I read an article about Photoshop and retouching that got me thinking. Where does photograpghy start and where does Photoshop come in? I have noticed that when giving the credits for a cover photo, more and more magazines are crediting the 'image manipulator'.
In the 'old' days, back in the era of Kodachrome, a photographer took rolls of photos to get the picture right. He had to send test rolls of film to the lab to make sure that everything was okay, and to avoid reshoots. Nowadays, with digital, the photo is instantaneous ,(no wonder Polaroid has gone belly up)and the photographer and client can crop and retouch on the spot. Photoshop has become part of the photographic process.
How much is too much though? With old black and white film, you could play with the contrast and exposure in the dark room, burn certain areas of the picture. There was a certain bit of photo manipulation, but nothing to what is done today.
Heads of one model on the body of another. Retouched to an inch of their lives. Fifty is the new twenty, between Botox and retouching anyone can look young again.
I have heard rumors that they put Linda Evangelista's head on another model's body for the Fall 2008 Prada campaign and that Sienna Millers September 2007 Vogue cover was Frankensteined to be able to get her best face on her best body position..
In the end, what kind of message are magazines and advertisers sending to the masses? We can't be photoshopped in real life!