16.03.2008

Photoshop Disasters! Or how far can photographers go?

Surfing around I found this blog displaying examples of mistakes/disasters/errors made while using photoshop to work out some pictures or posters. While some are very funny and actually incredible to believe something like that got published, some of the other made me come to say the following lines.
Let´s make it clear: it is not photoshop´s mistake, it´s the designer´s/photographer´s mistake! While I am a good friend of using PS for enhancing a picture when there are little things to correct (pimples, red spots on the skin, make-up failures, superficial thingies), I truly believe that it is a mayor mistake to transform a picture into something out of the reality. I even believe that it is a moral or ethical law not to change the depicted reality into something unrecognizable. Specially in portraits and generally in people-photography changing a person´s body into a fantasy or artificial (that means not real existing) figure is something I believe that to be a big NO-NO for a photographer. Why? because it is LYING with our language (photography)! If the final result you can see on the picture after working it out with PS does not represent the reality you are lying with this picture. I am not talking about minor changes or corrections or even colour-transformations or light enhancements (just think about black & white photography...), but about changing the physiognomy of a human person. I am not talking about using make-up, neither. Make-up is used to enfazise a person´s details, not to rearrange them. Here you can see a very good example of why our vision of beauty is so very distorted nowadays:



The final result has visually almost nothing to do with the original person! I am sure even friends of the model would have problems to recognize the resulting person on the billboard. This cannot be right... not for the model, who is then looking at something totally different as she is used to see in the mirror.... not for the photographer, who is looking at something he never really saw through the lense... and finally not for the public, who is exposed to see a sort of "perfection", which is not true, not real, not possible. Specially young persons are, due to the lack of experience, being misleaded to believe that this graphical presentation of a person is "real beauty". Which is not! Changing a persons face and body this far with digital techniques is not right... actually it is insulting the ability of perception of everybody looking at it. I would actually support a stamp on any of this manipulated to the extreme pictures which should state:

NOTICE: THE DEPICTED PERSON IS NOT REAL. IT IS A FAKE. IT IS THE RESULT OF DIGITAL MANIPULATION. YOU WILL NOT EVER MEET THIS PERSON IN REALITY.

I hope the photographers of the world will come back to their real objective: capturing the reality and beauty of our real world. We don´t need to "invent" beautiful persons, every person is beautiful in its own way. Just train and open your eyes... there is beauty everywhere.

If you cannot see this beauty then you are missing something real important in life...

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