Tag Archives: photoshop

The right print for the right job!

Many photographers offer a service to their clients where they have images on a disc, or usb memory stick, that they print for themselves.  There is nothing wrong with this – I too offer the images on a pen drive, but it does limit the chances of success of the client getting what they really want from the shoot and displaying it to it’s full glory on their wall!

When choosing a photographer to do some work does the client think about the initial price of the shoot above all else? Do photographer and client work together to produce something in particular?  Does the client have an idea of how they want the final product to look?  Would they know how to choose a reputable printer who didn’t leave them with faded images 2 years after purchase?  Does the photographer have experience of displaying their images in large gallery presentable format?

Take, for example, these three different formats of print taken from the shoot of Roxy in the milk bath recently.  The image below is an iPhone ‘snap’ of the images taken in overcast daylight.

All the prints below were taken from the same file, and all are beautifully printed by a premium printing company based in Germany.  They are expensive options for an art print  with the photograph on the right pricing up at approximately £1.20 per cm squared.  Doesn’t sound a lot but look at the arrow key on your keyboard and thats the approximate size and then add that up to the size of the product you want!  However as an art piece that is a respectable price and they are guaranteed for 5 years from purchase and ink colours (if displayed correctly) are guaranteed not to fade for 75 years!

All these products below are correct, and correctly printed.  The differing ‘looks’ are those individualities of the print style and choice of medium but you can see that the top left is a direct print under acrylic glass and is softer in focus.  The top right is super clear high definition print on gloss paper and defined and is slightly differently coloured, and the product at the bottom is mid way between the 2 above in clarity, but the effect of the print onto the aluminium itself gives it a different tone depending upon the angle it is viewed at.

What I am trying to say is that do you (whether you are the photographer or the client) know what is the best product for purpose?  Do you think that your photographer should be sufficiently qualified to guide the client in their options?  Would you pay top end for a qualified photographer who could guide your choices or are you guided by price?

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Top left is a direct print under acrylic glass, top right is an HD print on gloss paper, and bottom is a direct print on aluminium di-bond.

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Retouching, from the view point of the retouchers!

http://fashionista.com/2011/12/has-retouching-gotten-out-of-control-professional-retouchers-dish-about-whats-getting-altered-what-isnt-and-why-it-happens

Zack, who works in the art department at a major magazine, added that “with the exception of maybe wrinkles being smoothed out, nearly all the retouching I’ve seen or done is to correct or change a choice made by another creative in the process….[like] I once had to change a subject’s wig color–a choice by the stylist–to one that made the shot more aesthetically pleasing.” Andrew, a retoucher with 20 plus years of experience did admit that he was once asked to alter a shot of Kate Moss to “flatten out a little bit of a curve where her pants were.” He’s also lifted bust lines and smoothed butts.

Obviously it happens, but it sounds like girls’ bodies are not altered so as to be unrecognizable. Tamara, another professional retoucher with decades of experience, said of her work with health and fitness pubs, “[We aren’t] over-slimming. Maybe just pushing in a little bit here and there where the camera might have exaggerated a side, but there still is a camera and there still is lens distortion, so sometimes itʼs just correcting that.” Whatʼs also ironic is that sheʼs “fixing” a lot of bad plastic surgery to make it look more natural. Too-bright tooth laminates and ubiquitous fake-looking hair extensions are also common issues.

What everyone agreed on is that photographers generally don’t spend as much time on shoots as they used to. The prevailing attitude seems to be, as Andrew said, “‘Oh donʼt worry about that theyʼll fix it in post-[production].ʼ” Tamara said the stylists will just pin up a garment and not iron anything because they know it can be taken care of later.

But with a little twist this video, by Buzzfeed (18 Unreal Magazine Photoshop Fails) is a comical look at some of the fails that the industry puts out accidentally.

https://www.facebook.com/BuzzFeedVideo?fref=photo

Its also interesting that the picture of Oprah Winfrey was highlighted as I used that example in my dissertation.

