Monthly Archives: January 2016

Digital manipulation in Advertising and Magazines

Photoshop in advertisement and magazines is nothing new. In fact, a majority of people actually realize that almost all images are manipulated in some fashion. However, even with this knowledge, people often compare themselves to the doctored images and try to achieve an unrealistic standard of beauty. 1


Britney Spears allowed both an untouched and digitally manipulated pictures of her to be shared for an ad campaign.


Jo Swinson claimed that studies demonstrated long term exposure to manipulated images depicting “perfect” people, caused many children and adults to feel stress about their own body image. In one study, she noted that girls aged 5 to 7 wanted to be thinner after playing with unrealistically proportioned dolls like Barbie, but they felt less pressure relating to body image after playing with dolls with a more realistically proportioned body shape.2 This kind of exposure to unrealistic standard expands beyond children’s toys. Advertisements and manipulated images in magazines are everywhere. We are constantly bombarded by images of manufactured beauty. This amount of exposure can clearly whittle down the self-esteem of most people.


A Lancome ad that Jo Swinson brought to the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority. After review, the ad was banned in the UK for being deceptive due to its heavy use of digital manipulation.


Various techniques are used in advertisement and magazine digital editing, from the widening of eyes, to the lengthening of limbs and enlargement of breasts. Many of these techniques are demonstrated in the videos below.

A video from the Dove Beauty Campaign that shows the heavy makeup use and use of digital manipulation techniques to manufacture beauty.


Another video showing heavy usage of digital manipulation to manufacture beauty.


Beauty whitewashing is another technique used in some magazines and advertisements. In some photos, people of color have their skin-lightened using digital manipulation. Famous cases of this involve photos Beyoncé and Gabourey Sidibe.3

An advertisement featuring Beyoncé  and a magazine cover featuring Gabourey Sidibe that have been accused of beauty whitewashing using digital manipulation.


Photoshop is a great tool and editing is an art form in itself. We can make fantasy seem like reality. However, photographers and editors must also consider the ethical issues relating to manipulation, especially when the image is used to sell a product or when setting a standard of beauty. Media ethics is something important to us as Communication students. If anything, it is a good reminder to view most images with a critical eye and understand that not all we see is real.

-A. Joseph



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Time Lapse Photography

Time Lapse Photography is a series of images taken at a slower rate at which we would see them. Objects and events that would normally take several minutes, days, or even months can be viewed to completion in seconds having been sped up. The images can be complied within one image or created into a video to show the transition of the subject.

Time Lapse Photography creates art with just using the area around you and time. The concept of time and how we go about our lives as a society is a crazy thing. We don’t think about how many flights leave an air port in a day, or how fast our bodies can change, and even just how beautiful our world is.

Airport Take off                                The Night Sky


Pregnancy Throughout Time

Time lapse photography shows us the movement in the world that we can’t see in one sitting.



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Tilt-Shift Photography

Tilt-shift photography is a creative and unique type of photography in which the camera is manipulated so that a life-sized location or subject looks like a miniature-scale model.

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Tilt–shift photography is the use of camera movements on small- and medium-format cameras, and sometimes specifically refers to the use of tilt for selective focus, often for simulating a miniature scene.

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Tilt-shift photography is usually being dong in post production (Photoshop) or with the help of a special lens. Nowadays, tilt-shift effect can also be done with a special app on your phone.

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Criteria for creating a tilt-shift photograph:

The photo must be taken from above, but not directly overhead.

A simple scene is usually better than a complicated one.

Photo sharpness is a must, as well as good lighting.

Avoid wide shots, and make sure the scene is interesting.

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Once the right photo is selected, the tilt shift treatment can begin. First, determine what your point of interest (and therefore focus) will be in the photo. Create a mask, then use the gradient tool on the mask to select was is to be in focus, and how the blur gradient will be placed. Apply the Lens Blur filter. The gradient placement and amount of Lens Blur usually requires some trial and error to get right. Once it is satisfactory, the look of being a miniature is already apparent. Next, bring up the master saturation level about 30%, giving more to greens sometimes, or other colors that you want to pop out. In miniature scenes, typically colors are very bold and saturated, hence this step. Finally, using the Curves tool, enhance the contrast in the high tonal highlights of the photo.

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Tilt-shift effect brings that fairy tale look to the photograph, which makes any picture noticeable and interesting.



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by Hanna Dimitrova

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Multiple Exposure Shooting

Shooting multiple exposures can leave an image with a really cook effect; the look of having something with texture overlaying the original shot. This is done when photographers lay tree branches or lace or landscapes over portraits or other images. Multiple exposure shots are often produced in post shooting production, using software like photoshop or the equivalent of, but if the settings can be changed in your DSLR, it can be done in camera.

