Heavy duty processing trend?

Acraftman

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I think this is a great post and have to say my concept of photography is slowly widening I picked up a pen-f with the color dial and have been giving it a good spin. Like Bossebe said being in the winter season where the natural colors have become muted its nice to experiment and push one's ideas.

SOOB ( straight off of brush) Sadak in search of the waters of oblivion, John Martin- 1812

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Acraftman

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Plus you have to admit sometimes its fun!
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T N Args

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I looked through the last three post processing challenges and counted adjustments by 24 users. The 13 images in new media are from two other users. Going farther back in the processing challenges would pick up more accounts but most of the edits are from about 15 users. As @wjiang pointed out, this is unlikely to be a representative site-wide sample due to image content, user, and thread selection bias. The number of images also appears very likely inadequate.

An appropriate approach would be more like to randomly select about 5% of all images posted to mu-43 over a time period long enough to detect a trend, classify all images in the sample, and test for statistically significant changes in the proportion of each class. The first step is a straightforward web scraping, list assembly, and sampling without replacement task. Komolgorov-Smirnov and similar tests are well established for the third step. So mostly I'm curious about the classification method.
It also crossed my mind, regarding the Challenges, that a self-reinforcing mechanism could be happening, where a Turbo Processed image gets picked as best, then that person (who has already demonstrated a liking for it) gets to be the next judge, so, odds are in favour of another Turbo Processed image being picked as best, and so on and so on.
 

Bidkev

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Yup! My apologies (if required) but I think there are far too many "overproccesed" images appearing of late and especially in the B&W threads where there seems to be an overabundance of grainy images. Now I fully appreciate that art is subjective but I think that I've now been on the forum long enough to appreciate who are the newcomers and/or who are those with limited knowledge of processing, so in the light of that, I have recently stopped liking some images from some members who previously got my likes. Sad in a way really because I have seen some excellent work from them previously.

I'm afraid that from now on, if I don't like something, I will no longer be looking beyond that, so my "likes" will not as freely be given as they have been in the past. Personally, I don't give a toss as to how many likes my work gets, as I shoot for me and nobody else and that's the way that it should be for everyone, so if you need to (over) process for yourself, that's fine, I'm simply stating that I don't like it and irrespective of content or other good attributes, if it appears overprocessed to me, then I'm "tuned out".
 

spdavies

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I think there are far too many "overproccesed" images appearing of late and especially in the B&W threads where there seems to be an overabundance of grainy images. . . . .
I'm simply stating that I don't like it and irrespective of content or other good attributes, if it appears overprocessed to me, then I'm "tuned out".
I'll prepare to be devastated . . . :crying:
 

spdavies

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Curious as to whether the 'purists', 'naturalists', or whatever feel that photos from the Pictorialist era are "over-processed". Another question is whether they react the same way to strange, bright or saturated colors in paintings - like with Van Gogh for instance. Just curious. :popcorm2:
 

junkyardsparkle

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I'm just gonna say that I think the term "overprocessed" might not serve a meaningful discussion of the topic very well in some ways. Usually what's being described is oversimplistic processing, maybe the application of a prefab effect or just the heavy-handed use of a few basic sliders in some software. The result is a tendency for an image to lose it's subtler aspects as it comes to resemble every other image processed in that same "low hanging fruit" way. On the other hand, an image which wouldn't generally be described this way may have involved more time spent in post, using more (but subtler) discrete processing steps or components or masking or whatever... just food for thought. :D
 

T N Args

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If natural-like processing is described as "flat, dull and boring", why don't I look out over the fields and cities and feel let-down (by reality)?

OTOH if "flat/dull/boringly natural" is now a common sentiment, that might suggest that, on average, we are becoming conditioned by the images we see on the internet, or modern TV.

Bear in mind, too, that those 'conditioning' images are often driven by a commercial imperative to shoutingly attract the attention of a near-zombified audience seeking to chill out. To stand out with such imperative that, when it is time for the mark to spend, he or she actually remembers the advertising.

