View Full Version : Is editing pics ethical?
10-22-2002, 08:02 PM
Is editing pics ethical?
To me I see nothing wrong with adusting the color or contrast in a pic after it is taken with Photoshop, but what about editing out a wire or limb that got in the way somehow? Is it okay to take a deer pic and copy and paste that deer into a great sunset pic?
I see nothing wrong but I've read some good arguements about why it's not really true photography.
What do you think? Is creating the final image after the pic is taken ethical, or is it cheating somehow?
10-22-2002, 08:42 PM
I feel it depends on what your final product is meant to be. Touching up photos to be displayed is OK. If your purpose is to create something using the photo and software as tools and canvas I don't see that as a problem either. If the photo is entered in some type of competition then it should be noted if has been edited.
Sonia and I are going throught the process of getting our wedding photos processed, some will be edited into BW and sepia toning. Some pictures will have touch ups done. Thats what we want from our final product.
I sometimes edit digital photographs taken for work to bring out details in rock outcrops. The software is a tool to achieve a goal. If your goal is an edited photo so be it.
10-22-2002, 09:01 PM
Most famous photographers spent hours and hours in the dark room adjusting their photographs. They don't just send them to the lab and hope for the best.
Ansel Adams had a zone system and would adjust the development of a print, section by section on a grid system. Ive been told that about half the image was created in the dark room. Not really cut and paste, but enhancing or minimizing specific aspects of the exposure, integrating double exposures (I'm thinking of the moon over new mexico photo), etc.
10-23-2002, 12:31 AM
Ditto to what others have said. In addition, Ansel Adams used lens filters up the kazoo. I see no difference in using a filter before or after the picture is taken.
10-23-2002, 08:31 AM
My wife and I toook a cruise with another couple this summer and I took about 300 pics with my digital camera. When I got back home I started playing with them in my editing software. On almost all the pics I had to change the lighting or contrast because of the bright sunlight. There were some great photos of us on the beach but it some of them there were people in the background or out in the ocean. I just started playing with the photos and I "cloned" out all the distractions and you could never tell it. Now all of our photos look great! I don't see anything wrong with at all.
Oooh! I almost forgot about this...........I had pic of my buddy standing in the swiming pool on the cruise ship. There were several other people in the pool and on the far end was a HUGE fat woman leaning up against the side of the pool also. Soooo.....I just used the clone tool and erased everyone else out of the pool and cut and pasted her right beside him and feathered it so it looked real. Now the pic just showed him and her next to each other and it was hilarious! When I showed it to my buddy, he couldn't figure it out. He was real red and said he didn't remember standing next to her; he asked me "was I loaded on margaritas or something?" http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif He had no idea I could do that kind of thing with my software.
10-23-2002, 08:35 AM
Yeah, I hate all that air brushing in the girlie magazines. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
10-23-2002, 07:35 PM
I believe any manipulation after a picture is taken is okay, as long as the photographer states this in plain site. Most professional/amateur photographers use the guidelines set by the "Found View" organization/website. It is basic, but has standardized the issues many face with photography.
The site is under reconstruction so I cannot post the info, but look for it at their site: FoundView (http://www.foundview.org)
10-24-2002, 04:55 AM
I think it all depends on what the use for the final image will be. If it's for yourself, go for it. It's not as though you're trying to fool or persuede anyone with that image. For editorial purposes however it's a whole other story. We are limited to doing nothing to each digital image that we wouldn't do to any print image. That would only leave dodging, burning, exposure control, and spotting. In no way do we alter the context of the image, whether it be adding or subtracting a person or even a branch or limb. Despite the sudden concern with the emmergence of digital cams, that photos may not be truthfull, the ability to alter images has been around a long time through scanning negs into photoshop or even through physical manipulation and re-photographing.
10-27-2002, 06:14 PM
Threads like this one always bring a smile to my face. Since I'm a little older than most folks that post here. I got started in photography long before most of you were even a gleam in your Papa's eye. Back in those days we had to use some really stinking chemicals to accomplish what you guys can now do while sitting at your computer. We had to do our "editing" twice. I'm not going to even mention the filters we had to use to correct for tungstin lighting, overcast days and, to correct for snow or beach lighting. I'm just going to tell you a little about the "editing" we had to do just to get a quality black and white photo.
To start with we had to unload the film from the canister into a developing reel in total darkness. We used different developers to try and compensate for poor contrast in photos that were taken on cloudy days or in direct shade. Once we got a usable negative we had to expose the negative to a print paper for a number of seconds, while dodging out areas we didn't want so dark and burning in areas we wanted darker. At least the printing process could be done with a dim red light instead of total darkness. Once the negative was exposed to the print paper it was placed in a bath to start the print development. We had to stand there and watch the print being developed, using the black paper tongs to be sure the blacks were really black enough. Once the print was developed enough it was placed in an acid stop bath that stopped the chemical action on the paper. Now you could finally turn the lights on and see if you had done all the right "editing" to get a presentable photograph. Of course back in those low tech days we called that flim and photo processing.
Do I feel it's unethical to add contrast, brightness, and correct the color on your photographs digitally? If you don't do those things, to the best of your ability, you are not doing your photos justice! What is a photograph in the first place................It is something you saw that impressed you. That you would like to show to someone else or keep for yourself.................... There are very few cameras that will reproduce and image just like you saw it. A photo editor is a tool that helps you make what the camera saw look like what you saw in the first place.
11-01-2002, 06:29 AM
I think it's ethical as long as you're upfront about doing it, and not trying to deceive anybody. What's the difference between removing that branch that's sticking out and editing it out later? Like lots of new technology, it sure makes it more difficult to trust what you see in a picture, though! http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-rolleyes-green.gif
I've learned a lot about how photos CAN look by playing around with editing tools. You can take a photo that looks OK, and make some changes, and hey, it looks really neat.
By the way, Jesse, nice site! http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
I see some familiar names!
11-04-2002, 01:51 AM
Welcome to the forum Annie http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-wavin-yel.gif
Looking forward to seeing your great pics from Alaska
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