Olympus Oly xz-2, a fav photo and the digital darkroom

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Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
Larry
It's never been cheating. The information on the sensor -- or the negative, for that matter -- needs processing. The unprocessed information isn't really what it's about; it's about using that data to create a photograph you want. Exposure technique is about making sure you'll have the information you need when you go to make the photograph. At least that's always how I've looked at, both in the darkroom and the digital darkroom. Ansel Adams said the negative (or in this case the raw file) is the score, the photograph is the performance.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Yeah, I never got that logic though. I always thought pure jpeg shooters were just too damn lazy to do their darkroom work and were content to just drop it off at the corner store for processing, as it were... I guess lazy is also in the eye of the beholder :cool:

-Ray
Hey Ray, I'll offer a little bit of a counter argument regarding "lazy"... in my pre-S.C. life as a (mostly) wildife & nature photog (on a local level) I've had to endure a variety of hardships to get photos. I've been charged by a bear and also a buck in heat, fallen thru frozen ice 3 times, tumbled 15 ft down a frozen waterfall, gotten stuck stomach-high in a semi-frozen bog where, so help me God, I truly thought I was going to die and after screaming for help proved fruitless was considering turning my Pentax K-x on myself to record a last message to my loved ones... I'm not even counting the less exciting stuff, like slogging thru snow and swamps or getting stung by bees, dozens of ticks, hundreds of thorns... yuck!

I have a bunch of RAW files from those times which I either did very minimal processing on, or did not develop at all because I wasn't enamoured of them. But, be that as it may, even if I shot jpeg and left it at that, I wouldn't consider myself a "lazy" photographer... but perhaps one with a different set of priorities.

Sometimes, and for some people, the shot is enough, even if its not a work of art.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Of all the reviews I've read, the "pleasing" quality is never measured. It may be described but, never measured. Stuff like accuracy is though. Go figure. Maybe the differences are really just too subtle and subjective after all (techno gear-head hype perhaps?).

Regarding "reality", I've taken some pretty real looking shots on a 3:2 aspect ratio frame. I suppose it boils down to whether you prefer the realist or the abstract. I never much cared for Picassos.
Some review sites - Imaging Resource comes to mind - actually do evaluate jpeg color accuracy, and many cameras, especially P&S, are not especially true-to-life. These cameras are specifically designed to deliver "pleasing" and "consumer-friendly" images, which usually means (over) bright, (over) contrasty, and (over) saturated images. There are film which fall into this category, too.

Just because a photo may not be exactly "realist"-ic, that doesn't mean it's "abstract"... there's really no reason to push processing choices toward those extremes.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
I said "In my opinion". I thought I made it clear that the views expressed were personal. I just assumed that many people share my tastes, maybe I'm wrong..
On the contrary, I read your post (and subsequent ones) carefully.

Nevertheless, you commit the fallacy of generalising your own particular beliefs to the general population ("most people would agree that a heavy hand in the so-called "Digital Darkroom" is not generally pleasing", for instance, amongst others).

The use of descriptions like "cartoonish" or moral concepts like "dignity" or even "good camera" (implying a "good camera" allows a more perfect rendition of "reality"?) tends to support the impression of a particular moral standpoint.

Again, the idea that jpegs generated by the camera's algorithms somehow reflect "reality" more accurately than raw files - or indeed reflect "reality" at all - is a very confused one; and the thought that camera review websites might arbiters of "reality" I find rather horrifying ...

As Nic has pointed out, no image is unprocessed. Furthermore, that includes the incredibly complex processing applied by human perceptual apparatus to all those light-waves (or are they particles?) bouncing about in the world.

Photography doesn't provide a form of "privileged access" to how things "really" look (nor does the LHC, or an electron microscope, or a Picasso). There's simply a decision to be made about how to render an image. Someone else might like it. Another may not.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Hey Ray, I'll offer a little bit of a counter argument regarding "lazy"... in my pre-S.C. life as a (mostly) wildife & nature photog (on a local level) I've had to endure a variety of hardships to get photos. I've been charged by a bear and also a buck in heat, fallen thru frozen ice 3 times, tumbled 15 ft down a frozen waterfall, gotten stuck stomach-high in a semi-frozen bog where, so help me God, I truly thought I was going to die and after screaming for help proved fruitless was considering turning my Pentax K-x on myself to record a last message to my loved ones... I'm not even counting the less exciting stuff, like slogging thru snow and swamps or getting stung by bees, dozens of ticks, hundreds of thorns... yuck!

I have a bunch of RAW files from those times which I either did very minimal processing on, or did not develop at all because I wasn't enamoured of them. But, be that as it may, even if I shot jpeg and left it at that, I wouldn't consider myself a "lazy" photographer... but perhaps one with a different set of priorities.

Sometimes, and for some people, the shot is enough, even if its not a work of art.
Sorry Chris, I was basically kidding, just using a semi-logical construct as pushback against the old saw that those who post-process are somehow lazy. I really don't have anything against jpeg shooting or jpeg shooters or really consider ANYONE who's out there making photographs lazy. But if there's a silly argument that somehow those who DO post process are too lazy to get it right in the field, I figure there's an equally silly argument that those who don't are too lazy to do their PP like good boys and girls. I should have probably included some smiley faces with my post.

