Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Honesty in photography

Which photo do you prefer? I'm kinda torn, as I like elements of both. The top photo is more "honest", but the bottom photo is more eye-catching and interesting, in my opinion. Is "honesty" in photos always of the utmost importance? Ever? Do you appreciate a little artistic license? Note the higher detail in the "enhanced-photo" trout's eye - is that worth the added saturation? Do you feel "lied to" or cheated if the photo has been enhanced beyond the real-life scene? Lay it on me!



9 comments:

Blake said...

the eye of the fish looks best with more saturation, the body of the fish however looks better natural.

Royal Wulff said...

As an unapologetic photo filterer, I say go with what works. I always figured the filtering helps make up for the pathetic equipment & lack of skill I'm saddled with. :-)

Joshua Bergan said...

Blake - I basically agree, although I do find myself getting lost in the saturated colors. I suppose I could work on getting that eye right with the natural colors. There's something to be said for Mother Nature's art. She don't need no help.
RW - anyone who's been to this blog knows I cake it on sometimes, and we certainly see heavily edited photos in print from time to time. Each publication has their own philosophy on it, so I guess we can have our own too. Thanks for the input!

Kevin Frank said...

Honestly I like natural pictures with no modifications. I understand you can really hide flaws and other imperfections with artificial enhancements but some stuff just looks too fake. Look at your hand in the second pic. It looks super pink. When I see pics like that now I instantly think obviously a saturation modification. Still a nice pic though either way.

Joel DeJong said...

I'm with Kevin on this one. Go ahead and edit but as I learned over time, edit to take out camera flaws and not put in the pic what doesn't exist in real life. Unless ofcourse you are going for a artistic photo , then do whatever you want. Rules are ment to be broken..

Tim Gerke said...

Actually, capturing light with a camera is an inherently dishonest process. Regardless of playing with saturation or other settings the camera itself will distort the reality. I personally think every photo requires post-processing.

Where people go wrong is by thinking more saturation is always better. I actually think the bottom photo looks quite bad. You can tell that the colors are being way over-saturated.

My conclusion: Post process as necessary, but usually slight adjustments are best.

Joshua Bergan said...

Kevin - I end up with ultra-pink hands too often, and I certainly notice it. But I'd admit anytime that happened that it wasn't really meant to be "honest". But point taken.
Joel - Thanks for the comment. I find that I will often tone a photo and it looks fine, but after an hour or day when I look at it again, I can then see it's way overdone. Kinda like writing - sometimes fresh eyes make all the difference.
Tim - I appreciate your opinion. I wouldn't say I think it looks bad, but I dig that you do. The more post-processing I do, I think I agree with you, and sometimes, I should take it easy.

Tim Gerke said...

The bottom fish doesn't look bad, but I noticed your (or the) finger and that is what threw me.

Mark said...

I have found it to be advantageous, when HDR is too over-the-top, to combine the two images as layers and adjust the opacity to punch up the original without it looking so fake.