The World of Fashion: Pixel Perfect: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

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Pascal Dangin is the premier retoucher of fashion photographs. Art directors and admen call him when they want someone who looks less than great to look great, someone who looks great to look amazing, or someone who looks amazing already—whether by dint of DNA or M·A·C—to look, as is the mode, superhuman. (Christy Turlington, for the record, needs the least help.) In the March issue of Vogue Dangin tweaked a hundred and forty-four images: a hundred and seven advertisements (Estée Lauder, Gucci, Dior, etc.), thirty-six fashion pictures, and the cover, featuring Drew Barrymore.

Check it out here. Via PDNPulse.

The Backlash Against Magazine Airbrushing

Airbrushing celebrity and model photos has become so common that it’s a popular pastime for magazine readers to spot the digital manipulations. But have photo editors gone too far?

Check it out here. Via PDNPulse.

Anatomy of a Hillary Clinton photo op — the pictures and the reality

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The photo op.

Sen. Hillary Clinton had another one Wednesday. They’re usually staged before 1 or 2 p.m. to give crews time to edit the film and prepare their stories for the dinnertime news.

What TV viewers eventually saw was Clinton at a South Bend, Ind., gas pump with high prices. (See how she’s perfectly positioned so you can also see the prices? No accident. Although, truth be told, $3.75 a gallon looks pretty good to many Californians).

Clinton had along as a human prop commuter Jason Wilfing, allegedly on his way to work at a sheet metal factory. A real normal guy, no doubt, recruited by a Clinton advance worker for 12 of his 15 minutes of fame.

Check it out here.

Burning Desire

Kim Komenich:

Which brings us to the reason for this piece. Recent reports of overzealous edge-burning and the removal of extraneous limbs in backgrounds caused the editors of Sports Shooter to put out a call for opinions. Here’s mine: I think that directing the reader’s eye “in the moment”, like Cartier-Bresson, is always preferable to doing it after the fact in the darkroom, like Smith.

So, the “burn rule” as I see it is: The more you screw with it the more it becomes about you. In the worst cases it can be a downright lie. Photojournalists who use technology after the moment to “polish” a moment usually end up having a column written about them.

Check it out here.

'Thou shall not over-tone!'

The bottom line is this, if you are presenting work as the truth when in reality, it is not; you have only yourself to blame. Former Photojournalism sequence chair at Western Kentucky Mike Morse said it best, “you are either in the truth business… or you are in the entertainment business.”

Check it out here.

Solved!: Time Cover Is A Basketball Ad

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Kind of sad. Come on, Time, we know you’re better than this.

Check it out here.

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Categorized as Ethics

Was she there, or wasn't she? Removing objects from photos with GIMP and Resynthesizer

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Resynthesizer is a very cool GIMP plugin I have been playing with for a few days. It can be used for some “magic” effects: create seamless backgrounds, transfer textures from one image to another and remove objects from images.

Check it out here.

On the other side: ethics and toning

There is also a gray area about what is ethical and what isn’t. There are the biggies that are fundamental–like cloning someone/something in or out of your frame. But to me the big part of ethics has to do with intention and misleading. Statements like “If I can do it in a darkroom, it’s okay” or “This is what the scene looked like to me” aren’t good enough reasons. I’ve seen what used to be done in a darkroom —and you can do some pretty drastic things.

This is why for me it comes down to the intent of the photographer, and whether or not it misleads the reader.

Check it out here. Via APAD.

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Snapper stripped of top award – People's Daily Online

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The Photojournalist Society of China (CPS) has stripped a photographer of a top award given for his picture of a vet vaccinating pigeons in front of Sophia Cathedral in Harbin, saying it was a fake, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Friday.

Check it out here.

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EastSouthWestNorth: Confessions of Veteran Photojournalists

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Veteran Journalists Confess To Directing Photos.  March 19, 2008.

Li Zhencheng graduated in 1963 from the Department of Photography of the Changchun Academy of Cinematography and later became a photojournalist at Heilongjiang Daily News.  In the 1980’s, he went to teach at the Department of Journalism at the China People’s Police University.  As a professional photojournalist, he had taken and preserved a large number of Cultural Revolution-era photos with the unique characteristics of those times. 

On March 7, Li posted a photograph titled: Yet Another High Quality Well on his personal blog.  He stated in very clear terms that this photograph had been directed and modified 35 years ago.  “From the viewpoint of composition and lighting, this photo is quite perfect.  In reality, there are many places in which modifications and forgery occurred.  Back in those days, I was all for reasonably organization and modification.  I advocated direction and alteration without giving any hints.”  Li challenged his blog visitors to detect the flaws.

Check it out here.

Photoshop Disasters: Diario Sportivo AS: I Wasn't Expecting The Spanish Inquisition

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Our chief weapon is Photoshop… and cloning… cloning

Check it out here.

