"Altered reality photography"
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Old 09-12-2016   #1
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Default "Altered reality photography"

I am looking for some direction with 'altered reality photography' and specifically about the definition/rules of it. Start to finish.

Does it mean only images taken by the photographer may be used along with brushes, actions etc. OR can a certain amount of stock or free domain images be incorporated into the final image....along with purchased or free domain brushes, actions etc.

At what point does it move from a photography project/image to a artistic editing image?

Thanks for any insight you can offer.

P.S. I will also post this on the "Illustration/Digital Art forum" in the hopes of getting some responses.

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Old 09-12-2016   #2
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Default Re: "Altered reality photography"

From a purist point of view I suspect any alteration of an origional image would be considered altered reality. At the opposite end of the spectrum I'm thinking there are those who don't feel any changes that improve an image are significant.
I'm in the middle of the road on this, that is, comparing to the old film days, we corrected exposure via not only developing if we knew of a film limiting issue, exposures were corrected or altered in the enlarger (look at Ansel Adams work for example).
Basic editing isn't altering reality but simply removing some distracting reality, which is no different than altering the camera's view by using a different focal length lens.
I think the alteration of reality would relate more to substantial image changes such as changing an entire background, for example. But even then its not necessarily a bad thing, depending on intent. A favorite photo of a loved one with a tree branch growing from the top of the persons head and cloned out isn't significant as its a photo editing improvement. The current trend in portrature seems to be making a persons skin look like plastic, removing all wrinkles and not a blemish to be seen would be an alteration of reality.
As I see it the one area where photo alterations are not a good thing is photojournalism where accurate news reporting is a must.

Maybe the more pertenant question is reality in what aspect?
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Old 09-12-2016   #3
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Default Re: "Altered reality photography"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_S View Post
From a purist point of view I suspect any alteration of an origional image would be considered altered reality. At the opposite end of the spectrum I'm thinking there are those who don't feel any changes that improve an image are significant.
I'm in the middle of the road on this, that is, comparing to the old film days, we corrected exposure via not only developing if we knew of a film limiting issue, exposures were corrected or altered in the enlarger (look at Ansel Adams work for example).
Basic editing isn't altering reality but simply removing some distracting reality, which is no different than altering the camera's view by using a different focal length lens.
I think the alteration of reality would relate more to substantial image changes such as changing an entire background, for example. But even then its not necessarily a bad thing, depending on intent. A favorite photo of a loved one with a tree branch growing from the top of the persons head and cloned out isn't significant as its a photo editing improvement. The current trend in portrature seems to be making a persons skin look like plastic, removing all wrinkles and not a blemish to be seen would be an alteration of reality.
As I see it the one area where photo alterations are not a good thing is photojournalism where accurate news reporting is a must.

Maybe the more pertenant question is reality in what aspect?
Thank you for your response, I think there is a bit of misunderstanding though.
Altered Reality Photography isn't about doing normal edits to a photo. It usually means taking several photos or elements of photos and combining them to make another image that is usually, not always, surreal in the end photo.

My question is are all of the photo elements required to be taken by the original photographer or are some purchased stock or free domain photos allowed to be used in the creation? Including techniques as in brushes and actions.

Example - I I have a photograph of a person sitting in my livingroom and I want them to be sitting in the misty fall woods with maybe a wolf watching her. I don't have all of those elements to create the shot. Is it acceptable to use images/elements from another source? If I wanted snow in an image do I have to create the brush/action or could it be bought or used from a free domain sight?

Thank you again for your response....it is an interesting discussion
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Old 09-12-2016   #4
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Default Re: "Altered reality photography"

I'm a bit confused then, there seems to be more than one question involved.
short answer is placing someone in another environment would be altering the reality of the moment and location that image was taken.
As far as whether all the elements "are required to be taken by the origional photographer vs purchased stock or free domain" is a non-issue as far as the desired end result.
I think the issue of ethics would be when photos from other sources are used, credit is given where credit is due. IE: "combined image with background supplied by person x".
Or that the image is a combination of photos that you as the photographer took to achieve the desired result.
Intended or actual use should come into play.
Is it for an artistic print to be hung on the wall or published in some manner? If the latter then my above comment about credit would surely apply.
As far as technique and the editing tools used there are many tutorials online. Someone more proficient than myself in photoshop could probably write pages about it and still not answer all your questions.
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Old 09-12-2016   #5
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Default Re: "Altered reality photography"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_S View Post
I'm a bit confused then, there seems to be more than one question involved.
short answer is placing someone in another environment would be altering the reality of the moment and location that image was taken.
As far as whether all the elements "are required to be taken by the origional photographer vs purchased stock or free domain" is a non-issue as far as the desired end result.
I think the issue of ethics would be when photos from other sources are used, credit is given where credit is due. IE: "combined image with background supplied by person x".
Or that the image is a combination of photos that you as the photographer took to achieve the desired result.
Intended or actual use should come into play.
Is it for an artistic print to be hung on the wall or published in some manner? If the latter then my above comment about credit would surely apply.
As far as technique and the editing tools used there are many tutorials online. Someone more proficient than myself in photoshop could probably write pages about it and still not answer all your questions.
You are quite right....all elements of the image should be acknowledged and credit given where needed. It certainly is a difficult area of discussion with many points of view on it. I myself am torn with it....that is the reason to try and find someone somewhere that has more knowledge of the field to discuss it with.
Thank you so much though, I really appreciate it.


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