©2006 Frank Baker

Cameron Diaz, 41
Cameron Diaz, the star of “Sex Tape” looks ever-sexy as she bares her midriff, though Photoshop smoothed out some lines on her abdomen. (Source)

Before & After (Vogue, Lena Dunham photo shoot) exposed by


Michelle Obama’s gown digitally altered for modesty by Iranian news agency (Source)


NR admits altering cover image and wrongfully crediting the image to Reuters

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s ample curves were drastically dialed down in a new advertisement for her upcoming show, “The Client List.”

Two ads promoting the Lifetime series were released — one showing Hewitt in her natural form, and another in which the actress appears to have undergone a serious breast reduction.

Photoshopping in advertising is nothing new — but it’s usually to enhance curves, not flatten them.

Source (April 2012)



People magazine says cover is a fake (December 2011)

There\'s reality, and then there\'s Rolling Stone.

A tumblr called lourtneycove posted these before and after photos of Perry’s cover. While the post has since been taken down, it was reblogged sufficiently that we were able to pull both images — both of which look like they’ve had some alteration done to them. But there’s a stark difference in the first image and the second one. Notice how Perry’s breasts have been lifted, how the skin on her stomach and face have been smoothed over. Her fingers have been repositioned and there’s still something weird going on with her hair. Her right leg must have really angered the people who did the retouching, because the thigh was slimmed considerably and the sock she was wearing has been digitally taken away.

Duchess Kate hardly seems a candidate to have her figure doctored to look even thinner in a photograph.But an Italian women’s fashion magazine has admitted it inadvertently did just that in a cover photo of the royal bride.

Responding to a complaint that the May 9 special collector’s issue of Grazia magazine showed The Duchess of Cambridge looking artificially slimmer, Britain’s Press Complaints Commission investigated the magazine’s process for the Kate cover photo and found that indeed, Kate’s already wispy waist was whittled down further. Source


Some images purported to be unretouched photographs from the Spring/Summer Dolce & Gabbana campaign starring Madonna have popped up online.

It certainly looks as if the photographs taken were retouched extensively; in the ad, her nose is slimmer, her jaw is not as wide, her neck is smooth, the definition in her arms has been smoothed away, and any visible veins in her hands or arms have been removed. A woman should not actually appear to have blood pumping in her body!

Read more:–gabbana-ads-before-the-photoshop/gallery/?skyline=true&s=i#ixzz114JXyMxe


Jezebel claims magazine photoshopped cover

Economist Alters Obama Photo On Cover  (story here)

Lance Armstrong rips magazine for photoshopping his t shirt

The seven-time Tour de France champion appears on the cover of the magazine’s July issue wearing a T-shirt that reads “38. BFD.”. The number refers to Armstrong’s age and the letters are an acronym for “big [expletive] deal”. Only thing is, Armstrong never wore that shirt.   (Source: Yahoo News)

Health Magazine Model
Altered to Look Heavier

Jessica Simpson’s cover:
no makeup; no retouching

Miss Wladyka was made to appear fuller-figured for the April issue

Britney Spears bravely agrees to release un-airbrushed images of herself next to the digitally-altered versions

Website claims
actress’ armpit has been airbrushed away in this issue of GQ in the UK
Kourtney Kardashian After-Baby Body Photoshopped OK Magazine Cover another celebrity claims her image on the cover has been photoshopped:

“They doctored and Photoshopped my body to make it look like I have already lost all the weight, which I have not.”

Controversy grows over Demi Moore “W” Mag Cover

Ralph Lauren criticized for photoshop of model’s arms/waistline; complete story

(Source: photoshopdisasters blog)

The Sun (UK) compares and contrasts photos of Mischa Barton

Questions raised about the actress in this Chanel perfume ad.              Website claims magazine altered dress color
Website says Madonna’s arms were photoshopped

Aug 12 Self Mag admits photoshopping Kelly Clarkson cover (Source; Access Hollywood)

Kelly Clarkson
We’re not pointing any fingers at Kelly Clarkson, but we were surprised when
we saw September’s issue of SELF. The fitness magazine shows Clarkson
slim and trim, even though recent photos of her show a completely different figure.
Has the magazine gone too far with its photoshop skills?  (Source)

Gisele Bundchen appears in an advertising campaign for London Fog Worldwide (Newscom)


The supermodel and wife of football star Tom Brady bares her belly and just about everything else in a new set of ads for trench-coat company London Fog. Considering she’s carrying a child, she looks suspiciously slim.

A London Fog spokeswoman told Women’s Wear Daily that the company airbrushed Bündchen’s baby bump out of the ads to “respect her privacy.” Behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot reveals Bündchen wore underwear that was also digitally removed from the campaign.  (Source)


Pixcetera says Hayden Panettiere’s face is way out
of proportion to her body (due to bad photoshopping)
What do you think?                                                              
Gawker points out Photoshop errors, like missing leg below

I have not seen this one on the web, but I swear they’ve enlarged
Zac Efron’s head…it looks way out of proportion to his body.


