Is this cheating? Landscape Photography Dilemma!

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44 Replies to “Is this cheating? Landscape Photography Dilemma!”

  1. Good video Tom but you guys misleading people. People see oversaturated, over-edited look good images and when they go there and see the reality that is very disappointing. Sure we have to edit RAW files but not to the extent that it would not be recognized by the viewers.

  2. No one presents their images as a RAW file, everyone cheats, no photograph is real. (Adam Ansel dodged and burned in the darkroom)

  3. Today many photographers rely so much on editing, like 80% of editing, and only 20% of photographing the photo. Sad.
    I'm a hobbyist photographer. Recently, I went to a photo shoot event where a bunch of photographers takes photos of some local models. I edited my photos slightly since, to my eyes, they look good already. Later I saw other so-called professional photographers shared their photos online. I was surprised to see that most of the photos were heavily edited and they look so fake. The faces look like plastic or made out of wax. The photos don't look like the models in real life at all. The lighting and mood are different than what they were in real life. Odd.

  4. My perception of Any Given landscape maybe some what entirely different than your perception of the same given landscape, our emotions dictate how we perceive things, I think it goes? Red is green black is white, but you decide which is right and which is an illusion.

  5. beautiful thing bout photography i shoot when i want how i want what i want where i want and edit it how i like it thats it then i just put them online you like them you like them if you dont you dont its fine

  6. I'm more of an artistic landscape photographer…. although still not very good. Recently learnt about dodge and burn and loving it. I don't believe it's cheating as photography is an art form, so the photographer can interpret the scene as they want

  7. You nailed it ! My photos are about how I saw the composition and how I felt about it. That’s why we say we “made” a photograph as opposed to took it.

  8. where's the problem? i edit my photo's like i want … end of discussion! The real photo is the RAW … is there anybody who is looking or showing "only RAW's"? i think not! So every step after taking the RAW is cheating! or is not! who cares? the whole discussion about cheating in photography is time wasting!

  9. I certainly agree with you. I don't think it is "cheating" at all. Photographs are digital now and they need to be processed aka edited since we no longer process in a dark room. The style of editing is the photographer's/artist's choice/signature. Thank you for your videos!

  10. Ești prea tare 👍La mine e simplu nu dau explicații 🤔este viziunea mea și atât! Foarte bună argumentarea 🙄, o zi faina să ai!

  11. Great explanation of what we as photographer artists are attempting to make. Thanks so much. Well done.

  12. Mind your own business, don't be impertinent and go get a life; is what you should say to people who look at your photographs and presume to ask how you made it. You would not ask a mechanic which tools he used to fix your car; a chef what utensils he used to make a dish; an artist what paints and brushes he used. It seems there are too many rude and critically judgemental people involved in photography since the dawn of the digital era. What should be important to us when we view a photograph is how we react to it: does it evoke an emotional response – do we like it? 
    Great video Tom and I love you're moody atmospheric forest images – however you made them 👌

  13. natgeo has very explicit ideas on the subject:
    This may make sense in certain cases, but personally I don't see the difference between removing a pole from a portrait photo in photoshop and asking the person to move 2 steps to the side when taking the picture, for example.
    but in the end it is the photographer's choice: if he wants a photo to be printed in natgeo, he better comply with their rules. if he wants to sell the photo, he can do whatever he wants as long as he finds someone who pays for it. if he shoots for his own enjoyment, he is his own judge on what is acceptable and what not.

  14. If no one edited their photographs, could you imagine how boring photography would be? Why is Instagram so popular, for example? No one would bother following photographers if their images were not edited to manipulate the light to make them stand out and be visually appealing. It's crazy to me that in 2019 there are people calling photographers cheaters! Anyone can take a photograph, but not everyone can make a work of art that will move or inspire the viewer. That takes skill and talent. Do what you love and if you're good at it, people will appreciate it 🙂 You make some excellent points and you are exactly right about it topic. Thanks!

  15. I think it would be unfair to the viewer if you didn’t edit your landscapes. You have a gift and thank you for blessing us with your art.

  16. Absolutely right! You expressed the different type of landscape approaches very well. If you have a client in a tourist area that wants to use your images to advertise their business/location, you need to take pictures in the best possible light but but also need to make it believable and at least somewhat "true to life". If you are shooting B&W, then it does seem that most people will accept a lot more processing to enhance contrast, etc. A color shot that is edited to enhance shadows, highlights or color is a personal artistic expression. Finally, any photograph is "artificial" since we are representing the 3D world in a 2D medium. Good video and food for thought.

  17. True, the subject you choose for the discussion is valid. IMO its personal preference, as long as the author has explained what they are trying to convey. Some like documentary images while others like them to pop & at times B&W as well. So when people say cheating they really don't know what the author is trying to showcase & are looking at the image from their view point. So controversial but true topic – debate continues 🙂

  18. Can't say I fit into any of those descriptions fulltime, it all depends on the subject, conditions and my mood. If I do any major edits then I make it obvious and/or inform people of that fact.
    There is no right or wrong way, people like different things. Be honest with people and true to yourself.

