“How to Photoshop” book has incompetently photoshopped cover

awful_book.jpg

The terrible western cartoon artwork gracing “How to Draw Manga” books are beaten in the shitstakes by the amateurish cover to “How to Cheat in Photoshop CS3: The art of creative photorealistic montages.

Looking like something tossed off in five minutes for a Worth1000 or SA forum thread, the image is a mash of ill-cropped components, sharp edges and woeful colorization, with the spatial relationships of a popsicle shadow play. And … why is there a giant hole in his left elbow? “Photorealistic montages” indeed–fourth edition!

Be sure to read the creepy reviews at Amazon. Here’s the apparent original, fished out by a commenter at the original post…

34455289.thw.jpg

How To Cheat In Photoshop By Reason Of Mental Illness [Photoshop Disasters, via a similarly horrifying work featured at the motherboing.]

About Rob Beschizza

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18 Responses to “How to Photoshop” book has incompetently photoshopped cover

  1. Anonymous says:

    The commenter who posted the original image at the link, was involved in making the cover, possibly made it himself.

    He understandably not best pleased with the criticism he’s receiving.

  2. Nelson.C says:

    I have a previous edition of the book, and I find it useful. If true photorealism’s your goal, then I don’t think following Caplin would lead you in the wrong direction. But as an illustrator, true photorealism is not Caplin’s goal, he’s more of an editorial photomontager.

  3. Skep says:

    “If I saw that in the contest queue at Worth1000, I’d DQ it.”

    …and what a raking over the coals it would get at SomethingAwful…

    (ugh, and the blue-tinged attempt to darken the left side of Bogart’s face (between the cheek and ear) is just terrible…)

  4. mkultra says:

    Wow, that is astonishingly incompetent.

    The irony level here is simply off the charts.

  5. Nelson.C says:

    Well, the hole in the elbow is pretty egregious, I’ll allow. On the other hand, if you were familiar with Caplin’s work from various British national newspapers, you’d recognise the style and buy it for that reason, as I did.

  6. Jake0748 says:

    yeah… you can totally tell by the pixels.

  7. Skep says:

    Well, the hole in the elbow is pretty egregious, I’ll allow. On the other hand, if you were familiar with Caplin’s work from various British national newspapers, you’d recognise the style and buy it for that reason, as I did

    He may well know his stuff, but the cover image would, with that glitch in the elbow, would have been rejected by any of his regular clients. If the goal is to sell books by providing and exemplar of the the “photorealistic” skills of the author, then it fails miserably, even if the subtitle had been “create passible photo illustration montages” I wouldn’t bother picking up the book based on the cover photo.

    It is certainly possible for an author to be more knowledgeable than skilled, witness David Pouge, who’s photoshop work is awful, but his general purpose photoshop text books are decent. In the extant case, though, the cover photo is supposed to be an exemplar of the author’s photoshop artistry. On that level it is self-defeating. Perhaps if the book had been called “what no to do when creating a photo montage?”

  8. Nelson.C says:

    I imagine the subtitle was an editor’s choice, rather than Caplin’s. As to irony, Caplin often does satirical illustration, so, yeah, it’s quite likely that is some in that cover.

  9. Skep says:

    “s to irony, Caplin often does satirical illustration, so, yeah, it’s quite likely that is some in that cover.”

    …right, so it is deliberately crappy… Yeah, that would be a great way to market a Photoshop book… Not buying it–your theory or the book.

  10. Alys says:

    Personally I’d be put off by the use of Bogart’s face in that montage (never mind the hole in the elbow, which I didn’t see until I tilted my glossy screen.)

  11. Nelson.C says:

    Well, it’s in fourth edition, it must be selling well enough to make it worth updating for each new edition of Photoshop. If the covers are really that bad, the inside must make up for it.

  12. Skep says:

    Hmm..gotta love how every shadow goes in a different direction–especially the cards, with their default drop shadow leaning **towards** the horrible kerosine lantern.

  13. certron says:

    That’s Humphrey Bogart? I thought it was Sylvester McCoy!

  14. Tenn says:

    What, can you all tell by the pixels or something? Looks brilliant to me.

    /sarcasm

  15. Skep says:

    But as an illustrator, true photorealism is not Caplin’s goal, he’s more of an editorial photomontager.

    Then the book should have been “The Art of Creating Passible Editorial Photo Montages” rather than “The Art of Creating Photorealisistic Montages”

    As many pointed out at Photoshop Disasters, if you turn up the brightness you can see that the illustration is so sloppy that a large patch of curtain shows up through the model’s left elbow. The horrible montage can’t be excused as a “Photo Illustration,” when it has sloppy, inexcusable errors. (Ug, and that giant, neck-less pasted on Bogart head is really annoying….)

  16. SC_Wolf says:

    And from having seen quite a few “shops” in my time.

    So, the moral is, cheaters never prosper?

  17. Galoot says:

    If I saw that in the contest queue at Worth1000, I’d DQ it.

  18. Avram says:

    My first thought was maybe he did a brilliant job, and the editor said “Nah, nobody will ever believe this was Photoshopped. Crap it down a little!”

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