Read about the May ’09 cover controversy:
Media Literacy 101: The Ethics of Photoshopping Obama

French version of ELLE magazine (April 2009) may be the first in modern times to feature models without makeup and with no digital alteration (Photoshopping); more here

Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue  (February 2009)
popular NASCAR driver Danica Patrick’s American flag tattoo is airbrushed away
(photo source:; story from FOX Sports)
Interesting because they left it in (below) when she appeared in the mag last year

Kate Winslet 'Furious' Over Body Airbrush Claims

November 4, 2008

Think that Kate Winslet looked great in her new Vanity Fair photo spread? The multiple Oscar nominee did too and she’s speaking out against critics that say her great shape is nothing more than the work of photo editing trickery.
Several papers in Britain have gone to great lengths in extensive articles to say that Vanity Fair doctored the photos of Winslet for their new issue.

Source: Popeater

L’Oreal denies lightening Beyonce’s skin in ad

August 7, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is denying it lightened Beyonce’s skin tone in an ad.

“We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L’Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color,” the Paris-based company said in a statement sent to the Associated Press through the singer’s representative.

The ad is in the current edition of Elle magazine.

L’Oreal, the maker of Garnier hair care and Lancome cosmetics, is the world’s largest cosmetics maker.

A representative for Beyonce said the singer would have no comment beyond L’Oreal’s statement.

Beyonce has been a spokeswoman for L’Oreal since 2001.


Beyonce, L'Oreal Ad


Was the People Magazine
Cover Doctored?

From Switched (August 5, 2008)
We are so over two things right now. One is the discussion of how much People Magazine paid for the Pitt-Jolie-clan cover shot (more than $14 mil, in case you managed not to hear). The other is the constant analysis of
Photoshop intervention in magazine covers. Now a few articles that cover our two least favorite things are making the rounds of the Web. Said articles speculate that MAYBE the babies aren’t as cute as they seem on the cover.

Did People’s Photoshoppers PASTE ON baby Vivienne’s smile? Maybe they did, if the evidence involving a citation from Parenting mag, which alleges that “babies don’t smile from external stimulation until 2-4 months,” is enough to prove the point. The articles also speculate that maybe the babies were just born weeks ago, which is why they’re able to smile, and that Brangelina just didn’t tell us. Either way, the celebrity couple is lying, it would seem.

Well maybe the li’l ones were burping. Or maybe the photographers were just really patient.

Web site claims that this one is also PhotoShopped big time…like is she screwing her head onto her body?

As our bros over at Boing Boing point out, MC looks “cobbled together from a dumpsterful of broken gynoids, unscrewing [her] own head.”


June 2008

Entertainment Weekly‘s Q&A with Angelina Jolie is unremarkable—except for the remarkably unflattering photograph the magazine uses for its cover. Now it could be that EWwanted an image that matched in spirit the “candid interview” touted in the coverline. But I thought the Hollywood publicists demanded photo approval when negotiating interviews—even when they’re pushing a movie such as Jolie’s forthcoming Wanted (watch a chase from the movie, here). On the EW cover, the screen beauty’s chin juts forward; lighting from above has left a shadow under her nose; the pores haven’t been smoothed out in retouching; and there’s a mole on her forehead. Well, there was one the issue itself (scan at left) under the letter “r”—in the same photo from the magazine’s website (right), however, the spot isn’t visible. Did EW bring out the photoshop only after the issue had gone to the printers? (After the jump, the cover and Angelina Jolie’s blemishes in higher definition.)

Actress cries foul: says photos of her were doctored

(May 9) – The unflattering paparazzi shots of a cellulite-riddled Mischa Barton may be fake. According to the actress’ rep, the photos, taken by Australian photographer Jamie Fawcett, were photoshopped.

“Those photos are doctored. I’m not saying she’s perfect, nobody is. But they’ve given a 22-year-old woman the legs and bottom of an 80-year-old,” Lisa Perkins, Barton’s representative tells the New York Daily News.

“Look at the shots that were taken shortly before on a beach in L.A. Did she develop all that cellulite in a couple of weeks? There’s a lot you can do with Photoshopping,” she added.

The former ‘O.C.’ star also speaks out against the photographs and criticism she’s received.

“Every woman has cellulite. I’ve never claimed to have a perfect body. I eat healthy, I work out. I feel very comfortable. I come from a European family that’s always very comfortable with their bodies. You are what you are as a woman,” Barton said.

