While my own images tend to be less manipulated, I do some freelance retouching and can tell you from experience that most cover images and (in my experience) all fashion or celebrity images are retouched in some way. Most images are captured digitally these days and come into contact with Photoshop, Lightroom (or some other imaging application) just as a matter of course. It’s the regular workflow for a professional photographer.
This type of manipulation isn’t new folks, when was the last time you bought a burger at a fast food joint that remotely resembled the photo on the menu board? There are people who make a living as ‘food stylists,’ you know. What is new is the ease with which it can be done by a skilled practitioner, and the range of things that can be manipulated with a computer. Take a look at what is being done by talented folks like the ones at zerone CGI for car manufacturers, for example.
My experience is mainly with people however, which is what prompted this post. As we are bombarded with flawless images of celebrities day in and day out, one’s self image can suffer if one isn’t careful. So it is good to remind ourselves from time to time that even the perfect people on magazine covers aren’t perfect – they just have a team of people making them look so. This is something I make a point of enlightening my students on when I teach photography. So here is some speedlinks to recent chatter on the web about the same. Reading on will likely do your self-image some good.
This issue recently resurfaced when Redbook took some heat for retouching a cover shot of Faith Hill.
ABC news has collected some examples of doctored magazine covers with explanations (but unfortunately almost no before pics!)
Paris Match was called to task for apparently retouching the love handles off of French president Nicolas Sarkozy as seen in this article by The Telegraph.
To make us all feel better, the website Worth1000 has been sponsoring a celebrity ‘de-touching’ contest. Check out the winners here.
The new trend in retouching is photoshopping for the average joe (joetoshopping?). In this article in The Telegraph, writer Bryony Gordon bravely allows us a behind the scenes look at her experience.
I hope you’re feeling better now.