My response is YES and NO. It is apparent that with the tools that are in our hands –dumb phones, tablets, and smart phones, image and capturing images is everything. Everyone is expected and pressured to be a photographer. One does not really have a choice. The assumption is made that you are a prude or very unsocial (pun is intended) if you won’t shoot photos of people, places, and events in your life and show them to the world. Sharing is almost as expected as much as blinking and breathing. However, we often forget our own common sense and share too much at the wrong time.
The digital revolution has been a great thing. The ability to transport images from a chip to anyone who has access to the internet is quite unbelievable. I think that the real question should be “Has Photoshop and other image-altering software damaged the real art of photography?” Yes, I think that it has. I am not stating that the software should not exist. Rather, why have we allowed this tool to overshadow what can be captured by a talented imagemaker who uses their skills to document their subjects with correct exposure, composition, and timing? After all, a telephone pole shooting out of someone’s head isn’t that bad, is it?
Photoshopped images can be very beautiful as art. As having recently taken a graphics class that briefly showcased the power of Photoshop, I was amazed at the huge options and capabilities that software can do. The problem with alteration is when it is done maliciously to lie or mislead. We all have seen these images on the covers of gossip tabloids and taken them as what they are–humor. The world of advertising has been doing this for years. It has been very disheartening recently to see photos of models that have been so altered that their bodies are not healthy- arms and legs that look like twigs.
A recent case I learned through social media was a high school yearbook staff using software to add more clothing to student portraits. Is that appropriate? Apparently, a notice was sent out to students that if they wore clothing that violated the dress code, their images would be altered. Sleeves were added and cleavage covered. In defense of this activity, there was a notice given. This was not a surprise.
We as a society need to be more aware of what kind of images we put out there ourselves and the damaging effects that are a result. TAM