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Thread: set rules

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    set rules

    Hi, this is another post about big questions, so please all invited to chip in.

    Where is the boundary that separates kitsch from a good photo in regard to editing? Can, for example, an HRD touched up photo (I use HDR meaning a picture with artificially enhanced contrast / dynamic range, made to "look") be considered a good picture, always?
    What about cropping an image? Can we crop as we like?
    Is photography about documenting the truth?
    Can truth be documented by a picture?
    Is photography a mean of expression, thus hard core editing is obviously part of it?
    Where is the boundary between a good photo a kitsch?
    Are there set rules of elegance?

    Let's discuss

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    Re: set rules

    Quote Originally Posted by geotrupede View Post
    Hi, this is another post about big questions, so please all invited to chip in.

    Where is the boundary that separates kitsch from a good photo in regard to editing?

    It is in the eye of the beholder.

    Can, for example, an HRD touched up photo (I use HDR meaning a picture with artificially enhanced contrast / dynamic range, made to "look") be considered a good picture, always?

    NO nothing is ever "always".

    What about cropping an image? Can we crop as we like?

    I do. It may be something as simple as straightening a horizon, or as complex as eliminating distractions, placing emphasis, or improving composition. How much one may rely on cropping probably has a direct relationship to what and how you are shooting. A contemplative landscape shooter may work out most compositional aspects or change their perspective to eliminate distractions before taking a shot where an "of the moment" type shooter may not always have the luxury of time to do that, and is more interested in what the images is about during a nano-second of time.

    Is photography about documenting the truth?

    Who's truth?

    Can truth be documented by a picture?

    Depends on the application I suppose. Some of the earliest photos corrected what people assumed to be the truth like Eaweard Muybridge's running horse sequences. Scientists use photography to learn beyond our own natural ability to observe like Harold Edgerton's high-speed photography.

    Is photography a means of expression, thus hard core editing is obviously part of it?

    Yes, it can be a powerful means of personal expression. The debate tends to be about degree of editing. At what point does a photo become an illustration? Is a photo-illustration still a photo? The content of news photos isn't supposed to be messed with, same for Forensic photography. Advertising messes with photo "reality" all the time. Wedding and portrait photographers do it all the time also, yet some portrait shooters do not do anything afterwards. Proving that there are no hard and fast rules.

    Where is the boundary between a good photo a kitsch?

    In the eye of the beholder. It is sort of like the Supreme Court's definition of Obscenity "I know it when I see it"

    Are there set rules of elegance?

    IMO, no. Elegance is a moving target. It can differ person to person, time to time, culture to culture. However, I think there are some principles of making photos that can aid in the appearance of elegance. Composition is one of them.



    Let's discuss
    See above,

    - Marc
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