Thursday, December 30, 2010

Katie Couric gets Sliimmed Down

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A photograph of CBS news anchor Katie Couric was digitally altered from this original to give Couric a trimmer waistline and a thinner face. This photo appeared in CBS' in-house magazine Watch! CBS spokesman, Gil Schwartz, said "the doctored image was the work of a CBS photo department employee who got a little zealous". Schwartz added, "I talked to my photo department; we had a discussion about it; I think photo understands this is not something we'd do in the future."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

That looks realistic....

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This photograph by Adnan Hajj, a Lebanese photographer, showed thick black smoke rising above buildings in the Lebanese capital after an Israeli air raid. The Reuters news agency initially published this photograph on their web site and then withdrew it when it became evident that the original image had been manipulated to show more and darker smoke. "Hajj has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under", said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters. "This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him." A second photograph by Hajj was also determined to have been doctored.

Friday, December 24, 2010


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The Charlotte Observer fired Patrick Schneider, a staff photographer, for altering this image of a fire fighter. Following the incident, the paper released the following statement: "Photographer Patrick Schneider's photo depicted a Charlotte firefighter on a ladder, silhouetted by the light of the early morning sun. In the original photo, the sky in the photo was brownish-gray. Enhanced with photo-editing software, the sky became a deep red and the sun took on a more distinct halo. The Observer's photo policy states: No colors will be altered from the original scene photographed." Schneider said that he only meant to restore the actual color of the sky that was lost when he underexposed the photo. Schneider was suspended in an earlier episode after it was revealed that his award-winning photographs had been manipulated. Scheider allowed this case to be used to educate other professional photographers in ethics seminars. At the time he pledged, "I will no longer tone my background down that far."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A "graphic representation"

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This controversial ad appeared as part of the Ohio Senate campaign between incumbent Mike DeWine (R) and challenger Sherrod Brown (D). DeWine's campaign created a video of the World Trade Center in flames to attack Brown as soft on terrorism. The ad shows the south tower burning -- the north tower was hit first, however, so the south tower could not be burning without the north tower burning as well. A DeWine spokesman acknowledged the image was a "graphic representation" by the firm that produced the ad, which used a still photo of the towers with computer-generated smoke added.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Hookers: The Sad Meat of the American Dollar"

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This photograph, showing two police officers standing by as prostitutes in Cuba hail a foreign tourist, appeared in the El Nuevo Herald under the headline "Hookers: The Sad Meat of the American Dollar". This image, however, was a composite of two separate photographs taken by veteran photographer Roberto Koltun, and published over his objections. "Two things were put together," commented photo coordinator Orlando Mellado. Asked why the photograph was published, Mellado responded "that's a decision that was made by another editor."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fake New Orleans

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New Orleans Mayoral Candidate Kimberly Williamson Butler digitally inserted herself into this photograph of what appeared to be the French Quarter in New Orleans. The setting, however, was the New Orleans Square at Disneyland. This photo was then manipulated again to remove a Disneyland trash can from the background.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nit Picky?

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This March 12th cover of the New York Times Magazine shows former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a possible contender in the 2008 U.S. presidential race. After receiving complaints from Warner's campaign about the accuracy of this photo, the New York Times published the following correction. "The cover photograph in The Times Magazine on Sunday rendered colors incorrectly for the jacket, shirt and tie worn by Mark Warner, the former Virginia governor who is a possible candidate for the presidency. The jacket was charcoal, not maroon; the shirt was light blue, not pink; the tie was dark blue with stripes, not maroon. The Times's policy rules out alteration of photographs that depict actual news scenes and, even in a contrived illustration, requires acknowledgment in a credit. In this case, the film that was used can cause colors to shift, and the processing altered them further; the change escaped notice because of a misunderstanding by the editors."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

KKK Cop Photoshop

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This cover of the San Antonio Observer features a San Antonio police officer wearing a white hood of the Ku Klux Klan. The newspaper admits that they digitally inserted the hood and gun into the original photograph. Police spokesman Joe Rios said that the Observer defamed the character of the officer in the photograph. "You can clearly read his badge number," Rios said. "I can tell you that the officer who was depicted in that picture is very upset." Ida Brown, an Observer spokeswoman, disputed that the officer's badge number could be discerned on the cover and said the image was not intended as a personal attack. "Primarily, the picture shows that there are racist police officers on the force, and they do target minorities who are innocent," Brown said.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Another Photoshop Editoral Cartoon

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"Women you will never see in Maxim - 100% fake"

