Friday, March 24, 2006


Ok, I really should be in bed. I have to be up and bright and perky for a student/faculty panel that starts in 8 hours for incoming grad students. But am I tired? Of course not! So here I am...

I've wanted to post about this for a few days, but never had the energy to write it up. Anyway, with the whole new digital age of photos, it's amazing what can be done to edit photos. For the most part, I just do basic things with photo editing software (cropping, rotating, some lightening or darkening if my exposure is off in one shot and I like the compsure of it). My parents are constantly finding art and they found a photographer whose work they thought I'd like (and I do). They got to talking and the photographer mentioned that he doesn't alter his photos.

So why am I bringing this up? I spent a *lot* of time over the summer playing with photoshop for a research project (I became our team's "graphics specialist"). So I picked up some new photo "enhancing" abilities though I still have a long way to go (I still haven't been able to successfully remove telephone poles so that it looks like they were never there). For the most part, I am happy with the photos I take with the very minor edits I mentioned above. Recently though, I took some sunset photos, and the actual colors in the sunset seemed to be a bit too harsh/bright for my liking (even though the photos looked quite like the actual sunset that night). I tend to like bright but more in the pinkish purplish colors, not the bright yellow. Anyway, I decided to play around with the hue and change it pretty drastically. The results were dramatic (it went from "eh" to "Oh, I like it" in my eyes) and got me to thinking. I'm posting the pictures below with comments on the changes I made.

So, my question is, when does editing your photo make it no longer a photo and more like an original creation? (Ok, can't get the wording of what I mean here exactly, but it's almost 3am so bear with me people-- if anyone is actually reading this:P) Or maybe going directly from my title, how much editing of a photo is "ethical" or do ethics even apply to photos? I'm talking non-human subjects here as I don't want to get into the whole "He pasted naked body parts on me that aren't mine" stuff. Ok, now I'm really rambling so here are the pics:

Sunset picture with minor editing

Same as above with hue edited

A little more change in hue

Most drastic change in hue

***Editing to add that I got the chance to view these on another computer and the changes aren't quite so drastic as they are on my computer. Oh well...***

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