The Ethics of Photography


In the olden days picture fixing was time absorbing and dreary. Anything beyond barely lightening or darkening a picture meant hours of assiduous work.
Something as simple as airbrushing away a feature involved creating an entirely new photo, with the focus being discharged by itty-bitty bits cut out of other parts of the picture.

The macrocosm of photo fixing today is thoroughly opposite.
Paint programs like Photoshop make it easy to improve the features of a photograph, giving the photographer a bit more leeway with lighting and exposure.
Unfortunately, they also make it very easy to change the photo, and present something that wasn't really there when the picture was taken.

Photojournalists have a faithfulness to hand over facts, not fiction. Fixing the picture to adjust a color cast is not the same as changing a dull wishywashy sky to a brilliant sunrise. Adding smoke, or decreasing the number of people in a scene, do not make the picture more dramatic or more depictive of what happened they lie to the viewer, in the same way that putting a celebrity's head onto another person's body is a lie.

At what point does the photographer cross the line from improving a picture to improving upon it? When he adds or subtracts elements that change the message or meaning of the picture. Adding or removing information, even by simply cropping out damage or blurring critical information, is the line that photojournalists must not cross.

Keep these facts in mind when editing photos. If a picture is a artwork, and not meant to be a scene of reality, then the artist is free to edit as he chooses. But a photojournalist is not an artist, and news photography is not supposed to be art.

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By : | Category : Self-help| Date : November 06,2011

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