Semi-Required Reading

Posted by: Jon Fine on May 8, 2008

In Seattle for a couple of days, doing some reporting for some upcoming columns, and have been running around too much to be too active in this blog.

But want to pass along this: If you are remotely interested in the images that underpin much of today’s popular and media culture, by all means check out Lauren Collins’ excellent piece in the New Yorker about Pascal Dangin, who’s apparently the fashion and ad world’s top photo retoucher.

And who, like many at the top of a field, operates with a kind of calmness and artistry that comes when you know something much better than anyone else on the planet.

Highlight: Collins brings up this renowned Dove ad campaign, in order to suggest the public has an appetite for “realer” looking models. And then finds out that Dangin—surprise!--retouched the images in that campaign.

Or, as Dangin puts it, "Do you know how much retouching was on that?"

UPDATE 5/9: Dove releases statement that denies Dangin's claim.

UPDATE 5/14: Clearly a complimicated situation! New Yorker standing by its story; Ad Age parses it all here.

UPDATE 5/20: My colleague Burt Helm, over at BusinessWeek's Brand New Day blog, has gone far deeper into this than I have and has written this excellent post in which he quotes extensively from photo retoucher Kenneth Harris.



The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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