Digital Trickery and Photo Manipulation

In 1982 when digital imaging was relatively new, National Geographics moved the pyramids. The actual location of the pyramids did not fit well with the vertical layout of the National Geographics cover. National Geographics was chastised for their decision, and most of the media learned a lesson in digital integrity.

Unfortunately, CBS was sleeping during this controversy. This July 4,  CBS Television moved the Boston fireworks, justifying their handiwork as entertainment (see Boston gets a nonreality show and Faked fireworks scenes disturbing). When I lived in Cambridge, I enjoyed Boston’s fireworks and never felt that the show needed to be digitally altered to suit my needs for entertainment.

Digital photography is a powerful tool but when the media manipulates images and then presents them as reality, we have a problem. I only hope CBS learns that entertainment is not a justifiable reason for digital manipulation.

Now, I have a confession to make. The photographer at my wedding was lousy. He had little foresight and seemed oblivious to distracting backgrounds. Consequently, I edited these photos so that they better reflected my memory of the events when creating my wedding photo book.

For example, in this photo I removed two vans, cleaning up an otherwise distracting backround. Was it right? I am not sure, but I know that I am not trying to pass my wedding photographs off to the public as something they are not.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
This entry was posted in Digital Photos, Photo Books, Software. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Digital Trickery and Photo Manipulation

  1. Heather Joyce says:

    awesome editing! hope you do a webinar or a showcase workshop and show us your cloning secrets. that brown van is a HUGE thing to take out of the photo. you did some amazing work adding the ground and shadows on the wall and all kinds of amazing details. impressive. always enjoy your blog. thanks for sharing.

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