Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Photographic hoaxes

I'm going back to hoaxes briefly, before moving on to another topic.

Here are four interesting examples of photographic hoaxes. All are from the Museum of Hoaxes.

First, a political hoax from 1865. when Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces, The true story is that when Davis stepped outside that morning he grabbed his wife's coat by mistake,. This was satirized by the Connecticut photographers, the Kellogg Brothers. The posted photos of Davis's head onto the body of a model wearing a hoop skirt.

The famous Surgeon's photo" of the Loch Ness monster from 1934, which turned out to be a model of a sea serpents head on top of a toy submarine. The story of this hoax is really interesting, and involves a noted British surgeon, Colonel Robert Wilson, and his father in law, a famous big game hunter named Marmaduke Wetherell (what a great name!).

A celebrity composite photo from 1989. TV Guide had a photo of Oprah on the cover, but it was really Oprah's head placed on a photo of Ann-Margaret's body, taken in 1979. This was done without the knowledge or permission of either woman.

Sometimes photos are edited in a way that while it might improve their composition it distorts the meaning of the photo and misrepresents the scene photographed. A Diet Coke can was digitally removed, from this photo.. This is a picture of Ron Olshwanger, an amateur photographer, who was celebrating being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for spot-photography, in the offices of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. He was a teetotaler, so he was celebrating by drinking a Diet Coke.

Here are the before and after photos.

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