Photo Manipulation: Good, Bad or Who Cares?

I read an article last week about whether photo manipulation is good or bad for photography over at A Photo Editor and thought it would be good to share here on Playing Work.

Rob Haggart wrote an article titled "This Photo is Lying to You" for the September issue of Outside Magazine. It's a fantastic article that you can read HERE. This is a fascinating discussion and I think it’s a great topic for Outside Magazine’s Photography issue. I don’t know a single photographer that doesn’t manipulate in some way but I agree that it would be in the best interest of news organizations to clearly define their levels of manipulation so that readers/viewers know the extent of the changes. Easier said than done right?

Journalism as a whole has had a difficult year. Unprecedented job loss, rapidly declining ad revenue and decreasing public confidence have plagued the industry throughout 2009. Even as media literacy increases and the public becomes ever more skeptical of everything we see, I would think that news organizations would want to make the effort to clearly define their manipulation levels since their entire business structure is built around the concept of telling the truth with accuracy. It's no secret that photography has been manipulated ever since its birth, but when it comes to news I think we all have expectations that what we are seeing is as close to reality as it can be. Here is a link to some famous photo manipulations.

What do you think about photo manipulation? Share your opinions in the comments below.