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Photoshop fakery - Rant no. 139

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by huwevans, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here


    Anyone else hate bad Photoshop fakery?

    I'm all for creativity in photography, so I've no objections to people tinkering away in Photoshop, or in the darkroom, or whatever, in order to make a picture into what they want it to be. But, please - if you're going to do it, do it well! I don't want to look at a picture, and immediately see that it has been faked.

    Now I'm not talking about the clear and deliberate use of montage, say, or multiple exposure, where there's obviously no intention that the result should look realistic - I'm talking about cloning in objects that weren't there in the original, or cloning out, for that matter. Or swapping the sky for a more dramatic one, or mucking about with the colours to try to make it look like a picture taken in the middle of the day was actually taken in warm evening sunlight, or that sort of thing. In short, I'm talking about the kind of trickery where the end result is meant to look natural. If you're going to do that, you need to do it well.

    I've got a greetings card here which arrived in this morning's post, and which has set me off on this one - obviously I can't show it to you, but if anyone has received or is sending Macmillan Cancer Relief cards, it's one of theirs. It's very nice, at first glance - a snowy, frosty, hillside, with a solitary tree on the skyline, and the moon in shot in a crystal clear blue sky. Lovely. Only it's an obvious fake. There are two instantly recognizable features which show that the moon has been cloned in here, or at least mucked about with. In the first place, the perspective is clearly that of a fairly wide shot, but the size of the moon, relative to the tree indicates a longer perspective entirely. And secondly, the lighting on the landscape clearly indicates that the sun is somewhere over on the left side of the camera-subject axis, whereas the phase of the moon shows it to be somewhere behind the photographer's right shoulder. It's just completely wrong.

    Now, I could forgive the first error, just about, but the second one is plain silly. If you're going to make a habit of cloning moons into skies to improve landscape shots, then make sure you've got a selection of moon shots taken in different phases so that you can at least pick the one that roughly matches the picture you're going to clone it into. Ditto for swapping skies about - make sure you've got one where the sunlight modelling on the clouds agrees with the lighting on the ground. Or don't clone in a bright blue cloudless sky, when the landscape is clearly very hazy, or under a relatively overcast one, because it just doesn't work.

    Maybe I shouldn't take it so seriously, but as a long-standing landscape devotee I really hate to see obviously faked work - it's so cheap and tacky. It just reminds me of all those hideous graduated tobacco filter shots we had to endure back in the 80s, or the badly done ND graduate shots, where a hard grad line ran right across a hillside, or half way up a church tower, or whatever - made me cringe!

    And you know what irritates me most of all about this picture? According to the credit, the guy has an FRPS! Honestly, I expect better from people who bear such distinctions. :-(

    Anyway, I think I've got that off my chest. Thanks for listening. :)

  2. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    Yes & you're very welcome :) ;)
  3. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer

    Sometimes when I go to other clubs I see people who've just discovered...


  4. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    He's got an FRPS

    Yes, but in his case FRPS stands for <span style="color:red">F</span>aking <span style="color:red">R</span>eprehensively in <span style="color:red">P</span>hoto<span style="color:red">S</span>hop. ;)
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: He's got an FRPS

    I thought it was <span style="color:red">F</span>airly <span style="color:red">R</span>otten <span style="color:red">P</span>hotoshop <span style="color:red">S</span>kills?
  6. ncmoody

    ncmoody Well-Known Member

    Re: He's got an FRPS

    If it stands for that then perhaps I should put it after my name as my Photshop skills are CR*P. :D :D :D
  7. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    I feel your pain Huw and would concur with you that there are few things in life as bad as a naff photoshop manipulation...............................not that I'm terribly good at it myself you understand which is why I tend to shy away from doing anything too extreme with it.................unless I'm just having a laugh.

  8. downfader

    downfader Well-Known Member

    Makes you wonder why he didnt just get separate prints done, cut them out and arrange them in 3d and then rephoto them.. I reckon that would look far better :D
  9. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    Or if it is fake don't try and make out that its somthing that its not, I never tryed to tell anyone the background was really B&W when I used selective colours.
  10. Jaded

    Jaded Well-Known Member

    The moon added as a fake makes me retch.

    It seems to be predominantly an American abomination. Perhaps the light pollution is so bad over there that they don't see the moon in normal conditions?
  11. Jaded

    Jaded Well-Known Member

  12. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Re: Photoshop fakery - Rant no. 139...Yes, but....

    ...did the picture have 'sloping horizonitis' and, if so, then it is worthy of rant or, at least, a critical critique ;).

    Morning HuW,


  13. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Woahhh? Is that the one? That is seriously appalling.

    Is this a card you buy to give to friends? Id hit the 'friend' who gave you that! ;)
  14. jchrisc

    jchrisc Well-Known Member

    It can't be can it? Somebody (Jaded?) must have assembled that as a joke - yes?

    It reminds me a bit of a montage from the cover of "Astounding"
  15. Jaded

    Jaded Well-Known Member

    :D :D :D
  16. art

    art Well-Known Member

    I absolutely agree that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well (i.e. invisibly). I've managed good results with cloning out objects (e.g. litter on grass and even an unwanted person in the sea behind a picture of my surfing son. I class them as good on the basis that friends have not been able to see the manipulation, even when I've told them something has been done, and are amazed when they see the original - finding it hard to believe even then.

    But. For the life of me, I cannot ADD anything to a picture without it looking completely artificial. This is undoubtedly due to my limited PS skills but I'm wondering if it really is possible at all, unless the lighting is exactly compatible in the two shots?
  17. Col. Hogan

    Col. Hogan Well-Known Member

    No, the light pollution isn't that bad over here! Perhaps they just enjoy getting carried away with Photoshop. :(
  18. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Fortunately this card isn't quite as bad as that - but it's the same basic errors involved. Probably most people wouldn't even notice that it was faked, but I reckon anyone who was into landscape photography would spot the anomalies pretty quickly.

    I've just found the card in question on the Macmillan website - click here. Even in the small depiction of it on that web page I can see that it's all wrong - although perhaps if I hadn't seen the full size card first I might not have noticed it.

    It's a pity - if I didn't know it was faked I would just have enjoyed the picture, but now that I do know it just niggles.
  19. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer


    Ho, the 'artists' name is Nageles and if you look at his website you can see more excellent moon shots ;)

    web page
  20. Paul_G

    Paul_G Well-Known Member

    I think one of the worst examples I've seen is the Red moon desert picture that comes with Windows XP as a desktop wallpaper image. (It's in c:\windows\web\wallpaper, by default I think.) It's not so much any problems with the perspective or lighting that get me, it's the fact that the moon is upside-down


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