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Offline crystalcattle

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Is Photoshopping Ethical
« on: May 14, 2012, 05:03:25 PM »
This is a really interesting essay I am came across wrote by B.J. Eick titled - Exposing Progress - An essay on the fall of ethics in livestock photography. I must say that I agree whole heartily with the essay. I hope more people take a similar stand. I look back at the famous herd bull pictures of Walt Browarny, long before the days of digital cameras, and say now there is a real picture. I hope we see more of those real photos in the future.

http://livestockpromotions.com/Ethics/ExposingProgress.pdf
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 05:03:45 PM by crystalcattle »

Offline Soehnlen Cattle Co.

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 06:58:13 PM »
Bj is a class act.

Offline Doc

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 07:27:48 PM »
What he said is so true . Especially the part about looking at the picture , then the video and wondering if it was the right animal?
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Offline OH Breeder

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 07:35:58 PM »
What he said is so true . Especially the part about looking at the picture , then the video and wondering if it was the right animal?


Here in a few months when the fall club calves sales start I have always found it interesting to look at still photos and then look at their video that's attached. I have driven quiet a piece so I could see how cattle look in person. Sometimes film just doesn't do them justice. I enjoyed reading it and liked how he said he focused on becoming a better photographer than better photoshoper.
Life is too short....don't sweat the small stuff.

Offline Jason

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 08:21:36 PM »
I read this a while ago and has discussion with Brad Hook about how egregious some photographers have gotten with editing. 

There needs to be ethical standards established for livestock photographers.  PS is a needed tool, but the extent in which it should be used in sale cattle, should be minimal.

When you use a program to edit a photo, a "marker" is attached to the photo which carries the program it was edited with.  However, it does little good as it doesn't show you the extent of editing.  I use PS for resizing images all day long.
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." --- Thomas Edison in 1877

Offline Jeff_Schroeder

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 08:48:17 PM »
Just like with most under the table things, it won't stop because nobody is going to point fingers in the direction they need to be pointed.  Once you get into specifics, you're persona non grata not only with the photographer but with his/her buddies.

It's easy to speak in the abstract about how badly people Photoshop pictures and how far some take it.  Actually shaming the photographers that do it?  Those conversations always start with "now Jeff, don't blog about this but..."

Offline afhm

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 10:10:23 PM »
There are a lot of "professional" cattle photographers that are terrible at photoshopping, by this I mean it is as obvious as the sky is blue.  There are so many legs that have been straightened, bone added, tailheads filled in, backs leveled, necks cleaned up, etc... it is pitiful.  Won't name names but sure wish they would all quit it or at least back off a little bit.  If its noticeable then don't do it please.

Offline Telos

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 11:17:31 PM »
 People like to dream. It 's called driving sales. Great topic though.  

 I have a big hunger for videos and pay little attention to still shots anymore. They all seem to look the same after a while.

 By the way, my avatar is highly photo shopped but I'm not trying to sell what is in it. It was meant to look like a pencil drawing and I did it for my own pleasure.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 11:32:54 PM by Telos »
Jack Jabara

Offline bruiser

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 04:41:22 AM »
A friend of mine saw a picture of a steer on a website  a couple years ago. A really beautiful animal- nice lines, hairy, a little chrome on the show side, just the animal they where looking for.  They made arraignments with the owner to see him in person. Drove across Iowa and low and behold..... the steer was a scrawny little knot-head with a " jersey bull" looking head and that nice little chrome spot suddenly appeared on the other side of the calf..... needless to say they drove home empty handed and using that fellows name in vain.

Offline BridgeViewAngus

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 06:41:38 AM »
It's no more ethical then a November calf being a January 1st.  Unfortunately there will always be people who do these things.

Offline aj

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 08:14:38 AM »
The mark on the tree is set pretty low on the show calf deal and almost non existent in the club calf deal. It almostlooked like to me the one brand new shorti heifer bull being promoted is shopped. Pictures are a joke same with video except for structural issues. The entire business is based on deception. imo
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

Offline mooch

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 08:39:57 AM »
That must be why they sign all of the photos now , because they are art, an artists interpretation of reality. (sarcasm) Keep looking at these baby calves legs , hair follicles are now the size of pencils. Rare genetics indeed .

Offline knabe

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 08:59:39 AM »
If you question photoshopping, at some level you have to lump in boning legs and all the other stuff.

