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Discussion On "Photoshopping" In The Digital Age.  
User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6901 times:

I would like to discuss "photoshopping" in the digital age. Does it seem as though we must process our pictures to death? The technology has advanced to the point where the photograph is no longer a representation of what the eye was seeing when the pictures were taken. We must manipulate the photo until it looks like what someone wants it to look like. A good example would be a photo I have of a B-25 bomber parked on a ramp at night. The lighting is terrible. Basically very yellow looking parking lot light from a light pole. It made the plane look very old, weathered and gave the photo a nice vintage flavor. The photo looks exactly like what my eye was seeing when I took the shot. However, there I was later sitting at the computer messing with white balance, tone, sharpness, blur, Historgram.....etc, etc, making the photo look like something else. What are we doing? It makes me wonder if I posted the photo on the site for a critique, how many comments I would get about how the photo is too yellow, the shadows don't have enough contrast, the grass isn't green enough, there isn't enough sharpness on the tail, but too much sharpness on the canopy covers, you need to correct for saturation etc. The list would go on and on. It's a photo.
There are many examples of this. Another would be a very late evening shot of the same bomber with the sun at a very low angle. it was illuminating everything around and the plane was practically glowing. The photo looks as though I really jacked up the color and contrast. However, it is exactly what my eye was seeing. So what do we do? Process the photo to make it look what what we think it should look like, or what someone else wants it to look like?
Just something to think about and discuss. I love the digital age of photography. I love the new cameras, lenses, and the convenience of sitting at the computer doing photo work. No film, chemicals, or dark room. However, I don't love Photoshop.

78 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2929 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6871 times:

Quoting andspran (Thread starter):
However, I don't love Photoshop.


That is a very interesting debate and something that has been touched upon several times on the forum, particularly in the context of the acceptance criteria for here. I think many will agree that while this site offers a great place to share photos and is a database of aircraft movements and liveries, it isn't often the really of photography or natural lighting. There is a set criteria for photos on this site that rightly or wrongly, is applied harshly at times. Personally, I do very little to photos to present them for here. One of the things that really gets me is when photos are rejected for a yellow or orange colour cast when it's pretty obvious it's natural autumnal or winter lighting. While some photos are accepted, many are rejected as an incorrect colour balance. I have some in the queue now that will quite possibly fall foul to this. I can understand the strong sodium light cast not being something that is wanted on the site as it isn't the most aesthetic lighting and in the modern age of digital cameras where light balance can easily be changed at the photographic stage through calibration or in post via RAW, I think it sometimes goes too far. Dawn or dusk lighting is often cited as having an unnatural cast and removing it takes away what is the reality of the scene. Photoshop or digital manipulation software has it's place, but for me, I prefer what nature intended and see Photoshop as a presentation tool to present a photo in the way I'd like rather than process the data minutely to create a finalised image. There's a subtle difference between the two. What you see on this site is different to what you'll see on many others due to the strict criteria that is applied.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6853 times:

Photoshop has unfortunately become a necessary evil for most. I came from slide/film kicking and screaming and actually let my first DSLR languish in the box for nearly a year before I took a single shot with it! It's great that you can now 'tweak' images to get rid of small imprefections - I really am a fan of digital photography - but it does seem that today's digital photographer has become far too reliant upon such software, while at the same time forgetting or dismissing the very principles of photography and what makes a good photo.

I have found Photoshop very useful to correct minor mistakes, and have used it to 'rescue' images that on slide would have otherwise been fit only for the bin. But it has made people lazy in their composition and hammering the crop tool has become a particularly favourite 'vice'.

Despite what's often said here, you don't have to put quality in to get quality out, because Photoshop can mask almost every 'sin' except for blur. Therefore, as long as you have a camera with sufficient megapixels, and you're not ridiculously far away from your subject, you only need to get the aircraft sharp and in focus to succeed here - providing of course your editing skills are up-to-scratch.

Personally I hate cropping and try and compose my subject as best I can (a lot of people still forget that an average of 5% of their actual frame is missing in the viewfinder) but I do have some real stinkers accepted here that, thankfully, Photoshop has been able to rescue. I don't believe you can ever judge how good an original file is by a version resized to ~1200 pixels.

In summary, Photoshop is generally a good thing, so long as one doesn't become too reliant upon it. It can however make crap shots look pretty decent.

Karl


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days ago) and read 6845 times:
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The "A.net problem" if you will (editing a photo for acceptance here) isn't really a problem for me. Oftentimes I'll do some minor editing, then upload the photo to my Smugmug or Flickr or wherever else. Then I may decide I want to upload it here, in which case I'll do a bit more editing (usually sharpen a bit more, remove a color cast, add a bit of contrast, whatever), and save that as a separate edit.

Overall, I try not to screw with my photos too much. If I get a color rejection here, a contrast rejection there, no big deal. Sometimes I'll re-edit them, other times I won't.

Another thing to keep in mind, though, is that your camera does not pick up exactly what your eyes see. There's no reason to think it should, though of course it should be close.

Oftentimes I'll take a photo knowing I'll have to crop it, usually due to limited reach. If I'm using my 300mm prime, I know I'll have to crop a bit for a 737, but not for a 747.

Then there's my consistent mistake, which is forgetting to set the white balance. Very glad to be able to change that in post. Also, my shots tend to have quite a bit more red than what my eyes saw, so I'll usually remove a bit (that goes back to your camera not picking up exactly what your eyes see).

For the most part, I usually edit to try and replicate what my eyes were seeing, especially in terms of color.



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User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days ago) and read 6833 times:
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Do you want to have a discussion about Photoshop and the digital age? Or a discussion about Anet acceptance criteria? They are two very different discussions. And are we speaking from a traditional, photojournalist point of view, or a more artistic view?

There is no one answer. Photographers have been altering photos to suit their needs since beginning. The difference is instead of a dark room, now we use a computer.

As for Airliners.net, this site has defined a set of criteria and if you want to play, you must play according to the rules.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1989 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6815 times:
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Actually, getting photos Airliners.net-acceptable is a very good school of using Photoshop in the least invasive way.

User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6810 times:

Photoshop like other image manipulation software is simply another tool in the photographers tool kit.

Of course you will have the purists who will say that a photographer should place all the emphasis on technique, knowledge and expertise at the moment the picture is taken, which has all to do with timing and position in relation to the light, what focal length you use, and what settings you choose on the camera. This approach results in stunning images.

Then there are those who do all the above and in addition embrace the power of the software as well, and turn aviation photo's into something approaching a work of art, which is equally valid, helping add to the varied aesthetic that is out there.

The one thing I don't understand, and I'm sure this will start a whole new debate, is why Digital Still Photography has not entered the 3rd Dimension like Cinema and T.V.

3D Still Photography, personally I can't wait, but my bank balance might have other idea's.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6795 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 6):
Then there are those who do all the above and in addition embrace the power of the software as well, and turn aviation photo's into something approaching a work of art, which is equally valid, helping add to the varied aesthetic that is out there.

But is this photography? Or art? I always consider 'photography' capturing something using nothing but the accuracy of your eye and the camera. If you alter the image afterwards to improve it, surely this is something else?

There is in my opinion no right or wrong way to 'arrive' at an image - but how you get there can be defined in a couple of different ways. I look at it like this: what comes directly out of the camera is the photo; if this photo goes through processing, it becomes an image.

Karl


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6776 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 7):
But is this photography? Or art? I always consider 'photography' capturing something using nothing but the accuracy of your eye and the camera. If you alter the image afterwards to improve it, surely this is something else?

I'm curious where this idea that photography and art are mutually exclusive came from. Look up Photography in any dictionary and you'll find the word "art" in the definition.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinemjgbtv From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 894 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6776 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 6):
why Digital Still Photography has not entered the 3rd Dimension like Cinema and T.V.

I believe it has, at least to some extent, not that I consider it a good thing...


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6776 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 6):
why Digital Still Photography has not entered the 3rd Dimension like Cinema and T.V.

Don't worry, its coming ... though many of us will ignore it I'm sure!

For me photography is a creative process - part of that is translating 3 dimensions into 2.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 7):
I always consider 'photography' capturing something using nothing but the accuracy of your eye and the camera. If you alter the image afterwards to improve it, surely this is something else?

I think the darkroom has been part of the photographic process from the get go. As far as I'm concerned, they are inseparable and I see no difference between a darkroom and PS. In fact, I can't think of any process I use in PS that I haven't done in the darkroom - it just took a lot longer and was more difficult. All PS has really done is make some pretty arcane darkroom magic accessible to all. Yes, it is abused, but I can assure you, as a one-time teacher of photography, I've seen some pretty bizarre stuff produced the old fashioned way!

The big difference is that then these horrors were generally only seen by a handful of friends - today they're posted all over the net.

And then of course there was the whole filter thing through the 70s and 80s, - most enthusiasts had sets of special effects filters - many of the pics that resulted look pretty heavy handed even compared to some of today's PS manipulations.

If you want to restrict your photography to what happens in the camera, that's perfectly fine. But its no better or worse than an image that's post processed. But I would suggest that the best processed images are those taken with post processing in mind ... ie. the photographer has the final image in mind when pressing the shutter. Less successful are those images in which post processing is applied as an afterthought to try and rescue an uninteresting or flawed original.

