Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/13

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: Photoshop dilemma
From: Adam Bridge <>
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 11:47:22 -0700

On 5/13/02 B. D. Colen  wrote:

>When most people look at photographs they believe that they are looking at a
>reasonably accurate representation of what, for an instant in time, WAS. The
>have this expectation whether they are looking at a photo of your baby, my
>dogs, or Peggy's Cove. And they believe they are looking at an accurate
>representation of what WAS because they are looking at a photograph.

This is the crux of the issue I was getting after a month or so ago.

Lots of alteration happens in the darkroom and much can be done in Photoshop in
the same why. The sky can become much darker or lighter. Parts of the image
which were bright can become much darker so if you looked at two pictures taken
you might not even recognize the scene as being shot at the same time: the
artist has sought a different presentation of the data on the negative.

You can print the negative and get the "original" view, of course.

I'd suspect that the test might be that there IS no original view since the
content of the image has been blended in such a way as to produce a product
which has no one for one relationship with reality. Thus cutting Lenin out of an
image breaks the one for one relationship with the original photograph. Or
moving a pyramid. Or adding several images from other sources.

Once the one-for-one is lost I contend that the final work is no longer a
photograph. It's something else: a graphic art perhaps.


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