Recycling Old Covers: Post Processing Variations

Recently, the January 2012 cover of Madison Magazine recycled an image of Kate Moss from a previous issue of Vogue magazine. The talented Mario Sorrenti was behind the image. This was all done through legal means of course, without any implication of stealing the image.
Although, this raises many questions. Is is okay for images to be completely recycled? What about the content in the magazine that it reflects? After all, with a cover photo, there’s always a follow up with a spread. What about the exclusivity of cover images?It almost feels as though when you buy a particular edition, there’s an unwritten word that makes you feel as though there will never be another cover that will look the same again, which is in part one reason why you buy them in the first place. This idea of recycling images for covers somewhat cheapens this notion.As a retoucher, I know how the spreads we work on always get picked up by one magazine, and that submitting it to a few magazines and having them get picked up by many of them is looked down upon. So why is it okay to recycle covers?However, although it may or may not be okay, that’s up to the reader.

What is interesting to note is the obvious difference in post processing. After sampling a range of 50 people, it turned out to be split right in the middle in terms of what people preferred. It goes to show that when two people work on the same image from, the end result is almost guaranteed to never be the same at all.

So even though you may think there is a right and wrong for retouching, even with all the rules out there, it’s still an artform that is left to the viewer to decide what is good or bad or what is right and wrong.

Readers, what do you feel is the better cover? Do not let the names distract you, go by just the image and leave your comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Pratik Naik Author Bio

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