Friday, May 1, 2009

confessions of a photo-shopaholic

It's 3AM and I can't sleep.

I was having desert with a co-worker and in the middle of this delicious carrot-walnut cupcake, I realized I had the hugest zit on my forehead. Pimples are funny things. They can totally make or break you. At times, I feel so old and mature in my smart casual outfits and designer coffee and then my skin decides it has a different plan for me. It doesn't matter where it is. The point of the matter is it's there and it just screams for attention. I haven't had a huge pimple like this in months. I couldn't resist it. The minute I got home, I pricked it and now I'm practically bleeding. Damn it.
I remember what YJ from inyourarmsmanila said when I first met him. He was the third person I ever met through blogging despite the fact that I've been blogging since God knows when. "Sa picture, mukha kang tisoy." I do not have Spanish blood. Anyone who's seen me can attest to that. I'm one-fourth Chinese but one would never suspect that based on how I look. I realized that I've been Photoshop-ping myself too much.

In celebration of labor day, I decided to post one of the things I really work hard for. I guess you could also call it coming clean from all the hiding and airbrushing. The following are the befores and afters of some pictures I used for my blog.

Confessions of a Photo-shopaholic

Case # 1: Pout your lips. I used this one late last year. Despite looking really simple, I actually had to do a lot of editing. First, I used the Heal tool to remove a major pimple below my left eyebrow. I manipulated the Hue/Saturation to make me look less brown. I then colored my eyes but I purposely left some of the red-eye so that it wouldn't look so manufactured. I then airbrushed my forehead and eyebags. Finally I used Liquify to make my nose and lips smaller and to tuck in my flabby cheeks.

Case # 2: Feigning Nonchalance. First thing I did was I manipulated the colors. I was going for a vivid look and I wanted the blue to really pop out. I selected the background and made it bluer. I added a little white to make my cheekbones more visible. I blurred out and airbrushed some ugly shadows on my neck. Lastly, I used Liquify to make my nose smaller and to remove my double chin.

Case # 3: Kalbo! I said goodbye to my hair back in February* and everytime I saw my last avatar, I felt a little sad. It took me some time to get used to my new hair (or lack thereof) and when I felt a little more comfortable, I decided to show the (online) world what I had done. I selected the background, changed it to blue, and added a little glow/shadow using a duplicate of my outline. I then used the Heal tool for a pimple scar below my lip. After that, I airbrushed my forehead, cheeks and eyebags. Lastly, I liquified my cheeks and chin to make it look smaller.

Case # 4: Online Stalker. I didn't really have to change much for this one. I just blurred parts of my skin, liquified my nose a little and manipulated the Hue/Saturation to make it look more drab.

Case # 5: Spongebob Tattoo! The dilemma I had for this picture was that I already posted it* days before I decided it would be a good avatar. I couldn't drastically edit it without looking like a complete Photoshop whore so I just used some Auto Adjustments to get the color right. I decided my teeth looked too yellow (and I blame it on North Park's lighting bwahahahaha!!!) so I selected it and pasted it on a new layer. I then stripped it of its color and manipulated the brightness and contrast. This new layer became my false teeth and after fiddling with the opacity, I thought it was finally presentable. Looking at it now, i see that it's so obviously fake.

Case # 6: The Russ-Russ-Can-We-Leeezen? Portrait. I really liked the collages that a friend of mine made*. He used the better half of the millions of pictures we took on his birthday. This one was pretty simple because I didn't want to change it too much. I airbrushed my forehead, fixed my teeth a little and darkened the guy in the background. I then rearranged the picture so that it would look like it was in the middle of other pictures.

Case # 7: The Beach. I posted this picture last Tuesday and I'm glad to report that I mostly edited the beach and not myself. I fixed my teeth a little but that's basically it. I even left a mini zit on my forehead. The beach wasn''t exactly picture perfect but I wanted to share to the world that I finally saw the damn sea. I first manipulated the Hue/Saturation for the sea so that it would look really nice and deep. I realized the sea and the sky became the same color so I separated them by placing them on different layers. This allowed me to make the sky look a little brighter. If only it was that easy in real life.

I'll probably hate myself for posting these but honestly, who cares? Everyone does it. No one just wants to admit it. I'm not sure if I'm still making sense. Putting captions on those damn pictures was exhausting. Happy Labor Day everyone!


  1. well... nothing more cryptic or deceptive than not posting any pictures at all. pictures do not accurate represent the nuances of the human being in time (or three dimensional space) so a little color correction doesn't hurt anyone!

  2. i think it's nice that some people don't have pictures. anonymity affords you certain things which people like me just can't afford.

    thanks LOF! you're right! it's not hurting anyone. hehe

  3. ikr. minsan gusto ko pa=discreet ang drama. masydo nang TMI ang blog ko hahaha. people dont wanna meet meee anymore hehe.

    naaalala ko tuloy yung website where i saw myself as an indian. ang gwapo ko shet! hahaha. LOF is right, it wouldnt hurt to tweak some shots naman heheh

  4. its not about looking differently on personal or losing your personality with the too much alterations.

    sometimes, we just need to fix some imperfections to look presentable. or look good lang talaga.

    doesnt matter anyway.

    *pero admit it, mas maganda tingnan yung malinis na shot ng photoshop diba.

  5. Nyl, if I knew how to use the photoshop, I would have photoshopped some of my pics. Remember I asked you to photoshop my previous avatar? Hehehe.

    Happy Labor Day Filipinas!

  6. @Herbs I think a good rule of thumb would be kung recognizable ka parin in person. haha at least di naman nagtaka si YJ na ganto pala mukha ko.

    @Stan Hi! :D You're right, I kinda like the photoshopped pictures more.

    @PB Oo nga eh. I still owe you a new avatar. hehe Happy labor day! Wish ko lang double pay din tayo!

  7. ahahahaha you should see some of my pics na pinaglalaruan ko sa photoshop.... nagiging ibang tao ako hahahahaha....

    OMG... how young were you when the first pic was taken....? ang cute cute hahahaha.... at cute ka parin hanggang ngayon so dont worry hehehehe

  8. wel wel wel..
    di ka nag-iisa, nyl! apir! :)
    salamat, photoshop! hehehe.

  9. Brave! With pictures and all. Now I envy your for your courage in doing something I can't in this lifetime. :)

  10. @YJ i took it last year. i was experimenting with hairstyles. mga november so.. i was 21. patingin naman ng mga photoshopped pics mo tutal close na naman tayo diba? hahaha

    @Gentle ano na kaya nangyari sa mundo kung walang photoshop?

    @Apol AMEN! :D let's discuss magic and morality again soon.

    @Jake I think it's double edged. like i said to LOF, anonymity affords u certain things. because I'm not anonymous, I'm okay with posting pictures of myself. at the same time, the content I publish becomes limited and slightly censored. ganun ganon lang talaga. mahirap naman to want everything, right? :D btw, WELCOME!!! :D

  11. Wala ako photoshop. Di ko kelangan. Maganda ako sa picture at lalong maganda sa personal.

    Isang malaking ...

    CHING! =D