Anyway, in comment to the OP, my view is shoot and process the way you are happy with. At the end of the day, they're your photos and personally I will no longer shoot to anyone else's style unless they're paying me. If uploading to A.net is important to you, then you will perhaps have to make compromises. Having said that, it is no bad thing to learn how to shoot to meet different requirements.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6770 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 8):
I'm curious where this idea that photography and art are mutually exclusive came from. Look up Photography in any dictionary and you'll find the word "art" in the definition

I'd call photography 'an' art rather then art itself, but I take your point. For me the circumstances create the art, and I just capture it.

As I said, there's no 'right or wrong' way of looking at this - I simply said that I believe a 'photograph' to be somehting that comes straight from the camera. The photo for me is the art, and anything done thereafter nothing more than a 'tweak'. After all, you won't get far at all without first having a photo to work with.

Quoting ckw (Reply 10):
All PS has really done is make some pretty arcane darkroom magic accessible to all

But herein may lie the point. Most casual photographers in the slide days couldn't readily get access to a darkroom, let alone afford a personal one. Therefore we had little choice but to concentrate mostly on getting it right in the camera, lest we were left at the mercy of those responsible for processing our negatives.

Plus you couldn't realistically just highlight an area of an image and alter that area exclusively. I only have very limited darkroom experience but I'm pretty sure that, in the main, whatever you did to one area of the photo you had to pretty much do to the lot. I also find digital photography much more forgiving with exposure; if I messed up with film I was rarely able to correct my mistake, however with a RAW file I simply wobble a slider a bit and.... hey, presto!

The biggest advantage I've found with digital/Photoshop is the level of creativity you can achieve without busting the bank and wasting costly film. When I was forking out for Fuji rolls it really wasn't worth wasting shutter-presses trying to nail that ultimate shot; the only people doing that tended to be pro's who were getting paid handsome sums. These days you can afford to be much more daring, and concentrate more on nailing the circumstances than getting the composition perfect.

There will always be those who couldn't survive without editing software, just as there'll always be those who use it only as a safety net when things go wrong. I don't really know how to use Photoshop properly but I seem to do alright without it, so it's obviously not an absolutely essential tool for the job.

Whichever methods you use, it's likely that we'll all arrive at a very similar 1200 pixel image, is it not?

Karl

[Edited 2013-02-27 14:09:38]

User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6771 times:
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Quoting ckw (Reply 10):
But I would suggest that the best processed images are those taken with post processing in mind ... ie. the photographer has the final image in mind when pressing the shutter. Less successful are those images in which post processing is applied as an afterthought to try and rescue an uninteresting or flawed original.

   THIS. Sums up my thoughts perfectly, and when I'm shooting a lot of my creative work, I always have the post-process in mind and I shoot accordingly.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6752 times:
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Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 12):
THIS. Sums up my thoughts perfectly, and when I'm shooting a lot of my creative work, I always have the post-process in mind and I shoot accordingly.

Agreed as well. Of course, to the viewer of the photo, it's not necessarily obvious whether it was planned, lucky, or rescued-in-processing. Nor should it matter.



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User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6751 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 12):
when I'm shooting a lot of my creative work

Again, you have to bear in mind that an awful lot of photographers here don't tend to do creative photography. I don't generally (although if I spot an opportunity for something different I take it) because the purpose of me going to the airport is to photograph as many different aircraft as I can, side-on in the sunshine. With this in mind, it's rare that I get into a position that presents something different.

All I concentrate on is filling the frame with the subject, getting it as central as possible and nailing the exposure as accurately as I can. If I do that, I'm done, and no amount of post-processing will in my mind make my photo any better.

One unwelcome effect digital photography has had is to create an impression that so-called 'fence-hugger' photographers are less skilled and imaginative than those who see themselves as predominantly creative. I'm certainly not suggesting any contributors to this thread have such a perception but it does unfortunately exist. Any photo - whether it be a side-on or a creative - takes thought and a certain amount of creativity. The problem I find is that Photoshop and her tools are often guilty of either masking the true beauty of an original photograph, or making an original look far better than it is.

On a final note, this is just my opinion, which I'm of course entitled too. I don't claim this to be fact and far from expect every photographer to see things in a similar way. Enjoy what you do. As long as you are happy with the end result - whether it's a 'slightly imperfect' original or a 'faultless' edit - that's all that matters.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 13):
Of course, to the viewer of the photo, it's not necessarily obvious whether it was planned, lucky, or rescued-in-processing. Nor should it matter

A good point Vik. If it's aesthetically pleasing, who gives a **** about how and why it was captured.

Karl

[Edited 2013-02-27 14:42:22]

User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6721 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 11):
Plus you couldn't realistically just highlight an area of an image and alter that area exclusively. I only have very limited darkroom experience but I'm pretty sure that, in the main, whatever you did to one area of the photo you had to pretty much do to the lot.

Just FYI you would be amazed what could be done - given time and ingenuity. We were masking in the darkroom long before Photoshop - we just used cardboard. A given print could be subject to a number of separate exposures, using different filtration. In addition, the airbrush was a perfectly acceptable - and indeed necessary - tool for commercial photographers. Pretty much all of those classic Hollywood movie star stills had a fair bit of airbrushing applied.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 14):
an awful lot of photographers here don't tend to do creative photography

Exactly - for some photography is an accessory to support a completely different hobby, and that can lead to differences of opinion. Some simply do not have any desire to master the craft, and just want the minimum knowledge to meet their needs (or A.nets). It's just a means to an end. For others, photography is an end in itself.

A,net seems to sit on the fence between the two - it likes quality photos, but it's perceived restrictions on creativity may discourage those who are really into the photography side of things.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6720 times:

Quoting andspran (Thread starter):
Does it seem as though we must process our pictures to death? The technology has advanced to the point where the photograph is no longer a representation of what the eye was seeing when the pictures were taken.

I agree to a certain extent. While I believe that photos should be corrected for artificial light, when doing so, the image can sometimes look "wrong". Take this photo of a TNT 767 at Liege. One was taken at night under artificial light and the other was take during the day under natural light.

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Dennis Muller
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Rainer Bexten



Taken just 4 days apart, the whites and blacks look great in the night photo. But what happened to that signature TNT red in the night photo? I'm willing to put money down that the image from the camera looked more unnatural than this processed image, but does this image need more help? Many of the TNT aircraft taken at night at Liege share this same, very orange fate.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6706 times:
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Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
One was taken at night under artificial light and the other was take during the day under natural light.

Damn! Looks so different....

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
While I believe that photos should be corrected for artificial light, when doing so, the image can sometimes look "wrong".

I'm happy to add a certain amount of color correction, but I really feel it goes way overboard sometimes. This is NOT a dig at these photographers (hell, I picked these photos from one of my photo albums!), because I understand the site has color requirements. But I personally don't like overcorrection of the orange sodium lights to the point that white lights look blue or green:


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Danijel Jovanovic - AirTeamImages
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Tim Bowrey - Sydney Spotters



I much prefer this, as it looks a lot more natural (meaning, looks more accurate to the actual colors seen):


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Paul Paulsen - AirTeamImages




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User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6692 times:

I take your point Colin in that photo manipulation has always existed. But it was way out of my reach back then and I imagine it was for many others too. It wasn't anywhere near like having Photoshop installed on your PC. But perhaps in a twist of irony software does help you to understand the whole photographic process more.

Would I agree with much of what I'm saying if I were to talk about my photography outside aviation? Perhaps not - but then again with that I seek different results. My aviation photography is reflective of the aspects of aviation in which I am interested. My other photography puts me in touch with my more creative side. And every once in a while the two paths cross.


User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6659 times:

This has been an excellent discussion. All viewpoints based on knowledge and experience of each photographer. My fundamental dislike for Photoshopping comes from my 1. Lack of experience with the software. And 2. the amount of time it takes to fiddle with each and every photo for some perceived level of perfection. That being said, I'm learning every day. I do love the digital age. Running film through a camera, developing the negatives, messing with the chemicals. Getting a print.....which someone won't like, and doing it again.......happy goodbye to all of that. The day I got my first digital camera, I lovingly took my Nikon film camera, took the batteries out of it, cleaned it all up, packed it in a box, and never touched it again. Motor drive and a bulk can of film? I think not! A bigger memory card for the new digital camera? You bet! I am also willing to admit that for action photography, especially with aircraft in flight, there's nothing like the thrill of holding that shutter release down and listening to the camera merrily slamming away frame after frame, and not thinking about how much film this is going to take. Of course, when you're done, there you are back at the computer, making that one great shot look perfect. It can take the fun out of actually being a photographer. Shoot for fun, shoot for art, shoot for a living? Just shoot.
Thank you all for joining in the discussion. I hope to be able to process my photos in a matter acceptable to this site. I'll keep at it as long as it's fun.


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6647 times:
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Quoting andspran (Reply 19):
My fundamental dislike for Photoshopping comes from my 1. Lack of experience with the software. And 2. the amount of time it takes to fiddle with each and every photo for some perceived level of perfection.

Those both get a lot faster and easier as you edit more. Some people say they only spend ~30 seconds on each photo, and while I don't have it down to that, for easy shots it's no more than a couple minutes. Mostly just a matter of how long it takes to click through the steps, and do things like select only the airplane for sharpening.



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User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6540 times:

Quoting andspran (Reply 19):
My fundamental dislike for Photoshopping comes from my 1. Lack of experience with the software.

We shouldn't dislike things we don't understand. Once you get a few photos accepted here, if you are so inclined, your attitude will change.



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User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6519 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 18):
But it was way out of my reach back then and I imagine it was for many others too. It wasn't anywhere near like having Photoshop installed on your PC. But perhaps in a twist of irony software does help you to understand the whole photographic process more.

