This has to be one of the worst Photoshop jobs I’ve ever seen. There are some fundamental problems with this image. First is lighting. The light on Bush is soft and natural; the light on Clinton is a bit harsh. If the men were really standing in the same place, they’d be under the same light.

Notice the difference between the shadow under Clinton’s chin. That kind of shadow only occurs in strong light and evidenced by the grey background, the men are enjoying overcast weather. Something tells me the body on the left isn’t Bush’s either, but it’s a better patch job than what was given to Clinton.

The second problem is that Clinton’s jawline isn’t that sharp and his neck shouldn’t be that slender. In fact, in this picture his neck doesn’t even connect to his body.  The whole idea behind photo manipulation is to be sly about it: nobody should be able to immediately know an image has been manipulated.

Considering perspective,  Clinton should be larger than Bush because he is closer to the lens. This angle suggests that the person who took the photograph below the men, either the men are on a stage or on stilts. We can’t be sure, but either way we should see more of clinton’s nostril and the underside of his chin. In the “fixed” version I made,  I recognize that this should be the case, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time looking for an image. The point to this how-to is to show that a poor job can be done in a half hour, but the image is far worse than a poor job.

If I had used Photoshop and had taken the time to find the right picture from the internet (or if this were a real job, have the phtoos supplied), I could have been far more realistic, but since I’m only doing this for example and I already had Fireworks open, I didn’t bother opening Photoshop.

image on left is a screen capture from internet browsing

right image is from LIFE Magazine illustrating how necks are important. This, too, is probably photoshopped a little, but it still looks natural.  I flipped the image to put it in the correct direction. I am only using these images to show how little time it really takes to do it right.


The first thing I did was try to find a similar head of Clinton. Then I selected the parts I didn’t want (the blue), then inversed the selection…

…and cut the selection.

Then I pasted his head into the working graphic.

Notice how far away Clinton’s head is from his shoulders. This requires finding another image to replace his body in order to have his head in this position.

I found a nice suit on this guy.

I cut the background of the suit and positioned it, then cut off the edges.

Using the Smear tool, I smeared the neck of the black man into the neck of Clinton.

I brought the layer with Clinton’s head to the front, then smeared his original neck into the black man’s neck.

Then I turned down the saturation.

Then I cropped the image.