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Famed Indian movie star Khushboo is taking legal action against the publishers of Maxim magazine for the publication of a doctored photograph. The photograph was created by digitally splicing Khushboo's head onto another model's scantily clad body. This photograph was published in the Indian version of Maxim under the heading "Women you will never see in Maxim - 100% fake". Magazine editor, Sunil Mehra, said "We are deeply apologetic for causing any inadvertent hurt and offence to Khushboo." Despite an apology, Khushboo plans to go to court, "Indeed the punishment that is finally meted out to them should be a deterrent against anyone who tries to treat women as a commodity and exploit them as they please. I will not opt for any kind of out-of-court settlement," she said.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How the Grinch got Photoshopped Out

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A political video produced by the Republican National Committee (RNC) depicts a U.S. solider watching a television where Democratic leaders are speaking critically of the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq. The final screen shot, shown to the right, reads "Our soldiers are watching and our enemies are too." As shown in this original frame, this video was digitally altered -- the solider was watching the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rolling Stones Minus a Stone

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Former Rolling Stones' bassist Bill Wyman was digitally removed from this cover of the Rolling Stones album "Rarities, 1971-2003" (Wyman was the bassist for the Rolling Stones from 1962 to 1992). The original photo from which Wyman was removed dates back to 1978 when Wyman was still with the group.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Cigarette Removal

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This 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.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


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Not really related to my usual topics here on the blog, but I really love this new Windows Phone commercial.  Not that I think the Windows Phone is really going to make cell phones less annoying.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


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This cover is kind of subtle, can you spot the photoshop mistake?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Amazing Photo Via Boing Boing:

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Part of me wants to add some crazy fact about cloud formations to this photo from the Boing Boing Flickr pool by reader Sean Frego. But I keep getting distracted by what a flippin' amazing image it is. Let's just sit back and awe a bit, shall we?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is it OK to Photoshop if you provide a disclaimer on page 8?

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April 2005: This digital composite of actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, rumored to have a romantic relationship, appeared on the cover of Star Magazine. The picture of Pitt was taken in Anguilla, a Caribbean island, in January 2005. The picture of Jolie was taken in Virginia some time in 2004. On page 8 is a disclaimer noting the image is a "composite of two photographs."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not a Photoshop Manipulation

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The D'Espresso coffee shop, located one block from the New York Public Library, was designed to look like a library that's been flipped on its side. Design firm Nemaworkshop covered the walls, floor and ceiling with custom tiles screened with sepia-toned photos of full bookshelves (evidently it's a repeating pattern: photos taken of the shelves at a nearby travel bookstore). The globe lights are hung sideways from a wall.

Upside-down Cafe Looks Like a Library, Flipped On Its Side

Conflicting Messages...

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April 2005: In this doctored photograph, British politicians Ed Matts, conservative candidate for Dorset South, and Ann Widdecombe, conservative candidate for Maidstone and the Weald, are shown holding a pair of signs that together read "controlled immigration -- not chaos and inhumanity". This picture appeared as part of Matts' election literature. The original photograph, however, shows the same two candidates campaigning for a Malawian family of asylum seekers to be allowed to stay in Britain. Widdecombe said she was "happy to be associated with either message".

Monday, November 1, 2010

Martha Stewart Photoshop

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March 2005: This digital composite of Martha Stewart's head on a model's body appeared on the cover of Newsweek as Stewart was emerging from prison "thinner, wealthier and ready for prime time", as the headline reads. Newsweek disclosed the source of the cover image on Page 3 with the lines: "Cover: Photo illustration by Michael Elins ... head shot by Marc Bryan-Brown."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Photoshopped or Not???

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April 2004: This image, which was widely circulated on the Internet, shows a U.S. Marine posing for a photo with two Iraqi children while holding a sign reading "Lcpl Boudreaux killed my Dad then he knocked up my sister". Boudreaux claims that this image was tampered with from the original, in which the sign read "Welcome Marines". A military investigation into potential wrong-doing was inconclusive. It remains unclear if this image is authentic.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

GW Bush Photoshop

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March 2004: This political ad for George W. Bush, as he was running for President, shows a sea of soldiers as a back drop to a child holding a flag. This image was digitally doctored by copying and pasting, from this original photograph, several soldiers to digitally remove Bush from a podium. After acknowledging that the photo had been doctored, the Bush campaign said that the ad would be re-edited and re-shipped to TV stations.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Infamous Jane Fonda/John Kerry Photoshop

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February 2004: This digital composite of Senator John Kerry and Jane Fonda sharing a stage at an anti-war rally emerged during the 2004 Presidential primaries as Senator Kerry was campaigning for the Democratic nomination. The picture of Senator Kerry was captured by photographer Ken Light as Kerry was preparing to give a speech at the Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, in June 1971. The picture of Jane Fonda was captured by Owen Franken as Fonda was speaking at a political rally in Miami Beach, Florida, in August 1972.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photo-Journalism Done Wrong

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April 2003: This digital composite of a British soldier in Basra, gesturing to Iraqi civilians urging them to seek cover, appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times shortly after the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. Brian Walski, a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times and a 30-year veteran of the news business, was fired after his editors discovered that he had combined two of his photographs to "improve" the composition.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Leg to Stand On

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A Leg to Stand On: "

I vould just like to say, vee have not let osteoporsis and missing limbs hold us back from dream of successful career in Russian modeling.