I think that's a common perception - but my personal darkroom equipment cost less than my PS licence (never mind the PC!) and for a while my 'darkroom' consisted of a modified cupboard  .

If someone is into photography, and has never used a darkroom, it's an interesting experience - stick to B&W and 2nd hand equipment. It won't cost you much, can be very satisfying (when it's not incredibly frustrating) and you'll learn a lot.

Funny thing about PS - while originally designed with photographers in mind, who understood the darkroom process, I have heard that many more recent photographers find PS darkroom derived terminology confusing and perhaps has led to some thinking PS is difficult.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6494 times:
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Quoting ckw (Reply 22):
Funny thing about PS - while originally designed with photographers in mind, who understood the darkroom process, I have heard that many more recent photographers find PS darkroom derived terminology confusing and perhaps has led to some thinking PS is difficult.

Do you mean PS functions like Dodge and Burn, which were darkroom techniques?

I never use them anyway.  



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User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6449 times:

Interesting points have been made by all. The real question is how far is everyone willing to drive home the point.

The purist photographer takes the position that a photo should only reproduce what the human eye has observed in reality, does that preclude the use of zoom lenses, (another tool) that artificially enlarges the subject in the frame, making an aircraft that is physically far away, loom virtually large in the frame. A Human Eye is wide angle, through and through.

The reality is that when you pick up a Still Camera and you point it at a subject, be it a plane, or a person, or landscape you are placing a frame around it, and from this point the photographer is already distorting reality to a certain extent (which if you ask any physicist is purely subjective!), by excluding other elements of what is present in reality, so as to focus the eye towards your chosen subject, be it a plane, person, landscape, etc, etc.

The moment you accept this position, then it really is a question of how far do you want to distort that subjective reality that you have captured on the sensor.

This depends on many factors, how many of which you bring into play depends on the photographer, his or her philosophy regarding what constitiutes a photo or image, their imagination and penchant for creativity, what type of camera and lenses they use, and finally the type of editing software they own and how well they know it's capabilities.

All I know is that, in all my days of looking at photographs or images, has my first impression been "That's photo was over edited." I can guarantee it was more likely "Wow, what a stunning photo." Because it has caught my eye and stood out from all the other photo's around it.


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 25, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6456 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 24):
The purist photographer takes the position that a photo should only reproduce what the human eye has observed in reality

Not sure I understand what is meant by "purist" - or in fact "reality"  

Consider B&W photography - it is patently not what the eye perceived, and in fact almost every step in the process from choice of exposure, developer & paper (if working in film) or PS settings (digital) is an interpretation of how you want to map colors to a gray scale. Does this make B&W photographers somehow less "pure"?

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 24):
All I know is that, in all my days of looking at photographs or images, has my first impression been "That's photo was over edited." I can guarantee it was more likely "Wow, what a stunning photo." Because it has caught my eye and stood out from all the other photo's around it.

But I guess that clarifies what an over edited photo is ... if the editing is what catches the eye, then its been overcooked. HDR is an interesting case. I have seen a few stunning examples where the image just works so well, I don't care how it was done. But I've seen many more where the image is just a mess. The techniques used have to complement the subject - too often they fight against the subject and simply draw attention to the process.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 26, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6448 times:
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Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 24):
All I know is that, in all my days of looking at photographs or images, has my first impression been "That's photo was over edited." I can guarantee it was more likely "Wow, what a stunning photo." Because it has caught my eye and stood out from all the other photo's around it.

This is a problem I see today, especially on photo sites like Flickr. It's very easy to over-process a photo and turn it into a mess yet still get a "wow!!" reaction from the casual eye. So the photographer thinks they must be doing something right. I see so many, what I consider, editing mistakes that in my opinion bring a photo down, yet everyone else expressed WOW AMAZING PHOTO OMG!

I spend a lot of time when working on a creative shot. I spent 3 hours on a photo a few nights ago, paying careful attention so that while I'm enhancing the photo, I'm trying to do so in a realistic way to keep the shot true to a scene. Personal preference, as opposed to just running a photo trough so wild filters and pushing sliders to 100.

Quoting ckw (Reply 25):
But I've seen many more where the image is just a mess.

I call bad HDR, Clown Barf. 



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 27, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6459 times:
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Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 24):
The purist photographer takes the position that a photo should only reproduce what the human eye has observed in reality

Then the purist photographer should be editing all his/her photos, because a camera sensor does not duplicate what the human eye sees.

Quoting ckw (Reply 25):
HDR is an interesting case. I have seen a few stunning examples where the image just works so well, I don't care how it was done. But I've seen many more where the image is just a mess. The techniques used have to complement the subject - too often they fight against the subject and simply draw attention to the process.

The HDR images that I tend to like are ones where I can't tell it's HDR.

Quoting ckw (Reply 25):
But I guess that clarifies what an over edited photo is ... if the editing is what catches the eye, then its been overcooked.

I tend to give the photographer the benefit of the doubt. I've seen photos where colors look boosted in editing, etc, but the photographer will swear that that's how it actually looked. Hell, I was there, so I'll generally try and take his/her word for it.



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User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 28, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6441 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 26):
This is a problem I see today, especially on photo sites like Flickr. It's very easy to over-process a photo and turn it into a mess yet still get a "wow!!" reaction from the casual eye. So the photographer thinks they must be doing something right.

OK, well here's another way of thinking about it. Photography, like any other art form, changes over time - think of photos, films, music from the 70s ... much of it (even highly acclaimed examples) seem, well, cheesy today - but it didn't seem that way at the time.

There is an argument that if the image (or whatever) appeals to the majority, then that is an acceptable, even desirable form. What to an "old school" photographer looks correctly processed may now appear flat, or washed out to the general public. Its no good telling them the over processed image is 'wrong' - they know what they like.

There was a time when the majority of 'serious' photographers considered color photography a gimmick. It may be the sad (for me at least) truth that the general public will come to expect ultra sharp, highly saturated images, and failure to meet this expectation will be seen as poor photography.

At the end of the day, there are relatively few photographers whose work could be labelled "fine art". I think photography is by and large a popular art - and because of that its the general public which will ultimately dictate how a photo should or shouldn't look.

I must admit that lately I have started to add a little extra saturation to pics when I wouldn't have in the past.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 29, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6441 times:
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Quoting ckw (Reply 28):
OK, well here's another way of thinking about it. Photography, like any other art form, changes over time - think of photos, films, music from the 70s ... much of it (even highly acclaimed examples) seem, well, cheesy today - but it didn't seem that way at the time.

Perhaps I've been spending too much time on this site, but would you rather see a shot, perhaps HDR, with OBVIOUS halos in the sky? Or black/gray blotches in the sky where it should be blue sky and/or white clouds? Or a shot where the photographer took the carful time to mask and apply selectively to give off a more pollished look without bad editing artifacts? I prefer the latter. Once the time is taken to look out for and avoid bad editing artifacts, the resulting "art" reaches a whole new level in my opinion. In a day and age where it's harder than ever to stand out, I think taking careful attention to detail with post-processing is a good way to start.

[Edited 2013-02-28 16:57:38]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6411 times:

I am enjoying this discussion very much. Let's add another angle to the talk of photoshopping the crap out of photos to reach a perceived perfection........so everyone can view it at 1024x768 on maybe a 21" monitor? Generalizing here to make a point. (I'm currently using a 24" Dell U2412M monitor at 1920x1200) Or.....maybe viewing a slide show on their 47" big screen TV? Or.....possibly printing a beautiful 20x30" poster sized print to hang on the wall? Just what is everyone looking at these perfectly processed pictures with? Probably an Ipad. Even magazines are becoming extinct. I have some beautiful 20x30" poster size prints on my wall right now that were shot with a 6MP Nikon D40 camera, (my first DSLR camera) and didn't have any photoshopping done except a crop to make it look right in that traditional frame size. So this post this time is about....we do it because we can. We certainly don't need to do all that crap to the photos. But we've got the technology, so we have to. So everyone can look at it on their Ipads and say, wow. Hope this post adds a bit of humor to another view on photoshopping everything to death.
Jim


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 31, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 6377 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 29):
Perhaps I've been spending too much time on this site, but would you rather see a shot, perhaps HDR, with OBVIOUS halos in the sky?

I don't think there's any question about what you or I would rather see ... but I'm suggesting we may be in the minority. Tastes change. In a world where we have access to so many millions of images, it could well be that that wow factor is becoming more desirable than the quality. I'm not agreeing with this, just observing.

Of course what I want is a wow shot with 'traditional' photographic values. But, there is a totally valid school of photography (instagram, lomography) which is based on 'capture the moment, don't worry about the technical details'. And, too some extent, this has a strong tradition (Bresson, Doisneau) - not that I'm saying they were not technically competent, but many of their greatest pics do have technical flaws (by current standards).

So here is another question - do you prefer an unprocessed image, warts and all, or one that has been cleaned up? I think it does depend on the subject to some extent - a sloping horizon will bother me in landscape photography, but not in street photography. Similarly, a classic side on aviation shot demands perfect alignment - but does, say, an air to air action shot?

Quoting andspran (Reply 30):
we do it because we can

I think there is some truth in that! The whole obsession with sharpening is a case in point. It's a style choice. If we use print (books, magazines etc.) as a benchmark since this has been fairly consistent for many years, we can see that less sharp images from early A.net days were totally acceptable for cover and center spread use. Are current (IMHO) oversharpened shots better? Actually, from a print production point of view, probably not (a printer can add sharpness - or more correctly accutance, but can't take it away).

