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Time Lapse Video Shows Extent of Photoshop Retouching on Model

By Hanssie on October 30th 2013

Just how much make-up and Photoshop magic is involved in a photo shoot? We’ve shown the before and after photos of girl’s with and without makeup in past articles and have debated on the use of Photoshop in creating a final image. Now see it in action with this video of a model being manipulated from normal to barbie in just 1 minute and 12 seconds!


[Rewind: The Power of Makeup? A Before and After Photo Sparks Debate on Reddit]

This mind-blowing video surfaced a few years ago. It was created by Global Democracy, an organization that allows people to propose and vote on global issues. The idea was to have mandatory disclaimers on all photos of airbrushed models because of the negative effect the massively airbrushed perfection of magazine cover models on women and especially young girls.

You’ll see that, not only is the model coiffed and made up, she is stretched, curved, airbrushed and elongated into “perfection.”

What do you think? Should we put a disclaimer on photos that have been digitally altered?

[via @Huffington Post/Youtube]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Peekofwar REDACTED

    “PS” is a common abbreviation of Adobe Photoshop.

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  2. asa valace

    Just a quick question, which application is being used here??? I keep seeing people reference PS, but this obviously isn’t PS (tools, menus etc… all wrong)

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  3. Student Photographer Mocks Beauty Industry's Use of Photoshop

    […] seen the extensive Photoshopping that can be done to models in mere seconds, as shown in this controversial time lapse video of a model being morphed from normal, freckled face girl to a plastic Barbie. Yet, we continue to […]

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  4. Michael

    Why do we need a disclaimer? We’re not setting up a date. We’re not hiring the photographer. We’re not buying before and after weight loss. In fact they are not even selling the bathing suit. They are selling THE LEGISLATION. In any event, if it were for a bathing suit it would be no more relevant that she didn’t look like that and she was made to look like that than if she DID look like that and needed nothing more then make-up. Clearly there ARE women who look like that. If women have a hard time dealing with that or find that every picture of a gorgeous woman with a gorgeous body is ‘pressure’ on them or a reflection on them they’ll just have to get over it. I’M not buying the bathing suit, THEY are because…. they think it will make them look like the model. If they put an average woman in the same bathing suit, it may make some women feel less insecure but they won’t sell as many bathing suits. Advertisers do not have to cater to women’s (or men’s) insecurities at the expense of selling their products, nor do we all have to pretend we don’t notice and appreciate beauty (and not just of the ‘we’re all beautiful in our own way’ variety).

    The entire thing is a manipulation (this time lapse I mean); they PICKED a woman with an average body and face, for the very purpose of changing her completely. Any advertiser with more then two dimes to rub together can find long lean limbed 8% body fat six pack ab high cheekbone china doll eye models at will.

    So I wonder; what happens when this ‘legislation’ passes; is the next step forbidding the use of beautiful people to sell products or disclaimers like ‘the model in this ad is in the top 1 percentile of beauty, you results using/wearing/buying this product will not make you look anything like him/her AND you shouldn’t feel bad because you are not as pretty/hot/handsome/thing/in-shape because you are just as beautiful as she is without her looks or without our product, true beauty comes from the inside’?

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  5. Se bare her! | GPHelev WP01

    […] Peyk, lærer på Casperskolen, sendte dette link om hvad PhotoShop også kan bruges til. Se videoen – og husk den næste gang du skal på […]

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  6. Christopher

    I am old school journalism. If it is not a news photo, you can photoshop the heck out of it. Put wings on her and an extra bum as long as you are not doing something to fool the consumer. News photo = no tuchy tuchy.

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  7. A Pollock

    After seeing this video here a week or so ago, I was thinking it was amazing in what can be done with photoshop. Then after looking at it again after a week or so to marinate on it and seeing it hitting all the social media and being featured on the Today Show this morning, I have to say, my opinion has changed.

    This was clearly designed, from the start, to elicit this type of reaction from all viewers. This was not supposed to be a well done swimsuit shoot with the right model. If it was, wouldn’t the client request a model with longer limbs, they would have lit her more correctly, and would have ensured the proper posing.

    Nothing to see here people, just a reaction to the politically correct crowd.

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  8. Chris Embardino

    To be honest, I think maybe some people should thank photoshop. it allows for a much larger base of models where your “average joe” can become a supermodel in a still image. Bottom line is, people want to look at what they want to look at. it’s not going to change just because we’re not using photoshop anymore – people will just look at it for less time or not at all.

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  9. Mike

    I am not sure that the ‘before’ and ‘after’ text was required on the first photo! It is quite enlightening to see how the enhancements are added; increasing the size of her eyes and the length of her legs was a surprise. Foolishly I though that Photoshop was just used to take out spots and moles! To paraphrase someone else, Photoshop; because you’re worth it!

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  10. john hagar

    Nice retouching. If the point is to get viewers to take the politically-correct stance that image enhancement does horrible things to women’s’ self-image, then it failed with me. Models are used as eye-candy to sell stuff. Manipulated images let models’ images sell more stuff. Selling more stuff benefits the economy.

    Finally, I think the “after” version looks great, and better than the “before” version.

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  11. Ray Vera

    So for the people that are thinking it, were do I learn to edit like that? It’s magic!

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  12. Jim DiPerna

    So what? Unless it’s being used to advertise something like a weight loss product or exercise program that claims to have made her look that way, it doesn’t matter. Before photography was used in advertising or illustrations in magazines, the images were drawn by a graphic artist to depict their impression of the right person. This is no different, it just starts with a digital imagine instead of a blank sheet of art paper. Does anyone think the Vargas girls from the 1940s was an exact replica of his model?

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  13. Federico Radice

    I don’t even call that photography.

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  14. Tony

    Lets be honest here!
    This image is NOT airbrushed, it is “Photo-shopped” or “Edited”.
    The debate is not about mandatory notices on images that have been edited is valid however I would suggest that the product of the example here is no longer worthy of being called a photo as it is more in the area of computer art or electronic art.

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