Really I don't have a problem how most of the cattle are sorting except when higher percentage cattle get sifted over by the hybrid vigor over fat cattle.   I guess I would like to see higher percentage winners get verified and I don't care about 50% or less. 

Really fat heifers and bulls are ruining show cattle,not photoshopping.
"The generation that told us to question authority, has now become the Authority we cannot question!"

Offline chambero

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 09:36:37 AM »
Very well written essay. 

I know better than to say never, but I can't imagine myself buying an animal - steer, heifer, or bull - I haven't laid eyes on myself.  If I did it would have ot be someone I'd already done business with and really trusted.  I just don't get the concept of buying an animal off of one photo in an online sale - particularly steers.

The big advance I do like is the availabilityof videos now.  Infinitely better than pictures.  The one thing I personally have a hard time judging off of a photo or video is size/frame - I just have a hard time telling.

I've always admired how Christy Collins and Kris Black handle his sale.  The cattle aren't glued up and many of them have been slicked.  And the bull photos aren't of infants - they are taken at the age they are about ready to go to work.  I couldn't tell you if they are photoshopped much or not, but I doubt it.  At least not for these particular sales.

I don't pay enough attention to know who the greatest Photoshop offenders are, but like everything else, I suspect its the "wanna-bes" who are trying too hard to "get there" that are more guilty than the ones already at the top of the mountain.

Offline jbh

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Re: Is Photoshopping Ethical
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 09:46:54 AM »
There's not a lot of difference between Photoshop and a set of Craftsman tools. 

A set of Craftsman tools can be used to break into a house or car and steal something......OR.......they can be used to fix a house or car, as was intended.  The elephant in the room on this issue is SIMPLY the MORALS of the person using the tool.

When I first started promoting bulls and it came picturing time, we would take about three rolls of film per animal......drive to Des Moines to One Hour Photo for developing......frantically look through 5 billion pictures......throw them ALL away......and start the whole process over again.  My how times have changed.

MY rule of thumb with "Photoshopping" is that if it could have been done with a blower, scotch comb or clippers.....then I don't have a problem with it.  Or, if there's some  post or ugly something non-related to the calf that needs taken out....then so be it.

What I do not appreciate is "basketball asses" being built on baby calves.....necks being shrunk and stretched......and any and all other actions that I believe represent FRAUD,  which apparently some folks with LAW DEGREES do too. 

An Attorney spoke with me face to face a while back about these very issues.  Nothing of my doing, but simply asking if I knew of any lawsuits from misrepresenting cattle being sold with fraudulent (highly Photoshopped) pictures.  I told him I did not, but would assume there probably has been......and if there hasn't, there probably soon will be.  He grinned.

I work and walk my rear off to get the best picture of the animal in front of me that I can get.  That's what I'm getting paid to do.  In NO WAY, SHAPE or FORM, am I going to put MY CLIENTS reputation at stake. Do you know how fast word spreads in a sale circuit when people drive hours to look at one particular calf due to a "GREAT" picture, only to find out it is JUNK.  Trust me, it spreads like wild fire and can RUIN your sale.  Not to mention if the wrong person buys this calf off of that picture, gets it home and sees that it is junk, then the potential problems for the owner, photographer, on-line sales company and ANYONE else involved could be bad.

Here's the deal about the video age we live in now.  I've had this conversation with MANY of my high profile cattle trading friends.  People who have been raised around cattle KNOW CATTLE.  They like to be able to stand in front of them and evaluate them......BUT......many people buying on-line are novice, and couldn't figure any more out about that calf they're wanting standing in real life looking at it, than sitting in the comfort of their own home on their phone or laptop analyzing the video.  That's why that video is SO MUCH MORE important than the picture when having an online sale.  Yes, you must have a good picture......but the picture MUST match the video! MANY do NOT.

I like, work with, and try to get along with everyone in this industry.  But we must realize it is an INDUSTRY, and for the most part WE are the regulators!  That's a GREAT article by BJ Eick, a good friend of mine.  Please read it if you haven't.   Here's an idea.  If sometime you are wanting to purchase a calf off of a picture or online sale, call the photographer and videographer that took the picture and/or video and ask them directly about any suspicions or questions you may have.  I'm always more than happy to answer questions and give my opinion (if I can remember). You'll be able to get a pretty good feel about the calf you're wanting to buy from the tone of the person you are talking to.

 

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