[Jandek] New Cover

Seth Tisue seth at tisue.net
Tue Jun 29 20:27:27 PDT 2004

>>>>> "BuckPinne" == BuckPinne  <BuckPinne at aol.com> writes:

 BuckPinne> Hey, Just a thought, but does anybody think there's a chance
 BuckPinne> that this photo wasn't necessarily edited on Photoshop, but
 BuckPinne> rather was an older, more traditional trick photo with the
 BuckPinne> man standing in front of a giant screen picture backdrop?
 BuckPinne> Like at a photography studio, or somewhere he could simply
 BuckPinne> stand in front of different backdrops, and have a bunch of
 BuckPinne> different photos taken.

I don't believe that.  It's not a very picturesque forest scene -- not
nearly picturesque enough to be a backdrop at a photo studio, I think.
The real ones are much tackier.  I suppose such an ordinary-looking
backdrop might exist elsewhere (like, I don't know, in a hallway of a
nature museum or something), but even then, I find it very implausible
that such a large backdrop would have been so obviously manipulated in
Photoshop.  If that's a backdrop, the Photoshop file would have to be
absolutely huge in order for it not too look (to people actually seeing
the backdrop, not in photos) like a bunch of pixels, and it would be
just about impossible to duplicate the trees in the background without
it being really obvious -- this kind of retouching only really works at
much lower resolutions.

The only reason you would go to so much trouble to alter a picture is if
the picture had some value -- for example, because Jandek was in it!  It
was just a photo of some trees, you wouldn't go to all the trouble to
alter it so heavily, you'd just take a usable photo in the first place.

Also, he's not casting a shadow against the backdrop, nor are there
other telltale signs of backdrop-ness in the lighting or perspective or
anything.  (A photo studio would be good at avoiding that, but this is
clearly a snapshot and not a professional photo.)

And a backdrop wouldn't explain the very obvious retouching between the
pant legs or the weird blurriness around the left shoulder -- meaning if
you think it's a backdrop you have to maintain that it's a clumsily
retouched photograph of someone standing in front of another clumsily
retouched photograph, which seems like an implausibly elaborate theory
to me.

As far as the idea that the retouching might not have been done by
computer, I don't believe that either.  Maybe someone who has
professional familiarity with photo retouching could comment, but I
think the picture that Ivan Shiel posted demonstrates that the nature
and the extent of the retouching are extremely characteristic of
Photoshop-type software.  The retouching marks between the legs
(that kind of look like brushstrokes) also seem like a total giveaway to
me.  Pre-Photoshop-era retouched photographs simply didn't look like
this.  (Again, I'd be happy to have this confirmed or denied by someone
with more extensive experience in this area, though.)

The album is really good.  I liked the last one, but this is even
better.  Jandek's bass playing is really expressive.

Seth Tisue - seth at tisue.net - http://tisue.net
"It is better to stay indoors and not mess around
with useless experiences." - Rudolph Wurlitzer, _Nog_

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