Thanks Melissa.

Original can be found here.

****Click to reveal disaster****

The model standing up in the background is missing a leg


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lola Dupre's strange photomontage portraits

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Lola Dupre's strange photomontage portraits: " 1326 5105488836 A3C3086Aaf B

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Scotland-based artist Lola Dupre cuts up photographs and collages the snips into mind-bendingly weird and witty deformed portraits. She is a master of scissors, glue, and surrealism. Hi-Fructose posted an interview with Dupre and includes shots of the cutting room floor too. From Hi-Fructose:

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First an image for manipulation has to be selected and sometimes this is what takes most of my time. Going into a project I often have a very fixed idea of what I want to work with: finding the image with the right background, foreground, resolution, and content can take all day sometimes! I usually search Google images for sources, or alternatively I scan images that myself or my contacts have.

When I have selected the right image to use, I crop and print this at various sizes and edits on various sizes of paper. Working like this, the only limitation is the resolution of the source image. I am currently planning to do some giant paste up art works on buildings and walls, and this requires just the same formula but slightly tweaked...

Originally I would cut up perhaps two or three images or work from a small handful of duplicates. But with time my technique has developed and now I need more! This is just technique development - like how a young painter might begin work with just a few colours of poster paints and one large brush, and years later they are working with multiple colours and honed techniques to blend and create with all the experiences they have learned through practice and exploring their medium.

For me, I take a certain delight in the ready-made colour schemes and the detail of the images I work from.

Lola Dupre interview


Photos: Hex Hitler party, 1942

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Photos: Hex Hitler party, 1942: "Hitler Hex3
Hitler Hex1

From LIFE:
'On the wet windy evening of January 22, a youthful band of idealists went to a lonely cabin in the Maryland woods.' Thus begins one of the odder stories LIFE magazine ever published -- a straightforward, tongue-nowhere-near-cheek account of a 1942 'hex party' convened with one aim in mind: 'to kill Adolf Hitler by voodoo incantation.' According to LIFE, the party, held six short weeks after Germany, Italy, and Japan declared war on the United States, featured 'a dressmaker's dummy, a Nazi uniform, nails, axes, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum,' and was inspired by a book by occultist and writer William Seabrook that was popular at the time: Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today.

Putting A Hex On Hitler, 1942


Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Even the Beatles Can Escape Photoshop

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The original copy of the Beatles Abbey Road album cover shows Paul McCartney, third in line, holding a cigarette. United States poster companies have airbrushed this image to remove the cigarette from McCartney's hand. This change was made without the permission of either McCartney or Apple Records, which owns the rights to the image. "We have never agreed to anything like this," said an Apple spokesman. "It seems these poster companies got a little carried away. They shouldn't have done what they have, but there isn't much we can do about it now."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kate Winslet's Photoshop Diet

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January 2003: Sorry, don't have an original of this image, but this cover of GQ magazine featured a digitally slimmed actress Kate Winslet. Winslet herself 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. The magazine editor responded:
"These days you only get two kinds of pictures of celebrities - paparazzi pictures or pictures like these which have been highly styled, buffed, trimmed and altered to make the subject look as good as is humanly possible."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photoshop Dentist

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December 1997: Here is another Newsweek/Time blunder, similar to the OJ Simpson case.  This digitally altered photograph of Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine shortly after Bobbi gave birth to septuplets. This photograph was manipulated from the original that appeared, unaltered, on the cover of Time magazine. Newsweek manipulated the photograph to make Bobbi's teeth straighter, and were accused of trying to make her "more attractive".

Friday, October 22, 2010

LIFE magazine on "LSD Art," 1966

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LIFE magazine on "LSD Art," 1966: " Images  Images Lsdart

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From the LIFE magazine September 9, 1966 cover story about psychedelic art:

'Amid throbbing lights, dizzying designs, swirling smells, swelling sounds, the world of art is 'turning on.' It is getting hooked on psychedelic art, the latest, liveliest movement to seethe up from the underground.'

More LIFE images from that story and the 1960s psychedelic culture