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Had An Idea
Old 08-09-2009, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello All:

I have been a member of Garage Glamour for quite a while now and one topic I hear a lot is the debate of extensive Photoshoping vs minimal Photoshoping and there are good arguments on either side of the question. I personally lean very strongly toward the minimal Photoshop camp for several reasons although here on GG I have a feeling I am in the minority but that is the way the cookie crumbles some days.

I want to see how much interest there would be in creating two separate Forum categories, one for heavily Photoshoped "WOW" type images and the second category for images that have been only minimally Photoshoped.

I define minimal to mean using Photoshop only for things like removing zits, scars, bug bites, stray hairs, and the like from a model before publishing the image.

With this in mind here is an image from a shoot I did yesterday that fall squarely into the 'minimal' category.

C & C is always welcome.

Click for larger version
Had An Idea 
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-09-2009, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey Dave, in the spirit of discussion and sharing thoughts, I'd like to offer my somewhat different point of view. Simply stated:

"Photoshop: Those who can, do. Those who can't, complain about those who can. If you don't want to learn and use Photoshop, go back to shooting on film."

As someone who uses some degree of Photoshop on EVERY image, I believe that Photoshop is just an extension of my photographic workflow. I also believe that ..."there is no such thing as "too much Photoshop" ... there is only good and bad Photoshop." If done correctly, you shouldn't notice that an image had any Photoshop adjustments.

Think of Photoshopping an image as the special effects done by Industrial Light and Magic. When you see King Kong and he looks like someone's toy monkey, you'd say that was a bad special effect. Yet, if you watch any movie today, there are hundreds of special effects that look absolutely seamless and you'd never know they were computer generated. Good Photoshop should enhance an image without drawing attention to the process.

Even though I have a supposedly "pro" camera (Nikon D700), and my images ocassionally look pretty great straight out of the camera, I always apply some amount of color correction, contrast or levels adustments, sharpening or other Photoshop treatments to make my images the best they can be. Why not, it's a competitive world out there and my clients don't care how I get to the final image so long as it meets their requirements, makes them go "Wow" and keeps them coming back for more.

As for your suggestion that we have two separate forums for Photoshoped and non-Photoshoped images, I think we already have many forums ... and every one allows every photographer who posts an image to state whether they use Photoshop or not. What purpose would it serve to have a separate forum?
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photomart View Post
Hey Dave, in the spirit of discussion and sharing thoughts, I'd like to offer my somewhat different point of view. Simply stated:

"Photoshop: Those who can, do. Those who can't, complain about those who can. If you don't want to learn and use Photoshop, go back to shooting on film."

As someone who uses some degree of Photoshop on EVERY image, I believe that Photoshop is just an extension of my photographic workflow. I also believe that ..."there is no such thing as "too much Photoshop" ... there is only good and bad Photoshop." If done correctly, you shouldn't notice that an image had any Photoshop adjustments.

Think of Photoshopping an image as the special effects done by Industrial Light and Magic. When you see King Kong and he looks like someone's toy monkey, you'd say that was a bad special effect. Yet, if you watch any movie today, there are hundreds of special effects that look absolutely seamless and you'd never know they were computer generated. Good Photoshop should enhance an image without drawing attention to the process.

Even though I have a supposedly "pro" camera (Nikon D700), and my images ocassionally look pretty great straight out of the camera, I always apply some amount of color correction, contrast or levels adustments, sharpening or other Photoshop treatments to make my images the best they can be. Why not, it's a competitive world out there and my clients don't care how I get to the final image so long as it meets their requirements, makes them go "Wow" and keeps them coming back for more.

As for your suggestion that we have two separate forums for Photoshoped and non-Photoshoped images, I think we already have many forums ... and every one allows every photographer who posts an image to state whether they use Photoshop or not. What purpose would it serve to have a separate forum?
Thanks for your comments Marty. To give you an idea of my photographic background here's what is in my equipment arsenal: Leica M3 circa Korean War, Heiland Pentax H2 circa early Vietnam war, Canon F1, Canon EOS 1N, and lastly Canon 40D. Do you see where I am going with this?

