F. FoundView in the Real World (Practical Applications)
How do working photographers use FoundView? Many of the most common situations are covered in this section, although of course it's impossible to anticipate every conceivable photographic scenario. For situations not covered hereor for the many cases in this section where the answer is "It depends"the creator of a given photograph should apply both of the two basic FoundView tests:
1. Has there been any post-shutter manipulation of any forms or shapes? If so, the photograph cannot qualify as FoundView.
2. Would the typical viewer feel deceived? If so, the photograph cannot qualify as FoundView.
Note that the photograph must pass BOTH tests, not just one or the other. It may also be useful to read the other sections of this website in order to better understand the logic underlying FoundView, for example the primacy given to decisions made at "the decisive moment" as opposed to changes made after the shutter is clicked. (See E-10.)
(You may click on a desired question or simply scroll down to the answer)
|F-1.||What about using post-shutter manipulations to move or remove things in the photograph in order to simulate what the photographer could have achieved at the scene had he noticed them before clicking the shutter?|
|F-2.||What about post-shutter correction of undesirable elements in the image that the photographer saw at the scene but were beyond his or her control?|
|F-3.||What about using post-shutter effects to simulate a view that could have easily been achieved initially had a different lens been used or had the photographer moved the camera higher or lower or to the side? What about post-shutter perspective correction?|
|F-4.||What about manipulating reflections?|
|F-5.||What about polarizing filters?|
|F-6.||What about graduated neutral density filters?|
|F-7.||What about special effects filters attached to the camera before the shutter is clicked?|
|F-8.||What about manipulating shadows?|
|F-9.||What about removing surface flaws such as scratches, fingerprints, or lint on an image?|
|F-10.||What about changing the colors of things in a photograph?|
|F-11.||What about black-and-white?|
|F-12.||What about when elements are rendered illegible due to darkening or lightening all or part of the photograph?|
|F-13.||What about changing day into night?|
|F-14.||What about the moon?|
|F-15.||F-15. What about post-shutter sharpening and blur (softening)?|
|F-16.||What about adding fog, rain, mist, haze, or snow effects to a photograph?|
|F-17.||What about shutter speeds so slow that they blur (or fail to record) objects in motion?|
|F-18.||What about the use of wide-angle lenses that appear to stretch out perspective? What about long telephoto lenses that appear to compress perspective?|
|F-19.||What about the use of fisheye lenses?|
|F-20.||What about combining two identicalbut differently exposednegatives, altering no forms or shapes, to create an image that is identical in content to both negatives?|
|F-21.||What about "stitching" and composite panoramas?|
|F-22.||What about double or multiple exposures?|
|F-23.||What about arranged scenes and still lifes?|
|F-24.||What about photos that look spontaneous but actually were staged, faked, or posed? What about photographs of tame or trained animals that are passed off as "wild"?|
F-1. What about using post-shutter manipulations to move or remove things in the photograph in order to simulate what the photographer could have achieved at the scene had he noticed them before clicking the shutter?
The issue: It is possible through post-shutter manipulations to move or remove from the image distracting elements that the photographer could have captured differently with a simple change in camera position or by clicking the shutter at a different moment. This kind of manipulation is understandably tempting, because it "corrects" oversights or shortcomings of the photographer. Can the results qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: Never. Any manipulation of forms and shapes after the shutter is clicked, for whatever reason, disqualifies an image as FoundView. Driven as it is by viewer expectations, the FoundView standard is met only when images depict what was recorded by the camera at the moment the shutter was clicked, not what "could have happened." This refers not merely to "what could have happened" regarding the subject, but also "what could have happened" regarding decisions the photographer wishes he or she had made at the scene.
If the scene pictured truly "could have happened," the viewer asks, why didn't the photographer just photograph it that way in the first place (instead of later guessing at what it might have looked like)? (See E-10.) Failure to photograph a scene the way he later wants it to look doesn't give a photographer license to trick viewers into thinking that he did photograph it that way. Yes, he can manipulate the elements in the photograph to simulate what he wishes he had arranged in the camera's viewfinder at the scene, but the result cannot be labeled FoundView.
Proponents of undislosed manipulation assert that post-shutter manipulations can "level the playing field" by helping inept photographers produce images that look as good as those made by skilled photographers (see E-15). But neither personal nor technical limitations are a valid excuse for passing off undisclosed manipulations of content. Regardless of the photographer's motivation, viewers always regard content manipulations to realistic-looking photographs as deceptive unless the manipulations are clearly disclosed. (See also D-6, E-8, E-12, F-3, F-18.)
