Someone had a little too much fun with the Blur tool...

While taking a break and catching up on my latest celebrity gossip, I tripped over a slide show on the most shocking photo re-touching of celebrities from Newsweek. As mentioned in yesterday's post, Photoshop is an incredible tool for photographers. However, when you are pasting celebrities on the cover of fitness magazines and talking about body confidence or how they "never work out", and smooth away the bumps, lumps, and take off a dress size, how legit can that be? Everyday people try to attain this beauty and can't attain them even with hard work. Society has brought about this level of perfection, which seems isn't even able to be achieved by the celebrities themselves! Is is wrong for them to want people to see how they really are? Is it a career killer to have flaws like everyone else does?

Now don't get me wrong, I love Photoshop and I expect for there to be retouching in the media. Who wouldn't want some images of themselves touched up a bit to make themselves look better or even be put in better lighting? However, I think there is a line on what should be done when the individual is supposed to look natural and real. Glamour shots, artistic photo shoots, and advertising where fantasy is to be mimicked, I get it, understand it, appreciate it and yes, sometimes enjoy it for the image they they created, however does Faith Hill really have to have her arms thinned? Please take a look at the slide show to see even more blunders here.

Photo courtesy of TheBlueThing.com. Faith Hill Redbook Photoshop Before and After. Rebook magazine cover July 2007.


Birthday Suit

Happy birthday to me! Yep, today is my 24th birthday. Though I am choosing to be alone tonight in my apartment working on homework, don't fret, I had a great day. I was surprised at work today when my fellow co-workers came in with a personalized chocolate cake with a brownie and candles glowing on top. I was so surprised and it made my day. You guys are great and the cake was fantastic too (Especially since otherwise I wouldn't have had one. Buying a cake when you live alone doesn't last long!).

Today is the only the beginning. Tomorrow will be a celebration with friends new and old around Chicago. I have a new party dress and I'm going to rock it no matter how cold it is outside. Then the rest of the weekend my family is coming to the city. My entire immediate family are coming down: Mom, Dad, my brother and my cute, precious, funny little dogs, Molly and Duke, will be here. We don't have any concrete plans yet, but I know it will be fantastic. Let the birthday celebration begin!

In honor of my birthday, above is a Photoshop-manipulated image appropriately named Birthday Suit. This image was created by photographer Mike Stowe who took a beautiful image of the female body and manipulated it to create a interesting, stunning and shocking piece of art. It is wonderful to see how powerful Photoshop can be. Though it reminds me quite a bit of Ed Gein, a serial killer who lived in the town ten mere minutes away from my hometown, the image is well done and holds my attention; what art should be.

Photo courtesy of Photo.net. Birthday Suit. Mike Stowe. 2008. Photoshop.


My First Animation

After a blogging hiatus (I'm sorry everyone who follows!), here it is. That final animation. That animation that owned me for the entire semester. I worked hard, I am satisfied where it is compared to the concept sketch process, and had many nights where I would render one portion of the animation overnight and wake up to a section of the animation just to set up another scene to render. My poor computer was angry at me the last three weeks of the semester. I could hear it huff and puff to put all of its effort in what I was doing at the time. I, too, was at my wit's end at the close of the semester. I had some embarrassing incidents because of lack of sleep where my body would not get out of bed even though I had to, I had some public transportation issues where the one El line that was the only one I could take just stopped functioning. Nonetheless, I survived. I not only survived, but my hard work through the semester was rewarded and I am happy with the grades I received, though I am VERY happy for that semester to be over.

So here's the animation. If you have not been following from previous blog posts it illustrates the mode of action of Botulinum Toxin Type A. To most people this term is not understood. In other words, this is how Botox works. Yes, Botox is botulinum toxin (the deadliest toxin known to man) in small doses. So there you have it, learn something and enjoy!

Video courtesy of youtube.com. Botulinum Toxin Type A Mode of Action. 2009. Lindsey Pionek. 3Ds Max, Adobe Soundbooth, After Effects and Premier.