Thanks guys, some great responses and in general we all seem to be in agreement on the main issues. I think the power of authenticity, ie ‘If it’s a photograph, it must be true!’ has been lost a bit with many people believing that anything is possible these days with digital cameras. And that is a bit sad.
I personally always try to get the shot as ‘right’ as possible when I take it, and will not add new elements to it, preferring to just alter the usual post processing settings.
However, I still believe we need to embrace what digital can offer us and one of the main advantages is the ability to learn by playing with the photos long after they were taken.
In the following 2 shots I have learned from playing with a bad happy snap of an Egyptian Goose preening it’s feathers at our local dam. By cropping the hell out of it at home I was amazed at how the composition could be changed and improved so on this past trip I purposely tried to put into practice what I had learned.
First off I had to get really close to the subject – in this case Guinea fowls near my car at Sunset dam, and then I had to try and get them relaxing and preening and generally being a bit willing to pose.
The first shot is the original JPG file unaltered at home (I shoot JPG and RAW) and the second is the picture more like my original idea.
So I guess going back to cheating or not, I prefer my loyalties to lie both with the subject matter in front of me as well as my own interpretation of that scene. I’m an artist remember.
I have no loyalty to what Fuji Velvia can do nor what my sensors or processors can or have already done. Both( and this is the important bit) the actual scene as well as my personnel input and creativity are important to me.
Leaves me thinking of two of my favourite quotes in photography;
“Great photographs are made and not taken”
And the old classic’ Most important technique used is f 8 and be there’ Because ultimately it’s more about being out there and taking/making good shots, than trying to salvage a bad shot at home. But a reasonable shot can and should be improved if real learning is to take place.