It seems to me that the sharpening process has become a case of "how far can I push this", rather than a judgement of what looks right for this image.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinePsych From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 3064 posts, RR: 58
Reply 32, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6372 times:
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This certainly is a stimulating discussion - thanks to all participants.

Of particular interest to me is when the opportunities digital editing presents come into conflict with what could be seen as internal inconsistencies in the criteria developed on the site.

For example - Photoshop allows me to alter the colour of an image/scene, so that I can present it in a particular way. Many of us know about the debates that have gone on here about whether a 'red' hue for a photo taken in very low angled sunlight is acceptable or not. It can certainly be manipulated to look a particular way, to meet a criterion, and some believe this is required to avoid a colour rejection, when in fact what is then presented is not an accurate reflection of the 'natural' lighting (seen by the eye) at the time the photo was taken. That's digital manipulation. And yet if I successfully clone out, say, an annoyingly placed cone that blocks part of an aircraft tyre on static display, so 'cleaning up' the image, this would be frowned upon. Both are manipulation in order to 'improve' the image (according to pre-defined criteria), and alter reality in some small way - one is approved; one is punished.

As a lover of landscape photography, I was interested in a fascinating debate regarding the previous winner of a recent Landscape Photographer of the Year winning photo. Soon after the prize had been awarded, and the subsequent publications produced, the photo was disqualified once it became apparent that digital manipulation had altered the scene such that it was not deemed to be a true representation of what was actually there. The winning photo was lovely, for me (as a piece of photographic art), but I have to admit its 'worth' was lessened when I discovered that it wasn't actually how it looked in reality.

Where I think all this becomes interesting and relevant to us as A.net contributors is when we consider the degree to which digital manipulation is required/frowned upon/encouraged/discouraged, depending on which acceptance criterion you are working to overcome.

Paul


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 33, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6367 times:

Basically I think you have a choice of all or (nearly) nothing when it comes to post-processing.

Either anything goes and the image is judged purely on its merits as an image OR no manipulation aside from that required by the technology (sharpening) is allowed. Anything else is open to interpretation or abuse.

Most importantly you shouldn't make processing conditional. Either you can manipulate colours or you can't.

Personally I'm of its the final image that matters camp - this doesn't mean all my shots are heavily post-processed, quite the contrary. But I accept and encourage the creation of the most interesting images by whatever means.

Given that A.net is primarily a reference database, then post-processing should be absolutely minimal and exclude anything which alters the capture beyond the basic mechanical processes - cropping, straightening, dust spotting and sharpening (this I think is a necessary evil as DSLR raw files are inherently unsharp by design).

Unfortunately its not the simple - you can ask me not to modify colours in post-processing, but you don't want to stop me setting color balance in camera. But if I shoot raw, where's the difference?

So maybe, by neccesity, A.net has to accept post-processing to a greater degree than it does - because frankly, if its done well, no one will know   Maybe screening needs to be more subjective. Johan tried very hard to make screening an objective and accountable process. Perhaps this is simply the wrong way of handling images. Maybe it can be simpler - if 2 out of 3 screeners like a shot, its in - otherwise not. No justifications, explanations etc. Just something to think about.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6337 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 33):
Given that A.net is primarily a reference database, then post-processing should be absolutely minimal and exclude anything which alters the capture beyond the basic mechanical processes - cropping, straightening, dust spotting and sharpening (this I think is a necessary evil as DSLR raw files are inherently unsharp by design).

I agree with this....oh and just why is it that DSLR files are unsharp by design? I've always wondered about that.

Quoting ckw (Reply 33):
you can ask me not to modify colours in post-processing, but you don't want to stop me setting color balance in camera. But if I shoot raw, where's the difference?

Another good point.....the camera is "post processing" all of the info as it goes, especially if you (a gasp from all of the purists here), just grab one of the preset functions for convenience. I admit that I use the "sport" (the little running man) preset function on my Nikon quite a bit. It basically defaults to what I would need anyhow at the time.....wide open aperture for the long zoom, fast shutter speed, higher ISO, for action shots. Any one of those preset functions processes the photo differently. Usually accenting different colors or contrast. We won't get into the whole, "Standard", "Normal", "Vibrant" thing now. Who decided what Standard, and Normal camera processing would be when they did the software writing? And Nikon has always had a different idea on how they think the light meter should set the aperture.

So maybe, by neccesity, A.net has to accept post-processing to a greater degree than it does - because frankly, if its done well, no one will know  Maybe screening needs to be more subjective. Johan tried very hard to make screening an objective and accountable process. Perhaps this is simply the wrong way of handling images. Maybe it can be simpler - if 2 out of 3 screeners like a shot, its in - otherwise not. No justifications, explanations etc. Just something to think about.

I think you're right about the screening also. Simple things down. Did the majority like the darn thing? Then okay. it reminds me of a quote I read once. I can't even remember the story, except it's about a photo journalist who was receiving an award for his excellent work. Someone asked him, "How do you get such excellent photos?" His reply: " F8, and be there!"


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 35, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6337 times:

Quoting andspran (Reply 34):
I agree with this....oh and just why is it that DSLR files are unsharp by design? I've always wondered about that

I could have worded that better! What I mean is that the design of (most) DSLRs creates unsharp images. Primarily this is due to the use of an anti aliasing filter, which is a necessary evil imposed by the use of a bayer filter (the thing that allows a color blind sensor to produce color images). The anti aliasing filter reduces jaggies moire effects which would otherwise result.

Now the images could be sharpened up again in camera (and in fact this is what is done with .jpgs) - but there is not really an optimum amount of sharpening which should be applied - this will depend on the size of the required final images, what printing process will be used etc. etc. so raw files are essentially left unsharpened so the photographer can sharpen for the required purpose - or selectively sharpen.

This applies to most DSLRs - but there are other ways, Sigma's Foveon sensor records onto multiple sensor layers, each sensitive to a particular colour (much like some film works). This technique eliminates the need for both the Bayer and anti-aliasing filters producing sharper looking images straight out the camera. Sadly due to patents you have to buy a Sigma camera to get this. But I believe Canon and others are working on other ways to achieve the same result.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 36, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6335 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 27):
Then the purist photographer should be editing all his/her photos

I suppose it depends on what type of 'purist' you are. I ONLY edit photos to upload here, preferring to use my full-sized, original images for all other applications. I'm not a fan of 1024-1600 pixel images because they lack the detail I love to be amazed by when I zoom in on an original. If I'm happy with what I've taken, and I know I've done my best with the tools available, that'll do me - after all, I'm always safe in the knowledge that I can tweak colour, contrast et al if need be. For me a lot of it is about provision, i.e. in the original file I have a 'template', if you like, which I can subsequently edit in any way I choose.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 27):
because a camera sensor does not duplicate what the human eye sees

Simply because evolution has adapted the human eye to work concurrently with its surroundings. The camera sees exactly what the human eye sees, but interprets colour, tone and contrast (i.e. light) differently. For all we know - and this is purely hypothetical - the camera could be nailing everything perfectly and our eyes could be out. Highly unlikely but more food for thought......

Quoting ckw (Reply 28):
I must admit that lately I have started to add a little extra saturation to pics when I wouldn't have in the past

Me too, but then again I have always preferred nice, saturated colours. I do however tend to only saturate the subject and/or the sky (if it's blue). At the end of the day it doesn't really bother me what other people think of my images or how basic/raw they are considered. There's only one person any one of us truly needs to please.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 29):
In a day and age where it's harder than ever to stand out

But I bet most people here aren't concerned with 'standing out'. Sure, it's nice to receive recognition every now and then for your work but the type of aviation photography I and many others do isn't the type that's going to elevate me on a pedestal. I'd much rather meet my own personal criteria first before I attempt to meet anyone else's. Incidently, all the sales I've ever made here have involved standard, sunny side-ons. I get to go to the airport, shoot, chat and sometimes get paid a bit - what more could I ask for?

Quoting ckw (Reply 31):
Similarly, a classic side on aviation shot demands perfect alignment

I won't bang on about how difficult these shots are because they're not - particularly - but it is far more than just 'point and click' if you want to get it right. I think the 'side-on in sun' category is the one which attracts the 'purists' in their most acknowledged and recognised form.

Finally, just going back to the idea of shooting with a view to processing, I realised last night that this is exactly what I do with a lot of my landscape shots. I recall a particular one last year, featuring an old Spanish village atop a hill, rising through a veil of mist at sunrise. I knew that the camera wasn't capable of capturing the scene as I saw it, so I had consider certain aspects of the scene above others in order to strike a balance with which it would be easiest to work with. Basically, I knew the 'making' of the image was destined to be in Photoshop; it had to be.

By the way, this really is an excellent thread. Just goes to show how different we really are, and the opinions that have come to the surface here are testimony to the fact that we don't always try and force our methods on anyone else. Shoot because it makes you happy is what I say!

Karl


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 37, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6307 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 36):
Simply because evolution has adapted the human eye to work concurrently with its surroundings. The camera sees exactly what the human eye sees, but interprets colour, tone and contrast (i.e. light) differently. For all we know - and this is purely hypothetical - the camera could be nailing everything perfectly and our eyes could be out. Highly unlikely but more food for thought......

The camera does see all the same surroundings, yes, and certainly could be more accurate. But the camera has less dynamic range that the human eye. And some sensors also record into the infrared spectrum, if I remember correctly.

Point still stands - if you want the camera to reflect what the human eye sees, you'll probably have to do some editing.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 36):
I suppose it depends on what type of 'purist' you are.

