Essay Research: Modern Retouching

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Although my essay is about the history of retouching, I still have included a couple of pieces about modern photo manipulation, mainly to compare their reasoning with the retouched images from the past. Below I have included a couple of examples that I found while researching.

This image shown above is the front cover of GQ from February 2003. Its shows the actress / model Kate Winslet in lingerie. At a regular viewing, it looks like a normal studio photo, however, the actress hit out at the magazine after it was published saying:

'I don't look like that and, more importantly, I don't desire to look like that...I can tell you that they've reduced the size of my legs'

This shows that not only have the magazine retouched the actress and misled their readers, they have also manipulated the image without Kate Winslet's consent. This could be discussed from a ethical point of view, but in the theme of retouching, it shows that the magazine will alter an image for more profit or recognition.

The image below shows Keira Knightley in the 2004 film 'King Arthur'. The image on the right is the actress in the final movie poster to advertise the film, whilst on the left is the original studio image.

Apart from the obvious background effects, when put side-by-side the retouching of the image becomes apparent. The actress' chest has been enlarged, while her waist slimmed. This could have been done for a few different reasons, though most likely, it is to try and appeal to the male audience. In this case, I believe the main motivation for retouching is profit.

4 Responses to 'Essay Research: Modern Retouching'

  1. Sprite said...'> 21 October 2009 at 16:12

    Hey Sam, was looking at your stuff about retouching and thought you'd like this picture...'m pretty sure it's just an internet joke rather than a publicated source but it's funny as hell :)


  2. Sam Hayes said...'> 21 October 2009 at 18:55

    Haha Brilliant, I wouldn't put it past some magazine to airbrush out some kneecaps.


  3. tutorphil said...'> 21 October 2009 at 22:14

    Hi Sam - it's not just women who get the retouching treatment - google 'Andy Roddick retouched arms' ...


  4. Anonymous said...'> 24 June 2010 at 19:02

    For everyone who wants retouched pictures of themselves should google for such a service online.


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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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