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Thread: Sometimes I wonder.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Sometimes I wonder.

    Is this purely an attempt to create more interest in a particular product that some of their advertisers may sell?

    Or is it just another example of trying to stereotype people in regards to their looks?

    Perhaps it is just an American perception of how they feel that everyone should look, whichever one it is, these sort of articles seem to be appearing more frequently on a site that used to provide some decent reviews etc.

    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/784...uty-retouching
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    Sometimes I don't think it's about how people "should" look but a general acceptance of what looks good. Although people have preference or different vision of what "beauty" is, and since you can't please everyone all you can do is please the majority/mainstream.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Yes, KLi. And on this point I'd differ with Andrew that it's an "American" thing. This trend is worldwide. Just look at us here. Hook, line sinker, rod, and fisherperson. Just, who cares?

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    I can't stand them, never have never will.

    I think this is one of the reasons I've never really been keen on Portraiture all that much, because if it's not baby smooth skin or that horrid HDR like overwrinkling of old folks, it's not even looked at, let alone commented upon.

    It seems the masses all seem to want plasticised smoothness, and are fascinated by tone-mapped excessive wrinkling .. but absolutely detest the reality of it all!

    DPR used to seems like a good place for a while, nil moderation in the forums, and all it ever seemed to be was a mudsling match between the leet haxor 13yo's and anyone that had the time to play that game.
    They eventually became a very hard source of good info amongst all that noise, and eventually left completely.
    I go there every now and then to read up on some breaking news item and then leave.

    These 'tutorials' are simply a form of infomercial, where they seem to be generally written by a thirdparty that has a vested interest in a product that involves a service relevant to the topic .. as opposed to someone with good writing skills and an ability to test out various products related to the topic.

    I remember briefly reading a bit of one of their topics and all it seemed to be was that <Product A> can do this, and if you purchase <Product A> from the link on DPR you get a 15% discount.
    There was no actual info on how to do it the hard way, so that the reader then comes away from the tute with an understanding of the process they were reading about.

    It's just a typical ad with lots of info on how to use their products.

    Expect more of these infomecials as company B finds it an effective manner in which to advertise Product A, without boring the reader with just another ad.

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    I don't agree that portrait is all about super smooth skin or HDR details, have you seen Peter Hurley's headshots? They are all simple white background and simple soft lighting but what makes them best in the industry is the expression he is able to pull from every single subject, he can literally make EVEYRONE look good.

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    ""Is this purely an attempt to create more interest in a particular product that some of their advertisers may sell? Yes and No Look at the top of this page, adverts and what the company or product can do/provide.

    Or is it just another example of trying to stereotype people in regards to their looks? Probally.Isn't the marketing world full of it, look at most popular adds on tv at the moment, most have some form of half dressed woman/women in them, why? to get attention to their product, to catch the eye and it works, how much are we seeing the line pushed in terms of what they can get away with.

    Perhaps it is just an American perception of how they feel that everyone should look, whichever one it is, these sort of articles seem to be appearing more frequently on a site that used to provide some decent reviews etc."" To True But I wouldn't hold the Americans at complete fault, Advertising has been at this for how long? recently in the news was the story of several top models and sports women in OZ going unbrushed/touched on the cover of a Womens Weekly/Monthly mag to bring to light the art of the better look or the natural look. Several clothing chains now have the larger size or should I say the more average sized persons gracing the pages of their catalouges, about bloody time to mind you.

    Andrew, I can see the argument for both sides, Business is always looking for a better edge to push/market their product, We as the consumer have or should have the basics to chose whether we buy something because a site suggested it.

    AP has site sponsors and receives kickbacks for having marketing banners flash across their screen, try to get email or reseach something on the net without advertising popping up somewhere on the site, no longer will the 'Block Pop-Ups' work on your browser.

    Anyway.

    Could just be a simple tut on how to use a said product. Yes we all do it don't we, isn't it the art of PP, irrelivant of subject matter?
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    ""Is this purely an attempt to create more interest in a particular product that some of their advertisers may sell? Yes and No Look at the top of this page, adverts and what the company or product can do/provide .......

    The difference is that these pop up banners, links/flags and boxes are all obvious. You can choose to ignore them if you prefer, but as part of the free service that is AP, they are a requirement to deal with. Unless some philanthropic soul with a generous nature is willing to fund the existence of a website, it ultimately has to pay for itself, you we the membership have too.

    I have no issues with this.

    What I hate is the advertorial nature of these tutorials.

    That is, the author of the one that Andrew pointed out, is a highly sought after Photoshop instructor!!

    That is, you click on the link to Jean Miele at the bottom of page two of that tute, and of course it takes you to an obvious commercial site where you can book yourself a seat at one of his photoshop classes! (as if we couldn't have guessed that).

    What I'd like to know, is why cant' they just create these tutes just for the sake of information, rather than commercialise them.
    It's almost a dead cert that Jean Miele in this case has booked himself a high profile ad slot on DPR, thinly disguised as a tutorial.

    On the whole, AP at least is completely free of this kind of surreptitious advertising(not that I've personally read each and every tute link.
    I know I've seen many from the AP regulars that have posted their tutes and information sessions without any form of advertising and done so purely for the love of it and to give something back to the community that they are a part of.
    I've done a few tutes specifically using software that is relatively obscure. And for any members that also use it, any info on how to use this software is better than none at all.

    The double edged sword in Andrew's concern is that this photoshopped look is omnipresent, and it seems to be the baseline form of portrait processing.
    News items abound in opposition to some of the very high profile job lots(Madonna recently and only a few days back there was one where the fashion house is using fully synthetic CGI modelling.. ie. no physical models at all!)

