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article imageOp-Ed: The science of lousy photography and Chikipedia’s Top 100

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By Paul Wallis     Aug 13, 2011 in Entertainment
Sydney - Is there some law that says photographers of female celebrities have to leave their guide dogs at home on a shoot? I’ve just been looking at a menagerie of dismal efforts on Chikipedia’s Top 100, and it’s horrifying.
Chikipedia is the all-female celebs site. It’s hugely popular, and with some reason. What’s not clear is how Australia’s Daily Telegraph came to be inflicted with its version of the Top 100. These aren't Chikipedia's shots, they're publicity shots, and they're mainly horrendous. Perhaps they were having a “be kind to visually dyslexic photographers” day.
Some of the shots are grim, to say the least, and these are the most clicked women on Earth:
The usually well-organized Christina Hendricks (No.4) has a three quarter shot which makes her look like a purple Zeppelin with a psychotic hair stylist. Why any publicist would let this photo out without an exorcist I cannot imagine.
Big boobs, no doubt useful in bringing out the best instincts in editors, seem to be a disadvantage. Jordan Carver, (No. 2) an English model with her own awnings, has a particularly unflattering shot which could probably be explained by DD-delirium, but not by any optometrist.
The gorgeous Emma Watson (No.15) is one of a host of women apparently lumbered with a type of ultra-hipped dress which she survives but the others don’t. Watson’s clotheshorse genes are probably the only antidote for this disease of dressmaking desperation. This type of “dress”, if the word is appropriate, is essentially a tube designed to make the hips look bigger than the rest of the body. Watson’s dress isn’t surgically installed, but others are.
Even the magazine covers look pretty dire. Maxim has a shot of Jennifer Love Hewitt which makes her look like she’s in mid-yawn. ZOO’s cover shots are invariably at boob level, no doubt because the photographers can’t use a GPS. FHM, which is normally reliable in terms of good shots, has a picture of Sophie Howard looking as if she’s on her way to the dentist in a bikini.
Meanwhile back on the red carpet, Salma Hayek (No.76) has apparently been attacked by one of Liz Taylor’s old dresses in her “battles with the horizontal hold” days. There’s a shot of Natalie Portman (No.73) which looks like a schoolgirl trying to fit into a grown up gown. She’s almost unrecognizable.
Right behind Portman is the usually impeccable and very attractive Anne Hathaway (No.72), sentenced to one of the surgically attached “dresses" with a bizarre crucifix shape in white running down the middle of her body. It looks like the Crusades are trying to go upmarket. Kat Denings (No. 83) is perhaps the most seriously injured visually by her version of this dress type.
Yes, there is a point to all this sniping:
Does anybody actually look at these photos before they’re published? Or does someone just say “boobs”, and the paparazzi ratbags slither out and try and find some? Some of these shots could be described as defamation, if you really wanted to be nice about them.
These guys couldn’t take an aspirin, let alone a photo, and they shouldn’t be encouraged. These pics are some of the best excuses for Photoshop I’ve ever seen. Looks like the theory has got muddled- Photoshop isn’t there to make the subjects look good. It’s there to make the photographers look good.
The fabulous Keira Knightley, (No. 57) who really is gorgeous and can prove it, has a shot which looks like she’s either waiting for a doctor’s report or wants to know how the coroner’s feeling. She’s behind a chair, turning around, in dark clothes with her long neck covered, and all you can see is eyeliner and shadows.
As someone who’s often thought that shooting people for not looking more like Keira Knightley would solve a lot of the world’s problems, I’m not impressed.
Christina Aguilera,( No. 51) seems to be a combination of Dolly Parton and some sort of campaign to live graciously in polka dots in 1950.
The photography can be pretty grotesque, too. Isla Fisher, (No.99) an Australian actress who happens to be very well assembled in terms of female attributes, all of which are pointed in the normal directions, is shown as a sort of deformed hunchback. It’s “Isla” Fisher, idiots, not “Igor” Fisher.
Which leads to a general question- Would the people with the twitchy camera fingers kindly get them out, and start taking decent pictures of these women? Isn’t there enough ugliness in the world without any further donations from you bastards? Have the last 150 years of progress in photographic technology been wasted, yes/no?
If the Telegraph or anyone else wants to start a media class action, they’ve got all the proof they’ll ever need.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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