Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/14

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: Photoshop dilemma
From: Darrell Jennings <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 07:58:39 -0700 (PDT)

No I haven't been on the list very long.  About six
weeks so far. 

B.D.  I do "grasp" what you are trying to say. The
fact that I don't agree with your point of view
doesn't mean I don't understand it. I just draw the
line between photography and a peice of graphic art at
a different spont than you and some others.   

The reason I have continued the dialog is that I think
it is a difficult subject to get consensus on, and you
and I taking opposing roles in the discussion may get
us and others to think about where the line between a
photo and a piece of graphic art is.  I suspect that
the line is hard to define, and a bit different for
everyone.  We can probably all agree on the extremes,
but the shades of grey in between that are hard to
agree on. 

1.If you merge two photos of the same group of people
and same pose to get the best expression on each
persons face, is it now not a photograph? 

2.If you delete a person from a photograph is it now
not a photograph?  Does your answer change depending
on how prominent the person is in the original photo?
What about if the "person" was a tiny spec in the

3.If a photo journalist alters a photo, but not the
truth it portrays is it not a photograph? If a
advertisment has an altered photograph to try to more
effectively get us to buy something is it not a
photograph? Why are the standards different for many
of us on these two examples? 

4.How would your critique of Sonny's photo with the
wagon change by knowing he had put two photos

These may seem like picking nits, but are probably
important if we are trying to interact with each other
on some common basis. 

BTW: What I objected to in your response was you
appeared to dismiss my view because of my limited
experience with Photoshop...which I see as irrelevant
to this discussion. We aren't discussing Photoshop, we
are discussing photography, an area where I have
pretty deep experience having been a photographer for
almost 30 years.  

As far as Uelsmann, there are enough gallery owners
and museum curators that think he is a photogapher
(plus I believe he is a professor of photography at a
university in Florida) that you should at least agree
that there are a range of differing opinions on the

I have no problem with differing oppinions.  I do have
a problem with lack of respect. If we can't show
respect in dealing with each other then we have
greatly diminished the value of the interaction. And I
don't believe you lessen the impact of a barb by
putting a wink on the end of it...

I hear and respect your opinion.  I don't agree with
it, but I don't have to. I think it is interesting
enough that there are extreme points of view to merit
discussion and thought by the group. DJ

- --- "B. D. Colen" <> wrote:
> First, try reading what I have written, and you will
> see that I have never,
> in any post on this subject, suggested that
> photographers can't be artists.
> Second, if you think that my comments have
> constituted "personal attacks" on
> you you haven't been on this list very long. ;-)
> Next, as to the subject at hand =
> I agree with you completely that there are
> photographers who are artists,
> and photographers who are craftsmen.  Where we
> disagree, Darrell, and what
> you seem unable to grasp, is that in the view of
> many photographers, someone
> who builds artistic pieces out of photographic
> images is not producing
> photographs, but rather is producing works of art
> built from photographic
> images. That artist may well be a photographer, who
> in addition to producing
> photographs, also uses his or her own photographs as
> materials with which to
> do other kinds of art: but the fact that the person
> is a photographer does
> not mean that the images they produce through
> construction/alteration
> methods are what we speak of when we call something
> a photograph.
> And, similarly, a photographer who produces what are
> called photographs may
> be an artist, or may be a craftsman - but that
> judgment would probably be
> made on the quality/originality/artistic merit of
> their work, not on whether
> it is or is not manipulated beyond the ways in which
> one normally
> manipulates photographic images in the printing
> process.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On
> Behalf Of Darrell
> Jennings
> Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 10:21 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: Photoshop dilemma
> There are photographers that are artists, and
> photographers that are craftsmen.  I think there is
> room for both.  You obviously don't and can only
> respond by a personal attack on me...pretty
> unprofessional in my view.
> --- "B. D. Colen" <> wrote:
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > []On
> > Behalf Of Darrell
> > Jennings
> > Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 1:16 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: Photoshop dilemma
> >
> >
> > And I completely disagree....  I am NOT a
> Photoshop
> > expert.  In fact I had never scanned a photo
> before
> > two weeks ago, and only have Photoshop Elements
> > which
> > I have very limited expertise with.
> >
> > That said, I don't limit my view of photography by
> > expecting that what I see in a photo is exactly
> what
> > was there. There are many great photographs that
> > were
> > enhanced by use of filters and traditional
> darkroom
> > techniques. I don't see Photoshop or it's
> > competitors
> > as different than that, they've just gone another
> > step. In fact photographers like Jerry Uelsmann
> have
> > done very altered realities for many years without
> > using a computer to do so (check out
> >
> > for examples).  I still see this kind of work as
> > photography.
> >
> > ------------------
> >
> > Well then, given that you have been scanning and
> > using Photoshop elements
> > for two full weeks, and given the fact that you
> > consider a cut and paste
> > image of lips emerging from a dirt road a
> > "photographs," I guess there's
> > really nothing I can add to the discussion.;-)
> >
> > B. D.
> >
> > --
> > To unsubscribe, see
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