How to Cheat at Photography

Keyworth Camera Club and guests witnessed a fascinating presentation on October 1st called ‘How to Cheat at Photography’ given to us by Steven Galvin LRPS.

We were challenged numerous times to question if it’s ok to cheat, and if so, how far should you change a photograph before it becomes unacceptable – if indeed it does.

Steven included a couple of sections of audience participation that worked extremely well via Zoom and proved to be one of the highlights of the evening. He began by showing a number of images and asking us to try and work out if they’ve been changed in any way. He didn’t confirm any of our observations as all would be revealed later. This added a fun element to the presentation.

Steven also showed a number of historical photographs, many of which are very well known, and then revealed that everything is not as it first appears. ‘Cheating’ has been going on for a very long time.

Steven then went on to talk about different methods of altering images including cloning, using layers, replacing and/or blurring backgrounds, adding motion blur, cutting out, making montages and using HDR. 

Many in the audience were surprised to discover that Lightroom and Photoshop didn’t feature in his workflow, most of his processing being done in Corel Paintshop Pro and he showed a number of step-by-step sequences using this software. He also showed how he uses Luminar 4 and Affinity Photo, educating us in the use of other software.

Some of the tips he gave us were paying attention to detail, especially when cloning so as not to create repeating patterns (a sure-fire giveaway to what has been done) and making the finished image look believable, especially where light is concerned.

A lot of this presentation was aimed at those new to post-processing, but even those who have a lot of knowledge of this already found a couple of new methods to try.

Thank-you Steven for giving us this talk that certainly opened a lot of eyes to ‘cheating’ techniques and made us consider the ethics behind doing so.

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