It’s not easy to remember life before Photoshop. When we do, we think of a world where picture were straightforward, always showing exactly what happened to be in front of the lens when the exposure was taken. But that’s not entirely the case.
Trick photography has been around for centuries, and even though the folks in Victorian times weren’t nearly as concerned with artificially slimming down, they did like to have some photographic fun once in a while. This set of headless photographs from the 19th century is a great example of the kind of ‘fun’ we’re talking about.
When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast back in October, the photograph above was widely circulated by people who believed that it showed the storm bearing down NYC. It doesn’t. The image is actually a composite photograph that combines an ordinary photo of the Statue of Liberty with a well-known image by weather photographer Mike Hollingshead.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a photograph of you holding yourself up. I hope it will give you a good idea of how I create this type of image so that you can create a similar image yourself! Obviously, this is not the only way to create this type of image, but it is the way I have found most believable, as the connection between the two subjects actually occurs in real life. Enjoy!
Last week, Sports Illustrated magazine published the above photograph by US Presswire photographer Matthew Emmons. Found in the “Leading Off” section, the photo shows the Baylor Bears football team celebrating after their upset victory over the #2 ranked Kansas State Wildcats.
The image has many people talking, not because of the unlikely event that it captures, but because it appears to be heavily manipulated. And it’s not just the fact that the picture looks like it passed through an HDR program, but that the Baylor football players didn’t wear green jerseys during that game. They wore black.
Lindisfarne Boats by David Byrne, the disqualified photo
The winner of this year’s Landscape Photographer of the Year contest, photographer David Byrne, has been disqualified and stripped of his title for violating contest rules regarding digital manipulation. His winning image, titled “Lindisfarne Boats” and shown above, is a black-and-white photo showing beached fishing boats with Lindisfarne Castle in the background.
Recently, a friend and photographer Ben Jacobsen of Ben Jacobsen Photo got his work into a third gallery. One of the gallery owners asked him “Is your work Photoshopped?” This is also a popular question often asked at Art Fairs and Photography exhibits. Why is this question relevant to some viewers? If you are asking this, do you know what Photoshopping means? Better yet, What does that word mean to you, and what is it that you are asking?
Jonathon Keats of Forbes has a great piece discussing truth in photography and Joel Sternfeld’s 1978 photo of a fireman shopping for pumpkins as a house burns in the background:
Sternfeld recognizes the passive-aggressive coerciveness of pictures, and enlists their manipulative power. “You take 35 degrees out of 360 degrees and call it a photo,” he told the Guardian in a 2004 interview. “No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium.”
[...] A century ago, anything a camera captured was widely accepted as fact. Today every image is presumed to be contrived. We’re wary of underhanded propaganda and attuned to journalistic perspective. Yet as concerned as we’ve become about pictures, we remain all too confident about our unmediated vision, which is also inherently selective, limited by when and where we’re looking. Sternfeld’s pictures remind us that, like a camera, our eyes are essentially passive. Like photography, observation is an act of authorship.
Here’s a Calvin and Hobbes comic exploring the exact same issue.
Do Not Trust This Joel Sternfeld Photograph [Forbes via POTB]
Image credit: Photograph by Joel Sternfeld
People often say that, for whatever reason, dogs often look like their owners. 27-year-old Swiss photographer Sebastian Magnani has been attracting a good deal of worldwide attention lately for his photo project that takes that idea to the next level. Titled Underdogs, the series of photos features portraits showing dog faces carefully Photoshopped onto the bodies of their owners.
Earlier this year, we wrote about a new company called Fourandsix (pronounced “forensics”), a collaboration between a former Photoshop product manager and a professor who’s an expert in digital forensics. The goal of the new startup was to build powerful tools that would make detecting digital photo manipulation easy. Well, the first Fourandsix product is now available.
Called FourMatch, it’s an extension for Photoshop CS5/CS6 that “instantly distinguishes unmodified digital camera files from those that may have been edited.”
Photographs of of Syria these days are filled with grim sights of pain and suffering. One Austrian newspaper apparently decided that the photos weren’t grim enough. Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest newspaper boasting ~3 million readers, published a photo this past weekend (top) showing a couple stepping through the rubble of a destroyed building complex with their child wrapped in a blanket. A powerful image… but completely fabricated. The original photo (bottom) published by the European Pressphoto Agency two days earlier shows a completely different scene.
(via Gianluca Wallisch via Foto Actualidad)
Image credits: Photographs by Gianluca Wallisch and the EPA