Reality and intervention

As the name suggest part IV of “Digital Photographic Practices” deals with the topic of reality vs. manipulation. Normally it is a photographer’s discretion at what extent he/she would like to manipulate the image. This is a very personal ethical choice. Making this decision right at the beginning is quite important, as it may influence their style. I have seen in many examples that photographers tend to forget the fine line between the two. Determining acceptance levels, for such manipulations and abiding to them is very essential. I also feel, accepting that the reality has been modified and presented differently is also equally important. Click on the link to read some interesting facts (accessed on 1st March, 2012). DPP is giving me an opportunity to understand that fine line. I have many times raised this question, and have got very mixed response. At times, some photographers have tried avoiding the question all together.

Even at a professional level there are some very strict rules, when it comes to accepting the manipulations. Nowadays even in the beauty industry certain guidelines about how far the digital manipulation can be allowed, are being introduced. Recently while, talking to my tutor, I came to know even in food photography there are certain protocols about how tempting the photograph can look. If the photograph of the dish looks far from the reality, then it will not be accepted. Stock photography and photojournalism is another ball game all together. Other than basic enhancement, any tempering with the file can lead you to troubles. Recently I was reading about a photojournalist called Bryan Patrick, he was terminated from his job for violating the paper’s ethics. Click on the link to read more (accessed on 12th Feb, 2012).

Of course, that doesn’t mean there is no demand for such work. It can be an art in itself. What’s important is, the photographer must not try to promote the manipulations as reality. I feel if surrealistic painting and sculptures are accepted as a form of art, then photography should not be considered otherwise. Photographer like “Erwin Olaf” is an inspiration to many. His intervention in reality is spectacular.


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