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Canadian Olympic medalists embroiled in Photoshop furor

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› Canadian Olympic medalists embroiled in Photoshop furor
  • Published on February 18, 2014

It's hard to imagine a world without Adobe Photoshop. The influence of the software company's flagship design software package can be felt virtually everywhere, from the glossy pages of the world's leading fashion magazines to the latest memes on the Internet. However, Photoshop is frequently at the heart of many spirited debates, as Pierre Duchesne, the education minister for Quebec, recently discovered after falling prey to an altered image on Twitter.

Sparking outrage
Recently, Duchesne retweeted an image of Olympic medal winners Chloé and Justine Dufour-Lapointe wearing what appeared to be blue mittens featuring Quebec's Fleur-de-lis emblem. Pleased by the Dufour-Lapointe sisters' apparent provincial pride, Duchesne retweeted the image, adding "superbe!!" to the image.

However, what Quebec's education minister failed to realize before retweeting the image was that the picture had been edited in Photoshop. The original image of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters featured the Olympians wearing red mittens emblazoned with the maple leaf, the country's national icon. This year is the fifth year that the Hudson Bay Company has sold the mittens worn by the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, proceeds of which are used to support the Canadian Olympic Foundation that helps athletes compete in the games.

Deep division
To the uninitiated, using Photoshop to alter the appearance of a pair of mittens might seem innocuous enough. However, according to The Star, the image highlights enduring political conflicts between federalists and sovereigntists in Canada.

The incident also overshadows the Dufour-Lapointe sisters's Olympic success, and the medalists were forced to comment on an issue that could jeopardize the pair's popularity in the public eye.

"I know where I come from. I'm from Montreal, from Quebec," Justine said during a radio interview from Sochi, as quoted by the news source. "But I'm also Canadian and we're at the Olympics to represent our country and I'm really proud to wear our colors. Seriously, I don't really know what to say about it. It's sort of out of our control."

Although gaffes like this demonstrate that even public officials can be fooled by image manipulation, Photoshop is a remarkably powerful software program that can help you accomplish even the most ambitious design projects. If you're ready to master the fundamentals of digital imaging, taking Photoshop classes at the American Graphics Institute is an excellent way to get started, and our team of expert instructors will get you up to speed in no time.

Here's the original image

Photoshop-training-original-image

And the image after it was altered to remove the maple leaf:

photoshop-training-altered

The education minister in the French speaking territory of Quebec summed it up best with his Tweet, which translates to: "The perils of Photoshop. I myself am a victim"

Avoid the perils of Photoshop with training.

About the author

 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.