Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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36

Editing is definitely not unethical (making a deceptive photo can be unethical, but it is also easy to deceive in-camera, it's the deceiving part that makes it unethical not the editing) There are two very different types of photography - there are photos that are intended to show what something really look like (photojournalism, pictures for eBay listings, ...


30

I agree with apparently everyone else that the "ethics" depend entirely on context. Here are some examples where I think editing is straightforward: 1800s: You could get a "headless portrait" with your head in your lap or on a pitchfork. Unproblematic. I doubt anyone thought that these were real. 1800s: Eadweard Muybridge became famous for his pictures ...


18

There's a tendency these days to think that photo editing is a modern phenomenon, when in fact it's nearly as old as photography itself. How 'ethical' editing is depends on the genre and the expectation of the viewer. One would expect photojournalism to use little editing other than basic exposure adjustment, whereas an artistic landscape or portrait shot ...


16

Considered by whom? This is both an issue that has intrigued and bothered people since the dawn of photography and a still-emerging topic that is far from settled. So, in a larger sense, there's really no meaningful answer, just a series of opinions. But, in a specific sense, there certainly can be an answer. The definition you've taken above has a very ...


13

I'm a gallery represented artist and I want my work to stand for what it is when you see it, not the process I went through to make the piece. I don't do things like add sky, not because it is "wrong" but just because it isn't what my vision does. My tools are my camera, my lenses, my tripod, my miscellaneous gear and of course my laptop and host of ...


10

Yes it is. In fact, I've seen many photographer contracts for a wedding explicitly call out whether or not the photographer will be getting a meal. I've read on some forums that some photographers require a meal, but I think it's in better to taste to make it an "option" on the contract. If the client said it was okay, then it's okay. Now, of course you ...


9

The action of editing is neither ethical nor unethical. What you do with the resulting images is what counts. Those who manipulate their images to deceive are doing something unethical. If you are just doing it to produce an artwork which pleases you better, than you manipulate at will and still sleep well at night. Ultimately you have to chose what your ...


8

I adopt an "opt out" approach. I assume everything is edited unless it is explicitly stated that this is not the case. I use the same approach, therefore I wont label every photo as being edited, but if I capture something particularly unusual or hard to believe in which case I'll say "this was straight out of camera!", or "this hasn't been composited in ...


8

The reason you see photomontages, or as its often called photomanupulation, on photography sites is it is a form of artistic expression with photography. It is not painting, or drawing, or sculpting. Such works are always composed of photography, and even though they are not a single-shot image, neither are the myriads of HDR/Enfused photos which also litter ...


8

This addresses only my opinion on one less-central aspect of the question: I agree that the more extreme forms of what you describe are unethical or immoral. As well as avoiding mistreatment of the target animal, I would personally never use live-bait for anything, but that's a personal choice and many would be happy to do so. But I don't see too much ...


6

This question is a little subjective and is going to get views from both sides of the fence. Short Answer Do what you want to deliver the vision that you see Be aware of rules/dogmas/standards Accept that afore mentioned rules/dogmas/standards can be broken Be prepared to push your boundaries and improve your artistic and photographic capabilities Long ...


6

One time, when my grandma was in assisted living, I snapped a photo of my sister, her, and me together in her livingroom. While she and my sister chatted, I photoshopped the picture so that we were on a beach in Mexico. I showed it to her, and she was startled and confused - living far inland in the US, even trips to the beach were rare for her, and she had ...


6

Check your contract. If ambiguous, talk to the client. If uncertain, ask a lawyer (or just forget about it, as that lawyer will likely cost you more than you'd ever get from selling the shots). That's the most definite advise you can ever get here, as we haven't seen you contract, don't know the law where you live, where the client lives, and where the ...


5

Professional don't do shoot and deliver the products for free. Would you visit a restaurant ask for a free meal just to test how good they are? Wake up, the only reason for asking for the raw files is so that they can get it processed and printed elsewhere.


