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  1. #1
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Ethics of Photoediting

    An interesting article in The Economist that I thought might interest some of you.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/babba...implausibility

    The gist is that, surprise surprise, photoediting does seem to have real consequences on the way people think about body image. In fact, the American medical Association has officially condemned extreme photo alterations. And so some scientists have figured out a way to quantify the extent to which certain photos were edited...

    And yes we men don't seem to perceive any ethical problem with photoshopped breasts...
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    That is "Photoediting?" Photoediting used to be the process of an artist or editor making decisions about what images to print or show.

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Yes, that is 'photoediting' in the modern parlance, I'm sorry to say. Reality is a secondary consideration.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  4. #4
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    I had an interesting conversation about this topic with some (non photo) artist and he was quite surprised to see me so hostile towards photoediting (in Keith's sense). He told me "guess what painters have done for centuries?". There was no decent hygiene, and no cosmetic products comparable to what exists today (the nobility walked around with little containers at their waist filled with honey to catch their lice). Mona Lisa (or whoever posed for that image) might not have been all that attractive in real life, at least not in the sense of modern beauty magazines. Same thing applies to all the pictures of saints, apostles or the holy family shown in churches, before anyone claims that few people got to see oil paintings 200 years ago.

    Pro photographers have posed people of all ages, used softeners and contrived lighting to make people appear more attractive. The main problem in my opinion are not edited photos but a world of doofuses who still think a photo always depicts reality, who compare their atrocious smart phone snap shots to pictures in beauty magazines.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  5. #5
    MDR
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    Rudeofus I fully agree with your friend after all straight photography and the group 64 never were the straight non retouching kind of guys gals they were supposed to be. Retouching/photoediting is a tool if misused it can lead to disaster (visual and political)if used properly it can do a lot of good (visual and political). If you retouche the photo of a girl with some skin defects who perceives herself as ugly frog even though she only has a severe case of akne and create a swan by retouching you as a photographer retoucher can elevate the self worth of said girl. I am not really that ugly.

    Dominik

  6. #6
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    This is nothing new, check out old hollywood portraits from the 30's to the 70's and you'll learn that photographers have been retouching photos and even the negatives themselves for many, many years.

    Retouching is probably the better word here imo.

    I really have no problem with it, but personally I aim to end up with a natural looking result (in digital photography), also, there is a difference between removing blemishes (which aren't permanent to the person) and streching their necks, slimming off 40 pounds, lifting boobs, reducing calf size, removing arm fat and removing eye lines.

    You really cannot just say "no to retouching" in general imo, this is always dependend on what, why, how and if the final result was part of a vision beforehand.
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  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I agree with much of what has been said.

    I think the AMA's point is that this goes way beyond retouching to de-emphasize acne or whatever... the issue is that actual anatomy is being manipulated in the image and the result is something cartoonish masquerading as reality. It'd be better to call these manipulated images than photographs.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    It'd be better to call these manipulated images than photographs.
    Whe world of computer graphics is wide open...

  9. #9
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    An interesting thread and where do you draw the line in photo-editing. I suppose this could be said to be analogous to cosmetic surgery. I live in England and would regard having capped teeth cosmetically acceptable, but not a face lift. However, if I lived in California, a face lift may be considered as the same norm. Different societies will dictate different acceptability’s.

  10. #10
    CGW
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    And here's a possible way to tell what's what:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/te....html?_r=1&hpw

    The gross alteration of celeb pix is screamingly obvious from unedited red carpet shots. A friend shared some from the Toronto International Film Festival last fall that were truly sad, if not a little scary.

    No wonder master retouch artists like Pascal Dangin are in such demand.

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