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Monday, March 16, 2009

The photo always lies?

There used to be a saying "a photo cannot lie".

In the age of digital photography this is obviously not true. Using tools like photoshop you can add this in and air brush things out and we've all see photos that look genuine that turn out to be fake.

A lot of these amendments are used to creat funny photos that many of us laugh about but there is a more serious side.

Everyday we are bombarded with images of "beautiful people" with looks and bodies that we aspire to. Adverts show these people and hint that buying their product will help us achieve this.

So do watch this New York Times video called Sex, Lies and Photoshop showing just how many of the images we see are "photoshoped". Rather disturbing I thought in this age where young girls getting eating disorders and have low self esteem over their bodies.

As the excellent The Online Photographer puts it.

The fine line between "you too could look like this (if you just buy our product)" and "you don't look like this (and you never will)."


oldcrow61 said...

Interesting. I hope France passes the law then maybe the rest of the world would look at it. I think any photo put out there, we should be told that it's been "fixed".

Anonymous said...

The French edition of Vogue has incredibly beautiful photographs. Do you want photographers to be outcasts the way the French Impressionists were when they first came one the scene? Photography is the real art of our time. People shy away from that idea cause they demand only a one-of-a-kind painting to be called "art". The exaggerated slenderness of fashion models has done nothing to change the current obesity plague even among adolescents. Take a look.

Liz said...

It's shocking how much is photoshopped - and is something I based my dissertation on at Uni.

I looked into the body beautiful, and the effect media has on society. In it, I looked at a French artist called Orlan, you may have heard of her, she took plastic surgery to the extreme by having live 'performances' where she would have some surgery. The most prominant would be cheek implants... Only they weren't in her cheeks to make them look higher, but on her forehead!

Very interesting.

Pete said...

hi anony - I have no problem with photographers and photoshop artists doing this.

however when you take a photo of a stunning woman and use it as an advert the implication is that "you" could look like this. I'd like them to admit that the photos are amended in such cases.

art is allowed naturally but misleading the public is not. make sense?

obesity is a different issue. a serious one I concede

Anonymous said...

Now who said "There's a sucker born every minute?"

Tricia said...

I strongly believe that it's irresponsible NOT to indicate that the "models" are not as they seem. Young girls in particular will adopt the archetypal "perfect" person as a role model with serious implications for their moral and physical well being.

In response to Anony's reply (which I've just read) - Art is one thing and can be enjoyed and admired - but if we accept that advertising by using the "perfect" being is art - then we must attribute it as such and not allow it to be represented as reality!!

Sorry - rant over!

Yoke, said...

The truoble is if those photographers look at their work as art, when they make a new creation out of say 4 other photos.

I do have problems by selling the "You could (look/feel like) too" concept.
It will be interesting what the French plans will come to, in the end and how far they take it.

Or will we be seeing models with sagging chins and floating waists?