Gente da Nossa Terra – Retratos do Feirar, o filme.

Revelando um pouco dos bastidores da epopeia (minha, do António e do Gonçalo) de 9 dias na feira mais antiga da Península Ibérica, fica aqui um humilde tributo à Feira de São Mateus: são cerca de seis minutos de magia…

Anúncios

Digital manipulation – What is and what isn’t

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Digital manipulation – what is and what isn’t?

Beyond ethics, what can we really consider as acceptable nowadays?

Before we speak about manipulation let’s not forget pure and plain lies. Many photographers have been caught lying about location, context, subject manipulation on their photographs – beforehand this is about ethics, has nothing to do with digital post processing.

In spite of the natural grey area this issue implicates I believe that to make matters simpler and easier there is a perspective we must consider, as long as we are familiar with the analogue/film process.

Plenty of times I read or engage in conversations where it is affirmed that almost everything one can do with Photoshop or with any other imaging editing software is digital manipulation. Well, it is not. For those that have no idea of what is possible within the analogue realm it is hard to realise that plenty of what we can achieve with Photoshop nowadays was also achievable using film development and/or enlarging techniques during the film era.

Just a glimpse of what was possible with film development: using different chemical solutions, altering dilution ratios, changing temperature of the diluted chemicals, increasing or decreasing development time resulted in changes in the shadow and highlight areas of the negative. Furthermore, the fine silver halide particles “changed” when exposed to different chemical combinations/brands, the output changing accordingly. But, even prior to this step we could expose a film one or two EV’s below or above its nominal sensitivity (ISO) changing dynamic range and therefore the shadow/highlight relationship and rendering. We could compensate for this in the development stage or increase the desired effect changing recommended development times.

Once the negative was ready to be enlarged a whole new frontier opened up: more or less sharpness could be achieved changing the aperture in the enlarger’s lens, cropping, recomposing, correction of converging/diverging lines, enhancing shadow or highlight areas using masks or overexposing certain parts of the image. This was a very long process, trial and error, undo was not possible. I spent hours and hours of my life locked inside the darkroom experimenting, enhancing and fine tuning my images. I have to confess that we’ve gained a lot with the digital process, our life being much easier today. Undo is probably the best command the digital era invented.

Last but not the least, print development was the last frontier. And again, different papers combined with different chemicals, temperatures and timing provided exceptionally different results. Selenium toning was just one of the final touches available, changing a print’s colour and making the image more permanent by bonding selenium particles directly to the metallic silver in the emulsion. There were a few different toners usable to finish the prints, all of them providing dissimilar results. The output of fibre-based or resin coated papers was also substantially distinctive.

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Ansel Adams book trilogy “The Camera”, “The Negative”, “The Print” is mandatory if you want to get to know (and learn) about the extraordinary potential of the analogue process. Ansel Adams was a master, second to none when it comes to exposure, development and printing techniques. “Manipulation” of the original image using analogue processes was absolutely mind blogging.

In my opinion, all that we could do to enhance and improve the original image back in those days was acceptable and therefore, my opinion again, acceptable nowadays within the digital medium. I do not consider digital manipulation everything that one can do to improve, enhance and potentiate the final result, starting from a RAW file (JPEG SOOC already have a considerable amount of manipulation/enhancement). I prefer to tag this process as “digital enhancement”, not manipulation. Jerry Uelsmann’s entire photographic carreer was based upon image manipulation using analogue techniques and his work demonstrates what was possible using analogue techniques to heavily manipulate one, or a set of photographs by creating a new reality, a completely new interpretation of a scene, clearly manipulated.

So before adding “digital” to this conversation I believe we must discern enhancement from manipulation. Putting this openly, Adams’ work is the epitome of enhancement and Uelsmann’s work is the embodiment of manipulation.

Of course, being unaware of the history, complexity and potential of the analogue process doesn’t help. Roots are always important, if not critical, for a better understanding of the present.

