13 Jun 2008
The practice of posting 'first!' (or, even more pathetically, 'second!') as a blog comment seems to be going out of fashion. It has been replaced by a habit every bit as stupid and, in some ways, even more revealing about the feebleness of the perpetrators.
Any blog post that contains stunning, unusual or fascinating photographs will, sooner or later, attract a comment that simply says 'Photoshop', or some close derivation. That's usually it. Occasionally, the comment poster might add something like 'fake', assuming that we are all as slow-witted as him/herself and won't understand the implication otherwise.
What you won't see is any form of explanation or justification for the sad troll's conclusion. Are there artefacts in the image that might suggest comping? Pixel mismatches? Perspective or lighting inconsistencies? Impossible conjunctions of subjects?
No. The truth is, this kind of poster is entirely ignorant of the signs that reveal Photoshop-enabled artifice. They are, almost to a troll, ignorant of what Photoshop can and can't achieve. (It's unlikely they can hold down jobs good enough to allow them to afford a copy, and they naturally lack the higher brain functions that would permit them to learn how to use it.) And, in the vast majority of cases where I see this, it's perfectly obvious to anyone with functioning synapses that they are entirely wrong.
In short, they have absolutely no good reason to whine 'Photoshop'. So why do they do it?
What they're trying to say, in their own intellectually stunted way, is: "I'm smarter than all of you because I know this is fake and you all believed it".
This peculiar form of snottiness is a product of the Internet. On the Internet, no-one knows you're an inadequate loser with no skills, no IQ, no friends and no hope. Commenting in blogs is the one way these poor, benighted souls can bolster their otherwise minimal self-esteem, by attempting to make themselves seem superior to - for example - people who actually do have the skills and talent to produce fascinating photographs.
So take pity on them. They can't help themselves. But as bloggers, we are in a position to render assistance by guiding their comments gently but inexorably to the wastebin.