5

All photos are manipulated, simply because all photos are merely a piece of a larger picture, and by taking that piece out you lose the context they were taken in. Does this mean that we shouldn't make rules? Well, no, obviously there is a code of ethics in certain cases (i.e. photo-journalism and documentary photography) where the point is to honestly ...


5

People can do whatever the rules allow and/or what they can get away with. You don't have to like it. FWIW (possibly only what you paid for it) I personally tend to feel that photos are usually (not always) diminished by editing that substantially alters what was captured or seen (which are certainly not always the same thing) AND I accept that the ...


5

You should only ask yourself, if the edits fits into the genre or not. Of course works for documentary and journalism should generally be free of any manipulations, but even in those genres editing should be ok as long as it doesn't affect the message that the photo is supposed to deliver. For anything else that you can call it "art", any kind of ...


4

As for the legal issues, the crux of the matter is the model release. All of the reputable micro-stock websites that I've looked into (Shutter Stock, iStockPhoto, Fotolia, etc.) are going to require a model release if your client is in any way recognizable. Traditional stock agencies will have similar requirements. Even if your existing contract includes a ...


4

In the very least, you'd need a model release from the client, if they appeared in the photo. Possibly also a location release. If the client is important to you, consider whether you would do harm to the relationship by attempting to sell the images through another channel. While some clients would not mind - after all they understand that you need to have ...


4

Excluding working as a photographer for someone else, there are really no rules in Photography. Which means, you can make up your own rules for yourself and use those self-imposed rules as part of your style or as structure for your own creativity. I try to avoid judging anyone else's rules as unethical or wrong. That said ... for me control over the tones ...


4

Have to agree with Gapton and Steve here...your client is trying to swindle you, no question there. They used you for free, and are not trying to get YOUR product, the actual photography, for free. A client has no reason to need or want a RAW file...they should be paying for a professionally finished product. Tell them NO! Its the responsible, professional ...


3

Yes. It is ethically right. (IMO) And it also depends on your definition of originality. Let's have a different argument than other answers here: Imagine if you take a photo using a good P&S camera, lets say the photo is really good i.e. it conveys a strong subject/meaning etc. Now some other person takes almost same photo with the best DSLR + best lens ...


3

I have two comments: From an historical perspective, this idea has been thought about since the beginning of photography. In the earliest days, the agreed goal was to produce a "true likeness", very much like reportage. That was because the whole prior experience was derived from drawing and painting. There was a fascination for detail. By about 1900, ...


3

I've read some on this subject as well. I know that baiting is a very common practice, especially with wildlife photography. I've seen it mentioned by a number of photographers with stunning pictures. In my opinion, it's only unethical if you fail to disclose that fact or present the picture as an accurate depiction of reality. I would say it's the same ...


3

It's a subjective question but it's all photography at the end of the day. If you are shooting photojournalism then the rules are different; in this situation you shouldn't be compositing or applying a great deal of post production other than perhaps setting the white balance/colour correction/cropping etc. When you shoot photojournalism the viewer has ...


3

Usually an un-manipulated image means that it is not airbrushed or underwent heavy processing. All models in magazines are considered as manipulated (or photoshopped). Post processing an image by applying sharpening and toning colors to reflect a natural look, is not really considered manipulation but rather adjustment. Photographers may argue about the ...


3

Here's my take on it: Every image out there is edited to some degree, even if only to change contrast, colour balance, or crop it to fit the size needed for the frame. For B&W, the conversion to greyscale is implicit (and yes, using B&W film is editing in that respect, you're making the decision to remove the colours present in the natural world). No ...


2

Yes, you can, if your client has agreed to it upfront. Since you're asking, I assume your current contract is vague about that. Bringing it up afterwards is probably not worth the hassle and selling them without client's consent is subject to ethical and legal mess that could cost you more (in time, reputation or money) than potential earnings. So, my ...



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