To put your camera in this mode to shoot multiple exposures, follow these steps:

“Switch your camera to Manual mode, select Multiple Exposure in the Shooting menu and pick ‘2 shots’. Select Auto Gain, which will allow your camera to average out the exposure of each shot by itself, so that they work together when they’re blended. Click ON. You can layer up any two subjects you like, as long as you take the shots consecutively.”


It’s also important to change your camera settings so that the exposure can adjust itself, that way the photos lay over top of each other equally. That way the final product has balance, and less editing needs to be done post production.

However if you choose to do the shooting and layering in separate processes, programs like photoshop can do just that. In today’s technology, there are so many options to play around with that can drastically, or subtly change the way an audience views a photo.


Multiple exposure shots are very interesting, and can create drastic affects, such as taking monuments and mixing them into the same location, or more subtle enhancements like making a sky shot full of dark and ominous clouds. This is a cool techniques to play around with, and can be really fun depending on how you use it.





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The Impact of Lighting

Lighting choices can vastly change the appearance and tone of a photograph. A scene that seems cheerful and pretty when brightly lit can turn ominous and brooding if the lighting is made darker. Lighting also impacts the human face in a number of ways. Different kinds of lighting cast different shadows on the face, sometimes making the person look totally different. This highlights why people consider some photos of themselves to be flattering while other very similar photos are considered unflattering. Some photographers have been exploring just how different lighting can make a face look, as in the photo series and video linked below.

Sebastian Petrovski - Perception Is Reality

Soft lighting

Sebastian Petrovski - Perception Is Reality

Hard Lighting

Sebastian Petrovski - Perception Is Reality

The same girl illuminated in soft lighting appears much younger than the photo taken in hard lighting.

Sebastian Petrovski - Perception Is Reality

The lighting also shifts audience perspective. A viewer may view the photo with hard lighting to be more sinister.


A video on the same subject:


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Motion Photography

This topic of photography sincerely peaks my interest as well as others I presume. Motion photography can be a fun way that individuals can get creative when taking pictures virtually anywhere. To achieve that “motion/moving” effect to your picture, your main focus as a photographer is your camera’s aperture and shutter-speed. Aperture affects depth of field and light so the lower the aperture, the less of the image behind the focal point is in focus. Shutter-speed affects light and motion; the higher the shutter-speed, the less time your camera’s curtain is open allowing for more or less light to enter your camera’s sensor. With this being said, this is how experienced photographers acquire a completely still, “frozen” photo that captures/freezes the action or reduces the aperture to have less behind the focal point in focus.

Motion Photography

Motion Photography 1

This picture is a perfect example of low aperture and shutter-speed displaying the man with the umbrella in focus but the background is “blurry” and has a various array of light streaks. Very interesting.

Motion PhotographyMotion Photography 2

Another interesting viewpoint from under the skateboard going down the street. Sometimes, it’s all about the perspective and viewpoint you can get as a photographer. I can appreciate the clarity and angle used to capture this type of image.

Motion PhotographyMotion Photography 3

Again, reviewing over the principles of motion, we can see the man on the bicycle is not completely in focus but substantially that the photographer may have been satisfied with the image. This photo was obviously taken with a low shutter-speed and aperture. These are the two main focuses to being a motion photographer.



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Light Painting Photography

While some may feel that photography in the 21st Century has reached its zenith as far as innovation and “newness” goes, some photographers are still finding innovative ways to create photographs. Eric Pare is one of those photographers creating interesting and new ways of taking pictures. Pare uses light tubes to create “light painting” in pictures, without the assistance of editing software. Pare frames his photos against serene lakes and familiar skylines, including Dubai and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The technique is interesting because it seems like something that is done in editing but Pare actually does it himself while the photo is being taken.

Hiding out of sight behind the model, Paré moves the light-tube with one hand, while shooting the photo with the camera remote in his other hand.

Pare creates the photos by setting a camera on a tripod, standing behind the model, moving a light tube around, and controlling the camera with a remote.


Paré says he found the photography style on accident.

Light-painting, Paré says, became the obvious choice.

Pare says he discovered the technique by accident when he was shooting with 360 degree cameras and using a concentrated light source.

Eric Paré light painting photgraphy

Here's a look behind the scenes. See how different the light in the model's hand looks when it's not in motion.

Above: A model holding one of the light tubes that Eric Pare uses to create his photos.

All photos from:

More information can be found at:


C. Chaney

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