F-2. What about post-shutter correction of undesirable elements in the image that the photographer saw at the scene but were beyond his or her control?
The issue: With computer manipulation, it is possible to compensate for external factors that were beyond the photographer's control when the shutter was clicked (for example, photographers can digitally remove items that were planted in the middle of the original scene and thus were unavoidable no matter what the camera perspective: power lines, traffic signs, parked cars, or even a bystander who wouldn't budge). Can these corrections qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: No. Any manipulation of forms and shapes, for whatever reason, disqualifies an image as FoundView. If an image doesn't precisely depict all of the forms and shapes that were recorded by the camera the moment the shutter was clicked, it isn't FoundView. (See F-17 for presentation of images in which the time is so long between when the shutter is clicked open and when it is clicked closed that moving objects in the scene are not recorded by the camera.)
Ever since photography began, photographers all over the world have wished they could eliminate or move various immovable items in their field of view before they clicked the shutter. But even new technologies that permit seamless post-shutter alterations to objects in photographs can't change the reality of what is at the scene when the shutter is clicked. The world is as it isand that's precisely what viewers of realistic-looking photographs expect to see.
F-3. What about using post-shutter effects to simulate a view that could have easily been achieved initially had a different lens been used or had the photographer moved the camera higher or lower or to the side? What about post-shutter perspective correction?
The issue: With computer manipulation, it is possible to reshape, resize, and rearrange elements in an image to simulate perspectives that for whatever reason were not chosen prior to clicking the shutter. Post-shutter manipulations can simulate what the image would have looked like had the camera been positioned in a different spot or had a different focal-length lens been used (such as a wide-angle instead of a normal). It is also possible to make post-shutter perspective alterations to an image that simulate the effect of having used a view camera to take the photograph. (For example, through computer manipulations or by tilting the baseboard and negative stage during enlarging, converging vertical lines on tall buildings can be rendered as parallel. This manipulation is traditionally called "perspective correction.") Can images that have undergone post-shutter perspective alterations qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: These examples clearly constitute post-shutter manipulations of "forms and shapes" and thus cannot qualify as FoundView. This is one of those cases where even a well-executed post-shutter simulation of a pre-shutter effect is nonetheless still merely a simulation (see E-10, part 1). If the photographer wanted to record the forms and shapes before him a particular way at the decisive moment, he should have photographed them that way (see E-12 and F-1). If he didn't (or couldn't) record them that way when he clicked the shutter, he's certainly welcome to later reshape the elements in the picturebut the result can't qualify as FoundView (because it doesn't depict the forms and shapes as they were recorded by the camera when the shutter was clicked). The FoundView checkmark can only be applied to photographs that depict the perspective selected by the photographer at the decisive momentno exceptions.
It's difficult for some photographers to accept this at first, perhaps because some kinds of post-shutter perspective alterations were practiced long before the digital era. However, manipulations of any kind that otherwise contradict FoundView cannot be sanctioned simply because they're "darkroom" instead of "digital" or "traditional" instead of "new." The standard must be applied consistently or not at all.
F-4. What about manipulating reflections?
The issue: Can reflections be manipulated in a photograph without disqualifying the image as FoundView? In other words, do reflections depicted in photographs count as "tones" or as "forms and shapes"?
The resolution: Reflections themselves may be made of light and tones, but once they are depicted in photographs reflections are obviously are forms and shapes. Thus adding or deleting any reflections in a photographor moving them, or changing their shapedisqualifies the photograph as FoundView (see also F-5, below). For example, digital technology makes it easy to invert a copy of an object that is adjacent to (or on) a body of water so that the water looks like it is reflecting the object. A photograph incorporating this technique can never qualify as FoundView.
However, the tone of reflections may be lightened or darkened without disqualifying an image as FoundViewproviding that the lightening or darkening isn't so extensive that the typical viewer would find it deceptive.
F-5. What about polarizing filters?
At issue: If reflections in photographs are forms and shapes (see F-4), is a photograph disqualified from FoundView if it was made with a polarizing filter that reduces or eliminates reflections? And can a photograph qualify as FoundView if a polarizer isn't used when the photo is taken but its effect is simulated by post-shutter manipulations?
The resolution: There is an important distinction to be made here. Reflections in the real world are made of light (some of which is blocked by a polarizing filter before it reaches the film or CCD). Once reflections are pictured in a photograph, however, they are forms and shapes, the presence or shape of which cannot be altered without disqualifying an image as FoundView.
