Granite
Topic Author
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To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:49 pm

Hi all

.......that is the question.

Not pointing any fingers but seems a few photographers like to clone out the famous lamp posts while doing some photography at LAX. Don't know the name of the road but it's the one for evening landings.

These clone jobs are not done very well at all.

The Head Screeners are currently having a look through them all. While no song and dance is being made about it, these guys should know that it is not acceptable to do stuff like this, especially when you see same shots in the database with these posts included. What do I know, they may well be portable and move from day to day.

May I suggest to anyone who has some shots on the database to use the re-upload page to replace the ones already in the database.

Thanks for your co-operation.

Regards

Gary
 
mygind66
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:34 pm

Hi...

About this matter I was surprised some time a go how some photographers talk about cloning such things. I've always been against these kind of techniques so I'm please about reading this topic.

Definitely is not my war.. and I should say I'm friend of the lamp post committee  Big grin

Here goes an example: 10 lamp posts..  Smile


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Enrique Ferrer



Sorry for the self plug..

Enrique
 
Granite
Topic Author
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:07 pm

Hi Enrique

Nice image. Never been to Palma at all. Closest being Alicante back in.....ahem.....1978  Smile

What's the feature top left? The thing with the bulb on top? A local feature?

Regards

Gary
 
tappan
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:46 pm

I agree with Granite 100 percent.
I would further say that it appears this is a very infrequent problem on a.net (that's the good news)
Mark Garfinkel
 
jhribar
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:22 pm

Granite is absolutely right about this!

Cloning away some birds or dust spots is no problem. This is in fact desirable. But when it comes to cloning away fix objects like lamp posts, parts of buildings or any other airport "clutter", a limit is crossed!

In my opinion A.Net can use bigger penalties for people uploading such manipulated shots. after all this is not a site dedicated to the best manipulated shots. Other sites already cover this area.

You don't want any irritating lamps post in your shot? Fine...shoot at a different spot where you don't see them. What did these clone guys do in the celluloid age? Also cut out a piece of the negative or slide ?????

Best Regards,

Jeroen Hribar
AirTeamImages
 
javibi
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:33 pm

Quoting Jhribar (Reply 4):
Cloning away some birds or dust spots is no problem. This is in fact desirable.

I'd like to dissent on the birds' part. I do not see the point of cloning out anything other that dust spots. So I must agree with Gary in this issue, though it is kind of scary to agree with a screener...  Wink

Just my two cents

j
 
PUnmuth@VIE
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:37 pm

Quoting Tappan (Reply 3):
this is a very infrequent problem on a.net

No its unfortunately not. It very infrequent comes to the surface.  Wink
-
 
mygind66
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 2:26 am

Quoting Jhribar (Reply 4):
Cloning away some birds or dust spots is no problem

I disagree too. Dust spots are inside camera problems but birds are equivalent to anything else like walls, posts, etc.

Quoting Granite (Reply 2):
What's the feature top left? The thing with the bulb on top? A local feature?

Is a water tank wit a pump giving water to the houses on top of the hill.

Cheers

Enrique
 
spencer
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:01 am

Not taking any side here, but why is cloning such a no-no here?
Spencer.
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Granite
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:49 am

Hi all

Quoting Mygind66 (Reply 7):
Is a water tank wit a pump giving water to the houses on top of the hill.

Thanks Javier.

Quoting Spencer (Reply 8):
Not taking any side here, but why is cloning such a no-no here?

Spencer, something that the Boss agreed on many years ago. You would need to ask him. We follow his instructions.

Regards

Gary
 
spencer
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:47 am

Gary, yeah I gathered as much........ But I mean, if it can in some way, shape or form make for a better image..... Then why not? Obviously this would only regard those shots/photogs that actually can carry this off well enough to never be noticed. Really, if you think about it, to do the clone itself and to never be discovered, is in its own right very skillful, shhh  especially on larger objects such as lamp posts. But rules is rules, thou shall abide by them.......I suppose!  boxedin 
Spencer.
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corey07850
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:58 am

Quoting Jhribar (Reply 4):
after all this is not a site dedicated to the best manipulated shots

Well... with digital cameras and computers, every digital shot in the database is manipulated in some way. Not saying it's wrong, but everyone is altering the colors, sharpness, level, crop, etc, etc... 95% of all shots are probably manipulated in some way...
 
johndm1957
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:58 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 11):
Well... with digital cameras and computers, every digital shot in the database is manipulated in some way. Not saying it's wrong, but everyone is altering the colors, sharpness, level, crop, etc, etc... 95% of all shots are probably manipulated in some way...

