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Digitally altered Yes or No ?


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Apart from changing exposure, colour and very minor tidying (dust spots etc) I enter 'No' to Digitally altered. Anything more and I answer 'Yes'

 

While checking some of my Liverpool images I noticed that another contributor has a collection of images with the same seagull in a prominent sky position. Another has what looks like an added moon.

 

They are marked as 'No' to Digitally enhanced.

 

Am I missing something as I would have marked these with a 'Yes' ?

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You're not missing anything, John -- the shooters with the moon and the bird are. But I think you're spending unnecessary time and energy worrying about what other contributors do. 

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Funny this should come up, as I was just looking at a set of images about great shots of architecture reflected in water. When checking them, if you know your PP, you can tell that on some (if not most) the photographer has put the reflection there themselves.  As these are all from a competitor, I won't send the link, but I checked a few images on the agency and nowhere does it even say whether the image is digitally altered or not.

 

For this type of article, digitally altered images are very much misrepresenting the tone of the article.

 

Jill

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Funny this should come up, as I was just looking at a set of images about great shots of architecture reflected in water. When checking them, if you know your PP, you can tell that on some (if not most) the photographer has put the reflection there themselves.  As these are all from a competitor, I won't send the link, but I checked a few images on the agency and nowhere does it even say whether the image is digitally altered or not.

 

For this type of article, digitally altered images are very much misrepresenting the tone of the article.

 

Jill

 

Agree.

 

Digitally-added reflections are IMO one of the easiest digital manipulations to spot, and when you understand the physics of light and pretty basic geometry, they are one of the sillier looking ones :-) But that doesn't stop the practise from being particularly popular.

 

I've yet to see one in Alamy's catalogue that was marked as digitally altered . . .

 

dd

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I agree with most about this one, particularly if something is clearly added to the image, such as a bird that wasn't actually there.

 

Some have disagreed with me recently on other changes that are technically altering, but I do not think they are altered in a way that the client would have issue with. Something I often do, and have made several sales from, is to change the sky in my images where the sky looked poor, and a different sky from another image improves it hugely. The results look real and nothing important has changed, and the subject of the shot is as it should be, with nothing added or removed. So I think it's a case of why the client would want to know if an image was altered. In the case of different sky, I've only done that to improve the overall appearance and sometimes to help the foreground stand out more. If I was to change a sunny day sky to show stormy clouds to get the look of a stormy day when in fact the sun was shining, then I would class that as altered.

 

I know many will disagree with me and I'd be interested in what Alamy would say about it.

 

Geoff.

 

Seriously? As Philippe might say, I'm flabbergasted. You are saying that a composite image is not digitally altered. Of course it is digitally altered - there is no argument - you have added a completely unrelated element to a scene and removed another - the very definition of a composite image. You are contadicting what you say in the very first sentence. I have no doubt that if you query member services that you will be told that dropping a sky into an image is digital alteration.

 

A further implication here is that sky is insignificant, something on the level of a studio backdrop. To me the sky and clouds are often important compositional elements in an image.

 

Furthermore, it may well be possible to see that such an image is a composite from the direction of light, shadows on the ground, cloud tones etc. And it is not up to the contributor to decide that a client doesn't need to know that an image is a composite. It could be really important. I don't see that it is a problem to declare an image digitally altered if it is and to provide an explanation in the description section.

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I think we discussed this the other day, but I think to a degree it's a matter of preference. I wouldn't change a sky but I would and do change the density or saturation and usually find that sufficient- if not the image probably goes. But it's largely because in my book the return doesn't justify the work involved.

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I am calm - simply amazed and slightly animated which is my general manner. I just don't think there is any argument that dropping a new sky into an image is digital alteration by any definition. To me it is very simple - you are adding something to the image that wasn't there in the first place. Why don't you email member services and get a definitive answer?

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It's very simple to me - adding new elements to an image is the digital alteration line and it is a definite line. It may be totally pedantic and frequently irrelevant and not noticeable if you do add an element that wasn't there in the original scene but it does constitute digital alteration. I do recall a thread, on the old forum I'm sure, where somebody from Alamy made this point very clearly and I am pretty sure that if you did email member services or that if Alamy were to input here then that is what they would say. I won't offer to eat my hat if they say differently as I need it for UV protection but I am as good as absolutely certain that this is the case.