IMHO it would be a pity if this process bled into enthusiast photographers. But maybe, as they say, that's life.

cheers
 

junkyardsparkle

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OTOH if "flat/dull/boringly natural" is now a common sentiment, that might suggest that, on average, we are becoming conditioned by the images we see on the internet, or modern TV.
There's really nothing speculative about that at this late date; see Loudness War... or read some McLuhan c. 60 years ago... but there's always room for some outliers within any trend. Maybe the best way to appreciate it all would be as a spectrum of approaches to utilizing the available dynamic range of any particular contemporary medium. :D
 

wjiang

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If natural-like processing is described as "flat, dull and boring", why don't I look out over the fields and cities and feel let-down (by reality)?
This is highly subjective. Our eyes view a scene by scanning back-and-forth. There is no way a hard-cropped 2D planar photograph displayed on an artificial medium viewed right in front of us can even come close to actually replicating the cognitive and emotional impression of a real scene with dynamic lighting, viewed through (usually) two actively scanning eyes, focused on curved retinas, with extremely wide adaptive dynamic range, adaptive DoF, binocular depth perception, and peripheral/focus interpretation going on in our brain.

Not only that, but usually we are not just viewing the scene in front of us in isolation - we turn our heads to look this way and that. Often there are noises and smells, things we can feel and touch, as well as the context of who we are with, how we got there, how it relates to our past, where we are going next, etc.

When I PP an image, I'm not trying to replicate the objective reality of a scene. All I'm trying to do is to evoke my impression of the scene - what drew me to it, what it made me feel, etc. Mind you, I don't usually feel like photographing while in a state of chaos or overwhelm, so my PP is not going to be trying to evoke that sort of thing...
 

T N Args

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Well -- I do the same, and so did the previous generations of photographers. What you are saying has no impact on the observations that provoked this thread.

cheers
 

wjiang

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Well -- I do the same, and so did the previous generations of photographers. What you are saying has no impact on the observations that provoked this thread.

cheers
I'm assuming you are referring to my comment. In which case, yes, I was specifically replying to the somewhat rhetorical question in your latter comment that I quoted, not your original observations.

On further thought, however, I do think what I said actually does relate to your observations.

I hypothesize that often, it all stems from a situation where the original photographer has not quite managed to capture the right image to evoke the feeling they were originally going for. They may decide to push the PP in order to try and salvage something out of it. I personally find that in such situations, it is often better to just figure out why the image didn't work so as to do better next time, and throw it in the bin (unless it has some documentary value).

In the case of the PP challenges, the source images submitted are possibly often ones where the original photographer has not quite managed to capture the right image to evoke the feeling they were originally going for, and the image is submitted simply to see what other people can do with it that they might have missed. In such a context, its no wonder that the submissions often end up as an experiment in slider pushing. I think that in any case, the majority of participants go in to process the image as an exercise in experimentation. They are usually not trying to evoke the original photographer's impressions and feelings, and nor could they necessarily do a good job of it since they are not the photographer and were not even there at the time. At best, they are trying to conjure up some notion of what they themselves might have felt, had they been there.
 
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Brownie

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Personally, I don't give a toss as to how many likes my work gets, as I shoot for me and nobody else and that's the way that it should be for everyone...
Then why post at all? I enjoy your photos, but if this is the case, then what's the point of sharing your work with others? What would be the point of the photo sharing forums?

When I PP an image, I'm not trying to replicate the objective reality of a scene. All I'm trying to do is to evoke my impression of the scene - what drew me to it, what it made me feel, etc.
Well -- I do the same, and so did the previous generations of photographers. What you are saying has no impact on the observations that provoked this thread.
But it does. It comes back to what I said previously. The only person who knows if it's right is the person who made it. Period. Now, you can agree or disagree with the processing style, that's fine, perfectly acceptable. But what you and some others are suggesting is that a style of processing you personally disagree with doesn't deserve the same attention, or is in fact ruining threads in this forum. That there's a lemming mindset in at least one thread that has become the norm, and it's...why was it again? To get attention, to stand out?
As far as I'm concerned folks can process away to whatever extent they choose. Everyone's work deserves a look. I will look at them, and I can appreciate their EFFORT with a like, even if the photo doesn't tickle my fancy.
 
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I'm currently reprocessing some photos I took a few years ago (more than 10 years), and I clearly have a tendency to heavier processing now.
Maybe just because the processing software now allows a lot more than 10 years ago. You have local adjustments in RAW, for instance, so maybe it's easier to achieve what I didn't achieve then.
Maybe my taste has just changed.
I still try to keep a "realistic" look but this is highly subjective and sometimes I probably just push a little more to get a more pleasing look.

