Saturday, 9 January 2010

Be Truthful PT3-Manipulation

I see quite heavily manipulated images more and more these days, I have nothing against them as long as the photographer tells us what he has done to the image, Its the photographers image after all so he should feel free to do what he wants with it, I notice manipulated images much more on American forums and one or 2 pros out here heavily advertise how to remove or add parts of the image, Now these things are worth knowing how to do but by putting images up on forums that have been heavily modified without saying what's been done throws out the wrong kind of signals to me,People especially the younger members look at forums and see wonderful images and think 'i wish i take shots like that' when i truth they do-take a shot with 20 birds in and simply remove the 'distracting' 18 of them, This again brings me to the American photographer recently named and shamed for 'cheating' in a competition, In the days of film/slide what you took was the final image, if you clipped a wing or a deer had its head poking in the side of the image that was that, These days if you clip a wing you just add the end on and clone the deer's head out-No problem for me as long as its said so that nobody is under any illusion, Lets take a recent image that i looked at on - now this is a nice image of 2 birds fighting, I thought that it was cropped as soon as i looked at it as the background was rather grainy and as we go down the photographer tells us the story of how the image was captured, Americans tend to like tight big in the frame images but on this occasion it was seen as too tight, The tog said that he had extra room if needed and as you go down you see some other images from the session, Now towards the bottom he puts another image up and then the original which shows that 2 other cranes have been removed from the scene which he then after adds one back to give a final image, I must admit that i was abit shocked at seeing 2 large birds removed from the scene, This to me doesn't seem right-at least that's my own personal view, Its taking away too much from what actually happened at the time of capture, To me this now stops being a photograph and becomes a manipulated image-fine for selling i guess but i see it more and more and seems to becoming the norm over here at least to grab a shot, crop the hell out of it and remove any 'debris' that distracts, Now i am not having a go at anybody-just the situation, I believe that the photographer who was named and shamed by the competition for cheating had done similar work to some images, If you are into heavily modified images then don't enter them into wildlife competitions as they ask for the originals at the final viewing and you will be found out, As i have said many times before i am old school in my photography and try to take and show what i have seen at the time, I may and do remove the odd twig or leaf but that's as far as i tend to go, I would be interested to hear your views on this type of after shot processing
I am off to New Jersey for a week from Saturday and will not have internet access where i am staying, If i find internet access somewhere i will post but apart from that Martin will keep blogging until my return



  1. Your post is very misleading, I wonder what you were looking at. The original post had one bird removed not two. By the final post this bird was reinstated so what is your point?
    As to the mention of cheating the case in question was pretending to have taken a photo in the place required for entry in the competition. Seems like a case of not letting the facts stand in the way of a good rant!

  2. Sorry Ken, But in post #26 the OP even states he left the fourth bird out ie cloned out.
    But as you say "Seems like a case of not letting the facts stand in the way of a good rant!" Were you talking about Dave or yourself?
    As for cheating, the debate will rage on...I am with Dave on this...

    But as you say "Seems like a case of not letting the facts stand in the way of a good rant!"