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Do you think it's cheating?!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by oz388, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. oz388


    Aug 8, 2008
    Hi guys, I love digitial photography. But everytime when I'm using software to edit my work I feel somehow I'm cheating!

    What do you guys think? In a real photography show, does it allow photographers using software to modify their original shots?? Does a good photo editing guy could be called a good photographer even if he doesn't really know photography but can produce great photos from a computer?!

  2. It's all about the end result and satisfaction afterwards.
    If you shoot in different formats like .RAW for example, there will always be some sort of photo processing.

    Now if I found a beautiful picture and the owner told me everything about it, depth of field, background and basically the whole environment was created in an editing program, I'd be a little offset but would be amazed by their graphic skills.
  3. Better no shoot in Jpeg, then... it's the same thing, except the photographer is allowing the camera to "make the decisions" about what processing is going on i the picture. :smile: PP is no cheating... it's a part of digital photography. Some media don't allow any post processing (such as most photojournalism/newspapers), so then it would be considered cheating... but go check out the re-touching forum here. Many examples of way-out pics b/c of processing there. Very cool examples of art... and that to me is the key. It's just another form of art. Depends on what the artist is trying to convey through the media.
  4. oz388


    Aug 8, 2008
    So, a guy from a computer school will win over your 20 years photography experience if he can produce a better end result from his computer for a picture he took using a point shot camera compare with what you took with your $5000 camera original shot (assuming you are not very skilled with computer)?! Do you think it's fair, especially software are getting easier and easier to use??
  5. Photography is artwork, an expression of thought. PP is an advanced extension or evolution of controlling the exposure settings on a camera. I find it amazing the technology that is widely available and affordable to the masses.

    That some entities don't allow PP may be more about modifying the picture to the point of dishonesty which can be easily done in PP. In these cases, photography is more about historical archive than artwork.

    My 2 cents.
  6. great thread.....
    good points here

    but, you MUST remember that 100% of DSLR images need post-processing
    taking the picture is only 1/2 the process of arriving at your FINAL IMAGE

    it isn't cheating to pp an image.... it's 100% EXPECTED
  7. turtile


    May 12, 2008
    How does a computer program make the shot better? Its like saying all pros are only good because they have an expensive camera. You can be great at photo processing but it still can't make a bad shot good.

    You could always pay someone else to process them like many have done with film.
  8. PeteZ28


    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    The first photograph ever taken was an experiment.

    The second photograph ever taken was probably a lie :biggrin:

    The end result is all that matters.
  9. 100% of all photography has required post-processing. Ansel Adams never exhibited anything straight out of the camera. The only difference between today and 50 years ago, is that we don't have to get stinky doing the post-processing. :smile:
  10. Older photos were processed afterwards as well - depending on how long they were left in the dark room in the fluids and so on.

    As a photographer, I try to master as much as I can in camera so I can do less afterwards, but post processing is still half of my job as a photographer. I may have an idea of how I want the photo to look in my head but I don't count on the camera to produce said photo exactly - so I finish my job in post processing.

    A painting isn't finished as soon as it's sketched out with pencil on the canvas. It takes smearing, smudging, adding and taking away of paint, and so on. No art is every complete as soon as the first mark is made.

    You asked what the difference is before and after?


  11. Your right Mike. Dodge, burn, flash, triple exposure, pushing film and no clock to watch. It was all PP. The only thing I miss from a darkroom, is watching the image, slowly come to life.
  12. kwf1


    Nov 15, 2007
    S. Florida
    I have to agree with turtile, if you do not have a good shot from the beginning, you will be able to tell it was overly post processed right away, and it will never look as good as a great photo with just a little tweaking here and there.

    For example, a slightly out of focused photo, you can sharpen it to death, but in the end you photo will look over sharp. The same with blown out highlights, it is kind of hard to get them back. When you compare either of the two above examples with a great photo to start with, it will be like night and day between the two.

  13. tomtodeath


    Jan 11, 2007
    new jersey
    It depends how you define "post processing". Many street photographers and photojournalists exhibited their work without burning, dodging, or cropping.
  14. JohnK


    Aug 6, 2006
    Pacific NW
    Find an old 25mhz 486 and run CS3 on it and you'll be able to watch the image slowly come to life. :biggrin:
  15. It's funny that you use the word "cheating". That's exactly the word my Dad used when I first showed him how I processed my photos. I then asked him whether he also thought that my mother had "cheated" when she painted her landscapes. After all, her paintings were her interpretation of what she saw, and not a 100% exact capture of the landscape. I explained to him that's all I was doing albeit in a different medium and using different technologies. He didn't have an answer to that.

    In other words "Same difference". :biggrin:
  16. LOL, now I like that.
  17. My thought is that it's the final product that matters. If the end result makes a satisfying artistic statement, it doesn't really matter if it came straight out of the camera that way, or if it involved a lot of processing. It's a process that only begins when the initial exposure is made. JMHO
  18. dsokol

    dsokol Guest

    I guess it depends on what type of photography you are trying to create. For me coming from a photojournalism background I always try to get it right in camera, even for my nature and wildlife images, and uses photoshop only for curves and color balance.
  19. Again, it depends on the end goal... photojournalism where reality is paramount, yes, it would be "cheating". Art show, for fun, for anything where absolute reality is not a necessity, sure, the computer guy just might win over... it also depends on the target audience and what they are looking for... but when you realize that not even the best camera/most talented photographer can come close to capturing what the human eye really sees, then I guess all photography is "cheating". :wink:
  20. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Cheating....what exactly?
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