The nearly iconic portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is a composite of Lincoln’s head and the Southern politician John Calhoun’s body.
Two young cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, produced a series of photographs purportedly showing small winged fairies. These highly publicized photos created a sensation, and although some believed them to be fake, many believed them to be real. Many years later, the cousins admitted that, though the photographs were not manipulated, the fairies depicted were actually cardboard cutouts posed in the scene. Nevertheless, they continued to claim that they had seen fairies.
Adolf Hitler had Joseph Goebbels
1937: In this doctored photograph, Adolf Hitler had Joseph Goebbels (second from the right) removed from the original photograph. It remains unclear why exactly Goebbels fell out of favor with Hitler.
1930s Stalin routinely air-brushed his enemies out of photographs. In this photograph a commissar was removed from the original photograph after falling out of favor with Stalin.
In order to create a more heroic portrait of himself, Benito Mussolini had the horse handler removed from the original photograph.
In 2004, an Anti-Kerry campaign was run to tarnish his name. This picture shows Kerry associating with Jane Fonda a vilified anti-war protester. The picture was mocked up to look like a news clipping from the ‘70s. The composite of two different images were of Kerry taken on June 13, 1971 and of Jane Fonda taken in August, 1972.
Right, Larry Downing/Reuters President Obama on the magazine cover and in the original photograph with Charlotte Randolph, president of a Louisiana parish, and Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard.
2010 In perhaps the most notorious example of extreme retouching in fashion advertising, a magazine advertisement by Ralph Lauren depicted a heavily manipulated photo of model Filippa Hamilton. After numerous complaints that the resulting image had impossibly inhuman proportions, a Ralph Lauren representative admitted to “poor imaging and retouching”, and added, “we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.” Despite this promise, at least one subsequent image also featured unrealistic proportions.
1970s This Pulitzer Prize winning photo by John Filo shows Mary Ann Vecchio screaming as she kneels over the body of student Jeffrey Miller at Kent State University, where National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine. The photo originally featured a visually distracting fencepost behind Mary Ann Vecchio’s head, but this was removed by an unknown photo editor in the early 1970’s. The modified photo then was published in Life magazine and other publications.
1982: In this National Geographic magazine cover story on Egypt, photographer Gordon Gahen took a horizontal picture of the Great Pyramids of Giza, which had to be “squeezed” together to fit the magazine’s vertical format. Tom Kennedy, who became the director of photography at National Geographic after the cover was manipulated, stated that, “We no longer use that technology to manipulate elements in a photo simply to achieve a more compelling graphic effect. We regarded that afterwards as a mistake, and we wouldn’t repeat that mistake today.” http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/national-geographic/
George Dawe was an English portrait artist who painted 329 portraits of Russian generals active during Napoleon's invasion of Russia for the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia. I'm using digital copies of these paintings as a basis for my own work which involves incorporating celebrities into the paintings using photoshop.
Artists Inspire Artists’s “Artists Series” we single out one amazing artist who’s work could stand alone. Today we have Steve Payne, who created the Replaceface series, where Steve took digital copies of George Dawe’s paintings of russian generals and added celebrities faces to the portrait using photoshop. So as always, enjoy & live inspired!
Artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese created the exhibit “Line Up” depicting doctored photographs of George W. Bush and members of his administration. The exhibit, shown at the New York City Public Library, was critical of the war in Iraq. “It is simply inappropriate to have political attack art, in the form of egregious doctored photographs of the President and other high-ranking officials who have dedicated their lives to public service, in a taxpayer-funded building frequented by schoolchildren and the general public,” said Matthew Walter, director of communications for the state GOP. In response, Roberta Waddell, curator of the library’s print collection, said the exhibit was in keeping with a historical tradition, calling the exhibit a relevant example of political commentary.
GIPHY. Power GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/power-perception-RHjQINxeadbDG.
Entering the 1990s, with the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo editing software, it is becoming more common to manipulate photographs. It is also harder to detect fake photos. 1994: This digitally altered photograph of OJ Simpson appeared on the cover of Time magazine shortly after Simpson’s arrest for murder. This photograph was manipulated from the original mug shot that appeared, unaltered, on the cover of Newsweek. Time was subsequently accused of manipulating the photograph to make Simpson appear “darker” and “menacing.”
In the summer of 1994, O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Smith and her friend. News publications were plastering his mugshot everywhere as it was turning out to be the trial of the Century. Notably, TIME Magazine published an edition featuring an altered mugshot, removing the photograph’s color saturation (which some accused of making Simpson’s skin darker), burning the corners, and reducing the size of the prisoner ID number. This appeared on newsstands right next to an unaltered picture by Newsweek.