No Photoshop Movement – Michigan Times Article

Article by Emily Legleitner, Michigan Times.  Published 17/02/2014 which discusses the effects of companies (such as Aerie) and the effects that their ‘no photoshop’ movement may have.  Backed up by evidence from Jean Kilbourne (who has dedicated the last 40 years to studying the effects of media and advertising on body image) it discusses how these photoshopped images, although maybe only viewed fleetingly, have a lifetime effect on our thoughts subconsciously.  It touches upon the way that advertising campaigns affect men as well, through their depiction of masculinity and virility, focussing on the tougher side of men which can pose a threat to mens subconscious.   This is particularly interesting to me as it is something that has come up in group crit sessions about advertising being a subject that affects men and is not a purely female problem.

http://www.themichigantimes.com/article/2014/02/body-issues-problem-facing-young-adults

This is a good link to a New York Times opinion editorial on the subject of photoshop.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/1194838469575/sex-lies-and-photoshop.html

Links

Verily magazine

http://verilymag.com/about/

Jean Kilbourne

http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/beautyand-beast-advertising

PDF studyguide to go along with Jean Kilbourne’s Killing Me Softly 4 package on the effects of media on women.

https://www.mediaed.org/assets/products/241/studyguide_241.pdf

Dove Advertisement – Beauty Sketches

Posted on YouTube this video involves a member of the San Jose police force who draws a photofit of a woman as described by herself, and then again as described by another member of the public.  The two images are vastly different, and the artist only draws what he is told, he has no visual contact with either of the people.  Its an emotional video and tells us a lot about how we ‘fat shame’ ourselves and how we think.

“Women are their own worst beauty critics,” Dove says. “Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful … we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.” Dove.

http://mashable.com/2013/04/15/dove-ad-beauty-sketches/

Dove Photoshop Action

A further development that I have found out about was this campaign that was aimed at the people who edit, manipulate and design images of women that have unrealistic bodies in the media and was disguised as a photoshop action which was free to download.  The action, once deployed, turns the image back to its unedited state with a message from Dove saying “Don’t manipulate our perceptions of real beauty” (see screen grab below from video).

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 13.01.15

The Photoshop action — a downloadable file that applies an action with a single click — is aimed at art directors who may be creating such ads. The action, which was disseminated on Reddit and other places where Dove thought such art directors might visit, promised to add a skin glow effect, but actually reverted the image to its original state.

It would be interesting to see how the media industry viewed this campaign and if it had any real effect on anyone.  There are plenty of comments under the video/post about it which do not seem to think it was such a good idea as it is not targeting the real cause of the problem.

Cheryl GutierrezMar 6, 2013

PLEASE!!! Talk about misleading, “By speaking directly with those responsible for manipulating our perceptions. Art Directors, Graphic Designers and Photo Retouchers.”

In the Ad world, all of these people take direction from MARKETING and SALES. Creative teams don’t arbitrarily manipulate images without direction and approval from those teams. Blaming the resources who do the work is just ridiculous and irresponsible – but what would you expect from a mega corporation like Unilever? 

Ola K.Mar 6, 2013

this is such a BS, as a graphic designer I can tell you that getting a project with models ALWAYS requires us to do photo manipulation, and it’s required by the client, so instead of targeting designers (people who are trying to keep their jobs instead of getting their work send oversees) why don’t you start targeting the real culprits? that is producers of products who want their product to be associated with unrealistic beauty? that perception has to change on higher level… what you are doing here is like asking a janitor why he’s picking up garbage, ppl shouldn’t litter and he’s responsible for it !!! B freaking S! smarten up DOVE!

http://mashable.com/2013/03/06/dove-photoshop-action/

Don’t use Photoshop to make models slimmer – but feel free to retouch my Facebook profile: Real women reveal double standard when it comes to the airbrush

Don’t use Photoshop to make models slimmer – but feel free to retouch my Facebook profile: Real women reveal double standard when it comes to the airbrush.

Written by Daisy Dumas on 9 February 2012 this article (published in the Daily Mail) reveals a double standard that seems to be applied by women on the issue of photo editing/enhancements.  In the article it discusses that:

  • 41 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 have retouched their photos and 20 per cent of women aged 30 to 34 have done so.
  • Facebook photos, yearbook photos, online dating photos – all are increasingly falling prey to the Adobe magic touch.
  • In fact, 60 per cent said they felt it is ok to tweak personal photos.

This is interesting to note with the current backlash against photo enhancing in magazines and advertisements where women felt that unrealistic expectations were placed on women by being encouraged that they must be ‘perfect’.  Is this trend towards secretly editing your own image for your social media profile part of the pressure placed on women to conform?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2098861/Dont-use-Photoshop-make-models-slimmer–feel-free-retouch-Facebook-profile-Real-women-reveal-double-standard-comes-airbrush.html#ixzz3a6pd362C