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George Gearless

Am I a cheat? A question of morals.

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On 29/01/2019 at 11:41, kirkster501 said:

To the OP, your sentiment is that we shouldn't use Lightroom or Photoshop either on our holiday pictures?

Maybe ladies should not wear make up because it's "cheating" too?

Remember that there is no visual colour to be seen in a deep sky photo anyway.  It's enhanced techniques that bring those colours out.  Maybe it's cheating to do that as well?

Agree with some of what you imply.  I think it is cheating to use remote telescopes because then, that is not using your own gear to attribute the photo to yourself.

We'll all differ on this issue.

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Milkyway

This was the first image I ever took and was really happy with it at the time. I still think it's a reasonable first attempt. well I did until now. You see, I borrowed my daughters dslr and my sisters tripod so I guess it's not mine by your reasoning. Hell, thinking about it, I even borrowed my mums laptop.
I'm not interested in remote imaging but that's solely because I like the hands on aspect but to say it's cheating is just wrong imho 

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On 29/01/2019 at 11:44, Stu said:

On that theme, I know that the reason my brother's child never has crumbs around their mouth in pictures is because they are carefully edited out. That I don't get, and feel similarly about actually editing content in AP images.

generally in AP, the things that are edited out aren't there to begin with such as hot pixels, camera noise etc. removing stars etc because they are a blight is a different story. Imagine a horses head/flame nebula image without Alnitak :D

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14 minutes ago, Scott said:

generally in AP, the things that are edited out aren't there to begin with such as hot pixels, camera noise etc. removing stars etc because they are a blight is a different story. Imagine a horses head/flame nebula image without Alnitak :D

Ahh, I get it now, my brother would consider the crumbs as noise! 🤣🤣🤣

#facebookperfectlives 😉

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I have considered this whole subject a number of times and I am now firmly in the camp of "it's only cheating if you pretend it is something it isn't".

So I would say that, if I fiddle with a photo of a M101 to add a supernova that isn't there (which I don't have the expertise to do, BTW), it is only cheating if I pretend I have not done that and claim that it is how it came out of the camera. It may have validity in its own right (in a slideshow saying "this is how a supernova in M101 might look" for example).

I would also come down on the side of processing freely-available data to make an image that is uniquely a result of how I process my images, the resulting picture is mine. As Olly has said above, the "capture" process is hardly the exciting bit. And where would one draw the line on the "equipment" matter anyway? If I book a week at Olly's, and use his equipment, is that cheating? Or do I have to start by uncollimating his scope and un-PA-ing his mount so that I can re-collimate and re-PA first? That would also strike me as "hardly the exciting bit". Indeed, is using a telescope cheating because I cannot see that amount of detail without one?

I think if you are honest about what you have done and what the finished result represents, "cheating" is not a word I would consider appropriate. And all my posts are made on this basis.

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4 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

 If I book a week at Olly's, and use his equipment, is that cheating? Or do I have to start by uncollimating his scope and un-PA-ing his mount so that I can re-collimate and re-PA first? That would also strike me as "hardly the exciting bit". Indeed, is using a telescope cheating because I cannot see that amount of detail without one?

 

😮 You do that and you'll get all the excitement you need to last you a year!!!!!  :BangHead::blob8::BangHead:

:icon_mrgreen:lly

PS: More seriously I wonder how much the public suspicion of Photoshop (etc) derives from the oft-repeated notion that, 'the camera can't lie.' It can, of course, and does so all the time. Different lenses have different curvatures, angular size scales differently over distance, bright objects flare, the colour balancing now done in software used to be done by chemists in the days of film and so on and on. Many professional photographers try to keep post processing to an absolute minimum and put most of their effort into composition and lighting. Because of the very extreme dynamic ranges encountered in astrophotography this is not an option if you want your image to reveal what is really there. To do so you will have to work quite hard in post processing. But even if you don't touch an image at all in Photoshop it is the result of literally thousands of decisions made by the technicians who designed your kit. It has never been true that a camera makes an objective record of what's there.

 

 

Edited by ollypenrice
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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

😮 You do that and you'll get all the excitement you need to last you a year!!!!!  :BangHead::blob8::BangHead:

:icon_mrgreen:lly

 

Oooh - a whole year's excitement in one go ... that could be an offer I can't refuse ....

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On 22/01/2019 at 19:51, Whirlwind said:

manipulated to be cut from one image and overlaid on another

This sort of compositing is a definite no, no in my 'rule book'.