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I will confess to moving a flying seagull from one side of a seascape to another more compositionally pleasing location, and not owning up to it in the check-boxes. But at least the gull was already there.

 

 Am I gulling the buyer? 

 

 

EDIT:  Woops, my not-so-bad:  I see that it was the FAA version that has the relocated seagull. The Alamy version still has the gull in its original, sub-optimal, not-near-a-rule-of-thirds-intersection location.

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I agree with most about this one, particularly if something is clearly added to the image, such as a bird that wasn't actually there.

 

Some have disagreed with me recently on other changes that are technically altering, but I do not think they are altered in a way that the client would have issue with. Something I often do, and have made several sales from, is to change the sky in my images where the sky looked poor, and a different sky from another image improves it hugely. The results look real and nothing important has changed, and the subject of the shot is as it should be, with nothing added or removed. So I think it's a case of why the client would want to know if an image was altered. In the case of different sky, I've only done that to improve the overall appearance and sometimes to help the foreground stand out more. If I was to change a sunny day sky to show stormy clouds to get the look of a stormy day when in fact the sun was shining, then I would class that as altered.

 

I know many will disagree with me and I'd be interested in what Alamy would say about it.

 

 

It's not about whether or not one particular client cares about digital alteration. It's not about how obvious any alterations may be - to QC or the client. What matters is whether something has been added, removed, or substantially changed. These are stock photos that are offered to a wide range of clients so we should presume they have different policies regarding altered images. There's nothing wrong with adding sky from a separate photo as long as you state the image has been altered. I don't understand why many photographers are reluctant to do so.

 

fD

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Some examples if what I've been saying.....

 

 

 

This is how this one looked when I first uploaded it, and didn't like the dull looking sky.

n87hn8hn8h-f0dd3x.jpg

 

Rather than changing the blues, I changed the sky. It looks almost the same but a nicer colour and a hint of white clouds, which improves the image but I don't say it's been altered and see no reason to say so.

petworth-court-block-of-3-floor-flats-wi

 

This is another old upload that I've recently "deleted" (in my junk pseudo) and re-edited with a nicer sky, and not marked it as altered.

8g7bg8gbg8b-f0mgxc.jpg

 

stagecoach-office-building-in-worthing-w

 

 

Geoff.

 

Although these two are very small changes, you could simply have accomplished the same by adjusting the exposure on the sky only. 

 

Jill

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If the customer could do it using the available programmes without materially changing the picture e.g. colour shift, brightness etc then its not digitally altered.

 

If its something the customer would not want e.g. dust spots then their removal is not digital alteration.

 

If removal would not materially alter the picture or change its general meaning as taken e.g. a small seagull in the sky which may be taken as a dust spot then its not digital alteration.

 

If it will materially effect the picture but make it more saleable e.g. dog poo on the pavement then its digitally altered as would be adding dog poo which was not there.

 

Adding any pixels whatsoever from another file is digital manipulation and should be declared as would be any fancy cloning.

 

Its just common sense really and many customers are not bothered as they buy the pic as seen unless its news of course.  If in doubt I would declare it as its only a tick box and lifes too short and the fees too low to agonise over.

 

None of the other agencies I supply even ask the question although they may contact me from time to time with a client specific question regarding the veracity of the file.

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If the customer could do it using the available programmes without materially changing the picture e.g. colour shift, brightness etc then its not digitally altered.

 

If its something the customer would not want e.g. dust spots then their removal is not digital alteration.

 

If removal would not materially alter the picture or change its general meaning as taken e.g. a small seagull in the sky which may be taken as a dust spot then its not digital alteration.

 

If it will materially effect the picture but make it more saleable e.g. dog poo on the pavement then its digitally altered as would be adding dog poo which was not there.

 

Adding any pixels whatsoever from another file is digital manipulation and should be declared as would be any fancy cloning.

