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Dealing with overhead cables in a photograph

I'm always amazed at the mass of overhead wires that you find in the USA, and what a darned nuisance they are to photographers who want to get a clean picture. Lisa's a past master at painting them out with Photoshop ... but I'm inclined to take pictures in such a way that I lessen their effect in the first place - such as changing my camera angle.

There's a very serious wider question as to whether or not it's acceptable to doctor pictures, and if so to what degree. In the UK, Estate Agents have got themselves into trouble for publishing misleading pictures - even undoctored ones - of properties they are selling, for example taking pictures on the one quiet day of the year, or waiting for the gasholder behind a house to be empty and down before taking the picture.

My view? Look at why the picture is being published and let that be the guide as to how much you can or should doctor it. If it's just a "record" picture that few people will look at, don't bother. If it's a record picture that a lot of people may look at, then I'll crop it and sharpen it - perhaps rotating it a bit - but little more.

I include "Where's this" type competitions - such as pictures I sometimes put up on the Rail Forums in my record picture category - though I may permit myself the extra edit of painting out a name board. And I WILL blank out faces and car registrations for privacy purposes if I have to.

Beyond the "record shot" - pictures published to make a point and making no pretence of reality - then any thing's fair game. The image that illustrates this item? Why - that's far from original as I have gone out of my way to emphasise the cables. But - even here - I don't feel that it would have been right for me to add in extra wires (besides - there are already plenty of them!)

(written 2008-09-21, updated 2008-09-22)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
W504 - Web and Intranet - Not Just Text
  [3133] An image from a website that occasionally comes out as hyroglyphics - (2011-01-14)
  [2554] Adding retrospective ALT attributes to IMG - (2009-12-28)
  [1749] Using server side and client side programming together - (2008-08-11)
  [1618] A small picture does not always cut it! - (2008-04-21)
  [847] Image maps for navigation - a straightforward example - (2006-08-28)
  [665] PHP Image viewing application - (2006-04-01)
  [553] Keep that image small - (2006-01-03)
  [351] Is photoajustment an addiction? - (2005-06-18)

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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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