Examples I've seen:

- local landscapes (North Yorkshire) with the Milky Way taken from latitudes of southern Spain or the Canary Islands

- a 'moonless' night with obvious strong shadows and a Milky Way that is never visible in that part of the sky and pasted L-R reversed...

...as long as you are honest with the viewers of your images, don't make false claims, you can do what you like.

Compositing a foreground with a different exposure taken in the same session is fine, or possibly taken at another time if it reflects a possible astronomical reality.  Just say what you've done. 

Having come to imaging via a deep sky visual observing route, I tend to go for less colour to give me a better connection to what I've seen in 'real life'.  I have been known to do versions with more colour for public consumption...

...cheers Paul

Edited by clarkpm4242
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I think it would be cheating if you were trying to deceive, when making adjustments 😀 adding false colours etc is akin to painting a portrait  to make the model look more appealing 😀 

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manipulated to be cut from one image and overlaid on another

What about when imagers take narrowband images and also take a set of RGB images, then copy just the RGB stars on top of the narrowband image to colour the stars?  I have seen this is done quite a bit and recently started to do it myself. 

IMO I think so long as you have said you have added the RGB stars it should be acceptable as you took both lots of data yourself.  

Carole 

 

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There are many activities in life where more than one person is involved (not just 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 ...) so why is it only in astrophotography that a single person should carry out all the steps or otherwise considered to be "cheating"?

I have to say that I find the processing part of AP the most enjoyable and sometimes even extremely satisfying, while the capture is often quite stressful. The best part of the capture for me is when I turn everything off at the end of a session with a feeling that I may have gathered good data. Before that I always worry that something will stop working, worry that I have messed up by forgetting to turn things off or on, worry of having set some camera parameters wrong, worry of seeing deteriorating and the guiding curve going from acceptable to terrible, worry of clouds moving in, worry of falling a sleep so that I miss the flip and the scope crashes into the pier, and everything else that can go wrong....

I actually like processing so much that the data I manage to capture with my own equipment on those few clear nights will not satisfy my processing itch. I feel that I need to spend a lot of time processing not only to improve my skills but just to keep them up. I cannot understand how processing publicly posted data can be called "cheating" and all of us that do it are clearly declaring the source of the data, as far as I have seen. If it is my "own" image is nothing have really considered and I am not sure what that would mean. Of course I feel a bit better when I work with my own data, but working with good data captured by others is much better than working with no data at all. Maybe I should call an image I have captured and processed my "own image" while those that I have "only" processed my "own processing". But maybe it would not be totally wrong to call it my "own image" in the same way as a movie director would regard a film that he/she has directed his/her own movie even if it was based on a Shakespeare play.

Edited by gorann

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The comet in this image came from data shot about a year later than that of the main image. It's precisely scaled and located using Registar which matched the stars in both images and would have looked exactly the same as it would have looked had I done the lot at the same time. However, I would always declare the method used.

HARTLEY%20HEART-M.jpg

Olly

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 a movie director would regard a film that he/she has directed his/her own movie even if it was based on a Shakespeare play.

 If some-one has adapted a Shakespeare play into something else for example West Side Story is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and Miss Saigon is a modern adaptation of the Opera Madame Butterfly which is in itself taken from an play that Puccini saw and got permission to adapt.  Always the original Author, composer etc is credited.  

Carole 

Edited by carastro

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7 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

The comet in this image came from data shot about a year later than that of the main image. It's precisely scaled and located using Registar which matched the stars in both images and would have looked exactly the same as it would have looked had I done the lot at the same time. However, I would always declare the method used.

I think that's a very good example - with the explanation, it makes it an informative and very good shot, but without the explanation, it would be an undeniable cheat. 

Sometimes  we see similar shots with the full moon added to a picture for scale - looks like a cracking shot with the moon in there, possibly suspiciously so, but with the explanation it's understood and contributes to the information given by the image.  I guess that's where narrowband processing comes in - the colours are false, widely understood to be false so doesn't create an issue, but that by doing so the image imparts much more information than it could do otherwise.

 

@Olly - just wondering how you feel when guests take and produce a really nice final image taken with your gear - does it feel like it's still part yours, or do you let it go ?  (not trying to make a point, just curious)

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Just now, glowingturnip said:

 

 

@Olly - just wondering how you feel when guests take and produce a really nice final image taken with your gear - does it feel like it's still part yours, or do you let it go ?  (not trying to make a point, just curious)

Perfectly good question. If they do this - and sometimes they do - I'm absolutely thrilled to bits and say so on whatever forum they post it, if I'm a member.