 

Its just common sense really and many customers are not bothered as they buy the pic as seen unless its news of course.  If in doubt I would declare it as its only a tick box and lifes too short and the fees too low to agonise over.

 

None of the other agencies I supply even ask the question although they may contact me from time to time with a client specific question regarding the veracity of the file.

 

I agree with this entirely.

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I've tried to explain why I am reluctant to do so but I'll elaborate. I have just posted examples to hopefully clarify things a little. As I said, there is a line to cross and in the examples I just posted of the buildings with different sky, I don't think I've crossed it. It's just personal opinion. I also admit that I wonder why a client wants to know this and I don't want to put them off considering one of my images simply because I've said it's digitally altered, when the overall effect is similar to normal processing. If I alter is in a more major way, then I DO say it HAS been altered - NOT ALWAYS, I admit it, and I'm not sure why but I'm corrected that now.

 

Geoff.

 

 

 

There's been quite a stir over the past few years about digitally altered images. Quite a few photographers have been eliminated from various competitions when their photos were discovered to be digitally altered. A number of newspapers and the AP have fired photographers for digitally altering images, and now former Nat Geo photographer Steve McCurry has come under fire for digitally altering his work. While you may not intend for your work to be photojournalism, some of these publications are also Alamy clients , so it matters to them whether the image is marked as "digitally altered" or not.

 

Quite honestly, looking at the work I wonder if you might've achieved similar results by simply adjusting levels and vibrance, but how you achieved those results is just as important as how the final image appears.

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Even better - take the pictures in good light with good skies and don't shoot when the conditions are not right - not always possible but can be done for shots in your local area for sure.

 

And it is patently untrue that all images from a digital camera are digitally altered in the sense that we have been discussing in this thread - they are digitally acquired 2-dimensional representations of a scene and each raw image has a huge number of valid possible interpretations without entering the realms of the the digitally altered which has a specific meaning. Anyway enough of this pedantry.

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Geoff this is truly ridiculous. I do not have a foul (or fowl) attitude - I don't know what you are reading into my words. I was arguing in a very straightforward way about some things you have said that I believe are simply totally incorrect  (i.e that adding skies is not digital alteration). Call me blunt if you like. I was simply calling a spade a spade  and  arguing for what I am absolutely certain is correct here -purely semantic without any malice or whatever you are seeing in my words intended.  Anyway best to leave this now. Life is certainly too short for this.

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Geoff this is truly ridiculous. I do not have a foul (or fowl) attitude - I don't know what you are reading into my words. I was arguing in a very straightforward way about some things you have said that I believe are simply totally incorrect  (i.e that adding skies is not digital alteration). Call me blunt if you like. I was simply calling a spade a spade  and  arguing for what I am absolutely certain is correct here -purely semantic without any malice or whatever you are seeing in my words intended.  Anyway best to leave this now. Life is certainly too short for this.

Agree with your viewpoint.

If I combine parts of an image with parts of another image, I call it a composition, a digitally altered image. Even if it is a sky swap. I do this a lot with my POD stuff, skies or textures.

Some of us look at things differently, not to be faulted but also not necessarily right.

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Apart from changing exposure, colour and very minor tidying (dust spots etc) I enter 'No' to Digitally altered. Anything more and I answer 'Yes'

 

While checking some of my Liverpool images I noticed that another contributor has a collection of images with the same seagull in a prominent sky position. Another has what looks like an added moon.

 

They are marked as 'No' to Digitally enhanced.

 

Am I missing something as I would have marked these with a 'Yes' ?

There was a significant contributor or two who were noted in the old forum for plonking the exact same size full moon into many of their images . . . funny thing is, when you see a whole page of such a contributor's work, drop-in moons/clouds/gulls etc are embarassingly obvious as the same old moon, the same old clouds, the same old gull keep appearing over and over. And you are 100% correct, all such composite images are digitally altered and, to maintain any semblance of a contemporary standard of the collection here, should be marked as such.

 

But of course, everyone should stick to the speed limit and be nice to their neighours too, but . . .

 

dd

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