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Photographers and Artists

When does digital enhancement cease to enhance?

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When does digital enhancement cease to enhance?

Postby Dave » Mon 3 Aug 2015 06:24 GMT

Kay started a discussion about the world's most dangerous places, based on a slideshow on the Telegraph website.

Beautiful though the photos were, the vivid colours of a few of them made me wonder how much 'shopping work had been done to make them beautiful. Photo No.14 in particular, of the Danakil Desert in Ethiopia, didn't look real - and sure enough, when I did a search for other images of the same subject, the greens of the weird green pools didn't look half as vibrant in most of the photos. Which is a shame, because the distraction meant that for me at least the photo had become the main focus of my attention rather than the subject.

I don't have any problem with digital enhancement for artistic purposes. If the photographer's mucking about with a photo expressly to evoke an emotional response and the viewer knows it's art, that's fine. But if a photo's intended to illustrate reality, then I'd rather it did just that - with no more than the minimum of tidying up to create a true and fair impression of the place. I'm not saying you can't brighten up a photo a bit to make it look a bit sunnier than it actually was on the day, but it's lying to me if you're presenting me with a view that could never be real and pretending it is real.

Do others feel the same way, or am I making a big fuss over nothing?
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Re: When does digital enhancement cease to enhance?

Postby ruggie » Wed 5 Aug 2015 16:01 GMT

Yes. I agree with you. False colours and lighting have become very common in news pics - but they're so false that it puts me in mind of early colour printing in newspapers. I remember a Photoshop tutorial on how to produce National Geographic-style illustrations. It started with getting the balanced saturation and high contrast, and included removing unwanted bits from the image. A lot of work, but the final image looked good and served its purpose well. However, there was a scandal a few years back when a war reporter won an award with an image that was later found to be a composite of two genuine shots, and they took away his award.
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