Top Ten Photoshop Disasters and Controversies

Top Ten Photoshop Disasters and Controversies

Posted on by in Inspiration


In honor of the current Ralph Lauren model Filippa Hamilton-Palmstierna Photoshopping controversy I wanted to go through 10 of the biggest Photoshop disasters.  Usually I try and keep things positive, and derive inspiration from the best of each class, but sometimes it is important to review “photoshop gone bad” in order to know what not to do.  This can very often be some of the best inspiration.  It is clear that you can’t always trust pictures.  Sadly, as we will see, even the news is sometimes guilty.


Ralph Lauren Model
In possibly the worst offense in recent memory model Filippa Hamilton-Palmstierna’s body is so grotesquely Photoshopped that her head appeared bigger than her pelvis.  It then came out that she was fired for being “too fat”.

Ralph Lauren Model - Photoshopping

Ralph Lauren Model - Photoshopping

Microsoft Poland
Original image used in U.S. Microsoft site.  Same picture used in Polish site with one slight change.  Check out the guy in the middle. They didn’t even bother changing the color of his hands

Microsoft - Photoshopping

Microsoft - Photoshopping

AP Photo of Condi Rice
An Associate Press photo that appeared on the USA Today website showed then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with unusually menacing eyes, a result of too much retouching.

AP Photo of Condi Rice - Photoshopping

AP Photo of Condi Rice - Photoshopping

ELF Cosmetics
Doesn’t defeat the purpose of giving away sunglasses when they don’t even protect your eyes and were so clearly added after you took the picture?  Notice how they don’t totally go to the ears.

ELF Sunglasses - Photoshopping

ELF Sunglasses - Photoshopping

Sports Illustrated
Guy sitting down in the chair lost his head after seeing this dunk

Sports Illustrated - Photoshopping

Sports Illustrated - Photoshopping

Doctored War Shot
Reuters was caught and admitted to adding and darkening billowing smoke to this photograph from the war in Lebanon

Reuters War Photograph - Photoshopping

Reuters War Photograph - Photoshopping

Takers
It is clear that the uncomfortable looks on their faces is due to the fact that their heads are so poor attached to their bodies. Considered by many to be the worst Photoshop editing job in a movie poster.

Takers - Photoshopping

Takers - Photoshopping

Mystery Hand
Someone forgot to finish cropping out the hand on her shoulder

Mystery Hand - Photoshopping

Mystery Hand - Photoshopping

Photo of poverty in Haiti
After submitting his stunning photos of Haiti to a Danish photo contest, the judges were so shocked they asked to see the original unedited photographs.  The difference was so substantial that they disqualified the photos, deeming them to be “unacceptable.”  Christensen admitted that he had heavily processed the photos, but maintained that the result was within his limits.

Haiti Photo - Photoshopping

Haiti Photo - Photoshopping

Lexar Memory Cards
Which is it?  4gb or 8gb ? Oh who knows, lets advertise both!

Lexar Memory Cards - Photoshopping

Lexar Memory Cards - Photoshopping

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13 Responses to “Top Ten Photoshop Disasters and Controversies”

  1. uberVU - social comments

    18. Oct, 2009

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by eva_smith: Top Ten Photoshop Disasters and Controversies: http://j.mp/3CEQLF #beatcancer…

  2. Julia Harwood

    18. Oct, 2009

    Yes its easy to get carried away with photoshop, good examples of how not to do it.

    [Reply]

  3. Ivan Farkas

    19. Oct, 2009

    Re: the Haiti photos, I side with the photographer. As far as I can see, he did not introduce any extraneous elements, only took the bloodless “original” photo and added contrast and saturation. A bit heavy-handed, maybe, but certainly not dishonest. I can’t believe that under the scorching Haitian sun, the original scene looked as bland as the base photograph rendered by the camera. Had he taken it in Kodachrome II (anybody remember it?) it probably would have looked as snappy as Christensen’s submitted picture.

    [Reply]

    bmackler Reply:

    Very interesting point, but I think at the end of the day the photographer was guilty of editorializing the photo. To change the saturation and contrast (along with other things I am sure) that much (as you call it, heavy handed) altered the overall feel and emotion of the scene. It no longer was capturing a scene of devastation but became a product of post production editing and special effects. The question remains, what is the line that can not be crossed? From what I understand, the photographer did not protest his disqualification which says alot as well.

    [Reply]

  4. [...] post: Top Ten Photoshop Disasters and Controversies | Web Design … [...]

  5. Meagan

    07. Apr, 2010

    The picture of the basketball players is not badly photoshopped. If you look closely, the “headless” player is just being caught at a weird angle. You can see part of his hair and ear implying that his head was falling to the side, out of range of the camera. It is poor photography and poor editing, not overly photoshopped. The other ones were pretty intense though.

    [Reply]

  6. Tony Coleby

    03. May, 2010

    Re The Haiti photo: I agree – the photographer was well within his artistic rights to simply enhance the colour. The judges must have been old-school film freaks who hate digital. This is the 21st century.

    [Reply]

  7. valeratal

    21. Jul, 2010

    Cool Foto and Cool photoshopping ! :)

    [Reply]

  8. Ridiculous «

    25. Apr, 2011

    [...] Click away for more haha On the PopPressed Radar Print Magazine's New Visual Artists Saint Petersburg Unveils Primorskiy Zoological Park with Geodesic Domes What One Does In Paris if One is a Carter or Knowles This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← WOW! LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  9. Ridiculous «

    01. May, 2011

    [...] Click away for more haha This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← color me light, color me dark New Photoshoot(s)! → LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  10. [...] to look up some photoshop controversies that have plagued people in the past. On this website: http://designtutorials4u.com/top-ten-photoshop-controversies-and-disasters/ the top 10 photoshop controversies are featured. I really don’t understand how photographers [...]

  11. [...] are doctored in Photoshop, no matter how well done, have caused a stir in photo competitions. Sure, Photoshop mess-ups can be funny, but photoshop is a genuine technique in photography now, just as retouching and darkroom [...]

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