How Not to Photoshop

Full disclosure - I haven't seen the "Picture Perfect" episode from Monday night yet. So I have no idea how the photography session actually went.

When I first saw the Good Housekeeping cover, I had a good laugh. This picture of a happy family is as manufactured as Jon & Kate Plus 8. (continued)

39 comments:

SecretMonkey said...

Some of us took a closer look at the picture. It was fun figuring out the photoshopping and we wanted to share. So if you'd like to hear our thoughts on the picture, including the massive photoshopping, read on.

(Please note that any comments about the kids are related to the photography and the photoshopping, and are not criticizing the kids themselves.)

"Something is reeeaaallly, really weird about Hannie in that pic. I can't put my finger on it.

Something around the eyes, or the smile/chin. I can't figure it out."

(Seriously, I could only identify Hannah by the long hair, she doesn't look like herself. Real Hannah is much prettier than GH Hannah).

"I'll bet she wasn't smiling and they added a smiley Hannah face onto it!
The body and head are diagonal but the face is straight on.
More so the eyes!
I'll bet her eyes closed and they added in eyes"

"What an odd picture! The camera angle makes Hannah’s head look elongated and Aaden look tiny. Kate’s second chin is photoshopped out and her arms are made thinner. It's a great picture of Joel, but other than that, I'd say the photographer must have come from Kmart."

"That is some really fugly photoshopping. I agree that Hannah's face is 'shopped at the wrong angle, and I think they did it to Leah too.

And there's lots of hand holding and hands on shoulders to indicate family closeness - except for the boys. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

And look how badly they photoshopped Alexis - her skirt is in front of Mady's legs, as if she were standing closer to the camera, but Mady's feet show she is standing closer to the camera than Alexis.

I also think the girls' legs were photoshopped - their tights are spotlessly white and there are no wrinkles."

"I think Joel looks really handsome, that child has really grown on me, he is my favorite now. "

"Little Aaden looks like an afterthought! I'm surprised he isn't on the back cover! LOL "

"I think Aaden was a cut and paste from another picture. I don't think the cutter and paster bothered with the proportions of the other children. I know I keep saying this, but he looks dinky compared with the other children."

"On CMG, someone said she magnified Hannah's face 400 times, and her teeth are photoshopped."

"There's no question that Hannah's teeth are photoshopped.

No 4-year-old has perfect teeth like that. They are practically the teeth of an adult -- and bonded."

"Maybe you can answer my question of before...when you enlarge a photo, how can you tell if it was photoshopped?"

"Look for signs of airbrushing, skin tones that don't quite match, shading that is weird. Then there are the more obvious signs, like the weird placement of Mady and Alexis' feet, which don't jibe with Alexis' skirt being in front of Mady.

I think Leah's face was photoshopped because like Hannah, the way her hair falls doesn't match the position of her face. Note the shading along the left side of Leah's face - it looks unnatural to me.

I think they did a LOT of photoshopping to compose this cover. I suspect they photographed the boys separately - they aren't touching anybody else. And then some of the little girls' faces weren't their prettiest, so Leah and Hannah's faces were shopped in from better pictures.

Also, the top of Alexis' hair is orange - I doubt she was standing in front of KON like that, they photoshopped her in that position."

"Look at Alexis's left arm. It's shribbled! And she doesn't have a neck."

"Now that I look at it closely, does it appear to anyone else that Alexis doesn't have a right arm? Her sleeve goes into the "v" of "Thanksgiving" and then just ... disappears.

It does look, though, like they've given her an extra left hand. That could be useful.

There's also no shading at all on Mady's left leg. She appears to have no knee on that side. Oh! One more!! Look at the way Cara's arm appears to be cutting off part of Alexis' shoulder."

"I feel bad for the boys who are so obviously on the "outside" of the family. Jon and Kate in the center, holding onto their girls - while the boys are an afterthought. A picture's worth a thousand words."

So what have you noticed about this picture?