Not true. This shot of mine has had absolutly nothing done to it except re-sizing.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Myers

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JohnJ
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:26 am

Is cloning out a window reflection from a shot taken inside a terminal acceptable?
 
INNflight
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:13 am

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 13):
Is cloning out a window reflection from a shot taken inside a terminal acceptable?

...Any cloning is acceptable if it isn't noticed.  boxedin 

Still, the fewer post-processing needs to be done, the better!
Jet Visuals
 
Psych
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:42 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 11):
every digital shot in the database is manipulated in some way

After a year of active involvement with this site, I think the only way to survive without potential headaches and blood pressure elevation is to accept the way Johan wants things to be. There is often little point arguing from a 'rational' point of view. But I still struggle   .

There are many examples here where one rule conflicts with another - looking for complete consistency will often just cause upset - so often seen on this Forum. I would agree almost all photos here are digitally manipulated - though I am very impressed to hear that yours was not at all, John. Many will recall debates such as the one about whether white should look 'white', or look the way it actually looked at the time the photo was taken. In that debate I was 'on the side' of the one which said it should look the way it actually looked - but that resulted in a rejection for that particular photographer. So that could be interpreted as a 'win' for the 'yes to manipulation' argument. No cloning allowed is a 'win' for the 'no to manipulation' camp.

Doubles is another example of a very subjective rule; inherent in it is the apparent position that similar looking photos of the same plane on the same occasion is a bad thing. You can't have two photos of the same plane taken by yourself if they look even vaguely similar, but it is fine to have many examples of the same plane looking exactly the same if it is taken by different photographers. Both positions can be defended - in the end it's a personal view which is the best way, and ultimately that will fall to Johan, as it is his site.

I am not criticising or defending anything here - just saying that each individual rule can be supported, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the same internal argument can be applied across different rules. That's just the way it is. As another example, no cloning implies leaving an image 'untidy', rather than making it look more 'pleasing', such as by getting rid of unsightly pylons sprouting from behind a fuselage. But the 'angle' rule suggests ensuring the image looks level if possible, even if that means making a real slope look level. The first example says 'no' to improving the aesthetics of the image, the second says 'yes' to improving the aesthetics.

On this one, I tend to support the argument to leave things in the photo that were really there - birds, pylons etc. My justification would be that to allow otherwise is to get on a slippery slope - expert Photoshop users could then do amazing things. I think it is one thing 'enhancing' reality - e.g. brightness, colour saturation etc - but another thing 'altering' reality.

Paul

[Edited 2005-09-18 01:01:45]
 
Dehowie
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:03 am

At the end of the day any manipulation is like being a little bit pregnant.
Its either all allowed or not.
At the moment you are allowed to alter colors by adding saturation,sharpness and add contrast none of which can be done via your camera.
Yet to clone out an obstructing pole is looked upon badly?
If you can do it properly such that it cannot be seen i cant see what the problem is.
If you cant do it properly then reject it for bad manipulation.
The door has been opened by requiring photo's to be sharpened to within an inch of their life and saturated to the point of no return.
What is the difference in electronic manipulation between adding sharpness that was not there in an original out of camera shot and removing a light pole to improve a photo?
Both add to the quality of the finished image and both are manipulation period.
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jumbojim747
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:33 am

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 16):
At the moment you are allowed to alter colors by adding saturation,sharpness and add contrast none of which can be done via your camera.

Darren they can be done by the camera.
Not meaning any disrespect but they can be.
As for the cloning issue.
I think it should be stated that ONLY dust spots are allowed to be cloned out full stop.
If a bird happens to fly by tuff tities you lose the shot or upload it with the bird.
Cheers
On a wing and a prayer
 
corey07850
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:48 am

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 12):

Not true. This shot of mine has had absolutly nothing done to it except re-sizing.

First, I estimated 95% of all photos, I didn't say every single one of them... Second, your shot is still manipulated, even if it is just resizing
 
Stealthz
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:17 pm

Quoting Jhribar (Reply 4):
What did these clone guys do in the celluloid age? Also cut out a piece of the negative or slide ?????

Yes they did.. Manipulation is not a new thing nor is it limited to the "digital" artist. Photos have been manipulated forever. The difference now is the "price of entry" is lower and nearly anyone has access to the tools.(but not always the skill)
In the pre digital era you hardly ever saw a manipulated image, well you often didn't know you had. The only practitioners were experts.

To the question at hand.. I am not in favour of the cloning out of objects that are part of the scene.. where does that end, can we clone out tugs, baggage carts??

Saturation and sharpness etc are not adding content(or removing it) and are not fundementally different to what a skilled photographer or darkroom technician would do when making photographic prints.

Just my 2c worth..

