HOW DIFFERENT ARE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM COMPUTED-GENERATED IMAGES?

Abstract

Author(s): ?smail Erim GLATI

Although computer-generated images are increasingly used in other areas of visual communication, there are strict principles for digital editing of photos in both the press and advertising sectors and not adhering to these principles causes serious consequences. This requires us to question our perception of both images and computer-generated images as well as the meaning of these two types of images. This study provides experiment-based data on the ability of professional photographers and those professionals interested in photo editing to distinguish photographs from computer-generated images that they see on a screen. The results clearly show that the participants cannot distinguish between these two types of images in a statistically significant manner. This shows that making this distinction will become increasingly difficult for the non-specialist as well as the participants, who were all competent individuals in their field. Interestingly, however, the study found out that the participants shared a rather traditional understanding of photography that was not compatible with today's digital photography and digital image production. Based on these results, it can be stated that there is need for a new type of visual literacy in order to better understand the use of computers in digital photography and to provide a basis for the use of digital photography in certain sectors because one could actually be looking at computer-generated images when they think that they are looking at photographs on screens, magazines, exhibitions or newspapers.

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