In reality most guests and I work together in a spirit of joint venture and process together. We then can post together or separately. If a guest prefers to work alone with the data then I respect that and don't post either a joint version or my own version. This is unusual but not unkown and absolutely not a problem.

Olly

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4 hours ago, carastro said:

 If some-one has adapted a Shakespeare play into something else for example West Side Story is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and Miss Saigon is a modern adaptation of the Opera Madame Butterfly which is in itself taken from an play that Puccini saw and got permission to adapt.  Always the original Author, composer etc is credited.  

Carole 

I still think that John Huston's The Man who would be King or John Cassavetes' The Tempest would be regarded as a John Huston film and a John Cassavetes film even if they are based on the writings of Kipling and Shakespeare.... To mention two amazing movies

Edited by gorann
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Here's an example made using photos from the same session, but blended together to allow for the huge dynamic range.

235178819_MoonandJupiterConjunction2.thumb.jpg.0f5ddae89e8e4ee1cc34fa518e7f7fa2.jpg

(Just for clarity, those are earth-bound clouds)

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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10 hours ago, glowingturnip said:

I think that's a very good example - with the explanation, it makes it an informative and very good shot, but without the explanation, it would be an undeniable cheat. 

Agree 100%.

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Then again, it's perfectly routine to capture data on successive nights and, these days, to collect data over several years. The Orion image with which I helped Tom O'Donoghue was taken over a four year period. That's a longer time gap than that between the widefield and the comet in my example above.

AP will not, in the foreseeable future, be like taking a snapshot. All deep sky images are taken over a period of time. The Ultra Deep Field needed 50 observing days and 22 days of integration time. (Our Orion had only 16.6 days of integration:icon_mrgreen:).

https://www.spacetelescope.org/science/deep_fields/

It's in the nature of deep sky AP that the data is accumulated and the image constructed.  I would call this the work of AP but there will certainly be people amongst the general public who would consider it cheating.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Typo

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16 hours ago, glowingturnip said:

I think that's a very good example - with the explanation, it makes it an informative and very good shot, but without the explanation, it would be an undeniable cheat. 

Accepting that Olly has been 100% upfront about this image and the information about how it was gathered and put together......... people agree that this is not cheating (Such a strong word!)......... How do you feel when this image for example gets put on FB or Instagram and then someone shares it without all the relevant information....... and it gets shared again and again. Within a short space of time online it can become THE goto image for the comet in the Heart and Soul nebula....... is that image then a cheat if it no longer has all the information attached about how it was captured? 

Do we have some form of responsibility to the next generation of internet users and searchers to make sure that we only post stuff that is 'real' at the time of capture?

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I don't think post processing is cheating. Cheating would be an out of focus image of Sirius with the title "That's what a star really looks like", or a capture of thin clouds with tweaked colours with the title " New nebulosity nebula discovered".

But all of the above cannot be replicated by another imager, while astrophotos of the same subject, however processed, share the same features, aka look alike.

Edited by R26 oldtimer
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43 minutes ago, swag72 said:

Accepting that Olly has been 100% upfront about this image and the information about how it was gathered and put together......... people agree that this is not cheating (Such a strong word!)......... How do you feel when this image for example gets put on FB or Instagram and then someone shares it without all the relevant information....... and it gets shared again and again. Within a short space of time online it can become THE goto image for the comet in the Heart and Soul nebula....... is that image then a cheat if it no longer has all the information attached about how it was captured? 

Do we have some form of responsibility to the next generation of internet users and searchers to make sure that we only post stuff that is 'real' at the time of capture?

Who is putting my image on FB?

When I post on FB I add all the same info I put on here. When someone shares my post, that info is carried with it. If someone else is sharing my photo without my consent (say by copying it from SGL) that is their unethical behaviour not mine.

I am not responsiblefor the unethical behaviour of others.

Edited by Demonperformer
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40 minutes ago, swag72 said:

Accepting that Olly has been 100% upfront about this image and the information about how it was gathered and put together......... people agree that this is not cheating (Such a strong word!)......... How do you feel when this image for example gets put on FB or Instagram and then someone shares it without all the relevant information....... and it gets shared again and again. Within a short space of time online it can become THE goto image for the comet in the Heart and Soul nebula....... is that image then a cheat if it no longer has all the information attached about how it was captured? 

Do we have some form of responsibility to the next generation of internet users and searchers to make sure that we only post stuff that is 'real' at the time of capture?

maybe captioning the photo is the way to go - a small caption in the corner saying 'composite image' would do it.  If someone down the line chooses to take your photo and crop that off, well we know who the cheat is there 🙂

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