Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: Photoshop "Magic"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Photoshop "Magic"

Websites don't just appear out of nowhere like a rabbit in a hat.

I recently read an article from the Huffington Post called Survey Proves We Still Really Need To Talk About Photoshop which stated that...
"Fifteen percent of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed, were convinced that the images of models and celebrities in advertisements, magazines and billboards accurately depict what these women look like in real life. Differentiating between Photoshop and real life is hard enough when a woman is aware of the airbrushing that probably went on; it becomes much harder when she isn't even given the basic facts."
And this 
One Poll reported that "33% of the women polled also feel the body they aspire towards is not possible for them to achieve."
There may be a Magic Wand in Photoshop, but it isn't magic.
 As a graphic designer, I don't find this surprising at all. I've been working as a private contractor and freelancer in graphic design for over 2 years. Just in that short time I have encountered many folks, young and old, who think all Photoshop takes is a wave of a magic wand. I kid you not, clients have thought that with programs I use like Photoshop you just put in some sort of artistic equation and out pops the end result. In reality, that's not how it is at all.

Knowing how to use Photoshop not only requires knowledge of the program, but of things like artistic elements, use of space, typography, how to prepare something for print, web DPI vs print DPI, there's so many little things that add up to a lot of skills. 

 Not everyone is an artist, and not everyone is a good graphic designer. My question is how COULD people who aren't Photoshop savvy know? If I wasn't a graphic designer myself I probably wouldn't know how much you can manipulate an image in a program. You can literally make something out of nothing and alter anything. I went to school for graphic design, and had a few people in my class that were computer savvy but they couldn't design anything decently. It sounds judgmental, but lets face it; some of us are more technical minded and some more artistically inclined. A segment of my course was to learn how to alter models for magazines, which is an in demand job. We had fun with it, quickly turning the tables and taking models and making them look freakish purposefully. Other than that, I have never used Photoshop for those kinds of purposes. I am guilty of clone brushing out a few blemishes on my face at times, but that's it.

 Photoshop can be used in some pretty scary ways. These days celebrities don't even need to "accidentally" leak a nude photo, people can Photoshop their face onto a nude body. Photoshop has been used for political reasons as well, manipulating the size of the audience the candidate is speaking to. Models bodies being altered is just the beginning. There's so much being done with Photoshop these days. While I personally don't buy into the beauty magazine thing, many women and girls do. Photoshop is not magic but Photoshop alters reality. This is a wacky thing to wrap out heads around, but that's the reality we are living in now. Now, more than ever, don't just believe what you see. More and more folks are being fooled by Photoshopped images.

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