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Best of the web – Digital Artists

We’re back, with the first in an occasional but regular look at digital image makers and artists who inspire us.

Natalie Dybisz is better know as her alter-ego Miss Aniela, a self taught fine art photographer based in London, England. With over 5.5 million views and counting of her Flickr Site, she is testament to the power of the internet to bring fresh talent to the worlds notice. In the tradition of the artist turning their gaze inwards, she started her career concentrating on self portraiture but with a modern twist – using composite images, with post production and image manipulation an integral part of the process,  to create often surreal, always interesting and arresting self portraits –

“Self-portraiture has been my passion in photography and is the reason why I got into the art”

Reverie (2008). “Resembles how I felt the other day, when I let the events of the  24 hours glide past me in a day-long reverie.”


Tentilla (2011). “I wanted to shoot something in my garden before the electric autumn colours of the plants subside, but little did I know I would become my own electric plant. I knew the picture was going in a surreal direction, and it took on many forms as I worked on it. On a whim I masked out the top half of my body, and it became a much more powerful shape, the tentacles spoke to me and that was it.”

 Imaging software and masking is just another tool, (like a camera), in the creation of  Miss Aniela’s work, but it’s integral to her creative process –

 “I like the complete independence and control you get with using a digital camera, Photoshop and yourself as a model.”

Their evening banter (2008). “This composite, more than ever, epitomises my general boredom with single shots, here being a complexly-woven society of six clones (five full bodies, but also the ‘one that got away’) trying to emulate the dinner scene in the painting on the wall…. definitely of one my proudest, if not the proudest, composite of mine..”

 “I am an ‘amateur’ who became pro, not through formal training but through sheer curiosity and passion alone. It is a great reward to be able to inspire other people to try the same.”

Miss Aniela is now teaching others, offering workshops in the UK for fashion orientated photography, here’s an image reminiscent of her previous work, and see a video from the day.

You can see more of Miss Aniela’s images on her website and flickr site. We hope that her work will inspire Fluid Mask users, with their creative hats on, to explore the limitless possibilities that digital post production allows.

All images © Miss Aniela, reproduced with kind permission.

Vertus HQ



Posted on: September 28, 2012 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Photoshop, Reviews

Our Top Retouched Images

Sometimes they can be funny, sometimes thought provoking, other times they just mess with your mind. They’ll always take your breath away though and make you wonder at the skills of the people that created them. The following images are our favourite manipulated images. If you’ve seen better we’d love to hear from you.






Posted on: February 11, 2010 Discussion: 316 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic, Photoshop, Uncategorized

Worst Examples of Photoshop in Print

1- Fingerlicious…

I think I much preferred Christina when she was a plain-old genie in a bottle. That finger right there looks like it’s about to fulfil its God-given right and morph into the pigtail it was born to be.

Meanwhile, piggy finger’s ribbing the poor little doggie who feels it has no option but to leave a little brown surprise in Christina’s other hand in its desperate plea for help.

photoshop disaster

2- Got Milk?

1st possibility: Drink lots of milk and you too will not only have a hard body like mine plus a free swimsuit to boot, but your eyes will clear up so much that you actually get to see the ghost that’s been following me around for the past couple of years. Admittedly, it’s a shy ghost as all you can see is its 3 digits, but it’s a ghost nonetheless dammit.

2nd possibility: the mannequin-looking athlete in the middle won 2 gold medals in the ‘Stretchy Arms’ sports category.

3rd possibility: the designer’s an incompetent fool.


3- Beyonce, the Trapeze Artist…

Erm, Beyonce, babes, you’re drop-dead gorgeous and all and I’m sure you’re mad mad flexible (yoga seems to have nothing on you, sistah) – but come on now, there’s showing how supple you are and there’s showing off …and this is just downright uncalled-for showing off.

There’s a time and a place for that (like if you’re trying to get rid of the paparazzi), but this photo shoot ain’t it. Remember, you’re trying to SELL the perfume.


