Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Art for Art's Sake

I know lots of musicians, but I think it’s interesting that very few of them play for their own pleasure. As I’ve mentioned before, I have an Art School degree. I don’t have many opportunities to exploit that training in my current line of work, and I don’t draw or paint for pleasure. Unlike many of my classmates, I discovered that I had an affinity for computers. Over the years, I’ve been thrilled to see how much of the drudgery of production art has been alleviated by technology.

One interesting development in this area is photo retouching. Back in the day, only skilled airbrush artists could modify a photograph convincingly. These days, thanks to digital photography, images can be easily altered using products such as Photoshop.

Unlike drawing or painting, this is something I enjoy very much. I often amuse myself by doing horrible things to pictures of my friends. Most of these people have learned not to send me photos without a clear verbal understanding that I won’t mess with them.

Not all of my efforts in this area are intended to be funny or cruel. Sometimes, someone will send me a photo and ask me to make some changes. For example, one of my co-workers sent me a photo of two relatives embracing and asked me to remove one of them for unspecified (but fairly obvious) reasons. The original is on the left, and the modified photo is on the right.


One of my friends is a frequent butt of my jokes. Nonetheless, she often makes use of my skills knowing full well that there may be a price. One time she brought me this photo of herself and her husband, and asked me to remove the reflection of the flash:


I was happy to oblige, but then she made a fatal mistake. She said, “And while you’re at it, could you remove my wrinkles and make me look young and beautiful?” Once you open that door, you’re asking for it. So I removed the flash reflection and softened the lines of her face, which delighted her.


But then, to illustrate that the door swings both ways, I aged her by 25 years and added about 60 pounds:


We’re still speaking, but it took some time to repair the relationship.

On another occasion, she sent me some fairly boring pictures of herself and her sister parasailing. I saw these two shots and immediately got an idea:


So I used elements of one and removed elements of the other to produce this exciting image:


A couple of my co-workers became involved in an office romance, which eventually blossomed into marriage. The wife brought in her wedding photos, and I modified one of them to illustrate her triumph:


Another couple of pranksters with whom I work brought in this photo of a guy they know who they like to torment. They asked me, “Is there anything you can do with this?”


So here’s the lawnmower guy mowing the White House lawn, the African savannah, Antarctica and the Moon:





But I didn’t let the pranksters off that easily. I got hold of this picture of the two of them yucking it up at a client conference in Las Vegas:


So I took the image of prankster #1 and merged it with this photo of Michael Jackson:


Then I took the image of prankster #2 and merged it with this photo of Pamela Anderson (by the way, I did not alter the image of Pamela Anderson):


I hope you have enjoyed viewing these images as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. Feel free to send me your photos, if you dare.


Kimberly said...

Tim, you truly have a talent... and some extra time on your hands! I love the comment about the Pam Anderson pic... too funny! I was hoping to see the one of Tonya weighing one end of the boat down from a few years ago. But I did enjoy the parasailing pic!

burton said...

hey - i was never in vegas....really. i know it looks like more fun than that - but it was ORL.

burton said...

By the way - I had forgotten - you added 60 pounds to her chest more than anywhere else! ow!

Tim said...

OK my bad - it wasn't Vegas, it was Orlando. But Vegas sounds better so just let it go, OK?

And as for the 60 pounds, I gave her a lot of "back fat" that kind of fills her out. It's hard to make someone look fat when you can't see that much of them in the photo.