Thursday, February 10, 2011

Warm snow, hoar frost and ice... REALLY? Not.

Heat map of snow, frost and ice on Bassett Creek
The picture above of Bassett Creek was modified utilizing a "heat map" feature in Picnik, a recent addition to Picasa's photo software. It was snapped at subzero temps.  You can see this picture in it's original format in yesterday's blog. Isn't it amazing how warm it looks?  Kind of frightening how things can be so radically distorted with a simple click of a button.    

The digital revolution has simplified methods to distorted or "digitally enhance" subjects.  One sad example of this occurred recently when an Indian actor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, had her skin tone lighten for the cover of Elle Magazine. is leading an awareness campaign about this racially related alteration. They've already had 50,000 signers to request an apology from Elle Magazine.

Painters have enhanced their subject matter for centuries. However with paintings we commonly perceive them to have a subjective quality, were we expect artistic freedom.  We haven't expected this same degree of freedom from photographers.

Certainly pictures aren't the only thing who's reality is suspect. I've long questioned the authenticity of many/most television shows and movies.  "Reality television" is about as fake as fake can be.  At least with movies coming from Hollywood, we knew what to expect; most often glamorized fiction of some sort.

Discerning what is "real" has become a difficult task.  Don't believe everything you read, hear or see!

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