Regards

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
Dehowie
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:32 pm

HI Jumbo
My point is that the minute you do any work on a photo you have crossed the line into the world of manipulation.
Yes you can use filters and yes you can use in camera sharpening.
However everone realises that you will end up with jagged images and use either PS or PSP to do these functions.
Hence manipulation at the most basic level.
Its a little like letting a genie out of a bottle in that by definition ANY post processing is digital manipulation.
I really have no answere's but to say that lamp posts are out but sharpening,saturation adjustments,color balancing is ok is hypocritical at best.
I am trying to play the devils advocate here rather than standing on a soapbox.
But if a lightpost is removed properly what is the difference between that and say adjusting the color balance in a night shot taken under sodium lighting where white is yellow when shot?
Both are image enhancements by different means.
I can see perfectly that the team want to ty to preserve the integrity of shots but people are already removing birds etc to stop bad dirty rejects.
WHats the diff between a bird and a lamp post?
In the quest for technically perfect photo's post processing is a required element and every adjustment is manipulation of some form or another.
A question again with the devils hat on.
If its done well why not allow it?
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jumbojim747
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:44 pm

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 20):
what is the difference between that and say adjusting the color balance in a night shot taken under sodium lighting where white is yellow when shot?

Great point Darren.
And your point is taken regarding

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 20):
My point is that the minute you do any work on a photo you have crossed the line into the world of manipulation.

I was told by a camera technician that the DSLR is made with post processing in mind.
The camera under exposes for instance knowing too well you can fix the levels in post processing.
I got into an argument on this point with the technicain telling him why is this so not everyone will post process the images after they take them.
I was told in a polite way if you want images to look the best when you press the shutter go and get a point and shoot.

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 19):
Yes they did.. Manipulation is not a new thing nor is it limited to the "digital" artist. Photos have been manipulated forever. The difference now is the "price of entry" is lower and nearly anyone has access to the tools.(but not always the skill)

Great words there Chris and welcome back mate.
Cheers
On a wing and a prayer
 
Dehowie
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:25 pm

Well i know Canon gear is made with post processing in mind.
The whole manipulation thing is a gigantic can of worms that extends way beyond ANET.
I think the stance taken here is commendable in trying to maintain some kind of photographic integrity with regard to the shots guys take.On the other hand if the technology is available should we be sticking our heads in the sand and not using it?
My personal opinion is if someone can clone out a light post to enhance a photo and its done well then i am happy.If not done well reject the shot.
Every photography magazine these days has articles on composing shots using manipulation of some shape or form so it seems to be widely accepted in the general photography community.
I guess the fear is of people doing wild things with shots but i figure the screeners both here and elsewhere have enough of an idea to spot a dodgy shot.
Darren
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spencer
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:03 pm

Some really good points so far! It's true though, the tools are there for us as photogs to use, whether we choose to utilize them to their fullest or not; whether we decide to put them to use for A.net purposes or not is, I suppose, up to the photographer to decide. Heavens forbid another (competing) site allows such things and said site starts seeing images that will never appear here on A.net!! I would actually agree that if it's invisible to the eye and can't be detected, then go for it. Get caught and expect the NOA_whatever.
Spencer.
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jumbojim747
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:56 pm

Another point.
If the cloning is not seen at the resolution that is uploaded here on ANet they might me seen on the prints at higher resolution.
Im against cloning other then for dust spots
Cheers

[Edited 2005-09-18 08:56:43]
On a wing and a prayer
 
GPHOTO
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:57 pm

Remember Johan set this place up originally as a database of airliners, not an art house. Artisitic shots are welcome (well mine don't seem to be  Wink - seriously though, I have no complaints) but a standard side on shot of a new registration of a light aircraft is even more so - it is a database remember.

Regarding manipulation, it depends, exactly as Psych said, on whether you are altering the qualities of the light or altering the reality of the situation. What follows are my own personal views on the subject as regards Airliners.net.

Manipulating colour is fine by me as long as it applied to the whole image and looks real (not too much or too little contrast or saturation for example). This is like applying a filter to a lens. The aim should be to correct minor overall colour flaws, not drastically change the image. You should be tweaking not falsifying. A good example of what I would find acceptable is making a good black and white image from a colour original. Creating an Andy Warhol style image is not. Changing brightness to a more acceptable level is ok too - you can't stray far from the original without creating an unatural looking image anyway.

For a dawn or dusk type shot, I prefer to keep the colours natural, as close to what they were at the time. If the white balance is changed, it should be applied to the whole image. That is ok by me too.

