Well, yes! Yes, I can! And that, my friends, is the magic of Photoshop!
In all fairness, it wasn't too difficult, in that there was another photo of grandpa that had him whole. I was able to resize the image and splice them together, adjust the tones and highlights, and recreate the background foliage. All-in-all, I spent about two hours on it and you can't tell that poor gramps was ever cropped. If that other photo didn't exist, I would not have been so successful. Because Photoshop is not really magic software.
Photos can be manipulated, recolored, or combined with other photos to make new images. And if the designer has enough time and talent, the results can be amazing! But then again, if the designer doesn't have the skill or is in a hurry, the results can be bad. Very bad. But it doesn't erase a photo to magically show an image of stuff behind it, like an antique painting. It's also very difficult to make something from nothing. If there hadn't been a photo with a whole grandpa, that job would have been nearly impossible. Sure, I could have combined Grandpa with another man in a suit, but to make it look like the same guy with the same build and the same suit would have been a much bigger job than splicing grandpa.
The key to getting a good result from Photoshop manipulation boils down to two things:
- Training and experience in Photoshop. People who do not use Photoshop on a regular basis can't just jump into this program and produce professional images. It's a powerhouse of a software package. I don't even know all that it can do, and I've been at this for over 20 years.
- Having realistic expectations. If you want to slim down a swimsuit model, obviously Photoshop can do that. Replace her head with a watermelon? Yep. Give her a beard? You betcha! But it can't rotate her clockwise to see her at a different angle. If she's blurry, it can't make her crystal clear. If the photo is really dark and lacking details, Photoshop can't bring those details in the shadows back. And that barn? Guess what? Dear old dad isn't behind it.
So, the next time you contact your designer to have her "photoshop" something, remember, it's done with the click of a mouse, and not a magic wand.