Using Photoshop in my work as a visual artist, I know how far I can get to make fake pictures from the originals one. I can alter them to my own biases and idiosycrasies. The transformation can be done seamlessly. So, when I found the headline “Faked Photos Alter Real Memories” ( November 26, 2007) I was not surprised. If I transform my drawings to achieve my own view it’s OK. But in the media case, altering photos to get premeditated reactions of the potential viewers is political misleading.
I quote from “Faked Photos Alter Real memories“…”The original Tiananmen Square image was altered to show a crowd watching at the sidelines as a lone man stands in front of a row of tanks. The Rome anti-war protest photograph was altered to show riot police and a menacing, masked protester among the crowd of demonstrators. When answering questions about the events, the participants had differing recollections of what happened. Those who viewed the altered images of the Rome protest recalled the demonstration as violent and negative and recollected more physical confrontation and property damage than actually occurred.”…, Look at the pictures,
“It’s potentially a form of human engineering that could be applied to us against our knowledge and against our wishes, and we ought to be vigilant about it,” said UC Irvine psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who designed the study. “With the addition of a few little upsetting and arousing elements in the Rome protest photo, people remembered this peaceful protest as being more violent than it was, and as a society we have to figure how we can regulate this.”, see here.
I quote from another reading Editor: Photos From Lebanon Can’t Be Trusted ( August 10 2006) …”In Lebanon, where Hezbollah has made widespread use of human shields, firing missiles on Israel from positions dug in next to UN observer posts and within inhabited villages, what the international press has wanted to see and has reported is evidence of Israeli war crimes. Until now, Hezbollah and photographers like Hajj have been able to ensure that they will. Everyone in the news business gets taken for a ride sooner or later. It’s an occupational hazard. What is surprising is the scale of it in Lebanon. And what is tragic about this is, as a Boston Herald photo editor noted, editors everywhere can no longer trust the pictures from Lebanon. The public cannot know what is staged and what is real. They cannot know the true scope of the devastation that Hezbollah’s aggression against Israel and its cynical tactics have brought on the Lebanese people. The con artists have shafted themselves and their own people with their cheap tricks.”… Look at the original an the manipulated photo.
(This is one of the worst use of the Photoshop cloning tool).
From another site look at this altered photo
May 2007: In an advertisement for IMAX 3D theaters promoting the latest Harry Potter movie, the bust of actress Emma Watson was digitally enlarged. A similar advertisement in regular theaters was unaltered. Warner Brothers Pictures released a statement that said “This is not an official poster. Unfortunately this image was accidentally posted on the IMAX website. The mistake was promptly rectified and the image taken down.”, see more.
Another doctored photo from the Telegraph (UK).
…”A magazine owned by a millionaire friend of Nicolas Sarkozy doctored a photograph of the French president to remove his “love handles”, it has been claimed.”…”Paris Match, the celebrity weekly owned by the media mogul Arnaud Lagardere, was said to have applied a computer air brush to the image of Mr Sarkozy to get rid of the unsightly bulges of fat around his waist, which are known as poignées d’amour in French.”…, see more.
And finally here is a ’Instant Tutorial’ to detect manipulated photos.
From “Computing Photographic Forgeries” (March 24 2007)…”We’ve developed a bag of tricks,” Farid says. “Every time somebody tampers with a photograph, we try to understand what they did and how to detect it.”…” A (nother) way to doctor an image is to piece together two separate photographs. For example, during the 2004 presidential campaign, an image surfaced on the Web showing John Kerry speaking with Jane Fonda at an anti-war demonstration in the 1960s, complete with an Associated Press insignia. Some veterans of the Vietnam War reacted with rage at seeing the presidential candidate sharing a stage with the controversial actress and anti-war activist. But the picture, it turned out, was a fake. “Even after it was determined that it was a fake, people were still talking about Kerry at a war rally,” says Farid. “The power of the images stays with us.”
…”Each latest version of Photoshop has new tools that allow for better forgeries, so Farid continually needs to figure out new methods.
“This is an arms race,” Farid says. “I can already tell you how it’s going to end: We’re going to lose. It’s always going to be easier to create a forgery than detect a forgery. But we’re going to take the power to create forgeries out of the hands of amateurs. We will raise that bar up until you have to be very, very good to do it.”… see more.
Dear reader, here is more on my new article “Visual Lies in Tibet the Gaza Strip and Salvador Dali”.
I published this story on NowPublic
and add here the comments by NowPublic editors and contributing members.
And before the digital photo age, fake paintings: Van Meegeren’s fake Vermeer’s here is a master forgery Christ and the Disciples at Emmaus by Van Meegeren ,(1937).