Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Things I Don't Get: Selfie-Representation

If photography is art, does that make yourself a masterpiece? What happens if that photo is filtered, altering the looks so it displays its best assets? I'm not quite sure where I stand when it comes to photoshop, specifically towards photos of the self. Let's see if I can tackle this topic...

Does anyone care what is truthfully represented?

A while ago, my friend told me to download this photo application on my phone, and I didn't know what to expect. So with an open mind, I downloaded these applications, and what seemed like fun at first soon became a big obsession of mine.

It's difficult to differentiate reality from the photoshopped, especially when it comes to the face. The applications that my friend told me to download are fixated on appearances... At first, I didn't really care about face alterations, and was more amused on the background manipulation. Some examples include these photos of myself in the bathtub (because, why not?):

Original photo

Background manipulation #1

Background manipulation #2

Honestly, I think those are the coolest aspects of these photo applications. However, I wanted to look into the main feature of these applications, which is face alteration. So, let's play a little game, shall we? I used in total three different applications, with one being the original. Without further adieu, let's get into the photo rampage:

Comparisons show a significant change

It's so weird to look at the comparisons from one photo to another, and how much a photo can be edited from skin tone, face slimming, eye widening... Basically, all of these flaws I never knew were flaws from the start? It might be easy to tell which one is the original photo, but here is a close up of each individual photo:

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #4

If you can tell which one is the original photo, that must mean one of two things: either I am not good at photoshopping, or that you know too much about photoshop! Regardless of whether it is easy to tell apart, I noticed that while in the process of doing this, I was getting lost within myself. I don't know why I cared for making my nose smaller, my skin smoother, or getting rid of my blemishes, but I was becoming more aware of my own looks within the process in making one's self look better.

So that leads to the one thing I don't get about it all: why do I care? I mean, the lighting may look better in one photo from another, and my eyes may look brighter, but does that demote self confidence? Are we all just self-absorbed people who care too much about appearances rather than credentials and achievements of success? Not necessarily.

Consider the following: photoshop is used to enhance certain aspects of a photo, whether it is used for commercialization, or simply for self indulgence. If one likes a photo, it should be liked for the photo itself, not for anything else. On the other hand, using these photo applications should be used with caution, as it becomes addictive to make everything perfect. It may look nice to share from time to time, but making it a habit may lead to self consciousness, which is not always positively correlated when it comes to looks... And honestly, people are way more interesting beyond their looks.

This world may be full of deception through images, but it also shouldn't be taken seriously. Let creativity in, and do not make a fool of yourself throughout the process. If one wants to see their self without the moles on their face with a smaller nose, go ahead and do that. Just, don't try to use that photo to attract others and get attention, that's no fun. I'm not saying to not use it, just be cautious in how you use it. As for myself, well, you'll just have to look throughout the photos I post within future postings to determine whether I use these photo applications or not d";

Can you tell the differences?

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