Post processing has always been done, it's just less work in the digital age. The Burn and Dodge tools in Adobe and PSP are direct analogues to burning and dodging in the darkroom. My Dad used to have a stack of filters a mile high that he'd put on the enlarger when making prints. Sure, we're not talking about the "artistic brushes" type filters that turn a photo into a sketch or painting, but filters for color correction, contrast enhancement, etc.
If you ever get a photo printed by a lab instead of printing it directly yourself, it's a safe bet that there has been both color and exposure correction applied. All the film drop labs do it without ever asking. People aren't happy if they pick up the pictures and the yellows aren't 100% brighter than they remember or if the reds look dull or if the image looks over or under exposed. Especially when these things are corrected at the touch of a button by the operator processing your roll of film.
I would say that basic color corrections and exposure corrections, similar to what's commonly done in photo labs today are just part of the process of photography. Major filters, almost anything involving a layer mask and anything at all that adds or removes elements from a scene are manipulation. Actually, if I remember a segment of Talk of the Nation correctly, these are the standards that the Associated Press applies as well.
I read some article like the one you just mentioned. It talked for example about a prize-winning photo where the "artist" increased the number of shown zebras by adding them into the shot during post processing.
Caveat: There should always be disclosure for anything more than color/exposure correction. I.e. if you just made the sky look blue because the camera didn't get it right, no problem. If you took out the contrail, then "postwork in Paint Shop Pro" (or whatever image editor) is probably a good thing to include in the comments section.
I think that post processing is fine, as long as you acnowledge the fact. Anyone who tries to pass off an edited photo as 'pure' should know better.
Really though, as jon-rista said, if you stop and think about it, how much 'processing'is done by your average digital SLR before you even get it to your computer? I know in the process of learning about my Nikon D60, I'm constantly suprised by the amount of adjustments it offers in-camera. What's the difference between adding blue hue as the photograph is taken, vs. in photoshop?
I think it's quite similar to the traditional vs. digital art issue.
Post-Processing is definitely a part of photography. It doesn't matter whether you are using digital or film...both methods require some kind of post-shutter activities to develop your photo so it looks the way you want it to.
I think people forget that with film, not only to you have to spend time "processing" your negatives to turn it into a photo you can frame and hang on a wall...you can also process in special ways to get special effects. Not only that, with film cameras, things are hardly "pure" when you use things like warming or cooling filters to change color balance or black and white filters (red, yellow, orange, etc. colored filters) to change the tones in a black and white photo.
The only difference between digital and film is that our effects are done with a computer rather than with filters and chemicals.
No it is not a part of photography! Real photography is done while framing, and should not depend on your editing skills. They should be divided. Because No Edit - real Photography, Edit - Manipulation.
Of course they may be, and some of them are very nice, and it is an art too. I don't have anything against that, but I think they should be divided. Heavy edited photo should be classified as Manipulated photo or something.
Well for instance, on my Nikon D60, there are all sorts of image changing options, like white balance. Of course this is meant to compensate for the colour of light a certain fixture emits so that it doesn't modify your photograph. But say that I want a blue hue in a winter photograph but wasn't thinking and did not load photoshop on the computer that I brought across the country with me. (Not that I would actually forget something like that.)
You can simply select incandescent light as your white balance and the camera adds blue to compensate for the yellow of the lightbulb whether your are inside or outside.
There are also options to change the saturation, you can lessen highlights and lowlights with active D-lighting, you can pick options for portrait wich softens, or you can make a photo more vivid, sharpen it, change the tone. And this is your basic entry level DSLR.
I know many photographers like to think "I know my way around my camera and don't need photoshop which makes me a better photographer", which in some ways is true, but in many cases it's simply the difference between pre- and post-processing. You need to work with your camera to get the best possible shot that you can, or you aren't going to make it.
Just as a disclamer though, I am definitely not justifying removing an unwanted telephone pole from a photo, that should definitely be classified as a manipulation. But after you get home, if you notice that you can crop your photograph to make it better, why not? It's certainly sometimes simpler and more satisfying to get the perfect photo straight from the lens, but why throw away something potentially amazing?
Oh, I thought you were talking about something different
Yes, of course. I have inspected my camera and now I know approximately 95% of settings. It isn't a DSLR, but still has most of the features that are provided by those with mirrors. ( it even has the AEB ) It is a Bridge type camera Olympus SP-560UZ.
Well, yes. That was the point I am standing for. Those hyper-contrasted shots with artefactual bokeh and etc. It looks amazing, but it is not the real photography, because with skills, they can create amazing picture from beginners class photo. It looks more like painting a shot, not photographing. But with film, people did magic while framing, and after just did minor adjustments to make photo look even better. Earlier composition was very important in shots, but now, i guess, it is not so important anymore.
Yes, you are right. You shouldn't throw out nice shots. Actually i am puzzled a little bit. Hmm... well I guess, photography is when you find something beautiful (or whatever you feel) and you are trying to take those feeling, you have at that moment and capture them, so when someone will look at that picture, will feel the same. I guess, this was told by some photographer in some tutorial. I told it in my words So i guess it doesn't matter if there are some telephone poles
That's true that with film people had to work more to get the perfect shot, but in an art form that is dependant on technology it's hard to chastise people for using more technology to make their shots better - that is what the digital camera did to photograpy anyway.