Viewers rarely find deceptive the use of a polarizing filter to reduce the glare or reflection from a subject, and a photograph made with a polarizing filter certainly can qualify as FoundView. And, as noted in F-4 (above), photographs that underwent post-shutter manipulations of tone to lighten or darken reflections can qualify as FoundView. However, post-shutter manipulations that simulate having used a polarizer disqualify a photograph as FoundView if they alter forms and shapesi.e., if they require speculation, guesswork, or redrawing of areas of the scene that were obscured by glare or reflection. For example, using a polarizing filter to reduce the reflections on a store window is not generally considered deceptive, but post-shutter fabrication of the forms and shapes that would have been visible through the store window clearly involves guesswork, speculation, and manipulation of content (see E-10). Such an image would not qualify as FoundView.
F-6. What about graduated neutral density filters?
At issue: To darken overly bright portions of a scene (most often, the sky) photographers often attach to their cameras a "graduated" filter that blocks light in only one portion of the scene. Because film records light differently than does the human eye, these filters are often necessary to make the image more closely reflect what was seen at the scene. Without the use of a graduated filter in landscape photography, for example, it is often impossible to accurately record on film both the ground and the sky.
The resolution: Darkening or lightening a portion of a scene or image (including the sky) qualifies as manipulations of tone. Thus, photographs made this way can qualify as FoundView regardless of whether these kinds of manipulations of tone are performed before or after the shutter is clickedassuming that the typical viewer would not find them deceptive. Note, though, that any manipulation (even a purely tonal one) can be used to excess, and if in doubt, the photographer should always ask whether a typical viewer would feel deceived by such manipulations.
F-7. What about special effects filters attached to the camera before the shutter is clicked?
At issue: Does the use of multiple image ("kaleidoscope" or "prism") filters, blurred-motion filters, dense-fog filters, and the like disqualify an image as FoundView?
The resolution: Usually. Anytime any device or technique is used to artificially simulate in a photograph a real-world occurrence (in lieu of having actually photographed the phenomenon pictured), the resulting photograph should not be labeled FoundView. (See also F-15.) Needless to say, if use of a particular pre-shutter simulated effect disqualifies an image as FoundView, use of a post-shutter manipulation that simulates that effect certainly would disqualify any resulting images as well. (See also F-16.)
F-8. What about manipulating shadows?
At issue: Can shadows be manipulated in a photograph without disqualifying the image as FoundView? In other words, do shadows depicted in photographs count as "tones" or as "forms and shapes"?
The resolution: Shadows depicted in photographs obviously are forms and shapesoften very important ones. Thus adding or deleting shadows in a photographor moving them, or changing their shapedisqualifies the photograph as FoundView.
However, the tone of shadows (and correspondingly, objects in shadowed areas) may be lightened or darkened without disqualifying an image as FoundViewproviding that the lightening or darkening isn't of a nature that the typical viewer would find deceptive.
F-9. What about removing surface flaws such as scratches, fingerprints, or lint on an image?
The issue: Correcting surface flaws on a negative, transparency, or print"spotting"can be done with ink, paint, or computer manipulations. Do these corrections disqualify an image as FoundView?
The resolution: No problem here. Because these types of technical flaws weren't part of the scene recorded by the camera at the moment the shutter was clicked, removing them doesn't disqualify an image as FoundView. (Any retouching that alters content, of course, would disqualify an image as FoundView.)
F-10. What about changing the colors of things in a photograph?
The issue: If tones can be manipulated under FoundView guidelines, is there any limit to how much colors can be changed? Photographers have been altering tones since the advent of photography and altering color values since the advent of color film. Each of the four main aspects of tonalitycontrast, brightness, intensity, and huecan be altered in an almost infinite variety of ways using different tools. Filters, highly-saturated films, darkroom techniques, and computer manipulations each offer ways to significantly alter these values. The issue is complicated by the difficulty of defining whether a color has been accentuated, punched up, exaggerated, or changed: when does a pink become red, or vermillion, or magenta, or purple? The color chart is a continuum of millions of colors, not a small palette of only a distinct handful.
The resolution: Yes, there is a limit to how much colors can be changed, but it depends on the nature of the change; there are a lot of shades of gray on the color issue. Often the photographer will need to apply the "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" test (see C-3). Many tonal manipulationswhether done in the camera, in the darkroom, or on a computer (see C-2)are not deceptive. Images with extensive tonal changes may not qualify, however; the fact that FoundView allows for tonal manipulations certainly doesn't mean that all photographs that underwent tonal manipulations qualify as FoundView.
