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All The Pretty Women Look The Same
December 18, 2005 9:57 PM   Subscribe

Step-by-step magazine cover photo retouching. (Flash)
posted by fandango_matt (53 comments total)

 
They would wait till the end to tell us she's 14.
posted by bertrandom at 10:09 PM on December 18, 2005


Anyone who's worked in advertising can tell you this... and it's pretty sad really, what goes on.
posted by dead_ at 10:11 PM on December 18, 2005


Yeah, that's especially creepy.

Did anyone else find the original photo better looking than the final?
posted by chrominance at 10:11 PM on December 18, 2005


Admit it. How many of you spent a minute or more playing clicky-clicky with her boobs?
posted by evilcolonel at 10:12 PM on December 18, 2005


I... what... who told you?!!
posted by Krrrlson at 10:14 PM on December 18, 2005


A couple previous retouching posts here and here.
posted by russilwvong at 10:14 PM on December 18, 2005


Here's me being shocked. Anyway, the post work on this girl is much better (much subtler) than a lot of the shit you see nowadays. Ever looked at a Maxim or an FHM? The photospreads in those type of magazines look like were literally airbrushed. Really crude and featureless.
posted by brundlefly at 10:19 PM on December 18, 2005


Yes, evilcolonel, you caught me.
posted by brundlefly at 10:19 PM on December 18, 2005


Actually, this is timely, because tomorrow morning I get my picture taken for a photo that will appear in advertising, and I hope every one of these tricks will be used on the finished product.
posted by evilcolonel at 10:20 PM on December 18, 2005


Admit it. How many of you spent a minute or more playing clicky-clicky with her boobs?

Look, as a fellow Photoshop pro, I was just taking a closer look to better grasp the techniques they used. Strictly professional interest here.

Honest.

PSA to women: All photographers know that photos are just another way of lying.
posted by DaShiv at 10:31 PM on December 18, 2005


The Flash is buggy and the copy badly written ("straggly"? "smoothened"?). Still, this will be a useful eye-opener to people who don't realize how fake most magazine cover models are.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:32 PM on December 18, 2005


Aha! So that's why the Victoria's Secret models have no nipples?

Wait a sec. Everybody likes nipples. So why do they airbrush them out?
posted by tritisan at 10:32 PM on December 18, 2005


The truly scary thing is that there are so many companies that offer this same service to your own photos. It's just like those mirrors at the festival.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 10:54 PM on December 18, 2005


What a crone. Too haggard to be of use.
posted by sourwookie at 11:04 PM on December 18, 2005


So why do they airbrush them out?

Prudes in the oversight/legal committees.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:40 PM on December 18, 2005


All magazine cover photos look unrealistic and creepy to me. Do other people not react this way? I must be in the minority, as this keeps selling, but I do wonder how many other people are put off by these photos.
posted by JZig at 11:42 PM on December 18, 2005


no, that's just how i feel jzig. yuck!
posted by muppetboy at 11:45 PM on December 18, 2005


yeah, I actually have a lot of professional photoshop experience, and I do things like this almost every day, where I take pictures of my 26 year old, flabby male self and make them look like 16 year old teen magazine models. You'd be surprised how many issues of Teen Magazine have featured fictional teenage covergirls cobbled together by airbrushing the hair from my various parts.
posted by shmegegge at 12:00 AM on December 19, 2005


The Flash is buggy and the copy badly written ("straggly"? "smoothened"?).

They're Swedish.
posted by dhartung at 12:03 AM on December 19, 2005


You'd be surprised how many issues of Teen Magazine have featured fictional teenage covergirls cobbled together by airbrushing the hair from my various parts.

Jessica Alba is nothing more than a photoshop-user's left nipple!

It would explain the acting.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 12:33 AM on December 19, 2005


Creepy stuff. Makes me glad I lost interest in teen and fashion mags long ago.

Stuff like this needs to be made into a big public service campaign, like with billboards that split the image into retouched and original halves
posted by kosher_jenny at 1:28 AM on December 19, 2005


chrominance: Did anyone else find the original photo better looking than the final?

