The art of photography for the past 20 years has changed drastically. With sophisticated technology on the rise, both amateur and professional photographers have now a plethora of options for the “gadgets” as well as the methods of editing and enhancing their photos. Image editing has now become a “rule” rather than an alternative solution to a “photo disaster”. Consequently, the demand for these photo-editing tools and computer programs have skyrocketed in this Internet-based era. There are a number of software applications available for digital image manipulation, ranging from professional applications to very basic imaging software for casual users.
Image editing encompasses the processes of altering images. It is also known as photo retouching, using tools such as graphic software programs with which a user may manipulate, enhance, and transform images. Some of the most basic camera or computer image editing programs are automatic such as those that correct color hue and brightness imbalances as well as other image editing features, such as red eye removal, sharpness adjustments, zoom features and auto-cropping. Another form of photo editing is image warping or the use of special effects that can create unusual results such as skewed and distorted images.
Some photo manipulations are considered skillful artwork while others are frowned upon as unethical practices, especially when used to deceive the public, such as that used for political propaganda, or to make a product or person look better. Image editing software can be used to apply effects and warp an image until the desired result is achieved. The resulting image may have little or no resemblance to the photo from which it originated. Today, photo manipulation is widely accepted as an art form although the debate continues whether photo editing hampers creativity or actually stimulates it.