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Part III:: Compositing Magic > Compositing and Retouching for Print and Adverti...

Chapter 15. Compositing and Retouching for Print and Advertising

If you stop to think about it, compositing and retouching are nothing more than creating a new photograph from raw material that ranges from pixels to prints. We modify photos to convey a message or to improve the way something looks. The goal is similar to that of advertising, which futurist Marshall McLuhan called “the greatest art form of the twentieth century.” When you reshape an image using Photoshop, you’re trying to better sell an idea, whether that idea is “look at this beautiful place I visited!” or “doesn’t this distinguished-looking guy inspire confidence?”

Or, perhaps our goal with both digital manipulations or advertising is simply to improve an image. George Santayana (the philosopher, not the brother of the Grammy-winning guitarist) said, “Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.” That’s what we’re doing when we touch up errors or create a composite by moving or replacing an object in a photo.


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