I don't have a problem with PhotoShop, I have a problem with using PhotoShop to the point where an image becomes something that it is not, sort of like false advertising. I use Levels, Contrast/Brightness, Color Corrections, Curves, ReSize and more but I do not change the essence or foundation of the image. Does a beautiful woman have flawless, perfect "plastic" skin? Just because everyone does it or wants it doesn't make it right or mean that I have to do it as well.

Your analogy of the computer generated images we see in the theaters is a good one but slightly flawed with regards to this discussion. Those effects were born in a computer while a photograph is born in the real world and that to me is the entire difference.

Your photographs are good, my photographs are good. The difference is that we take two different paths to get to the final result.
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-10-2009, 07:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow... a real discussion and not a slap fest. I am glad to see this.

Marty.. I think, you are partially wrong in your statement:

"there is no such thing as "too much Photoshop" ...

To me.. there is a point where there is TOO MUCH done to an image. That pure plastic skin with no pores is in MY opinion way over done. People have pores. A known and provable FACT. Cleaning up or hiding zits, rashes, etc.. is fine.. but lets let the real person shine through.

... there is only good and bad Photoshop."

Here you are correct... There is good and bad.. I am not a Photoshop Wizard. I do what I can, and I try to learn to do different things to make me better at what I do in the post production area.

Both of you do great work. Both of you have different styles in your shooting. And different styles in your use of Photoshop.

But neither of you are wrong in what you do. What you do is right for each of you.

The "Photoshop" debate is just like the "Nikon v Canon" debate and the PC v Mac debate, neither view is right or wrong. And yet both viewpoints have to exist side by side. People arguing about which is better are people who have nothing better to do than argue.

Everyone has their own viewpoint and their own opinions. Dosent make one right or the other one wrong. Be it lighting, photoshop, camera or computer brand... Every person has their own opinion and view, based on their own experiences.

If you use a PC and have never used a Mac... you only have an opinion.. honestly you cant give an informed opinion. Same with Nikon or Canon.. if you havent used both.. you only have your opinion.

I have used photoshop and in some cases not used photoshop on some images. I have had good and bad comments both ways.

I think I prefer to see the image finished with it looking REAL, not as if the person has perfect non porous skin. A barbie doll or other plastic figurine.. fine.. it has not pours, it has no blemishes, it is created to look perect. A human is not perfect, and making it look that way in my OPINION is over kill when done with photoshop.

ok.. just my 1.5 cents (due to this "recession").

Andrew

EDIT: Dave.. I have no idea as to what you edited of Marty's post.. but I sure hope it wasnt something substantial to his comments.
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Last edited by AGellert; 08-10-2009 at 07:29 AM.. Reason: adding a comment....
 
Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoDave1 View Post
I want to see how much interest there would be in creating two separate Forum categories, one for heavily Photoshoped "WOW" type images and the second category for images that have been only minimally Photoshoped.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to draw the line between those images that are heavily "shopped" and those that are minimally processed. Not sure where, exactly, that line would be.

Of course, the trick is to shoot "WOW" images in the camera. Your statement infers that images don't or can't have a "WOW" value until PS is applied. (Altho I'm pretty sure that's not what you intended.)

I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to PS. But, as Marty said, every image can benefit from some amount of PSing, even if it's simply a matter of tweaking the levels/curves/saturation/contrast etc.

In some ways, it's similar to saying let's separate images that have artificial light used in the production of the images and those that do not. Can artificial lighting produce "WOW" images? Of course. Can images using only available ambient produce "WOW" images? Yep.

