Sunday, April 5

Careful with that wand, photoshoppers.

It's just wrong to create more than is there.

Take Michelle Obama's eyes. Her right eye squints happily when she smiles. And let's face it, her face is very well-known and recognizable.

So when you, Ebony Magazine, hire someone to cut the image of her left eye and reverse-paste it onto her right, um....


And don't get me started about the NY Times video I sent to Shakes. Taking four fashion models and morphing them into one picture is just stupid. Not to mention the whole unreal image of femininity and beauty that image-modification promotes.

My real worry is that late at night on deadline you'll start pasting the wrong Michelle and just completely gross us all out.


  1. There's a fine line between airbrushing minor flaws for print and outright image manipulation.

    That said, it happens a lot in the trade, from what I have gathered since embarking on my little program of self-amusement via pictorial recontextualization.

    Most unfortunate that those who prefer to gloss over the minor 'imperfections' that create unique character in the human face and figure feel that they are doing a favor for their buying public by doing so.

  2. And dontcha love the irony of the headline: "the *real* Michelle Obama"?

    It's weird how, by creating an unnatural symmetry, you can make a person look like an alien.

  3. Hey! Where did you get next month's copy of Guns & Ammo?



  4. "It's just wrong to create more than is there."

    Um, no, it's not. ;-)

    Photographs themselves are a creation of more than what is there; they're a completely artificial 2-d flattening of 3-d reality. There are no "accurate" un-manipulated photographic images of reality; there are only various and relative standards held by different groups with various interests in what the images are intended to convey.

    I used to be a crime scene photographer. Back then, all pictures were in black and white. When I pointed out to the DA that black and white film was a huge distortion, he said they didn't use color because it would "inflame the jury." Yeah; seeing a few quarts of the victim's red, coagulating blood on the floor would inflame them all right; better stick with the black and grey stuff.

    As a photochopper, I start with the assumption there are no boundaries as to what I can do to, and with, images I bring together. I want to achieve a certain end and I do what it takes to get it. Let the buyer beware, 'cause if you're too obtuse to realize that, say, Michelle Bachmann didn't really go to Afghanistan as a "Foreign Correspondent," then you're just a rube that's been had, instead of an savvy person who's been amused. (

    As for Michelle Obama, if you look really closely, you can actually see her right eye is still slightly less open than her left. (I know because I put her left eye over the right and saw the difference.) When she came to town during the campaign, I was 20' away and took over 280 pictures of her. Less than five showed her eyes to be evenly open. But— it is possible to take one where it isn't noticeable.

    Today, all of us, especially children, need a new level of sophistication in our viewing experience; we must assume ANY image has most likely been manipulated— beyond the initial manipulation of making a 2D image out of some three dimensional event in the first place.

  5. Michelle is not a beautiful woman, but she is a very striking one, in my opinion.

    But what's even nicer is that she's smart.

  6. OMG....

    Who photoshopped that?

    They need a gold star on their graphic artist head.

    Malkin would Loooove to see her face on a major magazine.

    Sadly, The Right Lunatic Wingnut Magazine does not exist.

  7. I'd rather look at close-up pictures of you. Big brains and big eyes are the best!


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