Sunday 21 February 2010

Macro Monday - Fact or Fiction?

Every-so-often, as I am messing about in Photoshop, I stumble across an image that I love. But the question is, where does photography end and art begin? When do you cross the line between fact and fiction, truth versus lie, real or fake? Generally speaking, I am on the reality side of the line - I use Photoshop to enhance the photos that I have taken, but keep them realistic and true to the subject. But occasionally I cross the line; I leave the realm of real and enter the territory of art. I think that this is OK, but what do you think? Do people go too far with Photoshop?

Here is the "real" photo - the first photo is this one inverted.

For more Macro Monday, go here.


♕ reyna said...

wow! i love the pic!

here's my entry for Macro Monday.

Anonymous said...

Both images are excellent. Cross the line? The image is the only thing that matters in the end. Ansel Adams and all the great photo artists were great manipulators in the darkroom. What comes out of the camera is only the first part of the equation.

I don't usually do too much in my photo editor (PWP) but many times I'll see things in post processing that change my mind about what I think I saw when I took the photograph.

Manipulation is a bad thing for a photojournalist but another tool for the creative artist. Your fine images tell me you are one.

We make images. We don't simply record them.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Hi Reyane and thanks for visiting.

Awarewriter: Excellent comment - you have summed up nicely my thoughts on this matter. Thank you.

Jama said...

Beautifully done! I'm too lazy to photoshop my photos, just do simple editing using picasa.


I love both photos! Blessings!

SquirrelQueen said...

I love your images and I have no problem with others using Photoshop or similar programs.

For me personally, I want to see what I can make happen with the camera alone. I play with light and texture in the viewfinder, if I don't get what I wanted the first time I try again. In most cases I don't even crop the photo but sometimes I crop, maybe lighten or darken a bit but that's about it. Ninety percent of the time when you look at my photos you are seeing the same thing I saw.

Could they be improved? Sure, but in my mind that means I need to improve.
The Road to Here

Kala said...

I like both images, but the first one is really striking. I am a fan of post processing shots, it's fun to experiment with different techniques.

Carletta said...

John said it well.
I don't particularly think that a photo that has been so enhanced that it isn't realistic any longer is photography. For me that's where the art side begins.
I love your original shot; but I also love your artistic efforts as well.
I'm glad you included both shots.
Beautiful work on both counts!

margie said...

these are terrific photos. both are great.

jay said...

That first one is gorgeous! It glows! Yes, it's art, but it's also truth. The basic form of the flower hasn't changed, although the colour has.

Like you, I tend to use PS just to enhance, but occasionally I 'cross the line' too. I have some really nice shots which were either too grainy, or lacking in sharpness which have turned out well using the 'posterise' feature. It makes them into a graphic image, but the truth is still there!

Maria said...

Wow,both images are very nice:)

Not From Lapland said...

I think yes, people can go too far with photoshop, that said I absolutely adore that top picture.

Helena said...

Both images are great! I like the inverted one because of the colours.

I don't do much at all to the photos I post, which is really ironic because I started taking pictures for the express purpose of being able to manipulate them. But then when I get them into photoshop I'm reluctant to mess with Mother Nature too much.

Suldog said...

Fascinating. I've always liked negatives (I suppose that's basically what the first one is.) They sometimes reveal detail that the original is unwilling to give up easily.

Colleen said...

I like both images. The first is very sci-fi. The second is a natural beauty.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Jama: It does take up a lot of extra time, to be sure!

LadyHT: Thank you!

SquirrelQueen: I quite understand why you don't use PS - it took me quite a while before I did start to use it. In my opinion, PS will never make a bad photo good and you also know when you have taken a really good shot because it will need very little work when it comes to Photoshop. If it takes me an hour to PS one photo, then I know I did a very bad job with the camera!

Kala: Yes, it is fun to experiment sometimes, since you never know what you might find. I generally dislike what I find and go back to the natural shot, but every-so-often, one pops up, completely unexpectedly, just like this one.

Carletta: Thank you very much. I am glad you like them. I wasn't going to include the original at first, but then I thought that it does make a good comparison, and, as you have said, they are both nice, in their own way.

Margie: Thanks!

Jay: It does glow, doesn't it? I think that is what I like about it so much. It just give the flower a whole new personality.

