Friday, 22 May 2015

Photoshop or not?

And does it really matter?

You know, sometimes you spot a picture on the internet that really moves you, for whatever reason. And you want to share it with your friends to enjoy, so you post it to FaceBook.

Before you get a chance to draw breathe, odds are someone will yell 'Photoshop!' Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong. But does it really matter if the picture is genuine, or the concoction of somebody's imagination?

The picture was undoubtedly done for a reason, even if that reason is to fool people that it's real. Sometimes it's a tribute, such as this beautiful image of Marco Simoncelli, produced after his sad loss of life

Obviously a composed picture.

But what about this one, the shape of a spitfire shown in the clouds, which was published in the British press on the Commemoration of VE Day

Is it real? It would be a huge coincidence if it is. But does it matter? On such a day of remembrance, it is appropriate and respectful, and causes no harm to anyone.

Sometimes, it's not fake at all, but it may be something that people who haven't seen it in real life, can't believe exists.  Such as this one. People immediately yelled that it's fake. You can't possibly get that close to a fighter plane. Oh yes, you can. I've done it. The place is known as the Mach Loop in Wales. And you're so close to the planes flashing past, you can wave to the pilots and often get a cheery wave back.

But does it really matter? Surely the fact that the picture brings pleasure to others is enough? As long as it is not meant maliciously, or to pervert the course of justice or defraud, or to cause consternation, can't we just enjoy it for what it is?

So before you descry a picture as having been photoshopped, just think. Does it really matter? Or does the pleasure that picture is bringing to countless viewers far outweigh the fact that it might be fake.