HP Slimming cameras & photo integrity

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Yeah, I’m more or less a tech-geek/gadget-whore, but I attempt to leave the reviews and comments on new tech stuff to others who do it much better than I. Yesterday, I finally got a chance to flip through my subscription to Pro Photo Techniques (a top-notch photography magazine, by the way), when I saw a quick blurb on the HP Photosmart R967, and it’s “slimming feature” in particular. While it’s essentially a gimmicky aspect of a feature-packed point-and-shoot digital camera, it brings up some interesting issues.

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I’m not even going to begin to comment on the whole “America and society as a whole is overweight, so promoting slimming is blah…blah…blah…” That’s a whole different story. What interests me more is the fact that you can easily alter a photo in-camera, as dramatically as turning an average joe into an emaciated stick, of you so desire.

Now I’m not against photo manipulation at all – I have two different photo manipulation programs open right now, in fact. But as both an “art” photographer and a “journalistic” photographer, I’m constantly aware of the issues of photographic integrity and photo manipulation. Photo-truth and Photo-fiction, if you will. Making manipulations like slimming a person incredibly easy, while gimmicky, certainly bring up interesting issues. I wonder what the metadata the camera produces looks like? I realize this camera isn’t geared towards pro photographers, but it’s an interesting implementation of new technology that certainly makes me wonder. any thoughts?

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