Exploring with photoshop can be a tremendously fun experience, especially if people are trying to trick their friends for a couple of laughs. This concept is not new at all. In fact, in 1917 two girls staged photographs in order to create the illusion that they spent time with fairies, later dubbed the Cottingley fairies. The hoax eventually was revealed, but before the girls gave up the ruse, it had quite a number of people questioning the fairy idea based on the “evidence.”
Still, with computer generated graphics so particularly amazing these days (just watch any of the Marvel films), our society has become more critically aware of amateur photoshopping techniques. Unlike the photographs of 1917, skin tone, shading, and background can all contribute to tipping the audience off.
Consistency is another issue that a photoshopping artist must consider. While many movies show flashbacks with an obese actor and then show that same actor again trimmed down (think Get Smart, 2008; Central Intelligence, 2016), the characters do not have one body part fit while the rest has flab. There is a flow of nature happening in each of those frames.
As you view these images, you will probably wonder whether the person in question was actually trying to convince anyone that the situation was real. For those that were, these are 15 photoshop fails these kids will never live down:
14 The Little Mermaid
What this girl is trying to achieve seems unclear. Is she trying to pretend she modeled to be a mermaid, or that she is a mermaid? In either case, it is obvious that her face does not match the skin tone of the arms; it has too many blue tones in it, rather than yellows and oranges. There are dark lines encircling the face which are dead giveaways that photoshop has occurred. These lines are unnatural and cannot be mistaken for shadows--unless, perhaps, in the context of her original picture.
The light on the mermaid shines down onto her hair, creating a golden hue. However, light is coming from the front in order to illuminate the girl’s blue-toned face. Perhaps the tale in the background was supposed to look fake, as in she is only a model pretending to be a mermaid. Even still, the lighting here demonstrates an angle from above, not directly in front.
13 Just Me And My Girlfriend
We will have to assume this one was not meant to convince anyone but himself that in his prepubescent years he had an attractive, albeit Barbie sized, girlfriend and stacks of cash lying around his deck. Clearly the cash was simply dropped into the photograph, most likely in a simple system like Microsoft Paint. Similarly, the woman was pasted into the picture and dragged into position without any consideration with regard to the background of her portion of the photograph. Do we even need to address the boy’s arm is drawn around the girl?
Maybe we have this whole situation wrong and the child was simply trying to use visualization techniques to bring the things he wanted into a stronger reality for himself. If that’s the case, rock on, kid, and good luck with that.
12 All Natural
Photoshop tip: do NOT announce to the world that there was no photoshopping involved when trying to trick the public. If people want to believe your makeup is actually natural, so be it, but do not lie about it outright. Just keep your mouth still, nod your head, and let people have some semblance of doubt.
This little lady opened her mouth and thus opened herself to due ridicule. Not only does the photograph demonstrate a sort of purposely softening of the facial features, but the coloration of the eyes, lips, and cheeks do not look natural. Her left eye even looks distorted in shape as if her eye, brow, and lid were slipping off her face. Sadly, she probably is a pretty girl under truly natural conditions, but let insecurities take an ugly turn.
11 Stay Wavy
Apparently, this young man’s body has the characteristics of Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible. His arm, thighs, abdomen, and chest areas all are extremely distorted and waving like the ocean. It is as if he had stretched his arm to unlock a door down the street and in bringing the hand back to the body all of the muscles had to bunch up into waves before returning to normal proportions and shape. Like in previous photographs, the techniques applied to the body have altered the background as well. The wall behind the man possesses the same characteristics as the right arm. He was obviously photoshopping in order to get some action. Perhaps he did not expect anyone to call him out on the deception once they got to “really” know him.
10 Did He Even Try?
This is one of those photoshop disasters that makes a person wonder how serious the poster was about the photo. Apparently, in this person’s delusion, women in bikinis often cut off long sleeves to cover one arm while sitting by the pool. And, poolsides usually have large wooden boards randomly placed just for picture taking purposes, right? The lighting at the pool comes from above the woman (from the sun), whereas the man has artificial lighting from the front. The size of the two people are also different, the woman being significantly greater than the man.
What this person was attempting to achieve in the photoshop remains unclear because it is not in the least bit convincing to anyone with eyes. Sir, if you ever did want a date with that woman, this photograph may have decreased your chances significantly.
Did she get the one side done, assume no one would notice, and post this? Or was it too much work to do both sides of the picture? In this manufactured selfie, the young lady seems to be testing out only one side of the push-up bra. While the right side of her chest appears adequately large, the other demonstrates a significant difference in cup size. The right side also seems rather unnaturally circular.
Here is another case where the woman taking the photograph appears to have a natural appeal which does not depend on her girls. Why she would consciously decide to alter the picture for a larger set, or, at least one larger breast, does not seem apparent. Hopefully, in the future, she will stick to her own figure, or change both sides of her body for symmetry purposes.
8 Selfie Gone Wrong
In another selfie faux pas, the young lad appears tall and trim with the masculine triangular shape. However, looking at the background you can notice that the lines in the wallpaper are also shifting in a similar pattern. His right forearm appears to bend unnaturally the way that the lines do. Furthermore, the boy’s body appears to be stretched without taking heed of proportions.
