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Category Archives: Photo Manipulations

The Alteration Fallacy

There seems to be a generalized sense that digitally manipulated photographs do “not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show,” as the New York Times put it (see post below). On the other hand, photographs that are not digitally altered are thought to reflect that reality–the obverse reasoning which may be even more dangerous.
What [...]

New York Times Apology

The New York Times Magazine has published photographs which they had announced in the article were made “without digital manipulation,” but now turn out to be otherwise. The Editors’ Note below is particularly interesting to me for two reasons: They do not publish the name of the photographer (wouldn’t they have published the name of [...]

Photo Op Official Resigns…

Less than two weeks after authorizing a flyover by an Air Force One backup for a photo opportunity that panicked some New Yorkers, director of the White House Military Office Louis Caldera submitted his resignation.
If only after Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo op leaders had been forced to resign and punished for misleading an entire country–first [...]

Actresses vs. Models

At a moment when the Metropolitan Museum is exhibiting fifty years of models on magazine covers, and the International Center of Photography is devoting itself to “A Year of Fashion,” the New York Times published an article today, “Actresses Are Edging Out Models on Magazine Covers.” Reporter Suzy Menkes quotes fashion designer Marc Jacobs: “It’s [...]


For those who have never seen this interactive site Girlpower, I think it best exposes the fraud perpetuated upon all of us by these repetitive covers of young women made to look unnatural - often by Photoshop - the way that the arbiters of mass culture think that they should appear. I wonder as to [...]

No Makeup? No Photoshop?

It is quite amazing that in April 2009 we are celebrating French Elle for its issue in which female European celebrities appear with neither makeup nor Photoshop. (It is the latter omission that is attracting much of the attention.) After the recent presidential election where FOX television could assert that NOT retouching Sarah Palin’s face [...]

Women Abused in Pictures, and Out of Pictures

The abuse of women: to be erased from a photo of the new Israeli cabinet in ultra-orthodox newspapers, flogged in Pakistan, and kept under virtual house arrest by their husbands in Afghanistan. (See the New York Times piece on it all.) The irony of it while Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama are simultaneously vying for [...]

Photoshopped Babies

Last week New York’s Daily News headlined on its front page a local clinic that was said to be planning, in the next months, a service that would allow parents to choose the eye and hair color of their future babies (for a fee). Since parents can already select the baby’s gender, why not a [...]

Consumer Reports WebWatch on Image Integrity

Working with Consumer Reports WebWatch I have authored a downloadable report that attempts to help the Web viewer understand and interpret the different kinds of digital imagery that appear online (retouched, computer-generated, staged, etc. It also deals with the standards that many journalistic publications use in deciding how far to go in their manipulations, as [...]


Every day’s media bring enormous numbers of new developments in the “after photography” realm. What happens when we stop thinking of cameras and start thinking of images? What happens when the photographer, particularly the professional, is only a piece of the puzzle? Is all of this still to be considered photography?
Fox News, for example, is [...]