Anonymous said...

The photoshopping doesn't bother me that much. Almost all the magazine covers are done like that now.
To me what is sad (and truly telling) is that the boys are all on the edge of the picture. As if they could just be cut right out of the shot. No hands on their shoulder. No leaning into the rest of their siblings. They're just there on the fringe. To me that's the worst part of the picture, it truly does tell a 1,000 words (all saying, boys aren't as good)

Anonymous said...

Is it backwards? Weren't Kate and Alexis on the right side (looking at them from the view of the camera lens)?

ThreeFarmers said...

The photo editing doesn't bother me much, either. They are all done like that. What surprises me is that photo editing to that extent is very expensive. I'm a little surprise that so much of it was done.

I'm thinking it's to promote a new product that the Gosselins have coming out. It's like Mr. Potato Head, but instead of a plastic head you get this family and a bunch of body parts and you piece them together to make your own child exploitation plaything.

Seems like the only reasonable explanation to me.

Yes, I know this makes no sense, but I'm tired.

Anonymous said...

It's just another "fake" photo where Kate can look back on in a few years, while her kids claim she stole their childhood and made it unhappy for all of them and proclaim, "Look kids, did you look unhappy in this picture?! Do you? We made memories! You LOVED this stuff! Don't believe all that is written about me and your father exploiting you guys! You loved this celebrity thing! It was fun! We were having life experiences! We were pretending it was fall while really it was the dead of summer! But you weren't acting! You were rewarded with cheap plastic lunch boxes too! Be happy!"

Gag.

Anonymous said...

The photoshopping doesn't bother me either - I think it's done on every magazine cover.

What bothers me is that they could have done all the photoshopping/cropping/editing without subjecting the children to 2 long, hot, miserable days of picture taking.

It's also very sad that after these 2 long, hot , miserable days of picture taking they didn't have ONE great, natural, happy picture to use.

Anonymous said...

The photoshop doesn't bother me, all magazines do it. It was just done so poorly. Alexis has two hands (under the last g) and half her arm is cut off and deformed. Hannah doesn't look like her at ALL. She's such a pretty little thing, and this makes her look a little strange. Of course, the positioning of Mady and Alexis is wrong too. For such a big magazine, it's a very poorly done cover.

Anonymous said...

All the photo shopping done to the GH cover doesnt nearly bother me as much as the same old same old spin doctoring by J & K in the article. It's time to throw this stale family out with the day old bread. Next please.

Anonymous said...

Snark, snark, snark. What a waste of time to devote paragraph after paragraph of nitpicking the picture. Yes, all mag covers are enhanced.

BUT, this is a HUGE underscore of how the Goesselins ARE NOT NATURAL superstars - just a family with a bunch of kids who are out of control and bored. When it comes to promoting their preceived mega tv star status they are an expensive act and a liability. Give it time. The Gosselins will be their own demise.

Libby said...

I think the picture looks goofy and was extremely surprised by Hannah, it looks like a totally different kid, but...there is photoshopping and air brushing on magazine covers all the time. My problem is if they can do this so extensively, why make children wear fall clothes in 95 degree temperatures? Why didn't they take the pics of them in the warm clothes inside a studio? They could have made it look like they were outside etc. It was just wrong of them to make those kids "perform" in those clothes during the heat of a summer's day!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of celebrities, does anybody else see how startlingly much Jon and Kate are like un-funny real-life versions of Al and Peg Bundy in "Married With Children?" He's the unambitious slacker whose emotional development stopped in high school, and she's the tacky, self-entitled, controlling shrew who sits around on her bum barking out orders for her to be waited on?

pullthegosselinplug said...

Hannah looks to me like she is wearing those "flippers" that they make for those little girls in beauty pageants who have missing teeth.
Has anyone seen those?
Creepy!!

Anonymous said...

Like most others, the fact that it was Photoshopped doesn't bump me. It's how it was done. I especially love that Kate is missing a right foot and Alexis has no right arm, but two left hands to make up for it. That, or Jon's left arm is 12 feet long.

