Archive for the ‘Adobe’ Category

… if you don’t want to see a particularly gruesome image of the assassinated Osama bin Laden.

I’ve put it at the bottom of this blog so you don’t have to look at it without scrolling down, not for any vicarious pleasure, but for the simple purpose of showing what can be achieved with digital image manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop (other digital image manipulation applications are available).

What purports to be the shocking photograph of the dead bin Laden which President Obama deemed too disturbing for public view has of course cropped up all over the place, mainly on right-wing conservative American websites. And they are truly scary (the websites, that is).

You will have read in previous postings on this blog that US courts do not allow digital photographic images as evidence because of the ease with which they can be manipulated. Actually as anyone who has battled with Photoshop will know, it’s not that easy, but a truly skilled Photoshop artist can make it look simple — and realistic.

The image is indeed shocking — until you look at the image on the right.

On the left you will see a purported photograph of Osama bin Laden after he stupidly opened the door to some visiting American gentlemen. On the right you will see a much nastier image — Osama bin Laden alive.

Compare the two images.

Look at the angle of the head.

Look at his ear; look at the highlight inside it.

Look at the highlight on the tip of his nose.

Look at his mouth hanging slackly open, doubtless in the process of delivering some deranged spittle-flecked invective.

The images are identical, except that in one he appears to have met with an accident.

It’s the same image. The one of the left has been Photoshopped — it’s a completely fraudulent image. I’m not suggesting for a moment that this is the image that Barack found too disturbing to release; that one is undoubtedly real and I’m sure it’s profoundly unpleasant.

But in lieu of having the real thing, some talented Photoshop artist has been employed to provide slaughter pron for slavering right-wingers. It’s very good — until some clever chappie like David Hoffman unearths the original image.

Unless of course Hoffman has been even smarter and recreated the image on the right from the original on the left!

Now you can see why American courts don’t permit digital images as evidence. The camera lies through its teeth.

Thanks to David Hoffman Photographs for putting the two images together, and for Will Carleton of Photo Archive News for bringing them to my attention.

Wanted Dead Or Alive



Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

… ripping off UK customers, that is.

They’ve just announced Creative Suite 5, the top of the range version of which retails in the UK at £2,303 and in the US at $2,599. That’s £1,685 at today’s exchange rate.

Why should this product — which is software and therefore can be delivered in identical packages anywhere in the world at no additional cost apart from local taxes (not included in these prices) — cost an astounding £623 more in Britain than in America? That’s a 37% hike. There is no way any company in the world can justify such an extortionate, exorbitant pricing decision.

So they don’t. No one at Adobe will lift his cowardly, avaricious head over the parapet to defend the reasoning. “We have established what is effectively a monopoly. If you’re in the image business, you need Adobe Photoshop. So fuck the Brits, we can charge what we fucking well like.”

It’s a wonderful product, but the officers of the corporation who decided on this price differential are shits.

And I bet it still strips metadata. Because Adobe doesn’t own the system.


A Sensible Law

September 22nd, 2009
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

French MPs propose a health warning to be put on photoshopped images of models in a campaign against eating disorders. Pictures would have to carry the message “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of the person.”

As someone who believes we have far too many laws already, I think that’s a good idea.

Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

If you agree with this statement, why not join our group on LinkedIn at ?

Photoshop is the tool of choice for most fotoLibra members. At the last count 7,227 fotoLibra members were using Adobe products. If one in ten of you can add your name to this petition we’ll soon have over a thousand.

A substantial constituency. Yet one that is treated with disdain by the Adobe corporation. Pound for dollar, Adobe products have always been around 20 to 40% more expensive in the UK than the US. They claim that support and marketing is more expensive over here.

I don’t believe that. Americans are higher paid and taxed lower than the Brits.

Come on Adobe. Show some respeck, man!


The snappily named website has an intriguing story (fortunately for me, in English) about an entrant in the annual Danish Picture Of The Year competition.

The judges asked to see photographer Klavs Bo Christensen’s RAW files. On comparing them with his entries, they decided his Photoshopping was somewhat on the Extreme side, and they threw him out of the competition.

The competition rules state “Photos submitted to Picture of The Year must be a truthful representation of whatever happened in front of the camera during exposure. You may post-process the images electronically in accordance with good practice. That is cropping, burning, dodging, converting to black and white as well as normal exposure and color correction, which preserves the image’s original expression. The Judges and exhibition committee reserve the right to see the original raw image files, raw tape, negatives and/or slides. In cases of doubt, the photographer can be pulled out of the competition.”

You can read the whole story, and see Christensen’s RAW and processed images, here.

Frankly I think he went way over the top, and they were right to ban him. To my eye, his RAW images are preferable to the garish artificiality of the Photoshopped images.

I’d be interested to hear what you think.


Adobe CS4 Pricing

September 23rd, 2008
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

Software giant Adobe has just announced Creative Suite 4, upgrades to Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash, Ilustrator etc. It’s a phenomenally complex and capable package, and for a digital online picture library like fotoLibra it’s as crucial as a power supply.

The upgrade costs $599, so cynically I expected the British version to be priced at £599.

Oops — I was wrong. The British version sells for £605.

$599 at today’s exchange rate is £323.50. Take away the VAT and the British version (excluding tax) is priced at £515.

That is 63% more expensive than the US upgrade.

So we in Britain pay £191.50 more for exactly the same product. That’s $354.60.

Why are you ripping us off, Adobe? I cannot think of a single justifiable reason other than corporate greed and the cynical exploitation of a captive market. I think I’d admire the company more if it simply admitted “Because we can,”  but it will hide behind mealy-mouthed clouded obfuscations of market penetration and market forces.


Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?