National Geographic Magazine Altered for April Fool’s Day

BOSTON – It looks like a typical National Geographic cover with the signature yellow border. So what’s Paris Hilton doing on there? The folks at Harvard Lampoon persuaded employees of one of the nation’s most respected magazines to help them ensure their April Fool’s parody — with satire on Mongolia‘s wildest waterparks and “Native Girls Gone Wild” — looked authentic.The issue, coming out Tuesday, is the latest in a string of Harvard Lampoon magazine parodies. But the undergraduate group had never done National Geographic, which quickly responded when contacted by the students last summer.

Read more here


The magazine cover even admits it’s a fake image

A black Kate Moss on the Red Independent sparked controversy (source)

Ugly Betty Star on Glamour Cover – charges of digital alteration

Maclean’s (Canada) Cover October 2007

French magazine airbrushes waistline of French President (Aug 2007)

Before (left) and after-retouching (right) versions of the photo published in the magazine

Reuters, from Paris-Match

Before (left) and after-retouching (right) versions of the photo published in the magazine

The two-page spread in the French, celebrity-gossip magazine Paris Match whose photo retouching eliminated Sarkozy's Paris-Match, via Libération

The two-page spread in the French, celebrity-gossip magazine Paris Match whose photo retouching eliminated Sarkozy’s “love handles” spread




Full explanation of the altered Redbook mag cover can be found here

Alterations made:
– Erased lines around the eyes,
– Added hair on top of her head
– Removed some of her upper back shoulder area–a little “hump”
– Removed part of the upper shoulder and arm so you can now see the shoulder strap on the dress
– Made her thinner in the waist
– Removed her hand … no manicure
– Made her arm skinnier around the elbow area
– Changed her left ear
– Removed some of her “sit upon”
– Removed some flesh at the back of the dress
– Altered the cheeks
Andy Roddick Laughs Off Doctored Magazine Cover| Andy Roddick “Little did I know I have 22-inch guns and a disappearing birthmark on my right arm,” tennis star Andy Roddick, 24, wrote on his blog after seeing the May 2007 issue of Men’s Fitness, which features him with a body that had been artificially bulked up, the New York Postreports.

Reps for Men’s Fitness told the Post that the cover image featured an enhancement of Roddick’s arms, and was not a Photoshopped image with Roddick’s head on a different body.

Click to enlarge
(click image to enlarge
From NY Post)

ANGELINA Jolie has come in for some cover doctoring. The latest issue of In Touch features Jolie on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, showing her usually veiny arm looking silky smooth.Unfortunately for In Touch, a nearly identical photo of Jolie appeared on page 58 of the current issue of People, which clearly showed the veins – in an unretouched photo.

Richard Spencer, editor-in-chief of In Touch, was unapologetic when Media Ink called. “You’re right, we softened those veins. The arm was very, very veiny.”

He said he felt no qualms, even if journalistic purists decry doctoring of cover photos. “I think they can forgive it for the cover – unless it is a story specifically about their body,” he said. “This was about her plans to expand her family.”

He said such practices are commonplace. “If someone’s teeth are a little yellow or they are a little wrinkled or they have a rash, we’ll smooth them out,” Spencer added.


TIME Magazine’s (March 26,2007) cover of Reagan sports photo cover credits:
“Photograph by David Hume Kennerly. Tear by Tim O’Brien.”
Story in Radar magazineArtist doesn’t get all the controversy over Reagan’s tear
reports on this
Vanity Fair magazine photo in which Peter Arnett (left) is nudged into the left side


April 28:  Star magazine is finding itself the subject of sensational headlines Thursday after the glossy faked photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on a beach together.

Posted on

With bitter rival Us Weekly reportedly paying upwards of $1 million to lockup exclusive U.S. rights for the actual paparazzi-taken photos of the are-they-or-aren’t-they couple of the moment, Star wasn’t to be outdone. The magazine ran its own photos of the tandem lovingly gazing at each other. But the images, which grace the cover and appear on page 46, are actually cut-and-paste jobs.Nowhere is it mentioned on the cover that the image was cobbled together. Pitt’s pic came from a Caribbean beach, while Jolie’s was snapped over a year ago on a beach in Virginia. Photoshop them together and voil–African beach shot!

Star cops to the photo composite in small print on page 46.

The March 6, 2005 issue of Newsweek uses Stewart’s head and a model’s body.
Newsweek disclosed that the cover was a photo illustration – or composite – on page 3 of the magazine in a credit line.
Related story here; op-ed; Newsweek changes policy;
Newsweek’s Newsfood

People Magazine
Alters Cover Photo (Oct. 27)

Actress Jennifer Ellison criticised Maxim for airbrushing an image of her in 2004 that made
it look like she’d posed naked for their front cover  (source)

May 2003
Jennifer Aniston Seething
at Redbook Cover
Digital Manipulation

February 2003

Magazine Admits Retouching Cover Photo

“I can tell you they’ve reduced the size of my
legs by about a third,” says Kate about the
image of her used on the cover of GQ

Whitney Houston
left before digital alteration (right)
Image source

NPR Story, All Things Considered, December 2002

“….(singer Whitney Houston) admitted on television (speaking to Diane Sawyer on ABC TV) that she had a drug problem and had lost weight, not because of an eating disorder. Nonetheless, she said she became so thin that during an appearance on a Michael Jackson tribute special, she was digitally altered (by Digital Domain) to look heavier than she actually was….”

