Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 2

Nancy Macko

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© 2014 Caitlin Kenney


Photography today is based more in editing and manipulation than in the physical capturing of the photo. The pervasiveness of photo editing is only going to increase; however, whether an edited photo remains true to the original photo, let alone the original scene, is left for the photographer to determine. Photographers attempt to create the "perfect" image and are willing to sacrifice the original photo in the process. The finished product becomes in many cases an entirely different photo from the original, to the extent that it is more a product of the editing software than the actual camera.

My project takes the form of a photo-editing manual, viewable in both physical and digital format, and an exhibition of the final images. None of the images are so extreme that it is immediately clear that they have been manipulated; however, as they are all images of Scripps College, people who are familiar with the campus will be able to recognize that something is off. I see these images as products of editing software more than products of a camera. I have exaggerated commonly used editing techniques to draw attention to their excessive use in photography today. In the manual, the manipulation and changes suggested become gradually more extreme, so that if the reader does not a first question the instructions, he or she will be sure to by the end.

Link to Image Gallery!thesis/cb8i

book mockup final.pdf (2569 kB)
The Photographer's Guidebook of Essential Edits

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.