June 28, 2011

Erasing Your Face

Photo by Nevit Dilmen, Turkey

It occurred to me lately, in a very profound way, that practically everyone we see now in the media is just an illusion.

It's common knowledge that the images we see in fashion magazines and ads etc have for years been altered. With software, like Photoshop, photos can be enhanced or anything that is remotely displeasing to the eye- be it a shadow, a zit, a wrinkle, or a neck that is too thick- can be removed.  If you haven't seen the one minute clip on the process by the Dove Corporation, called The Evolution of Beauty, be sure to watch it when you can. It's really good.

Maybe what is less known is that television and movie cameras have a special lens that make people look younger. The initial technique for this, called "the Barbara Walters softening effect", was just simply vaseline smeared on a camera lens. But later the Tiffen company came out with a camera diffusion lens that exclusively fuzzes just flesh tone parts on a video image to remove wrinkles and soften facial imperfections. The lens was such a breakthrough that Tiffen won a technical Emmy at the Academy Awards for it. I always wondered why TV/movie personalities look so much younger in the studio then when they are taped out in public on the street...I thought it was just the lack of make-up and studio lights.

The latest 'Erase Your Face' technology- that just hit the market- is a camera for common folk, like you and me, by Panasonic called the Lumix DMC-FP7. Now this is really screwed-up...this $230 camera not only erases wrinkles and whitens your teeth, but it can even give you rosier cheeks and lips etc. Check out these photos. I seriously want to move to another planet.

But that's not all...

Hewlett Packard has had cameras on the market for quite sometime that have a "slimming feature" which instantly allow subjects to appear roughly 10 pounds thinner.

Gosh isn't this all crossing the line?

What's the point really?

I ran this by Tom while in the car this weekend and he said, "You know these cameras are perfect for people who need to post a decent picture of themselves on their business website."

I see what he means.

How about all of you out there?

What do you think of all this technology?

Post script 7/1/11 This just in: The American Medical Association condemns altering photos saying that, "We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software." Amen. Hallelujah! Thanks to Carole for sending this in.