SuperPaint (front of box)

I was cleaning out a box of old boxes (I love boxes) and found this product box from 1986.

Those of us who started with MacPaint eventually graduated to other tools. I was a MacDraw fanatic (object-oriented graphics) but still needed a bit-mapped painting program (this was pre-Photoshop). SuperPaint was what many of us used and it was like MacPaint on steroids.

If you remember, “FatBits” was MacPaint’s zoomed mode, “LaserBits” was something similar with SuperPaint (as memory serves). SuperPaint had all sorts of creative touches that were great fun for those of us who enjoyed MacPaint.

I’m posting two images, one of the front of the box, one of the back. If this history interests you, read the back to see more about what graphics programs looked like pre-Photoshop.

SuperPaint (back of box)

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has just opened what looks like a great photography exhibit.

The urge to modify camera images is as old as photography itself—only the methods have changed. Nearly every type of manipulation we now associate with digital photography was also part of the medium’s pre-digital repertoire: smoothing away wrinkles, slimming waistlines, adding people to a scene (or removing them)—even fabricating events that never took place.

This international loan exhibition traces the history of manipulated photography from the 1840s through the early 1990s, when the computer replaced manual techniques as the dominant means of doctoring photographs. Most of the two hundred pictures on view were altered after the negative was exposed—through photomontage, combination printing, overpainting, retouching, or, as is often the case, a blend of several processes. In every instance, the final image differs significantly from what stood before the camera at any given moment.

How much photo retouching is too much?

Supermodel’s Photoshop Horror

A former Sports Illustrated cover model is suing an Estee Lauder company for allegedly damaging her career with a fake promo using a Photoshopped picture of her. The suit is the latest wrinkle in the global phenomenon of photo retouching.

An interesting example of this type of photo retouching is this Dove Evolution piece.

Here’s another piece by Tom Piper commissioned by Dove called “Beauty Pressure.”

Reminds me of the documentary America the Beautiful (available on Netflix) which takes up the theme of our obsession with beauty and our standards of thinness, among other things.

The chicken-egg of this is, are advertisers (producers, editors, retouchers) leading us to want certain things, or are they responding to what they perceive (correctly or incorrectly) as our desire for these things?

No doubt it’s a bit of both.

A move to curb digitally altered photos in ads

A Move to Curb Digitally Altered Photos in Ads

Concerned that girls and women feel excessive pressure to live up to the digitally Botoxed and liposuctioned images of human perfection they see in glossy magazines, lawmakers in Britain and France are trying to push advertisers to get real.

Under their proposals, ads containing altered photos of models would be required to carry disclaimers.

Not sure how I feel about this. No doubt advertising drives people (not just young girls) to do things, buy things, think things, but how far do we go protecting people from themselves? A piece of me feels very libertarian about these things: as long as people take full responsibility for the consequences of their actions, let them do as they please.

Are we next going to protect people from excessive body piercing or tattooing by putting disclaimers on all ads showing people with x number of tattoos or pierces?