Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 03/Jan/2004: "The camera frequently lies"

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The camera frequently lies

Retouching photos is not new, it has been happening for a long time. Some examples from the Stalinist era in Russia can be found at Newseum: The Commissar Vanishes. Some done very well, some done rather crude.

But now with digital technology retouching photos is commonplace, in particular since Adobe Photoshop makes it easier than ever (to the extent that "photoshopping" is almost a synonym for image manipulation). I noticed how I more and more often ask myself if I can trust a picture. Or thinking "that's photoshopped" when looking at the picture of a model or actress.

This now raises the question where this will lead to and where it will stop: Where are the moral and ethical borders in image manipulation? And how do we deal with the question "is it real?" What is real? Will "The camera never lies" soon be replaced with "The digital image frequently lies"? How do you deal with this?

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