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Topic: Image manipulation
Image manipulation
Manipulated images are powerful. Some seem plausible, yet are deceptive, while others are instantly recognisable as fakes. Whether obvious, subtle or hidden, manipulated images influence our cultural perception – and the meanings we create for ourselves as we view them. Our willingness to produce and consume manipulated images reflects our desire to manipulate the world in which we live – for better or worse – and shapes our understanding of reality. From spirit photography to celebrity cover-stars, airbrushing to double exposure, this topic examines the phenomenon of image manipulation, considering its past, present and future in three key areas: images of ourselves; images in advertising; and images as evidence.
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Topic section: Images of ourselves
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Mainstream celebrity culture thrives on youthfulness, beauty, health, wealth and social connections. Celebrities tread a fine line between controlling the exploitation of their image and being exploited by it. Glamour photography, Hello and OK!-style magazines and the paparazzi offer varying ways of perceiving celebrity.  > more

Topic section: Images in advertising
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Advertisers often manipulate images to help sell their products by making reality look more desirable. They keep producing new, more seductive images to replace those that are past their ‘use-by’ date so as to lock us into a cycle of spending and consuming.  > more

Topic section: Images as evidence
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The news constantly reminds us of the importance of the image in politics. Joseph Stalin and other dictators have often manipulated images. Illusionists and con-men have also realised that doctored images could be a powerful weapon in their armoury.  > more
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