~ Posted by Robert Butler, February 29th 2012

A daily blog The Online Photographer picked up on our post about Cate on the cover and started a conversation of its own. When the current issue went on sale two weeks ago, Intelligent Life's editor Tim de Lisle wrote that when other magazines photograph actresses they routinely end up running heavily Photoshopped images. He wondered why the photographer didn’t just do a shoot with their waxwork. "Cate Blanchett, by contrast, appears on our cover in her working clothes, with the odd line on her face and faint bags under her eyes. She looks like what she is..."

The Online Photographer is edited by Mike Johnston, who applauds our front cover as a picture "that had no Photoshop retouching done on it. Very daring, and a great rarity in this day and age." There are now 39 comments below, and these divide roughly into five main points:

1. This is special to Cate. You don't need to do anything to her. "Cate would look beautiful fresh out of bed and photographed with a phone camera."

2. This isn't special to Cate. Age is attractive in itself. Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon and others "prove that age and wrinkles are no barrier to being incredibly sexy."

3. The cover isn't that special. All photography involves some manipulation in lighting, hair and make-up. "This is not what you'd see sitting across from her in a fluorescent lit office."

4. Perfect people are boring. "We are swamped with overly-manipulated images". "This image is just totally refreshing." "Photoshop has done more damage to the feminist cause than just about anything else."

5. Credit to the photographer and the art director. (The photographer was Steven Forrest. The art director at Intelligent Life is Graham Black.)

If you'd like to see a picture of Cate Blanchett that has been heavily retouched, try this month's Russian edition of Interview magazine. You might not know it was her.

Robert Butler is online editor of
Intelligent Life

See also: Cate Blanchett, Theatre Boss