Some of it... The tits are ridiculous, and somehow I really didn't like what they did with her eyes. I think the teeth and lips were definitely an improvement though. Overall, I think the final is better, they would have done well to do far fewer changes though.
posted by Chuckles at 1:42 AM on December 19, 2005


This is just a part of a media-awareness campaign by the Swedish government. More stuff like this should be done.
posted by hoskala at 2:51 AM on December 19, 2005


She ends up looking pretty rough when you remove all the crap. And her top is filthy!
posted by fire&wings at 3:11 AM on December 19, 2005


Adding to what hoskala and dhartung said, the ad agency is Forsman och Bodenfors in Gothenburg, Sweden and the campaign is goverment swag aiming to educate young people on media.
Since it's advertising you bet I posted about it; Flicka reveals what is behind the retouching)
posted by dabitch at 3:27 AM on December 19, 2005


daft me, I should have linked this post about the campaign where people are commenting for and against. messed up, sorry.
posted by dabitch at 3:29 AM on December 19, 2005


Wow!
posted by sofocles92 at 4:09 AM on December 19, 2005


Not nearly as impressive as the video posted yesterday.

One of my selling points for portrait work is that everyone gets a free $20,000 trip to the orthodontist and dermotologist. None of my clients have ever complained. Granted, it's not nearly as invasive as restructuring an entire body, but the way I see it, every 18 year-old pimply-faced kid will at some point have a "good day" when they aren't breaking out. They shouldn't be penalized for the rest of their life in a photograph just because someone wasn't there to capture it.

That said, the facial reconstruction of the jawline in the link was completely unnecessary, and IMHO a ludicrously bad idea. It's one thing to fix defects, quite another to remove the very stuff that makes us unique individuals. Generic-looking models never really capture the grazing eye at a supermarket... it's the ones who have slightly out-of-whack features that you remember. Like Bjork's wierd alien-eyes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:23 AM on December 19, 2005


> Did anyone else find the original photo better looking than the final?

I would find the actual lady more attractive that either of the photo versions, even if she looked more like the street edition than the studio one. Unlike either of them she would, presumably, be 3-D instead of flat, and would, y'know, move and talk and like that. And she wouldn't have those scary boobs (clicky clicky.) Jeez, what if they popped?
posted by jfuller at 5:26 AM on December 19, 2005


Let me develop that thought. To me, tits on the internet, tits on the tube, on the silver screen, on the printed page -- exactly as useful as tits on a bull. It's like you're hungry, so you go stare at a picture of a steak? I don't get it. (Obviously I'm a freak here and way out of step with the culture, but we knew that...)
posted by jfuller at 5:31 AM on December 19, 2005


Aha! So that's why the Victoria's Secret models have no nipples?
Wait a sec. Everybody likes nipples. So why do they airbrush them out?
posted by tritisan


I used to work in a video post-production house, and a coworker was driven nearly insane one day when she was instructed by the client to digitally remove from every frame of a half-hour promotional video a young woman's prominent budby. (It took her almost two full working days.) It seemed to both of us so utterly dishonest (in a promotional video? what else is new?): the video, like the magazine covers targeted by the site that fandango_matt posted, was all about using the sexuality of young women to sell a product. And yet, when a hint of genuine, sexualized anatomy appears, it's hastily airbrushed out. It's a very hypocritical tease.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:01 AM on December 19, 2005


G!rlpower!
posted by fungible at 6:32 AM on December 19, 2005


Re: budby

In my family circles we refer to that as "in fashion."

"My isn't she in fashion, it must be cold."
posted by Pollomacho at 6:48 AM on December 19, 2005


I'd hit both of them.
posted by spicynuts at 6:55 AM on December 19, 2005


Dr. Wu's link is work-safe, if you were wondering.
posted by smackfu at 7:05 AM on December 19, 2005


Except when you see actual fashion models - female, or male - face to face and not just on a magazine photo shoot, you realise that all the digital retouching in the world doesn't account for why they got signed up to an agency in the first place.

