Is it real?
This week my students in Digital Journalism will be studying Digital Citizenship. There are nine elements of being a good digital citizen – and I’ll probably devote a post to it later on, but as I was playing around with Photoshop today – and some photos I took of Atticus – I got to thinking about how easy it is for changes to be made to photos by using Photoshop and other online tools. We do an entire unit on Photo Ethics in Digital Photography and discuss that what we see isn’t always what is reality.
At the top of this post is a picture of Atticus. He looks like a typical cat at first glance, but is it real? How can you tell?
As you look at the photo more and more, there is something that isn’t quite right. There is something too perfect, too symmetrical about the photo…and you would be right. This photo is a vertical shot of Atticus, cropped straight down the middle of his face and then copied and flipped to make the opposite side. And, while it may look like a normal cat, to me, it doesn’t look a thing like him. As much as symmetry and perfection is praised as beautiful in our society, it’s our flaws and imperfections that make us who we are.
I, for one, prefer the real Atticus, I, for one, prefer imperfections to the “beauty” those in the magazine industry create with Photoshop. What about you?