Using your image above as an example, the thing that stands out, i.e., that could use a bit of PSing, is her raccoon eyes. Certainly, some PSing could get rid of the effect. But using a fill light could have done the same. Heck, a reflector could have gotten rid of the shadows under her eyes. It's all a matter of applying the tools available to produce a better image, whether those tools are part of the production or the post-production or both.
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-10-2009, 11:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGellert View Post
Wow... a real discussion and not a slap fest. I am glad to see this.

Marty.. I think, you are partially wrong in your statement:

"there is no such thing as "too much Photoshop" ...

To me.. there is a point where there is TOO MUCH done to an image. That pure plastic skin with no pores is in MY opinion way over done. People have pores. A known and provable FACT. Cleaning up or hiding zits, rashes, etc.. is fine.. but lets let the real person shine through.

... there is only good and bad Photoshop."

Here you are correct... There is good and bad.. I am not a Photoshop Wizard. I do what I can, and I try to learn to do different things to make me better at what I do in the post production area.

Both of you do great work. Both of you have different styles in your shooting. And different styles in your use of Photoshop.

But neither of you are wrong in what you do. What you do is right for each of you.

The "Photoshop" debate is just like the "Nikon v Canon" debate and the PC v Mac debate, neither view is right or wrong. And yet both viewpoints have to exist side by side. People arguing about which is better are people who have nothing better to do than argue.

Everyone has their own viewpoint and their own opinions. Dosent make one right or the other one wrong. Be it lighting, photoshop, camera or computer brand... Every person has their own opinion and view, based on their own experiences.

If you use a PC and have never used a Mac... you only have an opinion.. honestly you cant give an informed opinion. Same with Nikon or Canon.. if you havent used both.. you only have your opinion.

I have used photoshop and in some cases not used photoshop on some images. I have had good and bad comments both ways.

I think I prefer to see the image finished with it looking REAL, not as if the person has perfect non porous skin. A barbie doll or other plastic figurine.. fine.. it has not pours, it has no blemishes, it is created to look perect. A human is not perfect, and making it look that way in my OPINION is over kill when done with photoshop.

ok.. just my 1.5 cents (due to this "recession").

Andrew

EDIT: Dave.. I have no idea as to what you edited of Marty's post.. but I sure hope it wasnt something substantial to his comments.
Thanks for your thoughts Andrew and you are right on target. To be honest, I simply cannot remember many slap fests here on Garage Glamour, it just isn't that kind of site.

For you and everyone else who noticed the 'edit' that was my fault, I was having a senior moment and hit the Edit button when I meant to hit the Quote button in my original reply. I realized my mistake the moment I made it and immediately backed out. Getting old sucks!
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-10-2009, 01:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Back in 1970, “photoshop” was accomplished at professional photography labs, and sometimes studios. It was called print enhancement, and negative retouching, and was done with felxichrome dyes, airbrushing, negative retouching, and a few other methods.

There were photographers who claimed that the use of any of these was cheating, and the only real legitimate photography was a straight print , with nothing else done to it, including burning dodging.

Some felt that any photographer who allowed this to be done was not a real photographer.

That debate raged on for years, and about the only thing that happened was the real photographers began to loose business to the “phony” photographers who could and would give customers what they demanded. Their demands were varied; some wanted more removed than others. Some wanted a “facelift”.

The photographers who offered more retouching usually had higher prices, because the work was very labor intensive. Those who offered only straight prints usually had lower prices because they sold what was called , by the lab, a machine print. Machine prints were The other prints were usually “custom” prints, or in some cases economy prints with various amounts of print enhancements.
…………………………….
Every time I see one of these “debates” I like to bring up George Hurrell. His work was not without print enhancement.. or not all of it, anyway. He used 8x10 negatives, which were retouched with dyes, and pencils. Besides being a master of light, he (probably his staff) was able to enhance those faces to the point that they were flawless, in many cases.
…………………………….
Here are links to 3 of Hurrell’s portraits of Joan Crawford. The first 2 seem to have been highly enhanced, while the last one is not. I am not sure why the last one isn‘t, but as you can see, extreme facial retouching is not something new.
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3480131584/nm0001076
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3329136640/nm0001076

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3463354368/nm0001076

As far as separate forums or sections…..
What purpose would that serve? If there was a section for “minimal”, who would be able to define minimal. If the enhancement is done by an expert, it will perhaps be impossible to tell how much was done. The problem would then arise as to what is minimal to one person is just right for another. What is excessive, how much is too much? But we already have that debate going.