4- Boo Yaa…

Women have always smugly felt that they have the monopoly on multitasking. Well, men can be pretty good multi-taskers too when they set their minds to it.

And here’s a picture to prove it.

Do you know of any women out there who can throw down a mean slam dunk and decapitate their fellow team member at the same time?

I didn’t think so.


5- FHM…

Hmmm…looks like some FHM staff need to pop into their local Specsavers, perhaps.

Ok, arguably, the model was, erm, somewhat of a ‘hot babe’ – but I kind of drew the line when her belly button ate her finger.

Hurrah to her for putting on a brave face, gritting her teeth (as you can evidently see) and finishing the rest of the shoot.

What a woman.


6- A Maze of Legs…

Yes. The FHM model’s bellybutton is at it again. One of Leah Wood’s legs is gone (and half of Peaches Geldof’s brain. The jury’s still out on Kimberly.)

On a serious’ish note, this photo shoot probably got way too ambitious for the poor designer’s IQ. Probably tried his/her bestest best, then sent the boat out, crossed fingers and hoped that amongst the maze of legs and nudity, no-one would notice.

Couldn’t have picked a better mag.


7-I Came, I Jaw…

What happens when you try to cut corners in these crazy credit-crunching times by paying 99 cents for a teeth-whitening job at the shabby dentist’s place that just opened round the corner?

Her friend doesn’t quite know what to say to her, so she just smiles and says ‘Uh huh’. While her other friend’s pouting self-assuredly into the camera, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest one of them all’.


8- Who’s That Girl…

Our Material Girl has tried many looks in her time and I admire her for it. She definitely doesn’t need to come back in a next lifetime as she’s just about tried every look in the book…

…apart from this one.

This is what she looks like when she takes off all her makeup.

Guy Ritchie. You missed out. Big time.


Posted on: March 9, 2009 Discussion: 1 Comment Posted in: Off-Topic, Photoshop

Recent Update for Photoshop CS4

The new 35.2MB multiple language update, 11.0.1, was released on February 24 and includes a number of fixes for the performance issues that have long been plaguing users. In addition Wacom pen users my now find life easier with corrections to pen barrel rotation problems when using their digital tablets. Also included in the list is a fix for the long standing bug which would cause Photoshop to crash when attempting to preview a corrupted font as well as another bug that would cause Photoshop to crash when pasting formatted text from a word processing document or web site. Here is a list of the most significant fixes in this update:

  • Some performance issues have been corrected
  • Wacom pen integration has been improved
  • Photoshop now recognizes 3D textures from add-ins
  • Some layer quality issues have been resolved
  • Crashes resulting from corrupt fonts have been addressed
  • Crashes while pasting pre-formatted text from an outside source have been addressed

Unfortunately, this update does not address issues with older video cards lacking OpenGL 2.0 compatibility. These computers are unable to make use of several of Photoshop’s new key features, so hopefully the next update will fix this issue.

This patch can be directly downloaded from the Adobe site here.

Posted on: March 6, 2009 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Announcements, Photoshop

Worst Photoshopped Celebrity Pictures

Ok, so we all know that most celebrity photos are touched up, but come on, this takes the biscuit (wafer-thin water biscuit, I might add. God forbid some are allowed to eat a butter shortcake).

1) Faith Hill – Redbook magazine (2007)

Faith Hill has left the building.

In her place is Faithazoid v1.0, complete with mannequin-thin arms, non-existent wrinkles and a perfect neckline and shoulder blades.

Oh, and the real Faith Hill didn’t have a right arm, but ‘Zoid does. ‘Zoid’s arms are also the same girth from shoulder to wrist.

Over-sized head. On a skinny body. Not a good look. No matter what the Photoshop demigods might say.

So much for that tagline under the mag: ‘Love your life’.

Yeah. Right.

worst edited celebrity pics- Faith Hill

2) Kate Winslet – GQ magazine (2003)

Nice legs, but, erm, don’t they belong to the wrong Kate? I’m thinking more Moss than Winslet.

