A couple of readers wrote in about the slimmed-down shots of Crystal Renn for the Passion For Fashion campaign, by photographer Nicholas Routzen. The consensus: Wide angled lenses and tricks of light? Sure. But mostly Photoshop.
The first image I just made using both of the color images, so we can see her whole body in one shot.
The second image is a side-by-side of the color and b&w images with no change of the dimensions.
And the in third image, I drew a rough red line around her body in the original color image and then pasted it on top of the final b&w image. I rotated it slightly to the left so that it would provide a more accurate comparison, but I did not change the dimensions.
My guess is that the photographer used a wide-angle lens, shot from slightly above, used back-lighting to soften her outline, and then digitally slimmed the image by about 3-5% and upped the contrast so that the edges of her arms are very hard to see. Personally, I also suspect he digitally thinned her thighs (look how perfectly straight the inside of her right thigh is and how flat the shadow on it looks - unnatural, in my opinion). I also think the hips have been thinned. Even though her legs are open in the color pic and together in the b&w, I still think her hips look considerably narrower.
Excellent work. It's striking to see how much she's been downsized all over - from the shoulders to the hips to the thighs.
Another reader, K., emailed to say:
Just wanted to mention it CLEARLY is not just a wide angle lens and him "shaping her"— something he would do to anyone. If you look in the bottom right hand corner of the image, against the wall behind her thigh- you can see that in the original non-PSed images there was just a plain flat blue wall. In he ad we have some awkward textured horizontal wall-tile. This collides up against the sharp edge of her thigh, and I think makes its really a tool, to distract from the non-natural sharp shape of her leg.
And frankly, to me- the shadow of her inner thighs/crotch looks just like a gradient filter/PS paint job to me.
It's easy to forget how much alteration goes on, so it's great to get some perspective. But what if the untouched behind-the-scenes shots hadn't been released? And imagine all the doctored images we view, every day, without ever seeing the "before" version?