Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick thought on Photoshop

The subject of Photoshop and its implications is one that’s close to my heart. I have a twelve-year-old sister who, along with men and women of every age, are inundated by images of perfection from magazines, movie posters, the internet to advertising that is continually finding new ways of popping up everywhere we look. Photoshop is the darkroom of today, but unlike the traditional darkroom, digital manipulation is limitless. To those that desire it, the path to physical perfection now has a viable virtual shortcut, in the realm of imagery. I use Photoshop, every professional (that shoots digitally) does. The defining factor is to what degree and where each artist draws his or her line. When I was in school I remember watching a video of Ansel Adams’ master printers cutting negatives with surgical precision to create composites. The techniques have changed, but the pursuit of perfection and the morality of what you do, remains the same.

I won’t write a dissertation, but the issue has far reaching socio and psychological ramifications. Suffice to say, I make sure that everyone, but especially the women, in my life know that 99% of the images portraying physical beauty nowadays, are not real.

On the scale of Photoshop extremes, the image below is very minor, but it will illustrate the point.

The key light in the image did not catch the eye on the left, so that was recreated. Minor skin flaws were removed, lipstick color toned down and overall color temperature adjusted.

Click the image above for a closer look at alterations. Dove made a fantastic video compilation on an entire 'beauty' shoot that's worth watching and passing on. It can be viewed here,

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