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Ethics of Retouching

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  #1  
Old 02-07-2008, 03:41 PM
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jam1212 jam1212 is offline
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Ethics of Retouching

I've been retouching photos for my family and friends for a while, and have recently gotten into doing it professionally. I hadn't really thought about the fact that some people could be offended by what I do.

However, a few nights ago, I had a friend over and was showing her what I do. She got extremely offended and said that I was adding to the social stereotype of false beauty and that I was helping to create unrealistic standards for women.

So, what do you think? Does fashion retouching add to the false stereotype that true beauty is perfection? Are we helping to create unrealistic standards for young women by making models in the magazines they read unattainably perfect?

Let me know what you all think.

(If this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move it. I wasn't sure)
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2008, 03:51 PM
scorpioeddie scorpioeddie is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

Retouching has been going on since the days Playboy first came out. Now with Digital more people have access to photoshop and digital images. So it is more common. To me ..I have no problems with it. Keep the customer happy or your famil member.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:54 PM
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dataflow dataflow is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

when you think about it woman do the same thing everyday when they put makeup on.

hiding the imperfections on the skin.
so for me retouching is just digital makeup

Last edited by dataflow; 02-07-2008 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:05 PM
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

i've been accused several times in social settings ("hey, so what do you do for a living?") of contributing to the eating disorders in pre-teen girls and masturbatory habits of boys

but then, once people get to know me, and maybe i show them some before and afters, the general response is "you know, it's good to know people REALLY don't look like that" and they say they feel better about themselves. the times i've gotten the indignant soap-boxy type lecture on morality in the media, i usually write those people off as self-righteous activists, and maybe i should find someone else to stand next to at the bar

obviously if i want to keep working i can't show everyone, but i DO tell everyone who asks the general tells, footprints, of how to know when something's been retouched i.e. "look at their armpits, no one has perfect armpits, where did all the folds go? that's a weird lookin inordinately smooth neck, have you ever seen a neck without folds before?"

on a similar note, i've recently been informed that it's illegal for models to wear fake eyelashes on set when modeling for eyelash product, as there was some sort of court ruling that this was false advertising. which strikes me as hilarious, cause all we do on those things is remove their ugly, clumped up eyelashes and draw in perfectly fake ones anyway
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:08 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

My personal philosophy is that someone should look no better or no worse than if it photo were taken under ideal circumstances and that the model was in perfect health and condition for their age.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:54 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

Retouching a photo to show something in the best light, is no different that moving the camera to a better angle to show something in the best light, hide an un-wanted object, or whatever. It is also no different than telling a story, providing only the details that make the story most favorable to the point that you are attempting to make. It's all in the point of view, or perspective.

On another point of view, It really doesn't matter what you attempt to do, there is going to be someone, who doesn't like it. So the real question is, How does what you are doing lie with your own personal since of ethics?

Dave.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:05 PM
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

In the same vein as Dave just mentioned I have to tell you that I was at one time involved in local politics and one thing became clear.. 25% of the people strongly supported me, 25% strongly opposed me and 50% of the people could care less. Do what you want to and try not to get sued...
Tom
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2008, 05:09 PM
gi1976 gi1976 is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

I agree with that girl. Being a female photographer I feel the same way about retouching. For this reason I prefer the photographs I take not to be retouched (or very minimal) in order to see a real beauty and not a fake one. I also think that real beauty hides in our imperfections, something that makes people look unique.

I found this article interesting and to the point
http://hubpages.com/hub/Retouched

"The danger is clear: these are the role models we have set up to emulate. This is what we agree that beauty should look like. The problem is, that standard is unattainable, even for those held up as examples"

Last edited by gi1976; 02-07-2008 at 05:15 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2008, 05:10 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

hi,
These are my thoughts...
1. you don't set the standards!! your friends, relatives, business clients they set the standards! All your doing is doing a job that reflects what they want!

2. what can be done in photoshop is no different that what done in a photo studio.... make up is applied, special lighting and lens to get the desired results... I remember looking at my old HS yearbook and a lot of my girlfriends did not look like thier pictures.. smiling..

3. and what the public want, changes over time... if you look at what the standards were 100 years ago, 50 years ago and now you will see a significant change and currently there is a change going on now.... 5 years a ago model needed to be ultra thin and tall,,,, well that changing in fact in many countries the trend is that they need to be more full body !!

4. if your friend really want to change things... then she should tell your friends and teenage daughter not to buy the glamour/fashion magazines and let the magazine know!! you effect the $$$$ bottom line that gets a change...

those are my thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jam1212 View Post
I've been retouching photos for my family and friends for a while, and have recently gotten into doing it professionally. I hadn't really thought about the fact that some people could be offended by what I do.

However, a few nights ago, I had a friend over and was showing her what I do. She got extremely offended and said that I was adding to the social stereotype of false beauty and that I was helping to create unrealistic standards for women.

So, what do you think? Does fashion retouching add to the false stereotype that true beauty is perfection? Are we helping to create unrealistic standards for young women by making models in the magazines they read unattainably perfect?

Let me know what you all think.

(If this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move it. I wasn't sure)
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2008, 06:29 PM
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jam1212 jam1212 is offline
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Re: Ethics of Retouching

I appreciate all of your opinions. I guess I should say that I don't feel that there's anything wrong with retouching. I feel that I am supplying a product to a consumer and nothing more. Photography is a way of capturing whichever reality you want to capture. Retouching is simply taking that another step.

Anyways, keep the opinions coming!
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