13 November 1893
As usual, the Stereoscopic people have taken a decent photograph and then deliberately ruined it by rubbing every line and mark out of the face, which looks like a piece of dirty drawing paper. Please, in the interests of reasonable art and common sense, do not have it reproduced. There are three alternatives: 1. Don't portray me at all, which I should prefer to any encouragement of this abominable retouching business, which I have always denoucned as an art critic. 2. Use the excellent wood-cut you published in the R. of R. last January (I think) and which was done for the Ill. London News. 3. Reproduce the enclosed untouched photo, which you can see at least represents a human face with the traces of a human life on it, instead of the slob of wet dough which the Stereoscopic people have felt bound to produce. It has never been reproduced before and even a half successful print of it would be better than an entirely successful print of the other.
Yours very truly,
G. Bernard Shaw
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
George Bernard Shaw on Photoshop
The polymathic George Bernard Shaw here takes an early stand against the use of retouched photographs of celebrities in publishing:-