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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
simon3
2008-08-11 17:15:21
Re: The process of photography.
Padodes comments on "unmanipulated" as an attribute of a digital photo and queries whether anything is really unmanipulated.

It could seem obvious that he is right. No picture is totally unmanipulated. Pictures are subject to a huge amount of algorithmic manipulation by a camera.

However this term was used in connection with a competition run by MountainViews (along with the Ramblers and the Dublin Camera Club in 2006). The objective was to establish as level as possible a playing field between entrants.

Consider the following. If you are experienced with Photoshop or similar it is easy enough to combine a mountain pic of Ireland with, say, the sky from a trip to Greece. Or plonk in an artistic moon or person at a strategic point. The contest will then tend to become one between rival skills at digital manipulation. To avoid this the aforementioned competition requested that people state whether pictures had been manipulated using a specific definition.

Of course this issue has been widely recognised by professional and serious amateur photographers and there is some attempts at a consensus. Take a look at this example:

http://photo.net/photodb/manipulation

which includes one definition of manipulation (a tad too restrictive for my taste, but only a tad).

People are attempting to draw a distinction between a photograph as a record of what was visible from a particular place at a particular time and an artistic creation (collage perhaps), also a perfectly valid form.

Like drawing a "line in the sand" it's always going to be a bit controversial but nevertheless necessary.

MountainViews can certainly often be objective and documentary but we have many fine subjective contributions where the facts are, well, just a loose starting point.
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