sheep

Apparently sheep really aren’t bright white like the images we usually see. Just for fun,
I gave the one on the right the Photoshop treatment.

I’m pretty good with Photoshop. Not any sort of ninja, mind you, but I can generally improve the quality of photos I take – sharpening, color correction, cropping and removing distracting items from the background. I’ve even removed a person or two from a group photo, which I have to admit, gave me a nice bit of satisfaction.

Quite honestly, any photo taken of me whose digital file I have access to has probably been altered, including the photo of me on the home page of this site. It was taken on the roof of Emerge Memphis on a windy day and I love the way my hair is blowing around — I think it represents my personality well, as I’m not the kind of person who always has every hair in place and am more at home in blue jeans than a business suit.

Problem is, when the photo was taken my lipstick had worn off. And I need lipstick. So I Photoshopped lipstick on my lips, close to the color I usually wear. And there may or may not have been a couple of other tweaks or two as well.

Is that cheating?

I’m not sure. On the one hand, don’t I have a right to look as good as I can? On the other hand, I guess it’s false advertising and those who meet me in person will see all the flaws. I did consider posting the before & after pix, but I guess I’m just too vain to do that.

I love that these teen girls are protesting photo retouching in Teen Vogue magazine. I’m tired of women — and especially vulnerable teenage girls — feeling as if they have to measure up to a standard of beauty that only exists in altered pixels.

Photo retouching has become so prevalent that it’s hard to know what we’re really seeing. A recent issue of Women’s Health magazine even had the color of sheep altered for a cover photo.

Jill Greenberg, the art and commercial photographer who captured images of sheep for a 2011 Women’s Health article on sleep, said that her subjects looked like, well, sheep — their coats “a pretty dark grayish-yellow dingy color.” Her editors asked to her make them appear whiter.

“We had to make the sheep look like a cartoon sheep that is white,” Ms. Greenberg said. “We sort of have ideas in our mind and it’s all sort of a fantasy.”

Here’s the rest of the New York Times article on photo editing.

Is Photoshop cheating? Tell me what you think in the comments.

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