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Old 03-03-2018, 01:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
...question usually comes down to whether it is a document or an interpretation.

Where do you stand? Must a railroad photograph be right out of the camera for you to like it? Or can the photo processing go far from reality but still work for you?
In a nut shell - a photo depicts very closely - reality as you saw it, give or take a few SLIGHT to moderate exaggerations (color, over-shapening/ "structure", and lens conditions - vignetting, perspective and things like but not limited to long /short duration captures. An "interpretation /illustration pushes those boundaries (and /or perhaps adds and /or remove elements) to such a point, that the reality becomes fantasy.

There's nothing wrong with fantasy based on reality - provided the audience is aware. If you have your own site - it's your call, and fortunately, many are open and likely known as manipulators /illustrators. There are of course, sites for that kind of ARTwork. RP, however, is assumed by its guidelines and the majority of images, to be a site for reality based photography. As is National Geographic, Trains Magazine, and most news based papers and periodicals, other than the Enquirer.

Again - nothing wrong with manipulations and extreme exaggerations, but I believe it should be either implied, obvious, or with notice - IMHO.

Never the less - no doubt, there are likely photos on RP (and elsewhere) that are not as implied - fake pans (grinds my gears) as the accolades go towards the photographer's implied camera skills vs his/her editing skills. Added rainbows, train meets that never happened, lightning that never struck, horses that were never there, trains and paint schemes that were never there, ect. Great illustrations, but not the effort nor photographic skills, nor luck implied nor prep invested by the author of the work. Editing skills, sure - so, why not admit it, and accept accolades for that, and let everyone else take credit for the reality that is photo journalism, both behind the camera, and, yes, even in front of the screen in post.

If the above does not put you in the ballpark, ask yourself this - would you be willing to share the unedited version side by side, or upon request, as proof your image as edited was "real"? Better yet, would you accept a request by an editor for your artwork for use in a periodical as-is - one known to publish images expected by its readers to be pretty damn close to "as seen through the lens"?

I have a great example, incidentally; For the most part, I am not a fan of a solid blue featureless sky, almost to the same degreee as an overcast white sky. I posted photos on FB (fantasy land), featuring Amtrak at Secaucus Junction under beautiful blue skies with the most amazing of appealing clouds - only... the clouds were added. I'd LOVE to post as edited on RP, but RP is for PHOTOS, not illustrations. Incidentally - when I posted on FB, I asked "what edit was done, in common to all three photos". I left the answer open as I was curious how well my edits were. Apparently, it was a well executed edit. Oddly, few showed any interest in discovery as no one BUT Janusz inquired. This was just days ago. Caption will be appended for those following the thread and the REAL images from Secaucus will be added to the database on RP shortly.

And, man - would I have really loved to let the images slip into reality as they were much more appealing with clouds (that could have been there on another day - but were not). Flickr perhaps, down the road, and noted.

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