June 28, 2011

Sloppy Photoshop Mistakes, Part MMCXXVIII

Today's victim is, sadly, rock star Polly Jean Harvey. Witness, Mojo Magazine (grayscale) vs. Blurt Magazine (color):

Now, nothing against Blurt—the reason I picked up this copy was because it was packed with not only PJ, but Explosions in the Sky, Panda Bear, Drive By Truckers, and a weird sub-David Foster Wallace ripoff of an over-the-hill '80s fossil-metal cruise.

But seriously, their photo editor was clearly preoccupied. For (admittedly unequal and unscientific) comparison, I present the same portrait of Ms. Harvey as shot by Seamus Murphy. I can't find the original, and the grayscale version that ran in Mojo has obviously been altered too—for color and contrast and a few more things—but the Blurt version has a few no-nos that shouldn't have passed the art director's desk unnoticed. First, the individual images:

Mojo (a little heavy on the stark contrast, but otherwise ok):

Blurt (color errors and amateurish editing tool abuse):

Weird hair color errors:

Sickly yellow (as opposed to warm) skin tone:

Finally, is erasing two stray hairs worth some glaringly bad Clone Stamp tool errors? Yikes.

…and yeah, I know it's not fair to compare color image errors to a grayscale image (especially since the rest of the images in the Blurt feature are just fine!), but when an image is taken to grayscale in the right way, you should be able to see as much if not more detail than when the image is colorized.

What's weird is that the online version looks just fine. I don't think the designer was incompetent here—just lazy. Maybe they had somewhere infinitely more fun to be than…uh…carefully playing with PJ Harvey's face. Obviously, for me that's no contest.

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