What is Photo Manipulation

Photo manipulation is the collaboration between the arts of graphic design and photography. It represents the altering of a photo with the use of computer software, so that certain features of the photo are improved, such as: the look, the readability and the beauty of the image. It is usually difficult for an unexperienced viewer to notice the difference between a manipulated photo and reality. Photo manipulation is also called photoshopping or, before the birth of the Photoshop software, airbrushing.

Photo manipulation is used by photographers, photo editors, photojournalists, and other people who work in mass media, visual arts, communication design, visual communications, visual arts, page layout, content design and connected fields.

Through the process of photo manipulation, in which are combined and modified in a creative way the elements of a photo in order to produce a unique image that appears to be real for the viewer; an unreal picture is given a realistic view with the use of photo manipulation. The whole process manipulation is subjective. Printed photographs, negatives or transparencies may be digitized with the help of a scanner, or the images may be acquired from stock photography databases and then manipulated.

After they are taken, many photos may need small adjustments, corrections or modifications. For example: because of some factors such as, the weather, technical features of the camera, insufficient or too much lighting, some photos may need perfecting or improvements. Moreover, many photos are photoshopped in order to please the creativity and imagination of a photographer. The term photoshopped derives from the brand name of the most famous software of image manipulation Photoshop developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Photo manipulation involves certain skills as:

–          Technical retouching for enhancing and restoring photos by: adjusting contrast, colors, white balance, sharpness, gradation and removing flaws, which are visible on surfaces like the skin. The photo that needs improvements is opened using the software application where it is manipulated.

–          Creative retouching is a form of art with the help of which images are improved in order to be used in fashion, advertisements, art exhibits and beauty.

–          Image-compositing is employed by the digital artist to combine multiple photos into a single composited image.  Nowadays, 3D computer graphics are used increasingly more with the purpose of including additional elements, and even backgrounds and locations. This type of image composition is generally used when traditional photography is technically too hard or even impossible to shoot on location or in studio.

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