All arts have always involved some level of image manipulation.

French digital artist and photographer Carl Redback is the talented individual behind the eye-catching series “Treebeard”. It sees him photographing portraits of everyday individuals, before digitally fusing them with various botanicals, foliage and plant matter in Photoshop.

Look closely and you’ll notice razor sharp thorns painfully puncturing the skin, whilst roots and branches grow out of eye sockets at will. Whilst Redneck’s hybrids certainly make for unsettling viewing, they also serve as a reminder of our connection to the natural world. A connection that (thanks to the rapid acceleration of technology) grows fainter and more distant each and every day.

Creation involves choices and decisions and interpretation.

But the growing popularity of image manipulation (widely used in the magazine industry) has raised a few concerns as to whether it allows for unrealistic images to be portrayed to the public. It creates a constructed reality for the individual and it can become difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. Photo images were considered to be a reliable source and were known as a medium of communication to present the truth to the media; however, with the digital era, readers begin to question the ethics of some publications…

Image manipulation, therefore, is a big and complex topic to cover in just one article but I will try to present my views. Specifically in the area of landscape photography, I will introduce a few open questions and some historic examples of quite well known photographers who used Image Manipulation either in the field, in the dark room or more recently with their computers.

Talk about it!