Thursday, May 28, 2009

Be You.

The lovely, talented and beautiful Reese Witherspoon looking quite different on each magazine cover.

I was really excited to see
this story in yesterday's NY Times.  It puts photo retouching in the spotlight. Obviously this is something I pay attention to as a professional photographer, but you should, too. Girls .... please, please, please ... NEVER compare yourself to a photo of someone else in a magazine or an advertisement.  There are so many things that make the image the way it is -- lighting, type of lens, type of camera, angle, motion, film, processing, time of day, cropping, and yes, retouching.  And this isn't just a new thing with the advent of digital and Photoshop.  The masters have done it for years in the darkroom.  The article talks about a potential trend to move away from heavy-handed retouching. I heard an art buyer at an ad agency saying the same thing just a few days ago.  Of course I like that. And I hope it's true because it will favor my work ... but it could make it difficult for everyday people to notice retouching.  It has started to get easy to see when an ad or an editorial spread has been heavily manipulated. But when it's subtle, it's hard to tell. Let me assure you that every image has had some sort of processing. So count on that.  Even those Dove ads of real people?  Yep, they get some love, too.  I love, love, love Dove and what they are doing in their advertising!  BRAVO and I hope they inspire other companies to do the same. But my point is that there is a process to photography.  So, enjoy images and be inspired by them ... but never, never try to be them. OK?

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