Digital Slavery – The Ultimate Roadmap

A quick guide of troubling issues in our digital lifestyle.

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digital manipulation : photos

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Photo by Hany Farid, Dartmouth College

Covers of Newsweek and Time Magazine in June 1994, based on the same mug shot of O.J. Simpson. Newsweek used the original image while Time magazine was subsequently accused of manipulating the photograph to make Simpson appear "darker" and "menacing." (photo by Hany Farid, Dartmouth College)


Photo manipulation is the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception (in contrast to mere enhancement or correction), through analog or digital means. Its uses, cultural impact, and ethical concerns have made it a subject of interest beyond the technical process and skills involved. More…

Photo retouching / airbrushing: Airbrushing has long been used to alter photographs in the pre-digital era. In skilled hands it can be used to help hide signs that an image has been extensively retouched or “doctored”.

As a result of Stalin’s purges, and later destalinization, many photographs of officials from the periods show extensive airbrushing, often entire people have been removed. The term “airbrushed out” has come to mean rewriting history to pretend that something was never there.

The term “airbrushed” or “airbrushed photo” has also been used to describe glamour photos in which a model’s imperfections have been removed, or in which their attributes have been enhanced. The term has often been applied in a pejorative manner to describe images of unrealistic female perfection and has been particularly common in reference to pictures in Playboy, and later Maxim magazine. More…

Photoshopping is slang for the digital editing of photos. The term originates from Adobe Photoshop, the image editor most commonly used by professionals for this purpose. “Photoshop” is widely used as a verb, to refer to retouching, compositing, and color correction carried out in the course of graphic design, commercial publishing, and image editing.

In popular culture, the term photoshopping is sometimes associated with montages in the form of visual jokes. Images may be propagated memetically via e-mail as humor or passed as actual news. An example of the latter category is “Helicopter Shark,” which was widely circulated as a so-called “National Geographic Photo of the Year” and was later revealed to be a hoax. More…

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Written by RicardoNunoSilva

2009/02/19 at 16:47