Photomanipulation is basically the art of taking a normal photograph and then manipulating it the way that you want it, namely through use of a computer and various tools and applications on the computer. This modifies photographs either by analog or digital means, and is also commonly referred or related to what is known as ‘Photoshopping’, which is the slang term for the digital editing them, and although it is not directly aimed at the Adobe Photoshop application, it was named after it. Adobe Photoshop is only one of the many different digital editing applications that are available however, and for instance there is Paint Shop Pro, Corel, and even Paint, although this is one of the less advanced programs and is rarely used in the photomanipulation processes of today.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of photomanipulation, and although there are definitely many people who have good, positive things to say about it, there are also those who feel that there are concerning issues surrounding it. For instance on the covers of magazines, when celebrities heads are pasted onto different bodies, this in the past has stirred up a lot of commotion. One instance in particular was when the O.J. Simpson trial was taking place and the Newsweek magazine posted his mug shot as their magazine cover picture, while Time Magazine posted the exact same picture only used photomanipulation to alter it, and ended up making Simpson appear much darker than he was in the actual picture, and as well they removed the serial number and darkened the area around him. The Lebanon reuters incidents is just another prime example.
The ironic part was that the magazines ended up side by side on a newsstand, and it was incredibly clear what a significant amount of this had taken place in Time’s version of the photograph.
Journalism is only one area that uses a great deal of photomanipulation, and fashion magazines are definitely topping the list as well. One of the biggest problems with these photomanipulated photographs is that they alter the opinions and views of the public who, for the majority of the time, have no clue that the particular photo was even altered at all. Therefore there really needs to be certain standards set in the field of photography when it comes to something such as photomanipulation.