Viewers are less likely to object to moderate changes in contrast, brightness, and intensity than they are to changes in hue (perhaps because from childhood on people identify objects by "what color" they are rather than "how highly-saturated" they are or what the "contrast levels" might be). Thus rather than overtly changing hues in their photographs, photographers seeking more "impact" often increase the saturation (intensity) of colors instead. Because it's impossible to universally define how much saturation is too much, the FoundView label will inevitably be applied to miraculously colorful sunset photographs and cartoonishly oversaturated landscape scenes (where every area of ground cover is bright green, every autumn leaf is fiery orange or red, and every sky is cobalt blue). There's simply no way to spell out detailed guidelines for saturationbecause each situation is uniquebut at least the transgressions are more often aesthetic than ethical.
Changes in hue are more likely to be deceptive because they more often affect content. A gray overcast sky converted to a warm post-sunset glow, for example, would not qualify as FoundView, nor would radical manipulations of color (purple horses, kelly-green skies, blue bananas). However, even moderate changes can be deceptive when the color of a subject is closely tied to the picture's content and the viewer is unable to discern the manipulation. Examples of this would include changing a person's skin or hair color so they weren't recognizable or changing the color of a bird's plumage so that the bird is not recognizable as its own species.
Bottom line: With millions of colors and billions of photographs, it's unrealistic to do any more than outline general guidelines. For any photographs that have undergone extensive tonal manipulations (or even moderate changes in hue), the photographer or publisher should apply the "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" test. Images that fail this test for whatever reason cannot qualify as FoundView.
F-11. What about black-and-white?
The issue: Do black-and-white photographs of color scenes qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: Just as photographs in which the color intensity (saturation) has been increased can qualify as FoundView (see F-10), so too can photographs in which the color intensity has been decreasedwhich is what black-and-white images effectively are. To viewers of typical black-and-white photographs, deception is neither implied nor inferred: the photographer is not trying to sneak the use of black-and-white past the viewer, and rarely do color pictures or scenes become undecipherable or deceptive when simply converted to black-and-white.
Note, however, that partial desaturation of colorsi.e., turning vivid hues into pastelscan be deceptive, depending on the nature of the subject and the change. And, of course, it is possible to use black-and-white deceptively. Examples include reversing the tonal relationships between light and dark subjects, using black-and-white in only selective portions of a color picture, or grossly exaggerating overall tones to misrepresent the time of day (see F-13). Images which have undergone such effects should not be labeled FoundView.
F-12. What about when elements are rendered illegible due to darkening or lightening all or part of the photograph?
The issue: When all or part of a photograph is lightened (e.g., a featureless light gray sky) or darkened (e.g., an area of the scene that is in the shade) elements in lightened or darkened areas can disappear from view both in original prints and particularly in published versions of photographs (printing presses often cannot reproduce all of the subtleties of the original print). The issue is more complicated than it first seems because in practice the enlarger light source, paper-developer combinations, contrast choice, reproduction method, publication quality, paper surface, and viewing conditions of the final image can all affect the visibility of highlight or shadow detail. Details that disappear with one combination of these factors may remain visible under another combination. In addition, elements and textures that are visible in the original print often are not visible in published reproductions of it (Zone II areas might be reproduced as Zone I, for example, or Zone XIII areas can become Zone IX; see Notes). Finally, major elements of the photograph are not always completely eliminated; there are degrees of reduction in visibility, and it can be more a case of reducing texture to the point of illegibility than wholesale removal of forms and shapes. How do these factors affect such images' qualification for FoundView?
The resolution: First, FoundView makes no distinction between intended and unintended deceptions. If a manipulation of a photograph is deceptive to the viewerfor whatever reasonit doesn't matter to the viewer whether the deception was introduced deliberately or inadvertently (see C-3). Thus, from FoundView's perspective, it doesn't matter whether elements became illegible in the course of lightening or darkening, or whether the lightening or darkening was performed in order to render those elements illegible. The effect is the same.
That said, selective elimination (e.g., deleting only one or some of several similarly illuminated objects in a photograph, through whatever means) clearly disqualifies an image as FoundView under any circumstances. Similarly disqualified from FoundViewwithout exceptionwould be elimination of objects in a manner inconsistent with human seeing, such as reversing tones between dark and light so that they blend into their region of the image (examples of this would be deleting dark tree branches against snow or a light sky, darkening interior-illuminated windows in a night cityscape, and eliminating bright highlights or reflections in dark areas of the scene). On the other hand, if the elimination of texture or elements is caused by making an entire region of the photograph at or near "full black" or "paper white," and assuming that this is an accentuation (and not a reversal) of the tones recorded by the camera, the image may still qualify as FoundView. Obviously, for these "entire region" cases the "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" test must be applied; each situation is unique. Consideration of the nature of human seeing is a useful guide in these issues (for example, if a person squinted so as to make the whole scene darker, would the element in question likely disappear from view?), and common sense usually reveals what kinds of manipulations would seem deceptive to the typical viewer.
