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Photos: Pictures that lie

Photograph alteration has a long, seedy history. Digital technology, however, is taking the art to new levels.
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By Bill Detwiler on
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1 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Trotsky's elimination

Leon Trotsky. Now you see him. Now you don't. After he ran afoul of the Communist Party, Trotsky was eliminated from photos where he mingled with other officials. In other manipulated photos, the Soviets painted in the gaps for added realism.

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2 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Modeling Martha

There's a good reason Martha Stewart looks slightly different here. The body belongs to a model. And Newsweek is not the only offender in this area. Texas Monthly once used a model's body with the head of one-time governor, Ann Richards.

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3 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Man flying

The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung ran this picture in its 1934 April Fool's Day edition. The paper explained that the picture showed a new invention that allowed men to fly using their own lung power as the sole source of propulsion. The picture was picked up and widely distributed in the United States by International News Photo.

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4 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Hopper

Photographer Frank D. "Pop" Conard of Garden City, Kan., was considered to be the master of the "whopper hopper" genre of postcards. In this image by Conard, a farmer hauls out a particularly large hopper specimen.

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5 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Shark attack

The dramatic image on the top made its rounds on the Internet in 2001. The shark had been pasted into the bottom of the shot of a hovering U.S. Air Force helicopter.

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Overexposure

George Bush did indeed need to go to the bathroom and wrote, "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" on a note. But Reuters later admitted that it overexposed portions of the note so that the message stood out better.

Bush and Sen. John Kerry were subject to fraudulent photos during in the 2004 campaign. One fake photo circulated of Bush reading a book upside down. Another showed Kerry at a rally with with actress Jane Fonda, but that particular encounter never happened.

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Martin postcard

A final postcard by "Dad" Martin dating back to 1910. Martin's company, the Martin Post Card Company, was based in Ottawa, Kan. Fliers for his business read, "This is Dad Martin. He has been arrested for hunting. He is a fool about fishing. But wise on photography."

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8 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Jackalope

The jackalope is a faux species of antlered rabbit. It is said to be highly aggressive, willing to use its antlers to fight. Thus, it is also sometimes called the "warrior rabbit." In this doctored picture, which appeared on a postcard of indeterminate age, a pair of jackalope scan the horizon of a field in Colorado.

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9 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Pyramids in a pinch

National Geographic squeezed the Great Pyramids of Giza together to better fit the magazine's format in 1982.

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10 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Faking diversity

The University of Wisconsin wanted a picture that reflected diversity at the campus back in 2000, so they put a 1994 photo of a black student, Diallo Shabazz, into a 1993 shot from a football game.

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11 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Kicking the habit

"Goodnight Moon," and goodbye cigarette. If you have an older copy of the kids classic "Goodnight Moon," you'll notice something different between the photo of illustrator Clement Hurd on the dust jacket and the photo here. The cigarette is missing. HarperCollins eliminated it. Now, it looks like Hurd is trying to get someone to repay him 20 bucks.

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