Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Photojournalist's Choice: Unethical vs. Unnatural

Brienna Weibel

While reading these articles about photojournalists' “mistakes”, I immediately thought of the media today, and how it is quickly progressing into unethical material. The main technological advancement that first came to my mind were the magazines being distributed today. Online publications and print publications have drastically changed around our society’s point of view. Models in magazines today are seen as perfect, when truly most of these images are significantly retouched.

When I think of ads that have been retouched, I think of the Ralph Lauren model, Filippia Hamilton controversy about her head appearing larger than her waist. More and more magazine advertisements portray women with the “perfect body” as being abnormally thin. The only thing I notice in advertisements would be reshaping of the body, seen to me as ADDING more work for themselves. They must have worked hours on "perfecting" this model.


The Choice of a Photojournalist:
Throughout the article about Brian Walski, I was not imagining how many photos he had “faked” during his career. He stated that it was a long day and he accidentally published the photo that he had somewhat photoshopped. A total of 79 photographs had been photoshopped and published throughout Walski’s career, that is a number far too high! In my opinion, it frightens me to think that there are so many people breaking their rules of ethics just to attract more attention. As a viewer, and also future journalism professional, I would rather see advertisements and photographs that are in some people’s words, “unnatural,” or in a true journalists mind, “truthful”. These are important aspects to me, because journalists must always be held accountable for their actions. There is no need to retouch or combine a picture in order to get fame or recognition.    

Does our society’s view on skinny have to bring out unethical values in photojournalists? If a model does not have a stick thin figure, should we as journalists retouch her figure through Photoshop to change her body? NO! Photojournalists should be sticking to their ethical standards in order to keep model's real beauty in the media for the public eye to catch. There is nothing abnormal about a female whose figure presents more curves. The way technology is advancing in the public is beginning to shape our society, and even more, our photojournalists. I personally love this photograph of Marilyn Monroe, especially in comparison to the Ralph Lauren model shown above. These photos really demonstrate the differences in our society today compared to the past.

All in all, maybe we as viewers in society need to change our depictions of the perfect woman or perfect pictures. With the advancement of technology and social media, strong competition evolves each day within publications and online social media sites. We all know that nobody is “perfect," therefore, photojournalists must always be credible toward the public and always be able to take action. Although certain touchups on a photo may receive more recognition, I believe that our society would start to better itself if advertisements had less of a stereotype.

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