Noise Reduction. Fine. Noise is an artificial 'flaw' created by electronics and film. The world doesn't look grainy to my eyes. I see no problem in removing it. It isn't that easy to remove noise and keep the quality up, so it is a self-limiting change.

Objects. Cloning out dust spots, hairs etc is obviously no problem. Distant birds or aircraft that can look like dirt, well I see no problem getting rid of those. Blurry insects near the camera - they can go too. Fleeting transgressors on your view are probably ok to remove as long as they are not too big and the background is something simple like blue sky. Closer birds that are more obviously birds? I'd leave them in. Objects over the subject should not be removed - can you be 100% sure that what is behind the bird is unmarked, white aircraft paint? Ground objects should always be left in. I never clone out ground objects, ever. I guess a few people might want to clone out the odd dayglo cone or crisp wrapper and if they can pull it off, fair play to them. I can't be bothered. Vehicles are too big to be legitimate cloning out objects really. You are really starting to mess with reality there.

Fixed objects such as posts, fences, towers should never be cloned out. No matter how you feel about cloning out this or that, removing fixed objects is way over the line of altering reality. I can't buy a filter in the shop that removes lamposts or fuel trucks, can I? Anyway, that is just my opinion and for me it is more important as I am more into aviation history than photographic aesthetics. I'm sure you can imagine how that skews my view towards keeping things as real as possible.

Best regards,

Jim
Erm, is this thing on?
 
Psych
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:01 pm

Excellent stuff - it's so good to see healthy debate on this Forum, rather than members slagging each other off in bad tempered posts.

I went to bed last night still thinking about whether I had made my thoughts clear in Reply 15 - it's so easy to see the validity of different arguments and positions.

Here's another factor for the melting pot - what about the validity of cloning things 'in'? My guess is that most regular uploaders have been in the situation that, in their attempt not to fall foul of the NOA_angle issue, they have rotated their initial shot only to find that now a bit of background canvas shows. For example, a bit of extra blue sky is needed at the top edge/corner of the rotated shot. For many it would be very tempting to clone in a little bit of blue sky to correct that - nothing is being 'altered', or even 'enhanced' for that matter, in the sense that the blue sky was exactly in that position - it's just been cropped out by the process of rotation and is now being 'returned'. If that process is done with care it should be invisible. Also no aspect of 'detail' has been affected in the shot.

As I said earlier, one of the defining characteristics for me in this cloning debate concerns 'alteration' vs 'enhancement'. It could be argued that the above example is neither, and thus could be considered acceptable. I am not trying to argue that such cloning IS acceptable for the site, but just to raise this issue. To be consistent, you might say it is unacceptable. But that consistency would be referring to what the computer operator is doing with their editing package, not about the impact they are having on the image itself. Cloning out a pylon is altering what was really there; cloning in a patch of blue sky that was always there could be argued to be different.

All the best.

Paul
 
Tameteora
Crew
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:23 pm

Hi all,

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 25):
What follows are my own personal views on the subject

Jim, I was about to post my views on this interesting topic, when I read your contribution. You've said it all, and I agree with all your points for 200%. You've saved me a lot of typing... Smile

But then again, like you, I am also more into aviation history than photographic aesthetics. Just have a look at certain other aviation photo sites and see what manipulation may lead to... Sad
We need to be able to trust the images we see on this site. Cloning out a lamp post may not be that important with respect to historic reality, but where does it end? Perhaps alter the registration a bit to avoid a noa_double rejection? I hope not!

Quoting Jhribar (Reply 4):
What did these clone guys do in the celluloid age?

Darkroom manipulation was very wide-spread in the old age, and it was certainly not limited to enhancing the colours or sharpness of a photo. That's where a silly name like "Unsharp mask" comes from.
Negatives were copied and cut-up in order to copy, clone and generally manipulate all kinds of scenes. Well-known examples are the "beautiful" PR photos of the aircraft manufacturers before and after the Second World War. They routinely cloned entire aircraft onto beautiful cloud-scapes, just to obtain the scene they wanted for their PR purposes. But these are very obvious examples, it's the less obvious ones that are more worrying. Many photos you see in the old (and new) magazines are manipulated one way or another, particularly in the "glossy" magazines. One should always be aware of that.

Cloning is not a new thing from the Photoshop age, it's been with us for almost as long as photography itself. This discussion is much older than you may think...

Regards,

Aad.
 
aviopic
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:07 pm

That might all be true Aad but in those days it could only be done by specialists, now the technique is available for everybody.
To me it is just the result of progress.
I don't see the reason not to use it if done properly, why running around with a headache if modern time gave us pain killers ?

