Home Open Account Help 213 users online

Railfan Technology > Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos


Date: 02/26/20 09:18
Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: erielackawanna

A recent thread got me thinking about this. I have a personal rule of calling out my own manipulation that alters reality when that reality cannot be altered on scene (for example, if I clone out a paper bag or a person lying near the tracks or a car roof that got in my way, I don't mention it, but if I clone out a telephone pole or a locomotive's mismatched battery box, I do mention it). The reason for this is I want to be make sure I'm not misleading others into trying to get a shot that does not exist in reality. This is a light-handed rule that even excludes angle of view. For example, a wire or a building roof that ended up in frame because I didn't take two steps to the left, I feel is fair game to remove silently as long as it would have been possible to get the shot without that item had I been more attentive at the time of the shot. It's just about the view that can't exist in reality.

I received some unexpected heat from some very good folk who I respect (and this thread is not to defend me or pile on those good people at all, this thread is to see what the larger consensus is on the topic when it is removed from the inherent bias in attaching it to a specific user's specific image that occured in the other thread).

What are people's thoughts on the topic?

I don't believe we are creating news photos (unless we actually are in some instances), but I do believe we are creating images to help each other and to share with each other. Removing a transient blockage (a weed that could be removed by hand anyway or a wire that got in the way when you could have moved five feet and avoided it) is, to my thinking, not worth addressing in your caption. Altering a scene or rolling stock in a way that it cannot actually be witnessed or photographed (removing a building, changing a paint scheme, removing wires that you can't get out of your photograph by stepping to the right) should be addressed in the caption. It's not wrong to do these digital manipulations. It's fine in my personal opinion. It's just helpful to the overall population of fans to let them know that this has been done.

(Donning flame retardant suit.)



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/20 09:26 by erielackawanna.



Date: 02/26/20 09:58
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

Posting pix versions before & after digital manipulation would save a lot of words.



Date: 02/26/20 10:36
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: NDHolmes

As someone who spends a lot of time looking at things in historic photos that most railfans would consider distractions (wires, poles, signs, signal equipment, etc.), I'm all for calling out any immovable objects that get removed.  Makes it a whole lot easier for folks in 40-50 years to understand why a pole is in 3 out of 4 pictures of this given location and not have to question if the photographer got the date wrong or some other such.  Transient stuff - birds, people, varmits, trash - I have no problem getting rid of that and not mentioning it.  If I'd waited or moved a few feet, it would have gone away anyway.



Date: 02/26/20 12:35
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: baltimore

Always good to know when an image has been altered by cloning out an immovable object. A fair number of us still shoot slides and maybe even film. It would be a disappointment to arrive at a location expecting a clear shot only to find it obstructed. 

I will usually look at satellite views of the area before venturing to a photo location posted on any photo site. That will usually tell me what I need to know, but sometimes it’s not clear if the shot really exists. Therefore it would be beneficial to know if an image has been altered.

Randy



Date: 02/26/20 14:46
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: TheNavigator

Charles, FWIW I do agree with your position.  If I clone out a wire or wires, for example, I so state in the caption.  (A shot of the US Gypsum narrow gauge train nearing the quarry comes immediately to mind.)  If a transitory object interferes with the image, say, a white plastic bag laying on the ballast, I clone that out without comment for the reasons you stated.

Gary



Date: 02/26/20 14:49
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: dan

i say be real, what ever is at the scene stays, don't saturate everything



Date: 02/27/20 06:56
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: bobwilcox

Go where your imagination takes you.

1. The Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, Monet
2. CZ Fremont, CA, Steinheimer
 

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots






Date: 02/27/20 07:46
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Arved

I guess you imagine you own the copyright to those images?

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass



Date: 02/27/20 19:40
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: MirandaDepot

The answer depends on the purpose or expected usage of the photo. And even then someone is likely to misjudge the photographer's intention. If the photograph might be used as a historical record, say that some details have been edited (as a warning not to expect total accuracy in the details). If the photograph is expected to be ephemeral, edit away. A casual internet blog posting should probably be expected to be ephemeral. 

I won an art show award with a train station photo...the weeds in the wrong places were removed, the mercury vapor light disappeared, the graffiti was erased and the power lines faded out of sight. If you went back today, you might only find the wires still in place. It was not a point in time photo, which would not have won. Such is the nature of photography. 

The lesson is: Manage the viewer's expectations. 



Date: 02/28/20 16:53
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: chico

there are photos and there are photo illustrations



Date: 03/01/20 06:44
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Frisco1522

Everything that I scan and Photoshop is steam from the late 40s and earlier.  A lot of them are at the Frisco St Louis engine terminal by RJ Foster and in some there are numerous wires that if I want to print the shot or otherwise, I clone out all the overhead wires.  Just a personal thing with me as I like the nice clean roster shots.  He would always shoot there in the morning with low light and the wires were unnecessary clutter to an otherwise classic shot.  I usually mention that I did a polectomy or wirectomy to whoever I send them too.
No complaints so far.