True, but I was responding to CptKramer's comment:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 24):

The purist photographer takes the position that a photo should only reproduce what the human eye has observed in reality

What you observe and what your camera records aren't exactly the same thing.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 36):
Finally, just going back to the idea of shooting with a view to processing, I realised last night that this is exactly what I do with a lot of my landscape shots.

Same here.



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User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6306 times:

Speaking of photoshopping. I use "photoshop" as a generic reference here....not specifically for the Product itself. Was wondering what all different photo software most of you use? After all. Adobe Photoshop is the standard by which all others are judged. However, it has an encyclopedia sized manual. You can go to school to learn it for years and not learn everything about it, and there may be other programs that get the job done for a lot less money and are simpler to use for the basic stuff. I actually have owned or used or are using these programs: Ulead I photo, (I personally like this particular program. It's an older version, but I'm used to it.) Adobe Photoshop Elements.....Adobe Photoshop.....and Adobe Lightroom3. We could probably have a very lively discussion just on the nicest/easiest or best photo program for the money? What's best for quick and easy? What can't you do without?
Oh, and on a separate side note: How long does it usually take to get an acceptance/reject back from the site? It's been a week and I haven't heard anything yet. I expect to get my photos rejected.....it's how I'll learn to get things right....I just didn't want to wait a week to get back to it, since I'm new to the site and excited about getting involved with it.  
Jim


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6302 times:

It's funny how many times I read in these threads 'In the end, I only need to satisfy myself- if I'm happy with my images, then that's good enough for me", and yet many who speak this work to satisfy the often-mentioned 'house style' present here. If that were true, maybe it wouldn't take a week to clear out the thousands of images in the queue. Individuals who say this should not be submitting their images here for consideration.

It's also odd to see a proposal for the screening process to be more 'subjective'. A reading of recent posts discusses the subjectivity that is already in place, leading to inconsistencies in what gets accepted here.

But more to the OP's original question. I had the fortune to shoot film for a bit before digital became the 'in' thing. I never saw the inside of a darkroom because I was busy learning the exposure triangle, rule of thirds, manually focusing lenses while zooming simultaneously, and recording my exposures. I wanted to try some home developing, but my landlord instantly nixed the idea, thinking the chemicals were more dangerous than they were. By the time I finished a few rolls, I was ready to let a lab do the developing. When I bought my first SLR, I asked for an autofocusing camera body. I'll never forget how the sales guy put the FM2 on the counter and said, "You need to understand how to take a picture first." So I spent years doing that, but the feedback(my developed prints) came so far after the shutter was pressed that learning was very slow.

The instant feedback with digital, along with the ease things can be manipulated in PS, has greatly decreased the latency between stimulus and reward, making for much more salient learning, which I think is difficult to dismiss. But as to whether PP misrepresents reality, isn't that up to the person working the sliders, and their underlying motivations? In considering the attribute of a shot's sharpness as one of the pillars of a great photograph for a site like this, what of all the portrait shooters out there that hover about the blur tools to enhance DoF? I especially like the statement above that cements the duality of PS: it can mask the true beauty of one shot while rescuing another that initially seemed poor. I know I will do well to remember that.


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6303 times:

Andspran- I use DxO for RAW conversion(just upgraded to version 8) and Paint Shop Pro X2 for other edits. Works for me. I only know of one other person that uses PSP and don't know anyone who uses DxO but I can't say enough good things about both

User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 41, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6293 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 39):
It's also odd to see a proposal for the screening process to be more 'subjective'. A reading of recent posts discusses the subjectivity that is already in place, leading to inconsistencies in what gets accepted here.

Yes a bit off the wall I agree - and yes, I am to a certain extent playing devil's advocate - but quite seriously the complaints about "subjectivity" arise because the site presents itself as being objective.

This is not normal practice for a photo site - it is more usual for one or more editors make an arbitrary decision as to whether to accept a shot or not (as indeed is the case for any other form of "publication"). The editor/screener has no requirement to justify such decisions - though they may choose to offer an explanation.

Now the screeners here do a great job - and its not easy (been there, got the T-Shirt). One of the toughest parts is rejecting good shots 'cause they break one rule or another. They deserve to be in the database, but if you accept them, you know its going to upset loads of people who have fallen foul of that same rule.

The fact is, as far as I can see, the screening processes is essentially the same as was created by A.net's founder many years ago. A person who was not a photographer, or, as far as I know, had any experience in publishing or editing. At the time A.net was unique in this objective approach - and while other sites do it now, it is as an imitation of A.net. It is not the "normal" way of doing things.

Screeners/picture editors should not be measuring angles, squinting for jaggies etc. They should be allowed to use their judgement "Is this picture worth putting on A.net?"

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 42, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6294 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 39):
Individuals who say this should not be submitting their images here for consideration

Why not? Like anyone else I moan about inconsistencies here (not about the acceptance criteria as a whole I might add) but if I'M not satisfied with what I've done then it's time to give up. Bear in mind also that having a superb original far from guarantees getting a superb edit fit for here. I'm confident that 99.9% of my original files are easily good enough for A.net, but unfortunately a good percentage of my edits are not.

Trust me, when I say I'm ultimately bothered about pleasing myself I mean it. Nice to please someone else along the way but that's about the jist of it for me. I have never once taken a photo with A.net in mind - personal preference first, A.net an after-thought. Always.

Quoting ckw (Reply 41):
Screeners/picture editors should not be measuring angles, squinting for jaggies etc. They should be allowed to use their judgement "Is this picture worth putting on A.net?"

I always found it odd that an opportunity for the site to approach aviation more 'photographically' presented itself when Johan departed, but was never seized. I'm not having a moan when I say this - it's merely an observation - but surely the screeners could have altered things back then had they chose to? We have been told recently that things cannot be changed, but who else is qualified to tinker with the site's attitude towards photos?

Preserving Johan's legacy is one thing but I'm sure he would have changed things had he seen the extent of A.net's success over the past few years. At least the site did not so long ago take a big step towards changing attitudes towards creative shots, and it's pleasing that each one is now viewed differently based on individual merit.

Karl

[Edited 2013-03-01 09:34:49]

User currently offlinemjgbtv From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 894 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6292 times:

Quoting andspran (Reply 38):
Was wondering what all different photo software most of you use?

I use GIMP. It works just fine and fits my budget  

Quoting andspran (Reply 38):
How long does it usually take to get an acceptance/reject back from the site?

Right now it seems to be 11 days. This page shows you the queue status: http://www.airliners.net/myphotos/processstats.main?

Marty


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 44, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6289 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 36):
But I bet most people here aren't concerned with 'standing out'. Sure, it's nice to receive recognition every now and then for your work but the type of aviation photography I and many others do isn't the type that's going to elevate me on a pedestal. I'd much rather meet my own personal criteria first before I attempt to meet anyone else's. Incidently, all the sales I've ever made here have involved standard, sunny side-ons. I get to go to the airport, shoot, chat and sometimes get paid a bit - what more could I ask for?

Karl, I was speaking in the context of more creative, artistic shooting and processing styles. For example, HDR. While certainly not everyone's motivation, many use photography as a way to gain recognition and sales. There was a recent thread discussing how to become a professional photographer and the response was, among other things, to become proficient at post-processing. I tend to agree.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 45, posted (1 year 9 months 1 day ago) and read 6273 times:
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Quoting megatop412 (Reply 39):
It's funny how many times I read in these threads 'In the end, I only need to satisfy myself- if I'm happy with my images, then that's good enough for me", and yet many who speak this work to satisfy the often-mentioned 'house style' present here. If that were true, maybe it wouldn't take a week to clear out the thousands of images in the queue. Individuals who say this should not be submitting their images here for consideration.

Should not? That doesn't make any sense.

I shoot photos that I want to shoot. If I then do some editing to get a photo onto A.net, or if I ask in the Feedback Forum about it, that doesn't affect my happiness with my photo. If it gets rejected, even multiple times, I can still be happy with my photo. Submitting here, and editing photos to be submitted here, is a separate thing.

What people tend NOT to understand is that an A.net acceptance or rejection is not a judgment of the quality of their photo. It's a judgment on whether or not it meets A.net acceptance criteria. Those criteria do not have to match my own personal criteria. I say that same thing all the time in the Feedback Forum. A rejection doesn't mean you took a bad photo.

Quoting andspran (Reply 38):
Was wondering what all different photo software most of you use?

Either Canon DPP or Photoshop CS5 for RAW editing (depending on if I need noise reduction or not). For JPEG editing, usually Photoshop CS3 (odd, I know, given that I have CS5, but I just like CS3 better, and it runs faster on my computer).



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (1 year 9 months 22 hours ago) and read 6256 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 42):
Why not?

Because as soon as one submits a photo to this site, they are no longer looking to just satisfy themselves. Inherent in that submission is the motivation to desire acceptance from others, however gratifying that may be. It would be hypocritical for someone to say "I only need to satisfy myself" and then enter the queue to face the scrutiny of the screening process.

I made my decision long ago when I felt I reached a level where I was producing images that were satisfactory to ME. Doesn't mean I can't continue to learn, in fact I want to learn and I try to pick up what I can here and elsewhere. There's just nothing for me to learn from feedback that tells me my sky looks grainy at ISO100.


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 47, posted (1 year 9 months 21 hours ago) and read 6245 times:
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Quoting megatop412 (Reply 46):
Because as soon as one submits a photo to this site, they are no longer looking to just satisfy themselves. Inherent in that submission is the motivation to desire acceptance from others, however gratifying that may be. It would be hypocritical for someone to say "I only need to satisfy myself" and then enter the queue to face the scrutiny of the screening process.