When I am working for a customer anything distracting has to go, it's that simply.
The customer does not pay me for "light posts" and "birds", he wants his aircraft photographed in the best possible way.
As you already mentioned this is something we see on a daily basis in the glossy magazines whether it is aviation, nature or any other kind of photography.

In my view it comes down to the question "does A.net want to keep there position in the future" ?
If I was a customer and I had the choice of buying a photo with distracting objects here or without somewhere else I go somewhere else.

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 12):
Not true. This shot of mine has had absolutly nothing done to it except re-sizing.

John you must have been using a P.A.S camera or a DSLR in jpg mode, I am quite sure there are no unmodified RAW's in the database.
It is however a classic example of what a potential customer does not want.
Why not removing the disturbing car and train, they might have been gone half an hour later anyway ?

Willem
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Erwin972
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:19 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 28):
To me it is just the result of progress. I don't see the reason not to use it if done properly, why running around with a headache if modern time gave us pain killers ?

I agree with you Willem. We have great camera hardware, we use it, we have great editing software... why only use it for sharpening and leveling? Many customers nowadays count on Photoshop.

Question remaining is where to draw the line. What is acceptable and when is considered over-edited? Cloning out light-poles, grading the sky, getting rid of ugly bushes or platform equipment, "cleaning" the aircraft, pasting in clouds and lightning, pasting in heat-haze etcetera.

Kind regards,
Erwin
My gear: Nikon, Sony, Red, Sachtler etc.
 
PUnmuth@VIE
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:22 pm

Quoting Erwin972 (Reply 29):
What is acceptable and when is considered over-edited?

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...ation_photography/read.main/176590
-
 
Granite
Topic Author
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:22 pm

Hi all

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 22):
My personal opinion is if someone can clone out a light post to enhance a photo and its done well then i am happy.If not done well reject the shot.

This is true. While I am not supporting the cloning out of items, if this was done good they would not be spotted and we would not know.

Recent uploads show that cloning has been used badly and to a trained eye, can be spotted quite easily. I mean, why clone out part of an image to leave another part of it showing.

Yes, a nice healthy debate for once. As I said before, please remember that the screeners follow Johan's guidelines.

Regards

Gary
 
INNflight
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:34 pm

Quoting Erwin972 (Reply 29):
Question remaining is where to draw the line. What is acceptable and when is considered over-edited?

That's always the thing it comes down to in the end. In my opinion (worth 2 cents probably) this is the point on which every photographer has to decide on his own. How far do I want to edit my shot? We seek for the best way of showing a photograph, and if you are familiar with photoshop (not talking about cropping, sharpening and a bit of cloning), your possibilities to enchange a photo are almost endless. I guess it depends on how far photographers want to go for their best edit. Do I want to clone out buildings, bushes, or... lamp posts?

This is a thing every photographer has to think about on his own, how much manipulation is acceptable for me personally?

Cheers,
F.
Jet Visuals
 
johndm1957
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:43 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 28):
John you must have been using a P.A.S camera or a DSLR in jpg mode

Indeed, a 300D in jpeg. To be honest, it was my first ever accepted picture. My first ever attempt was a scan which failed miserably!

But after my initial success, everything was rejected for something, so I began to learn PS.

I've had shots rejected for distant birds that look like dirt when the picture is resized, and an interesting one where on examination of my original, the so called dirt was actually a bit of a tree in the distance, which looked like muck on my lens after a resize.

I cloned out the area, and it was accepted. Now this was a VERY small area, only a few pixels diameter, smaller that most dust spots, which bring me to a question.

Is it the size of the area cloned which is in question here?

Should I have cloned the birds in this shot, or would it have been badmanipulation?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Myers



Regards,

John
Canon 550D, 18-55, 50 1.8, 100-400L
 
aviopic
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:06 pm

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 33):
Is it the size of the area cloned which is in question here?

Should I have cloned the birds in this shot, or would it have been badmanipulation?

I am not questioning anything John, guess it's a matter of taste.
If however I had to shoot this very nice Spit for a customer everything that draws my eyes away from it had to go, in this case the bright yellow aircraft underneath the left wing would leave the scenery for sure.
If possible by shooting from another angle, if that's not possible by the help of PS but it will go.
The birds don't distract me very much in a way you could even say they add something to the composition.

Don't worry Gary, I don't see A.net as a customer Big grin

Willem
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
dendrobatid
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:21 pm

There has been a recent change in terminology on the site and the word Bad has been replaced by the NOA, whatever that means.
Granite starts the discussion by saying that this cloning is not being very well done ie badly.
Perhaps the time has come to be more strict with transgressors of this rule, a return to an automatic ban for a specified time when the rule is breached, rather than a warning first. If anyone used cloning and it was detectable, they would know what to expect and would worry if they had done it. Small objects are easy to remove but if found out, even then....a ban. Let the punishment fit the crime and someone altering a registration, after a chance to have their say, maybe even a lifetime ban !

