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Image Editing or Manipulation is NOT Always BAD..!!!

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There is an old English saying “A camera never lies!” – Not anymore; it seems this saying holds on significance in present era!!! If not camera, sometimes, Images lie – How? It is with help from various Image editing or manipulation tools. Often criticized by many; image editing and retouching services (I am using a euphemism for a harsher word like manipulation) has always been under the scanner. Though, there is always this ‘negative air’ around it; still you cannot and should not overlook its positive sides.

Yes, every coin has two sides; so if you criticize Photoshop or any other image editing software for representing false or deceit; you should also have an eye to look the amazing things that image editing can do! There might be some cases where it abused; and abused badly – sometimes, photographers in order to have ‘extra impact’ and acquire easy fame, name and money edits the image or in fact I should say distorts it.

There are numerous such cases; let me cite one such instance – See, the image below:

Lebanon War Photographs
Image: Lebanon War Photographs

It was captured during Lebanon-Israel conflict in 2006 by a freelancer photographer by the name of Adnan Hajj for Reuters to show the extent of damage done by Israeli air-strikes.

Image on your left is the original one captured by his lens; however, to ‘add more drama and make it more sensational’; he used Photoshop; see the right one it is edited. Somewhere it showed the world a very deceptive picture; it simply magnified the destruction. Needless to say, there was quite an uproar and the world was seen debating over how ethical it is use such tools by a photo journalist.

This was just an instance – Just one! There are numerous such incidents where you would start questioning the credibility of an image. When you see such images; it is obvious to view image editing in a bad light or some sort of a villain!

But, just by looking on one side; you cannot pass a judgment or term it as BAD!!!

Here, the point is image editing can present an ALTERNATE REALITY; not just ALTER THE REALITY. It can add more spice or dramatic to your life; which otherwise seems bleak!

Don’t believe me – Okay, I have another example where image manipulation created a positive picture.

Alan Lawrence with his son Wil

Hope, you might have seen the following images; they created tremendous buzz on social media and other internet resources.

These images of 18 months old boy – William; who suffers from Down syndrome took the webosphere by storm when uploaded by his photographer father.

Alan Lawrence; the father created a photo series; using image editing tools like Photoshop; in which his 18-month old son, William, seems to be flying; his purpose was to spread awareness about Down Syndrome.

Hopefully you would agree that one can create an alternate world, and even start a movement to support a noble cause (as Mr. Lawrence did).

World is neither completely BLACK NOR completely WHITE – There are SHADES OF GREY! If image editing and enhancement has created a plethora of deceits like unhealthy body image (in fashion world) or false propaganda (political or cultural); it has also helped many to bring a change in their lives.

It has given wings of imagination to various artists, who have created abundant eye-catching, creative and even abstract images. You just can’t ignore that part! Have a Look at the image below – Isn’t it beautiful – Yes, right – It is the output of creative mind and excellent use of image editing and creating tools.

abstract via santabanta

The Bottom-line remains that people need to stop looking at Black or White; focus on grey areas and understand that everything on face of this planet has its positives and negatives and everything used in moderation and with ethics can be beautiful; just like image editing and retouching!!!!

Ritesh Sanghani
About the Author: Ritesh Sanghani is a Director at Hi-Tech BPO for the past 10+ years. Ritesh has worked with several international clients and has executed BPO projects of varying scales and complexities.
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