F-13. What about changing day into night?
The issue: Through appropriate filtering and darker printing in the darkroom or on the computer, it's possible to make some daytime scenes look like night scenes. It is also possible, through long exposures and lightened printing, to make some night scenes appear to be daytime scenes.
The resolution: These examples would be deceptive to the typical viewer. They should not be labeled FoundView.
F-14. What about the moon?
The issue: Probably far fewer than 1 in 100 photographs incorporating a full moon are single-shot photographs (the rest are darkroom sandwiches, multiple exposures, or computer composites). Photographers can easily take a picture of the moon and then superimpose it on top of a moonless scene to make a single, somewhat realistic-looking image. The superimposed moon is usually enlarged in proportion to the rest of the scene (if photographed with a normal or wide-angle lensas most landscapes area full moon isn't much larger than a pinhead on film). Can any image with an altered moon qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: No photograph ever qualifies as FoundView if it depicts a moon that was inserted, deleted, enlarged, reduced, moved, or reshaped (i.e., making the moon appear to be in a different phase than it actually was when the shutter was clicked). The only permissible alterations consist solely of adjusting the tones (color and brightness) of the moon.
Any images that undergo post-shutter manipulations of forms or shapes are disqualified from FoundView, and the moon is clearly a "form or shape." Thus making the moon larger in proportion to the rest of the scene disqualifies an image as FoundView, as does moving the moon to a more pleasing location, putting it where it would have been had the sky not been cloudy or polluted, inserting it where it would have been in the sky at a different hour or on a different day, etc. A FoundView photograph is a record of the precise forms and shapes recorded by the camera at the moment the shutter was clicked, and none of these manipulations would meet that standard.
F-15. What about post-shutter sharpening and blur (softening)?
The issue: Post-shutter manipulations can be used to make an image or part of an image appear "sharper" (with better edge definition) and more in focus. In the other direction, computer blur effects and some darkroom techniques can be used to "soften" distracting elements in photographs or to simulate the softening effect of soft-focus lenses, antique lenses, softening filters, and view camera movements.
The resolution: Slight overall sharpening (as opposed to selective sharpening) is generally considered acceptable under FoundView principles, especially when used to compensate for sharpness lost during scanning or enlarging. Similarly, slight overall softening (as opposed to selective softening) is not considered deceptive by most viewers, whether the effect is achieved through use of antique lenses, a lens-mounted filter, darkroom techniques, or computer effects.
Like almost any tool, however, overall sharpening or blur (softening) becomes deceptive when used to excess. When the use of either tool is so extensive that it results in redrawing forms or shapes, the image cannot qualify as FoundView. Note, too, that if the use of blur or softening implies to the viewer that the photograph was taken in atmospheric fog when it actually wasn't, the image should not be labeled FoundView; see F-16, below. Anytime any device or techniquewhether pre- or post-shutteris used to artificially simulate in a photograph a real-world occurrence (in lieu of having actually photographed the phenomenon pictured), the resulting photograph should not be labeled FoundView.
The use of selective sharpening or blur/softening (as opposed to overall use of these tools) always disqualifies an image as FoundView. Selective sharpening can be used to make a subject appear to be in sharper focus than it was when the shutter was clicked; selective blur (softening) can isolate a subject from a busy background by "defocusing" distracting forms and shapes. But if the photographer wishes to portray a particular depth of field or to render something in the scene in clear focus (or out of focus), he should take the photograph that way in the first place. If for whatever reason he fails to do so (whether due to incompetence, bad luck, inexperience, slow reflexes, equipment limitations, or simply an error in judgment; see E-15 and F-1), or if the desired depth of field is optically impossible (e.g., isolating from busy backgrounds subjects requiring great depth of field, or selectively focusing on subjects situated at or near infinity focus), that does not give him license to alter the apparent depth of field through post-shutter manipulations and then present the photograph as unmanipulated.
