Nov 8, 2010
Nov 1, 2010
Oct 18, 2010
I believe that rather than discussing the morality or appropriateness of photo manipulation through the use of photo shop and image editing software in the journalism as well as the fashion world, we should be questioning how significant honesty is to our society. Photoshop would be unnecessary if, as a society, we were more accepting of the truth. In the editorial world of magazines, we have become accustomed to seeing perfection. We do not want to know that our favorite celebrity has a zit on her face or that the candidate running for mayor was wearing red instead of their party color – blue. However, some of these situations are more significant than others.
While working as a photojournalist for a college newspaper, the inability to manipulate our photographs created an exciting challenge that forced us to become better photographers. While shooting an assignment, we knew that the only changes made would be to prepare a digital photograph for print and, occasionally the photo would be cropped to fit into the layout… occasionally. If we missed the moment the baseball player caught the ball, then we missed it. We couldn’t go back and Photoshop a ball into their glove.
I say we “couldn’t” with the understanding of honesty. Sure, I could have manipulated to photograph before turning it into my editor but that would have been unethical. Sadly, there are many people who do not share my ethics. This is where the question of honesty comes in.
Every time I, as a woman, picks up a fashion magazine, I am presented with pages and pages of lies. I know that the models hired are already completely unrealistic in appearance, yet I also know that the pictures taken of them will be manipulated until the creative director views them as satisfactory in representing the unrealistic image they are working towards.
This has gotten out of control. So what is my opinion on photo manipulation? In a perfect world, it would not happen. But this is far from a perfect world. Do I blame the individuals doing the manipulation? Only if they are the ones perpetuating the lies forced on our society. It’s a tough question.
Just like the recycling craze has helped make our streets a little cleaner, maybe this new found craze amongst celebrities who request their photos not be “touched up” will help shine a light on this issue of immorality.
Maybe one day.