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Manipulation - Some of the definitions that the dictionary gives for manipulation are as follows: to work with the hands, to handle or manage, to give a false appearance, to turn to one's own purpose or advantage.

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Introduction

Some of the definitions that the dictionary gives for manipulation are as follows: to work with the hands, to handle or manage, to give a false appearance, to turn to one's own purpose or advantage. I think that the definition's that best apply to photography are "to turn to one's own purpose or advantage" and "to give false appearance". This is because frequently in photography you can change or alter a photograph so that it is exactly as you want others to view the subject of your images. The main difference between a camera and our eyes is that through the use of a camera we only have to view selected objects and not everything in front of us. A simple of example of this is if I was to take a picture of people sitting in a classroom. I may choose to only include 2 people in the frame when there are 4 people I can see in front of me. I have already manipulated this image by "visually cropping" the other people out of the frame. Another way that an image can be manipulated is through the use of computer editing programs such as the Adobe Photoshop series and the Jasc Paint shop pro series , by using these programs effects such as removing particular objects from an area of an image and replacing them with others. The first two images that I have analysed (figure 1 and 2) are by Rommert Boonstra. The first of these two images was created through the manipulation of camera positioning. In some ways the first of these two images is quite similar to other works by Rommert Boostra. One of the main things that I picked up was the emphasis on giving the impression of new beginnings or opening doors. Many of his images convey this idea through dream-like scenes. They look similar to pieces by surrealist artist Salvador Dali. ...read more.

Middle

There is however a key difference between the two. The first image is an example of manipulation by the camera and the way the shot has been framed. The second image is much more likely to have been computer manipulated. In particular the "pillars" look like they are being held up by string, which would have to be disguised using a digital process, possibly a clone tool to copy the surrounding areas very carefully. Many of Boostras images feature doorways whose entrance is slightly obscured by objects blocking them. Not so much actually blocking the space but just blocking the view of the doorway to the viewer. When these doorways are not obscured they are often viewed from a very distant angle to possibly give the impression that they are unreachable or take much effort to reach. I have also researched another image by Laszlo Moholo- Nagy which is very different in a lot of ways to the two pieces I have already looked at but still has the surreal feel to it. The subject of this image is two boats, one larger than the other. The smaller boat appears to be being towed by the large boat. By the looks of things it appears that this picture is a reversal and has possibly had some sort of digital filter used on it. From a first glance I can gather no information as to the thought patterns behind this piece. It looks as if there is someone asleep in the smaller boat. The picture is viewed from above, almost looking as if the photographer is standing on top of the mast of the larger boat. The framing of the picture is very spacious with the majority of the frame being taken up by the water surrounding the boats. The bottom right hand corner of the piece is filled with the larger boat, but the boat is not viewed as a whole, only the back of the boat is shown. ...read more.

Conclusion

A similar technique was used by Tony Worobiec in a photomontage he created featuring one of his friends. He had used one of his friends as a subject quite regularly and on this occasion he had arranged to meet with him to show him the results of their most recent shoot. As he was developing he realised he had not done anything particularly interesting with the prints and so decided to create the photomontage that can be seen below. The next three pictures are the original images that were used to put together this photomontage. The following quote was made by Worobiec himself after completing this piece: "Seen together, the three elements appear far more menacing. The figure seen out of context looks much more threatening, whilst the old odd shaped oil drum could easily be seen as an approaching planet" Tony Worobiec As I have discussed in my essay there are many different ways to manipulate images both digitally and in the darkroom. This leaves us with the question of which is process is better digital or chemical photography? With the lowering of the price of digital cameras they are much more accessible to most people, but as well as this they can produce images just as good and sometimes better than images produced by the chemical process. With digital you are also able to use the same techniques as chemical but instead of long periods spent testing and adjusting it can all be done by the click of a button. This however brings chemical photography to a new light as a fine art medium. Due to the decrease in usage it is now considered a specialist area of photography, therefore the increase in the use of digital supports chemical photography itself. In my opinion digital photography is much better and effective, because although initially it is expensive the outcomes produced make all the more worth while than having spent the same amount on chemical photography equipment. Sources Rommert Boonstra http://www.zonezero.com/exposiciones/fotografos/boonstra Elenore Welles http://artscenecal.com/ArticlesFile/Archive/Articles1996/Articles0996/MRay.html http://www.track16.com/exhibitions/manray/press.html Jonathan Jones 27th October 2001 www.guardian.co.uk The digital age of photography Sam Butt ...read more.

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