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 33):
Is it the size of the area cloned which is in question here?

John makes a very valid point here. I have had to clone birds out because, though they are clearly birds, there would otherwise be a bad dirty rejection and I suspect that many of us have done the same. I doubt that there is a totally unmanipulated recent shot on the database, they would not pass screening, but the manipulation should never be evident.
Mick Bajcar
 
Stealthz
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:40 pm

If I may add another couple of cents worth.. we are continually told that A.net is a database not an art gallery etc.

IMHO, If that is the case the deletion or addition of content by cloning, montage or any other means should not be allowed. Having said that I am tempted to say that A.net might consider a slightly more tolerant attitude to some of the ancilliary areas of aviation.. there have been many fine photos rejected because of a sign, light pole or ground equipment issue. Objects that are an integral part of the industry, do not alter the documentary validity of the image yet seem to be treated here as some kind of blight that must be avoided at all costs.
I also accept this approach may be as steep a slide into artistic anarchy as allowing cloning and other alterations!!!

Regards

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
GPHOTO
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:41 pm

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 33):
Should I have cloned the birds in this shot, or would it have been badmanipulation?

Done well, you could probably have got away with it, but it is best to leave them there - the shot was accepted with them in after all. It is much harder to successfully clone out a bird on the ground than one against a blue sky. I would have left those bords on the ground alone as well.

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 33):
I've had shots rejected for distant birds that look like dirt when the picture is resized, and an interesting one where on examination of my original, the so called dirt was actually a bit of a tree in the distance, which looked like muck on my lens after a resize.

As they looked like muck and were very small, I would have cloned or healed them away, if against a blue sky background. However, if they had been big enough to identify clearly as birds I would have left them in. If you were worried about them, I might even have tried mentioning them in the remarks, just so the screener and viewer was clear about what they were. Who knows, you may get a few more hits that way  Wink .

The question is not should I clone out birds in general, but should I clone out something because it now looks like a defect i.e. it no longer looks like the bird or distant plane it originally was.

My next point is regarding what some have said about customers and what they want. I agree, if a paying customer wants birds, lamposts etc. cloned out, then give them what they want. But what Airliners.net wants is minimally manipulated images - a record of history if you like. That's what the customer wants, here on this website, so that is what should be submitted until such time as Johan says "I want a war on lamp posts, please clone out all such items from your images."

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 27):
You've saved me a lot of typing...

No problem, Aad! I can't get NeatImage Demo to work as a plug-in though with Elements 3.0. Nevermind, Elements 3.0 is doing a good job for me and hopefully in 6 months, my Canon 350D will mean that even that is redundant.

Best regards,

Jim
Erm, is this thing on?
 
johndm1957
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:51 pm

Quoting Dendrobatid (Reply 35):
John makes a very valid point here. I have had to clone birds out because, though they are clearly birds, there would otherwise be a bad dirty rejection and I suspect that many of us have done the same

Hi Mick,

Well I was really not sure what to do with the Spitfire pic. The bird on the right is clearly visible as such, but the left one could easily be muck on my lens.

I decided to leave it in and risk rejection rather than clone it out and get manipulation!

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 34):
If however I had to shoot this very nice Spit for a customer everything that draws my eyes away from it had to go, in this case the bright yellow aircraft underneath the left wing would leave the scenery for sure.

Hi Willem

I know what your saying, but my PS skills are not good enough to clone out that yellow aircraft, but the bird on the left I could manage.

Which brings me back to the size/area quandry. Is the left bird an acceptible size for cloning?

Maybe we should advise the crew in the 'comments to screeners' when uploading, of ANY use of the clone tool?

For example, ' Two dustspots removed top right in sky, bird removed next to left wing'

Just a thought

Regards

John
Canon 550D, 18-55, 50 1.8, 100-400L
 
Tameteora
Crew
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:27 pm

Hi Willem,

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 28):
That might all be true Aad but in those days it could only be done by specialists

Good cloning (or good editing in general) is still done by specialists. Most of the A.net uploaders are only (sophisticated) amateurs, as illustrated by Gary's statement:

Quoting Granite (Reply 31):
Recent uploads show that cloning has been used badly and to a trained eye, can be spotted quite easily.

The work of a specialist would have gone unnoticed, whether it be done it the dark-room or with Photoshop. Like I said in my earlier post, nothing much has changed from the old days. We just have a different tool to work with. It still requires expertise. This is an old debate, but that doesn't make it less interesting.

