or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, June 13, 2008


Just look at this, from Photoshop Disasters:

The website is rightly appalled at what appears to be a clumsy composite photograph which appeared in the subway-handout edition of the Washington Post yesterday. If Phil Mickelson had been in that position, Tiger Woods' raised golf club would have whacked him on the back of the head before ending up where it is. And just look: Mickelson's elbow is in front of Woods, Woods' club is behind his own head, and yet the club is in front of Mickelson's head. It's positively Escher.

However, a number of the commenters on the page are convinced that the photo is real, that it was taken with a telephoto lens, which compresses space in visually confusing ways. I don't know enough about photography to have an opinion, except to say kudos to the newspaper for running a terrible photograph which gives the precise illusion of having been sloppily manipulated by digital means.

But my brief isn't cruddy Photoshop work (or cruddy photography), it's cloddish typographical errors, and just look at that caption:

Phil Mickelson, left, watches Tiger Woods' shot during the second round of the 2006 PGA Championship. The two will be pair together again at the U.S. Open.

"Will be pair together again." First off, the verb tense is wrong, and second, "pair[ed] together", while not an absolutely indefensible redundancy, is ugly and unnecessary, not the sort of thing one would expect to find in a reputable paper. Given the constraints of the caption, two short lines, why not just "will meet again"?

The Washington Post wasn't always the sort of shoddy, cheapjack operation that would have let something like this happen. Kay Graham would never have let that photo run, and she'd have fired whatever editor let the caption go through. She's probably rolling over in her grave right now.


Anonymous OmegaMom said...

Photoshop Disasters is a great website...lots of fun!

But, yes, that caption is bad, bad, bad, as well.

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:29:00 AM  
Blogger pyramus said...

There's another website called Photoshop Failures which was created as a response to some dissatisfaction with Photoshop Disasters. (Just read the PD comments: they often range from "That's not a disaster!" to "Why do you even have this stupid website?") I read them both from time to time: they each have their fair share of non-disastrous, non-failed material, but they're usually pretty funny.

Friday, June 13, 2008 5:45:00 AM  

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