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PhotoShop - Where To Draw The Line?  
User currently offlineSiggi757 From Iceland, joined Oct 2001, 123 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Hi fellow photographers.
I was just reading over the FAQ section and this question caught my eye.

Q:Can I send in digitally enhanced/composite photos?
A:No, Airliners.net does not accept photos that have been altered in any way.

I am very aware that splicing together two or more photos is not allowed and I am for that matter not interested in such pictures. It is the phrase digitally enhanced that got me curious.

What I was wondering about is where to draw the line with general altering of photos. I am used to sharpening my pictures and adjusting the brightness/contrast before sending them in for screening and I guess that is common practice. But that is still altering of the photo.

I am curious about where the screeners at Airliners.net draw the line with digital enhancing. Especially when it comes to adjusting the colour balance of the picture. Is it for example not well seen to increase the red colour in a picture of an airplane at sunset when such effect could easily be achieved with the use of filters on the lens.

Just asking.....I don´t want to break any rules.
Siggi  Laugh out loud

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3770 times:

A fair - and tricky - question. This has been discussed amongst the screeners many times, and while a definitive set of rules is difficult (as there are many grey areas), you will probably be safe with the following:

1 - Do NOTHING to modify the subject matter of the picture (eg. no superimpositions, backgrounds, altered registrations, markings etc. etc.)

2 - In general do not modify the environment of the image (ie. turn day into night, fake sunsets, modify the surroundings). However, cloning out a piece of litter may be acceptable ... unless the cloning itself is visible.

3 - Genuine "photographic" enhancements are permissable - ie. normal darkroom practice. This could include contrast adjustments, colour balance, exposure, spotting dust etc. UNLESS doing so violates 1 or 2 above.

There is, of course, every likelyhood that a skilled PS user will slip a manipulated image past the screeners. However, there are thousands of eagle eyed visitors who are very quick to point out "problem" pictures, so the chances are sooner or later that person will be caught out. At the very least, anyone caught faking can be sure all future submissions will be examined very carefully indeed and they may find borderline images falling in the reject pile instead of acceptance!



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 3163 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3767 times:

Good question, but there are really no hard and fast rules. Common sense, intgrity and good judgement should be your guides.

Here is what I personally will consider doing to a photo.

-Brightness, Contrast, Levels, Gama adjustment. Note that this can include using the mask tool (feathered or not) to selectively adjust smaller areas of a photo.
-Localized burning/dodging (same as a conventional chemical darkroom).
-Blemish repair, scratches, artifacts, dustmarks with the clone tool.
-Color adjustment, any and all channels.
-Hue/Saturation as required, all channels.
-Sharpening, typically some unsharp mask.
-Gaussian blur, typically to reduce noise or grain in the sky.
-Rotate, to get thing nice and square visually. Note that on a rotated image, I have added extra "sky" to fill the small triangular areas left because of rotating the image. It's either that or crop tighter which isn't possible if it means cropping into the aircraft body.

That's about the limit of what I will consider other than one very specialized instance where I removed a "bug splat" from the leading edge of a wing that was visually destracting.


User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5099 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3722 times:

What would you say about a photo that is otherwise very good execpt for something like a light pole which cuts into part of the plane on the photo...and you can clone or heaal-brush out the pole?


Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineBrianhames From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 796 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3713 times:

I've removed a person from the tarmac in one of my photos, does that count?

User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3685 times:

I basically stole an image of an all white, Boeing 777 and added some wild colors to it and even added Peter Max's name to it, does that count as Photoshop maniuplation?

I can provide a link to the photo if you'd like to see it !!  Big grin


User currently offlineAvroArrow From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 1046 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3630 times:

Please momma no!!!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

[Edited 2003-04-17 07:42:43]

Give me a mile of road and I can take you a mile. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3597 times:

I would say Steve's approach is fine and should cause no problems with regards to A.net.

As to removing light poles ... well here we get into the grey area ... where does it stop - fences? Buildings? Other aircraft on the ramp? I think in any of these cases it's altering reality to an extent that someone who knows the location will know the image has been altered, which then could cast doubt on the veracity of other A.net photos, or indeed encourgage others down that road.

I don't have any problem with modifying images for a particular purpose, and have done many such alterations at the request of a client. But I wouldn't for A.net which I see as providing a historical record ... warts and all.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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