17:27, Wednesday, 01.04.2015
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President’s Supporters Multiplied in Photoshop


Davit Nizharadze, www.ambebi.ge

Many instruments have been used to multiply votes, supporters and fans – for example, including dead people on voters’ lists.

Some people find those methods too difficult to implement; the publishers of Tbilisi City Hall’s magazine “Tbilisuri Ambebi” [Tbilisi Stories], however, have used Photoshop to solve the problem. If you have not received the magazine yet, you will receive it soon… Tbilisi City Hall distributes the magazine for free; I found one at my door.

“Tbilisi Stories – How Tbilisi Is Reconstructing” – a magazine of 106 pages reviews all infrastructural and social projects implemented or scheduled to be implemented by Tbilisi City Hall.

I will not start complaining about the money spent on the magazine. I would just like to note that it is a show of bad taste, spending so much money on the promotion after the tragedy in Ortachala [flood of May 12, 2012]. However, I would like to attract your attention to a completely different issue.

“Tbilisuri Ambebi” is illustrated with impressive photos. One of them is particularly attractive – happy and smiley President Mikheil Saakashvili is surrounded by a lot of people and kindly greeting them. The photo is full of emotion and hoisted flags…

At first sight there is nothing strange about it. Who would be surprised by a number of supporters of the President in Georgia; their shouting “Misha, Misha!”? But what can I do when my eyes catch everything? Suddenly, I found two appearances of one and the same woman in the photo.

Initially I thought they were twin-sisters. But then I looked at the photo more carefully and noticed another instance of two people with the same face and suddenly an alternative explanation came to mind – Saakashvili was attending a twin festival. But those twins were standing too far from each other and in suspiciously similar positions…

I contacted a designer in our media-house and he explained it to me – they are neither twins nor has there been any wizardry at work here, it is simple Photoshop cloning. This means that the designer at City Hall’s magazine did not have a photo with a big crowd (maybe he tried to find one but could not) and decided to use Photoshop instead.

It appears that the designer added layers of copy-pasted photos to the people gathered around the president in the photo.

Having seen this photo, I remembered a feature often found in entertainment magazines – spot the difference (only in our case I had to spot the similarities); initially, I thought this photo might have been included in the magazine for entertainment purposes, but the topic of the article destroyed my hopes.

The photo with the multiplied supporters of the President illustrates an article with the following title – The More People Have Medical Insurance the More Qualified and Available Medical Service Is.

Unfortunately, we cannot assume the real number of the insured people; however we can make conclusions about the promised medical treatment from it.

In fact, the abovementioned fact can be paraphrased in the following way: “The More Professional Designers We Have, The More Convincing Photo Can Be Published”. Although the masterpiece of photography cannot always achieve its goals, the professionalism can be developed. So, the designer of this photo will not get disappointed because “Much More Will Be Photoshoped”

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