You'd think people would be more careful about editing photos, lest they wind up on a certain website that exists only to feature crappy Photoshopping.

sistah2 said...

ANON said -
"Speaking of celebrities, does anybody else see how startlingly much Jon and Kate are like un-funny real-life versions of Al and Peg Bundy in "Married With Children?" He's the unambitious slacker whose emotional development stopped in high school, and she's the tacky, self-entitled, controlling shrew who sits around on her bum barking out orders for her to be waited on?"

...Well said! That is hilarious and spot-on. I had forgotton about that show. Lets just hope the children do not end up like Bud and whats-her-name.

Anonymous said...

OMG... Hannah looks totally bizarre - like a mini adult with a mouth full of adult teeth. Looks like they took one eye, cut-and-copied it, rotated it and inserted into the opposite one. Can it get much worse???

Anonymous said...

Okay, that does NOT look like adorable little Hannah. The teeth look fine to me - it's the eyes that are off.

my9cats said...

Today I finally saw GH up close and personal. OMG whomever the poster was that observed KON looked like a 2-headed pumpkin was right! Don't the alleged professional photographers look through their lenses? Just awful. The entire picture looked choppy. KON should put their money to good use and buy up all the copies and burn them.

EP said...

Okay, I took the picture into photoshop and discovered the following:

Mady's left leg isn't painted in. It's bad lighting. Darkening the leg, you can see the texture of her knee and calf.

The Mady/Alexis placement is fine. Mady was technically standing infront of Lex, her body was just leaning back into Kate. Lex's body is infront of Mady's, her feet are just behind.

Alexis' right arm is behind her back. Cara's right arm is infront of (or on) Lex's left arm.

There is definitely a face swap on Hannah. Not only can you see the shadow on the forehead from where it was merged together, but cropping out the face you can definitely see that it's a head-on shot. It doesn't match the position of her head.

I don't think a head swap was used on Leah. I conclude it to be bad lighting, like Mad's leg. Too bright of a flash, with too much shade on the sides.

Anonymous said...

As far as Alexis and Mady and their positions I think Alexis may have been doing that cute thing where she arches her back and laughs and therfore her skirt sticks out a little. That would explain the positioning of the legs. But poor Hannah? Those can't be her little teeth, she looks like a doll or something - really fake. It almost looks like they took Jon's smile, duplicated it, shrunk it a little then stuck it on her face. What would Kate think of what they did to poor Hannie?!? And poor tiny Aaden! Someone give that kid a hug, he looks lost!

Anonymous said...

Cara's legs look too straight and stiff like she is standing in a white box.

Anonymous said...

BUT, this is a HUGE underscore of how the Goesselins ARE NOT NATURAL superstars
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No one is. There is not a single person who has ever been on a magazine since the 80s who has not been airbrushed, enhanced, photoshopped, what-have-you.

Take the most beautiful, outgoing, smiley, well-proportioned, even-complexioned person you know, and I can guarantee you they would still be photoshopped if they were put on a magazine.

If Jesus Christ rose again and they snapped his picture, they'd still photoshop the hell out of it before slapping it on the cover of any magazine.

What I'm trying to say is, the fact that the Gosselins are photoshopped on this cover does not prove that they are not natural superstars, any more than Angelina Jolie being photoshopped proves that she's not a natural superstar, any more than apple being photoshopped proves that it's not a natural superstar.

There are plenty of things that have proved Jon and Kate are not natural superstars, but the GH cover is not one of them.

allison parker said...

Okay, I went to Walmart so I can see the Good Housekeeping magazine cover for myself and lo and behold the November 2008 issue I found did not have the Gosselins on the cover but instead has an apple pie! I was disappointed. I perused through the inside, they have a small picture on the contents page with the Gosselins preparing for the shots then there's the picture of them in the kitchen but I didn't see anything else from the photoshoot. Is it just like that here in Texas? Has anyone seen a GH with them in the cover?

