In this popular photo in the 2003 Los Angeles Times, where a photographer took two different pictures he captured, both very powerful, and took elements from each one and combined them on photoshop. The soldier and the civilian were doctored in a way that made the picture even more powerful than the other two separately. When the inconsistencies were uncovered after using the picture in many major publications, the photographer was fired. Sturken and Cartwright argue that “what changed with the digital photograph is not the ability to manipulate the image but the wide availability and accessibility of these techniques to the consumer, making not just image production but also image reproduction and alteration an everyday aspect of consumer experience,” (pg. 208). The goal of changing images seems to be to grow the impact they can have on the population. It has been done even since before digital technology made it easy, and will probably always have a place in our culture. We are obsessed with appearance, and if there is a way to present yourself, or something else in a different/ more powerful way just by simply editing your photos, it will be done. Altering your own personal pictures is one thing, but when journalism professionals do this, they are presenting a false narrative to the public, hindering credibility and using questionable ethics. Regardless of motive, these doctored images rob individuals of being able to form their own, unbiased opinions about what is presented in the photo, and creates a relationship of mistrust among citizens and journalists.
#reproduction #photoshop #photojournalism #fakenews
Photo from the Los Angeles Times, 2003