Fed Up With Fake Photography ?

Whether an image is “too” pho­to­shopped, or overly retouched is a huge issue for both pho­tog­ra­phers and non-photographers. We’ve talked about it many times on our forum. It’s an issue for pho­tog­ra­phers because our medium is in the midst of a dra­matic change. Pho­tog­ra­phy has gone dig­i­tal. Every­one has a dig­i­tal cam­era. Every image is fod­der for manip­u­la­tion. Many pho­tog­ra­phers over-manipulate.

The prob­lem is that there is no con­sen­sus on how much manip­u­la­tion is too much. Some pho­tog­ra­phers say over manip­u­la­tion occurs with any­thing over and above basic edit­ing (con­trast and tonal con­trol, crop­ping and some dodg­ing and burn­ing). Oth­ers say we are crafts­man and that Pho­to­shop is a tool like any other tool, so there is no limit. (Per­son­ally I don’t buy this for a second).

Cer­tainly when you look at a photo, you often can­not tell what level of manip­u­la­tion was done and nowhere is the level of manip­u­la­tion revealed. Some­times though, you can EASILY tell when an image is over-retouched or manipulated.

This is less of a big deal when you are cre­at­ing a pho­to­graph for artis­tic rea­sons, but it’s damn seri­ous when young girls want to look like mod­els that don’t exist. The mod­els exist of course but their images are over manip­u­lated to the point of fraud. Impres­sion­able girls want to look like these mod­els hawk­ing beauty-cream. They feel bad/sad when they can’t look like these mod­els. Here is just one recent Newsweek arti­cle on this over-manipulation (hat tip to AcadieLi­bre from our forum). If this trend con­tin­ues, it won’t be long till we’ll be sell­ing anti-wrinkle cream to ten year olds or freckle remover for red headed babies.‚ All it will take is a cou­ple of‚ before and after pho­tos show­ing the ‘improve­ment’ in their appear­ances. Even babies and ten year olds want to feel ‘bet­ter’ about themselves.

But peo­ple are catch­ing on, they are get­ting fed up with this manipulation/fraud/cheating. This week in Lon­don Eng­land, Con­ser­v­a­tive party leader David Cameron was blasted for a cam­paign elec­tion poster where he looks 20 years younger than he does. Here’s the orig­i­nal poster, a spoof poster and what Cameron looks like on a nor­mal day.

Over manipulation in photography

Over manip­u­la­tion in photography

So what say you? Are you fed up with fake pho­tog­ra­phy.….….?‚ Or am I just whin­ing because I have no Elvis hair to style?