The idea of a ‘real image’ and where to draw the line on manipulation is an elusive one, and it just gets blurrier with each advance in technology. Today we have images that look publishable with no editing mostly because the autosettings on the camera, or AI in the phone, is doing the photoshopping or adjusting for difficult conditions right there in the fraction of a second after we push the button. In phones especially, the last couple of generations, it has nothing to do with the basic technology of photography, but rather *software* that is capturing and rendering multiple exposures into a single optimized composite image. So, the single frame output that we take for granted as a ‘real image’ is in fact one that never actually came through the lens and could not exist without manipulation not just of one image, but of several! Thus was it industry news when the ‘brains’ behind the AI processor for the pixel line, which are widely known to have superior cameras based on AI processing, left google last year to go to adobe. Apple does the same thing differently of course.
Compared to this, me working for an hour using only my human artistic sense to make adjustments using slide bars, all seems rather quaint. The ‘real image’ isnt whatever the camera says it is, it is the one that gives me the feeling back from that moment. Once in a blue moon they are one in the same, and I celebrate that when it happens, but normally there are at least a dozen or so (yes, that many) settings related to light, color quality, and optic distortion correction that I at least poke at before publishing. What matters from a ‘manipulation’ standpoint is that I can’t work with light I didnt capture through the lens all at the same time and all in the same place.
With the broader issue of faceapp, I’ve never used it, but on the other hand all the avenues that lead to my feminine side I’ve either clandestinely explored on my own, or more recently had the support of my wife to continue along. In another type of thread, I’d be branded as a deceiver and liar and all that is wrong with husbands who crossdress for how I went about that, so it seems wrong to come to this one and tell people when and how they should or shouldn’t show their own faces. Not ripping off someone else’s image or putting your head on someone else’s body is ethically obvious, for those who do I doubt it is approval they are seeking and they aren’t going to care about this topic. Dragging along with them so many others who earnestly identify as crossdressers, who participate in this community in good faith, whose preferred or maybe only way to have an outward facing image of feminization is faceapp, just because you don’t have to or would never, really seems heartless and petty. Giving the benefit of the doubt that they’d love to post a picture of their real face if they could, reflecting on your own good fortune that you can, and quietly being glad you aren’t them, should be harsh enough, if it matters so much.
Now, moving on to these made up names we all go by…