Oh, the wonders of Photoshop. You never know what's real and what's not.
Photo manipulation is widely used in magazines and advertisements to make a product look more appealing for potential customers. The end result is often so realistic that you'd never guess what the original shot looked like. However, retouching techniques have also come under fire from medical associations and public figures for setting unrealistic (and dangerous) standards of beauty, especially for young girls.
Ashot Gevorkyan is a photographer and retoucher based in Kaliningrad, Russia. Because of his profession, Gevorkyan is no stranger to photo-manipulation, and he's created a series of animated pictures that show how his images transform during production.
Quite simply, the results are mind-blowing. In one case, a simple studio shot in a dark garage is morphed into a sunny outdoor scene; in another, Gevorkyan took a picture of a young woman sitting on a rock by the sea and transformed her into a glorious mermaid. (You can check out more of Gevorkyan's work here.)
The takeaway? Always view commercial images or magazine covers with a grain of salt.