I must say though that what you do for a customer is between you and that customer. But if I see an image at Airliners.net, I would at the very least like to be fairly certain that I am looking at a piece of reality and not some heavily manipulated piece of aesthetics.

I find the puristic talk about whether or not to clone out a bird in the sky a bit ridiculous, of course they can be cloned out. And I also do not care very much about the odd lamp post or an obtrusive sign. If they bother you, clone them out if you want (if they don't block anything important). But where does it end?

For me, cloning parts of any of the aircraft in the image (background too) is totally unacceptable. If a sign is blocking a part of the aircraft, you don't know what the aircraft looks like behind that sign. And therefore the sign should remain.

But that's from a historian's point of view, while your point of view is clearly aimed at aesthetics. They collide...

Aad.

[Edited 2005-09-18 15:01:45]
 
aviopic
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:04 pm

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 39):
But that's from a historian's point of view, while your point of view is clearly aimed at aesthetics. They collide...

Haha you know I am just as much an old aircraft bugger as you are........
Of course I was not talking about altering the subject which in our case happens to be an aircraft.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Tameteora
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:24 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 40):
Of course I was not talking about altering the subject which in our case happens to be an aircraft.

Of course I know that, Willem. But not everybody thinks like this. I have seen plenty of evidence of that on the Internet.

That's why I worry about cloning and other manipulation, and why I am rather happy with this site's firm stand on the issue.

Although I still find the "bird in the sky" issue a bit ridiculous...

Cheers,

Aad.

[Edited 2005-09-18 15:31:54]
 
Granite
Topic Author
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:25 pm

Hi all

Aad, thanks for adding to the thread.

While I do not clone out any stuff on my Airliners uploads, apart from the odd dust spot the 20D has been throwing to me recently, if I am pursuing a sale for a particular image, which is available on another site, I may decide to remove the odd bird or piece of litter to make the image more attractive to the buyer.

Again, what we are talking about here is the bad cloning jobs that are easy to spot.

Thanks again to all for keeping this thread readworthy.

Regards

Gary
 
aviopic
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Sun Sep 18, 2005 11:22 pm

Quoting Johndm1957 (Reply 38):
I know what your saying, but my PS skills are not good enough to clone out that yellow aircraft, but the bird on the left I could manage.

So don't use the clone tool.
For these small area's it is better to use the patch(cloning but then different) tool anyway, a child can do it and no change to do a bad clone job.

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 39):
I would at the very least like to be fairly certain that I am looking at a piece of reality and not some heavily manipulated piece of aesthetics.

So would this be a heavily manipulated piece........... ?
http://www.honders.net/tmp/John_Spit.jpg
I don't see a problem with removing the bright yellow aircraft......and some birds, it did not change the subject nor the scenery.
It only improves the commercial value a bit.
I know it is not perfect but just an example of a 5 minute job.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Tameteora
Crew
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:08 am

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 43):
a child can do it and no change to do a bad clone job.

I disagree. A child thinks it can do it, but the results can be disastrous. With the clone tool, but also with patch and healing tools. None of them are safe.

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 43):
So would this be a heavily manipulated piece........... ?

Yes, it is, although it is not the kind that really troubles me. The Spit remains unchanged, which is important. The yellow plane was removed, not altered, which may basically also be acceptable under certain circumstances (speaking for myself, not for the site!).

However, to illustrate what I mean, the yellow plane was not completely removed... I know this probably happened because it was a "5 minute job", but you did leave a small part of it (the small white triangular bit). Although not this time, this may also happen if one doesn't know for sure whether it belonged to the yellow plane or to the Spit.

This does illustrate what my problem with these things is, when the cloning involves or touches on any aircraft in the photo. It is so easy to inadvertently remove a part of the Spit, by error, or because you think it belongs to the item you're cloning out. And in doing so have knowledgable people wonder: "Hey, why doesn't this Spitfire have a xxxxx?", with xxxxx being the small part that was accidently removed... Antennae etc are particularly prone to this problem.

Whichever way you look at it, the integrity of the image has been comprimised. In this case it's not a real problem, but it's the same old question again: where does it end? Perhaps you know where to draw the line, but I am certain many people don't.

If the screeners were to allow this, I think we're in for big trouble. Perhaps not so much because of you, but because of other people who would not know where to stop.

Regards,

Aad.

P.S. Also, you are obviously fairly well versed in the use of Photoshop. But what would happen if lesser "experts" would attempt a manipulation like this?

