Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Let truth be the prejudice

Robert Trippett's article THE VISION THING: Navigating the Slippery Slope of Digital Manipulation With Eyes Wide Shut on Digital Journalist poses 18 question for photojournalists seeking to navigate the "murky line between vision and manipulation".

A photojournalist must carefully measure their intent, both aesthetic and journalistic, making the choices along the way that lead to clarity and not distortion or superficial showmanship. That intent, ethically calibrated, is the fulcrum that begins to resolve some of these thorny dilemmas, counterbalancing the mantra to create something "different" with the more imperative calling to convey what is true.

Now although these questions are posed within the context of a photojournalist's work, it does offer a shopping list to cross examine any purist's dersion of even simple manipulation. I am often asked "how do you do it?" For me the first manipulation is at the click of the shutter.

Now back to some more superficial showmanship ......

2 Comments:

Blogger klindsey said...

"...mantra to create something "different" with the more imperative calling to convey what is true."

For me, that which is "different" IS what is true.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous dubmill said...

In all but news photography I think, basically, anything goes. I detest traditional photographic purism. However the criterion for me is whether it looks good (and a lot of processing done by amateur photographers doesn't look good - it's too overt, too obvious.. it's as if you can still distinguish between the original and the effect that's been added to it.. ie they don't meld). Then again there are a lot of in-camera tricks that I despise too. I think it comes down to one's own aesthetic view and sense of what 'looks good'.

I think 'truth' is just nonsense *. What is important is conveying a view, emotion etc.

* EXCEPT in news photography of course. The scary thing is that manipulation of photographs for political/propaganda effect will surely become ever easier and more sophisticated (to the point where, eventually, no image could be considered a trustworthy representation of actual events? and then what?).

7:37 AM  

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