Faking everything

Photoshop is so much of a celeb product this week that it may now only appear in public in an airbrushed slimline version of its own packaging.

The big Photoshop story was the picture of an Iranian missile firing that had been digitally enhanced to look like more of an explosive occasion. The BBC editors blog had to admit to having failed to spot the fakery.

The great Photoshop Disasterssite got lots of submissions of this image:

Not only do Iran’s missile pictures reveal a shocking gap in that nation’s ability to use the clone tool, our patented Extra-Contrast-O-Vision shows how clumsy they are at comping (from Photoshop Disasters)

Aleisha Dixon made a BBC3 programme about how all magazine pictures are Photoshopped to within an inch of their lives. (No, I don’t know who she is, either, sorry.) The objective was to get a picture of her on the cover of a magazine without enhancement. The idea behind the programme was to show the credulous public that these images of perfection aren’t real and, especially, to convince young girls that they aren’t hideous if they are just human.

However, this was a bit of an unfair test. She is (a) extremely good-looking and (b) was wearing about 5 kilos of makeup when they finally persuaded a magazine to agree to shoot au naturel. So, she was basically already greatly advantaged as well as airbrushed at source. But still, respect for trying.

I hope it was TV fakery when she told school girls that every magazine photo is retouched and they all acted astonished. I’d sort of assumed that everybody already knew that anything that can be retouched will be retouched.

Partly, it’s obvious because the digitally-enhanced world is often so much uglier than the real world. My favourite misuse of Photoshop is this picture of Clive Owen, advertising an anti-ageing cream for men. We don’t normally see this sort of Xtreem- Airbrushing done to men. In the effort to improve him, it manages to make an averagely good-looking man look even more alien than most of the women’s images that we see every day. Clive Owen on photoshop disasters (Pinched from Photoshop disasters)

Obviously, it doesn’t have the same global significance as Photoshopped missile tests.

But, I’m sticking with the comedy Photoshop angle on the missile portrait, because I don’t want to have to think about:

  • What these images mean in terms of a potential war against Iran
  • Whether they are even genuine Iranian productions
  • Why the Iranians would feel obliged to airbrush their missile-testing programme, when you’d think that down-playing any such activity might be the safer course
  • If there is any chance of avoiding another insane and suicidal/homicidal war about oil and Israel

3 thoughts on “Faking everything

  1. Ted
    Good link, thanks.

    Ok, I couldn’t zoom in and my monitor tends to be much darker than other people’s, but, still, it was really instructive. I had thought I was quite good at spotting Photoshopping but I was really bad at spotting it in these.

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