The rise of the digital image and distorting reality

Did you know that we are now posting a staggering 1.8 billion photographs on social media, every single day?

Humans have always loved taking photographs, from the dawn of photography where you would have to sill still for over one hour in order to catch your portrait, to today where every smartphone is equipped with a top-quality camera that can record every second of our lives and upload them in real time to the social media platform of our choice. Everyone has a travel blog and snaps everywhere they go and everything they see. Of course, with this increase in posting digital images, there is a big increase in demand for photo printing services that offer top quality printing, with flexibility when it comes to size, format, and medium. A great example of a popular photo printing site can be discovered by reading this Shutterfly Review!

The rise of Instagram

Of course it doesn’t just stop at photography- the Instagram affect has had a huge influence on how we present both ourselves and our images. Programmes such as Instagram and Retrica allow us to take photos and then apply filters and editing in order to change how they look. Filters come pre-loaded with a set of colour, light, and contrast settings and apply these to the image. There are other apps available that allow you to tinker with your image to your hearts content. Whilst this craze seems harmless, some do worry that allowing access to such powerful editing software might cause issues of self-esteem in youngsters who believe that they are only “acceptable” if their picture is edited in a certain way. It is a worry that this belief will transfer to real life situations, causing big issues in the future.

Beautify yourself

Another disturbing trend is that some phones, in particular Android supporting models, offer an inbuilt feature called “beautifying”. This feature automatically lightens, slims, and smooths the face. An innocent tool you might think, but what does that tell people that are using it? To me it suggests that the concept of beauty is only applicable to people who have light skin, slim faces, and smooth features. Obviously not everyone is like that and showing young, impressionable teenagers who may already be suffering issues with body confidence, is irresponsible and could be damaging in the long term.

Such editing programmes should only be made available for those that wish to download them, there is no way that they should be a standard in mobile devices. Who wants to take a photo, edit it beyond recognition, print it out via an online printer and have it look absolutely nothing like them? Everyone knows what you look like really, and putting your image through 20 filters and an editing programme is not going to fool anyone!

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