Wednesday 30th of July 2014

the war of retouching...

remembrance

Tonight,  on Channel Ten "The Project",  the presenting crew had a segment with a forceful mum complaining about a photographer having dared to offer to retouch her kid's school pictures...  Oulalah It hurts... But?

Hey! Mum! it's only an option... You do not have to agree... But the sharp-eyed mum complained that the next step would be compulsory retouching without being asked... By the end of the spiel, the "whole" studio was behind her... BOLLOCKS... It has always been an option for school kids, even if we don't remember...

Retouching pictures has been a trade since photography began...

Pictures from WWI were often retouched: some photographers in the field not seeing enough soldiers or smoke added "some", as to give "their" account of battles...

And the retouching industry is booming. Ask all those movie stars, whose bum lines have been flattered by a bit of the Photoshop brush...

From WWII to the Vietnam war. 

Now a retouching and a stolen identity has gone of bit too far:

 

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Vietnam War veteran Kerry Williams just wanted to reclaim his identity, but the Department of Veterans' Affairs and another man's family have been reluctant to hand it back.

For nearly 50 years, a black and white photograph from the battle of Suoi Chau Pha, where six Australians were killed and 14 wounded, gave meaning to Mr William's life. To his family and air force mates, he was the man holding the plasma bottle.

Two years ago, however, his place in history was taken away.

RAAF photographer Barrie Ward shot the image on August 6, 1967. The composition is simple but filled with urgency. It shows a man wearing a flight suit, with the surname Williams sewn on his chest.He is hoisting a bottle over an injured digger being borne on a stretcher by three army medics at Nui Dat forward detachment.

With a lit cigarette in his right hand, this older man's eyes are fixed on the injured digger. In the background, an Iroquois helicopter is riddled with bullet holes.

'I don't know why or how I survived intact. Sometimes I wished I was wounded or injured,'' said Mr Williams, now 76, and retired in Warners Bay. ''There are things I did over there that I am ashamed of, but I look at that photo now and I am proud, what I did actually meant something, it's positive.''

In 2012, the Department of Veterans' Affairs upset Mr Williams's world. The department altered the photo for its remembrance day poster and calendar. The cigarette was photoshopped out. The bullet holes appeared to be closed over. And, finally, their records replaced Mr Williams in the image. Instead, Dr Jack Blomley, a much-admired former rugby union international and former St Joseph's Hunter's Hill student, was inserted into this nicotine-free version of reality.

The decision literally changed history, splitting military and veterans' associations and leaving two families with ongoing, conflicting claims to that photograph.

Kathy Williams, Mr Williams's daughter, said the official records by Mr Ward, the now-dead photographer, stated her father was carrying the plasma bottle.

''He is wearing his flying suit with his surname over his right breast. Dad never loaned his flying suits to anyone. Dad remembers Barrie taking that photo, it's him in the photo, so basically he has been labelled a liar.

''The mistake [the Department of Veterans' Affairs] made caused such a mess, both for dad, our family, Blomley's family, other vets and the department itself,'' Ms Williams said.

''We complained for a long time. The minister never got back to me, but the department told us it had been resolved … when dad told me the photo appeared again with the wrong identity, I couldn't help but think, someone in the department is deliberately playing god once more.''


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/truth-comes-for-vietnam-vet-after-department-played-god-with-famous-photograph-20140301-33soo.html#ixzz2ur3dvCpb
The original picture:
history religious wars
The fag has been removed and the name has been changed...

 

retouching the lady out....

one of the retouched WWI picture can be seen at:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/407083253789107606/

 

And who can forget a Jewish paper removing Hillary Clinton from the picture of the war room:

 

 

A big hat-tip to Failed Messiah (who gave a hat-tip to Critical Minyan) for breaking the news that an Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, has determined that the photo of top U.S. leaders receiving an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden was too scandalous.

What was so offensive about the image? U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the photo and, based on good intel, the editor of Der Tzitung discovered that she is a woman. The Hasidic newspaper will not intentionally include any images of women in the paper because it could be considered sexually suggestive. The iconic photo shows President Obama, Vice President Biden, and members of the U.S. National Security Team in the Situation Room of the White House. Secretary of State Clinton, wearing a long-sleeved suit jacket, sits with her hand over her mouth. I'm not sure how Der Tzitung determined this was a racy photo. Perhaps they just don't like the idea of a woman with that much political power.

http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/jewish_techs/hasidic_newspaper_

photoshops_hillary_clinton_iconic_photo

 

can I fess up?...

Without going into details, I started my professional life as a "retoucher" in a major photographic and publishing house in Europe. I know all the trick of the trade. Way before Photoshop was ever invented, pictures used in any quality publications, be it catalogues or magazines were always "retouched" in order to increase the contrasts, improve the details (specially the edges of ) and highlight the glow of the picture which would have looked crap without it. As well we used to fade backgrounds in order to bring the main subject forward...

Most Aussie newspapers in the 1970s did retouching of photographs...

Photoshop did not invent retouching. It only made it a lot easier and faster... But give me a brush (or an air brush — I still have mine) with the right palette and I can do wonders, still. My eyes are still sharp and my hands do not tremble... It takes time and I believe these skills of great precision have more or less vanished. I was the master of black and white "touch ups" or of the rare colour prints "fudge"... Soon, in the late fifties, I was working with other aces who could retouch 10 x 8 inches transparencies with feather like technique with various transparent inks and sometimes weak acids or alkaline solutions...

A lot of these skills were also used in the "intelligence" services, mostly in the "disinformation" section.

I never worked there, though some of my mates might have. 

 

Note: as an aside it was only from 1954 onwards that Kodachrome could be processed outside the Kodak Laboratories... Complexity of patents, monopoly laws and some foreign countries having cracked the "processing" of the "reversal film" made it so Kodak could not hold on to the exclusivity of the technology...

a link gone wrong...

In one of the comments above I have placed a link that did not work. Sorry. here it is corrected:

and who could forget the merde-och press' touch up?

old people's photos...