Date: 03/02/20 20:02
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Plainsman

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i say be real, what ever is at the scene stays,
> don't saturate everything

That seems a bit draconian - I don't think a little cleanup here and there really harms the overall validity of a view, nor does tinkering with hue and saturation. I'm inclined to think the color results from some lesser cameras, along with lack of editing software and/or skills, are unintentionally to blame for some of the strangely hued scenes and over-the-top saturation we see from time to time. Uncalibrated monitors is another problem - a view may look OK to the poster, but to anyone with a reasonably accurate monitor it might be another story entirely.



Date: 03/02/20 20:21
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: dan

    I just don't like it when every picture is rose colored, portrait of saturatation, if you go the place you will never see things in that light, except during a sunrise sunset volcanic eruption or an eclipse-but not at mid day.  You can do so much if you are serious, throught the viewfinder, lensing some elements and excluding others.  When you saw a UP codeline, you knew it was a UP codeline, with every 20th pole had a sign uprr2400v, but just the arrangement of the arms were enought to give you context of what line you were looking even with out a train.  Look at the Raton lines poles, all of these poles line arrangment, screams santa fe, both maybe gone in our lifetimes, UP's are going rapidly.  Mr. Plansman you change the light much on a jan winter day in northern nebraska, to look like disney world , if you want to create art so be it, not to convey what reality of the harsh winter it is.



Date: 03/02/20 20:56
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Plainsman

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>     I just don't like it when every picture is
> rose colored, portrait of saturatation, if you go
> the place you will never see things in that light,
> except during a sunrise sunset volcanic eruption
> or an eclipse-but not at mid day.  You can do so
> much if you are serious, throught the viewfinder,
> lensing some elements and excluding others.  When
> you saw a UP codeline, you knew it was a UP
> codeline, with every 20th pole had a sign
> uprr2400v, but just the arrangement of the arms
> were enought to give you context of what line you
> were looking even with out a train.  Look at the
> Raton lines poles, all of these poles line
> arrangment, screams santa fe, both maybe gone in
> our lifetimes, UP's are going rapidly.  Mr.
> Plansman you change the light much on a jan winter
> day in northern nebraska, to look like disney
> world , if you want to create art so be it, not to
> convey what reality of the harsh winter it is.

Well now, don't exaggerate my statements by a country mile or anything like that. As a matter of fact, my second sentence clearly suggests that weird hues and over-saturation are most certainly NOT a positive. And how does "a little cleanup here and there" become yanking an entire line of poles? A little hyperbole goes a long way.



Date: 03/02/20 21:27
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: dan

I was referencing mainly younger, photogs , unaware of your shots, pretty much on the same page, all thou i don't have the skills to remove anything, havn't used and software in years, don't have the time, or computer space 

Plainsman got any shots of the plainsman?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/20 21:36 by dan.



Date: 03/02/20 21:47
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Plainsman

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was referencing mainly younger, photogs ,
> unaware of your shots, pretty much on the same
> page, all thou i don't have the skills to remove
> anything, havn't used and software in years, don't
> have the time, or computer space 
>
> Plainsman got any shots of the plainsman?

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?10,4849973,4849973#msg-4849973  Pretty much straight from the camera. I've since taken a little purple hue out of the sky, eased up on the overall saturation, and also brought out a smidge more shadow detail here and there. Oh, and yeah, the signals were actually there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/20 22:01 by Plainsman.



Date: 03/02/20 22:03
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: dan

i was hoping for shots of RI's Plainsman !! But that was well framed!  here is a shot  from a cheap point and shoot, i mainly setup for video and then take some stills,  cheap camera no manipulation




Date: 03/02/20 22:36
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: Plainsman

Ahhh - that's funny, as that's kind of where my handle came from. Both my greatgrandfather and father were RI engineers, and once in a while when school was out I would cab ride (against company policy I believe) with my father on freights west out of eastern Nebraska and back. I just always liked that particular passenger train name and took to using it. As for your shot, it's quite nice (if a little bright fo my taste) and the expanse of sky works fine compositionally. For my admittedly irregular photography frequency, sometimes what was actually happening colorwise can use a little temperance.



Date: 03/15/20 18:57
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: LV95032

That is the correct standard. If it is an object which would remain there on any given day then it shouldn't be altered without acknowledging that. If its something which is very temporary like a piece of trash or your pal taking a photo then removing is fine.

RWJ



Date: 03/18/20 09:37
Re: Calling Out One's Own Digital Manipulation of Photos
Author: cchan006

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i say be real, what ever is at the scene stays,
> don't saturate everything

That's always a topic that opens a can of worms.

Charles (OP) often posts shots that seem very close to natural colors, although that's just my opinion. So I appreciate his humility in starting this thread, regarding disclosures on "altered" images. You might want to take some time to look at the photos he has posted and you might reach a similar conclusion.
 



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1196 seconds