This shot of two models in metallic body paint didn’t seem to present any particular post-processing difficulties. But the devil, as they say, is in the details. A close-up view of the shot on my 30 inch wide monitor showed a band-aid under the gold paint on one gold finger. When a photo is as graphically simple as this one, the flaw would have spoiled the show.
Phyllis gave me a hand with the retouching, which used the skin from an undamaged finger rotated, resized, and warped to replace the fiber of the wrapped bandage. I bet you can’t tell which finger was fixed using this virtual plastic surgery!
Edit: Over on Flickr, I had some incorrect guesses about which finger was fake. It took quite a while for Marty to “finger” the index finger on the model’s right hand.
I think it is significant that it took a while for someone to point out the faked finger, after all there are only ten possibilities. It’s almost like a kind of visual Turing test. Apparently, sophisticated viewers of a photo can’t tell which part was digitally created and which part was captured directly by the camera.
The moral: don’t take the reality of anything you see in a photo for granted.
Here’s a close-up of the hand in the photo before the bandaid was retouched out: