What Is Photo Manipulation, Really?
Photo manipulation is everyday in the digital age... but what precisely is photomanipulation? What does it entail, what are the types and uses? This article outlines thebasic definition of photo manipulation.
In the digital age, photo manipulation seems absolutely everyday, yet it is a commonlymisunderstood and misrepresented topic. This article outlines the types of photo manipulation, itsuses, and what precisely it means for an image to be photo manipulated.
The Medium of Photo Manipulation
Virtually any image format can be manipulated, though some image formats are certainly more popular for purposes of photo manipulation. Most digital cameras as their default shoot JPGs,making it probably the most used format for the subsequent photo manipulation. However, many photographers prefer to shoot inRAW formatif they plan on manipulating the image, due to thehigher quality.While this article will focus on the manipulation of digital photos, photo manipulation has been a part of photography since its very genesis. In the dark room, many a political photograph wasdoctored through a very time intensive process. The digital age brought digital cameras and digitalcameras have the advantage of creating, well, digital images.Of course, the sophistication of today's photo manipulation techniques may also be applied to oldfilm negatives, onceappropriately scanned.
Photo "Editing" versus "Manipulation"
Of course, many people don't think of what they do as photo
, rather, as photo
.While any change to a photo technically qualifies as photo manipulation, this is a commondistinction to make.Photo “editing” generally consists of smaller changes that do not change the image in anyfundamental way. Virtually all digital photographers partake in this sort of photo manipulation,fromremoving red eyeto adjusting curves to playing with color balances. Sometimes, it's that the photographer made a mistakecomposing the shot and the manipulation is just to fix it, to
straighten a crooked horizon or to lighten an underexposed photograph. Others, it's to increase theaesthetic qualities of a photo, to saturate the colors of a sunset or toremove a distracting branch from a skyscape. No intention to deceive, only to please.