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Should photo alterations be allowed in the monthly photo contest?

  • Yes- allow photo alterations.

    Votes: 33 45.2%
  • No- do not allow photo alterations.

    Votes: 40 54.8%
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Discussion Starter #1
I think I posted this elsewhere, but I wanted to poll the community and see what others thought. Rule #7 for the monthly photo contest states: No alterations of pictures by any image software allowed except for resizing pictures if they are too big or lighting them up.

The rule doesn't make logical sense, and is unnecessarily limiting. I hope before voting, you take into consideration a few logical arguments:

  • Some members of the forum have MUCH higher quality cameras that will ALWAYS take better looking pictures than compact Point & Shoot cameras- and therefore have an unfair advantage as far as picture quality is concerned.
  • As a photography contest, ALL members should be allowed to put forth their best examples, regardless of the method used. This is almost always the driving force behind contests in the first place- to put forth your best and see how it holds up!
  • The contest is generally decided based on the content of the photo, not its photographic quality- thus the rule needlessly limits something that is not always considered anyway.

Some folks had raised the point that not everyone has access to expensive photo manipulation software. I don't find this to be a valid criticism though. Until everyone is using the exact same camera, then the process used to obtain the finished photograph should be considered irrelevant. Allowing software alterations helps folks with "lesser" cameras compete with the quality of those with "greater" cameras by doing things such as removing noise, or correcting a hot spot or dead pixel.

I think the above points seem to imply that post processing, or photo alterations would hardly skew the results- but would still allow people to put forth their best efforts. Therefore I personally vote this rule be removed. I am interested if the community agrees!
 

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I voted yes because I edit all of my photos and as a result cannot enter them, but much of your logic is flawed.

A p&s can take the same good pictures as my DSLR if you know what you're doing. We're looking at focus and style in the contest, not pixels and quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A p&s can take the same good pictures as my DSLR if you know what you're doing. We're looking at focus and style in the contest, not pixels and quality.
Yeah... exactly. So why can't I also make sure my pixels are all there or that it iso1600 isn't incredibly noisy? P&S cameras, by the way, most certainly cannot take the same pictures as DSLRs. Let's see your P&S produce limited depth of field, or fantastic low light shots- both in focus and noise. Even very high quality P&S cameras such as my Canon S90 can't match DSLRs in some of these areas. That said, I can shoot iso800 and use Noise Ninja to clean up the digital noise. Or I can shoot with the aperture at 2.0 and increase the bokeh via photoshop. A full frame (or even micro 4/3rds for that matter) at an aperture size of 2.0 will NOT produce the same image as a P&S with its aperture set to 2.0. This is simple optics.

The point is- software and photo manipulation is just as legitimate in producing a nice picture as is a very expensive camera (which is fully allowed).


(Not to be argumentative. Thanks for the vote!) :toasting:
 

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I haven't voted because I basically (sorta, but not 100%) agree with the rule. It wouldn't be unfair to me, for example, to try and compete with my point and shoot against people with good quality DSLR, extensive photography experience and training, and access to advanced photo-editing software. You run the risk of people entering extensively photoshopped pictures with the backgrounds taken out, distracting details cloned out, or Frankenstein works, where elements of different pictures are cut and pasted to create a new one - so that the final product is a far cry from the original shot. I don't agree that people vote on pics based on content only - I've seen many a picture in contests, even though the subject matter was great and had excellent potential, not get any votes because of lack of focus, poor lighting, or cluttered, disruptive background.

I didn't vote because I WOULD like to be able to edit shots a little more than is allowed. So in addition to cropping and lightning up a pic, I would like to be able to edit flash reflections in eyes and other surfaces, and enhance colours if needed.
 

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Allowing software alterations helps folks with "lesser" cameras compete with the quality of those with "greater" cameras by doing things such as removing noise, or correcting a hot spot or dead pixel.

But this would leave people with lesser cameras and no software even farther behind.
I know nothing of photography, have a crappy camera and no ability to edit. I enjoy entering the contest anyway, even won once. I always thought of it as fun way to show off our dogs, not a photography contest.

I am not sure your suggestion would 'even up' the competition.

I am not really opposed to the rule change, I would be classified more as indifferent. Although I do support the suggestion that if it is allowed, it should be noted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
You run the risk of people entering extensively photoshopped pictures with the backgrounds taken out, distracting details cloned out, or Frankenstein works, where elements of different pictures are cut and pasted to create a new one - so that the final product is a far cry from the original shot.

