Photoshop Fail: 15 Hilariously Botched Images

By Steph in Architecture & Design, Graffiti & Drawing photoshop-fail-main
Forget silly things like human anatomy and the laws of physics. When it comes to Photoshop,
reality needn’t apply – just clone, rotate, skew, blur and hope nobody notices. From missing limbs to outrageously overzealous retouching, an incredible number of Photoshop screw-ups have graced magazine covers, product packaging and store displays.

A Bounce House for Tiny Floating Kids

(image via: Photoshop Mistakes)
Either this ‘bounce house’ offered by Walmart has truly amazing properties – causing kids to magically turn into hobbits and develop the ability to float in mid-air – or it’s being marketed to a very small group of tiny mutant children. Either way, that one kid floating above the slide should probably get his parasitic twin checked out by a doctor.

Why Bother with Fine Print?

(image via: Photoshop Disasters)
You’ve got to hand it to Bausch & Lomb (if you still can, that is): at least they’re up front about the terrible, disfiguring side effects you can expect to experience after using their products. They don’t try to hide it in 12 paragraphs of fine print on their website, it’s right there in the ad. Or, perhaps they’re sending the message that if we use their eye drops, we, too, will be too blind to see glaring mistakes like missing limbs.

Microcephalic Madonna

(images via: All About Madonna + Gallery of the Absurd)
It was a real head-scratcher. When this issue of Out Magazine debuted, people were wondering why Madonna suddenly looks like an alien with a pinhead. It seems that some ‘creative’ Photoshopping was used not only to shrink her skull, but make her shoulders disappear as well.

Invisible Bike

(image via: Photoshop Disasters)
It’s hard to tell exactly what the graphic designer was going for here. Perhaps they erased part of the bicycle to work on the wall and forgot to put it back in, or they wanted it to appear as if the man was sitting on the wall and neglected to take out the front part of the bike. Or maybe they’re trying to tell us that if you trade with Saxo Bank, they’ll send you a really cool half-invisible bike.

That Weight Loss Will Cost You

(image via: Photoshop Mistakes)
Tara had heard the rumors about extreme weight loss tactics on The Biggest Loser, but she wasn’t prepared for the terrible price she would ultimately pay to reach her goal. But that’s okay, she was never all that fond of her right leg anyway.

The Phantom Hand

(image via: TresSugar)
Extra hands seem to be one of the most common Photoshop bloopers. They’re seen on book covers, movie posters and advertisements – the sad remains of someone the designer wanted out of the picture. Odds are, someone pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline failed to see the extra appendage peeking out from this woman’s hair.

The Mirror Doesn’t Lie

(image via: Photoshop Disasters)
Image retouching is a fact of modern life. Blemishes and wrinkles must disappear, dark circles concealed, awkward expressions corrected, hair smoothed, curves nipped and tucked. But if you’re going to drastically alter people’s faces, it’s best to do it in any noticeable reflections, as well.

Belly Buttons are Ugly Anyway

(image via: Gawker)
Models tend to have pretty incredible physiques in the first place, but magazine editors are looking for absolute flawlessness. So, a little bit of airbrushing and viola, this woman’s smooth and toned abdomen (left) is free of that distracting imperfection we call a “navel”. But things are not always what they seem – when Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova (right) was spotted sans belly button walking down a runway, it was revealed that an operation as an infant left her without one.

Chucky’s Little Sister

(image via: Photoshop Disasters)
There’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for the demon child that has attached itself to this poor woman’s back. From the pointed, too-white teeth and dead unsmiling eyes to the plastic-looking arm and strange lighting, not to mention the mother’s weirdly blurred neck, this entire image is a perfect example of graphic artists not knowing when to stop.

A Tent for Kids with No Legs

(image via: ext237)
It happens to every designer at some point: at the last possible minute, your client – who didn’t provide you with any photography containing people – wants you to insert some people into the image. So, what’s a harried artist to do but completely ignore silly things like perspective and human anatomy to get the job done? This poor little half-girl was just collateral damage.

Suspend Your Disbelief for a Moment

(image via: Photoshop Disasters)
“Hmmm, this image of an Audi parked in front of a fake background needs a little something. How about some snappy architecture? Oh, don’t worry about reflections, the size relative to the background, or the feasibility of placing such a building right on the edge of the highway. Make sure there are at least three different light sources, too.”

You, Too, Can Have a Magic Giant Check

(image via:
Just look at this incredibly lucky, successful guy. Nothing says prosperity like a Hummer, a seaside locale and a giant check for half a million dollars. Spelling ‘hundred’ wrong doesn’t take away from the legitimacy at all. But you know what makes this image even more effective? Using a magic giant check that doesn’t cast a shadow or show up in reflective surfaces.

Photoshop: You’re Doing it Wrong

(image via: Photoshop Mistakes)
Images like this prompt one to wonder if, minutes before the magazine went to print, some editor thought to herself, “This voting machine really needs a shadow to give some balance to the overall composition of the cover.” But the graphics department had already gone home. No worries – the editor can totally handle it herself. It’s just a shadow. And doesn’t it look great?

When a Photograph Becomes a Cartoon

(image via: Moon Dog Sports)
If this were meant to be an illustration, then perhaps the model’s pulled taffy legs and the curiously wax-like figures of the arm-wrestling men would be understandable. But this image from the 2010 Campari calendar, featuring Olga Kurylenko, stands out as absurdly fake even among 11 other heavily Photoshopped images.

What an Improvement

(image via: Photoshop Disasters)
Women in lumpy sweatshirts don’t sell products. Some extreme(ly ridiculous) cleavage and a diamond necklace later, and one retoucher was much more optimistic about the image’s potential.
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