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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?


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Date: 11/10/12 17:28
Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: chessie-2117

Not the best location on the CSX Trenton Sub, but, certainly the easiest spot for
me to get to for photos. So, about the cheating thing. Those two poles and wires
drive me nuts, and it's a pretty straight forward removal of them in Photoshop. But..

1. How much is to much? Doe altering the photos like this bother folks?
2. If you didn't know, is it notable that the poles were there to start with?

Just some general thoughts and opinions are sought about Photoshopping photos
and when the line is crossed. Thanks as always to all.

Photo location is Philadelphia, Pa., MP QA 11.0.John R

http://fastfreightphotos.smugmug.com






Date: 11/10/12 17:30
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: chessie-2117

Another from the same location.


John R

http://fastfreightphotos.smugmug.com






Date: 11/10/12 17:33
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: hartrick24

Oh yea they are very much noticed , and to me need to be taken out. You did the right thing,some things are ok,but the poles really take away from the picture.Steve (up6553)



Date: 11/10/12 17:39
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: PittsburghMike

I'll occasionally remove wires, and foreground clutter. I think the best thing to do is if you remove something, declare that you are doing so. That way, if someone is looking at shots in terms of planning a visit to the area, they know what to expect.



Date: 11/10/12 17:41
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: Oakway

If it's for your own personal collection, I suppose that's up to the photographer and is fine.

But if I saw this "cleaned up" shot posted and I didn't know the poles were there (Or it wasn't disclosed in the photo), then marked it down as a good photo to do when in the area, I'd be pretty torqued off.

False advertising. For those unfamiliar with an area, this medium is the best research on scouting out locations you can get. Unless it's not true.



Date: 11/10/12 17:59
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: K3HX

As long as the photographer is forthcoming and honest
about altering the image like yourself, I can see no
harm and certainly no "cheating."

As for prospering, Wall Street and politics come to mind
as 2 examples wherein cheats do prosper.

Be Well,

Tim Colbert K3HX



Date: 11/10/12 18:13
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: toledopatch

I'm not a fan of any but the most minor alterations to a shot, mostly for the reason others have cited: If I went to a spot on the basis of what other people's pictures from there looked like, I'd be annoyed to find out it was a Photoshop Phraud.

I prefer to work with poles and other clutter as composition elements to establish location, anyway. With their heads chopped off, the towers in your shot definitely are a detraction. Are they so tall that they can't be fully included as a vertical element at that spot? To be honest, I think the location is fairly boring without them, too -- just a single track on a curve with some trees.



Date: 11/10/12 18:23
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: jdtravis

Might as well make that locomotive an E-8 while your changing things. No, seriously, I think you can do whatever you want to to your photos. To be kind you should indicate changes made. No one who is planning to photograph an area should base their research on one photo from one photographer anyway. That's a sure fire way to ensure disappointment. I like the poles because they were used in the composition of the photo. Without the poles the photos look "off".



Date: 11/10/12 18:40
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: SR_Krause

I'm very curious to see responses to this as well. I'm a pureist, honestly, and I just don't mess with PS except to do the same things you could do in the darkroom when printing. I.E.:

- Retouch little artifacts that really are artifacts
- Adjust contrast/exposure/color balance, etc.

I would go so far as to remove things like cell towers in the far background.

Personally, I don't see any problem with removing major foreground elements, but I think it ought to be identified as a "modified" photo of some type. I suspect there's a term for it, but I've not heard it.

To me, the major sin is adding elements without clearly identifying this as having become "artwork". It's perfectly legitimate, and makes for a better scene, but it ceased to be a photograph and is now an artform of some type. Again, I'm sure there's a term for it.

Really, I do enjoy the effort people take in photo enhancement, because it reflects their interpretation and how they look at a scene. I just want to know they went to that additional work and added skill to make what I'm looking at!

Steve Krause
Chillicothe, IL



Date: 11/10/12 18:48
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: cph

If this was to be a generic shot, say for a magazine cover, one could get away with this, and (probably) no one would be the wiser.

On the other hand, if this was for a railfan group, a historical society, or other setting where truth and accuracy was important, I'd say, don't do it. At least without telling what you did..



Date: 11/10/12 19:07
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: RDG630

What about this?






Date: 11/10/12 19:08
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: bioyans

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To be honest, I
> think the location is fairly boring without them,
> too -- just a single track on a curve with some
> trees.

I would tend to agree. It's not like the location has enough visual appeal to justify altering it. At least the poles offer some landmarks to give it an identity.



Date: 11/10/12 19:15
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: toledopatch

RDG630 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What about this?


Why do it? Cars belong on the road. The cloned-in rail is off and you've repeated a piece of litter along the ballast. The car is at worst non-objectionable so I see no reason to remove it. And to people who know cars, it might even be an enhancement.



Date: 11/10/12 20:03
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: emd_run8

Some of you guys are calling your pictures "captures". Therefore,a picture of anything should be in it's element. I'm tired of seeing all these older locos with bright trucks like they have just been washed and sprayed with reflective dirt. Photo shopping is taking all the artistry and planning out of taking shots.
HOWEVER, photoshop sure helps transform a Floyd shot from the shadow!
Tommy



Date: 11/10/12 20:06
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: dschlegel

RDG630 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What about this?
Hi Dale! Where was that photo taken? I love both shots to be honest.
Dan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/10/12 20:47
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: robbie

I'd go along with what seems to be most comments: When I was a newspaper editor, if you labeled the altered shot "photo illustration" or the like, it would be fine. But for me, a photo without further labeling means it's an accurate representation of what either you or the camera saw. I use Photoshop for lighting, contrast, etc (and now with digital, for B&W, since genuine silver-based B&W film is so expensive and hard to find). Sometimes, I may use it too much even for those, but I tend to think they're still fairly presenting the reality of the situation. When I've occasionally modified something, even for something minor, I've tried to label it. Usually, I find that clever cropping can help remove many distractions.



Date: 11/10/12 23:35
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: stevelv

Dale, i agree with Patch on this one. Also, that RDG C424 still exists today as Livonia Avon and Lakeville 421 but there is a pretty good chance that the auto you photoshopped out is long gone.

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RDG630 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > What about this?
>
>
> Why do it? Cars belong on the road. The cloned-in
> rail is off and you've repeated a piece of litter
> along the ballast. The car is at worst
> non-objectionable so I see no reason to remove it.
> And to people who know cars, it might even be an
> enhancement.



Date: 11/11/12 04:19
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: RDG630

Location on the Reading is West Conshohocken



Date: 11/11/12 04:39
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: jmbreitigan

I also agree with the others. As long as you state that an offending object was removed.
John



Date: 11/11/12 04:50
Re: Cheaters Never Prosper, or do They? Photoshop 101?
Author: Narr8rdanny

Personally, I don't mind the poles and other "clutter" that Photoshoppers remove from shots.
Actually the Chevy Caprice in RDG's shot is nearly as interesting as the Alco's.

It depends on what kind of photographer you are. One who's shooting for calendar art? Or one who's documenting what you saw.

Personally , I grow weary of all this Photoshopped photography posted on Trainorders and RailPix. I mean, really? Was the sky really Conrail blue that day? I don't mind a little color and contrast enhancement, but some of these Photoshop filters look like real crap when overused.

In My Humble Opinion,

Danny Harmon
Tampa



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