It goes beyond this--sort of like "trick photography", but there aren't too many tricks involved beyond some positioning, lighting, clothing style and body hair modifications. This aspect of the before-and-after phenomenon was first brought to my attention in an article in one of the professional journals to which I subscribe. The article discussed the "photographic facelift", and demonstrated several patients who appeared to have undergone a procedure carrying a price-tag in the thousands of dollars. In fact, the patients had not had any procedure done, but rather had been photographed "before" without make-up, with flat lighting, and positioned to accentuate signs of facial aging. The after photos were technically better photographs of women wearing make-up, smiling, and positioned more favorably. The results demonstrated the importance of standard photography.
They also demonstrated the importance of scrutiny on the part of the reader. Just as my photographs illustrate. The before photographs were taken the night I arrived home from a surgical expedition to South America. I was unshaven for two days, carrying my winter weight as well as my winter fur, and sporting a pair of baggy gym shorts. The pictures were taken using an Olympus 2000 digital camera using a flash, and you can perhaps see the remote control in my right hand. Pretty awful. The after pictures were taken...not twelve weeks later...not six weeks later...but six days later. And that was only because I didn't have time to take them the next day. I shaved my face, shaved my body, stood up straight the way my mother always told me to, and I used the same camera with somewhat better lighting in a photography studio setting in my office. I might have been able to improve the lighting a bit more, but I didn't have time. Again, the remote control is in my right hand. I have not dieted. I have not used any revolutionary supplement. I did suck in my gut.
No way, you say? It's true. Granted, I'm not in my best condition--six weeks of dieting would, in fact, accomplish that. And that's why the advertisements aren't necessarily lying when they describe the miraculous transitions which have occured. But they are using individuals like myself, who are trained and aren't nearly in the terrible condition that their "before" pictures might suggest. Some of those individuals may also be spending two hours on a stationary bicycle every day. They may also use anabolic steroids or other illegal supplements, but of course, that's never mentioned. Clearly, their transformation is completely the result of Brand-X Dietary Supplement.
Britney's amazing transformation! (c) Dean Webb at Fatlaneonline.com
Well, now you've been advised. Time to suck in your gut, stand up straight, and think twice before you succumb to another "before and after" scam.
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