In the never-ending journey of acquiring new skills and learning, tonight I've been exploring the editing techniques found mostly within glossy fashion magazines, celebrity/ modelling publications and is a subject striking up controversy at every point.
Depending on who I'm working for and what I'm photographing, I am sometimes required to edit and digitally touch up on a computer and other times I'm not. Whilst there are many different views on the subject of how much post-processing is required, editing is a very useful skill but it doesn't replace and the importance of getting your camera skills right in the first instance.
So, the task I set myself tonight was to do something very different from how I would normally edit and actually put myself in the position of being the one who is physically being altered significantly in a photograph. See the before and after shots below.
The image on the left is a totally un-edited self portrait and the image on the right is the edited version.
As you can see I'm very obviously the same person, but with some significant changes, that at first if you had nothing to compare it to, you may not realise the extent.
Aside from the general softening of the skin, changes to the colour levels, contrast and white background editing, which makes for a generic "airbrushed" look there's also some structural changes going on too.
I have changed the shape of my face, starting with slimming the jawline, lengthening my neck, reshaping my nose, changed the colour and shape of my eyes as well as the shape of my mouth.
Listing those things briefly seems like a lot of changes and yet I am still obviously the same person. To some people these things may be more aesthetically pleasing, to others it's sheer fakery and can be spotted by the trained eye. Either way, it demonstrates the levels to which technology can stretch to change someone's appearance.
Seeing is certainly not believing.
On a personal level, being "the editor" and "the edited" at the same time was fascinating. Whilst I understand there's a time and a place for everything, for me it's a question of moderation. It's quite fun to see what your altered self looks like, but ultimately I like to keep it realistic and accept I am what I am. Imperfections are normal and human and it's a shame we don't see more of this in our media and culture