Read my reply# 45. "The scrutiny of the screening process" is not a validation of my photo. It's a judgment of whether my edit meets A.net acceptance standards. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

With that said, I certainly have learned from threads in this forum and in the feedback forum. I've learned how to edit for A.net, sure, but I've also learned how to be a better photographer, which is completely independent from A.net.

So no, it's not hypocritical. I like sharing my photos here. But that by no means indicates that I judge my photos based on whether they're share-worthy for A.net's database. Some of my favorite photos have been rejected from here (or I haven't uploaded because I know they would be). I generally have no issues with the rejections

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 46):
I made my decision long ago when I felt I reached a level where I was producing images that were satisfactory to ME. Doesn't mean I can't continue to learn, in fact I want to learn and I try to pick up what I can here and elsewhere. There's just nothing for me to learn from feedback that tells me my sky looks grainy at ISO100.

I feel I've reached a level where I know whether I'm happy with my photos, and I understand A.net accepting them or rejecting them, and I can separate those two issues since they are not by any means the same thing.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (1 year 9 months 21 hours ago) and read 6239 times:

I just want to clarify that I am not a purist, because I believe it is impossible to be one, and I was hoping my two previous posts reflected that position, big fail. You can't capture with a camera and lens, what the human eye has seen in "Reality", because the human eye evolved over millions of years, to sense the world and the multitude of threats that exist in it. The camera was developed to capture an approxiamation of a scene in an instant, that didn't require many hours and days of fixing the image with oils onto canvas. (For those interested the artist David Hockney investigates the use of lens technology and camera obscuras by famous artists to capture photorealistic images using oil on canvas, back in the Fifteenth Century, somethings never change).

I think Jak Trax comes closest to describing the post processing softwares most important contribution and that is helping in making up any shortfall in the image sensor or lenses capabilities when using the camera in extreme conditions which he encountered at the "Spanish Village" in reply 36 i.e. Using the software to try and make the photograph be a closer approximation of what he saw with the naked eye, or his memory of what he saw at least. Of course the people who viewed the photo and weren't there when it was taken only have the finished photo to go by.

The other major contribution of post software processing, comes during night shoots, where you often have to take more chances. You can open the iris wide open, push the ASA/ISO way up to the high noise end, and do all this, safe in the knowlegde that the post processing software is there, ready to come to the rescue if need be.


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 49, posted (1 year 9 months 20 hours ago) and read 6225 times:
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Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 48):
I just want to clarify that I am not a purist, because I believe it is impossible to be one, and I was hoping my two previous posts reflected that position, big fail.

Don't worry, I didn't get that impression at all; I assumed you were speaking hypothetically.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 50, posted (1 year 9 months 17 hours ago) and read 6205 times:

Ansel Adams said twelve good photographs in a year was good production. Makes you think.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 51, posted (1 year 9 months 16 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 46):
Because as soon as one submits a photo to this site, they are no longer looking to just satisfy themselves

But you're missing the point. We've already satisfied ourselves, so we can move on to doing other things with our images - like uploading them here. If a photo of mine has come out well, and I'm over-the-moon with it, no-one or nothing can take that away from me. It's 'in the bank' so to speak.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 46):
It would be hypocritical for someone to say "I only need to satisfy myself" and then enter the queue to face the scrutiny of the screening process

I have my reasons and motivation for uploading here, but it's certainly not because I seek wider acceptance. Once you get to a certain amount of images in the database I reckon your images have already proven themselves as 'acceptable' anyway. Each has an agenda here but trying to work out the psychology behind it is nigh on impossible.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 46):
There's just nothing for me to learn from feedback that tells me my sky looks grainy at ISO100

Can't disagree with you there. But we all should know by now that this site is a database rather than a gallery of images of photographic significance.

Karl


User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 52, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5999 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 6):
The one thing I don't understand, and I'm sure this will start a whole new debate, is why Digital Still Photography has not entered the 3rd Dimension like Cinema and T.V.

It has. It's not used widely, but it has started to gain ground. I know, for example, that Lumix has several 3D lenses that can be affixed to certain cameras.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 51):
Quoting megatop412 (Reply 46):
There's just nothing for me to learn from feedback that tells me my sky looks grainy at ISO100

Can't disagree with you there. But we all should know by now that this site is a database rather than a gallery of images of photographic significance.

Gallery of images vs database. This, I will admit, has me vexed. When I found this site I thought it was very cool. I decided to get involved and see what I could learn, and maybe place some photos. I told myself to be patient and ask lots of questions. However, I am quickly becoming frustrated.
Now, I have no problem admitting that my editing skills are lacking, but even taking that into account the photo editing criteria for this site goes so far past reasonable as to border on insane. I ask again, as in a previous post...just what is everyone viewing these photos on? I read comment after comment on how photos are soft, soft, soft, not enough contrast, oh wait, grainy right by the cockpit. And these photos are being downsized to 1024 width, to be added to an aircraft database, and viewed on a computer monitor. I simply cannot see the validity of the editing criteria. To what point? Because we can? Why would anyone think it's necessary, or matters, at 1024 x...... that there is a speck of dirt in the upper right hand corner of the last rivet on the tail fin by the antenna? You can't see that, and the photo looks fine.
(Deep breath here)....I apologize for taking the post into rant territory. My original opening remarks were about photo shopping, and why we feel the need to do it to death. I still stand by that question. Why does anyone think it's necessary to use such editing criteria for an aircraft database? Define a quality photo please? In focus. Properly framed. Good exposure. Some sort of meaningful content. But...."it's a little soft up by the nose...better photoshop it some more"?
It-is-not-necessary by any reasonable standard. What's the point? And again, I don't mean this site explicitly, I'm talking pretty much everywhere in the digital photo community.
That being said, I will continue to slog away at improving my editing skills, and most certainly will continue to enjoy the art of photography. Especially airplanes. I will learn, and improve, and heck, I might even get a photo accepted here some day.  
Andspran.


User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1989 posts, RR: 7
Reply 54, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5908 times:
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Quoting andspran (Reply 53):
I simply cannot see the validity of the editing criteria.

Simple - to keep the number of photos on this site manageable.

Editing skills are more important on Airliners.net than photography skills. There are plenty of photographers out there who can produce images worthy of being accepted here, but precious few who can edit them to A.net standards. Which has eventually turned Airliners.net into the elite club of skilful photo editors.


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 55, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5891 times:
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Quoting andspran (Reply 53):
Now, I have no problem admitting that my editing skills are lacking, but even taking that into account the photo editing criteria for this site goes so far past reasonable as to border on insane. I ask again, as in a previous post...just what is everyone viewing these photos on? I read comment after comment on how photos are soft, soft, soft, not enough contrast, oh wait, grainy right by the cockpit. And these photos are being downsized to 1024 width, to be added to an aircraft database, and viewed on a computer monitor. I simply cannot see the validity of the editing criteria. To what point? Because we can? Why would anyone think it's necessary, or matters, at 1024 x...... that there is a speck of dirt in the upper right hand corner of the last rivet on the tail fin by the antenna? You can't see that, and the photo looks fine.

Insane? The editing required for here is pretty simple, and I doubt if it uses 1% of what Photoshop is capable of in terms of editing photos. If you find you're spending more and more time editing, and having to tweak/change all sorts of things, then it's probably worth looking at your original photo and working on shooting it better.

I don't say that to be a dick; I say it because it's something I had to learn too. It's a matter of practice. And especially when you're starting out, it's very easy to take a substandard photo (per A.net) and try and edit it to get it accepted. I did that a few times before I realized I better figure out how to take decent photos, then try editing and uploading.

Quoting andspran (Reply 53):
(Deep breath here)....I apologize for taking the post into rant territory. My original opening remarks were about photo shopping, and why we feel the need to do it to death. I still stand by that question. Why does anyone think it's necessary to use such editing criteria for an aircraft database? Define a quality photo please? In focus. Properly framed. Good exposure. Some sort of meaningful content. But...."it's a little soft up by the nose...better photoshop it some more"?
It-is-not-necessary by any reasonable standard. What's the point? And again, I don't mean this site explicitly, I'm talking pretty much everywhere in the digital photo community.

There are plenty of aircraft databases where you don't have to do any editing if you don't want to. A.net happens to want to restrict their database to generally "technically good" photos. Some of the rules may be arbitrary, but if you want to restrict your database, then that's what you do - create entry requirements.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 56, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5884 times:

Quoting andspran (Reply 53):
Why does anyone think it's necessary to use such editing criteria for an aircraft database? Define a quality photo please? In focus. Properly framed. Good exposure. Some sort of meaningful content. But...."it's a little soft up by the nose...better photoshop it some more



A good photo will always be just that, however many times it's messed with in Photoshop. I personally much prefer to look at the 'raw' photo - straight from the camera - than some tidied-up, silky-smooth, 1024 pixel edit. A small file can hide a multitude of sins; an original can't. Quite often I'm of the opinion that what you see here - i.e. the edit - is actually of lesser quality than the original for that very reason.

Quoting Chukcha (Reply 54):
Which has eventually turned Airliners.net into the elite club of skilful photo editors



I'd disagree, because I'm a crap editor and my acceptance ratio lately has been high. Luckily my original files are generally of a high quality so my poor editing skills need not be fully applied! It's getting a bad photo to look good I struggle with!


User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5871 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 55):
Insane? The editing required for here is pretty simple, and I doubt if it uses 1% of what Photoshop is capable of in terms of editing photos. If you find you're spending more and more time editing, and having to tweak/change all sorts of things, then it's probably worth looking at your original photo and working on shooting it better.