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A Lineup of Recent Literary Fakers – Books – New York Times

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When the news emerged this week that Margaret Seltzer had fabricated her gang memoir, “Love and Consequences,” under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones, many in the publishing industry and beyond thought: Here we go again.
The most immediate examples that came to mind were, of course, James Frey, the author of the best-selling “Million Little Pieces,” in which he embellished details of his experiences as a drug addict, and J T LeRoy, the novelist thought to be a young West Virginia male prostitute who was actually the fictive alter ego of Laura Albert, a woman now living in San Francisco.

Check it out here.

John Nack on Adobe: No, seriously, you *do* suck at Photoshop…

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Heh–in the vein of sites like AwfulPlasticSurgery.com, now we’ve got the Photoshop Disasters blog–chock full of image manipulation mishaps

Check it out here.

Fallout From a Literary Fraud – Love and Consequences – Margaret Seltzer – Margaret B. Jones – New York Times

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Geoffrey Kloske, publisher of Riverhead Books, the unit of Penguin Group USA that released the book, by Margaret Seltzer, under a pseudonym, Margaret B. Jones, said on Tuesday that there was nothing else that he or Sarah McGrath, the book’s editor, could have done to prevent the author from lying.

“In hindsight we can second-guess all day things we could have looked for or found,” Mr. Kloske said. “The fact is that the author went to extraordinary lengths: she provided people who acted as her foster siblings. There was a professor who vouched for her work, and a writer who had written about her that seemed to corroborate her story.” He added that Ms. Seltzer had signed a contract in which she had legally promised to tell the truth. “The one thing we wish,” Mr. Kloske said, “is that the author had told us the truth.”

Check it out here.

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Author Admits Acclaimed Memoir Is Fantasy – New York Times

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In “Love and Consequences,” a critically acclaimed memoir published last week, Margaret B. Jones wrote about her life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods.
Margaret B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in the North Hollywood neighborhood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for any gang members. Nor did she graduate from the University of Oregon, as she had claimed.

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Researchers Look to Spot Photo Hoaxes – Wired

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A growing number of researchers and companies are looking for such signs of tampering in hopes of restoring credibility to photographs at a time when the name of a popular program for manipulating digital images has become a verb, Photoshopping.
Adobe Systems Inc., the developer of Photoshop, said it may incorporate their techniques into future releases.
“There’s much more awareness and much more skepticism when (people) are looking at images,” said Kevin Connor, a senior director of product management at Adobe. “That’s why we think that’s something we need to get involved in. It’s not healthy to have people be too skeptical about what they saw.”

Check it out here.

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EastSouthWestNorth: Top 10 News Photo Of The Year Was Faked

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“This is a photograph that everybody is familiar with.  When I first saw it, my eyes lit up: the Tibetan antelopes and the train on the Qinghai-Tibet railroad appeared simultaneously in the eye of the camera.  This was such a precise and decisive moment!  Thus, this photograph was selected as one of the top 10 most memorable photographs of 2006 and its author received innumerable honors … but on the day before yesterday, I suddenly discovered that there was a very obvious line at the bottom of the photograph.” On February 12, an essay titled Liu Weiqiang’s award winning photograph of the Tibetan antelopes is suspected of being fake was posted to the world’s largest Chinese-language photography forum Unlimited sights and colors.  This post quickly drew more than 10,000 page views.  As of 7pm last evening, there were 120,478 page views and 1,524 comments.  Some netizens even compared Liu with “Tiger Zhou.”  Could it be that this photograph was the result of PhotoShop manipulation?

Check it out here.

Stretching the Truth Just Became Easier (and Cheaper) – New York Times

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“Reality is a lie,” said Mr. Baldassi.

Automated tools like Mr. Baldassi’s are changing the editing of photography by making it possible for anyone to tweak a picture, delete unwanted items or even combine the best aspects of several similar pictures into one.

Check it out here.

Is Reuters Publishing Fake Photographs? – mediabistro.com: FishbowlNY

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Something is fishy over at Reuters. The news wire has been caught distributing what appear to be staged photographs of Gaza power outages. Check out the two photographs above, taken by Gaza-based Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem.

The captions for the pictures read “Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008.”

Except… look closely at the pictures. Is that sunlight steaming in through the windows? Yes. Yes it is. They’re holding a parliamentary session by candlelight during the daytime.

Check it out here.

Golfweek's Bland Rage – Blogs Design and Production @ FolioMag.com via PDN Pulse

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Lots of buzz online about the termination of editor Dave Seanor over this cover, which refers to a thoughtlessly stupid remark by golf anchor Kelly Tighman.

It’s worth noting that the controversy over this cover is inextricably wrapped up in its conceptual quality. The insipid stock image brings nothing to the package that isn’t explicit in the headline. The noose may be a loaded cliché, but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as tiresome on a magazine cover as any other over-used icon.

Check it out here.

via PDN Pulse.