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242. Blinking and Squinting to Alter an Image

2010.08.30
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There is a popular argument that real photographers don't use post processing. That it somehow takes away from the genuine image that is produced within the little black box.

No post processing has been done to this image other than to convert it from RAW to JPEG. What you see here is how the picture came out of the camera, but it is not how you'd have seen this image if you'd witnessed the original scene.

Although the light in the picture is low giving it the effect of being soon after sunrise or before sunset, this is not the case. It was taken at nearly 10am and the sun was already quite high in the sky giving the scene the look of a well lit sunny day (for England at least).

By selecting a fast shutter speed of1/500 (the photographic equivalent of closing your eyes then blinking quickly) and a narrow aperture f/16 (the photographic equivalent of squinting), I dramatically reduced the level of light entering the camera. You'll have to take my word for it, but this has dramatically altered the look and feel of the picture, making everything look dark to the point where much of the foreground is silhouetted.

In doing this, my aim is to demonstrate that popular arguments based on the unnaturalness of post processing are completely wrong. This is for the simple reason that there is nothing natural or exact or correct about the image as produced by the camera in the first place.
10 Comments
Lynda Interesting argument.
Lynda · 2010-08-30: 09:54
lookagain Yup! If they made cameras that ALWAYS reproduced images exactly as the human eye perceived them, there'd be no argument. Then again, maybe that's not true either....because do any two humans see a scene in exactly the same way? There are scientific instruments to give us data on exactly what the weather conditions are for a certain place at a certain time. Ask two people "how's the weather?" and you may get two completely different ideas. I see photography the same way....and if one needs to post-process to convey opinion or interpretation...so be it.
lookagain · 2010-08-30: 11:23
girafferacing I really like this - great capture, however that was achieved. I must admit I'm not generally one for major Photoshop work but you've shown that an image can be made to look completely different from reality using only in-camera techniques.
girafferacing · 2010-08-30: 16:35
onlyricky Interesting!
I believe even with PP, a picture still a picture!
art is still art if you change something on it right?

Real photographers make their pictures as they want others to see!
it is true that sometimes a picture should not be change, because it is good as the way it is!but changing the color, or something wont make a photographer worst than the others!
onlyricky · 2010-08-30: 18:19
tennischick Interesting perspective! I believe photography is an art - we are the artists & the camera is our tool, our "eye". Before post-processing (digital), there was the post-processing in the darkroom - where much of the digital processing & manipulations were derived. I think it is all fascinating & awesome, the artist in all of us!
tennischick · 2010-08-30: 18:27
smbunation Great post, Jon - you know I'm an advocate for these types of discussions. Bottom line is: the camera can only see a tiny percent of what our amazing eyes can. Similar to the problem computer/TV monitors have; it's the spectrum of color that is very, very hard to duplicate. But no worry, I'm sure The Google or someone will have it all figured out in the next few years... ;)

Outstanding shot by the way.
smbunation · 2010-08-30: 18:45
RayNvb Bravo! Good image and great sense!
RayNvb · 2010-08-31: 07:40
Wasichseh Interesting post, good discussion point. ...and of course a lovely image.
Wasichseh · 2010-09-01: 03:01
Eiram Beautiful photo and interesting discussion.
I admit I admire photographers who can "play" like this:) Not my case:)))
Eiram · 2010-09-01: 16:33
????? I totally agree with you.
Even when we are looking something, our brain process that information. What we see with our right eye and what we see with our left eye, they all meet in our brain. Also we have the ability to process the different shades of light and color regardless of whether what we see is placed in the shade or in light. The cameras can not perform this process, hence the need for post-processing. Cameras can not perform this process, so post-processing is necessary if we want to see in a picture what we see with our eyes in reality.
????? · 2010-09-02: 08:56
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