Monday, December 29, 2008

Inspiration or just schadenfreude?

I spent hours today doing no less than FIVE head swaps for a family photo. The result is very convincing, but it took way too much time. It's my own fault for suggesting the head transplant in the first place (but five?). I blame myself for suggesting that a composite could make all 15 people look their best, but I also blame television and the movies for making Photoshop wizardry seem effortless.

The computer corollary, of course, is hacking. Ever watch Chloe Sullivan on Smallville (It's a guilty pleasure)? Sure Clark, let me just hack into the NSA on my iMac.. Frantic typing, wide-eyed intensity,and 5 seconds later...Done. Or Chloe O'Brian on 24? Sure Jack, let me just hack into the Chinese Embassy... Frantic typing, a look of consternation, and 5 seconds later... Done.
(Note to all parents-to-be: Name your daughter Chloe and there's a 95% chance she'll be a computer genius capable of thwarting terrorist attacks and/or Lex Luthor. The other 5% grow up to be waifish models-turned-actresses, so name at your own risk.)

But back to Photoshop. A blog that I find laugh-out-loud funny is Photoshop Disasters. They feature pro-level disasters that have somehow made it past teams of pros and into print. For example, a favorite recurring theme is the hand left in when removing a person from a photo as seen here (or does Kate Moss just have a very shy and skinny friend?):

Even Apple isn't immune from Photoshop disasters. Maybe I'm getting too much enjoyment from other people's mistakes. But somewhere buried in the schadenfreude is an inspirational message:

As Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus would say: Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! (A random reference, I know, but I'm a storehouse of useless trivia.) Instead of showcasing my best, polished work as part of a self-promotional campaign, I want to explore new themes and techniques, and in the process, I hope to inspire you to do the same. So don't be shy. Try out some Monthly Specials in the new year. If the pros are turning out enough disasters to fuel a blog (and it only picks on the pros, by the way), we can afford to make a few mistakes as well.

Hmm. Was that a dubious source for inspiration? Probably. But in any case, laughter is good for the soul.