Maria: Thank you.

Heather: People can, and do go too far. Too much colour saturation, too much sharpening. I think these problems arise when they are doing it with a photo that is still meant to be realistic. In this case, it is obvious that this is a manipulated photo and is no longer meant to be real. At this point, you can do what you want, it is art.

Alita: Tanks for popping by and thanks for the comment.

Helena: I agree for the most part. I like my photos to look natural and real. This one is a rarity, and I only did it because I had just been talking to a photography who showed me a photo of inverted snail shells. It was gorgeous, so I tried inverting this one and was struck by the beautiful inner glow of the flower that you don't see in the original.

Suldog: Exactly, you get to see something that the original does not show, in this case, the glow.

Colleen: Well put - I generally go for the natural beauty.

Suburban Girl said...

I like both...but for this shot your creative endeavors have paid off.

Cortes said...

As many have commented before me, I think both images are excellent. I do like to see the results of some minor PS touchups, to enhance the original photograph; but I also quite enjoy seeing an original photograph altered in a major way, to produce an entirely different (not better or worse) image.

I have had the pleasure of seeing quite a lot of your photography, and I can say without hesitation, I have enjoyed the "raw" shots every bit as much as the PS enhancements.

Great stuff!

Andree said...

When people, like you, openly disclose what they are doing there is no problem. And I'm glad you did! It's just great and gives me more ideas for playing in PS! Thank you!

CameoRoze (Margaret) said...

I think "too far" has more to do with the intended audience. If an audience is looking for reality, a photographer may not want to mess with the photos too much. But if the photographer is attempting to provoke his audience, manipulation might be just the ticket to elicit a reaction.

Lovin' Macro Monday,
Cameo @-->-->---

Unknown said...

I love what you did to it! I love that you kept the sharp focus and I love the color change too!

Patti said...

Wow, I love both photos. I actually miss my 35mm camera. I think it made it much more of a skill to shoot with. And I ask the same questions... where does it cross the line. Both of your photos are incredible and I think, as an artist, I love being over the line.

Kate said...

That's a great eerie glow and well worth crossing the line for Bugsy...
I clean up with the clone stamp and manipulate tonal range sometimes if it's too extreme. But the rest I keep for Art.
Once I took a great shot of a young family in the big city and I played around making the city look weird eg. plastic wrap etc., after separating off the family. It looked interesting. But a bit didactic. You have to watch you don't lose subtlety with some effects...

Dave said...

I think that I like the more natural image better, not that I don't use Photoshop religiously to add a little pop to my images. I try to do just enough that it looks better but not unnatural. That being said, the first image is pretty cool as well!

Don't Bug Me! said...

Rebecca: Thank you.

Cortes: You are too kind!

Andree: I agree, I would not like people to think that a highly altered image is "real".

CR: I think all I want is a lovely image, real or not. I want an image that makes me go "wow". But I don't want to try and fool people into thinking that my extensively PS images are real.

Lisa: Thank you - I love your Macro Monday slot and seeing everyone else's efforts.

Patti: It is true that digital photography has made it much easier to come up with a good shot. Having said that, I am much harder to please now. I don't want just a good shot, I want an amazing shot.

Katherine: Quit using long words - I had to go and look didactic up :o)
But in this case I think you are right, the end does justify the means and I do love the image.

Dave: In general I agree with you, I just use PS to make a natural image look better. I rarely mess about with an image as I did this one and even when I do, i usually revert back to the original because I prefer it.

Sistertex said...

Fantastic. I love to use photoshop from time to time. I don't get a chance to very often unless I am using it for a project. It is fun to mess around with it though.

Love your photo.

Baino said...

I think photoshop is fun and definitely has its uses but I'm really trying to just take lovely pictures with the camera in the raw so to speak. Once I get that right, I'll tweak. Although I do fiddle with iPhotos a bit to clean up some of the messy shots or to crop. The flower is beautiful in any light. (And at least we don't have to guess what it is this week! Between you and Jay I'm going insane!)

Don't Bug Me! said...

Baino: Hmmmm, perhaps I shall just have to give you another one to guess?

•°°• IcyBC •°°• said...

Gorgeous flowers, and the blue one is extraordinary!