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Stock photos?

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  #1  
Old 14-01-06, 21:29
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Nogbad Nogbad is offline  
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Default Stock photos?

Hi I have been reading some books re enhancing my photos in Elements and it recommends taking stock photos especially of Clouds to use as replacement skies. What I would like to know is:

Is this cheating? I fidlle with the levels to get the right balance but if you replace the skies to give more drama then is'nt this contrived to get the photo you want?

Whilst I can see the benefits of possibly enhancing an otherwise really good picture it does'nt replace the effort hardwork and sense of satisfaction of either getting up really early or staying late for the light and effects you want.

What are other peoples views?

Nogbad
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Old 14-01-06, 21:41
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I am with you Nogbad I would never use replacement skies. For me the point of taking a photo is to show a snapshot of something I have seen and not something that is made up. If I fail to capture it to my satisfaction I wouldnt want to replace it with anything else.
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Old 14-01-06, 21:44
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Its always a personal matter, it's not really something i do that often (in fact my heron shot in the gallery is about it) but i have no problems with composite images.

I expect there's a fair degree of personal satisfaction in creating a spectacular scene from two or more, less spectacular scenes, in photoshop... I know when I have tried it, it's been fairly rewarding.
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Old 14-01-06, 22:04
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My feelings are that some how it's cheating and that you should capture the image you want at the time.

However I have taken some really good shots of Landscapes which would be great except they look really flat because the skies are uninteresting. When in places you won't visit again for some time it's difficult to delete otherwise good images just because they dont have an interesting background sky.

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Old 14-01-06, 22:21
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"Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships." Ansel Adams.

I don't see much difference. While it is cheating, I agree, I also wonder 'so what?' The photo isn't really the thing anyway, but a representation of it, why not represent it as you would wish to see it? (photojournalistic photos excluded, naturally)
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Old 14-01-06, 23:09
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I suppose it depends on where you draw the line and what interpetation one is meant to put on the finished product. We have to remember that the photographic process is pretty poor at capturing the extremes in life. Do we say that we can only photography subjects which do not exceed the limits of the latitude of the photographic medium. Is using a polarizing or graduated filter on the camera to control light levels cheating ? To take this a step further, is taking two exposure levels of the same scene and making a composite cheating in order to reproduce what the eye perceives ? The next step of taking a sky from different time and place to achive the same effect is this not much the same. Most advertising shots are heavierly touched up and air brushed but do we feel conned ? If the sky was changed to add more drama then this is into the realms of digital manipulation. I think it is only cheating when you intend to deceive the viewer that you exposed the shot as is.
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Old 14-01-06, 23:27
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I probably came off a bit cavaleir in my post, but I agree very much with Robski that deception is wrong. I just think there's room for some art.
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Old 14-01-06, 23:51
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I've been replacing skies for 30 years. A photograph is an artificial construct at the outset. Using 2 images to make one doesn't make it more or less so. IMHO
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Old 15-01-06, 03:31
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I was a buyer of stock photos for advertising purposes. On many occations I sent the pic out for retouch. This was in the days of film only.I never thought twice about it.I recall a line in my purchase order that stated any furnished print was subject to modification.
Sam
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Old 15-01-06, 13:05
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It depends on one's view of what end result is being tried for. Are we recording an exact image of a scene or are we creating a piece of art? If we are trying to create a great image for viewing then I think that pretty much anything is ok.
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