Sunday, March 1, 2015

Don't fake photographs

I was looking at some images of my old high school in Windsor, Ontario. One image was especially striking. In fact, the dramatic sky with the perfectly placed billowing cloud looked simply too good to be true. My Photoshop sensor was twitching.

I didn't have to wait long for confirmation. The very next picture, taken from another angle, had the same cloud formation soaring above the school. The only difference was that the cloud was flipped and the colour of the sky changed.

Don't do this. It may add drama to your images but it also puts a big question mark over your work. It says, "Don't trust these images." And that is sad.

This castle-like school, approaching the century mark, exists. I know. As I said at the beginning, I went there.

Someday Kennedy Collegiate Institute will be history. It will only be a memory recalled through photography. These images must be above reproach. The memory must be accurate and trustworthy.

If you are having a difficult time seeing that both skies are identical, I have flipped the one and placed it on top of the other. The similarities are now impossible to dismiss.

Don't fake images. Don't make it too easy to dismiss your work. Your images are too important. Treatment your images with respect. And don't do this with the images of others either.

A photograph should be more than a graphic element on a page. Don't cheapen the franchise.

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