Exercise 1.4 – The manipulated image (P.42)

Use digital software such as Photoshop to create a composite image which visually appears to be a documentary photograph but which could never actually be.

My general approach to manipulating my images is to adjust the exposure, occasionally white balance, sharpening and to crop where necessary. Partly this is because I have little interest in photo-manipulation but mainly because I am not very good at it so this exercise proved somewhat challenging.

My idea was to combine the two forms of transport most closely associated with Cambridge, cycles and punts and create an image which showed them parked in the same place suggesting their use was interchangeable. The image I created is shown below.

I think the end result is poor, looks like a badly photoshopped picture and I think it high-lights some of the main problems with manipulating images. The images shows how important it is to shoot from a similar position when taking pictures you want to combine in order to maintain a similar perspective. It also high-lights the necessity and challenge of blending the elements to give the impression they are all from the same picture. In addition, because I added the image of the punt from another image I found it hard to judge the scale of the added element correctly. So overall not a convincing image but rather one that demonstrates the challenges of manipulating documentary images.

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