Friday, June 27, 2008


Yesterday our niece gave birth to the newest member of the family, Chloe Melissa Jemison. As a gift, I am printing a series of animal photographs for the babies room — and now that the baby is here I have to get them ready. The series of four photos will be printed on canvas and gallery wrapped on 10" x 10" stretchers. I spent today working on a photo of a mother and baby elephant.

Expand the post for before and after images of the photo, and a link to an interesting web video on retouching celebrity publicity images.

I took this photo at Disney's Animal Kingdom last January. I used Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to "develop" the photo as I usually do, but it had two problems that needed to be corrected before it could be part of the series. The ferns on the mother's hind quarter were distracting, and the image needed to be larger to show all of the elephants' bodies in a square aspect ratio. Using Photoshop's CLONE STAMP TOOL I was able to address both problems.

First, I used the tool to clone out the ferns on the hind quarter. I enlarged the canvas area and again used the clone tool — very carefully — to create ground, trees and sky in the new blank spaces.

Personally, I don't think that reality should be drastically altered, but I am not above using subtle retouching to make a photo work better. I don't see anything wrong with removing the ferns on the elephant's back, but I would not add a third elephant to the photograph.

Discussions abound on the web about the ethics of retouching photographs. Today's Imaging Insider Blog ( featured a link to a video on the prevalence of retouching celebrity portraits. We all know it is done, but I think you will find the video very interesting! Check it out at here!


  1. not like we didnt know all that but it was still interesting to see it in action. sad part is she wasnt a bad looking girl at all. anyway i don think there i anything wrong with the type of photo-retouching that you did on this.

  2. Oh course in my next photo, of a baby giraffe and mother, I actually had to move the baby closer to the mother. But I did not make the mother look younger!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.