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#1 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:54 PM

After I posted the “Fire in the Sky” photo last week, both John and Rod seemed to want me to get in closer, cropping out much of the foreground and really focusing more on the clouds.  And I thought, “Well, but that would be a different photograph.”  I realized, however, that I actually took the picture that John and Rod were asking for as part of that same shoot and here it is.  I remember when taking this picture that my wife and I both said the same thing at the same time, “The sky is on fire!”  So even though this may not be an exact reproduction of what I actually saw (I can’t remember precisely anyway) it is an attempt to capture what I was feeling when I took it.

I also thought I might use this photograph to further the discussion that we seem to be having about “fake” photographs and the extent to which post processing might be considered “cheating.”  I’ve posted three versions of the same shot.  The first is how it came out of the camera in RAW.  The second is how it looked after I’d done some basic post processing in Lightroom.  For me Lr processing is where I decide whether or not the shot is worth doing further work on.  All I did and typically do at this point is work with five sliders in Lr Basics: Temp, Highlights, Blacks, Whites and Shadows.  The third is the shot after extensive work in Photoshop largely with the TKv5 luminosity mask panel.  This is where I work with colour, contrast and clarity in an attempt to bring the photograph in line with my experience.  In this case, I’m fairly pleased.  The composition isn’t quite what it might have been but I feel like the image gives a sense of the awe I felt when I took it. 

But I’d also ask any one who cares to consider it, “Which of the three images is the “realest”?  The first image has absolutely no pp and is exactly as it came out of the camera.  But it conveys nothing of the experience I had when I was shooting it.  So is the post processing “cheating”?  All that matters, in my opinion, is what the photographer is trying to convey or share through the photograph.  Maybe in real life the clouds were more red than gold but to me it doesn’t matter.  What matters is the extent to which I have been able to convey the sense of awe that I felt in that moment.

I’d be very interested in what you all feel either about the photograph itself or about what is “really real.”

Attached File  Fiery Sky RAW (1 of 1).jpg   351.03KB   0 downloads

Attached File  Fiery Sky Lr (1 of 1).jpg   468.4KB   0 downloads

Attached File  Fiery-Sky-Ps.jpg   1.04MB   0 downloads

 



#2 geedee

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:18 PM

I suspect it can be all to easy to get hung up on that which might be considered as fake and that which might be considered real, I like all of the images.  The guy who took a very interesting and real image of a wolf jumping over a gate though to present it as a wildlife image was considered to be cheating, try beaming up 2010 BBC wildlife photographer of the year and make your own judgements for your own judgements are those which matter most....? Enjoy your photography, I enjoy your pics, thanks.



#3 MarkM

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:29 PM

Kerry
Thank you for taking the time to work on "part two" of this scene. Yes this is a different image and composition, and I think this does a better job (for me) at highlighting the subject, this fiery sky.
I used to care about what is "real" and what is "fake", but no longer. Post processing isn't a digital phenomenon, it has always been a part of film developing (though I haven't developed a single roll of film in my life, regrettably!). It isn't cheating because what "rule" (and whose rule) is being broken? I agree that the only thing that matters is what the photographer is trying to convey, realism or a feeling. Doesn't matter to me anymore, and I'm thankful for getting to this place.
I'm drawn to #2 and 3 over the RAW #1, and I lean toward #3. I'd like to see something between 2 and 3 but that is just me to see if I'd prefer that over 3. The third is definitely awe inspiring and conveys more of what you must have felt, so it is a success in my book.
Beautiful image. Thanks very much for taking this discussion the next step.
(Is TKv5 a third party add-in? think I need to start working PS instead of solely working in LR now, You've inspired me😁)

#4 Roderick

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 02:49 AM

Sweet stuff, Kerry.

I prefer photo no.2 - the middle one.

The third one is clearly the most dramatic but the light seems to be coming from below, as if I were looking at a huge fire.

The second one floats all my boats. I'm not sure if the effects applied to the trees in no.3 would enhance no.2 ?

Great post, Kerry :)

 

With regard to the real/fake debate, the "wolfgate" photo was a misrepresentation that broke the rules of the competition, (wildlife not tame life). I'm assuming that there was a real wolf and he jumped over a real gate and the photographer snapped him, and it wasn't a PS mashup.