-Ray
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
color blind doesnt mean one cant see color. they just see it differently than it is.

also, ive taken and looked at pictures for almost 40 years and i dont think im qualified to say what 'most people like'. and neither are you. we're both qualified to only say what we like. thats it.

and while its fine, or your 'right', to disagree with anyone, or everyone, just do it civilly, ok?
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
BTW, I'm not in the Never Use PP camp, I use it all the time. I'm in the Don't Use PP Too Much camp. What's wrong with that? I'm also very pleased when I take a shot that doesn't need any.
It actually doesnt matter whether you process or not, or not too much, or not at all. Thats the point. It doesn't matter to anyone except yourself. You present your images the way *you* want to. As the OP did. So please don't be saying its wrong to process that much. If you don't like how he processed, fine... but theres nothing inherently WRONG with it.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Sorry Chris, I was basically kidding, just using a semi-logical construct as pushback against the old saw that those who post-process are somehow lazy. I really don't have anything against jpeg shooting or jpeg shooters or really consider ANYONE who's out there making photographs lazy. But if there's a silly argument that somehow those who DO post process are too lazy to get it right in the field, I figure there's an equally silly argument that those who don't are too lazy to do their PP like good boys and girls. I should have probably included some smiley faces with my post.

-Ray
Gotcha. And you're right on both counts.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Agreed with one qualification, the "over" part is usually quite subtle, even indiscernible in casual observation.
I also agree there is no reason to push processing to extremes yet many do with unpleasant results.

The digital camera "coloring" of a default jpeg image is usually very modest and a marketing ploy to differentiate each camera make from the rest. It's like chili. All chilli is basically the same recipe, with different seasonings for unique flavor.

There's an analogy in the world of audio equipment where some describe the sound from an amplifier or speaker as having a certain timbre, sound stage or presence. It's all a bunch of techno-nerd babble BS, which really means nothing. Same with "Canon Color" or "Olympus Clarity" or "Nikon Softness", etc.

I can prove it's all BS. If it were true, you should be able to tell what camera was used when you look at a picture. I defy anyone to claim that ability.
7 or 8 years ago, before I got into the interchangeable-lens-camera deal, I could actually do a pretty good job of identifying P&S SOOC shots, by brand. The give-aways were:

Nikon, greens favored yellow.
Fuji, greens favored blue, and blue skies were a very realistic blue.
Canon, skies were cyan.
Kodak, skies were a super-saturated, almost royal blue.

Of course, this pertains to only a small subset of photos, but it was possible to make an educated guess. If your primary point is that any of those cameras produce a fairly realistic image in jpeg mode, then I agree.

WRT audio equipment, there most definitely is a difference in the quality of sounds produced by different speakers and amps. Things like sound stage and presence are actually definable in a physics sense, as it all boils down to the strength and positioning of soundwaves, and that is measurable. You can actually adjust the sound stage to a certain extent simply by changing the orientation of your speakers, relative to themselves and to your position.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
New Jersey, USA
Chris
That's an extraordinary ability you have there. Would you care to test it? I have several studio shots of the same image taken with several cameras of different makes, same lighting, wb, exposure, focal length, etc. I feel I have a pretty keen eye and I really can't tell much of a difference. But, I do not doubt your claim. There are minor differences, agreed.

This is a bit off topic but, I disagree that qualities as soundstage, imaging and presence are measurable. In fact, those terms are not defined in a way that is measurable. Take soundstage for example, from the Wikipedia:

"The term soundstage refers to the depth and richness of an audio recording and usually relates to the playback process. According to audiophiles, the quality of the playback is very much dependent upon how one is able to pick out different instruments, voices, vocal parts, and such exactly where they are located on an imaginary 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional field. The quality of this soundstage can enhance not only the listener's involvement in the recording, but also their overall perception of the stage."

These properties fall within the realm of "psychoacoustics" which basically means, they are in your head. Imagined, if you will. Perceived reality. If you could measure a trait such a soundstage, the manufacturers of speakers would have that number plastered all over the box.
Could I tell the difference in camera color now? I don't know. It's been years and cameras have changed. The "test" would have to consist of similar natural scenes. I wouldn't call my so-called ability "extraordinary". just observant. I can, like many people, tell the differences between some of my lenses, merely by color.

"Soundstage" is not a single measurement. It is a perception based on the physics of sound, and the physics of sound can be elucidated in measurables. But it would take a long list of measurables to properly define a soundstage, and that would always vary based on source music, speaker positioning, venue acoustics, etc. And even if there were a way to translate the numbers into a quantifiable "soundstage" measurement, then what? A "large" soundstage isn't necessarily better than a "small" soundstage.

Some cameras have greater dynamic range than others, yet it's not "plastered all over the box". Some cameras have better signal-to-noise ratios than others, yet it's not "plastered all over the box". Some lenses are capable of resolving higher levels of detail than others, yet it's not "plastered all over the box".

Just because you are incapable of perceiving or understanding a concept does not mean it doesn't exist.

Anyway, this conversation is taking on a Flat-Earth Society tone, so I think I'm done with it. Enjoy your photography.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
Everhandy, its not that anyone is 'threatened by a newcomer'--i'm pretty new here myself. its that people, myself included, get annoyed when folks portray their opinions as the lord's gospel. your posts are doctrainaire, brook no opposition, and are borderline insulting in parts. that combination of factors make dialogue with you quite off-putting. i'm sure thats why you 'dislike forums in general', because your style lends itself to antagonism. to paraphrase shakespeare, 'perhaps the fault dear everhandy lies not in your forums, but in yourself'.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
after reading through all the posts, this thread is not getting a time-out. It's permanently closed.

I thought there were some good discussions in there. I think everyone should try to remember that whatever one expresses is almost always their own opinion and not an immutable fact. When one keeps that concept in their mind, they should realize that what they are reading from others are also opinions belonging to the person who posted them. When people have differing opinions on a subject (especially on an internet forum where there are many hindrances to a clear and direct discussion), they should respect the other person's opinion as being different and move on.
 
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