Visually simplifying a complex arrangement in the real world is one of the toughest challenges in photography (see C-1). Post-shutter softening of distracting elements in the picture (simulating a smaller depth of field) may give the appearance of having photographed a complex or busy scene simply, but it is not the same as actually having done soand should not presented as such. The same holds true for another common photographic challenge, that of "keeping everything in focus." Post-shutter manipulations (including sharpening) cannot be used to simulate greater depth of field without disqualifying an image as FoundView. Some of the most important decisions the photographer makes before clicking the shutter involve camera position, focal length, aperture, plane of focus, and other choices affecting depth of field. These decisions must be respected. Like it or not, the relative apparent focus of various subjects in the scene pictured cannot be changed by post-shutter manipulations without overriding the depth of field recorded by the camera when the shutter was clicked (and often overriding the laws of physics as well). Photographs that do not preserve the depth-of-field choices made by the photographer when the shutter was clicked should not be labeled as FoundView. (See also F-3 regarding post-shutter perspective alterations.) Note that just because FoundView privileges choices made prior to "the decisive moment" when the shutter is clicked doesn't mean that anything goes with respect to pre-shutter manipulations. (See also F-7.)
F-16. What about adding fog, rain, mist, haze, or snow effects to a photograph?
The issue: New digital tools make it possible to add (post-shutter) very convincing atmospheric effects, including making near objects less hazy than distant objects. Haze and fog effects can also be added through filters mounted on the lens before the shutter is clicked. Do the images resulting from any of these special effects qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: The simulation of having photographed these atmospheric and weather effects always disqualifies an image as FoundView, for three reasons. First, they each involve manipulation of forms and shapes (the particulates or precipitation that we see as fog, mist, haze, rain, or snow may be very tiny but they are nonetheless forms and shapesas are the clouds that they form). Second, all of these constitute artificial simulations of an effect rather than a record of the actual phenomenon that causes it (see also F-7). Thus they fail the "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" test; viewers would certainly find deceptive the addition of mysterious pea-soup fog or swirling snowflakes to a scene photographed on a clear day. Third, any post-shutter atmospheric simulations can only guess at what the photograph would have looked like had the meteorological phenomenon been recorded by the camera when the shutter was clicked; the simulation wouldn't look the same as having actually photographed the scene under those conditions (see E-10).
Note that traditional pre-shutter "haze" and "fog" filters, to the degree their effect is convincing, are also disqualified under the "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" test, but the effect that these filters supply is often quite unrealistic: they render objects nearer to the camera no clearer than distant objects, unlike objects photographed in genuine atmospheric haze. When use of these filters gives the illusion of fog rather than merely overall softness, the resulting images should not be labeled FoundView.
F-17. What about shutter speeds so slow that they blur (or fail to record) objects in motion?
At issue: Does use of a shutter speed too slow to "freeze" a moving object disqualify an image as FoundView? What about shutter speeds so slow that objects moving around in the scene are not recorded at all by the camera?
The resolution: Use of blur in photography is not itself deceptive to viewers (except when applied to stationary objects). Indeed, there are many subjects (falling rain, swirling snow, a waterfall, an auto race) for which the blur produced by a slower shutter speed can more closely correspond to the way people actually see these subjects in real life than would a 1/8000-second "freeze" image of these subjects. Thus, assuming that the other FoundView requirements are met (including non-deception of the viewer), use of slow shutter speeds that blur moving objects does not disqualify an image as FoundView. Post-shutter simulations of blur, however, do not qualify as FoundView, because they involve post-shutter manipulations of forms and shapes, they can only guess at how much blur the camera would have actually recorded when the shutter was clicked, and they can only speculate about what the background seen through the blur would have actually looked like (see E-10).
View camera users in particular have asked FoundView about time exposures so long that moving objectscars, people, bunniesdon't get recorded on film. If subjects that were seen by the camera when the shutter was opened have moved elsewhere by the time the shutter is closed, which shutter click counts? In these cases, the "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" test (see C-3) is recommended. The photographer should either consider not labeling the image FoundView orif no other manipulations are involvedthe omission of moving objects should be noted. Reasonable judgment and common sense should be sufficient in resolving such cases. Note, however, that photographs in which any objectsincluding moving cars, people, and bunniesare deleted via post-shutter manipulations can never qualify as FoundView (see E-10, part 1).
F-18. What about the use of wide-angle lenses that appear to stretch out perspective? What about long telephoto lenses that appear to compress perspective?
The issue: These pre-shutter choices visibly affect the appearance of the subject. Do they qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: Perspective choices (e.g., wide-angles, telephotos, tripod placement and height) made at the time of exposure do not by themselves generally disqualify an image from being FoundView. FoundView places a very high value on judgments made in anticipation of "the decisive moment" when the shutter is clicked (as opposed to after that moment), including choices relating to perspective and timing. Deciding where to position the camera, how to compose a scene, what shutter speed is optimal, which lens to use for the desired perspective, and precisely when to click the shutter, it can be argued, are the very essence of "decisive moment" photography (see also E-10 and E-12).
