I saw this article this morning on the Guardian’s website. It shows a photograph that has been so clearly manipulated it’s hard to believe it was cleared to be published!
The photograph showed three officials from Huili, in south-west China, inspecting a new road construction. However it is very clear that with the lack of any shadow, the men appear to be hovering over the road. Even more bizarrely there was an original image showing the men inspecting the road, but the photographer felt it wasn’t good enough to be used. This serves as a reminder that while it is all to easy nowadays for photographers to rely on post processing editing, time and skill is needed to produce something that could be considered as being reality.
Whilst this image is said to have been a combination of two photographs documenting a scenario that actually happened, it has been so poorly constructed that it looks as though this event had never even occurred.
The internet is littered with examples of bad photo-shopping to try to deceive people into thinking events happened or the way appearances have been altered. A photo may say 1000 words, but there are people who want to change those 1000 words. For example this image shows a meeting between the Syrian president meeting with the newly appointed governor of Hama. However the lack of shadow detail and differences in scale of the two subjects makes the image suspicious. These blatantly fake images make me think about all of those successfully photoshopped images that lead us to believe things that aren’t true. How many images are there out there in the news and in magazines that we have accepted as being ‘real’? Cutting, pasting and pushing pixels around the screen is overstepping / leaping the boundary of what is ethically acceptable. Surely photographers have a responsibility to be honest.