Tag Archives: photoshop

Photojournalist Ethics in a Photoshop World

Posted by Jeff Werth

Copyright 2012 The Sacramento Bee

The competition to claim the perfect shot clouds the ethics of some photojournalists.

In February 2012, the Sacramento Bee fired longtime photojournalist Bryan Patrick for violating the paper’s ethics policy forbidding the manipulation of documentary photographs. He created this composite  – the bottom image marked manipulated photograph – of a snowy egret stealing a frog from a great egret from the two images about it. After an investigation of his work, the paper found he had manipulated at least two other photographs, which calls in question his entire career as a photojournalist.

Why would a photojournalist risk everything for such a trivial photograph? Continue reading


Photoshop: how far will magazines go?

By Andrea Crowley

The lovely Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett was featured on the March/April 2012 cover of Intelligent Life magazine… un-Photoshopped. Her face is void of heavy makeup and reveals the faint bags under her eyes and weary lines across her pale face. When placed along side any other magazine on the newsstand, this one is sure to stand out most.

While Blanchett is still very charming on this cover, other women featured on women’s publications such as Cosmopolitan or Glamour look much different. They have glowing skin, large breasts, caked on makeup and blowing hair (as if a perfect gust of wind just came in and hit them straight on during their photo shoot).  We see them as beautiful people, but are they real?

In comparison to Vogue’s  March cover of Adele, Blanchett’s cover is a true depiction of herself – a 42-year-old working mother and actress. Every wrinkle (of maybe the three that she has) is shown. She is wearing work clothes and has her hair down in a natural wave.

Screen shot taken by Andrea Crowley.

Looking at Adele on the cover of Vogue is like looking at an after shot of someone who’s just had plastic surgery. It appears as though she has just lost a significant amount of weight, reduced the size of her rib cage and gotten rid of her normally rounded cheeks. Photoshop has the ability to make someone who is real, fake. What was wrong with the authentic Adele (the photo on the right of her at the Grammy’s)? Does this suggest to young girls that being a little curvier is not okay? Not beautiful?

Tiny Fey is one celebrity who opposes Photoshop. In her recent book, Bossypants, Fey writes, ” I feel about Photoshop the way some people feel about abortion.  It is appalling and a tragic reflection on the moral decay of our society…unless I need it, in which case, everybody be cool,” (p. 157).Kelly Clarkson and Jessica Simpson are other celebs opposing Photoshop. Read 5 Real Women Being Real About Body Image by Lovelyish blogger to find out if any of your favorite public figures are too.

Magazines are considered journalistic publications so the public expects a magazine’s staff to report truthfully. Shouldn’t that include photos? What do you think about Photoshop and to what extent should it be used in magazines (entertainment or scholarly)?

Photoshop: How much is too much?

Posted by Lindsay Dressen

Photo by: Michael Thompson, Allure

Most of us know that the photos in magazines are retouched and photoshopped to the nth degree.  Jennifer Aniston was featured on the February cover of Allure not exactly looking like herself.

Aniston is known for her natural, girl- next-door beauty and has been featured on many magazine covers over the years. The cover and inside photos in Allure are retouched to the point where she looks somewhat inhuman.

Writer Justin Fenner of Styleite says, “the eyes were the first and biggest tip off.” He says Aniston actually has brown eyes, but Allure photoshopped her eyes to be a shade of turquoise. In one of the inside photos with her stomach exposed, her nose and mouth look distorted.

Photo by: Michael Thompson, Allure

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Magazines Are No Longer Journalism?

I’m a magazine major in the J school. J for journalism. So naturally, I believe magazines are a form of journalism—a form that I hope someday, very soon, will be able to financially support my shopping habit. I know a lot of others agree with me.

However, Self editor and chief Lucy Danziger does not agree. At a conference last week she stated that she feels the stock of Self is not in journalism but rather inspiring and informing.

Oh boy.
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“Journalism is not our stock and trade”

Video above is of Self magazine Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger defending  her decision to use a thinner, healthier looking photoshopped Kelly Clarkson on the cover a couple months ago.  In my opinion her reasoning for using a touch-up photo of Kelly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  If the issue is about Kelly being a confident woman because she’s healthy than why are you digitally slimming her down.  But, while photoshopping has been a controversial issue with magazines for quite some time.  Photoshopping wasn’t what made my head spin.  It was Ms. Danziger saying that Self magazine’s stock and trade isn’t journalism.  Maybe, I heard her wrong.  Or maybe, she just couldn’t find the right words.  Or maybe that’s exactly what she meant.

I would think when you’re the editor-in chief of a popular fitness magazine, journalism should still be important.  It is not like Self is the National Enquirer where journalism is non-existent.   Self is like most popular magazines that focuses less on traditional journalism and more on “inspiring and informing.”  I myself read Cosmopolitan, not because of the magazine’s amazing journalistic stories, but just for the sheer enjoyment of reading the latest inane sex tip.  So, is that what most consumer magazines are glossy how-to’s and gossip rags?  Or is not “inspiring and informing” just another way to describe journalism?

What are your thoughts about Lucy Danziger’s comments? Are you just as confuse as me or do you have a better understanding of what she said? Does her comment make you look at magazines especially consumer magazines a different way?