Yeah, I apologize for my poor choice of words. A bit dramatic and all, too passionate about my particular point of view I guess. I'm just having to learn a new mindset when it comes to the editing. What is expected vs what is common.
I'll just keep at it.
Andspran.


User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5857 times:

I took photo's of an American Airlines B767-300ER lining up on runway 027R among others at London Heathrow, using my Canon 60D with a Canon 70-200mm f4.0. Nearby was another photographer who was using the exact same equipment as me.

We eventually got chatting, I asked what websites and user name he uploads onto, and whether he used any type of editing software. He mentioned Elements 10, I had version 9. I also mentioned to him about an aviation website he could upload onto without screening, if he was interested.

A few days later I went on the aviation website to upload my photo's I had taken out at Heathrow, to be greeted by the image of the American Airlines B767-300ER lining up on the runway 027R at LHR, and I was absolutely blown away by the difference in image quality he was able to achieve with his editing skills. He made his Canon 60D and 70-200mm look more like a Canon 5D II, no hint of noise, nice sharp image that really popped, or stood out compared to mine, using basic Elements editing techniques.

So far I only know how to use the basic Canon software editing suite, that was supplied with the camera when I bought it, but I was amazed at the difference a little editing knowledge could achieve, and was all the more determined to learn how to use Elements 9 to achieve that same standard.

I realised the camera could take you to a certain point and that the software could take you that much further if you choose to go in that direction.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 59, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5849 times:
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Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 58):

I'd be interested in seeing both your shot and the other photographers shot, if that's possible.

A lot of times, simple color correction is all it takes to make a photo stand out. Contrast is another big one. Handle those two properly and a photo will really pop.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1989 posts, RR: 7
Reply 60, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5823 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 56):
I'd disagree, because I'm a crap editor and my acceptance ratio lately has been high.

With all due respect, Karl, the kind of photos you upload here - mostly side shots in perfect weather - don't normally require either particularly high photographers skills or much editing. After 2100 photos in the DB, about time you've got your editing right.

However, when you shoot, say, fast action in difficult lighting conditions, where photographer skills as well as equipment are pushed to the limit - it is a different story. Most seasoned professionals, shooting at airshows for magazines and other media publications, usually get away with a little grain, slight blur, etc. But here at Airliners.net, that kind of photos are expected to be just as perfect, as sunny sideshots. In that case, if the photographers wants to upload anything interesting, they face a lot of editing challenge.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 55):
The editing required for here is pretty simple, and I doubt if it uses 1% of what Photoshop is capable of in terms of editing photos.

I would say, the guidelines are pretty simple. The editing itself requires a good eye and a lot of practice, especially for difficult shots. It is too easy to apply too much or too little, and then it takes a week and a half to find it out. Pretty disconcerting for most newbies.

The problem is that many excellent photographers just don't have the eye for editing. And I am not talking about newcomers here. I am talking about the photographers who, despite very low acceptance ratio, still have managed to get thousands of photos accepted here. I bow down to their perseverance.

I've always had a fairly hight acceptance ratio. Two years ago it was consistently around 90% mark, nowadays - also consistently - around 70%. I have a couple of long-time friends here, photographers with many outstanding photos in the DB, whose names I won't mention. I'll just say that, as photographers, their work is much more interesting than mine. A few times, after a particularly nasty run of rejections, they have sent me a dozen or so rejected photos, asking for my opinion. And almost in every photo I saw the problem straight away; it was pretty obvious to me that there was no way those shots would be accepted here in that condition. But they, they just couldn't see anything wrong with them!

What I am trying to say here, for some people - including myself - editing is easy, and for some very hard. At that, the latter could be much more skilful as photographers than the latter.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 61, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5811 times:
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Quoting Chukcha (Reply 60):
However, when you shoot, say, fast action in difficult lighting conditions, where photographer skills as well as equipment are pushed to the limit - it is a different story. Most seasoned professionals, shooting at airshows for magazines and other media publications, usually get away with a little grain, slight blur, etc. But here at Airliners.net, that kind of photos are expected to be just as perfect, as sunny sideshots. In that case, if the photographers wants to upload anything interesting, they face a lot of editing challenge.

This is an excellent point.

It became burned into my mind that a "keeper" was only something that would hold up to this website in terms of sharpness and noise/grain. That included non-aviation photos!! I've had to slap myself a few times to wake me the eff up and realize that my "keeper" standards were a bit absurd! If I was shooting a sport, or a concert and something as minor as a finger showed slight motion blur, I would consider it a missed shot! Then I started to take notice of say, Sports Illustrated and hey, guess what. Their amazing photos often have grain, or some motion blur in them and obviously it was perfectly acceptable for publication.

I spent years trying to develop an eye for airliners.net in terms of technique and editing. I've now spent nearly the same number of years trying to break those habits as I've ventured away from this site. I've had to retrain my eye and that has given me the benefit of learning to differentiate between shooting and editing for here versus shooting and editing for everything else.

I now uploaded to this site on very rare occasion and still maintain an acceptance ratio at or near 80%.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 62, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5796 times:
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Quoting Chukcha (Reply 60):
I would say, the guidelines are pretty simple. The editing itself requires a good eye and a lot of practice, especially for difficult shots. It is too easy to apply too much or too little, and then it takes a week and a half to find it out. Pretty disconcerting for most newbies.

True, the guidelines are pretty simple. And yes, it can be disconcerting for newbies. But my experience, from spending a lot of time in the feedback forum, is that a sizable percentage of new photographers seem to think they will get photos accepted on, say, their 2nd try, or whatever. A simple change in attitude is usually a pretty good ticket to success here.

Yes, it does take practice, and it does take developing an eye for what's accepted. But I honestly don't think it's particularly complicated; I certainly don't even know how to do any complicated editing. It was just a conscious decision on my part to strive to learn editing practices that work for me (and, of course, learn to take good enough photos that I don't have to spend a whole lot of time in editing).

Granted, everyone has his/her strengths and weaknesses.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 61):
I spent years trying to develop an eye for airliners.net in terms of technique and editing. I've now spent nearly the same number of years trying to break those habits as I've ventured away from this site. I've had to retrain my eye and that has given me the benefit of learning to differentiate between shooting and editing for here versus shooting and editing for everything else.

That was something I tried hard to achieve from the very beginning - a separation of my work for A.net from the rest of my photography. While much of my airplane photography is admittedly affected by acceptance standards here, I do take plenty of shots that I know won't make it. And my non-airplane photography has always been its own entity.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1989 posts, RR: 7
Reply 63, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5793 times:
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Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 62):
Granted, everyone has his/her strengths and weaknesses.

My point is that the "strength" as an editor on this site is much more beneficial than the strength as a photographer.

An average photographer with excellent editing skills will have much more success in acceptance here than an excellent photographer with average editing skills.

Which makes editing to seem more important than photography.


User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 64, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5772 times:
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Quoting Chukcha (Reply 54):
Which has eventually turned Airliners.net into the elite club of skillful photo editors.

With all due respect to those that manage the Post Processing of their images to get them accepted here, the requirements of this site do not put them in an "elite club". The editing and "post" requirements of this site are quite stringent but extremely limited. In no way do they stretch the broad range of skills required in the professional "post" environment.

I have not uploaded lately because my photography has moved a/ away from aviation and b/ towards a more "processed" result.

Having said that I am appreciative of A.net for teaching me much about lighting etc... my motor racing forays are now geared around being at the right place for the right light rather than just shooting wherever I happen to be!!

Cheers



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5734 times:

Quoting Chukcha (Reply 60):
However, when you shoot, say, fast action in difficult lighting conditions, where photographer skills as well as equipment are pushed to the limit - it is a different story. Most seasoned professionals, shooting at airshows for magazines and other media publications, usually get away with a little grain, slight blur, etc. But here at Airliners.net, that kind of photos are expected to be just as perfect, as sunny sideshots. In that case, if the photographers wants to upload anything interesting, they face a lot of editing challenge.

This is a well made observation. Aircraft in flight, especially at something like an airshow, where the aircraft are usually moving fast, and are very close in, requires fast shutter speeds. They are not portraits. Unless you have an objective lens the size of Nebraska, you're going to need to bump up the ISO to keep the shutter speeds up. You're just not going to be shooting at ISO 100. The photos I'm trying to get accepted here are a prime example of that. They weren't shot with the intent of submitting to A.net. I hadn't discovered this site then, and almost all of them were shot at ISO 400 or above. There is going to be grain, and if you have to tighten the photo with a crop, and start sharpening.....there's really going to be grain. Most of them were shot with a Nikkor 70-300mm lens, usually at the far end of the zoom range. You're not going to get " ISO 100, F8, and be there." (Old joke.)
So my challenge now, is to try to make a higher ISO, grainy photo better. I'm learning. Of course, when the summer flying season comes around and I start taking pictures again, I can also keep in mind what A.net wants.
Addendum: I use the words "grainy" here, a sure sign I am from the age of film. I guess I should use the word "noise" instead.
Andspran.

[Edited 2013-03-12 06:38:16]

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 66, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5727 times:

Quoting Chukcha (Reply 60):
With all due respect, Karl, the kind of photos you upload here - mostly side shots in perfect weather - don't normally require either particularly high photographers skills or much editing. After 2100 photos in the DB, about time you've got your editing right

I tend to upload such images almost exclusively here, but I don't solely do 'side-ons-in-sun'. Having seen the struggles of many great creative photographers here I'd rather just stick to a formula I know works. As for the sunny side-on being easy, that harks back to what you consider to be the making of a photograph - the original capture or the processed version. To give an example.....