If you’re not adding or subtracting objects, subjects or any other items to the image or altering those that were present when the shutter was released I do not think you’ll be manipulating. If you’re using image editing software to crop, reframe, for perspective correction, to enhance shadows or recover highlights, to sharpen, to saturate or desaturate you’ll be enhancing the RAW file (the “negative”) and this is not manipulation.

John Gallo

 

Pixel peepers, how much resolution do you really need?

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How Much Resolution Do You Really Need?

By Bing Putney on October 11th 2016, SLR Lounge

 

The spec sheets on today’s flagship digital cameras are impressive to say the least. Nikon offers 36, Sony 42, and Canon’s 5DS a staggering 51 megapixels. And that’s just right now, and that’s not touching the likes of Hasselblad and Phase One 100MP offerings. Ever since digital cameras began to supplant film as the industry standard, resolution has been the headline feature of every camera along the way.

The trend of packing more and more pixels onto our image sensors doesn’t seem to be slowing down, as every year we marvel at the newest staggering megapixel number, only to see that number surpassed mere months later. However, in this relentless contest for king of the resolution mountain, it seems rare that we stop and ask the question: how much resolution do we actually NEED?

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Naturally, the answer to this question will be a personal one and dependent on a number of factors, but there are a few constants that can help you as a photographer, to answer it for yourself. For example, we have standards in place to describe the abilities of the human eye, and unless your intended audience is a nest of bald eagles, these guidelines can suggest the point of diminishing returns, resolution-wise.

What Is Resolution?

First, it’s important to understand what we’re talking about when we describe the resolution of a photo. Resolution is essentially the ability of the human eye, camera sensor, printer, or screen to differentiate between two points. To calculate this ability, you need two key pieces of information: the distance between the two points, and the relative viewing distance from those points. Imagine that you’ve lit two candles, placed them 1 foot apart, and drove a mile away from them. At this distance, you would most likely be unable to tell if you were looking at one candle or two. In order to see that there are, in fact, two candles, you would need to move them further apart, or get closer to them.

Keep reading here: https://www.slrlounge.com/how-much-resolution-do-you-really-need/

 

 

Um edifício icónico, parte II

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Mais um par de horas, ao nascer do sol, à volta da estação de camionagem de Viseu. Não me canso deste edifício, acho que ainda teremos parte III, centrada nos utilizadores e na sua interacção com o edifício.

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Para já ficam aqui mais uns quantos momentos, registados na pacatez de uma manhã de domingo de um outono ensolarado e anormalmente quente.

625 anos, 625 retratos – Feira de São Mateus

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Algumas fotografias são mais fotografias que outras… Será? Talvez…

Foram nove dias de intenso trabalho, quase cinco mil fotografias produzidas, 625 selecionadas. Nenhuma das fotografias publicadas foi manipulada digitalmente. A energia, emoção e entrega de todos e a forma como os visitantes vibram nesta feira com mais de seis séculos de vida chega para produzir instantâneos inesquecíveis.

Fisheye frenzy!

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Voltaram a estar na moda, as velhinhas fisheye. Vulgarizadas nos anos sessenta, quem não se lembra da mais famosa de todas, a Nikon 6mm f2.8 Fisheye, a última das quais vendida por €150000,00 (não, não é erro, cento e cinquenta mil Euros) no Reino Unido. Apenas algumas foram produzidas e apenas por encomenda…

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Hoje em dia as propostas são um pouco mais em conta: a excelente Olympus 8mm f1.8 para MFT, a já velhinha mas ainda actual Nikon 16mm f2.8 (já não é produzida tanto quanto apurei), a Canon 15mm f2.8, no que a focais fixas diz respeito.

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A prova de que estão efectivamente na moda é o facto de Canon e Nikon terem apostado nos últimos anos em lentes zoom fisheye, a Nikon 8-15mm e a Canon 8-15mm (ambas muito, muito similares).

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Usadas com algum critério são belíssimas ferramentas criativas, sem dúvida. Ficam aqui algumas imagens que fui produzindo ao longo dos últimos anos com lentes fisheye diversas, em cenários muito diferentes.

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Have fun!…