2000: Hoping to illustrate its diverse enrollment, the University of Wisconsin at Madison doctored a photograph on a brochure cover by digitally inserting a black student in a crowd of white football fans. The original photograph of white fans was taken in 1993. The additional black student, senior Diallo Shabazz, was taken in 1994. University officials said that they spent the summer looking for pictures that would show the school’s diversity — but had no luck.
A digitally altered image of illustrator Clement Hurd appeared in a newly revised edition of the book “Goodnight Moon”, a classic children’s book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Hurd. The publisher, HarperCollins, altered the original photograph to remove a cigarette from Hurd’s hand. HarperCollins said it made the change to avoid the appearance of encouraging smoking and did so with the permission of the illustrator’s estate. But Mr. Hurd’s son said he felt pressured to allow it. Prior to this latest edition, the photograph of Mr. Hurd grasping a cigarette has been on the book for at least two decades.
1989: The cover of TV Guide displayed this picture of daytime talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. This picture was created by splicing the head of Winfrey onto the body of actress Ann-Margret, taken from a 1979 publicity shot. The composite was created without permission of Winfrey or Ann-Margret, and was detected by Ann-Margret’s fashion designer, who recognized the dress.
2003 The cover of GQ magazine featured a digitally slimmed photo of actress Kate Winslet. Winslet said that the retouching was “excessive.” “I don’t look like that and more importantly I don’t desire to look like that. I can tell you that they’ve reduced the size of my legs by about a third,” said Winslet.
2009 In perhaps the most notorious example of extreme retouching in fashion advertising, a magazine advertisement by Ralph Lauren depicted a heavily manipulated photo of model Filippa Hamilton. After numerous complaints that the resulting image had impossibly inhuman proportions, a Ralph Lauren representative admitted to “poor imaging and retouching”, and added, “we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.” Despite this promise, at least one subsequent image also featured unrealistic proportions.
2013 Shortly after banning professional photographers from her concerts so as to prevent the dissemination of unflattering photos, singer Beyonce released a promotional photo/illustration for her upcoming tour that depicted her in a designer gown and sporting impossibly inhuman proportions. The photo immediately stirred controversy, and though the designer responded that the image was “only meant to be a stylized and artistic vision,” many viewers saw it as poor Photoshop work that promotes an unrealistic body image.
2012 After months of pressure from a campaign led by teenager Julia Bluhm to cease unrealistic retouching of models, Seventeen Magazine signed an eight-point pact promising to “never change girls’ body or face shapes” and to feature “only real girls and models who are healthy.” The anti-retouching campaign was driven by a belief that unrealistic depictions of girls in the media leads to poor body image and eating disorders.
It was revealed that most of the model photos featured on the website of clothing retailer H&M are actually computer-generated and “completely virtual.” The company drapes clothing over the virtual models and then pastes on the faces of real models.
Elle magazine was accused of lightening the skin of actress and former Miss World Aishwanya Rai. A similar complaint was also leveled against the October 2010 issue of Elle, which featured actress Gabourey Sidibeon (of the hit movie Precious). With regard to the photo of Sidibeon, Elle’s editor-in-chief Robbie Myers explained. “At a photo shoot, in a studio, that is a fashion shoot, that’s glamorous, the lighting is different. The photography is different than a red carpet shot from a paparazzi.” She emphasized, “We absolutely did not lighten her skin. Retouching is when we take a piece of hair and move it out of her eye, so you can’t compare a picture on a press line from what you do in a studio, where your job is to make them look beautiful.”
The British Advertising Standards Authority banned two ads by cosmetics company L’Oreal due to excessive retouching. The first was an ad for Lancome featuring Julia Roberts, which claimed to “recreate the aura of perfect skin.” The second was an ad for Maybelline featuring Christy Turlington promoting a product called “The Eraser”. In making their judgment on the Lancome ad, the ASA stated that they “could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques.”
2008: This photo of Governor Sarah Palin was widely distributed across the Internet shortly after Palin was announced as the vice presidential nominee for the Republican ticket. Shortly after its release the photo was revealed to be a composite of Palin’s head and somebody else’s bod
2014 A pro-Palestinian Facebook group was criticized for posting a doctored photo of Nazi concentration camp inmates holding signs condemning Israel and expressing support for Palestinians in Gaza. In the altered photo, gaunt victims were seen holding signs with messages such as “Israel Assassins” and “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza.” Some supporters of Palestinians have taken to comparing Israel’s behavior in Gaza to that of the Nazis, but even many of those who had previously “liked” the group’s Facebook page were offended by the photo. Regardless, the group’s administrator responded that “I am not going to stop posting something because some people do not get it.”
in the Digital Age
Kai Alexis Smith, MSLIS
November 18, 2015
"Keeping up with...Visual Literacy." n.d. Accessed November
What is photo manipulation?
