Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé

Monika Travels to Machu Picchu via Photoshop
Monika is still not in Machu Picchu
There is something honest about artists like Caleb Charland from yesterday's post, who chose not to use Photoshop to create their art.  I love Photoshop, but I think everyone knows that tools like this are used to deceive people everyday.  For example, Monika has never been to Machu Picchu, but thanks to Photoshop, we can still show you the photos from a trip she never took, above.  (For fun, check out the originals here and here)

I don't think it would surprise anyone to see this deception in use by the press in places like North Korea where the above photo of Kim Jong Il's funeral is clearly altered to remove the photographers.  The scary thing is that it isn't just the domain of oppressive regimes.  It happens here too.  And the tools are good enough that we only really notice it when they make obvious mistakes.

In the picture below they were attempting to show how overcrowded the highways are in Paris.   They didn't have a photo that captured the congestion they were hoping, so someone edited the image to add in a few extra cars.  Unfortunately, the extra cars they added were going in the wrong direction, and no one noticed until after the the picture was published.

Or how about the conservative newspaper that removed all the women from the White House Situation Room during the Bin Laden raid.  At least that story was covered by the Washington Post.

The scary thing is that so much of this is really hard to catch.  In fact, it goes unnoticed.  It's unfortunate and misleading when it happens in the press, but I think it's even subtly worse when it happens in advertising.  Not just because it can deceive you about the product that you are buying, that is dishonest and illegal.  No, I'm concerned about how they create unrealistic images of perfect people to sell you their products.  The website Photoshop Disasters is a fantastic website dedicated to showing off mistakes that people make in editing photos that find their way out into the world.  Its a great source of amusement, but I find it a little bit alarming how many of these altered images are pictures of people in some sort of advertising.  That is why I like the video below that reminds us all that seeing is no longer believing and that our ideals may not be attainable. 

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

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