Here is one I use exclusively in my workshops. I ask my audience if they believe
these two men were photographed together. (They weren’t.) The photographer credit
on the Table of Contents page reads: “cover photos by…..” (Sept 2002)

not the magazine cover

“when Allen Iverson appeared on the NBA’s Inside Stuff magazine in 1998, the tattoo on his left arm was strategically cropped out of the photo. And when the Philadelphia 76ers guard appeared on Hoop Magazine a year later, gone were his earrings and neck tattoo thanks to the magic of modern-day computer technology. Even the artwork on his arms was curiously obscured by headline type.”
Harper’s Bazaar combines elements to create cover portrait of
Princess Caroline of Monaco (1996)

from June 17 New York Times (as quoted in Slate)
Nucleus Imaging … took Karl Lagerfeld’s photos of Princess Caroline of Monaco and made a cover for Harper’s Bazaar by grafting skin from one frame, hair from another, the face from yet another, and the body from another. It was done with a Macintosh and a silicone graphics computer.””Ultimately, digital imaging is another gadget in the photographer’s camera bag,” says Jon Rosen, the owner of Nucleus Imaging. “Photography was always filled with illusions.” (quote from NI brochure online)

Sports Illustrated for Kids (August 1995)
inside the magazine explains “How we created the cover”
by taking a 1931 photo of Lou Gehrig (with Babe Ruth)
and positioning Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken (1995) in Ruth’s place



Mirabella magazine created an artificial model, “an
extraordinary image of great American beauty,”
for the cover of their September 1994 issue

Good website:
Greg’s Digital Retouching Portfolio

Dueling Magazine Covers: A Police Photo vs. a ‘Photo-Illustration’
(see NY Times, June 21, 1994)

April 4, 1994 TIME Magazine cover image
The Columbia Journalism Review explains why it gave TIME a dart:
DART to Time magazine, for taking its readers for a ride in a time machine.
Filling up the space behind its April 4 cover line, “DEEP WATER: How the
President’s Men Tried to Hinder the Whitewater Investigation,” was a photo
purporting to capture the White House in the throes of Whitewater despair —
Clinton clutching head in hands, Stephanopoulos staring stonily into the abyss.
In fact, as an angry administration soon made clear, the photo had nothing
whatsoever to do with Whitewater and was, in fact, a relic from the past,
having been taken last November at a meeting in which the president and
aides were wrestling with problems in scheduling the president’s time. The
warped defense of Time spokesman Robert Pondiscio, as quoted in The
Washington Post: “I don’t think the readers of Time expect the cover photo
is going to be a representation of that event.”

1990 Cover of actress Michelle Pfeiffer retouched

When Michelle Pfeiffer appeared on the cover of Esquire in 1990 in
a low cut red dress, the caption beside the photo read “What Michelle Pfeiffer Needs . . . Is Absolutely Nothing.” Yet, the magazine’s editors must have forgotten to specify something to their readers. Adbusters Quarterly revealed the manipulation and claimed that what Pfeiffer actually needed was $1,525 in touch-ups. That’s what Diane Scott Associates, Inc. charged Esquire for the following work, described in a purchase order obtained and reprinted byAdbusters “Clean up complexion, soften eye lines, soften smile line, add color to lips, trim chin, remove neck lines, soften line under ear lobe . . . remove stray hair . . . adjust color and add hair on top of head . . . add dress on side to create better line . . .” [1] Source:

Source: Adbusters Quarterly, Summer 1995, vol.3, No. 4

Article: The Murky Road of Digital Retouching

Oprah on TV Guide TV Guide (August 26, 1989)
pastes Oprah’s head onto Ann Margaret’s

National Geographic magazine (Feb.1982)
uses digital technology to nudge two pyramids so that they fit on the cover.
National Geographic had a horizontal photo of the pyramids in Egypt and wanted to make a vertical cover from it. They put the photo in a computer and squeezed the pyramids together – a difficult task in real life but an easy task for the computer. They referred to it as the “retroactive repositioning of the photographer,” (one of the great euphemisms of our age) saying that if the photographer had been a little to one side or the other, this is what he would have gotten. The photographer was not 10 feet to the right and he did not get the photo they wanted so they created a visual lie.
Source: download/ppt/Lecture06_GraphicsNotes.ppt



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