Archive for August, 2010

Digital Photography and the Darkroom

Monday, August 9th, 2010

If you have a digital camera that produces a RAW format, this is the negative that needs to be processed.  Using a photography editing software program you can sharpen the picture etc and this type of editing is not any different than using chemicals in a darkroom. Some feel that any further editing like touching up basic exposure and colour modifications are basically accepted as part of the darkroom procedures but modifying colours or tones within a section only of a photograph is considered image manipulation. Removing objects at the time you take the picture rather than later in a photography editing software program is acceptable. To setup a background for taking a picture is acceptable but many would say that if you replaced the background in an editing program that is just manipulating the image and that is not acceptable.

I believe it is up to the individual on how they want to deal with removing objects by either doing it at the time they take the photograph or later using digital software. My view is that I am happy to tell you how I arrive at my photographic composition. I may use several photos to make up one picture and if I do that I would say that I manipulated the image. The bottom line for me is I see photography as an art form not just a photograph.  Removing objects from a photograph while you are in the field taking the picture, although harmless so you think and it gives you a clearer or neater picture, if you are doing nature photography you might want to consider the impact on the wildlife you are photographing. For example I had the opportunity to take a close up picture of a cicada. I didn’t want to move or disturb the cicada I originally photographed on a leg of an outdoor chair. I had an idea that I’d like to see how it looked in its more natural surroundings of being on a tree. I took tree photos separately and combined the two to create a photo I feel has more appeal.  

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