Editing Documentary Photographs

So for our contextual assignment we were asked to debate in agreement with Editing Documentary images, this was something i completely had to disagree with so i thought i was clearly going to lose this battle.

I set out researching and in fact now can happily say i don’t believe it is as bad as everyone likes to rave about. Here is my reasoning

Editing Documentary Images

Is it acceptable to edit a Documentary Photograph?

We are in agreement with this and feel that on occasions photographs need to be edited, this might be to ensure it portrays the right story about what you are saying with the image, it might be for impact to create a wider impact onto the viewer or it might just be as simple as when National Geographic changed the Pyramids to fit on the cover of the publication!

When a photographer chooses a type of lens, what DOF they use and which setting to shoot an image on, are they not already manipulating what they are seeing? By focusing on something in the foreground as opposed to the background or framing an image to crop out a certain aspect of what they are seeing. Is it therefor ok for when shooting a documentary image to have a woman with makeup on, or to set a scene with specific clothing etc. isn’t that altering the image of who that person is? Really we all edit our images whether that’s at point of shooting or in postproduction. So there is nothing at all wrong with a little editing to create the impression you require.

When a journalist writes an article for a newspaper, are they not also editing what they write, they choose what they want to include in the text to portray a side to a story from there angle!

When you add any text to an image, this in my opinion could also be perceived as “Editing” an image because as you look at an image you will make up your own opinion on what it is about, whereas when someone adds text it could lead you to then see the image from another perspective that you would not have naturally come to yourself

When a filmmaker shoots a movie they select there cast according to what roles they want portrayed and depicted by how they look before they even shoot.

On occasions a Documentary style image might be enhanced for better impact on the viewer to ensure the message is clear by simply looking at an image.

An image might be cropped to cut out any distracting or irrelevant parts to the image.


About jenjenmarie

Creating images through photography!
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