Note that oftimes what people call perspective "distortion" in photographs is caused by something over which the photographer has little or no control: the distance at which the photograph is viewed. For example, a wide-angle photograph that looks "stretched out" at arm's length will look more natural up close, just as a telephoto image viewed too closely can look more natural when seen from a greater viewing distance (see Notes).
It is certainly possible to perform pre-shutter perspective-related distortions that would be deemed deceptive by the typical viewer (for example, using the movements on a view camera to render as vertical the walls of a building that were in reality caving inward.) Needless to say, such images would not qualify as FoundView. (Note also that as explained in F-3, any perspective alterations performed after the shutter was clicked disqualify an image as FoundView.)
F-19. What about the use of fisheye lenses?
At issue: If the use of a wide-angle lens doesn't by itself disqualify an image as FoundView, what about the widest of the wide-angle lensesfisheye lenses? (Fisheye lenses are also available in longer focal lengths.) Can images made with fisheye lenses qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: Fisheye photographs distort the shape of objects in a manner that can be deceptive to viewers, and the resulting photographs do not qualify as FoundView.
Most wide-angle lenses are "rectilinear"that is, they record as straight any lines that are straight in the actual scene. But fisheye lenses curve formerly straight lines and distort the appearance of virtually all objects in a photograph (lines passing through the axis of the lens can remain straight, but all other lines bend around the center). Unlike photographs made with normal (rectilinear) wide-angle lenses, fisheye distortion is unrelated to viewing distance: the perspective rendered by a fisheye lens is not going to match viewers' real-life experience no matter how close they put their noses to the photograph. It is difficult to determine the true appearance of even familiar subjects photographed with a fisheye lens, and with unfamiliar subjects the viewer cannot discern which curves depicted in the photograph were inherent in the subject and which were caused by the lens. Images made with fisheye lenses should not be labeled FoundView.
F-20. What about combining two identicalbut differently exposednegatives, altering no forms or shapes, to create an image that is identical in content to both negatives?
The issue: For more than a century, photographers have in some situations exposed multiple negatives that are identical except for exposure and combined them to make a color print or a better-exposed one. Film is unable to record anywhere near the range of light and dark that the human eye can see, but photographers now can expose one negative for the bright areas of a scene (e.g., the sky) and another for the darker areas (e.g., the ground) and readily mask and combine the two to make a well-exposed image indiscernible in content from either original negative. Do the results qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: If, and only if, the negatives are identical down to every last grain except for tones (in other words, if every speck of every "form and shape" lines up exactly on the two photographs being combined), then the viewer probably would not feel deceived. Thus in these cases the results could qualify as FoundView. Allowing that it can be "FoundView" to ever combine two photographs, even those that are absolutely identical except for exposure, admittedly leaves room for abuse. But FoundView is based on what does or did happen to an image, not on what could happen, and it is driven by viewer expectations rather than by worst-case fears. This is a clear case where the photographer must be trusted: if he or she vouches that the forms and shapes in the two negatives were identical down to every last grain or pixel, then that has to be accepted.
Needless to say, the closer in time that the two negatives are exposed, the less likely it is that viewers will regard them as deceptive; fractions of a second are optimum. Otherwise, one conceivably could photograph, for example, a dark-colored building when a white VW Beetle® drives in front of it, then wait for a puffy white cloud to pass overhead (to visually echo the car) before making another exposure, the negative from which would then be merged with the first. Of course, any changes at all in the scene between the first exposure and the second would produce nonidentical negatives, meaning the result obviously would not qualify as FoundView.
F-21. What about "stitching" and composite panoramas?
The issue: Computer programs make it possible to easily do what formerly took great effort in the darkroom: to seamlessly "stitch" or join together multiple photographs, eliminating the seams where edges of the photos are joined, making one wide-view image that can look very realistic. Can these qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: Regardless of whether they were created on a computer or in a darkroom (and no matter how realistic they may look), "stitched" and composite-panorama images cannot qualify as FoundView. Any image resulting from the addition of forms or shapes to a single-click photograph is disqualified as FoundView, and "stitched" and composite-panorama images are clearly in this category.
