Wednesday 26 January 2011

To clone or not to clone

Yes its that question again, It comes up time and time again on forums, Pretty much like the Canon v Nikon or PC v Mac debates, Processing is an evil necessity of the modern day photographer and if you supply agencies they want all the images cleaned i.e dust spots etc removed before they will accept any images, Selling images is getting harder and harder and the pay is getting lower and lower so if you take a good image and you have the famous twig or blade of grass across part of the subject do you clone it to make it a saleable image? of course you do, I have limits that i will go to and do very little to my images, I know some people are very good at photoshop and add wings/feet or whatever so that they get a saleable image, i dont go that far and probably never will but if it put food on the table you can see why they do it, I have no problems with it as long as the photographer is truthful in what he/she has done, These images will never will a major award as you have to send in the RAW files to prove that what you have submitted is what you actually took at the time, here is an image i took a few weeks ago of a Northern Flicker, Being on the ground there was bound to be something in the way and as you can see on the original image there is a small stick coming up across the breast of the bird which i removed with the aid of the clone tool in CS5, I didnt use the content aware brush as i have little faith that it will do a good job-sometimes its great and another time its crap so here i cloned it in small sections to match the feathers from another part of the breast, Cloning is like Cropping, Everybody seems to be doing it but not everybody will admit to it

As there are twigs everywhere in the image you could go on forever but this is good for me even though there is a twig coming out of the top of its head, As with all things try and get it good in the camera but like the bird above they dont always land where you want them


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