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Author Topic: Beautiful China......propaganda?
Equestrian Eke
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I saw these pictures and they look just a little bit too.......perfect to me. I wonder if you can tell if there is any photoshopping here.

http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~fj102/photo/beautiful%20china.htm

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Elbe
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I think that any photoshopping down is of the tweaking variety - and that's commonly done to many photographs. I didn't see anything that looked fake, just images that may have been adjusted to make them look their best.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Excellent photographs, I wish I was half as good.

I see no need to suspect photoshopping, apart from normal handling, such as cropping, white balance and so on, most of which is done not to manipulate the image but to make up for the differences in the camera compared to the human eye. China is a beautiful country, I can't see why it should be difficult to take a dozen or so pictures like this. It's just a matter of selecting a beautiful spot, be there at the right time, have the right equipment and be a good photographer. He has probably waited for weeks or more at each spot to get the perfect weather and light condition for each image.

I wish I was half as good as the guy who snapped these images, they are truly good. Not only good in the cheat way (choosing an impressive motive), but good in terms of craftsmanship. Exposure, depth of field, crispness, framing. They are bloody near perfect.

Edit: One might question if they are representative of China, which they most likely are not. On the other hand, how many such photos of any nation are representative?

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/Troberg

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Airman520
Baby 100 Grand


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The picture of the woman and child looks strange to me. The lighting near her collar bone looks unatural, as well as her chest area. It almost looks like an arm or something is coming out of her. Anyone else thinks this looks strange?
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Crow
I Saw Three Shipments


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Airman, if you look REALLY close, you can see her hand is actually raised up and holding a towel like she is about to wrap it around the boy.
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jw
The First USA Noel


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Well, if someone is using these beautiful photos as propaganda for China, they're doing a damn good job.

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On my old guitar sell tickets, so someone can finally pick it.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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It's difficult to judge if the light is wrong in a picture where strong light is comming through the cracks of a board wall.

I'm not sure it's a woman, the chest looks more muscular than boobed, but the light and the cramped position makes it hard to tell. It may also be that the chest area has been altered to preserve her modesty.

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/Troberg

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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The mountains in the background of the second picture look funny to me. It hurts my eyes to look at them.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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That's just normal atmospheric haze. I've taken loads of pictures with exactly the same effect. It's particles in the atmosphere that absorbs and reflect some parts of the spectrum. That's also, by the way, the reason that distant landscape has duller colors.

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/Troberg

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I agree that the pics seem genuine. I would not rule out tampering with the colors or other effects, but not to the degree that I would call the photo "doctored" or "fake."

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EthanMitchell
Deck the Malls


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I believe that all of these pictures come from the province of Guilin, in southern China, which has long been famous for its eroded karst landscape, and has been a subject of Chinese artwork for many hundreds of years. Obviously they are nice photographs of a beautiful setting. I think it would be odd to presume that in a country the size of China, with a billion folks and foreigners passing through, one would need photoshop to get a pretty landscape picture.

Something like Wright's Law: "Never attribute to photoshop what can be more easily attributed to photography."

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I had a friend who went to China last year, and he had similar photos of the mountains with the terrace farms.

These pics just further whet my appetite to go to China.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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charlie23
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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The contrast has obviously been adjusted, to good effect in these shots. Photoshop is not evil: it's an excellent tool for digital photographers and I would almost never consider any of my images "finished" without using it. That said of course, it certainly has a huge potential for abuse [Big Grin]
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beaver_slayer
Deck the Malls


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Well, if you can call posters of "Cuba Si!" variety a propaganda then, well, it is. But, again, you can fimd way more propaganda on any tourism site.
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Photoshop is not evil: it's an excellent tool for digital photographers and I would almost never consider any of my images "finished" without using it.
I agree. As long as the only alterations are filters that affect the entire image and cropping, it is not alteration (unless we are talking about legal eveidence), just normal post processing. In some case it's necessary, for instance, I've been playing around with infrared photography, where it is almost unavoidable.

It's not until you start to alter parts of the image in such a way as to misrepresent the motive that it's cheating.

Some IR pictures (I was scouting out the location of the traditional midsummer orgy in order to get the best starting place (first pic), and wanted to try out the my new camera and the IR filter for the old):

http://troberg.mine.nu/ir1.jpg
http://troberg.mine.nu/ir2.jpg
http://troberg.mine.nu/ir3.jpg
http://troberg.mine.nu/ir4.jpg

File size between 400-900 kB.

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/Troberg

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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Photos 1-7 look totally bizarre to say if they are real or not. The people in the photo look painted however. I can see the animals clearly but the people look painted ones.