The image I'm told is my best currently in the database:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon



This is one I took yesterday which I consider to be perhaps the best shot I've ever taken:

http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/b...1.2768d-alck_man_110313_kn_308.jpg

Which took more planning and skill? Simple answer is, you can't tell by the edit uploaded here. The sunset shot is fine but despite a little quick planning it didn't quite work out exactly as intended. The LH MD-11 is actually by far the better photograph in my opinion because the edit you see is simply the original resized and sharpened. I had to correctly judge where she was going to touch; I had to get her perfectly in the middle, wih the ground completely level; and I had to expose accurately and get the colour right. No cropping, no levelling, no adjustments whatsoever. Now I by no means achieve such results all the time but I'm pretty consistent - would you not say it takes a certain skill and competence to take into account all those factors and come away with something like that?

But like I say, you never know how well captured a sunny side-on is once it's been edited for this database. To many it doesn't matter because the true 'art' comes during processing, with the original file acting only as a template. It depends entirely on your view of photography, and neither method is right or wrong. I just don't personally have much time for edits.

On a final note, I will concede that the majority of side-ons in fine conditions don't require much editing skill. But that's part of the appeal for folks like me with very limited editing knowledge.

Karl


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 67, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5709 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 66):
Which took more planning and skill? Simple answer is, you can't tell by the edit uploaded here.

If you can't tell from the edit, then it probably doesn't matter to the viewer. How you get there is simply how you get there. I'm of the opinion that its the final image that the audience sees that matters.

Sure I've tried to get a shot anet ready at the moment of capture, and I've come close. But honestly if I ever did pull that off, and I'm talking perfect leveling and perfect centering, I'd consider it luck. To do that consistently is beyond human capability.  

"Good enough" is enough for me. I try to get a good capture in camera, but as long as I can get it anet ready in post, that's good enough for me.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 68, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5706 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 67):
If you can't tell from the edit, then it probably doesn't matter to the viewer. How you get there is simply how you get there

I fully agree. But there's a stigma attached to side-on shots that's very undeserved. That MD-11 capture took far more preparation and skill than the sunset shot, but many would assume that the latter was the more complex of the two simply based on the conditions and composition. Now if you're talking exclusively about editing, it's obvious which one required more precision and skill post-capture. In fact my editing wasn't good enough and I sought a little assistance from an expert.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 67):
I'm of the opinion that its the final image that the audience sees that matters

In the context of A.net yes, of course. But when I view my own images on my PC I like to look at the originals. They to me are the 'final images', so I need not concern myself with edits. This is not a 'yes or no' or a 'right or wrong' debate. I'm only putting forward a different perspective.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 67):
But honestly if I ever did pull that off, and I'm talking perfect leveling and perfect centering, I'd consider it luck. To do that consistently is beyond human capability

To get it absolutely perfect all the time is impossible, but you can get very close with good consistency. Luck plays a part but so too does a good eye for composition. I currently only have three images here that, aside from resizing and sharpening, came out of the camera A.net-ready. The LH will be my fourth should it get in. Four in ~2000 images shows that it's far from easy, but I'd say a good portion of my images require only a few pixels cropping and less than 0.5 degrees level correction. Most require a small brightness, contrast or colour alteration too.

Since my editing is so terrible I have little choice but to aim to nail the composition and exposure in camera. With practice it can be done quite successfully. Now away from side-ons in good light the editing plays a much, much bigger part - but then again I've not disputed that.

Karl


User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

Sorry Silver1SWA,

I left Anet after my last post and only just returned to read your request, re comparing my photo of the American Airlines B767-300ER with another person who took a similar shot with the same equipment at the same time.

I went to Airspace on flightglobal where I saw the uploaded image, it was mid 2012 and searched for the exact example I mentioned and could not find it. Without the image to refer to I will try and describe the one thing that struck me most about how his photo of the American Airlines B767-300ER, differed from mine (I did not upload my American Airlines B767-300ER, just editied it on my computer) and that was how it appeared seperate from the background, as if having two layers, a distinct foreground i.e. the plane and then the seperate background layer. I am aware of the layers tool in Elements, which I don't know how to use, but does using this tool achieve this effect? The sharpness of the overall image was very apparent as well.

I am aware of using depth of field to create this image separation using camera settings and lens, but it was not this effect that I am describing.

Thanks for the tips as well. I have used saturation, and contrast when there is very little present, as well as unsharp mask to sharpen etc, to help tweek the image.

I have since met the photographer again on a shoot and asked how he edited the photo. He sent me an email with instructions on how to edit the look he achieved, but still did not manage to get the same result, even the instruction book I bought, on how to use Elements seemed to miss out key steps in the edit process. Left me head scratching to this day. I am presently looking into a basic day course on Photoshop or Elements to get the knowledge and expertise on the step by step editing techniques.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 70, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5656 times:
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Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 69):

If you talk to him again, find out what settings he used. Honestly, it could be as simple as a difference in apertures used. Focal length, another factor.

You've really got me curious!



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinemjgbtv From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 894 posts, RR: 0
Reply 71, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5642 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 69):
I am aware of the layers tool in Elements, which I don't know how to use, but does using this tool achieve this effect?

Layers alone will not do anything, they are a means and not an end. An example of using layers would be to sharpen on a duplicate layer and then erase oversharpened portions to reveal the original un-sharpened layer. Using layers or any other technique to 'separate' an aircraft from the background would probably be considered an editing violation here.


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10256 posts, RR: 26
Reply 72, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5620 times:
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Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 70):
If you talk to him again, find out what settings he used. Honestly, it could be as simple as a difference in apertures used. Focal length, another factor.

You've really got me curious!

There are a lot of shots on A.net that are duplicates - same aircraft, same day and time, different photographer. And generally they do look a bit different. One of them is usually bound to look more "correct" or better to me - usually dependent on color.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4851 posts, RR: 26
Reply 73, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5620 times:
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Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 72):
There are a lot of shots on A.net that are duplicates - same aircraft, same day and time, different photographer. And generally they do look a bit different. One of them is usually bound to look more "correct" or better to me - usually dependent on color.

Yeah, I get that. But reading his posts, I immediately think of that moment when I see a photo taken with say a 300 f/2.8 prime versus a standard 70-300 zoom. He seems to be describing some kind of magic with the other photogs photo, much like that special something a prime has. At least, that's what I think of when I read his post.

Back when I got a 100-400 to use with my old 40D, I browsed the database for examples with the same combo. I found one photog who has incredible, sharp, crisp and vibrant photos with that combo. Part of why I was initially disappointed with the 100-400 was because my shots didnt have that same special "something".



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 74, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5562 times:

Thanks Silver1SWA, I will definitely ask him for the settings he used for the photo, if I bump into him again.

What you described when searching out similar images on Anet that were shot on the same 40D with a 100-400mm combo is exactly the reaction I had when I encountered the American Airlines B767-300ER photo uploaded by the other photographer, almost disbelief he used the same Canon 60D and 70-200mm combo as I did, it was like chalk and cheese and a strong feeling the post edit had alot to do with it.


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 75, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5537 times:

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 74):
it was like chalk and cheese and a strong feeling the post edit had alot to do with it.

It is of course possible that post edit had a lot to do with it, but I think the initial exposure has a more important impact than many people realise. If you think how a sensor records data, there is simply more data in the highlights than there is in the shadows.

The optimum exposure should saturate the sensor (without over saturation!). If you take 2 images, say 1/3rd stop apart, both may be correct in so far as both shadows and highlights are captured. However, the more generous exposure will capture more data. This as well as resulting in a cleaner image also leaves more scope for post processing - ie. being able to add a more dramatic S curve which will give the image more "pop" without getting ugly noise or transitions

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineMfgitintheUSA From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 76, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5466 times:

I am interested in opinions on the various photo editing software that is being used...I currently use the software that came with my Pentax K-r....SilkyPix.
SilkyPix is very powerful and sometimes too much. Any recommendations of a middle of the road software? Would that be Photoshop?


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 765 posts, RR: 16
Reply 77, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

I've not used SilkyPix, but I have seen it slated as one of the least easy to use editors, so pretty much anything else would make your life easier.

Probably the current version of Photoshop Elements would do - full Photoshop is not really 'middle of the road', and unless you're into serious editing (composites etc.), you'll only use a fraction of its capabilities.

Though I personally can't get excited about it, Lightroom seems to be the editor of choice for many - not sure I'd call it "middle of the road" though - more towards the high end.

(My dislike of Lightroom is not a fault of the product, simply my inability to adapt to a new workflow after many, many years of Photoshop).

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineandspran From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5422 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 77):
Probably the current version of Photoshop Elements would do - full Photoshop is not really 'middle of the road', and unless you're into serious editing (composites etc.), you'll only use a fraction of its capabilities.

Though I personally can't get excited about it, Lightroom seems to be the editor of choice for many - not sure I'd call it "middle of the road" though - more towards the high end.

(My dislike of Lightroom is not a fault of the product, simply my inability to adapt to a new workflow after many, many years of Photoshop).

I have Photoshop Elements, Lightroom 3, and Ulead Photo Impact. Also an older full version of Photoshop. I just can't get used to the workflow system with Lightroom 3. It's too different from what I am used to. Photoshop Elements works well and is pretty straight forward to figure out and use. I really like Ulead, Photo Impact. Although I am using a very old version, I am used to it and stick with it for most everything.


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