Is Using Photoshop Immoral?

To Photoshop or not to Photoshop, that is the question. Personally, I love grappling with a moral dilemma and there's none more pertinent to bloggers than the fine art of digital retouching; so let's get into it.
Cards On The Table
Straight off the bat, I should fess up here and admit that I use both P-Shop and Facetune. (Actually, I use Gimp on my laptop- which in case you don't know- is like a freebie version of The Shop for tightwads). I started using Gimp when I asked a good friend if he knew how to correct a holiday snap of mine. (Vain much? You betcha). I loved the pic, but my flyaway Brillo-Pad hair and smudged mazzy? Not so much. He told me to download Gimp and gave me very specific instructions on what to do. (He knows I'm a complete div and would only have ended up asking him to help me anyway had he not put it in Gimp-For-Dummies terminology). I was absolutely fascinated by it and immediately set to work 'correcting' all sorts of shit- including a lovely snap of my mummy and me that I completely ruined by looking like Michael Jackson. 
A Little Goes A Long Way
So far, so what? All I'd done was rescue photos that I made look rubbish by 'merely' enhancing them into a printable, saveable and frameable state-of-being. Did that make me a moral pauper? Not if you go by the great Susan Sontag's theory that all photos are simulacrums and inherently 'fake'. Then I started blogging, and things started to get a bit more hazy.
Blurred Lines
I've read about girls who've used Photoshop, then given it all up and put out a confessional 'cleansing' blog post to heal the wounds. I've read about girls who use P-Shop on the regz and don't worry a jot about it. And I've also read about girls who stand in judgement of those that use it and think we are akin to Satan crossed with Lindsey 'Wonky Wall' Lohan. I actually think everyone has a valid point of view. I continue to use it,  and here's for why. The most valuable things that Gimp enables me to do are 1) crop a picture without losing pixels and 2) lighten a photo dramatically in a very precise way. For a long while I was cropping my pictures in Windows Photo Reader (srsly) and Holy Grainyballs did it show. I'll also go so far as to say that for a complete dunce like me it's actually enjoyable learning shit on Gimp, and it feels like it's the one thing under the general category of 'Computer Stuff' where I've actually developed any skillz whatsoever. I still don't know how to use it properly and everytime I Google how to do something my brain hurts immediately and I have to stop. But I look forward to stumbling upon new and interesting ways to make my piccies better. (I've included a Before And After below so you can see my corrections. Not vastly different at first glance it's true, but just that bit cleaner, and generally more pleasing to my eye- and hopefully yours).
Face Off
Finally, let's tackle Instagram. Facetune is my go-to app for all my gramming (including fliters). For my flatlays I clean-up any stray bits of dirt or hairs that magically always seem to find their way onto my white card (as per below) and yes, I'm not above removing a spot or a wrinkle. You may think that's wrong. Or misleading. Or as my friend Greg from college once said "you're only cheating yourself". (He was actually referring to the fact that my entire class cheated on their Art History mock A-Level, but the point remains). For me- someone with acne and acne scarring- it's oddly theraputic to magically erase the craters on my face, and is probably something that only those with skin problems can fully understand. (I'm far from trying to 'perfect' myself though and if you look back at any of my shoots on here you'll see I always end up looking stupendously average in every way). I'm just trying not to let the nasty shit detract from an outfit or an image. Sometimes of course, that 'nasty shit' can make a picture (particularly when a good photographer is behind the lens- think- Bruce Webber's obsession with broken noses for example); but for the purposes of blogging I feel no shame in tidying things up. What do you think about retouching? Do you indulge? Do you find me utterly Satanic? Lemmie know xx
Sneaks- Adidas//Cup- Design Letters//Flower- Sia



  1. I used to edit most of my pictures via my phone, so used VSCO Cam or Afterlight. To me, I don't do much to the pictures. I usually mess with the levels, brightness, contrast etc and crop of course, if I didn't get the image framed exactly how I want in camera.

    God, this is going to sound so pretentious but if I do like...mess with layers and whatnot, I'm doing it for artistic reasons, and just, gone with the flow and thought something looks cool! I don't like, edit a picture of my face and then use various brushes etc to photoshop stuff off my face?

    My mug is my mug, and that's that. I only really use Photoshop to brighten my pictures a little, as I'm trying to find a style for my blog! And I don't think that's a bad thing at all. If you are wanting to recover things in pictures you maybe couldn't get in camera? Then so be it. If you are completely misleading people? Then that's where it's wrong, I think. Unless you explicitly say it's intentional etc...

    I don't even know if I am making any sense, but hopefully you understand what I'm getting at.

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

    1. Thank you for such a lovely long comment!!!

      I totally get where you're coming from.....I agree it's like 'artistic experimentation' changing light levels and the atmosphere in your pictures.

      I didn't expect anyone to big me up for using PS on my face- but for me- it's either that or don't do outfit posts at all (unless I crop off my head- which I frequently do). I guess it's my own repulsion at my skin propels me to do it- and it's maybe something I need to deal with.
      Girls with good skin and straight hair literally have no idea how lucky they are!!

  2. Mate - not gona lie I go to town on a filter with my selfies. My nose is way to big for instagram - no joke. Photo Wonder, check it out, and get ready to have your mind blown. BTW just featured you in my latest blog post, I would have tweeted but I see no twitter link??? Big Love xx


    1. I'm all over Photo Wonder!!! WTF?!? (Although- shusshhhh- you have perfect skin and the best pout amongst other things!!)

      And thank you for the lovely props.....I owe you big time!!!
      PS Twitter would just be one more thing for me to worry about I think!?! :(((
      Maybe I'll get on it one day......

  3. I use Photoshop a lot in my job and degree and use it to mostly make blog photos a little brighter. But like the person above said, where do we draw the line with photo editing? Especially when it comes to photos of ourselves or our bodies? It's a hard one because in one sense everyone should be free to do what they want but misleading people is a bit naughty!


    Sade xo

    1. Yep....agreed!
      Thank u for your comment :)))
      I guess I'm being fairly 'un-naughty' by confessing tho!! (I hope!?)

  4. Though I'm a complete techno-phobe and wouldn't know how to use Photoshop if it saved me...I do like to brighten my pictures and and change the filter to something warmer, oh and once I might have blurred some pesky spots on my face from a picture i put on fb! *confession of the year* ;)

    It's a bit intimidating not knowing who photoshops their looks to an obvious degree - I don't really wanna find out that my favourite blogger looks nothing like their pictures- if you see what I mean. But in general I don't mind light use.

    Mary x

    1. I don't think even P-Shop can help disguise my status as a ginger midget!!!


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