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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

My World: I could do better than that!!

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
The link was fixed a while back.

Let me go first.

Steve McCurry, is a photographer I have admired for a very long time. I have most of his books in my library.

I respected him for his photojournalism, his documentary photography. Above all, Respected his integrity. A National Geographic photographer, a Magnum Photographer..whose reputation was built on the trust that his admirers placed in him.

Now he is shown to be not that much better a photographer than many others..but one who has at his disposal people with photoshop skills and retouchers. One has to wonder, how many more photographs of his made the cut without extensive retouching and cloning. I always tried to get his ideas of framing and lighting in the camera. I feel let down.

But in his favor, he maintains that nowadays he is more of a ' creative ' photographer. His style is his choice.

Here is a photo taken by my wife..slightly cropped, and saturation applied. Compare this to Steve's original photograph of the rickshaw in the Indian city...I know which one I prefer, by a mile.


I think he should be thrown out of the Magnum Photographer's Club.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I thought this picture was his! Had no question about it!

Look Fahim, there are very few photographer who actually know enough about light to actually make a photograph that is right when it comes out of the camera and is processed.

A few people, expert in Polaroid or direct positive Cibachrome are such experts. Ansel Adams wasn't one of them. His genius was in the making of an exposure with which, after days months or years of work in the darkroom, he could deliver a perfect print.

Richard Learoyd, however, lights the subject so well it's perfect in the direct positive print without a single correction or touch up!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Steve's coin was his integrity as a photojournalist
and documentary photographer.

Enough said.
Yes, Fahim! What you report shocks me. I had no idea of this.

It appeared, (that's until now and this revelation), that he was able to actually capture magic in his camera, but that was just an illusion his workers helped him create. Another accomplished and super-celebrated star, Annie Lebowitz also relies a lot on super gifted retouchers. In journalism that is not allowed any more. In artistic photography it is.

Asher
 

Wolfgang Plattner

Active member
Well, what is the problem with the accused Cubapicture?
Did he change something really relevant? No.
And, Farim, I wouldn't have any problem with retouching the two table-legs on the right side of the beautiful photo your wife made. Yes, the picture wouldn't be no more the real original, but it wouldn't matter.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Here is a photo taken by my wife..slightly cropped, and saturation applied. Compare this to Steve's original photograph of the rickshaw in the Indian city...I know which one I prefer, by a mile.

This is a very nice picture. Can we see the uncropped version?
 

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
Hi Wolfgang.

You did look at the other 2 photographs?

If it does not bother someone, good.

It bothers me though. But then I am not a famous photographer.

Kindest regards.

Well, what is the problem with the accused Cubapicture?
Did he change something really relevant? No.
......
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Michael,

Where to draw the line - which manipulation is OK?
For me there is no acceptable manipulation of the picture as the maniplulation of the viewer can be subtle...
Wow! I'm not sure what "no manipulation" means?

There is always processing of color levels, even if we do not choose in our editor or raw development software to apply other than the default. The image can never be a reproduction of the real scene.

And of course it is very common to not "deliver" the entire frame, but rather to deliver a "crop".

None of that is probably what you are speaking of. I assure that you are more speaking of deleting a person from a shot (in a way that couldn't have been done by just cropping a different way, or by originally framing a different way).

Or maybe you mean to include the deletion of a bird dropping on the bonnet of Her Majesty's automobile.

It's easy, at first, to accept the notion of "no alteration". but in fact that dictum is not so simple.

For example, perhaps the presence of the bird dropping has some significance, perhaps because the photo will be used for an article describing the carelessness of Her Majesty's car-keepers.

And some would include a prohibition against framing a photo so as, to for example, not show one of attendees at a conference who stood at the end of the formation for the group shot. Or shooting before he arrived.

Or framing a photo so as to show the lovely hotel building but not that it was in the middle of a factory area. Or cropping it in post to that same end.

But then we would most often characterize the latter as "manipulation" but the former as not such.

So I have some problems accepting your rather absolute dictum.

But I know what you mean.

No, actually I don't.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Wolfgang Plattner

Active member
But where is the problem, when one boy in a photo of playing children ist retouched?
Nothing relating to the content of the image has been changed, just the composition is slightly different.
 

Michael Nagel

Active member
So I have some problems accepting your rather absolute dictum.

But I know what you mean.

No, actually I don't.
I think you know pretty well.

It is difficult to draw a line. I tend to consider normal darkroom techniques as acceptable (brightness, contrast, colour), but then there is the O.J Simpson example discussed in one of the pages linked...

Best regards,
Michael
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Michael,

I think you know pretty well.

It is difficult to draw a line.
Oh, of course. That's why I hate to see you say (emphasis added): "For me there is no acceptable manipulation of the picture as the maniplulation of the viewer can be subtle..."

