PhotoShock

I’ve created an online art portfolio and, of course, images are extremely important in displaying my work. Part of the work I’m displaying is photography. I think that there’s an art in photography as well as a sort of art in editing. While I could easily manipulate a photograph to remove people in the background, erase blemishes, or appear sunnier, I like the rawness of an un-edited photograph.

This isn’t to say that I haven’t edited the photos on my page, because sometimes the lighting wasn’t bright enough, or I wanted to crop a certain part of the image. But it makes me wonder– at what point is all this editing too much? Is there a point where it isn’t considered raw art, but merely talent with the use of PhotoShop?

Often we see before and after PhotoShop pictures of celebrities. The results are utterly shocking and sometimes disgusting. You can have five inches shaved off your waist. Tummy rolls are gone. Wrinkles are blurred and blended. Flyaway hairs are erased. Everything is perfect.

But that’s exactly it. There is no rawness. It’s a personal opinion, of course, but I think what makes a photo, or celebrity, relatable is their flaws. We all have our own flaws. And when we’re looking at that perfect PhotoShopped image, all we want is to be like them. We start to idolize this perfection, when, in fact, none of it is completely real.

So, to answer my own question, yes, I think there is a point where PhotoShop is too much. When an image starts to look completely different than what it actually is, it starts to lose what makes it relatable and its real.

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2 thoughts on “PhotoShock

  1. Danielle,
    This post really caught my eye because I found myself agreeing with everything you pointed out. Especially when it comes to images, how does one allow his or her work to stand out when it is swallowed up in a sea of other photoshopped and highly edited pictures. I think this is one of the unfortunate things that has come about with the rapid development of technology. Like you said, at what point is a picture no longer a picture, but simply a construction of online editing? I think the struggle here, too, is the ethics behind it. Is it right to work an image so much online and then still call it your own? Does credit have to be given to the program you worked in now? I for one appreciate people who are willing to present their original work as is, because maybe at some point, that simplicity will be the thing that stands out over the fictitious masses.

  2. Definitely, Danielle. There are very unethical uses of Photoshop out there that, as you note, can be downright deplorable. We’ll talk about it more on Wednesday, too, but lots of designers have started using Photoshop not to alter photos, necessarily, but to design logos or to bump up the background image on a website. These uses could be helpful to you in designing online webspaces. Your particular project enters a tenuous space, since you’re showing off your photography — use of photoshop (or “too much” use of it) might compromise your ethos. These are great questions to keep in mind for our discussion on Wednesday.

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