Ethics about replacing the sky in your photos?

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Ok, I'll reword it: "it goes from a photograph you took or made, to a picture you assembled."
I am an assembler when the need arises. I sometimes shoot a series of frames for the express purpose of composting. A few years ago when we were visiting the Outer Banks, I had spent several days photographing everything that got in the way of my camera. But as the last day dawned I had yet to capture *the* image that defined or contained an essence of our time there. So, as the sun rose over the ocean on that final morning, I shot a few dozen frames at varying exposures and focal lengths and later put them together in Photoshop. Here is the result. First the base image and then the final:

_DSC5307_A.jpg
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I make no apologies and I generally offer no explanation. If the finished image, which hangs in our home, becomes a subject of discussion, I will freely admit that it was constructed. If I have breached any ethics, they are someone else's and not my own.
 
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Interesting discussion. I agree with those who feel that photojournalism needs to be real. Fashion photography and magazine covers have become so manipulated that people get the impression that others really look that beautiful. But then, cosmetic surgery, aesthetics, and permanent makeup are changing people to look the way that the photos portray. So manipulation has become much more common in more than just photography now. I do not have a problem with people manipulating their own images. If they want to change a sky, that's fine with me. It's their photo and if they have fun editing it, that's fine with me. I think most of us can usually spot the ones that have been grossly changed. (I think we can spot the people who've been grossly manipulated through surgery, etc. too, and I'm not saying they are wrong. It's just not for me.) I've enjoyed reading this discussion. The photos I admire the most are the ones where the photographer has put in the effort to be at a location when the conditions are optimal. Sometimes that means going back to the same location over and over. I rarely put in the effort to create that kind of photo, but I admire the ones who do.
 
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I was visiting with the staff of our County Historical Society and a couple of points one of them made about "constructed" images—or altered images as she put it, hit me. First, with so many images out there now, some/many of which maybe/are altered in some way that affects the content is making it very hard for curators and historians to rely on photos for an accurate depiction of the past. She was referring not to formal documentary photos, but to casual, family/social phots that make up much of the community/folk/family histories and genealogies. The second point was many people see an amazing picture and automatically assume it is a composite ("done in photoshop") and that gets people (non-photographers) on the track that everyone with great photos has faked them.
 

Butlerkid

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I am an assembler when the need arises. I sometimes shoot a series of frames for the express purpose of composting. A few years ago when we were visiting the Outer Banks, I had spent several days photographing everything that got in the way of my camera. But as the last day dawned I had yet to capture *the* image that defined or contained an essence of our time there. So, as the sun rose over the ocean on that final morning, I shot a few dozen frames at varying exposures and focal lengths and later put them together in Photoshop. Here is the result. First the base image and then the final:

View attachment 1670684

View attachment 1670721
I make no apologies and I generally offer no explanation. If the finished image, which hangs in our home, becomes a subject of discussion, I will freely admit that it was constructed. If I have breached any ethics, they are someone else's and not my own.
STUNNING!
 
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New York State
as the last day dawned I had yet to capture *the* image that defined or contained an essence of our time there. So, as the sun rose over the ocean on that final morning, I shot a few dozen frames . . .
And you created a stunning image which must light-up the room in which it hangs?

Your picture grabs the different, but fleeting, sights which you experienced that morning and weaves them into a single vision (even though they didn't all appear in the scene simultaneously originally).

Then you did what all artists attempt to create in the medium of their choice: you captured, conveyed and shared a wondrous and unforgettable experience with the world.
 
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And you created a stunning image which must light-up the room in which it hangs?
We're pleased with it, for sure, and it still evokes good memories and even a laugh or two (my wife dropped her phone in the ocean as she was shooting a video of the sunrise. The GPS never was the same after that).

Your picture grabs the different, but fleeting, sights which you experienced that morning and weaves them into a single vision (even though they didn't all appear in the scene simultaneously originally).
FWIW, I left out the dolphins... thought it was a bit much. :)

Then you did what all artists attempt to create in the medium of their choice: you captured, conveyed and shared a wondrous and unforgettable experience with the world.
Thank you so much.
 

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