    At this rate, the world of modelling(especially fashion) may be about to change forever, to the point where actual models are not even required.
    It will be easier and a lot cheaper to auto generate a model in some super duper graphics software and then auto paste a few fashion items on to these cyber models.

    In one foul swoop, the model industry is then sent back to the dark ages, and these once high profile, steeply priced models will subsequently be doing work on a TFP basis!

    Laugh if you will, something similar happened to the photography industry recently and apparently things haven't got better.
    You always hear of bitching about the wedding photography industry and how the average joe with his low end camera and kit lenses has devalued the photography industry!


    The question is, is this skin smothered 'beauty' something that the general public is really wanting to see? Or was it a figment of the producers minds?
    The producers seemed to get the ball rolling on this front, and the general population seems to be following in these footsteps with some of the most horrific children photography ever produced just recently.

    I just hope that at some point in the near future, that the trend is to go back to simple natural photography and that this abuse of graphics manipulation is frowned upon by the general population.

    My personal taste is that as soon as I open any thread where the model is obviously 'shopped to a wax figure' look I close it immediately if I have no real CC of any note to add to the thread.
    One thing I do enjoy tho is the humour that this type of processing sometimes highlights.

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    I get what your saying AK, but we all can choose to ignore them as you've mentioned, the obvious pushy nature is always there.

    I understand and back fully the Sponsors and why AP has then, but it can be seen as the same thing. When DPR wasn't owned by Amazon, they had to support their site with some way of injecting funds to keep it going, Now, well that's a different all to real money making story.

    AK Quote "The question is, is this skin smothered 'beauty' something that the general public is really wanting to see? Or was it a figment of the producers minds?" Unfortunatly the younger or more weaker minds need and or attracked by/buy/to it. You know what I mean.

    It is interesting, the reaction advertising, blatant or not, can evoke. We can choose to ignore it or be suckered in by it I guess.

    P.S. I do and will continue to use the services of some site sponsors, two reasons, No 1 - It benefits this site, which benefits me and others gaing knowledge and I hope that I may be giving something back, and No 2 - They have been great with service/price, which is all I can ask or expect.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Oh dear, where to start, so I'll keep it simple.
    1:-What Rick has done with advertising on AP is excellent. I've read this thread without having to ignore constantly flashing things and pretty ladies anywhere (and I've bought products from AP sponsors).
    2:-I was never impressed with how "people should look" was presented in the media and advertising, and then it got worse when photos etc went digital (airbrush turns into photoshop, or something like that). People should look how people actually look. And that doesn't mean you can't PP an image.
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    The main things that grate with me about that page are,

    #1 It is presented as an article or tutorial but I see it purely as a way to bring attention to photo shop in general as the tool to use and to further pad the wallet of Jean Miele in particular through him selling spaces at his "seminars".

    I have no problem with any site having advertisements on their pages to help support their existence because I can choose to click on them if I am seeking a product or simply ignore them if I am not looking for something. I suspect that many other people do exactly the same thing so to create further traffic towards a product that dpreview site parent company ( amazon ) sell and to channel people towards Jean Miele ( who probably paid bucket loads of money to have his seminars promoted ) they have blurred the distinction between advertising and reviews.
    How many more people did they get to read about a product and a photoshop retouchers courses by doing it that way instead of just a clickable ad?


    #2 The phrase quoted from the site " Skin needs to be retouched. Even beautiful skin with great makeup." annoys me, I see it as one persons opinion and that opinion is there purely to help sell something.
    Err, hello, people come in all shapes, sizes and colours with massively varying range of textures to that outer covering stuff called skin. I'm sorry but the idea that all or even any images involving that layer of derm need alteration to look good appals me. Sure if you are taking an image to imitate or parody pin up, glamour or similar genre then yes an appropriate level of manipulation is warranted as artistic expression but to say any / everyone must look that way is a real head up the you know where attitude to me.

    #3 The phrase quoted form the site " In this article I’m going to show you a combination of techniques I regularly use that results in beautiful, smooth skin that still looks totally real. Best of all, it won’t take all day to accomplish. From start to finish, an experienced Photoshop user should be able to do this in about 15 minutes. " starts me going again on two levels.

    If this bloke reckons that his end result is beautiful smooth skin that still looks totally real then I suspect that he may have a secret stash of barbie dolls and bulk tubes of silicone secreted in his cupboards.

    And of course, his tutorial is aimed at experienced photoshop users so readers of his article that fail miserably to achieve the same result in 15 minutes will look to some genius that provides courses at probably obscene amounts of money in order for them to mutilate the complexions of real people. Bear in mind that his 15 minutes only applies to the actual skin treatment and doesn't take into account the possible 2 hours and six billion layers that were spent getting the photograph "right" in the computer instead of the camera.

    #4 The perception issue --- maybe it isn't totally American based but you don't have to look too far to see photographic examples pushing that "look" and a massive amount emanate from the USA in advertising content professionally done to sell products and further perpetuated by amateur photographers trying to recreate the look.
    I'm sorry but pushing those ideals can, in my opinion, only lead to self esteem issues in people who "fail" the test to meet the ken or barbie grade. Not good!!!!

    As for spending that amount of time on an image, if the look needs to be done then I would prefer to take the photo such as the one below, apply normal sorts of light & colour contrast, brightness and saturation adjustments to suit the desired target and then hit the "dynamic skin softener" filter from Nik software. Even then I backed off the opacity because it became too plasticy for me to stomach.
    Total time spent on entire image and not just the skin --- probably 10 minutes.


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