Welcome to Empirical Purple
A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Excessive Photoshop Tuesday
While researching for a piece on Comic Relief's Red Nose Day this year (Friday 15th March, btw) I came across this stonker of an image on the official Red Nose Day website.
Essentially, they've made Chelsee Healey look like Gollum. Just how, and maybe more importantly why, have they done it?
The reference image that I've used above is not hard to find, either, as it's on the exact same page as this Photoshop monstrosity, Precious, at the exact same size and resolution.
What has happened is obvious. When you've got the likes of Greg James and Dara O'Briain hanging around the BBC all day doing their Radio and TV shows (as they obviously do nothing else all day, right?), you can grab them for a quick publicity photo, pulling a scared-looking face for this 'Hell and High Water' Challenge.
When you have people like Chelsee Healey, Jack Dee and Melanie Chisholm who don't, usually, hang around the BBC offices, you have to get your publicity photos from somewhere else to drop onto the top of bodies to make it look like they were all in the same shot at once.
You can do something subtle, like taking the only picture of Jack Dee you own (also lower on the linked page) and straightening the awkward angle he's intentionally grimacing at, making him look more depressed and grumpy than quizzical and grumpy.
You can take your headshot of world-famous Spice Girl Mel C and plonk it on the shoulders of some other woman but not get it quite right and have the head too small for the body. Then you blend it in by darkening the shadows all to hell, so the otherworldly contrast look shines though from this disembodied, floating, shrunken, sporty head.
So far so good.
Then you take a pretty young actress and reality dance TV contestant, who's only 24, and make her completely unrecognisable. Make her already full lips larger and remove the natural smiling line on her cheek so she looks like she's making a hostage video. Then make her eyes larger so you can clearly see the whites on both sides of the pupil under all that eye makeup and don't forget to sharpen the ever-so-crafted eyebrows. And don't forget to filter the hell out of it so that her bronzed Carribean skin tones look like she's only got a bit of dirt on her face.
Who is this girl again? No idea, she's unrecognisable.
It's an American advertising trend that you see everywhere on film and TV that is creeping ever more inexorably into our tried and tested British advertising culture. High contrast image style advertising isn't the problem, Photoshop monkeys who don't know where to stop is.