Pa’i ki’i Imagery

June 26, 2008

Photo Retouching

Leafing through the July Issue of Shutterbug Magazine I found an advertisement for a software program that does “portrait enhancement”. The ad has a face with a before and after comparison. The before shows the face with regular skin tone and small zits and imperfections. The after shows a mannequin. No imperfections and a skin tone that reminds me of CSI face reconstructions.

Juxtapose this ad with an ad a few pages before that for fine art paper. It’s a Black and White portrait of a man holding a chicken. If the photographer did any retouching it wasn’t on his face. This is a real guy reflecting how he’s weathered real life.

This is not to knock the software. The before/after is a way to show how effective the software is. It’s just an observation on the idea that less is more. Not all imperfections are distractions. Subtlety is the enhancement.



  1. The man holding the chicken is David Lynch, the director of movies such as The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive, Eraserhead, and the television series Twin Peaks. Any retouching of his face would have been pretty obvious … he’s a pretty disticntive looking guy.

    Comment by crash8088 — June 26, 2008 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  2. Thanks for the info crash8088. In the picture he’s distinctive whether a famous director or a chicken farmer.

    Comment by paikiiimagery — June 26, 2008 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

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