17 December 2009

Post Processing and Twiggy's Olay Ads Banned in England

As I was checking blogs and checking up on the latest news while on the Internet during my break at work today, I came across an interesting news story on the Fashion + Beauty blog through Yahoo’s website.  The blog boasted the title of its latest article: “Twiggy’s Photoshopped Olay Ads Banned in England.” What happened is Olay had hired the now 59 year old actress to pose for their advertisement of its Definity eye cream that is supposed to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes. Twiggy’s appearance seems to be very youthful and close to perfect.  Well, the youthful appearance of her skin seemed to outrage members of the British population so much that it caused a stir in Parliament and now the British government has placed a ban on digitally altered images used in ads in order to prevent them from misleading the public.  People seemed to be praising the Parliament for taking action against what is essentially false advertisement. 
After reading this article, I can’t help but think of my photography in relation to this instance.  I love photography and I love working with the images in Photoshop or Fireworks, however I feel like as photographers, we need to be careful with how much we alter our images in editing programs.  Eventually, we might become more well known for our abilities to Photoshop rather than our abilities to produce a good photograph. 
This is one thing I want to focus on as a photographer; producing a spectacular image with my camera and my photography knowledge, not making my images spectacular with the use of image editing.  I think it is important to maintain my integrity as a photographer and remember to use it as a tool to enhance my photography, not take the place of good photography—otherwise I might be guilty of false advertisement in relation to the services I provide.  This is why I chose to go back and take classes over photography rather than try to continue to fight through it myself.  I want to produce the image right the first time and not have the mentality of “oh! I can just Photoshop it later!”
How do you feel about companies post processing their images to make the models appear to seem "perfect?"  How do you feel about post processed images?  Do you feel that some photographers overr process to cover up mistakes in their photography?  

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