Before and after Photoshop

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My DH found this yesterday and I just had to post it on here. You can find the full versions of these pictures, along with others of Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria et al at, though the images appear to be taken from


These are close-ups from two photographs of Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan. Just hazard a guess which one has been Photoshopped?

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I’ve said it elsewhere on here, but I’ll be saying again – EVERY editorial photo you ever see of a celeb and every photo you ever see of a model has had this kind of work done. I’m married to a photographer and I know – the very basics that any photographer will do to a portrait shot are:

whiten the eyes (everyone’s eyes look bloodshot in pictures)

lighten, saturate and intensify the eye colour (so that they ‘zing’ out of the picture)

sharpen the iris (intensifies the eyes)

whiten the teeth (everyone’s teeth look yellow in pictures)

remove spots and blemishes (why leave them in?)

selectively blur the skin (softens the contrast, covers lines, shadows and imperfections. Loses your freckles in the process)

lighten the skin (gives it a glow. Also, most models and actresses suffer from adult acne, partly because of their age but partly because they’re constantly wearing makeup, which isn’t good for their skin.)

For beauty photography, they also sculpt the face, widen the mouth, lengthen the neck, lengthen the body and airbrush the body as required.

In this photo, even though I’ve lost detail by zooming, you can clearly see there’s been treatment to the hand to remove veins and wrinkles, stronger highlights added to the lips, lines removed around the mouth, eyes and on the neck and the image has been warmed overall to make her skin glow and her hair blonder.

This kind of tweaking of an image is nothing new – the old Hollywood photographers did fantastic tricks with their subjects, including over-exposure to burn out skin imperfections and using shift lenses to make the subject taller and slimmer.

But the problem is, I wonder if we are now so bombarded with these images of perfection that we’re starting to forget what real people look like. It’s not as if Nicolette Sheridan isn’t beautiful to start with. But she’s a beautiful woman in her 40s, not her 20s – why try to make her look 20? Why remove all signs of life and experience from her face? Hasn’t she earned the right to her wrinkles?

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