I've taken the odd portrait of my friend's daughters and I will edit out any skin blemishes as a matter of course. If I'd shot the picture a couple of days before, they wouldn't have been there anyway. IMO that's not faking.

The cover pictures on women's magazines is more problematic. Lots of clever things are done.  Are they fake or just pushing the truth a bit?

What the BBC article was on about was how fake pictures are used to influence opinion.  A good example would be the John Kerry-Jane Fonda picture.  Kerry's head was cloned in onto another person's body to make people believe that he was at a meeting with Fonda when he wasn't.

Another classic would be the way Stalin had Trotsky removed from all the official communist party photos. "Airbrushed from history", as the phrase goes.

And don't get me started on the "photographic evidence" of flying saucers. :angry:



#5 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:54 PM

Kerry
Thank you for taking the time to work on "part two" of this scene. Yes this is a different image and composition, and I think this does a better job (for me) at highlighting the subject, this fiery sky.
I used to care about what is "real" and what is "fake", but no longer. Post processing isn't a digital phenomenon, it has always been a part of film developing (though I haven't developed a single roll of film in my life, regrettably!). It isn't cheating because what "rule" (and whose rule) is being broken? I agree that the only thing that matters is what the photographer is trying to convey, realism or a feeling. Doesn't matter to me anymore, and I'm thankful for getting to this place.
I'm drawn to #2 and 3 over the RAW #1, and I lean toward #3. I'd like to see something between 2 and 3 but that is just me to see if I'd prefer that over 3. The third is definitely awe inspiring and conveys more of what you must have felt, so it is a success in my book.
Beautiful image. Thanks very much for taking this discussion the next step.
(Is TKv5 a third party add-in? think I need to start working PS instead of solely working in LR now, You've inspired me)

Thanks for the feedback, Mark.  I agree with both you and Rod and went back and toned down on the dark colour intensity of clouds, which was a little overdone, and brought them closer to #2 though still with more contrast and colour.  The TKv5 panel is Tony Kuyper's luminosity masking panel, which, in my opinion is the most sophisticated luminosity masking panel out there and there are getting to be quite a few.  Basically, when I go into photoshop I'm using the TKv5 panel.  It gives me access to almost all the operations I'd ever want to use at the push of a button rather than having to remember command codes etc. plus luminosity masking allows me to create very sophisticated and specific masks based on tone, colour and, of course, luminosity.   Here's photographer Dave Kingham's extensive rundown of the panels out there in case you're interested: https://www.explorin...sk-panel-review.  But before getting into luminosity masking you'd probably do well to get at least a working understanding of Photoshop particularly: selections, layers, and masks.  If you have a few bucks to spend, Matt Kloskowski's The Photoshop System is by far the most comprehensive and accessible Photoshop for photographers program out there: https://photoshopsystem.com


Sweet stuff, Kerry.

I prefer photo no.2 - the middle one.

The third one is clearly the most dramatic but the light seems to be coming from below, as if I were looking at a huge fire.

The second one floats all my boats. I'm not sure if the effects applied to the trees in no.3 would enhance no.2 ?

Great post, Kerry :)

 

With regard to the real/fake debate, the "wolfgate" photo was a misrepresentation that broke the rules of the competition, (wildlife not tame life). I'm assuming that there was a real wolf and he jumped over a real gate and the photographer snapped him, and it wasn't a PS mashup.

I've taken the odd portrait of my friend's daughters and I will edit out any skin blemishes as a matter of course. If I'd shot the picture a couple of days before, they wouldn't have been there anyway. IMO that's not faking.

The cover pictures on women's magazines is more problematic. Lots of clever things are done.  Are they fake or just pushing the truth a bit?

What the BBC article was on about was how fake pictures are used to influence opinion.  A good example would be the John Kerry-Jane Fonda picture.  Kerry's head was cloned in onto another person's body to make people believe that he was at a meeting with Fonda when he wasn't.

Another classic would be the way Stalin had Trotsky removed from all the official communist party photos. "Airbrushed from history", as the phrase goes.

And don't get me started on the "photographic evidence" of flying saucers. :angry:

Thanks Rod, appreciate the feedback.  As I mentioned in my response to Mark, I did go back and tone the clouds down a bit and think it is improved for it.  Still I really wanted to get that fiery look, which was so mind blowing when I took the shot.


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