Sunday 13 December 2009

Be Straight

There have been some rumblings in the press and forums lately about people not being straight with the truth or actually cheating, The big one was about a Floridian photographer who has been trying to make his name in the business actually entering a large American wildlife competition and when asked for the RAW files declined as they had been overly altered in photoshop and also the details given about where the images were taken were found to be false-A reputation in any business takes many years to get but only a few seconds to destroy, This story not only shot around the forums but also made it into the Washington post!!!, The people who run the competition actually named and shamed the photographer-so beware, Along the same lines but not as serious are people whi try to pull the wool over your eyes by putting very nice images up on forums of small shy birds taken with smallish lenses and not putting up that the image is cropped in any way, Its always been a bug bear of mine, Just say that the image is cropped and even by roughly what amount, A few percent is neither here nor there but 30-70% is a major alteration of the image and should be stated-its only yourself that you are cheating after all, I saw a very nice image a few weeks ago taken with a smallish lens and the guy was asked if it was a large crop and even to show the RAW file-both of which he denied-whats the point??

Here an example of what i am talking about-not the best image but i took it the other week for this particular blog but havent managed to get around to getting it done until today

Now the thing that gives many image way is the excessive grain for the given ISO showing either a heavy crop or excessive under exposure in the original image-now as in the example above i have used noise reduction to try and mask the heavy grain-here i was using a high ISO and with the heavy crop it just acentuates the grain even further
When taking images always have in your mind that the finished image will be the one you are taking and not well i have a high megapixel camera so i can crop it-thats just bad photography-well in my opinion anyway



  1. A very good point and well made. I would just add that many shots on the forums are posted for critique and to my mind anyway the way I critique a shot of wildlife to a large extent takes into account the necessary fieldcraft. When I see a lovely Kingfisher shot, i am impressed by how well the tog did to get so close to a shy bird. If the thing is a 90% crop then there has been very little fieldcraft just post production sleight of hand IMHO.

  2. Professional maybe, but we can't all afford 500 mm lenses but enjoy taking photos of wildlife without disturbing them. cropping is another tool we have available.

  3. The point i was making was just to be truthful in what you are doing and how the image was made, It has nothing to do with the size of the lens,You can take images with smaller lenses by using hides etc, It doesnt matter if you decide to crop an image but when putting it up for critique let people know so that they can take that into account