View Full Version : Photo Manipulation Evaluation

12-12-2004, 01:53 AM

I've been in photography for quite a while, and have always loved landscape photos. However, there were quite a few shots that I felt were "good", but I felt didn't have quite the "look" that I wanted. Then on one business trip in the beginning of 2004, I went to my first art exhibit, the Monet exhibit in Bellagio in Las Vegas. I was just blown away by the tonality, vibrance, and depth that these paintings exhibited. Every time I've went back there, I've been to that exhibit. I thought this is what I wanted my photos to look like. So, I recently bought a Wacom Intous tablet and Painter 8, and have discovered the oil clones. I can't stop playing with these tools! Below are a few examples of my photo manipulations. Recently I've gotten into a pattern of looking for an image of certain tonality and contrast and then massively manipulate it with various oil brushes.

Could you give me a brutally honest evaluation (I can take it :) ) of these manipulated photos (individual "photo" evaluations as well as a group evaluation)? Is this in the same category as a photograph, painting, or in some nether world? Would you consider this "art" or a cleverly manipulated photograph? I don't want to start an argument, however I just want to clarify what I'm doing here...

Thanks very much in advance,

12-12-2004, 08:40 AM
Could you give me a brutally honest evaluation (I can take it :) ) of these manipulated photos (individual "photo" evaluations as well as a group evaluation)? Is this in the same category as a photograph, painting, or in some nether world? Would you consider this "art" or a cleverly manipulated photograph? I don't want to start an argument, however I just want to clarify what I'm doing here...

Thanks very much in advance,

Well, since the images began as photographs (which is an art form) there is a forum devoted to digital manipulation of photos.

As to whether your efforts are artistic...I say, yes.

Is this a "cleverly manipulated photograph" or "art"...Again, I would say, yes.

I appreciate your efforts not to "start an arquement"...Sincerly, thank you!

Sometimes the semantics really get in the way... You probably had a blast working with these images! You probably learned an awfull lot whilst working with these images. Why let semantics get in the way of that?

I say continue on John, damn the semantics!

Sure, there is another forum for mainipulation of photos and you will more than likely learn alot from them. But....at the same time...you used "Painter"....and so you will probably learn alot from the folks in this forum...seems like a clunky operation, I know...but thats how it's set up.

Oh, BTW....Did I metion the fact that I liked your efforts? Well I do :clap:

12-12-2004, 10:22 AM
Though some seem to put done clone painting but there are they seem to forget that to do it well takes skill too. Your images are wonderfully excuted, the improtant thing is you are having a blast!. Painter is a great program with endless possibilities and as you get use to it besure to venture outside the clone brush work and let your imagination take you to wonderland.

12-12-2004, 07:05 PM
Beautiful manips. I love a lot the colors you used, specially the first one (i also liked the subject) :clap: :clap: :clap:

12-12-2004, 08:35 PM

First, I like your top left painting the best. The water is gorgeous!

I like the rest too, but not as much as the first one.

As to what this form of art is, here's what I say:

First, if a photo just has some filters run on it, it's photo manipulation.

Then, at the other extreme, an artist can use Painter's Clone feature to take color information from the original photo and do a complete painting making each and every brushstroke. I call that a painting for sure.

There's the range in between using only filters and doing a painting from scratch, using the Clone feature only to get color information.

With the latter, the artist can create an entirely new painting. Sure, it's based on a photo, but it can look completely different, with new textures, and even new colors. The artist does not have to take color information only from the photo and often they don't. An artist can mix color information from the photo with new color and even paint new things into the painting that were not in the photo at all.

Without looking at your original photos, it appears to me that you did, in fact, make great changes from the photos.

It's art, and yours is painting.

Lovely work.

Don't worry if others may not understand the full range of possibilities using Painter's Clone feature. If they did, they'd understand it can be used to do paintings that are real, for sure, paintings, not just copies of photos.

Contrats! :)

12-13-2004, 11:40 AM
A kindred spirit! I totally understand.

I have Painter and the tablet and for months have been taking my own photos and doing manipulation.

And then there's a voice that says "is this art or is it cheating?" But I am enjoying and the results are great fun.

So keep at it.

The first picture is stunning. I have not posted my site to my profile, but here it is for fun reference. www.jjefferys.com (http://www.jjefferys.com)

12-13-2004, 01:08 PM
Beautiful manips but that first one is stunning, It would be interesting to see the originals to see what you have done :)

12-13-2004, 04:35 PM
Hello John
You ask a much discussed and often argued question.

Would you consider this "art" or a cleverly manipulated photograph?

I consider your work to be BOTH. Here are a few of many dictionary referenced to what is art.

"Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
The study of these activities.
The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.
Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.
Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: “Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice” (Joyce Carol Oates).
arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
Artful contrivance; cunning.
1: the products of human creativity; works of art collectively; "an art exhibition"; "a fine collection of art" [syn: fine art] 2: the creation of beautiful or significant things; "art does not need to be innovative to be good"; "I was never any good at art"; "he said that architecture is the art of wasting space beautifully" [syn: artistic creation, artistic production] 3: a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation; "the art of conversation"; "it's quite an art" [syn: artistry, prowess] 4: photographs or other visual representations in a printed publication; "the publisher was responsible for all the artwork in the book"

As you can see the term emcompass many things.

It is not however, in my opinion, the same as real digital painting. Usually the problems occur when the difference between the word art, and the word painting are not really separated as they should be. An artist who paints with traditional mediums usually would never call a picture done with any kind of filter, effect, cloning tool, etc a painting.

I am both a digital painter, and a traditional painter and I always try to make sure to distinguish that a work is digital painting instead of just calling it a painting because even though a true digital painting is done ALMOST the same as a traditional painting there are differences. My favorite one being UNDO. And I cannot stick my finger in digital paint and spend the rest of the day with a colored finger. Of course if I am in a digital painting forum I may refer to it just as a painting an visa versa in a traditional painting forum. By definition, paint in reality cannot be digital, while art can be most anything.

That said, it is highly illogical to think that given the same set of facts, and knowledge to apply them that everyone will draw the same conclusion.
For instance, one person may think cloner brushs can make a real painting, and to another it is no more than a more sophisticated way to trace. To me using a color picker, (which I seldom do now that my programs have mixing palettes) is not much different than mixing real paint to match the real object color. While another traditional artist with the knowledge of how to do both may see them as totally different.

So to shorten the above answer...hee hee... I guess it just depends on who you talk to. It is a debate not likely to be settled in the near future but definate distincitions can easily be made if one is so inclined. :D

12-13-2004, 04:49 PM
By the way, in all that lenghty diatribe I forgot to tell you that I think what you have done to your photos looks terrific. I especially like the last one.

12-13-2004, 11:24 PM
To all,

Thank you for all the kind words and encouragement! Also, thanks for the insightful comments about the nature of digital manipulation, as they helped me realize where digital manipulation "fits into" art.

I like doing photo manipulation because I can emphasize certain aspects of the image or conversely deemphasize parts I feel are unnecessary. It distills what I wanted to show in a way I can control how to show it. To show more clearly what my images look like and what I do, I'm posting a few small cutout sections of one image. The original is over 100mb in size, so that probably won't fit this site!

If I ever get "good enough", I'd like to try to paint something like this from a blank canvas, although that may take a long time to get there!

Thanks again :)

12-15-2004, 06:56 PM
These are some very good photomanips. _very_ good.

(just couse the word has a bad ring to it doesn't make it a bad thing - if it was me who'd done these - I'd proudly call them manips - cause these are at the top of that category)

12-18-2004, 01:56 AM
It's art alright... :clap:

About the other topics:
After getting my feet wet in traditional arts, I have found out there is an urgent need for creating a new vocabulary, specifically oriented to Digital Art, as now we have borrowed terms associated with traditional art processes which have an accepted meaning, which has proven to be unable to describe a digital process that has slight similarity but not parallel meanings at all...
These same shortcomings have been taken advantage of, by many artists to mix and confuse procedures that otherwise should have distinct definitions and could help us in classsifying dexterity and skill levels, which in turn would make it easier for other artists to look at digital art with respect as a distinct discipline, as it today, happens with sculpture, watercolor, graphite or oil and acrylics...

Until then, it will be easy for anyone to pose as a digital painter, by just doing certain state-of-the-art procedures that skip great deal of the human sensitivity and skill in the process to doing a Masterpiece...

I, myself have had the motto of what matters is the end product, for hiding my lack of art education and still getting an awesome piece of art, regardless of my lack of knowledge...
It's my actual belief, that right at this moment, we are being witnesses of the best of times for the photomanipulation business...
Easy to prove by the explosive boom this type of programs are having, so many new are created, besides the orientation that is taking place in older software..and the best of business, selling plugins/tutorials solely toward this approach...

So for now, I guess we are all safe cloning, dgitracing, mixing and all the myriad of procedures we all do to make our art pieces nowadays...

Just let's keep creating, trying not to fall under the push-button-no-think process that some of these programs seem to make us believe into....

Kind Regards

Happy Holidays to all :wave:

12-20-2004, 02:10 AM
Art? absolutely. The computer can't do this on it's own, just as the camera cannot choose a beautiful composition on it's own! It takes a creative mind to use the programs to an aesthetically pleasing end.
Painter is not an easy program. I have Painter 4 and have never gotten around to updating it. It was so complicated in that version, I can't imagine what it is like now!!!!