The truth: Yes, because there are many examples of photo editors who do not understand the technology they use to create art, and their “cheat codes” (or better yet, “hack-codes”) are far-fetched and unrealistic.
Why is it called “cheating?”
Because, unfortunately, not even photos that are “accidentally” altered (i.e., not manipulated or altered to create a “false” image) are exempt from being photographed:
People shoot pictures of other people’s faces and post them online. They say, “I’ll use your face in a photograph.” They do.
People post pictures online, and some of them are of their own children or pets, or even their partners. They say, “I’ll use your dog in a photograph.” They do not.
For example, take, for example, this picture of John McCain from 2008, taken of Sen. McCain after the presidential election and published by TMZ. It’s easy for a photoshop-er to remove or modify McCain’s hair and make him look younger:
In this picture, however, “Mr. Gav” appears to have taken John McCain’s face (and, perhaps, a hair, nose, eyes, or other features) out of context to create an image which looks a lot like John McCain from 2008.
So, yes, we use Photoshop or other software to edit images (most often photos of people, and occasionally, images of things) to enhance them in a way that fits our style and vision.
But just because we sometimes use Photoshop to enhance our photos doesn’t mean we’re doing it wrong.
Cheating requires that we have a good understanding on how we interpret images as well as what that meaning is.
How the rules apply to you and your work
When we create or edit an image, we generally think about some aspects regarding:
Our images have meaning. This means we take an image and understand its intended meaning. We then take into account and apply our ideas and beliefs about what that meaning should be.
The meaning of an image can be different than what was intended. For example, if you want to convey a feeling or emotion through an image, and you want to show an emotion, rather than just a simple look, you must understand what kind of emotion the image is conveying.
We can use this idea to look for clues to understand
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