Designers Discussions: The Good, the Bad, and the Photoshopped

October 31st, 2012

During the initial gaze through the lens, a photographer may view his work as admirable perfection. In each photograph, the lighting is flawless, the shadows are impeccable, and the model is pure beauty. But with the help of a dear friend, otherwise known as Photoshop, the hint of an arising blemish could be erased. A stray hair here and there could be removed. The lips could be glossier, the skin could be a little smoother, and before you know it, the photograph in its entirety has undergone a complete and utter transformation.

It was a situation such as this that led to the controversy over at cosmetic powerhouse Christian Dior, whose latest ad campaign features superstar Natalie Portman. In its most recent advertisements, Dior uses Harvard graduate and Academy Award-winning actress Portman to sport its latest and greatest innovation: DiorShow New Look Mascara. The doe-eyed beauty sported bold brows, shimmering shadows, nude lips, and larger-than-life lashes. They were, in fact, a little too large, according to critics at L’Oreal Cosmetics, who claim that Portman’s lashes were indeed doctored with the aid of Photoshop. L’Oreal itself, however, has faced accusations similar to this regarding various cosmetics of its own creation.

Critics have stated that the effects of the mascara were greatly exaggerated with the use of Photoshop, thus leading the ad to be banned in the United Kingdom.

A controversial topic indeed, Photoshop has been the focus of many critics ever since its introduction to the design and photography world in the early years of 1990. But for designers, Photoshop is so much more than a tool to disguise minuscule imperfections. It is utilizing the artistry behind photography to create a metamorphosis of illusions and mind-blowing creations. Photoshop poses a multitude of questions in the field of design, and despite its obvious flukes and faux-pas, it remains a useful aid when it comes to innovative design.

Looking beyond the lens, Photoshop has played an integral role in the progression and advancement of design. So we ask you: in an ever-changing world of creativity, what limitations should there be on the use of Photoshop?

Take a look at the brighter side of Photoshop: 35 Amazing Ads Created in Photoshop



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