Thursday, February 07, 2008

Would You Use PhotoShop?

Just a quick post and a quick question on authenticity. We were shooting yesterday at Monmouth University in New Jersey. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and there were lots of students with ashes on their foreheads. I strayed away from most of the opportunities for these shots.

Here's the question: Would you or Would You Not use Photoshop to take the ashes off for use on the web or publications??

Just curious

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Tony Dunn said...

Sure, why not? I mean, it's not journalism, it's marketing. People do all kinds of stuff to make an image communicate more effectively.

Leaving the ash marks could easily send a number of wrong, confusing or incorrect messages.

What's wrong with these people's foreheads? Is this a Catholic school? Etc.

Since, 364 days a year, these people don't have ash marks on their foreheads, removing them using Photoshop is not misrepresenting who they are.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Thanks for weighing in Tony.. I didn't know you were a web wizard and a photographer.. Great landscape work!!! Beautiful stuff.

Kyle said...

Initially I was thinking no, but I think Tony makes some great points.

Honestly it's not really deceiving as much as it clarifying. The 364 other days a year was the point that really sticks with me. You want pictures that will have lasting value and the ash does sort of ruin that.

On another note, it might be nice to have those photos for filler in your Campus Ministry website or flyer's or something. It's always better to have taken the picture than not at all... especially now that with digital photos you don't have lots of printing costs to worry about.

Paula G said...

I agree with Tony and I would photoshop the ashes out. If it was a picture of an Ash Wednesday Mass, then certainly not, but for a general campus shot like that yes.

Have been a fan for a while. I love your work.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Kyle and Paula, thanks so much for the wonderful comments. It's great to have insight from industry insiders to get feedback.

Paula thanks so much for the compliments, greatly appreciated.

Chris said...

For me it depends on how the photo will be used. If it's in a marketing piece that is obviously marketing material then photoshoping the image would not be a big deal to me.

But if you are using it for a marketing reason in an editorial vehicle. Then no way...

Our Library used an image of mine that showed a student studying in the library with a window in the background. You could see the bright and sunny day from the window. The Library's hired designer photoshopped a night sky with moon to make it look like it was midnight.

The image ran in a Library newsletter telling about how the library is now open 24 hours.

When the student in the photo sees the image will that make him think twice about the Library's credibility?

Maybe not, but I don't think you should ever take the chance to make some not trust the information in a publication.


Patrick said...

It would have to be easier (ethically and pragmatically) to just use other non-Ash Wed shots ;-)

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Thanks Chris and Patrick for weighing in on the subject.

JH-S said...

I really wanted to go around and get shots specifically of people with ashes on their forehead. But,I felt uncomfortable doing it.

I think having the same shot with and without ashes would be useful. That way it's up to the school.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Jamie, nice to see you taking part in the conversations, just saw your comment on DW's site...