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To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop

January 20, 2010

It’s no secret that models featured in fashion magazines rarely look the same way in 3D.  Almost all celebrities have been photoshopped in some way or another, and the majority of society seems to accept this act as a mere advertising technique.  Still, there are those who describe such editing as degrading and harmful to young girls’ self esteem.  It’s a controversial issue and I have yet to pick a team.

While truth and accuracy should dominate all mass communication, there is still a need to sell a product and make a living.  Some photoshopping may add to the values and lifestyles a certain company is trying to portray, and other photoshopped images may just spike human interest.  Nevertheless, it seems part of business.

Or even art.  A painter can paint an individual however he likes, and, because it is a different medium that photography, the issue is nonexistent. Although art is often inspired by reality, the two do not necessarily mirror each other.  Now who is going to deny that photography is art?

I am not arguing that the alteration of fashion photography should be limitless. If the photoshopping is part of a business tact, then there should still be truth and accuracy embedded in the practice.  The recent Demi Moore Photoshopping Controversy, proves that flawed images do not sell.  As seen in the image below, part of Moore’s left hip (your right) is missing.

The purpose of the graphics editor should be to improve the image, not distort. In fact, the public should not even know the editor exists.

I may be straddling the fence, but editing should only improve the photograph and should only feature images plausible in reality.  When photoshopping skills fall below average, the public cannot be fooled; editing becomes not only (arguably) unethical, but embarrassing.

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