Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Another Fine Mess -- Online Images

With the abundance of photo editing software and the ability to put photos online attached to a person with any number of online photos, we are inheriting another fine mess. You don't have to go far to see photographs that have been significantly altered from the original, assuming the original still exists in some format or another. This may not seem to be a real issue, but if you have any interest in the original photo and its provenance, you cannot help but be appalled at the way things are going.  Since I have the originals of many old photos, I am acutely aware of the problem editing is causing.

Here are a few examples.  The following are taken from the same photo:

Here are two more examples that come from the same original:

Even though they are from the same photo the top image is reversed (or is it the bottom one?). Here are three more images from the same photograph:

We can only guess at how many iterations of the photo will continue to appear. Here are four different copies of another photograph. Which is the original, if you care?

Is this simply a matter of esthetics? Does anyone really care if the original is changed so dramatically? It appears that none of these is the complete original, as a matter of fact. Why do we think we can change a photograph to suit our whim and not change the facts about their lives? Oh, well maybe changing the facts isn't a bad idea either? I think it is unethical to change the original photo without providing an unaltered copy of the original, if it is available.

1 comment:

  1. An altered image should certainly be labeled so we know it is not an original.