Back in the day, it was hard to do any slight bit of photo editing. It was very difficult and time consuming. Brightening and darkening a picture was tough.
It needed getting a whole new picture if you needed to make some amends to the picture, and paste bits of this one on top of the final piece. You can therefore imagine how many days it took to remove an object from a picture.
Today there have been computer programs that help us do this process faster and easier. These include Photoshop. They have many functions that simplify the whole editing.
Now, you can have a completely new picture that looks different from the original. However, this may mean that many things can happen. You can do almost anything with a photo, including removing objects from the original
When you bring journalism principals into this issue, it becomes complicated. There is little means of proving the validity of some pictures apart from keen eyes. The only obvious differences are to do with natural lighting. It is hard to duplicate some outdoor scenarios.
Some few other inconsistencies will also sell out the picture as a fake. Adding features like smoke to increase how natural it can be will make it look more of fiction without creating the realness aspect. You end up spoiling the picture by trying to be too elaborate.
You should let the picture say the same thing it would have if it were not edited. You should be careful to avoid overdoing the changes because if you push it too far, it stops being journalism and becomes deception. Therefore, avoid omitting some objects from the picture on flimsy grounds. Make it a point to keep the content of the picture genuine. Do not drag it to the extreme.
Generally, this thumb rule will work in any situation. If you are about to edit a photo, ask yourself what it is for. If it is for journalism purposes or for a report of some kind, avoid major changes because this will only manipulate the story. If in case it is for art purposes, then let creativity take charge.
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