ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

“Photoshop” is Not a Verb OR When to Edit and When Not to Edit

Posted on: 2 May 2007

What a popular word.

If Adobe has its way, there will be no photoshopping allowed from now on. Photoshop, as Adobe correctly points out, is a registered trademark name and should be capitalized and accompanied by a ®. It’s not a verb.

So, we can’t say “I photoshopped that image” but we can say “I enhanced that image using Adobe® Photoshop® software.” “Trademarks are nouns,” notes Adobe in its Incorporated Terms of Use page, and “Trademarks must never be used as slang terms.” (via Adorama News)

Lately, we’ve seen more than our fair share of photographers losing their jobs because of how they digitally altered photographs. The question I ask today is when is it (or is it ever) ok to digitally alter a photograph? Case in point:

Another week, another lesson about image manipulation in the press. At least two major publications – The New York Post and People – digitally obscured a portion of a photo from the Virginia Tech shootings. …

This case of manipulation differs from other recent examples in that it was done by editors for reasons of taste, rather than by photographers for reasons of aesthetics. Alterations to an image in The New York Times and to multiple images in The Toledo Blade were disclosed by the newspapers earlier this month. (via pdn online)

You be the judge. Should it be a universal truth for all or are there really legitimate exceptions for editors?

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