Having your artwork displayed on the "bad Photoshop" blog known as PhotoshopDisasters is a strange kind of honor and often a wake-up call for designers, photographers, and marketers from all over the world.
What Puts Someone in a Bad Photoshop Blog?
It's no sin not to be very good at Photoshop. The program is a professional-level and incredibly powerful tool. It's become a necessary part of professional photography and advertising, changing things like exposure and lighting and adjusting minor imperfections like skin blemishes, etc. As people rely more and more on digital forms of media, Photoshop is actually affecting how they see the world - to the point where the true can become totally untrue. Dove soap produced an entire ad campaign called Real Beauty designed to highlight just how unreal the images seen in advertising can be.
That, however, is not considered bad photoshop use. In fact, it has become almost a form of art, with creative individuals making incredible images using the software the way a master painter uses his oils. Unfortunately, not everyone is a master of their craft, and that's when the PhotoshopDisasters bad Photoshop blog comes in.
Whether due to laziness or the high-pressure world of advertising, there are many examples of Photoshop users just not taking the care to complete their composition, or else it is a bit too complete, with the addition of items or even body parts that don't belong in the picture. When this happens, the wisdom of crowds takes over, and usually there are several submissions to PhotoshopDisasters, where commenters ridicule, lambaste, and not-so-gently suggest corrections to the mistakes in the "professional" work.
It's not that they are saying that everyone should use Photoshop well. It's just holding the professionals to a higher standard of quality than your typical amateur user. One of the interesting things about the Photoshop blog is that it doesn't come right out and say what is wrong with a particular photograph. Instead, it simply shows the erroneous image, and leaves it up to the rest to figure out what is wrong.
Common Photoshop Mistakes
There are a few very common mistakes that keep cropping up on the PhotoshopDisasters blog, and keeping them in mind can keep your own work from gracing the website:
- Over Cropping: The "crop" tool in Photoshop is a way to get rid of parts of a photo you don't want. However, some people crop too much. For example, cutting the neck off of a guitar that a musician is holding. Sometimes even entire heads have been cut off in ads, or too much of a model's body.
- Lazy Pasting: the cut-and-paste tool is very useful for things like making a lawn appear larger than it really is. However, sometimes people get too carried away, for example, pasting the image of the same crowd over and over.
- Body Image Problems: By far the most common mistakes happen when erstwhile photoshoppers try to "improve" the model. This can lead to missing body parts, like a model missing her navel, or additional body parts like an Afghani who apparently has three legs. There are also many incidents of extra hands appearing in Photoshopped photos, such as a romance novel that shows two people but five hands, and this was not an Addams Family romance!
Other Blogs for Bad Photoshop
PhotoshopDisasters is the most popular blog, but there are many others. You can also find examples from sites like Photoshop Mistakes or featured on design blogs like HongKiat. Most of all, these sites will help you keep a sharper eye out around you for the next bad Photoshop blog candidate.