Photographer Attempts to Normalize Acne With Unretouched Set of Photographs

Photographer Attempts to Normalize Acne With Unretouched Set of Photographs

A 20-year-old New York-based photographer takes a stance against the practice of using Photoshop to edit and retouch blemishes from portraits.

Peter Devito, a photographer and student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, admits that he previously had a hard time even sharing an image of himself online without Photoshopping it first. Now, he is finding a legion of followers willing to support his latest effort – a set of images, not retouched, featuring human skin with all of its imperfections, including the pimples, red spots, bumps, and the other characteristics that make the surface of everyone’s skin unique.

Devito says he was inspired by people on social media when they started posting about body positivity and self-acceptance. Noticing an absence of individuals with acne, Devito seized the opportunity to create a unique set of images tightly cropped on faces marked with temporary tattoos of statements such as “acne is normal,” and the word “retouch” (appropriately crossed out).

It's never been easier to remove a blemish and give our subjects almost alien-like skin, free of blemishes using tools made available via software such as Adobe's Photoshop, but is doing so wrong? Is there an invisible line that we as photographers shouldn't cross when retouching images? If so, where is that line? What kind of affect does retouching images to the extent that the appearance of the subject's skin is flawless have on teens who may be dealing with a perfectly normal level of acne? 

[via Elle

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59 Comments

fix your diet and you'll fix your acne. crappy skin--acne, blemishes, etc--isn't acceptable when someone else is paying for the production.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

So true about diet, it's all about what we put in our bodies and on our skin! Not many people know this though. Luckily most models I've worked with are working on their skin and know what to do, for everyone else it's not really a big deal

This can help and/or eliminate acne for some people, and for others, it makes no difference whatsoever.
Absolute statements such as this one are just as incorrect as saying "calories in versus calories out". Quite often, it's NOT so simple.

Calories always determines weight. Always. Stop eating and you'll see for yourself.

Wrong. Here's an example... https://youtu.be/QHHzie6XRGk

Anonymous's picture

Good luck seeing him admit he was wrong, even when he posts such a simplistic absolute statement that is easily proven wrong with a bit of nuanced information. Enjoy the rabbit hole this one will take you down!

How a photographer can't comprehend shades of gray, I'll never know... :-D

Anonymous's picture

Oh that’s a good one!

Obviously not a case of "shades of gray." Stop eating Jonathan, and watch your body quickly shed body mass.

Prove me wrong. Find me one scientifically verifiable instance where someone is denied food and yet maintains their weight. Just one. Good luck.

Is "nuanced information" needed to know that you'll burn your hand if you place it in a fire?

Wow... You're really illustrating your preference for black/white, on/off, 0/1. OF COURSE you'll lose weight if you stop eating. DUH. My point, which you either seem to miss, or ignore, is that if a person's BMR is 1600 calories per day, that dropping that person down to 1100 per day doesn't guarantee they'll lose 1 lb of fat per week. Sometimes, other factors are at play - especially hormones.

"Wow... You're really illustrating your preference for black/white, on/off, 0/1."

That is not a logical conclusion since I am addressing only one thing.

"..if a person's BMR is 1600 calories per day, that dropping that person down to 1100 per day doesn't guarantee they'll lose 1 lb of fat per week."

It's not about how much they will lose per week. The fact is, they will lose weight. That will happen with everyone.

"Sometimes, other factors are at play - especially hormones."

No other factors will change the fact that the body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain a certain weight. A person could be hypothyroid and sitting on their ass all day and their body would still need a certain amount of calories to maintain its weight. Reducing those calories will in every case cause a weight loss.

"..you don't know enough to participate in a debate like this."

What I know has easily kept me thin my entire life. The same goes for other lifelong thin people.

Anonymous's picture

I'll prove your initial comment wrong, not the new backpedaling one that adds more information and parameters in an effort to divert the conversation (nice try, Bobby, but a pretty simplistic tactic):

"Calories always determines weight. Always."

Wrong:

"A calorie is a calorie" violates the second law of thermodynamics
Dr. Richard D Feinman and Dr. Eugene J Fine
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC506782/

From their conclusion:
A review of simple thermodynamic principles shows that weight change on isocaloric diets is not expected to be independent of path (metabolism of macronutrients) and indeed such a general principle would be a violation of the second law. Homeostatic mechanisms are able to insure that, a good deal of the time, weight does not fluctuate much with changes in diet – this might be said to be the true "miraculous metabolic effect" – but it is subject to many exceptions. The idea that this is theoretically required in all cases is mistakenly based on equilibrium, reversible conditions that do not hold for living organisms and an insufficient appreciation of the second law. The second law of thermodynamics says that variation of efficiency for different metabolic pathways is to be expected. Thus, ironically the dictum that a "calorie is a calorie" violates the second law of thermodynamics, as a matter of principle."

