Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wagon train "art manipulation"

In the spirit of a conversation this week on Facebook about whether Photoshop manipulation makes a photograph less "real," here are two versions of another photo from the Medora to Deadwood Wagon Train.

First, an image that has had some color changes, tone corrections, sharpening, etc., but is still a fairly straight-forward photograph.

Second, the same photo with a layer mask with Photoshop's "dry brush" artistic filter applied to everything except the single cowboy and horses. I also removed the chrome camera from the cowboy's hand just because I didn't like the modern intrusion into the retro-western scene.

I will leave it to you which you like better and for what reasons.


Anonymous said...

I do not see an issue with your manipulation of the image - you explained to the viewer that it was manipulated. The problem comes from NOT stating the changes made and misleading the viewer.

Roy M said...

They're both really nice, but I like the first version better.

I definitely think removing the modern intrusion of the camera is an improvement. I would do that in both versions.

As for the dry brush filter part of your edit, I think it causes you to lose too much detail in the foreground grass. It also seems to make the magenta shirt on the guy in the background stand out more -- and I don't feel like that bright color suits the old-fashioned feel of the photo, and the edit makes it more prominent.

The red tones in various people's clothing also stand out more in the second version, which might be slightly distracting from your subject.

I think it's a cool effect, but I also think this image is so good that it doesn't need the effect. In fact it looks better without it!

But maybe to improve it, I'd use a gradient to gradually reduce the effect toward the bottom of the image, and do a little work on the magenta and red tones in curves. Just my two cents. :)

Chad Coppess said...

Thanks for the comments Roy. I agree with your ideas. Toning down the filter effect and that magenta shirt would help a lot.

Anonymous said...

Chad, I can't seem to find any contact information for you. I'd like to discuss licensing this image for an advertising campaign. Please email me asap to discuss this further.

email me at kimchitacos at gmail

Chad Coppess said...

Thanks James. Email on the way.