Vogue's November Cover: Photoshop Of HorrorsS

What the hell happened?

I guess when you have a posse of gorgeous, iconic ladies — Nine's Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Kate Hudson — you feel obliged to make them look as good as possible. But for the love of natural lighting: Why so much Photoshop?

Sassybella asks, "Did Annie Leibovitz or Vogue go a little airbrush crazy?" The answer is a resounding YES. I can't wait to see this cover in person, to try and figure out what how someone cobbled these women into an image. I'm guessing Leibovitz shot them each separately and then did a composite, but when you have a person who doesn't cast a shadow on the lady next to her, then that person is a vampire.

Leibovitz makes composite images quite often; take this photograph of Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, for instance:

Vogue's November Cover: Photoshop Of HorrorsS

Blogger Jeffrey Saddoris has read Leibovitz's book, At Work, in which she writes:

"The picture of Hellen Mirren and Judi Dench in the car was made in two different places. It was fun directing Judi Dench to act like she was talking to someone who wasn't actually there. She was saying, 'You bitch. How could you have done this to me? Why did you do that to me?' And she had that look. If we had been using film, we would have to stitch two frames together, but since we were shooting digitally, we built the final picture in the computer."

On another forum, a poster dissects the Leibovitz Mad Men shoot:

Vogue's November Cover: Photoshop Of HorrorsS

Vogue's November Cover: Photoshop Of HorrorsS

The commenter writes:

It appears that Annie shot the scene in separate composites. She took a shot of January Jones from where she is standing in the video still, THEN after she got what she wanted she moved to the left and shot Jon Hamm exactly positioned and lit how she wanted. Then I would assume she stood back and took some overall shots of the room that would later be stitched together to form the overall piece.

NOW, from an overall look the photograph appears classy and fit to the time piece and most people would walk away from it without any negativity, and I still think its a great shot... but the perspective now just bothers me. It appears as though she isn't even looking directly at him. Her overall size appears smaller than him. Also, if you look near his ass the straight line that runs on the wall... isn't so straight, its very apparent that was a poor clone job.

Even though the cover is a nightmare, there's a gorgeous shot of the ladies on the inside:

Vogue's November Cover: Photoshop Of HorrorsS

Instead of looking like a hallucinatory vision or Hollywood interpretation of the "Footprints" poem, this actually looks like a photograph of women, sitting on a couch — next to each other and existing in the same time-space continuum. What a concept.

Prima Time [Vogue]
Yay Or Nay? Annie Leibovitz Over Airbrushes Another US Vogue Cover [Sassybella]
Photo139 – Week 2 [Saddoris]
Annie Leibovitz thread [Nature Forum]

Earlier: Nine Throws Down The Oscar Gauntlet
Other Ladies Agree: Annie Leibovitz's Latest Is Painfully Lame
Photo Finish: (Annie Leibovitz & People Of Color)