Discussion: photoshopping pictures (including experiment!)

Something I definitely do often with my pictures I take with my camera is basically photoshopping them as in changing colors slightly and just do some things to enhance the picture and it’s quality. Basically every photographer does this.

For me it becomes problematic when you are changing people’s body shapes. It gives people, mainly girls, the idea that that’s the body they should have. This is quite an issue since it really leads to eating disorders.

Now I did a little experiment using myself. I took this picture of myself:

picture 1 (original)

Then I changed a few things within 5 minutes, and saw what my absolute limit in editing a person was:

picture 2 (my limit)

I also decided to go over my limit, as in I didn’t feel like I look like myself anymore. I did this by slightly changing my facial features and changing the proportions a little bit. Also I removed almost all birthmarks (besides 1 that was on a too complicated spot). Please excuse the fact I really am not a professional photo editor :grimacing:

picture 3 (over the top in my opinion)

Now, to some questions about photoshopping in general and about my little experiment!

  • What do you think of photoshopping in general, not including body shape changes, do you think it’s something that should be considered okay or not?
  • How do you feel about editing body shapes?
  • Now to my experiment, which picture is most pleasant to look at and why?
  • Are you okay with people editing as far as I did in the second picture? And same with the third one?
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Sometimes it’s okay but in other times it can give false expectations

I don’t think it’s a good thing if you are a professional model because the pictures you are in could fly around social media giving false body expectations but if it’s just about improving your own confidence, say for example you have low self esteem but really want to post a picture, but still you should maybe try improving the way you see yourself as opposed to the way the world see’s you. But airbrushing things like spots is understandable and in small amounts is okay but if you make yourself look shiny and animated that’s just unrealistic.

The first is far more natural looking, the second and third don’t look right.

People can do what they want with their own pictures but if they edit somebody elses picture to make it look like that, then there is a problem.

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If you photoshop a picture just for fun, then it’s okay (as long as it’s not used to offend someone, if you take a picture of him and photoshop it).
If it’s something that should be considered okay or not, that’s not my call to make.

I personally wouldn’t recommend you do it at all, because it can lower your confidence in your body.
But it’s understandable if you want to remove something that you would not like anyone to see.

I liked the first one, simply because it’s natural and feels more authentic. The third one doesn’t seem authentic at all, if you ask me.

Do as you wish with your own pictures. But if you edit someone else’s picture, then it’s disrespectful. (Unless he let you do so, yet I don’t think you should do it)

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Could you maybe give an example of when you think it could give false expectations?

I agree with this, for me not having confidence to post a certain picture as it is, isn’t an excuse to photoshop it. And it’s not a smart idea anyway since you will only get more insecure since you see it in the picture how you would want it to be.

Interesting :thinking:

Do you also think that when we are talking about a professional photographer? I mean most of them do edit pictures with people in it just cause they have to improve the light and stuff like that…

When people take pictures of my town to make it look aesthetically pleasing or edit sunsets. Sunsets are naturally beautiful anyway and my town is a mess on the best of days, that’s a false impression. In terms of people I have seen some photoshops which make them look different.

Yes that is why I said “you can do what you want to your own pictures”

If other people edit it without permission that’s just vandalism


Hmm, okay, I don’t fully agree with what you say here. I mean there are so many situations in which people edit pictures professionally that still cross the line in my opinion :thinking:

On this I do fully agree, there can be valid reasons why people don’t want others to see a certain thing body wise (think maybe a big scar or something like that) in that case it is understandable.

Interesting :thinking: And hahaha, I totally agree with the 3rd one, I get uncomfortable looking at it myself just cause it’s so unrealistic :grimacing:

You wouldn’t paint a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

Oh, when I said that, I meant to say that it’s okay if you edit your own picture for fun.

As I said:

But it’s completely fine if you diagree with me :smiley:, and I totally respect your opinions

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@Jass it’s worth mentioning that editing photos is a hobby of mine, I would only do it with permission and I never post them. Mostly they get deleted after a while.

When I got mad at people I used to edit pictures of them then delete it immediately no harm done there just a quick vent :joy: but I’m not 13 anymore.

Hmm, interesting, actually that’s the type of photography I mainly like, finding things that look pleasing in not the best surroundings or the other way around, something that just looks not good in a beautiful surroundings. And I don’t mind for example editing light or stuff like that to make it look better if it’s the pleasing one :grimacing:

In that case I do think it really does cross a line, in general I do think you should not edit too much in people.

But not in all cases it are your own pictures. Is it okay for a photographer to edit someone they took a picture of on the street without the person on the picture knowing it will be edited? That happens quite a lot I can tell

Not a lot that can be done about that, if it is the photographers own picture like I said they can do what they want as for the subject of the picture as long as they are aware of the editing I don’t think it matters I know there are some models that refuse photoshop or at least say they do


That makes your point a bit more understandable for me but I still don’t fully agree. But as you said it’s okay to agree to disagree on certain things :smile:
This is a good example of how actually a discussion works, you can have different views but still have a respectful conversation about it!

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Editing light is fine :joy: but making the sky purple is a step too far

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Yeah, I agree on that on the condition the person on the picture knows they will be edited it’s okay but otherwise it’s just disrespectful in my opinion…
And I don’t believe most of the models that say they refuse photoshopping :upside_down_face:

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Lol, in most cases I agree that goes a bit too far but there is also still something as artistic freedom so if they want to have a picture with purple sky, well okay then, it isn’t realistic but if that’s what you want :woman_shrugging:

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They claim to but you can still see it :joy:

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Yeah like I said it’s your own picture and from an artistic viewpoint that’s fine. Even I edit the sky sometimes to make it pretty. But I do think it can lead to false advertising :joy: when used on leaflets advertising the town.

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This really is an issue in my opinion. If you are lying about not editing pictures that’s really bad in my opinion. Why would they even do that, in most cases it’s pretty obvious for me it is edited :grimacing:

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Hmm, yeah I agree, when it’s used in business situations it shows people a wrong reality hoping to convince them to do something… But that happens a lot, one of the most famous examples:


By the way, you look not bad at all

No way you’re older than me. When I saw your picture on the face reveal thread, you seemed to be like 2-3 years younger than me.:sweat_smile: