Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Picture Worth a Thousand Questions

You know, photoshop can be a wonderful tool.  Of course, so can a chainsaw.  If used correctly, both can work artistic wonders (ever seen a chainsaw ice sculpture?  Amazing!), and, if used incorrectly, both can cause you to lose a limb.  Case in point:
Photo by PhotoshopDisasters 
This is an ad for Shiseido cosmetics, and at first, I wasn't sure what the problem was.  Then I really looked at the picture.  Um...why is there a hand coming out of her ankle?  And why on Earth is her right leg not attached to the rest of her body?! 

Now, I am not against photoshop.  Not by a long shot.  As a performer, and someone who needs to have the occasional publicity shot, I understand the many virtues of being able to bump up the colors or erase a pesky zit.  Any photographer worth their salt will tell you that photoshop should be used to enhance the subject, not to change it, and definitely not to disfigure it.  I mean, I like my pictures to look good, but they better look like me.  Otherwise, it's worthless to me as a publicity photo* and, quite frankly, insulting.

Granted, this is an ad, and not a headshot or beauty shot.  Fine.  Fighting Owl Films used photoshop to make some early promos for The Night Shift.  We took photos of the leads, cropped out the background (stunning as my living room was, it wasn't quite the look we were going for), replaced it with something a bit more appropriate, color corrected everything, then added in the shadow elements and text.  Yes, that's a lot of photoshopping.  Did we alter the subjects?  No.

It's still unclear whether Shiseido is responsible for this photo, or if it was another company who happened to carry Shiseido products.  Either way, it should never have seen the light of day.  I feel horrible for the poor model who was so egregiously altered, and can only hope she was paid well for all the flack she must be getting.  I'm sure this is one tear-sheet that will not be going into her portfolio.  Sadly, this is not the first photoshop trainwreck to hit the news, and it probably won't be the last.  To quote a friend of mine, "you can't cure stupid."  Maybe not, but it sure would be nice to prevent it. 

Okay, the magic bag o' samples is still nowhere to be found.  I did run across my sample of DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom when I unpacked a makeup bag.  It had broken during the move and spilled everywhere.  It gave me a headache before, and an even bigger headache this time around.  So, I guess that's your update for the day.  Smells nice, but aggravates this girl's sinuses.  Also, glass shards are not fun to clean out of a travel case, but you probably could have guessed that.

Oh, one more thing before I close out this rambling post.  The MAC/Disney Venomous Villains collection is out!  The collection officially hit stores today, but has been available online since Monday.  If you want something, I suggest you run, since most of the cooler items have already sold out online.  Seriously.  Gone.  Find a store and get it while you can.  That's what I'm planning to do.

*If you would like to see the photos discussed, you can visit the movie's website for promo pics, or my website for publicity photos.  Headshots and album cover photo by Atwell Photography.  All other photos by Thomas Smith.  If you would like to decline, that's okay, too.  Totally up to you.  Won't hurt my feelings at all.  Really.  It's fine.  Whatever.  *sniff*   


  1. gaah - creepy. i don't know why they seem to think that people won't notice stuff like that. seems like catching things like this before they see the light of day is what editors are paid for. apparently not...


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