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Peter Lindbergh on Retouching in Fashion Photography

Photographer Peter Lindbergh on the Evils of Photoshop

“My feeling is that for years now it has taken a much too big part in how women are being visually defined today. Heartless retouching should not be the chosen tool to represent women in the beginning of this century.”

— Fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh on the overuse of retouching in fashion photography, such that cover models begin to look like "objects from Mars." To see the amazing Dove Real Beauty ad that shows just how much Photoshop can transform someone,


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bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
If Dove was really trying to increase self esteem and "real" beauty they might stop their tape at oh, say 15 seconds in, when the lights are turned on and you can see the woman's natural face. There's nothing wrong with the way she looks, even... get ready for it.. WITHOUT MAKEUP. OMG! I know it's a revolutionary idea, but we may want to start teaching our daughter's that more than any outer influence, beauty comes from within. Then there may not need to be campaigns run by national corporations whose biggest concern is making a buck not making us better individuals.
Pistil Pistil 8 years
I didn't know Axe and Dove were related that way, but of course I know Dove's primary concern is profit. It's business as usual and it's all about the image. There was a local woman who was chosen to model for Dove. She described it as a great experience, of course, but also mentioned that she had been made up, hair straightened. Not so 'natural'.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 8 years
Wow! It takes a strong woman to be able to do that! I mean can you imagine how that discussion went!? "Yes, we would like you to be the "before" and then we are going to alter your appearance to make you beautiful." Even knowing that you are doing this to send a message I just think when all is said and done staring at that final picture has to have at least a wee bit of sorrow with it. Like wow, that's what I should look like, but I don't. I applaud her! *I think she is beautiful in the beginning.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
It's nice to know that a photographer feels that way, a man nonetheless! Despite the info from earthgoddess, I still think the Dove real beauty campaign is a great one for any woman trying teach young girls about what real beauty is.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
Wow earthgoddess! I never knew that. Very interesting I agree. I am checking out that video now...intrigued to say the least.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 8 years
Interesting, earthgoddess. Thanks for the info! I still find that video to be so moving.
earthgoddess earthgoddess 8 years
BTW, the link to the video I sent is an edit of Unilever's ads featuring footage from their own commercials for Dove and Axe products.
earthgoddess earthgoddess 8 years
Dove is owned by the same company that owns Axe... yet they still run two different campaigns. Dove is trying to lure women with the "Real Beauty" campaign and Axe markets fragranced body care products for men, with commercials featuring scantilly clad women and an overtly sexual theme. Dove wants little girls to grow up self-empowered and comfortable in their own skin, while Axe portrays women as merely an object for men to use for sexual purposes. While I agree that the issue of beauty needs to be addressed and re-defined, I feel there are much better examples of companies who address this than Dove. The company is taking advantage of consumers who unwittingly purchase these products without considering their source - and what that source is willing to do to make a profit. A great video to watch about this can be found here:
Amanda-La Amanda-La 8 years
Oh man that makes me feel better. Im making my husband watch that. I am so tired of feeling like I need to match up to those standards which are unreal.
infusedwithspice infusedwithspice 8 years
As a portrait photographer, it's nice to have PS to add that extra touch to your images. However, I draw the line at removing natural wonderful things that make us unique like freckles, moles, and such. I won't even touch crinkles and wrinkles unless specifically asked! Those small facial movements are what make great photos.
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