I didn't vote because I WOULD like to be able to edit shots a little more than is allowed. So in addition to cropping and lightning up a pic, I would like to be able to edit flash reflections in eyes and other surfaces, and enhance colours if needed.
Thank you for this post- I found it very interesting indeed! Unfortunately, I nether know how to edit the poll to add an option, nor do I know how to "state" the option you are describing. I'm actually totally on board with you though- I think. I certainly wasn't interested in "making" a new image by photoshopping a bunch of stuff together. But red eye, or flash reduction I find valid. I also, personally, find it valid to remove a distracting detail. See the below example- first the original, and then a corrected version with a lamp pole base removed from the foreground. To me, fixes like this are totally 100% valid, as the corrected photo more accurately describes the mental image I had in my head when I took it. [EDIT]- though I see now I went a bit overboard on noise reduction. You live, you learn. ;)
 

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There are dozens of photo-editing programs available online right through your browser. No one that has access to the forum should be left behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But this would leave people with lesser cameras and no software even farther behind.
It leaves them no further behind than what they already are. That's my point. There are free options out there- such as gimp.
 

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I voted NO!
 

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I know the quality is very important, but the composition, pose etc, is what people really look at.
I vote no as well.
 

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There are dozens of photo-editing programs available online right through your browser. No one that has access to the forum should be left behind.
But you still need to know how to use them. Not everyone has that technological know-how. And it shouldn't be a contest to see who has the best photo editing skills, I agree with the statement that the picture contest is more of a fun way to show off our dogs than it is a contest for technical and artistic expertise.
 

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It seems to me like the problem is between two absolutes - either allow no editing whatsoever or allow all editing. I think it would probably benefit everyone if there were a third option - a list of types of editing that are allowed.

I think most people who enjoy photography and would enter a photo contest, would probably like to be able to crop images, and adjust color and brightness where the shot maybe didn't come out so well.

Even with a DSLR you still get shots where the colors, brightness, etc. were off which would be an easy fix. It does not alter the composition of the image or the pose, but improve the overall picture to make it more worth showing off and entering into a contest. (I mean, this is, after all, not a discussion about just posting photos to the board to show off your dogs, but entering them into a contest where they will be voted on - you'd want to put your best picture out there, wouldn't you?)

I think it's unfair to say that you should be able to edit a picture to improve it because "not everyone has access to" photo editing programs. For one, that isn't true. You can download Gimp for free online and it does most of the same things Photoshop does. So everyone has access.

I also don't think it's fair to say that you shouldn't be able to use a free program like Gimp to enhance your pictures because "not everyone knows how to use the programs" that are available to them. Really? There's nothing you can do in Gimp (or Photoshop, for that matter), for which you would not be able to find a simple tutorial for online.

Just some thoughts.

I don't upload any photos to my blog or website or any forums that haven't been edited in some way - cropped, adjusted for contrast or color, for example - and even if I don't do either of those things, I usually remove red eye and add a frame and my copyright stamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks AbbyK9- I'm glad I didn't have to say it. So far, it seems that the people who are against it are the people who "don't know how to use it." That's why there's documentation. It's a pretty lazy copout.

I made the poll a month long. It will be interesting to see how it goes...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And it shouldn't be a contest to see who has the best photo editing skills, I agree with the statement that the picture contest is more of a fun way to show off our dogs than it is a contest for technical and artistic expertise.
I just don't understand this perspective. It's a photo contest. Nobody said it would, or should, be a contest to determine who has the best editing skills- but it IS a contest to compete with your best photos. We have an entire forum dedicated to "a fun way to show off our dogs." It's funny that I am able to post better pictures in the "fun" area than I am in the "contest" area... :rolleyes:
 

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If someone knows how to use PhotoShop, PSP etc. you won't be able to tell if a photo has been changed unless they use special effects. Just a thought.
 

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I realize this is getting off topic, but I would like to see a relaxation in the purebred only rule. That leaves an awful lot of us out - technically anyone who has a shelter, rescue, byb, etc without the papers to prove pedigree.
 

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I realize this is getting off topic, but I would like to see a relaxation in the purebred only rule. That leaves an awful lot of us out - technically anyone who has a shelter, rescue, byb, etc without the papers to prove pedigree.
That's not how the purebred only rule works. :D You can post photos of ANY dog that looks like a purebred German Shepherd, regardless of whether you have the dog's pedigree or not.
 
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