Posted in Visual Storytelling

Photo Manipulation is a Big Problem

            The greatest sin in visual storytelling is manipulating photos, or in a lot of cases using Photoshop to make the viewer see something you want them to see instead of the truth. When a corporation or a person is found out to be manipulating their photo it damages their credibility. For example, National Geographic did this one time with the Pyramids of Giza, where “The horizontal image was altered to fit the vertical cover, shifting the two pyramids closer together. When the issue was publicly released, the photographer, Gordon Gahan, saw the cover and complained” ( ). This really damaged the credibility of National Geographic and the Director of Photography, Tom Kennedy had to come out and say, “We no longer use that technology to manipulate elements in a photo simply to achieve a more compelling graphic effect. We regarded that afterwards as a mistake, and we wouldn’t repeat that mistake today” ( ).

            Photo manipulation completely changes the way people view the world or incidents. One of the best example of how photos can be manipulated to serve a persons’ or corporation’s agenda is this photo here:

            There are three different ways this photo can be viewed. The middle way is just the original photo. You have multiple soldiers around an enemy, taking care of him, but also on guard (hence the gun). The far left way, which cuts off the soldier giving the enemy water. It just looks like he’s a prisoner of war and the solider holding the gun is about to shoot him. The far right way shows a soldier giving water to an enemy. There are two sides to every coin.

            Other than what the media can do manipulate someone’s viewpoint, photoshopping has become a big problem in the beauty world. Models are already viewed as beautiful, but the way that their agencies and editors take to their photos is disgusting. It completely changes the “ideal” look. No one can have wrinkles. That’s considered unattractive because none of the models or celebrities in the magazines have them. It’s all Photoshop. It puts a huge burden on the younger generation, because now that’s their ideal beauty. “Many of us fall victim to unattainable beauty desires—even if deep down we know computer-generated perfection will never be within grasp” ( This “beauty” is something no one can attain because it’s all computer generated.


Clair, Stella Rose Saint. “The Photoshop Controversy: Does Photo Editing Alter Our Perceptions Of Beauty?” Beautylish, 30 Oct. 2013,

Harding, Joel. “Images: A Matter of Perspective.” To Inform Is to Influence, 15 June 2012,

“National Geographic.” ALTERED IMAGES,

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