Ok, so admittedly, Winslet has lost some ‘for-Hollywood’ weight over the years, but not THAT much.

“I can tell you they’ve reduced the size of my legs by about a third”, she said. It turns out that, apparently, she’d seen the original photos (pre touch-up) and had liked how her legs looked there, but hadn’t been consulted when the digital changes took place.

I think she should have sued GQ to the tune of “a third” of all copies of the magazine sold for that particular issue.

Kate Winslet worst edited picture

3) Andy Roddick – Men’s Fitness (2007)

Yes, male celebrities aren’t immune to the digital Frankensteinism going on with some mags. Even sports people can’t escape their clutches. Roddick’s biceps got more than a buffing up in Men’s Fitness magazine.

Maybe the mag was missing Popeye and tried to recreate him.

And, ahem, it’s absolutely no coincidence that there’s the title ‘How to Build Big Arms in 5 Easy Moves’ right next to Andy’s pic.

The thought never crossed their minds. Uh-uh. Not in the least.

worst edited celebrity pictures- Andy Roddick

4) Jennifer Aniston – Star Magazine (2007)

So Jen-Jen’s minding her own business, doing whatever celebrities called Jennifer Aniston do, which this time round was her making her way to an auction. In her hand is the auction catalogue.

But uh-uh, this scenario isn’t juicy enough for Star magazine. So they make one up. According to them, Jennifer’s on her way to see her book publisher to hand in a draft copy of her tell-all book about her life with Brad Pitt. Ta da!

But wait – what about the auction catalogue?

Oh that’s easy, Star thinks. Nothing a little bit of Photoshop can’t handle in its sleep. They simply airbrush the image in front of the catalogue away to make it look like a book manuscript and hey presto, Lisa Minelli’s your uncle.

worst edited celebrity pics- Jennifer Aniston

5) Katie Couric – Watch Magazine (2006)

At the time, Katie was about to become the new news anchor for America’s CBS evening news. Someone decided that she looked a bit too big-boned for the cover of CBS’s ‘Watch!’ magazine and decided to give her the Weight-Watchers treatment.

So, a little snip here and little snip there and voila, Katie became a shadow of her former self.

“I liked the first picture better because there’s more of me to love.”

Atta, girl!

worst edited celebrity images- Katie Couric

6) Harry Potter promotional poster (2007)

Wow, Emily – my, my, my, look how you’ve grown.

For the most recent Harry Potter release, Emily Watson’s chest was altered in one of the promotional posters, while it was left unaltered in another.

There is some speculation on several blogs as to which came first – whether her chest was flattened from the original or whether it was enlarged, but that’s really beside the point. It’s bad enough that a need is felt to physically alter pictures of women (and men – but it’s mostly women) – sometimes drastically. But to use the same formula on younger individuals is very worrying.

worst edited celebrity images- harry potter

7) Keira Knightley – King Arthur poster (2004)

What is up with people? Keira is a good-looking young woman and a great actress who I admit needs a bit more meat on her bones, but this is NOT the way to do it, guys.

In the 2004 film, King Arthur, Keira was digitally pumped up from a 32 whatever-she-is cup to at least a 34B.

If they didn’t like how she looked in the outfit, an idea might have been to alter the costume or something, not her.

In more recent times, she’s taken more of a stand and is plain refusing to have her breasts digitally altered in the future.

worst edited celebrity images- Keira Knightly

8) Nicolas Sarkozy – Match magazine (2007)

Oooh, it must be all that rowing, innit?


The original version of the photo (warts and all) was shown in most mags, but the Parisian mag, Match, seemed to have a problem with it and gave the French president a bit of in-house liposuction.

Actually, the French president didn’t look that bad in the first place, but in the retouched version, notice his love handle’s gone AWOL and his side looks unnaturally straight?

worst edited celebrity images- Nicolas Sarkozy

Posted on: November 13, 2008 Discussion: 9 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic, Photoshop


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