Photoshop Disaster Strikes Another Major Retailer
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Published on May 29, 2014
Women’s apparel retailer Ann Taylor Loft has gone too far with their Photoshop retouching efforts, creating a painfully distorted torso on a swimsuit model. Far too often when retailers are looking to sell swimwear, they try to make the models look thinner than necessary, and the results are often disastrous. You might think that only a few months after Target was criticized for over-retouching a swimsuit model that other retailers might be more careful.
In an image found on Ann Taylor Loft’s website this past week, the head and shoulders of the model appear normal, yet a look at the model’s midsection reveals a clearly distorted ribcage. An apparent overuse of Photoshop’s Liquify filter has created a painfully warped stomach.
After being called-out on the image, the retailer removed the photo from their website. A spokesman claimed the image was taken at an “awkward angle.” After consulting with several of the photography instructors at American Graphics Institute, we came to the conclusion that no angle or lens would have created the type of distortion displayed in this image. Back in 2011 Ann Taylor’s Photoshop retouchers removed the entire arm of a model in one of their advertisements. With this latest image, we’re hoping that their Photoshop disasters don’t come in threes.
While we teach Photoshop training courses, we emphasize the need to keep images looking natural unless creating a photo illustrations. For example, in our Photoshop retouching training courses we work with professional image editors to help them understand ways to clean-up images and make certain they will look their best in print or online, without appearing to be over-manipulated.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.