Monday, 10 September 2012


This chapter encourages us to explore the boundaries of what constitutes 'fake' and  'real'.

With modern technology we have complete control over the image that is presented, much more so than with traditional photography. With skill and practice it is possible to create completely fictitious photographic situations. By some this is considered art, others may see it as fraud. To better understand my own feelings on this subject and to find where I myself draw the line between tidying up a picture and distorting the truth, I am editing the following two images from the course web site. The two images provide two different editing situations.

In the first image I am going to clean up dirt spots. As most of the image consists of similar dust marks, I have shown a section of the image at 100%.

Before clean up with dust spots in place.
Without dust spots.
My own feelings about this first exercise are feelings of frustration! The photographed objects appear to be of some kind of transparent substance, i.e. glass or resin. The objects have dark marks all over them but it is not clear if these are dust spots or some property of the materials. As I did not photograph the objects and have never seen the real thing, I am finding it very difficult to be sure that some of the dust spots I am correcting are actually dust spots! It can be argued that somebody looking at the end results would have been unaware of the original marks but then they are falling prey to my version of what was in front of the lens.

For the second part of this exercise I have to remove some lens flare, seen on the left hand side of the image below. I have used the clone tool in Photoshop, set to colour to remove as much of the flare as possible.

The original image with flare visible on the left.
This was very difficult to carry out as there is not always a clean area to clone from. As before, it is not always possible to see what the underlying colour and texture should be. I spent quite a lot of time doing this and still believe it was not long enough and could have been done better.

Lens flare removed with clone tool set to colour.
What are my thoughts about this though? Well this was slightly easier to work on than the previous shot as it was easier to relate to what is being shown. Removing the flare in this instance has made for a more enjoyable picture. A big part of me still thinks it would have been better to get the shot without the flare, after all, had I made a better job of the cloning would only prove that I am good at Photoshop, not necessarily photography!