prints in tiny letters down in the furthest corner that it can be  squeezed into. Not sure if you have seen it but next time just look at the menus at any food outlet, look for the words 'Pictures are for representation purposes only and etc etc "

:yes:

~

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Timothy

@third_eye, oh yes I get that. It’s just my opinion of what I consider conscionable. I know it’s legal. Fine print is always interesting!

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