Saturday, 29 December 2012

Exercise: Enhancement

Aim: This exercise follows a simple process of altering a specific part of the image to 'emphasise' it. The ethics of this are then considered.

The initial shot exported out of LR (cropped slightly) is of my younger son, shot with ambient light through a window coming onto his face. 
SOOC version
Using LR's masking utility, I have selected the whole face area for alteration
red mask showing area of selection
The whole face is lightened using exposure and contrast adjustements. The face is more prominent than in the SOOC version
Whole face - increase exposure and contrast
Next just the eyes were selected for enhancement - this time increasing brightness and saturation just over the eye area.
Eyes only adjustment
Then I kept the eyes adjusted and just increased the exposure for the whole image, which is a more balanced image than the previous one.
Eyes adjusted and whole image with increased exposure
Finally we are suggested to alter the colour of the iris by changing the hue. I did this by selecting just the iris area with a mask and using the colour temperature to make the eyes more blue.
Adjusted eyes to make them more blue

Well I feel quite comfortable with the whole face selection and adjustment. This is just simple dodge and burn of a large area. Once the area is getting quite a bit smaller and the adjustments are as clear as adjusting the saturation and brightness of the eyes, we are getting into dubious territory. The changes are quite significant, and while that is OK, it's also not reality... (though then we get into a discussion about what is reality?, is any photograph really real?, and is there any subjective imagery?)

I think changing the hue selectively is quite a major change, and ethically needs to be pointed out to the viewer/purchaser/whoever. But I do know that these changes (and others such as adjusting waistlines etc) are common-place in the magazine industry (though debatable whether the general public has such good awareness, though with the rise of the internet more people do know about it). I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable changing the colour of eyes with regularity without making it obvious...

I feel like this is a can of worms! Which is certainly why it is part of this coursework...

1 comment:

  1. The change in his eyes is quite striking. The original image certainly seems more 'real' and you've provided an excellent illustration of the issues involved.