Best regards,

Doug
 

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
Wolfgang.

It all depends. If I manipulate my grandchildren's images; it does not matter much. Nobody really cares.

Check this out...

I care

There is, as Doug mentioned earlier with regards to the original studios that produced Tom and Jerry cartoons..., ' art for art's sake '..

But photojournalism and documentary photography is different. It is not ' art '. You cannot darken a face for ' impact ' as TIME did. Neither should Robert Capa and Rosenthal be forgiven for taking ' artistic licenses ' to enhance their reputations as photojournalists.

And neither can Steve McCurry.

But then again, this shall blow away in a few days. The corporate clients could not care less; and the general public could care even less.

But I do care.

This is what photojournalism and documentary photography is all about...

Sudan

One made an iconic image of an Afghan girl. The other of a Sudanese child. One got rich and famous. The other committed suicide.

Which of these photographs do you think would be the doctored one..if any at all?

Kindest regards.


But where is the problem, when one boy in a photo of playing children ist retouched?
Nothing relating to the content of the image has been changed, just the composition is slightly different.
 

Andy brown

Well-known member
Hi Fahim,

firstly, what an absolutely awesome photo by Ayesha.
And having seen the original uncropped version, I like it even more. The trousers and shoes at right seem to belong to a giant. The giant overseer of the workings. Amazing!

"I could do better than that!".... sometimes we can and I dare say Ayesha's image here is better than some of McCurry's good works.

I was looking at wave images recently to get a gauge on what others are doing in that spectre, some very highly regarded shots made me think "hell, you should see what Jim Dockery can do!, .....I'm just a ploddder....I CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT!" and we can, we just don't necessarily have the following, the background, the points on the board etc., etc. to have the audience go wow.

By the same token, after looking at an old thread "your favourite photographers" I looked at some of John Sexton's beautifully crafted B+W landscapes and realised I was way, way short of that mark and will probably never achieve anything close however long I might try.

Perspective is a strange beast.

Anyway, all for now, I'm off to work on my wave shots. I can do better, I know I can.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Steve McCurry assigns blame to his retoucher in the Cuban picture. However, I really doubt that the photographer doesn't insist on checking pictures that are altered as opposed to being adjusted for color and contrast in a kosher manner!

I have seen so many Mexican workers here in Los Angeles, falsely blamed for shortcuts, omissions and failures to meet expected standards. The scheming boss never admits anything!



  • Insulation omitted in walls, I percuss and find it's hollow!


  • Old paint layers not removed before painting the exterior of a house. I pushed the fellows finger over sharp flakes with 5 multicolored layers of old dried paint poking through the new shiny hastily applied topcoat.


  • I paid for a level 10 directionless mirror finish on a steel sculpture and when I discovered obvious abrasion lines in the surface, (which was covered with plastic ready for delivery), the worker are blamed.


To me Steve is no different than these other businessmen. He takes liberties with the facts of a news picture, (not his personal art), and now when caught he blames his workers.

It's nonsense to think that the artist does not mark up the picture and give instructions. Otherwise, why claim authorship for the photograph as delivered. If he's in the habit of allowing artistic freedom to the retoucher, then it's not his oevre any more!

Steve's excuses are lame at best, a great let down for me!

Asher
 

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
Andy, you are so correct here. Nowadays, one needs more marketing and networking to get one's photograph's appreciated and sold.

But for those that just do it for the ' joy ' of it..it is a different matter. And indeed some of the photographs posted on OPF and one or two other forums by my friends are way up there.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
 

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
Asher, I ruffled through Steve's books with me. No doubt, those are super images. Way beyond my capabilities.

But somehow I felt a little less ' awe ' and slightly sad. But to each their own.

We ( my wife and I ) are content with what we photograph and the results we get.

 

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
Now folks..compare the rickshaw image ( cloning and notwithstanding ) to this taken by Ayesha.


I think she can show him a thing or two about making images in India...

 

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Very interesting discussion on this subject matter !

This is indeed an absolutely awesome photo by Ayesha !

My wife - Luisa - who doesn't want to be involved in OPF even when personally asked to by Asher himself, a shame I say - has also some pretty good photographs.

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I would encourage getting our reticent family members to allow us, (as Ayesha allows and trusts Fahim to do here), to share with us some favorite pictures. We then see with a different set of Utes and sensibilities.

So, Antonio, see what more you can do!

Asher
 

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
After all the talk about cams, lenses, sensels, sensors, quanta and phasers on stun..what really matters is the moment one clicks.

Like the man's book's title ' the moment it clicks '...Everything else is a lot of wind, signifying nothing.

 
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