However, in the end I always make a "before/after" comparison, and 90% of the time I prefer the new processing to the old one.
I sometimes like the very natural rendering of some areas but prefer the overall image of the new processing.
 

Bidkev

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Now, you can agree or disagree with the processing style, that's fine, perfectly acceptable. But what you and some others are suggesting is that a style of processing you personally disagree with doesn't deserve the same attention, or is in fact ruining threads in this forum.
Where have I said that? :hmmm::hmmm: Despite it not "deserving" of my attention, that does not mean that it isn't deserving of others' attention or that it doesn't have merit. It simply doesn't interest me and that is no different than one person having an interest, and listening to classical music, whilst I prefer to listen to rock. I simply mean that certain images hold no interest for me and I am not prepared to blatantly lie by hitting a "like" button, no matter how much others may see the image as being deserving of a like or whether I think it has merit in subject matter composition etc. or even if I have always appreciated and liked the poster's other images.

Then why post at all? I enjoy your photos, but if this is the case, then what's the point of sharing your work with others? What would be the point of the photo sharing forums?
There is so much more to posting images on a photography forum than hoping to garner likes. One can hope to inspire, be inspired, be critiqued, teach and learn, being just a few reasons. Sharing (for me) is as much about exhibiting my locale and wildlife and seeing the same from others around the world, as it is about having a "competent' image and I often give "likes' based purely on the image being informative without giving a thought to the technical merit. If I like it, I like it, that being an almost instantaneous "feel" for me as I really don't have the expertise and/or time/patience to judge on artistic or technical merit.
 

Joris

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SOOB ( straight off of brush) Sadak in search of the waters of oblivion, John Martin- 1812
One is allowed, of course to question the good taste of this painter. By the way the detail shown is seemingly not "SOOB" it seems from this rendering of the complete work published in The Guardian :
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/feb/16/john-martins-sadak-in-search-of-the-waters-of-oblivion

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Much ado about nothing, surely? Heavy post-processing should be nothing more than another facet of our art, or craft, or whatever. It's the artist's right to present their work as they want, be they Ansel Adams or Michelangelo. IMO we have no right to criticise another's person's complex thoughts.

And in the same vein, a 'like' for me is just an appreciation of content, or composition, colour, light, technical skill or even a subliminal message (one would like to think sometimes, anyway) - it's not a payment for work done, or a deep hidden admission of desire. I prefer to think a 'like' is more a gesture of support for the efforts taken, more of a "Yeah, ya did something there I like, kiddo. Got any more?" rather than a "God, I love you! You're a genius!"

Unless you have a Leica, of course. Then things get serious..... :)
 
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ADemuth

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I've noticed it, and I'm sure it's just a trend, and one that will go away soon. Not too long ago, the sickly colors of expired film and cross processing were all the rage. I didn't care for that too much, but I think it's awesome we can knead and massage, or even pummel our photos to take on our vision, even if it is influenced by pop culture. I know I've ramped up the contrast since I got back into shooting and especially since it it's been in vogue, but I've always fancied stark lighting and pronounced film grain. It's not new, it's just so much easier to dial it in now; no more experimenting with filters and films and developers and multigrade paper and more filters.

Don't expect greatness because I plaster a name on the photo.
I kinda want to start putting my name at the bottom of my work, with this in small text below it.


I prefer to think a 'like' is more a gesture of support for the efforts taken, more of a "Yeah, ya did something there I like, kiddo. Got any more?" rather than a "God, I love you! You're a genius!"
I.... I thought we had something... when you "liked" my photo that one time. I thought it meant something, that it was special. I'm starting to think you've "liked" other photos here too, maybe even on other forums! How can you go and destroy me so... so nonchalantly. Publicly, none the less! Here: here's my "like". Take it. Spit in it. Break it. Rub salt into it. Kick it to the street. Nothing can hurt as bad as how you've just cast me aside.

You take the "k" out of "like". You're despicable.
 
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Being an old fart, my touchstones for color go back to Kodachrome and Fuji 100D films from the 80s and 90's. When I process my raw files, that's what my brain tends to want to see. So I like to keep it as natural looking as possible. Also, I shoot for a living and have to deliver images that will reproduce on paper and on the www, so using a calibrated system is a must for me, and should be for everyone who wants their images to look consistent in all media. But that's another post for another day.
 
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