Monday, January 11, 2010

A question of ethics...

... or a question of aesthetics?

Here are "before" and "after" shots of the image I posted a few days ago. The first is the uncorrected JPEG image from the camera. Not quite the same thing as a RAW file (which is exactly what the camera's sensor saw-- no processing at all-- as opposed to JPEG which is processed by the camera before being saved to the card), but without a lot of tweaking. The second is the one I Photoshopped to increase the "pop" of the colors.

My question is this... Is such tweaking an "honest" thing to do? Are the colors presented in the second image "real"?

Few people would argue, I think, that if I completely falsified the colors or placed Air Force One in the image or showed Elvis bungee jumping off the Perrine Bridge that my image would then be a "photo illustration" and not a photograph. Is it, however, ethical, just to enhance what is already there? Or is that simply a matter of aesthetics?

And if this is a matter of aesthetics, why do we (apparently) prefer the latter image?

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1 comment:

Jette said...

In a sense the camera "sees" the picture differently than our eyes do, even when the photographer does not enhance the color. The colors are not the same through the naked eye as through the camera lens--so I think enhancing the color is a fine. Colors are always changing in "real" life as light and angles shift.