Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Croc Photo Delimma

This is one of my favorite croccodile photos. I got a nice close up, the scales are sharp, the eye came out clear and sharp without post processing. So . . . did he just HAVE to be underneath that blade of grass? Hence the delimma . . . For true photojournalism-you present the croc in his environment, the way you saw him. For contest photography, that grass stem is a big distraction - enough to keep you from winning your photo of the day.

And, of course, there is no guarantee that you can remove that much from a photo without leaving tell-tale signs. Since it was one of my favorite shots, I had to give it a try. Doing that much reconstruction requires a lot of patience as well as a lot of trial and error (lots of back tracking when something did not work or look right.)

Here is my finished image. Can you tell that it has been altered?

I'll post this pair of shots at Digital Image Cafe tomorrow and at Photosig tonight and see what the other online photographers think.

But if I submit this to editors, I must surely tell them what I've done. Ernie Mastroianni will be giving a break out session on "Digital Alteration and the Line of Credibility at the NANPA Summit in Florida. I will be going to that session. I have also scheduled a portfolio review with him. Each magazine market has different guidelines and standards, but from what I've learned, most important is to let the photo editor KNOW what you've done to the photo.

Now the big question for my readers . . . which one do YOU like best?


Henry Melton said...

I actually like the original. But it might make a difference if I were looking at a huge blow-up. Then, maybe the eyes or some other feature would catch my eyes. But on a web-photo, the grass adds a nice touch.

Lazy Trainer said...

As an animal person I love the original. I do see though where the straw is a distraction to the overall picture.
For the true animal nuts the first one. For the rest of the world, probably the reworked one.