Image manipulation was first used for medical imaging in the 19thcentury. It was a way of creating a more realistic portrayal of how a person could look and function. In an era of rapid change, this could prove very useful. The image of a person’s face is not just a static reflection of how they look, it is animated as they move through a scene, often showing features they might not have seen.
The first known image manipulation was done in 1896 by Dutch photographer Willem van der Heijden. It included a woman whose head had been blown in half and her face had been made to look distorted. He used this technique over 20 times at a time. It quickly became popular, as the image was well suited to describing the human face. The technique was still used after Van der Heijden’s death, and later became known as face photography.
How long has image manipulation been happening?
Image manipulation reached a peak in 1995. After several years of increasing popularity it is now being recognised as an important tool in modern medical practice, including for reconstructive surgery. An early example of the technique was the use of images to depict the size and shape of facial deformities as patients were being examined for various conditions, and these are still used. It has also shown a growing application in marketing. For example, in May 2011, it was used to help launch a special version of the Microsoft ‘Frodo’ gaming software, with features including the ability to zoom in on a character’s face.
Is image manipulation ethical?
Image manipulation and the development of medical imaging have been used in various ways – for example to create models and to create an accurate representation of an actual person. For some purposes, the image can have psychological as well as medical relevance, and this has drawn considerable public and scientific attention to the ethics involved in its use.
The ethical issues around image manipulation are controversial. Some argue that, in some circumstances, manipulating images by altering the colour, brightness, contrast and other properties could be considered a form of torture. For instance, altering an image’s colour and brightness can cause a person to appear to be hallucinating. And a similar argument can be made that manipulating a person’s emotional state might cause pain or distress. And this is not limited to imagery, in particular to manipulating the emotional content of images.
How many people manipulate images every day?
The answer to this question, depends on the context in which an image is used – it
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