Oct 5, 2005

Photoshop Magic Melts Prison Bars

Photo by Friends Beyond the Walls

Source: Wired News
Written By Christopher Null

Judging by the photo of the happy couple, they’ve just returned from a fabulous ski trip to Aspen, where they spent the weekend snuggling up in a rustic lodge in the mountains and schussing down the slopes.

Well, not quite. You wouldn’t guess that he’s doing time in prison, and she’s waiting patiently for his release. The picture’s a composite created in Photoshop, courtesy of a service that caters to prisoners who can’t physically get to the places in which they’d like to be photographed.

For $10, Friends Beyond the Wall takes your prison visiting room photo, crops you and your loved one out of it, and digitally inserts you into one of dozens of exotic backgrounds. Instead of standing in front of a cinder block wall, you can be seen leaning on your Jaguar, on safari in Africa or taking a virtual honeymoon in Morocco.

Quality varies depending on how well the lighting matches and the poses fit, but to the untrained eye, the effect is uncannily lifelike.

Photoshop trickery is nothing new, but Friends Beyond the Wall’s “Composite Magic Photos” is arguably one of the few cases where wholesale digital manipulation might be put to positive use.

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