Nick Carver: Is It Okay to Manipulate Your Photos?

Excellent presentation on ethics, using great image examples.

Is It Okay to Manipulate Your Photos?

Dec 4, 2020

Nick Carver

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Buckle up, folks, because I’m about to settle this once and for all. It’s a question for the ages: is it okay to manipulate your photos? I’ve been crunching the numbers, pouring liquids into beakers, vigorously scribbling on chalkboards, and I’ve finally burst from my basement photography lab shouting “Eureka!” I have the answer, people!

…Nah, I’m just a dumb guy who has thoughts to force down your throats.

Viewers often ask me about altering my images and influencing my subjects to better align with my previsualizations. Those questions got me thinking and reflecting on where do I exactly draw the line with it. Is it okay to influence my subject? My feeling is staunchly “no”. But then again, I have no problem telling a semi-truck to hit the bricks if they pull in front of my scene and block the camera. That’s influencing the scene. So, no surprise, I’m a hypocrite.

Once I realized that hypocrisy, I had to exam myself a little more deeply to suss out this whole not influencing my subject thing. And how about digital alterations? How about photoshopping? Where do we draw the line?

I don’t have a clear cut answer for you (or me), but I think it’s an interesting topic to explore. And so in this video I will go through some examples, some thought experiments, and some scenarios that might help us figure out where the line is and when we have crossed it.

Philosophical discussions about photography…they’re not for everyone. But hopefully a few people will find this video helpful/enjoyable.

Thanks for watching!

And check out my online course all about light metering for film photography: https://www.nickcarverphoto.com/metering

Website: https://www.nickcarverphoto.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/nickcarver

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