Anonymous said...

No one is. There is not a single person who has ever been on a magazine since the 80s who has not been airbrushed, enhanced, photoshopped, what-have-you.

_____

You obviously haven't seen the Sarah Palin Newsweek, extreme close up cover.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Anonymous said...

You'd think with the amount of fiddling around with the photo that they'd fix Colin's pants. And had they sat or leaned Aaden on one of those blocks like the other boys, he'd at least look less forlorn.

Mady looks cute, as does Leah and Joel, and Alexis looks positively joyous. Not going to say anything about Hannah-- yikes. And Cara's pretty, but her fingernails are skeevy on a girl her age. If they had moved Aaden up they wouldn't have showed, LOL.

Carol said...

What makes me sad is those poor little boys. You can tell by looking at this photo that they're "outside looking in." Poor guys!

Anonymous said...

my9cats said...
Today I finally saw GH up close and personal. OMG whomever the poster was that observed KON looked like a 2-headed pumpkin was right! Don't the alleged professional photographers look through their lenses? Just awful. The entire picture looked choppy. KON should put their money to good use and buy up all the copies and burn them.

10/11/2008 5:34 PM

I guess you could say the picture was "photo-chopped".
LOL. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

You obviously haven't seen the Sarah Palin Newsweek, extreme close up cover.

And that's all I have to say about that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I should have been more specific. There is nobody who has been on the cover of a fashion/leisure magazine who has not been photoshopped. Newsweek may be in magazine form, but it's ultimately a news/politics vehicle, and not in the same line as fashion and leisure magazines.

But for the sake of argument, are you suggesting that because Sarah Palin was not photoshopped, that means she's a natural superstar? XD

moi said...

Anonymous said, "There is nobody who has been on the cover of a fashion/leisure magazine who has not been photoshopped."

The big difference is doing it so that Hannah doesn't even remotely resemble herself but instead has an odd, possessed, long-headed, overly toothy look to her.

But, you know, that happens to everyone on covers these days...

Anonymous said...

yea, something is up with hannah. her face doesnt look like that on the show! she looks like she has an extra long forehead or something strange.
but joel is just so handsome! he'll be a model when he grows up. (haha, i bet jon & kate are counting on THAT!)
and how perect is aadens face?? they are all adorable! except for the parents, of course...

Anonymous said...

If you magnify the picture of Hannah, you can see that at least one of her eyes is an obvious copy and paste (her left one). Her smile is very similar to Jon's, so they may have taken an unused picture of Jon, cut his smile, reduced it and pasted it on Hannah.

I think Aaden is a cut and paste. His proportions are all wrong, and he looks about one-fourth smaller than the other tups.

Joel looks very handsome in the picture, but as others have noted, it's sad that not one the boys could be allowed close to Kon's presence.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I took the picture into photoshop and discovered the following:

Mady's left leg isn't painted in. It's bad lighting. Darkening the leg, you can see the texture of her knee and calf.

The Mady/Alexis placement is fine. Mady was technically standing infront of Lex, her body was just leaning back into Kate. Lex's body is infront of Mady's, her feet are just behind.

Alexis' right arm is behind her back. Cara's right arm is infront of (or on) Lex's left arm.

There is definitely a face swap on Hannah. Not only can you see the shadow on the forehead from where it was merged together, but cropping out the face you can definitely see that it's a head-on shot. It doesn't match the position of her head.

I don't think a head swap was used on Leah. I conclude it to be bad lighting, like Mad's leg. Too bright of a flash, with too much shade on the sides.

10/11/2008 5:54 PM



I also opened this in photoshop, and agree with all of the observations except that Alexis does have two hands....look under the "g" on the cover type "Thanksgiving" and you'll see two distinct hands.

The most aggregious edit is Hannah's face. When you enlarge the .jpg in Photoshop there is a distinct pigment change just above her eyebrows. There are also pigment changes around her mouth, which would also suggest serious retouching.

