Photo Editing History

This post was written by Gary on March 7, 2010
Posted Under: Uncategorized

Photographs whether traditional or digital, are used to capture an image for a split second in time and preserve it possibly forever.

Photographs are usually considered “factual” when they are being compared to other forms of art. The artist for drawings or paintings have the full gambit of artist interpretation. Photos are considered to accurately reflect what was actually in the camera’s veiw when the photo was taken. 

On the other side of the coin, how easy is it to edit the photo so that it depicts something very different than what was originally photographed? Perhaps photographs are not as accurate as once thought.

The concept of photo editing is nothing new.  Photographic images were first recorded in the 1820’s.  One of the first edited photos was one taken of Abraham Lincoln.  This example has the portrait of Southern Congressmen John Calhoun with the face of Lincoln from the five dollar bill.  This created an early record of photo editing.

An action of cropping photos can be controversial.  For example, consider the image of wreckage left by a tornado. If a photographer cropped out all of the destruction and focused on the one building that was left, then the viewers would have no concept of the actual amount of damage cause by the tornado.

Today’s digital photography almost always requires some photo editing. This is partly due to the digital camera “guessing” the proper color, contrast, and shading of the picture being taken.  This may or may not be what the photographer actually wanted or the camera may have not done a good job so you may be often required to update the digital picture.

Digital photographers should always be mindful of what the original photo was trying to capture. Your digital photo is meant to capture a moment of time, not reflect what you can do the photo later with the computer. Try to resist the temptation of editing all of your digital photos.

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