  19. I use to think editing was cheating until I had a great conversation with an old photographer. He explained that editing was always a part of photography even in the film day. We discussed the pros and cons and he won the small debate when he said. There is 3 processes to one photo, first you take the photo, second you process it, third you print it. After that I started editing my photos and I am sorry I didn't start it sooner. Now I am at the stage I vision a photo before I take it sometimes and I use my edits to help me achieve the final outcome. I don't add suns or anything like that but if I did I think it becomes a composite. If I was going to give anyone advise on photography I would tell them to learn editing at the beginning and enhance their photography skills and editing at the same time. Shoot and edit for yourself and if your happy with final image who cares what people think.

  20. great vlog tom great to listen too i think as long as your honest and your happy thats all matters for me in astro photography or landscapes just dont add whats not there or upside down milkways or foggy scenes

  21. Art is always an intervention, not a simple duplication of what is 'out there'. So what you do doesn't need defending – the critic who claims it is 'cheating' is incoherent. Mimesis is representation, not simple copying. All artists should know this and generally practice it in any case. Art isn't the same as nature, it is an intervention in the way we experience nature through a medium like the photographic image.

  22. Hello Toma, I loved the video. I'm a bit divided on the word 'cheating' and the word 'deceiving'. To imply cheating, I think a person over corrects by removing or adding features to their photos. Staging situations that are not truly there. That would be cheating. To deceive, one manipulates a situation to appear as it is not. Much like a magician who uses deception to make something untrue, true. Anyway, as I see the video's message of creating the photo in post, I see enhancement over manipulation. True, our eyes are the lens and the brain is the processor and with that, many times we are cheated with dynamic range in our vision as well. We do not always capture with our eyes what our brain wants us to see. Example: A beautiful ocean sunset with vibrant colors and steady waves. Foamy edges on the sand. Driftwood as a perfect foreground. My brain will not see the perfect contrast and blend of colors to light to shadows. My brain does an evaluative metering and does an over all balance of light/contrast. A photo will capture a relatively close comparison to this but to bring all the elements of the scene into perspective, a bit of post work is necessary. Is that cheating or deception. I say no. I call it enhancement. There is an over-kill to this though. Over saturated colors that do not exist in reality. Shadows so dark they appear to have been taken at night (DARK). '
    So, my bottom line is this; if a person takes a photo, manipulates it into something that they want it to be and not what it is, then to me that is manipulation and more art than photography. To capture something in it's raw form and show it for what it is is called photography. To enhance the features of a photo to bring out it's natural look that a camera or brain could not see is enhanced photography. Deception is to lie to self and others. To post a photo that has been so heavily changed in post or in staging, that is a lie and those who do that know they are lying unless they disclose their process. Thanks for the video and sorry this was so long.

  23. you are the artist when taking a photo.what you present when you post,is your own vision of that image.the editing can be overdone at times,we are all guilty of that.over time,you develop your own style of presenting your work,be that realistic,or more of an artistic interpretation.

  24. I‘m shooting nature and wilderness (mostly woodlands), and I have to be aware not to overedit my photos because I should show reality if I want to get people on their way to protect nature. But if I shoot landscapes like you do, I‘ll do it the same way. I use vignetting and a lot of dodge&burn to draw attention on the (for me) important elements. And my most used lens is a telephoto. Minimalism and focusing details is my theme. Will say: I agree 100%! (And I‘ll take your video and put it on my blog. You explained it better than I could.)

  25. Great video Tom, thanks for sharing. Everyone has their own style, I just respect that and do my own thing. I never tell someone how to shoot, but if they ask me how I shoot, I tell them.

  26. It's art. Everyone's taste is different and wouldn't life be boring if we all liked the same stuff. I want to learn PS, because I'd love to put an artistic touch to my images. My mum has photos that were originally black and white but my grandad coloured them, before colour photos were available. You'll never make everyone happy so, it's important to do what pleases you.

  27. many photographers try to tell other photographers how they should be doing stuff – don't listen : ) do your own thing

  28. Well said
    I take photos from my own enjoyment. To capture the past. If I want to over saturated an image it is because I want too for my pleasure. This is the was I see other people’s images / art.
    Photography is something that challenges my ability, I’m always wanting to improve my skills. Editing is part of the journey.
    Photography is a hobby for me, photography gives me a reason to travel, photography gives me joy.

  29. I'm definitely the artistic landscape photographer. I like that you don't add sky's /fog etc. Fantastic video.

  30. I like all three methods you stated and for me they are all art in some shape or form. Whether it is showing the beauty of our surroundings in a specific composition with minimal editing or manipulating the lighting to create a more artistic realization, it is art. Typically I make the decision of which style I want to go with when thinking about how I want to present the image. What I've grown to dislike is the addition of elements to create a composition than was not originally captured. I think this is an ok form of art if you are obvious about it. But it isn't ok if you are trying to deceive the viewer into thinking it really exists. Fantasy scapes with drawn/created elements versus copying and pasting real world elements into your picture because you don't like the composition.

  31. It's only cheating (yourself), if you don't disclose the image was manipulated and try to pass it off as if it's a natural / real life landscape.
    Post processing is necessary, manipulation is where it becomes a piece of artwork vs rather than a natural landscape picture..
    I don't like manipulation, or even removing objects in post…but that's just me..I'm a "realist" lol

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