This morning on my way to work I heard a report on The Today Programme about Michael Grade speaking to the Royal Television Society about the current state of affairs in the TV industry. After the recent scandals regarding premium-rate telephone lines and actors appearing on daytime chat-shows, he warned the industry not to 'dilute the trust of the viewer'.
Yesterday I was showing the set of prints which are going to Dee Fine Arts to an interested party. When looking at my picture of 'Last Light Over Hilbre' they asked me "How much time did you have to work on that in Photoshop?". My response of "None - that's exactly how the transparency is" seemed to astound them. I explained how I'd used an ND grad filter to balance the levels of light in the sky and on the rocks in the foreground, and metered to allow enough detail to be caught in the dark areas of the rock but yet to allow detail to remain in the clouds in the sky.
I've recently seen images presented as 'exactly as taken' which would violate several knows laws of physics, require some major plate tectonics and a drastic change in The Earth's path through space.
Have the advances in digital imaging made in the past 10-years or so already diluted the trust of the public to a point where they can't believe anything a photographer presents to them as an accurate representation of the scene which is being illustrated? I hope not, but the proliferation of over-saturated, manipulated, composite images which I see again and again posted on websites is sometimes very saddening. If you feel the need to manipulate images in this manner I feel you should be honest about it. Admit the fact, you've got some great photoshop skills!