Friday, March 30, 2012

Photoshop Wizards At Work

I came across something today somewhat by accident, while reading the latest news on GM Inside News about the redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Traverse.

Included were a selection of GM's supplied-for-editorial-use photos - including these two images of what appear at first blush to be a pair of new Traverses. But, hey, hang on a second! If you look a bit closer, you'll discover that it isn't a pair of Traverses, it's the same damn one Photoshopped!

2013 Chevy Traverse - photo © General Motors

2013 Chevy Traverse - photo © General Motors

Don't believe me? Look at the license plate, or better yet, look at the way the reflections on the body match perfectly with each other (around the rear quarter panel it's really obvious). Not to mention the wheel spokes lining up.

GM (and others) have been digitally altering pictures like this for years - I have brochures for 1991 Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs where it's plainly obvious the grilles and badges have been changed, particularly when you see the pictures side by side. In those days, you could normally spot the grafted-in parts.

These two photos illustrate perfectly just how seamless the software and techniques are now, since beyond the readily apparent colour change, this Traverse obviously couldn't have been photographed in at least one of these locations. Actually, my bet is that it wasn't shot at either of them, but I challenge you to find anything in these pictures that would give that away.

As a semi-pro photographer myself (I get paid for at least some of my pictures, so by definition I figure that I qualify for that rank), it disturbs me because I don't use any post-processing or digital manipulation unless clearly stated, normally not even so much as a general exposure or contrast correction. Frankly, I wouldn't have the talent or resources to pull off a composite image polished enough to pass for real anyway.

No, unless otherwise stated, any of the pictures that you see in this blog that belong to me are as they came out of the camera - for better or for worse - and those cars were where you see them. The same applies for those that appear in Wheels, as it is the Star's policy not to use altered pictures, the exception being "photo illustrations", which are clearly marked as such.

I'm not calling this evil, or even necessarily wrong, but I will say this: I try very hard to provide good quality photos, as I'm sure do many of my colleagues. How can we hope to compete with processed studio-shot images and idealistic backgrounds? For that matter, in this day and age, how can anyone believe anything they didn't see with their own eyes?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shameless Self-promotion

2012 Chevrolet Sonic LT
You can find my Wheels review of Chevy's 2012 Sonic LT hatchback here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shameless Self-promotion

2012 Chevy Orlando LTZ

You can find my Wheels review of Chevrolet's new Orlando here.