A Mom-ynous said...

"Has anyone seen a GH with them in the cover?"

Yes we have--it was at our grocery store.

What surprises me--I thought this was a Thanksgiving issue (says November on it) but they have both candidates wives in the issue.

I don't get why it is out so early.

I'll stay out of the photoshopping debate. That ship has sailed, everything is photoshopped. I am more astonished at the amount of detective work going into solving this "mystery".

allison parker said...

Hi to everyone. I went to the mall yesterday and went to a bookstore. I saw the Good Housekeeping and this time it was the Gosselins on the cover! Weird, that the ones at Walmart here in Texas have an apple pie for cover, and in the bookstore at the mall, it was the Gosselins. Anyway, I looked again at the magazine, and I guess if you don't look too much, the photoshopping wasn't that bad. I guess what makes it so obvious is that both Leah and Hannah's eyes are so dark. I mean, there is no reflection of the lights whatsoever.
I didn't buy the magazine but looked again at the pictures inside. I liked their picture in the kitchen. Alexis and Collin (as well as the other kids) are so cute!

Scooter said...

Thought you all would like to know that in the Olympia, Washington area of the world that the Good Housekeeping Magazine which just came into the stores yesterday featured a delicious apple pie on the cover! Of course, there was a blurp about the Gosselin article inside, but nothing (no picture or anything) on the cover. How weird is that?? Do you think it is because we are so far away from the East Coast and they think we wouldn't recognize the Kon? Just wondering.

shutterbug said...

Hey all, I've browsed these boards many times but have never commented before (I'm a J&K fan but I like reading what others have to say.) However, as a photographer at a commercial studio chain that shall remain nameless, I just had to put my two cents in about some of the things people commented most about.

Mady and Alexis weren't photoshopped in poorly, Mady is just leaning backwards into Kate (her knees are locked, something I've learned to detect even with pants or tights on.)

About Alexis' hand, I have NO IDEA why anyone in their right mind would have added another hand into the picture. However, there were people behind the children to keep them in place, and perhaps one of the hands is the adults'. Still, that would have been easily removed digitally.

Some other things every photographer knows: Jon should have been positioned so that he is a bit taller than Kate, regardless of the fact that we know they are about the same height in real life. The boys, who were correctly placed on the outside "border" because of their outfit colors (the girls are in front of the parents so that it is red on orange rather than orange on orange) should still have been arranged so that there was a connection with the others, via hand holding or something of the sort. Aaden is FAR too low in his role as the bottom layer, so it just looks awkward.

And why an assistant didn't run up and fix Collin's pant leg is beyond me.

Lastly, you are all correct in that poor Hannah had serious digital work done and, unfortunately for everyone, it was done by a rookie.

Being someone who has shot groups all the way up to 18 people (yeah, that was a *fun* day) and groups of young children all the way up to 13 kids under the age of 7 (a grandparent's christmas gift...yikes) I know that even though it is difficult, it can be done. And I did all my shoots without an assistant. So for them to have at least 10 people walking around that set and still turn out a picture of this low caliber is appalling.

Thanks for listening to my $0.02!

Laura said...

Joel and Leah look absolutely adorable! Collin is a doll, but often doesn't photograph well (this time included). It looks like they were trying to give each child his/her own space in the photo, but the layout is not good, in my opinion. The cover is "eye-catching", but there is too much going on.

Anonymous said...

To Shutterbug-

Thanks for the info - hopefully now that you, a professional, have given us the scoop, we can put this puppy to bed.

That being said, you sound like you are fairly normal and level headed. So, in my most polite, respectful voice, I would like to ask you why you are a fan ?

Rachel said...

I'm wondering if they didn't shrink Aaden down so that the "Thanksgiving Cookbook" wouldn't go right on top of his face.

machinegunsmom said...

Aaden's eyes are screaming "help me!"