USA Today photoshop alteration of Condi

A guy at work showed me the photos, before and after, and USA Today’s “apology” for doing a bad photoshop alteration of a photo of Condi to make her look positively demonic. I can’t find the link now to the before and after photos, anyone know where that is? Frankly, it was pretty outrageous: they made her eyes look truly evil. Why USA Today allowed such a thing in the first place is disturbing to me; their apology made it sound like, yeah, this was against our editorial policies but it was really unintentional. Yeah - sure.

Before:

After:

I have to say, however, that I don’t get the furor. It’s looks like a bad photoshop job, not that Rice is possessed.

Condi, kree!

They didn’t need a photoshop job to make her look demonic.

I saw it on Crooks And Liars here, and I can only agree with their take that… okay, maybe the alteration isn’t exactly flattering, but neither is the unaltered image! She looks ultra-bitter in that photo, altered or not.

The second just looks evil to me. The effect is more pronounced when you look at the two photos at the same size. And do you really buy that the second photo was just an accidental artifact of a routine photoshop “brightening” process, as USA Today claims? I use photoshop a lot - you have to deliberately go in and make the eyes look like that.

Just the fact that someone intentionally did that to her photo, and then published it, really bugs me.

Thank you! I just won lunch tomorrow - I bet a guy here at work that within 30 minutes of posting someone would post exactly what you said! ;)

That be one pissed off woman either way…

It’s totally not a routine brightening effect unless they’re in the routine of only brightening parts of the picture. If you were to globally raise the brightness levels on the first picture to the point where her eyes were that white you’d also see washed out brightness on the light area to the right of her and other areas of the picture. Someone obviously altered her eyes on purpose.

That said, she already looks pretty evil in the unaltered pic.

I was thinkin’ she looked kinda hot.

In a Klingon way? :lol:

… do I get lunch?

[size=1]Please ignore.[/size]

Somebody call SG1! We have a Gaould on the loose in the White House!

Those cheekbones, rawr. Like an empress.

I believe there are websites devoted to your, uh, tastes.

:lol:

Eye whitening is indeed a routine brightening effect, used by news photographers to compensate for off-white newsprint and to make the eyes “pop.”

This is called “working” a photo for the press. Remember that many newspapers have 30+ year old presses. You simply cannot send the photos to plate without this kind of manipulation, because poor registration and other technical issues will just make it look muddy and nasty.

“Demon eyes” are often caused by moving worked photos to the web. They can look insanely overdone, because screens produce rather than reflect light. So eye whitening, which means “don’t put ink there,” to a press, becomes “thermonuclear blast of white light” on the screen.

EDITS: I need a proofreader.

I have a friend who works for USA Today and this is the photo they were going to use.

Eye whitening is indeed a routine brightening effect, used by news photographers to compensate for off-white newsprint and to make the eyes “pop.” Making sure the eyes appear well-defined is the objective. It’s the part of the face we look at first for emotional cues.

Remember that many newspapers have 30+ year old presses. You simply cannot send the photos to plate without this kind of work, because poor registration and other technical issues will just make it look muddy and nasty.

This is all standard stuff, called “working” a photo for the press. The trick is to do it without editorializing the image. It’s just as vague and unscientific as maintaining the same “objectivity” in newswriting.

These days, if a “worked” photo reaches the web, it can look insanely overdone, because screens produce rather than reflect light. So that eye whitening, which means “don’t put ink there,” to a press, becomes “thermonuclear last of pure bright white light” on the screen.[/quote]

I’ve seen a lot of USA Today photos on their web site and on their paper - this goes fairly well beyond “normal.” USA Today doesn’t work with the old presses that an old local paper may use. And they themselves said the photo was modified for the online version, versus the print version ,and that it was “a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards.”

What bugs me (and apparently I’m alone in this here) is that a news site would modify a photo for online use - and it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s Condi or Hillary - in such an obvious and blatant manner. This wasn’t a photo worked for the paper that subsequently made it to the web, this was a photo that was modified for publishing on their web site (by their own admission.) And when you look at the photos side by side, both at the same size, it’s pretty blatant and obviously not accidental.

But OK, I’m the only one that thinks there’s anything wrong with that. I guess I’m just overly sensitive to “news” sites playing games like that.