"Pure" photos should be their own category.

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As things are right now, minimally processed photos are handled right along with photos that have been digitally altered on truly epic levels. Yes, the "pure" photo gets a tag, but I think they should be judged against one another another. A well-composed pure photo just has trouble looking as dramatic and eye-catching as something that's been heavily processed. Hence, I think a category should be made for pure photos and they should be judged on their own merits.
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Joe Burke

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Posted 8 years ago

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Frederick Potter

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I think that there are already too many categories. The truth is, a "pure" photo is pretty much a fantasy these days. The only truly "pure" photo is one shot with transparency film. I would wager that 99.9999% of the images posted here are taken with a digital camera. So whether an image is processed with a desktop computer or is filtered through the computer within the camera, the end result is far from "pure". Now, cameras have a plethora of image enhancement features built in. Many photographers shoot RAW file format and then "process" them in programs to get the final image. I see thousands of images here that take HDR processing to a ridiculous extreme.

So what the hell is "pure" any more? Let me play the devil's advocate here and suggest that there is no longer any such thing as a "pure" photo and just get rid of that button entirely.

Cameras and computers are just tools. But no hardware or software can replace creativity.

Let's just judge the image as it stands, no matter how the final image was arrived at.
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Michael Ripley

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Forgive me if this comes across as gross ignorance, but didn't/doesn't film development enable those with "the know" to produce different outcomes to what the camera captured?

Hasn't digital just put those tools in the hands of all, and made it easier?

RAW development is just a faster, more efficient version of a dark room isn't it?

"Pure" photography is relying on a sensor that we know tries to render things as 18% grey if we leave it at camera defaults, or you can learn to master exposure and set things manually. You deviate from "pure" when you alter tone or contrast in an editor. As Frederick points out, you can then further alter things with HDR.

My feeling is that we should remove the pure tag, and let the voter decide on which image they prefer; if they prefer a more natural image over HDR, that is personal preference, and all the digital know how in the world is not going to beat being there at a certain location, at a certain point in time, to capture a special moment.
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d c

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Interesting --- I have worked with transparency film,, you- we can do just about anything with the process to obtain just about any effect.

But most who see the difference between Pure and altered is simple, and here for once pixoto hit it on the head.-" Minimal processed". Where as photo shop really starts in layers and changes the basic construction or compiling of a pic. From this point one who has photoshop expertise has a huge advantage over the camera buff. The end result or even the start of a pic in photoshop may not even come from a camera. Two unique and different arts.
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Joe Burke

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Thank you DC, I was really trying to think of how to say what you just put in words. I'm a novice. I have a decent camera that was given to me as a gift. I have a copy of Photoshop Elements that I'm just learning to use. I don't have the Photoshop skills to compete on that field. That's why I was tagging my images with "pure" to begin with.

Eh. It was only a suggestion, after all.
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Lauren Beasley

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Joe, I agree. There should be a photoshop category for pictures that are over processed through photoshop and not just tweaked for balance.
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Frederick Potter

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Would this not be the "digital" category? Again, we are in a gray area here (no pun intended). Some HDR images look like infrared shots of Chernobyl while others make no secret about the composite nature of the images taken from multiple sources.

A lot of my shots are done in the studio and then processed in Lightroom. They never see Photoshop except to add a watermark or signature. Would they be "pure"?

Is there not also a "novice" category for those just starting out in this great field?

Really, Joe you raised an interesting point. What may be "minimally manipulated" to me may appear altered to the casual viewer, simply because of the studio environment which it was shot.
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Jacopo Rapisarda

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In my opinion would be just necessary to have a category without HDR, tone mapped and photomontaged pictures

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