60 votes

Why is software-based manipulation of images frowned upon while hardware-based manipulation is acceptable?

Why are hardware-based manipulations, like black and white photography (traditionally using black-and-white film), long exposure, etc., which also result in an "unnatural" image, acceptable while ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
57 votes
Accepted

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

Certainly the biggest factor is the dynamic range processing. The room is so bright, and shares the same color temperature as the outdoors daylight lighting. Yet the shadows in the balcony and near ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.7k
43 votes
Accepted

How were pictures turned from film to a big picture in a picture frame before digital scanning?

Going from negative film to a printed image is a two-step process. First, the negative is developed — the latent image on the film brought out and then fixed in place. Now you have a piece of ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
43 votes

How to check if a photo is edited (even basic edits like exposure and white balance)?

Being slightly harsh, competition rules like that show that the organisers don't really understand how modern cameras work. A very high level and simplified view of how a camera makes a image (JPEG): ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
  • 21.9k
42 votes

Should I horizontally flip a client's portrait?

If the lighting was asymmetrical and consistent between shots, then the lighting will be flipped as well and this might easily make the shot look simply awful or so awful its funny. This may not be ...
Yorik's user avatar
  • 531
36 votes

How to convert JPEG to RAW in Photoshop or similar?

In addition to the points Alex S made, you need to consider why they want RAW. There are several possible reasons: Bit depth as Alex S said. JPG suffers from compression artefacts which RAW doesn't. ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 3,812
35 votes
Accepted

How do I rotate a lot of digital photos by 180 degrees in one operation?

I would recommend any of the applications from this list at JPEGclub.org, which develops and maintains software for the Independent JPEG Group. They have a free piece of code called ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
35 votes

Is it moral to remove/hide certain parts of a photo, as a photographer?

Artistic photography follows the beauty is in the eye of the beholder ethos. There is nothing inherently immoral about it. Photography that is meant to make a political statement or journal actual ...
OnBreak.'s user avatar
  • 20.5k
32 votes
Accepted

Why does this picture look so painterly?

I think the reasons why you see John Starkey's photography as a painting have more to do with perceptual aspects than technical ones. Light The main element is light. The spotlights on a head or a ...
Danielillo's user avatar
  • 1,769
31 votes

Should I horizontally flip a client's portrait?

There are no hard and fast rules in art. You are free to follow your heart. If flipping some of the images assists in the symmetry of the final presentation, then go for it! Few if any will recognize ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
29 votes
Accepted

How to convert JPEG to RAW in Photoshop or similar?

RAW is not (or minimally) processed image data from camera sensor. JPEG is processed image data. Typically, raw-files from modern cameras have 12-14-bit per pixel which means up to 16384 values (for ...
Zenit's user avatar
  • 1,791
28 votes
Accepted

How to capture a swinging pendulum?

Let's look at the last picture. If you want a black background, you need to be careful not to spill light. It's relatively easy to control in a large studio, it's almost impossible in a small room. ...
Eric Duminil's user avatar
  • 2,273
28 votes

An image with lower resolution is of higher file size while that of a higher resolution is of lower file size. How does that happen?

The reasons to have difference in size can be (and most of them are related to image compression): Amount of details in the image. Save flat colour image and another with several colours and you will ...
Romeo Ninov's user avatar
26 votes

How does Renato D'Agostin achieve these super minimalist and high-contrast photos?

Upon viewing his portfolio at the link you provided, my first thought was push processing. In push processing, one typically underexposes the shot (that is, meters and set exposure as if the the film ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.7k
25 votes

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

The thing that sets off the alarm is the perfectly bright and uniform lighting in the room, especially on its ceiling. The room should be quite dark, since the sun is on the other side of the building ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.3k
25 votes

How do I merge two photos with a transition from the color photo to the black-and-white photo?

Usual technique (here with Gimp, but same technique is doable with PS): Put your two pictures in layers (they should of course overlap as exactly as possible, which is easy if like here one is a ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.3k
24 votes

How to make sky more green grey and skin more golden?

You can achieve this using flash, gels, and white balance. Set your WB so that the background (the clouds) has the desired colour tone, this will probably involve a lower WB setting than the one ...
ths's user avatar
  • 7,171
23 votes
Accepted

What type of editing is necessary to achieve this type of watch photo?

To me, it is just that you dial is over-exposed, easy to fix with the Curves tool of your editor: In other cases, just using the contrast tool could be easier, but here this would blow out the ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.3k
22 votes

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

The focus seems too even to me.  I would expect a photo taken to have something blurrier, either in the foreground or background.
Erik Eidt's user avatar
  • 321
22 votes
Accepted

Is there any proof that high saturation and contrast makes a picture more appealing in social media?

I think your manager is right, and that this phenomenon is much more widespread than just photos for social media, or even photography in general. Take a look in supermarkets, and take in the flashy ...
timvrhn's user avatar
  • 2,702
22 votes

An image with lower resolution is of higher file size while that of a higher resolution is of lower file size. How does that happen?

For these two photos: as shown by ImageMagick's identify, the bird is JPEG quality 100 and the llamas are JPEG quality 92). This alone would be enough to explain ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.3k
21 votes
Accepted

Does over- or underexposed give the most life-like post-edit results?

Overexposed areas have a sharp cut-off when the maximum pixel value is reached. You have a completely white area if this happens in all colour channels. There is nothing you can do in post to recover ...
ths's user avatar
  • 7,171
21 votes

Why is software-based manipulation of images frowned upon while hardware-based manipulation is acceptable?

Is it frowned upon? Photography has always made use of whatever technology was available, whether in the camera, the darkroom or, now, the computer. It's a long time since other forms of art were ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 1,696
20 votes

How do I merge two photos with a transition from the color photo to the black-and-white photo?

Just to provide a third option - & you can do this with just one colour photo, no need for a separate black & white image. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer & dial out all the ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 23.3k
18 votes
Accepted

Should I horizontally flip a client's portrait?

What I did in the end Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. You all really helped me decide what to do. Just to clarify, I wasn't aware that they wanted this before the shoot and they were ...
xtojump's user avatar
  • 521
18 votes

How were pictures turned from film to a big picture in a picture frame before digital scanning?

I thought an illustration would be helpful. It's the same principle as an overhead projector, another mostly obsolete piece of technology: Where instead of textbook text on a transparency, the ...
user151841's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Why does the image get bluish and not yellowish when I shift the color temperature to a lower K?

Because the color temperature that you give in photo editing is the assumed color temperature of the light source used for the original picture. With a low temperature light source the colors are ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.3k
17 votes

How to check if a photo is edited (even basic edits like exposure and white balance)?

Submissions for these types of contests, and even some news agencies, require photos to be submitted as straight-from-camera JPEG files, not as exports of RAW images. This is usually enough to satisfy ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.7k
16 votes

Does over- or underexposed give the most life-like post-edit results?

Neither. Underexposure means that you did not deliver enough light and you are losing information in shadows. Overexposure means that you delivered too much light and losing information in highlights. ...
MirekE's user avatar
  • 5,205

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