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5.16.2011

post-production touching

Architectural Digest The Collectors home of Luis Sagrera

Last week I had the immense pleasure of listening to a presentation by Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Editoral Director, Clinton Smith titled "Confessions of a Home and Garden Editor: A Behind the Scenes Look".  His confessions?  What you see in the magazine is not real life.  With so many photographic advances you can make the photos look perfect for the magazine, without perfect conditions in actuality.

I know from experience that a room may look perfect and amazing in person, but the limitations of the lens restricts the beauty.  So while photographers of the past would set up the shot and shoot, photographers of today must set up the shot, shoot, and then go into post-production where they will tweak the photographs. So no wonder my amateur point-and-shoot camera never seems even remotely adequate.

Look at the image above from a 1982 book, The Collectors.  Notice the lamp cords under the table?  What about the shadows cast by the candlesticks? There are cracks and odd lines along the walls, and the detail is all but lost in the rug due to bad lighting.  The only reason you see the detail in the chairs is because of strange reflections.  Nevertheless, this is an amazing space and was published in Architectural Digest.

Today photographers would have fixed that on a computer before it was ever published.  Alexa Hampton even commented on it during her keynote last week, while showing a photo of art mysteriously illuminated by lights that had been removed post-production (Alas, this image is not in her new book, should be the left half of page 25).

What about Elle Decor changing the color of the ikat pillows from blue to purple for the cover?

Clint admitted to smoothing lines in the wood walls and removing a sconce in this recent AHL issue.
 
What do you think of the touching up of interior photographs?


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