25 February 2014

The power and prevarlance of airbrushing (part 4)

Okay, I know I've gone overboard on this topic something new next week I promise :)

I recieved a lot of feedback from people who wanted to see more on the changes photoshop can wring from a picture. So for all of you who asked here is the magic of photoshop...

100 year old woman loses 80+ years...

Journalist talks to a photographer about retouches &; gets her own picture re-done. See how easy it really is.

Finally, what's basically a tutorial on how to...

18 February 2014

The power and prevalence of airbrushing (part III)

Today we're going to look at the other side of the photoshop phenomena -  'reverse photoshop'? Reverse photoshop? Instead of taking healthy models and making thin look more skinny, it's taking shinny models and making thin look more healthy.

In this article Jane Hardy, former Cosmo editor, talks about reverse photoshop and the risks she now recognises. And she's not alone...

"The editor of the top-selling health and fitness magazine in the U.S., Self, has admitted: 'We retouch to make the models look bigger and healthier.' ... And the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, has quietly confessed to being appalled by some of the models on shoots for her own magazine, saying: 'I have found myself saying to the photographers, "Can you not make them look too thin?"' ... Robin Derrick, creative director of Vogue, has admitted: 'I spent the first ten years of my career making girls look thinner -and the last ten making them look larger.'  "

Jane Hardy talks about a woman who turned up for a photo-shoot... "Not only was she so frail that even the weeny dresses, designed for catwalk models, had to be pinned to fit her, but her body was covered with the dark downy hair that is the sure-fire giveaway of anorexia.
Naturally, thanks to the wonders of digital retouching, not a trace of any of these problems appeared on the pages of the magazine. At the time, when we pored over the raw images, creating the appearance of smooth flesh over protruding ribs, softening the look of collarbones that stuck out like coat hangers, adding curves to flat bottoms and cleavage to pigeon chests, we felt we were doing the right thing. 
Our magazine was all about sexiness, glamour and curves. We knew our readers would be repelled by these grotesquely skinny women, and we also felt they were bad role models and it would be irresponsible to show them as they really were. 
But now, I wonder. Because for all our retouching, it was still clear to the reader that these women were very, very thin. But, hey, they still looked great!

"Thanks to retouching, our readers - and those of Vogue, and Self, and Healthy magazine – never saw the horrible, hungry downside of skinny. That these underweight girls didn't look glamorous in the flesh. Their skeletal bodies, dull, thinning hair, spots and dark circles under their eyes were magicked away by technology, leaving only the allure of coltish limbs and Bambi eyes.They had 22-inch waists (those were never made bigger), but they also had breasts and great skin. They had teeny tiny ankles and thin thighs, but they still had luscious hair and full cheeks.

"A vision of perfection that simply didn't exist. No wonder women yearn to be super-thin when they never see how ugly thin can be. "

Definitely food for thought... 

Healthy magazine's cover star Kamila as she appears normally

11 February 2014

The power and prevalence of airbrushing (part II)

Last week we looked at a model beginning with the photo-shoot & ending with the photoshop.
Following on from that on the same theme, a BBC journalist Tulip Mazumdar decided to see what photoshop could accomplish on her. [article] She talks to photographers and other industry insiders, as well as models. It's a nice little article. So how did she feel...

"It was a brutal experience...She took around 10 years and three stone off me. All in less than an hour...Every blemish vanished from my skin, as did the scar on my forehead. She whitened my face, lengthened my neck, changed the shape of my nose, widened my eyes, elongated my legs, sliced off parts of my arms and thighs and narrowed my hips...Suddenly the original images that I was quite happy with at the start, looked old, tired and a bit chubby."

It doesn't matter how beautiful you are to start with, from Jennifer Lawrence to Keira Knightly no one is safe from the photoshop brush. That being the case how can we possibly compete. We can't. Somehow when you flick through the next magazine remind yourself that it's not just make-up and lighting, don't think that in the right circumstances (clothes, products, diet...) you could look the same, because even the people in the photos don't look like the people in the photos.

Jennifer Lawrence

Charlize Theron

 Kate Moss


Top Model herself - Tyra Banks

Keira Knightly

And less you think it's only women who get the photoshop brush...

George Clooney

Owen Wilson

04 February 2014

The power & preverlance of airbrushing

A quick reminder my new paranormal romance is out at Amazon. Embraced by FireA secret agent undercover as a fire-eater, this man is as dangerous as the fire with which he plays.

Okay that over with, let's move on :)
The 2011 viral video below showing photoshop manipulation on a magazine model has been doing the rounds agin.

Yes, I know models in magazines have been photoshopped.
Yes, I know they are setting an unrealistic expectation of body-image.
Yes, I know these things. Despite that I can't help feeling inadequate (too fat, bumpy, pale, old...you get the idea) when I see these images.

As a result I don't think it hurts to have a vivid reminder of the manipulation that goes on, the better to avoid being manipulated. That it's not just lighting and makeup, it's not just touch up, it's all out adjustment.

Watch a woman go from normal to...well..Barbie.