[Edited 2005-09-18 17:33:23]
 
JeffM
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:09 am

Not allowing the photographer the freedom to present his images in the manner he or she chooses is a bit restrictive in my opinion when it comes to removing minor flaws to an otherwise great image. Almost everything "Bad" discussed here that is being done to photos with PhotoShop can and is being done in a conventional wet darkroom. It is what photographers DO. If anyone thinks the wonderful photos they have seen in many popular magazines from Golf Digest to National Geographic etc., have not been altered, either digitally or in the darkroom, they are sadly mistaken. It is a skill to make an average picture one worth looking at twice. The reason you do is because the photographer is presenting to you HIS vision of what he saw, not just the camera's.

-Jeff
 
johndm1957
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:19 am

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 43):
So would this be a heavily manipulated piece........... ?

Unfortunately we have had to reject one or more of your photos.
The overall impression of these photo(s) is too dark. This may be due to.......

 laughing 

Only joking, good job there. Just shows what can be achieved by a Professional. All I ever do to a picture is angle/crop/levels/USM.

It will be interesting to see if anyone can spot the cloning without looking at the original.

Regards

John
Canon 550D, 18-55, 50 1.8, 100-400L
 
johndm1957
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:25 am

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 44):
However, to illustrate what I mean, the yellow plane was not completely removed...

I see it now you pointed it out..
 yes 
Canon 550D, 18-55, 50 1.8, 100-400L
 
aviopic
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:07 am

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 44):
However, to illustrate what I mean, the yellow plane was not completely removed... I know this probably happened because it was a "5 minute job", but you did leave a small part of it (the small white triangular bit).

That's from another aircraft Aad which I left in the frame but you are right in my commercial version that would have gone aswell.
I do agree nothing is absolutely safe but I don't see myself as a PS wizard and I truly believe that what I can do someone else can just aswell(with a bit of effort of course).

Also I do agree with the guidelines in general but I am trying to establish the boundaries of what can or can't be done.
After all A.net is asking the limit from us by raising the quality standard from time to time.
Even my 10D with top glass does not produce the quality standard required anymore without any manipulation.

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 44):
If the screeners were to allow this, I think we're in for big trouble. Perhaps not so much because of you, but because of other people who would not know where to stop.

To put the record straight, there are no images of me in the database edited like this. It's just an example of what I would do with a commercial photo.
But then again A.net has become a commercial site isn't it ?
So maybe it is time for some freedom although I do agree with you that the boundaries will be very hard to establish and maintained.

On the other hand I guess we all know it happens anyway and if we accept that it happens then maybe it is better to establish guidelines for cloning(other then "not at all").

Quoting Tameteora (Reply 44):
Also, you are obviously fairly well versed in the use of Photoshop. But what would happen if lesser "experts" would attempt a manipulation like this?

Probably a lot of angry people as we see already in this forum.
Even now a lot of people are simply not able to cope with the quality standard anymore as most camera's(if not all) can't deliver it without any(a lot) PS knowledge.
That's where we are right now, in my view of course.

Quoting JeffM (Reply 45):
If anyone thinks the wonderful photos they have seen in many popular magazines from Golf Digest to National Geographic etc., have not been altered, either digitally or in the darkroom, they are sadly mistaken. It is a skill to make an average picture one worth looking at twice.

Very true and exactly my point.
Time and possibilities are progressing whether we like it or not.
In my view it comes down to jump on the train or stay behind in which case I wonder how many people would still visit A.net in let's say a year or two.

What ever the choice it is nice to discuss the matter.   

Edit: Nothing wrong with your eyes Aad !
Indeed the result of a quick job, corrected Big grin

[Edited 2005-09-18 18:12:33]
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
photopilot
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RE: To Clone Or Not To Clone

Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:21 am

This is a fascinating discussion thread. While cloning is distinctly one issue, it also has broadened into a discussion of manipulation.

In order not to offend any particular photographer here on A.net, I offer these images (mine) to illustrate my point.

The top image is how this photo now sits in the A.net database. The bottom photo is the original digital camera frame. Taken in Cayo Largo Cuba on a windy, dull grey and cold day, the bottom photo is very close to what conditions were actually like that day.

But the image kept getting rejected. First it was rejected for bad sharp. I fixed that and it was rejected again for bad contrast and bad color. A helpful screener even noted to me to "up" the color saturation and contrast. So I tweaked the image to the point it would get accepted. A little artful burning and dodging was also done.

But my question, and point I'm trying to make is simply this. Which image actually portrays the reality of that day? Sure, one is now a prettier photo, more dramatic, more dynamic. If this database is truly a historical record of aircraft at a particular day, time and place, then why "enhance" a photo at all?

I ask these questions rhetorically, because darned if I know the answer. Just food for thought.

thanks
Steve



edited for typo.

[Edited 2005-09-18 18:21:50]

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