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Old 02-27-2005, 04:51 PM
pracas pracas is offline
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Default Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

I went to a photography exhibition...i was awed at the colors i saw...the pics there were so colorful...the greens were all looking greener and wetter...they were all burnt for specific effects...now i'am wondering if it is ethical to burn colors???... the red sunsets that were never that red... the wet greens that were not so wet and green... and finally how does one burn digital pictures?
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:46 PM
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

You would use the burn tool included in your photo editing software.
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:04 PM
cgrindahl cgrindahl is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

I'm laughing out loud Pracas! Even before you get an answer to the ethics of "burning" photographs, you're asking HOW TO DO IT. I guess the ethics of the matter are less vital to you than being able to get the sooo colorful results.

I was speaking with a friend who has years of experience with processing film about the tools available in Photoshop for enhancing images. He told me stories about the lengths that Ansel Adams would go to in the darkroom to create the bold, exciting images that we've come to know and love. He also observed how wonderful it is to be able to create such dramatic effects without having to mix chemicals and stick coat hangers with pieces of cotton on them beneath the light as the film is being printed. So, have at it young man.

In the Photoshop tool bar there is one tool for burning and one for dodging. There are controls for the intensity with which each is applied. The best thing you can do is experiment with the tools so you develop some skill in application. Poor application can really make a mess of an image, but digital images are eternally forgiving so long as you don't over-write the original.

You also can do some wonderful things with the entire image with adjustments, layers and filters. Presenting a quality image when working with digital files requires thoughtful post processing work with your computer.

Enjoy yourself!
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:12 AM
philip_coggan philip_coggan is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

What ethics do you have in mind? - burning a photo is hardly the same as robbing a bank. What this comes down to is the widespread notion that the camera never lies - that the photo is totally objective, truthful record of whatever was in front of the lens. It isn't, of course - never, not once. Different film will record light differently, different camera settings will produce different results, and none of them correspond to what the human sees.

The matter of ethics does come up when you start considering various genres - a newspaper editor could get into a lot of trouble if he published a photo showing a politician having intimate relations with a chimpanzee and claiming that this happened last Saturday in the bedroom when in fact it was done in the darkroom. But art prints? The idea is to produce something pretty, not something 'real'.

So go ahead, dodge and burn and crop and even clone to your heart's content. If Ansel Adams can do it, why not you? :-).

Incidentally, I doubt that the colours at that exhibition were produced entierly by burning. Choice of film stock is the starting point (Fuji Velvia film produces more intense colours, and is favoured by landscape photogs for that reason), then there are filters in front of the lens, careful use of light, etc, before the photo gets anywhere near a computer or darkroom.
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:04 AM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

Indeed, I think part of a photographers skill is making a mundane scene into an impressive photograph - or making an impressive scene into something truly awe inspiring ;) Some of that is equipment choice (high saturation film, polarizing filter etc), and part of that may be post-processing - whether it's digital or chemical darkroom...

As part of the "camera never lies" theme, may I give you this daffodil shot?. So what's the reality? Click here to find out!

From a post-processing perspective think about using Hue/Saturation if you're planning to add punch to the colours. Curves will also help.
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Old 03-06-2005, 07:34 PM
genericnic genericnic is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

Hello pracas

The question boils down to whether you are doing somenthing that has to truely represent what was seen by the camera (which, by the way, is not truely reality) such as a crime scene or whether you are doing artistic work. There are no ethical limits on artistic creation (nor, unfortunately, are there limits on good taste :-) From the description of what you were looking at, it was an artistic endeavor. Relax and enjoy.

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Old 11-13-2007, 02:54 PM
pracas pracas is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

Coming back to this post after 2 years... Well anything that can make the image convey the messgae the photographer wants to convey is ethical! lol... fun to read my old post... ofcouse burning is ethical! lol
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:40 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

Yes, it's like what they say about music, there is only bad and good music. Editing more heavily, some can be totally fidel to themselves and that message they wish to coney and other just see it's "commercially" viable, as people are always impressed by trickery they do not possess themselvs. I remember when I first came to TE, I was bowled over by some incredibly vibrant shots, but soon figured out the person was basically pushing editing to adhere to a certain idea of what photos should look like to impress others, and probably his/herself. Though I am sure it is not always out of disingenuity, still the ens result makes the editing th final message, rather than the emotion of that moment (even though they may think).

It is very important to always question oneself why we do things a certain way, are we conveying or pretending to convey? Everyone can fall in this trap.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:42 PM
rushfan2112 rushfan2112 is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

The TE TOS does not allow for excessive post processing. I tend to interpret this as allowing me to crop to compose the shot as I wish but only making other changes to the image to make the image look as it did when I took the photo - colours, contrast, etc.

I know much of this is objective but if I want to do more 'creative' work with a shot that changes how it looked in real life, I can always post the photo on Trek Lens - which is there for that purpose.

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Old 11-15-2007, 11:30 AM
clupica clupica is offline
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Default Re: Burning - Ethical or Unethical?

I really think that the terms should be clarified. Burning (and conversely dodging) are used to darken or lighten an area. In a traditional darkroom you "burn in" an area by allowing it to recieve light a little longer than the surrounding area. Dodging is done by reducing the amount of light falling on the photographic paper; thus making the area less dark.

I think what we are really talking about here is adjusting the hue/saturation of the image. This is not the same as burning and dodging.

As to whether or not it's ethical I'm of two views that relate to what are you using it for. I recently saw a video for "truth in beauty" (I think) and it makes you ask this very question of ethics. Why? Because in the video they take a more or less ordinary women, take ordinary photos, and transform the photos into an image of a "goddess" that just isn't real. (They stretch her neck, enlarge her eyes, fluff her hair, ...)

Should I saturate my pictures? Absolutely! There is hardly a top-rated photo on TE that has not had the saturation enhanced. IMHO, over-saturated. But that's what sells.

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