The Red Herring: Photoshop


General Photography

What do these portraits tell us about the persons they show? It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? Isn’t that interesting?

As it turns out, there is something interesting about these photos. Both these portraits aren’t real. By that I mean that while the photos are real, they are both composites of more than one person.

The photo on the left-hand side was taken by Thomas Ruff and is part of his “Anderes Porträt” series - to find out more about these portraits have a look at this interview.

The photo on the right-hand side was taken by Jake Rowland (I cropped it to approximately match Thomas Ruff’s!) and is part of his “The River Rock Variations” - see his statement.

The photo on the left was taken with an old police kit to take mugshots, pre-Photoshop, so the different faces were really lined up inside the camera. The photo on the right was produced with Photoshop.

It’s quite obvious that the fact that Photoshop was used for one photo and not for the other is quite irrelevant, isn’t it?