A process to
photograph into a desired
GIPHY. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/art-artists-on-tumblr-vintage-hEPQ13afu6RP2
Old school (pre-Photoshop) photo altering tools
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/diagram.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. https://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-d65bb314a6998afcbd60a43241b0f9ea?convert_to_webp=true.
GIPHY. Jon Stewart. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/jon-stewart-why-lYKvaJ8EQTzCU.
… for political reason or to prove a point
GIPHY. New GIF Trump. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/trump-gifted-xipxrJm9BAQcU
"Altered Lincoln." Circa 1865. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/#/lincoln/.
Northerner Lincoln’s head on Southerner Calhoun’s body
“Cottingley Collage.” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. https://indiainkelephant.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/cottingleycollage.jpg.
Are those real fairies?
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1537831/hitler-goebbels-shopped.jpg
Where’d Goebbels go?
"IStalin." n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/#/stalin/.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://i.imgur.com/8nXrzMp.jpg.
Downing, Larry. "On the Economist’s Cover, Only a Part of the Picture." Reuters, n.d. http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/on-the-economists-cover-
… for aesthetics/ artistic reasons
Muliarchyk, Elle and GIPHY. Elle Muliarchyk GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY. n.d. Posted November
23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/ellemuliarchyk-art-fashion-elle-muliarchyk-LdPug5ipcfORW.
Filo, John Paul. "Kent State University." May 4, 1970. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/#/filo/.
Gahan, Gordon. "Pyramids of Giza, Egypt." February 1982. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/national-geographic/.
Can you see what Gahen did?
Payne, Steven. “George Free ” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://creatiwittyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/inspiration-artist-Steve-Payne-17.jpg
Photo manipulation or
Ligorano, Nora and Reese, Marshall. “George Bush.” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015.
Photo manipulation or
… to change perceptions
GIPHY. Power GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/power-perception-RHjQINxeadbDG.
Mahurin, Matt. "OJ Simpson." June 27, 1994. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/#/oj-simpson/.
… influence public opinion
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2009/09/Picture5.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.11points.com/images/blackphotoshop/wisconsin.jpg.
… influence potential applicants
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.karendecoster.com/blog/archives/smoke.gif.
Di Lauro, Marco. "Al Musayyib, Iraq." March 27, 2003. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/#/bbc-news/.
Iraq 1 year earlier
… influence public opinion
… for marketing, advertising & beauty
GIPHY. Art GIF. HY. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/art-design-beauty-zeRVUN2euarrW.
"TV Guide." August 1989. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/#/tv-guide/.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.photoshopdisasters.com/wp-
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. https://stylecoquettes.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/2003gq-done-feet-kate-winslet-more-artistic-she-was-very-unhappy-and-said-that-the-
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://stupidcelebrities.net/wp-content/2015/01/justinfake.png-640x350.jpg.
What was changed?
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. https://joannaksiazek92.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/alteration-of-model.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://images.hngn.com/data/images/full/4870/rcbeyonce1-jpg.jpg?w=650.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SeventeenEditorLetterCropped3.jpg.
"Image Authentication and Forensics | Fourandsix Technologies - Photo Tampering throughout History -." August 2015. Accessed November 23,
What’s different here with these H&M models?
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/?currentPage=11.
Is it ok to lighten
a POC’s skin for a
"Image Authentication and Forensics | Fourandsix Technologies - Photo Tampering throughout History." September 2015. Accessed November 23, 2015.
Should beauty ads be retouched?
… for a good laugh
GIPHY. Cute Gif GIF. n.d. Posted November 23, 2015. http://giphy.com/gifs/laughing-gif-cute-minions-Fn7q3cMgPZmqk.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://tubegator.com/content/uploads/bikini-gun_fake_original.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/2014420/rs_560x358-140520155015-1024.boticelli-birth-of-venus.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/cat_16-550x344.jpg#geekosystem.
How about now?
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/26/dc/c7/26dcc7980adc70c0d30d47692ebf5043.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bxp7ryaIIAAEyrE.jpg
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--QgotkmRj--/q6smzmz1g9mejtfp6xun.jpg.
Get the point across?
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Holocaust-FB-Photo.jpg.
n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/08/07/article-
"Bronx Documentary Center Altered Images" n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/.
"Image Authentication and Forensics | Fourandsix Technologies - Photo Tampering throughout History." March 2015.
Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/.
"Photo Manipulation throughout History: A Timeline." April 1, 2009. Accessed November 23, 2015.
"Keeping up with...Visual Literacy." n.d. Accessed November 23, 2015.