I posted a 917 photo last week with no explanation. I had only mentioned “a 917 goes into the shop to get some wErk done” or rather “into Photoshop to get the wErk treatment”. I wanted an unbiased reaction to the image without the knowledge the image had been retouched and manipulated. Sometimes that changes people’s opinions…for whatever reason(s). “Photoshopping” has become a bad word and people want unedited originals – again…for whatever reason(s).

See the unedited before photo straight from the camera and the retouched and manipulated after results.

You’ll note the “distractions” have been removed from the left hand side: a stool, front windshield of truck, two workers and a table.

The following was manilpulated on the right hand side: a photographer and another worker were removed plus the wall was rebuilt by copying the opposite side and image transforming it horizontally.

Here’s a better view of the photographer with his tripod setting up.

Retouching here includes: distracting cast shadow fixed, concrete texture enhanced and center trench extended.

In the world of retouching and manipulation, the above example is very mild editing. Some images are so Photoshopped it’s literally and figuratively unreal. To me, successful retouching or manipulation is when you can’t tell it’s been done. In this day and age of “air-brushing” you can assume all images have been edited.

Maybe you’re surprised at how much or how little has been done but either way – now that you know…it should not have changed your original opinion from last week.

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  1. Jeroen says:

    Nice job! Nothing over the top or “unacceptable”
    Actually, it was the happy, saturated colors that had me worried 😉

  2. Bob Tilton says:

    I gotta throw you guys off track every once in awhile. 😉

  3. George says:

    NIce work. Have seen several fake historic cars, sold as originals. Now that is real photoshopping 🙂

  4. Great work Bob,

    Photographing at race tracks is working in a no control environment. Photoshop is more like the total control of photographing in a studio. You used PS tools to distill the original file into a refined, elegant photograph. Best part is your skill was invisible until you revealed it. I really appreciate this view into your process!

    A few years ago some controversy resulted when the German artist/photographer Andreas Gursky revealed he digitally removed some unwanted details in his large scale photo print “Rhine II.” In 2011 Christie’s auctioned it for $4,338,500. You should reevaluate the price of your prints.


  5. Tyger says:

    I like what you did.
    I might have left the stool in though.
    Makes it less poster and gives a sense of reality and human to the photo.
    Plus to me it shows just how small and low the monster really is!

    Otherwise really sensational!

  6. Bob Tilton says:

    Good point Tyger. In the end, for this particular image I wanted it to be free of clutter. It comes off as more “staged” rather than “documentary” and kind of funny…I’m more of a fan of documentary.

    Thanks Dale! I’ll have to check out Rhine II.

  7. Rob Scheeren says:

    I’m all for it Bob,
    It’s challenging to capture your desired level of perfection in every image you take. As a photographer capturing images in a busy fast paced environment like the track, you perceive what an image could become, and then you click. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you dont, and sometimes photoshop can help make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

    The art for me is capturing the image to the best of the cameras abilty, and fine tuning that to make it what you consider the perfect image, whilst maintaining an un-retouched look. You have achieved that with this image, allowing the viewer to look at what you intended, not the peripheral stuff!


  8. Bob Tilton says:

    Totally agreed Rob!

  9. Pingback: Cleaning Up Around the 917 | The Chicane

  10. Chet Dawes says:

    Congrats on the Chicane billing! I enjoy the Chicane blog and to see this featured today was both cool and completely justified.
    Your wErk is great bob, keep it up!

  11. Bob Tilton says:

    Yeah…extremely honored to get mentioned on the Chicane blog!

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