yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image? For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself... I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)
i agree completely with this notion, as i tried to state before. i understand people who have not considered this topic before trying to hash out their position on this but it has been a longstanding discussion in photography going back to the late 1800's.
the fact is that photography is incapable of depicting "truth". it can only depict a singular viewpoint and "manipulation" begins the moment a photographer looks through the viewfinder and "chooses" what will be shown in the frame and what will not be shown in the frame. nevermind any post that occurs after the fact.
it brings to mind the images that came out of the aftermath of Katrina, in particular there was an instance where news outlets ran a photo of a white family "scavenging" for supplies while an almost identical photo of a black family doing the same thing had headlines attached stating they were "looting". truth in photography is a myth. it is simply a means of communicating an idea, story, or feeling and in the end it falls upon the viewer to determine what truths a photograph holds for them.
so if you want to subscribe to contrived notions of what makes a photograph real or true or whatever...you are welcome to it. i personally don't want to limit my own ability to tell a story how i want to tell it by applying a set of rules that don't make a whole lot of sense considering that manipulation has been inherent throughout the history of photography since its inception.
oh, an National Geographic is far from being the standard bearer for for what "real" photography is. on the contrary, it is a very narrow slice of what photography is and can be.