Have you ever seen a weight loss advert for a new drug, machine or “herb” that'll make you lose weight, all promoting how fast they work and how well they work. Showing pictures of women who lose 10 – 20kgs in just a few weeks. Well I can get those same “results” in just a few minutes with Photoshop.
This is not to say that some of these methods or treatments don't work. However, this will prove that seeing is not believing. Just because you see a man or woman standing in a pair of pants that are pulled 30cm from their waist doesn't mean they actually lost that weight.
Same goes for those beloved before and after pictures where, before, you have a sad, frowning woman slouching in a dark room while someone takes a rather blurred picture. While, after, you have a bright looking woman with make-up on standing tall and proud after losing a bunch of weight.
Now I would like to show you how easy it is to deceive the eye and make it seem as though someone has lost weight and toned up.
I searched for images on Google and found the above image on the left. I used this picture to illustrate the ease at which I changed the photo. The “before” image on the left is where I started and the “after” image on the right is after a short 5 minute trip through Photoshop.
Shadows, shapes, highlights etc., are things that allow the eye to conceive size, proportion and so on. So by removing certain folds in the skin and lightening darker areas you give the illusion of smaller size. That is how I was able to manipulate the image.
Let me show you how:
Here is where I started
The first thing I did was remove the folds in the skin on her back.
Then I tightened up key areas using a very simple to use tool in Photoshop. I chose areas like her back and thighs to give her body a distinct curve as well as tightening up other areas to keep her body in proportion.
Then I lightened up and removed dense looking areas of skin under her arm. By doing so you give the skin a smoother look and eliminate any folds in the skin.
Then using the same tool I used with the thighs, arms and back I give her a small tummy tuck.
Then again, keeping her body in proportion, I gave her a boob lift and slight reduction to keep her body in proportion.
After that I added highlights and a bit of texture to the arms, legs, tummy and chest to remove cellulite and shadows. By removing the shadows you give the illusion that her stomach is flat and the sense that her legs aren't bulging because the shadow is so subtle.
All of this took me 5 minutes, imagine what I could do with an hour.
The same goes for skin care products that advertise fast, miraculous results for stretch marks, pimples, blemishes and so on.
Again we see those lovely before and after photos:
Both of these taking me just a few minutes each. Even better than that is the fact that tutorials are available on Youtube giving simple instructions so that even the newest Photoshop users can get fantastic results.
So the next time you're considering sinking money into that wonderful new product, look past the before and after photos and dig a little deeper to see if that product is really for you.
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