All the rest look real.

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Joseph Z

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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I reckon the hue and/or saturation of the photos has been fiddled with to give more intense colours in some of the shots with very green greenery. But I don't see any tampering other than that.

Our local newsagent has a wall full of postcards of my local area with lush green valleys under impossibly blue skies, and although I love this place I've never seen it looking that good. I wouldn't call it propaganda though.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Troberg, those are great IR shots. I LOVE the way trees look in IR. I had a B&W video camera that I broke (drowned it, actually) and when I got it working again, it gained IR sensitivity. I loved the evening shots I would get with that IR camera.

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And now for something completely different...

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Lawgiver
Deck the Malls


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Picture # 7 of the terraces has been used in travel brochures for as long as I can remember. Probably long before photoshop.

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I looked at my sleeping husband and longed to plunge my elbow through his peaceful face. ~ Annissa

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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Looking at the photos I believe that the stunning contrast effects have been achieved using a technique known as HDR photography. This basicaly increases the range of contrasts covered from pure black to pure white. This is especially clear in the photo of the inside of the hut.

If I were to take a photo in a darkened room with light streaming through a window then I'd either get the room in black and the image through the window, or the room clear and the image out the window washed out and white. HDR photography uses a series of images with different exposures to capture the full range of light levels. While this more closely represents what is seen with the human eye, it is unusual to see it on photos and thus looks a bit odd.

As always for fancy photography flickr is a good place to see some examples:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/hdr/pool/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/hdr/

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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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Equestrian Eke, I notice you are posting from Hawaii. Haven't you ever seen pictures of the most popular tourist destinations on your island that have been 'Shopped to look even more spectacular?
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
If I were to take a photo in a darkened room with light streaming through a window then I'd either get the room in black and the image through the window, or the room clear and the image out the window washed out and white. HDR photography uses a series of images with different exposures to capture the full range of light levels. While this more closely represents what is seen with the human eye, it is unusual to see it on photos and thus looks a bit odd.
A soft filler flash can also do miracles. I almost never use flash in any other way than to fill in the natural light, usually by bouncing it off some convenient surface.

quote:
Troberg, those are great IR shots. I LOVE the way trees look in IR. I had a B&W video camera that I broke (drowned it, actually) and when I got it working again, it gained IR sensitivity. I loved the evening shots I would get with that IR camera.
Thanks!

Get a used Olympus C-2100UZ (that's what I used) and a Hoya R72 IR filter. You should be able to get them both for less than $250 today. The C-2100UZ has excellent IR sensitivity and is a wonderful allround camera if you don't need a high resolution (2,1 megapixel). It's a great camera for someone interested in photography but who don't want to change lenses.

Whatever you do, don't get a new camera for IR photography. Cameras with modern resolutions all have internal filters that remove IR. If you are buying some other digital camera for IR, check first, as they are very different.

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/Troberg

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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If anyone is interested in playing about with near IR images but doesn't want to fork out on a digital camera (And isn't bothered about taking good pictures) then you can play arround with a cheap webcam. Many have easily removable IR filters, and a piece of camera film will filter out the majority of visible light. Sure your pictures wont be great but its fun to play arround with.

http://www.hoagieshouse.com/IR/
And no, I don't know why he quoted my middle initials either.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Small clarification:

quote:
and a piece of camera film will filter out the majority of visible light
Developed, but not exposed film.

Still, with second hand cameras being so cheap (http://cgi.ebay.com/Olympus-CAMEDIA-C-2100-Ultra-Zoom-2-1-Megapixel_W0QQitemZ7630747873QQihZ017QQcategoryZ31388QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem , that's so cheap I'm almost considering buying it to get a spare one) and the filters costing around $30 (depending on camera thread), it's hardly worth the work and you still got a very good everyday camera when you don't use the IR filter.

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/Troberg

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SweetieBird
Deck the Malls


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I can't speak to all the pictures, but the ones that look like they were taken in Guilin look absolutely real to me. I was in Guilin a couple of years ago to adopt our daughter, and it was absolutely insanely beautiful like you cannot imagine. It looked exactly like those pictures. I remember referring to Guilin as "The China of my Dreams."

It was crazy to see so many people living in such poverty against the most beautiful backdrop one could imagine. I don't know why, but it just took my breath away.

ETA: The ninth one from the bottom is a very real place called "Elephant Hill" which is in/near Guilin--I have a picture of myself holding my new daughter in front of it.

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"Bad grammar makes me [sic]" -- seen on a t-shirt

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