Shame and Photoshop

9 02 2009

There is a mandatory Photoshop contest where I work. (For those who are unaware, I work at IUPUI, staffing computer labs part-time.) Part of my job is learning to use various programs, so that I will carry these skills out into the workplace and also so that I can assist people while I still work here. That is all well and good, but I disagree with how I am being asked to prove my skills.

I am supposed to create, in Photoshop, a TV-show related poster that is humorous and includes at least one face taken from another photo. Essentially, what they are asking me to do is to sabotage my own work by making it ugly. I love photography. I love capturing an image and allowing it to speak for itself. If it does not look quite the way I had hoped, I will alter the photo so that it looks just right.

This is something totally different. I am being asked to put together a Frankenstein’s monster of an image. Some image that has been hacked and attached and pasted from multiple sources. Something that does not look like anything nature would produce or that I would be proud of.

Given the nature of the assignment, there really is no way to make the end product conform to my aesthetic tastes. I will simply have to bite the bullet and endure the self-imposed shame of having something that blood-curdlingly ugly attached to my name.

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