Judging solely based on this picture, the young man does not have a bad frame with which to work. While he might never have the proportions of an animated hunk (which are accentuated for comedic reasons), he could still possess a desirable figure--and quite possibly already had one in the photograph. Only, we will never know since he decided to photoshop instead of accepting his physique.
7 I Swear, It's Eye Surgery
When this individual states she had surgery on her eyes, to what part is she referring? Her rims are dusted with heavy black spider legs and the eyes themselves seem forced open, unable to blink. If she did, in fact, have surgery at the age of seven, did the surgeons show up in unidentified flying discs?
This picture in itself actually does very little for its subject. Her eyes do become a focal point, which seems rather reminiscent of alien and body snatcher movies from the 1960’s, but the whole lighting and effects make the girl seem rather creepy and unapproachable. It seems unlikely that this was the girl’s intent when she posted this and then staunchly tried to defend herself. If you get caught using photoshop, fess up and laugh it off, or pretend you were just experimenting to see how things work. Lying about it only makes you look that much more foolish.
6 Muscle Man
Yes, some people are born with unusual proportions. Many people notice that they do not have exact symmetry of features; the left hip may be slightly higher than the right, one nostril could be bigger than the other, etc. As a general rule, however, these little nuances are only perceivable through study and are not consciously noticed at a first glance.
This picture failed to remember that proportions are important and that any differences should be minuscule. Atop a seemingly large frame sits a rather small head which contrasts unrealistically to the rest of the body. The body itself is also odd in its dimensions. The chest and arms in the foreground appear squashed as if pressed against the glass. For this photoshop fiasco, the best characteristic is the uniformity of color on the face and physique.
5 Girl Turned Doll
Maybe if the little girl on the left was made into a doll, the picture on the right could be a decent representation of her, but that scenario notwithstanding, the photoshop taken place here is nearly criminal. Her eyes were made much larger and more glassy. The child’s natural teeth, which stick out slightly in the first picture, are shortened in the second, and a slight line of gloss seems to cover her lips.
In the photoshopped version, the little girl’s skin is more matte and certainly less natural looking. Unless someone was attempting to reconstruct the child’s face in order to learn design and photoshop, trading the original picture for the doll is downright sad. Not only does it detract from the child’s inherent beauty, but it sends a message that not even innocent children can be viewed as beautiful just the way they are.
4 Check Those Tan Lines
Even for a colorblind person, differences in shading can make a picture look real or manufactured. For those of us who agree on colors have an even greater advantage when looking at skin tone and other such features. In this manufactured photo, the one posing as a distinctly different skin tone from the neck up. The contrast is so great, in fact, that there is a definitive line which separates the chest and abdominals from the head and neck. Getting that proper skin tone, perfect model stance, and setting the stage for a flawless photoshop can certainly be a tricky feat. Often colors and tones look different when next to each other and may be part of the reason this person could not see the error until a sign of work was already done.
3 The Fake Slumber Party
There’s just so much going wrong in this photoshop disaster. For one, the coloration is off. The pillow, the people, and the splash of purple make this look like newspaper clippings from the 1970’s pasted together. Both bodies have outlines where the “artist” could not edit out the original picture. Sure, taking the time to erase original backgrounds takes time, but it actually is essential when attempting to produce a seamless piece.
Furthermore, the arm draped over the man’s neck almost looks like Thing in Adams’ Family. It is obviously not attached to the woman because her shoulder is down, and unless her arm bends in a very unusual fashion, someone else’s hand was slapping at his neck. In fact, his shoulder is down as well, which means he would be balancing on her body as she slept. Possible? Probably not.
2 The Proportions Are All Wrong
Here is another example where the shot is not believable due to the proportions, skin tone, and contrast to the rest of the body. The abs in the picture are defined but are not in line with the rest of the body. Since the photoshop artist did not seem to know how to account for the circumference of the shirt, the artist decided to enlarge the picture of the toned abs in order to fill that space. This makes the whole picture look incredibly unnatural and poorly done. Furthermore, the neck and arms do not demonstrate the same level of fitness as is represented by the torso.
The real tragedy is that most of these photos seem to indicate the person’s deep sense of lack. They alter their bodies and faces in order to present themselves in a way they believe will enhance another’s acceptance of them. Instead, their desperate attempts at popularity and attention have led them to ridicule.
1 Pop Eye The Sailor Man
If these were truly his muscles, instead of advertising it, he should see a physician. The lumps along his body, particularly the upper limbs, look more like unattended cysts which need immediate attention. Before creating this piece, the person responsible should have looked at the human anatomy a little more closely, or at least cracked open a fitness magazine.
We have to give him some credit because, looking at the skin coloration and the unity of the background, it appears that the alterations made were done from his own body. Still, the enormous (and enormously unattractive) bumps in his shoulders and arms are far too squarish in shape to be a real rendition of his actual muscle tone. Unless perhaps he swallowed a few boxes that went into his limbs instead of his stomach.