At first it may seem that F-20 (above) contradicts F-21; the former says that two negatives can be combined into one FoundView image, while the latter says they can't. But there's no contradiction at all; the difference is the role of FoundView's primary litmus test, "forms and shapes." If the photographs or negatives that are to be combined are identical except in exposurei.e., the forms and shapes line up exactly, down to every last grain or pixel, when placed on top of each other (as in F-20, above)then the result certainly can be FoundView, as no forms and shapes have been altered. However, if every single form and shapeevery grain and pixelin the photographs being combined does not precisely line up (and they certainly would not do so when "stitching" or overlapping photographs), the result cannot qualify as FoundView. No matter how realistic-looking the "stitched" or composite-panorama image may be, it is still nonetheless a post-shutter fabrication of what the scene may have looked like (see also E-10). A "stitched" or composite-panorama image does not show the viewer what FoundView requires, that is, the exact forms and shapes that the camera recorded during that one unrepeatable moment when the shutter was clickedno more, and no less (see also E-12).
F-22. What about double or multiple exposures?
The issue: Two or more photographs can be combinedin the camera, in the darkroom, or on a computerto produce a realistic-looking scene. Can these qualify as FoundView?
The resolution: Combining photographswith any toolsis never FoundView unless the photographs being combined are identical down to every last grain (see F-20 and F-21). No multiple exposures that add new elements ("forms and shapes") into the picture can qualify as FoundView. To cite a common example, if a double exposure is made in order to put a moon into a scene where there wasn't one, the result obviously cannot qualify as FoundView (because "forms and shapes" were changed in the original picture; see also F-14.) On the other hand, in studio or architectural contexts photographers often make a photograph with multiple "pops" of the strobe because a single pop does not cast sufficient light on the subject or scene. If nothing changes in the scene between pops of the strobe, these images can qualify for FoundView (assuming the other requirements are met, including no post-shutter content manipulation and no deception of the viewer).
Bottom line: The only time two or more pictures can ever be combined and still qualify as FoundView is when the only difference between them is in the tonal values; forms and shapes must be absolutely identical in the photographs being combined.
F-23. What about arranged scenes and still lifes?
The issue: Can scenes that weren't simply "found" be FoundView?
The resolution: Still lifes and other arranged scenes can qualify as FoundView, but only if (like all FoundView photographs) they do not deceive the viewer. This non-deception requirement means that still lifes and other arranged or orchestrated scenes can qualify for FoundView only if they look arranged or orchestrated. If the scene depicted was arranged or orchestrated but the photograph makes it look like it was spontaneous, then the image would be deceptive to the viewer and the photograph cannot be labeled FoundView (see F-24, below).
FoundView photography requires the non-deceptive depiction of all forms and shapes that were recorded by the camera when the shutter was clicked, a requirement that applies whether the scene depicted was "arranged" or not. As discussed in E-11, it is often impossible to determine whether a particular pre-shutter manipulation to the subject was done "for the camera" or whether it would have been done anyway. Thus, rather than trying to draw endless distinctions about "how arranged" a scene was (from wilderness scenes at one end of the spectrum to, say, fashion photographs at the other), FoundView asks, simply, "Would the typical viewer feel deceived?" FoundView does not disqualify photographs of any scenes that have undergone pre-shutter orchestration of the subject as long as the orchestrated nature of the scene is readily apparent to the viewer (and as long as the image did not undergo any post-shutter manipulations of content).
FoundView was created to help prevent deception of viewers. Most people know that flowers don't naturally grow perfectly arranged in vases, sand on the beach doesn't accidentally form itself into elaborate sand castles, and women don't lounge about looking like Victoria's Secret® models all the time. Most viewers are unlikely to feel shocked or deceived upon learning that subjects like these underwent "pre-shutter manipulations" before being photographed under obviously orchestrated circumstances. (See also Notes for more on this topic.)
F-24. What about photos that look spontaneous but actually were staged, faked, or posed? What about photographs of tame or trained animals that are passed off as "wild"?
The issue: If arranged scenes (see F-23) can qualify as FoundView, can these other types of orchestrations qualify as well?
The resolution: No. Even assuming that they have not have undergone any post-shutter "form-and-shape" manipulations (which would instantly disqualify them), these examples of orchestrated images do not make clear to the viewer their orchestrated origins. To qualify as FoundView, any staged, set-up, faked, posed, or arranged photograph has to clearly look or be presented as orchestrated (not "spontaneous" or "wild"); otherwise it is deceptive.
In other words, unlike most still lifes (in which viewers can immediately see that the scene was staged), these examples clearly would be deceptive to the typical viewer. None of them would qualify as FoundView.
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