So, nice effort, but ultimately a little bit guilty of cheating in its own right.
posted by funambulist at 7:06 AM on December 19, 2005


The anti-nipple thing must be an American thing (or maybe limited to teen mags?). I've never seen them airbrushed out in European magazines. If anything, they accentuate them. And even the mannequins have nipples...
posted by funambulist at 7:16 AM on December 19, 2005


I'm not photoshop pro (but I am in illustrator) however did anyone else think that some of that was backwards photoshopping? Some of the "original shots" almost looked unnatural at times. (like they photoshopped the original to look much worse than it really was).
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:17 AM on December 19, 2005


Hands of Manos, I thought that about the skin smoothing and nose reduction. The 'pores' looked faked, but then again with certain lighting, make up and if it was shot on digital, it's possible that it was not faked.
posted by spicynuts at 7:33 AM on December 19, 2005


I used to do retouching for a (now-defunct) magazine that often had as cover "models" old, fat businessmen. The artists working with beautiful young people have no idea the kind of work it takes to make a zombie-skinned octogenarian into a handsome, cover-worthy gentleman.

A fun game I used to play was to show the retouched photo to a friend, then flip it over to reveal the original. Usually the response was "oh jesus fuck."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:36 AM on December 19, 2005


The anti-nipple thing must be an American thing (or maybe limited to teen mags?). I've never seen them airbrushed out in European magazines.

actually, at least in Sweden we've seen a nipple backlash the last few years. in the 90's the lad mags were full of them, now you never see them.
posted by mr.marx at 7:41 AM on December 19, 2005


Actually, I've seen so many "bubdy" (as defined by Dr. Wu's link) these years in ads (here in France at least), that it made me wonder if anyone had implemented a "cold tits" plugin for Photoshop. Really.
posted by XiBe at 8:18 AM on December 19, 2005


"Bevel and Emboss"...
posted by blag at 9:08 AM on December 19, 2005


it made me wonder if anyone had implemented a "cold tits" plugin for Photoshop. Really.
posted by XiBe at 10:18 AM CST on December 19 [!]


That used to be in the Alien toolkit didn't it? Or was it Kai's?
posted by Ynoxas at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2005


There's a photoshop challenge for you: design Kai's interface to a Photoshop nipple plug-in.
posted by smackfu at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2005


In the UK the nipple is still a very much forbidden thing. The softcore porn industry creates magazines which appear on all newsagents' top shelves, and feature huge great tits, but the nipples are always airbrushed out.

I'll never understand why you can show all of the breast except that one bit. *boggle*
posted by twine42 at 2:22 PM on December 19, 2005


Sounds like the pastie idiocy you see in noodie bars in some prudish locations, twine. It's insanity on all levels, IMHO. Nobody sees a nipple in a nudie bar they didn't mean to and nudie bar patrons are paying money to enter and inflated drink prices to see women in clothing little more revealing than the beach.
posted by phearlez at 3:34 PM on December 19, 2005


twine42 writes "In the UK the nipple is still a very much forbidden thing. The softcore porn industry creates magazines which appear on all newsagents' top shelves, and feature huge great tits, but the nipples are always airbrushed out."

Aren't the page 3 girls nude from the waist up?
posted by Mitheral at 4:25 PM on December 19, 2005


Since we have all you photoshop gurus handy, can you recommend any good tutorials for photo retouching?
posted by dejah420 at 4:52 PM on December 19, 2005


I know, I know, I'm going straight to hell.


posted by fandango_matt at 8:07 PM on December 19, 2005


In high school, we used to say of a girl who had protruding nipples that she was "smuggling raisins."
A particularly, um, noticeable case was referred to as "smuggling peach pits."
Oh, we were a classy bunch.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:15 PM on December 19, 2005


Anyone notice that the model in question was stated as being 14 fricken years old?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:56 AM on December 20, 2005


Anyone notice that the model in question was stated as being 14 fricken years old?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:56 AM CST on December 20 [!]


They don't grow 'em like they used to.

I tell people all the time that young girls today are "different" than when I was growing up.

Some people deny this, and just accuse me of getting older, but I have photographic evidence (by way of yearbooks) of what teenage girls looked like in the 80's, and what they look like now.

No comparison. I don't know if its the water, or MTV, or what, but noone would have mistaken a girl in my 8th grade home room for a fully grown and matured woman, and it happens with girls today all the time.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:42 AM on December 20, 2005


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