....edit..
I ran across this link:

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:...&ct=clnk&gl=us


Notice the comments about adding clouds, and how some photographers wanted to ban ALL forms of retouching. The only tmeline given was mid 19th century, so as we can see the debate about retouchng has been going on for some time.
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-10-2009, 09:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I certainly don't mind the subtle use of the liquify tool to remove a little bulge here or there caused by posing, but I often see some 'artists' renderings of what started as a photograph ending up as false advertising on a model's portfolio. That's what I don't like to see. If you're shopping the soccer mom so she can look like the hottie she was or wants to be, fine. Just don't do it for the 20(or more)# overweight 'model' who will use that image to try and get paid gigs.

It all has it's place... and YMMV.
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-10-2009, 10:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it is also important to remember that a certain amount of Photoshop is required now as we no longer have locked in results like we did with film. A RAW image must be processed in order to look correct. A JPEG may be perfect out of the camera if you are dialed in and like the look of the setting of the camera processors you chose, but most of all of us like to polish the image to its final presentation.

The OP print, looks a little flat (keep your mind out of the gutter!)and could do with a warmer tone and big more contrast and saturation to my taste. I would also diminish the shadows and bags under the eyes and the skin blemishes. I wouldn't soften her skin overall, if I wanted a natural look.

I would have probably lit her differntly to avoind some of those issues, and posed her a little differently and smoother her shirt...If I missed it in camera, I would tend to at least consider doing it in camera.

Back in the day, I priced all my images as if I were going to order custom prints. I found if I could do all my diffussion, vignetting, cropping and exposure right in camera, I could order a "machine prints" and pocket the differnce in cost as additional profit. Nowadays, I still do those things, but only in post, unless we are talking quickie dance photos, as I can get more control on the final image by doing it in Lightroom or Photoshop and it only takes a few minutes at most, if not seconds.
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Re: Had An Idea
Old 08-11-2009, 12:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I, too am in the 'minimalistic' camp. As I say to my subjects..."If you were born with it...it stays. If it wasn't there last night...it goes". Then again I do shoot RAW so I will be 'tweaking' each image somewhat...mostly color and exposure though, not the Plastic Barbie skin.

Speaking on Barbie...if the image was for the subject's own use and they wanted to look years younger I'd probably do what they asked for. Even the painters of old when commissioned to do some Lord's or Lady's portrait probably used a bit of PS (or their equivalent) as the image was to enhance the stature or importance of the person and, often, to make them look better/younger than they were.

But to do drastic manipulation of a Model who will use your image as part of their portfolio and to garner new work is to do an injustice to your fellow photogs coming after you. What you have presented is a misrepresentation of who the model is/how she (he) looks...and how much work it's going to take to get the images to the same level (or better) as yours. Then again, watching "America's Top Model" shows just how makeup, hair and clothing can transform 'plain' to 'perfection'...again a misrepresentation and illusion.

Ultimately though, that's what we are aiming for....Illusion. Looking at the vast majority of images posted here I dare say we may have, at most, a handful of 'natural' beauties in the collection (By 'natural' I mean sans makeup, hair treatment or designer clothes/bikinis). All have been enhanced before we even START to PS them. And let's face it...Glamour (and Sex) sells...not your 'fresh washed GND'.

Earlier in this thread Photomart brought up, "...If done correctly, you shouldn't notice that an image had any Photoshop adjustments." I totally agree...PS has its place and sometimes (most times?) a gentle application is all that is needed.

IMHO...Richard W.
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