Actress Jennifer Lawrence may be fine with excessive Photoshopping, but advertising regulatory authorities in the United States aren’t of the same opinion. We reported back in 2011 that the UK had banned certain advertisements for excessive Photoshop work, and that the US was moving in the same direction.
Now, news has emerged that cosmetic company L’Oreal has pulled a series of advertisements, citing that an excessive amount of post-production was done to exaggerate what their products could do.
Back in 2009, Popular Photography announced the winning photos of its latest Reader’s Photos Contest. Two of the winners (shown above) had some photographers scratching their heads, due to the fact that they’re “Photoshop jobs” rather than non-manipulated stills.
Photography author Ben Long has a thought-provoking article over at CreativePro in which he argues that “all photos are manipulated” and that “there is no such thing as absolute truth in photography”:
All images are Photoshopped. Or Lightroomed, or iPhoto’d, or dodged, burned, re-touched, cross-processed, developed with more or less agitation in the tank, at warmer or cooler temperatures, and so on and so forth. This has been true since the beginning of photography.
Understanding the representational nature of photography will help you take better pictures because you’ll better understand how to exploit the strengths and weaknesses of the medium.
But perhaps more importantly, it’s important to understand that all images are manipulated. Still photos are the dominant communication medium used for everything from entertainment to artistic expression, journalism to sales. Becoming a more informed, understanding viewer will make it easier to understand when and whether there’s any “truth” in the images put before you.
For similar discussions, check out this article by Mark Schacter and this video with Errol Morris.
All Photos Are Manipulated (via Reddit)
Image credit: Truth or Consequences by kxlly
What if all advertising photos came with a number that revealed the degree to which they were Photoshopped? We might not be very far off, especially with recent advertising controversies and efforts to get “anti-Photoshop laws” passed. Researchers Hany Farid and Eric Kee at Dartmouth have developed a software tool that detects how much fashion and beauty photos have been altered compared to the original image, grading each photo on a scale of 1-5. The program may eventually be used as a tool for regulation: both publications and models could require that retouchers stay within a certain threshold when editing images.
(via Dartmouth via NYTimes)
The debate regarding what makes a photograph “truthful” or not is probably as old as the art of photography itself. By sheer coincidence, there were a couple interesting articles published today on this issue, and written from two different points-of-view.