Emma Watson’s Disappearing Leg

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson recently appeared in a Burberry advertising campaign with her brother Alex, and one particular image in the series has created quite a hoopla. In the image above, it appears as through most of her right leg has been completely edited out of the photograph. When I first saw the image, I thought the leg was simply hidden behind her brother’s left leg, but the image continues to cause a stir around the web. Do you think this is an example of Photoshop taken too far?

Update: Matt Dixon left a comment that provides pretty convincing evidence that it’s not a Photoshop disaster after all. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video:

  • joakimbergquist

    I see no problem with removing a distracting object.. that knee between his legs would probably look somewhat strange and also draw attention from their faces. The extreme skin softening on the other hand is not something I would practise

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  • joakimbergquist

    I see no problem with removing a distracting object.. that knee between his legs would probably look somewhat strange and also draw attention from their faces. The extreme skin softening on the other hand is not something I would practise

  • Matias Singers

    I've been following PhotoshopDisasters' site for a while and I get a good laugh from the pictures sometimes.

  • Michael Zhang

    So the consensus so far seems to be that the knee was indeed removed =)

  • John Cooper

    I think removed. But in this case i do not have an issue with it. In others, however, I may feel different.

  • interstate_ryan

    it is possible that her leg is hidden behind his, but the photographer/editor should have noticed the odd lines that her thigh has.

  • Ray

    The right arm is interesting as well. It looks like it is just a little long, and how is she holding anything, all of her fingers are straight. Just plain weird all-around

  • Mark

    I don't think it was removed. Certainly a lot of photoshop work has been done. But for her leg to show, she would have to hold her leg straight. Her thigh isn't long enough for the knee to show between his legs.

  • sean dyroff

    I don't have a problem with removing that aspect of the image but it does leave the leg looking quite odd. Poor Photoshop = Yes. Does it matter, probably not for this – it's an advertisment

  • pdxOllo

    looks like a photoshop disaster to me as well, I'm no pro but these always make me laugh

  • Mark Power

    Definitely removed. Do I have an “issue” with it? No, not really. But I do think it's a prime example of a poorly thought out piece of work. Once you look at it and say, “yep, that's been brushed out”, you have to say it looks incredibly stupid really.

  • mattdixon

    Wrong. It's obvious it's behind his leg. The behind the scenes video proves. I don't thik Burberry thought people were so stupid.

  • readmckay

    Looking at the picture I believe it is quite possible for her leg just to be behind her brothers…. I don't think its worth the press its receiving. Hard to tell if its shooped. on the leg anyway ;) But I'd say that if it was, it was a very minor edit.

  • Mark Power

    Ha! I'm having to look at it harder now! Could it be hidden behind his leg? Hmmm…I think something has been removed. Maybe not much though looking at it closely. But still enough to look odd once you start to examine it.

    Which most people won't :)

  • readmckay

    @mattdixon. Well played.

  • Michael Zhang

    Ah. The video makes it pretty clear, and confirms my original opinion :-) Not a photoshop disaster after all!

    Thanks for the link!

  • Mark Power

    Yeah…because big companies do like to treat the audience with intelligence, eh! ;)

    I think it is behind the leg but then perhaps touched a bit also. I didn't realise it was getting press though, tbh.

    I think the press have simply found yet another thing to get all outraged about in all honesty.

  • MLucas

    I think it's an awkward, ugly photo; somebody tried to make a silk purse from a sow's ear and failed.

  • Ranger 9

    Well, obviously the basic setup is legit, as demonstrated by the BTS video. And her thighs ARE quite slim — you can see that from the other, fully-visible one — so it's just plausible that the hidden one might have been exactly in a position that hid it fully behind his pant leg. But then, wouldn't it cast a shadow? You can see a shadow just beneath his crotch, but it doesn't continue down the wall as it would if the leg were filling that space.

    My theory is that the original shot showed a bit of her knee and lower leg peeking in, which wouldn't have detracted from the photo at all. But then someone decided to clone in a little more wall to “clean up the clutter.” (Too often, directors or marketing people insist on this kind of thing simply because it CAN be done, never mind whether it SHOULD…)

    So, while this is not an elegant example of the retoucher's art, I don't see it as really deceptive. It was for an ad, after all, not an investigative editorial!

    … Speaking of shadows, I agree that the shadow cast by the right forearm (the one holding the bag) looks unconvincingly flat. I can almost hear the art director saying, “Love the shot, but the bag isn't quite the right angle, can't we clone in the bag from this other one…?”

  • jay2010

    guys!! its clearly behind the slightly baggy jeans. The video is shot slightly to the left of the photo. see,s crazy that we are discussing if she has a leg or not. Why would Mario Testino's retouchers (one of the worlds greatest photographers) try to retouch out a leg?

    they I'm sure want their jobs!! lol

    the video show she has a leg!! :)

  • jay2010

    still makes me laugh though :)

  • Name

    who really cares

  • jackmackenna

    what I'm most disturbed by is their sultry expressions

  • chryssalis

    Not that it matters much, but the models are not in the same position in the video as in the photo. Look at Emma's left hand. In the video it is much farther in the pocket than in the still, and yet at the end of the video they transpose the still photo as if it was taken at the same moment in the same position. In the photo, her right leg looks to be a little more bent, making it seem like maybe a little knee should poke through – I agree with the theory that a little peek of the knee is what got eliminated.

  • Reality Globe

    photoshops are fun! they're just showing that celebrities were fake just like all of their photos lol

  • Nick

    What if it’s literally directly behind his leg at the same exact angle? Haha. Clearly it’s magic though. Clearly :)