Shopped Photos

Having just started Project 4: Reality and intervention I was wondering what photos were some of the most outrageously manipulated. I began searching the internet and was shocked to find out that some of the earliest photo-shopped images were created before Photoshop was even thought of. In 1860 the image of Abraham Lincoln (left) was created from the body of John Calhoun (right).

Image Manipulation

It was very surprising to find that image manipulation happened such a long time ago. It’s even more impressive that they were accomplished and very convincing with no digital technology.

Image manipulation was also a key element in war propaganda. The photograph below shows Yezhov (right) deleted from the photograph with Stalin (left) after his execution in 1940.

1930: With photos of missing drug Stalinom water transport Yezhov, who was dismissed from his post

At an early stage images were being manipulated to either persuade or deceive viewers. They were also being altered to improve the telling of a story or to make a subject more favourable. For example this scene of Mussolini on horseback (below) was altered by removing the man holding the horse, making the dictator look more formidible and capable.

The more I research image manipulation the more I question what is real and what is fake in the same way that has also led to people coming up with conspiracy theories for events that did or didn’t happen.


About Matt

Photography degree student with the Open College of the Arts.
This entry was posted in DPP, Project 4: Reality and Intervention and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shopped Photos

  1. minister73 says:

    Hi Matt
    I enjoyed reading this blog as I am writing a paper(trying šŸ™‚ ) ‘Does the intervention of an image strip the essence out of a photograph?. I hadn’t came across these images that you had posted until now. Thank you! I thought I’d let you know that the manipulation of an image goes back even further to 1958. Henry Peach Robinson and also another Rejiander. Although these are staged it is quite amazing that that far back photographers were able to come up with such work without the use of photoshop! Wow hey!


    • Matt says:

      Hi minister73
      Thanks so much for your comment and additional info. I’ll have a look. I hope your paper is going well. Thanks also for taking an interest in my blog.


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