Photoshop, friend or foe?: Digital manipulation and magazine covers

Kate Winslet stretched for  GQ cover

Kate Winslet stretched for GQ cover. 'We were thrilled,' said editor Dylan Jones

There’s a big divide in opinion when it comes to playing about with images in Photoshop. For newspaper editors – and many magazines – it’s a no-no, because it can undermine the trust of readers (it certainly caused a stink for the Economist in the US). However, it’s an essential tool for the big fashion magazines such as Tatler and GQ, both of which have run into controversy in recent years, over Princess Eugenie and Kate Winslet respectively.

Similarly for photographers, with Nick Knight in one corner:

‘Originally, photography was seen as a better recorder of truth than painting – that’s why it became popular. It’s taken us 100 years to realise that is not the case and neither should we want it to be.’

and rival fashion photographer Juergen Teller in the other:

‘[retouched images is] not what I find beautiful. Beauty advertisers change everything and it doesn’t do any good for the psyche of a woman’

Magforum has now launched a dozen or more pages setting out the pros and cons of Digital manipulation of photographs. Where do you stand? And what effect will digital magazines on the iPad and other tablets have?


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