There are many other articles and research I can bring up (Hyperinsulinemia and/or the role of baseline Leptin and Ghrelin levels on body weight are others) but I'm sure you'll backtrack further to save face.

The whole point is, you sound like a moron when you throw out oversimplified absolute statements. You think you like smart doing it, but you look like a fool.

Where have I "backpedalled?"

How does that quoted text counter the fact that a person needs calories to maintain body mass?

Can you find me one scientifically verifiable instance where someone is denied food and yet maintains their weight? That's what I asked you and you ignored the question.

Resorting to insulting language doesn't do anything to support your arguments.

Anonymous's picture

"Calories always determines weight. Always." Not always, as shown above. You backpedalled from that. And we’re wrong because your point was way too simplistic.

And just deal with the words that hurt your feelings.

How have I "backpedalled" from that fact? All I've been saying is that calories determines weight.

Once again, for the third time, can you find me one scientifically verifiable instance where someone is denied food and yet maintains their weight?

I can assure you that your words don't hurt my feelings, but they certainly don't help your arguments.

Anonymous's picture

No I’m not going to address your silly add-on parameters, as if you read correctly, I stated I wouldn’t.

Are you going to address the fact that your simplistic understand of calories is massively lacking in accurate detail? I’m going to guess that your ego won’t let you.

And your opinion on how I decide to make my points doesn’t matter to me.

"No I’m not going to address your silly add-on parameters, as if you read correctly, I stated I wouldn’t."

So you accuse me of something but you won't explain what it is? What add on parameters?

"Are you going to address the fact that your simplistic understand of calories is massively lacking in accurate detail?"

You want me to help you support your arguments? That's not how debates work.

"I’m going to guess that your ego won’t let you."

Stick to the topic. I'm not the subject of the topic.

"And your opinion on how I decide to make my points doesn’t matter to me."

It will matter to those reading that are objective.

Anonymous's picture

I've addressed all the points you make in previous comments on this thread, yet you still can't bear to fathom your comment was simplistic and inaccurate, even when I bring up examples.

And you supposedly care about objectivity? What a joke.

Calories do not "always" determine weight.

You were wrong. Be a man and own up to it.

I'm done babysitting your ego.

There are verified cases of religiously devout people and/or activists fasting for years. They're thin, but they eventually stop losing weight and some of them don't die. Irom Chanu Sharmila is a notable example.

Not if their fasts don't involve ingesting calories.

As I've asked before, can you find me one scientifically verifiable instance where someone is denied food and yet maintains their weight?

.

Anonymous's picture

He's too pigheaded and close-minded to research. His statements show he thinks he knows everything already.

Has he shown in that video that you can go without all food and still maintain body mass? Of course he hasn't, because something so obvious can not be disputed. Any living organism needs energy to come from somewhere. For us humans we get that from food. No food, no body mass. It's as simple as that.

People that believe otherwise are those that have struggled with their weight and see that as a comforting excuse to continue overeating, have a vested interest in promoting such basic misinformation or are simply ignorant of something so obvious and that is proven every time we eat.

We have a lot more fat people today thanks to such kinds of misinformation.

You are the only one talking about completely fasting. The rest of us who understand nuance are talking about a blind devotion to the concept of calories in versus calories out determining weight. We are talking about quantity while you are arguing about the absence of them. And as I noted above there are cases of people fasting for years. Where are you suggesting their energy comes from?

Using language that appeals to other people to help support your arguments does not reasonably support your arguments. You are you, not "us." The truth doesn't care about how many people support your views.

Nuance is relevant where it is relevant. It isn't in this case. A body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain its weight, no matter the health and fitness level of the person. The example of complete fasting is to simply and extremely prove that.

"And as I noted above there are cases of people fasting for years."

Not without calories.

"Where are you suggesting their energy comes from?"

I would suggest no such thing. Obviously they wouldn't even be alive if their fasting did not include calories, never mind nutrients.

You can ignore documented cases of people fasting for years/decades if you wish.

Johnny Rico's picture

But what is his stance on makeup artists, do tell.

Ken Flanagan's picture

You sound like a troll I once met... Could be wrong...

Gabrielle Colton's picture

He might be a human, I don't though though I could be wrong ;)

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