Archive for November, 2011

Photoshopped or Not? A Tool to Tell

The photographs of celebrities and models in fashion advertisements and magazines are routinely buffed with a helping of digital polish. The retouching can be slight — colors brightened, a stray hair put in place, a pimple healed. Or it can be drastic — shedding 10 or 20 pounds, adding a few inches in height and erasing all wrinkles and blemishes, done using Adobe’s Photoshop software, the photo retoucher’s magic wand.

Their work is intended as a technological step to address concerns about the prevalence of highly idealized and digitally edited images in advertising and fashion magazines. Such images, research suggests, contribute to eating disorders and anxiety about body types, especially among young women.

Link to Full NY Times Article

Link to more Before & After Images

Pepper Spraying Cop Becomes Internet Meme, Sprays Famous Works Of Art

If you haven’t seen it yet, the disturbing footage of a policeman pepper spraying UC Davis students holding a peaceful protest has gone viral and launched a probe into police tactics by the university. It has also launched a wave of internet memes in which the pepper-spraying cop, Lt. John Pike, is photoshopped into various situations; these include some of art history’s most famous works, spraying the subjects of the masterpieces.

Link to Meme images

‘Kensington Blues’, by Jeffrey Stockbridge

Kensington Avenue is a hot spot for drugs and prostitution located in North Philadelphia. Populated by cheap bars, pawnshops, and check cashing businesses, the Avenue is also the major business corridor in the neighborhood. An elevated train runs the full length of Kensington Avenue, approximately 3 miles into the far North East of the city. The massive steel structure acts as a shelter, attracting the residents of Kensington as they battle to survive.

Kensington Blues is not just another dip-your-toe-in-poverty photo project; Stockbridge has spent considerable time befriending many of his subjects. He gives them dignity, and with his designated website Kensington Blues, Stockbridge – through audio and transcription – gives each subject a voice.

I am quickly coming to value any photographer’s approach that, above all else, connects the subject to the photographer … and thus the subject to ourselves. Stockbridge’s Kensington Blues pays that attention to human connection.

Photographer’s Website

Steve McCurry


Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, has won many of photography’s top awards.  Best known for his evocative color photography, McCurry, in the finest documentary tradition, captures the essence of human struggle and joy.    After working at a newspaper for two years, he left for India to freelance. It was in India that McCurry learned to watch and wait on life. “If you wait,” he realized, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”  His career was launched when, disguised in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion.  When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes of images that would be published around the world as among the first to show the conflict there.

Link to his Website