magyar moon

magyar moon

Friday, July 22, 2016

FAKE

I love old photos and have a very large collection of them. I'm also fascinated with the infinitely wide variety of photos I continually discover on the Internet. 

In my naivety concerning the vast amount of Internet fraud, I hadn't initially realized how many fake photos are circulating out there. The photoshop era has made it extremely easy for anyone to generate reasonably plausible fakes. It's a disconcerting fact that what we see isn't necessary real.

Faking photos isn't new. It's been going on since the beginning of photography - but today it isn't just a passing curiosity. It's a rampant obsession.

 On my very first Cabinet of Curious Treasures blog post (I think it was called Nightmare Album) I used the above photo. It is a truly horrifying picture of a woman and her rapidly decaying dead sister.

I have since learned the truth behind this nightmare. The photo is a fake. Here's the original photo of the two sisters - both very much alive.


I had always wondered about those odd braces above the subject's heads. I think they were used to keep the person from moving during the lengthy process of taking the photo.

 Here's another example of a Victorian photo that has been digitally transformed into a macabre death scene (above).
The original photo is below.


Post mortem photos are extremely popular nowadays among collectors, but not all are genuine. 


 These two photos are among many being passed off as post mortem. In truth, neither of these children were dead. The baby is merely sleeping. The girl is either bored, tired, or simply lethargic.

 Here's an example of a genuine post mortem photo of Victoria, the Duchess of Nemours (1822-1857). It was later enhanced to make her death scene more serene.


I used the above "headless" photo (left) on one of my Halloween posts just for fun. I hadn't seen the original photo (right) until recently.


 Victorian "Ghost" photos and "headless" photos are a dime a dozen and usually very easily recognized as fakes. Mary Todd Lincoln (left) with the spirit of her assassinated husband Abe.....and an unidentified man sporting his wife's head.


 A minor touch-up of the eyes transforms this girl into an Addams Family-type ghoulish creature.

 Historic photos aren't always what they seem to be. This photo of fearless huntsman and adventurer Teddy Roosevelt astride a water-bound moose is a fake.

 Abraham Lincoln's head has been transplanted onto the body of statesman John Calhoun.

 This supposed death photo of Abraham Lincoln is a widely circulated hoax.


The horse handler was removed from this photo of Benito Mussolini to make the Italian dictator look more heroic. 

 This death photo of Adolph Hitler is a fraud. Close examination reveals that the subject doesn't even resemble die Fuhrer.


Hitler taking a selfie might also very possibly be bogus (*smile*). 

These very famous photos of the Loch Ness monster were conceived in 1934 by British Surgeon Colonel Robert Wilson. He used a toy submarine with a fake sea monster head. 

Bigfoot finally captured and killed!

I haven't even nicked the tip of the fraudulent iceberg. Perhaps I'll do a sequel to the fake photo series.

19 comments:

  1. I rather like the photo of "Abraham Lincoln's head...transplanted onto the body of...John Calhoun." It demonstrates an impressive optimism that heads of state might be interchangeable.

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    1. The transplanting of heads in Washington should definitely be a more widely used practice - - and possibly also the transplant of brains...

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    2. there are NO BRAINS in DC...in either party! I lived in that area for 20 years and the idiocy was constant, no matter who was "in charge".

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  2. the victorian death photos #3 and #4 - how can you tell the difference? both photos look like zombies posing!

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    1. AM - I was recently reading things on an interesting website which explained how to tell real from fake post mortem photos. I wanted to give you the link but can't find it anywhere!

      Basically, professionals can tell the fakes by the coloring of the flesh (even in black & white photos), the way the hands are positioned (they become rigid in death), the posture (or, rather, lack of it). The two photos that I used were among the examples of "fakes".

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  3. Fascinating! Where on earth do you find these, Jon?
    A few years ago I was all agog to learn the art of Photoshop -- then discovered the $$$ plus the enormous time to perfect that craft.

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    1. I spend a lot of time searching the Internet for unusual stuff, and I'm seldom disappointed. I was surprised at how many photos, old and new, are enhanced or faked.

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  4. I don't think I'd have the patience to do some of these. One or two are really pretty spine chilling! The only one that really convinces me is the Hitler selfie :) I think the expression in his eyes looks like he is enjoying himself!

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    1. I found that fake Hitler selfie on a German website and thought it was funny. It looks convincing.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Angela. I'm not always successful, but I give it my best shot....

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  6. They can do so much to photos these days. I'm glad I don't even know how. They can crop them and change the colors and brightness and remove things and add things. Goodness! How will people in the future even know if anything is real in a photo? Or a video for that matter--LOL! I am a point and shoot person. I do not know how to edit anything so my photos and videos are as is. Old school these days. :)

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    1. It's actually disappointing to know that there are so many fake photos circulating. I prefer old-fashioned realism.

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  7. Replies
    1. I think I'm actually relieved that those scary photos are fakes. They are too bizarre!

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  8. Replies
    1. I was really surprised at the amount of photo fakes.

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  9. Altering photographs can lead to some nifty images, and also some damaging ones, like the crap "photos" some political wingnuts post to "prove" some extreme belief or another. Some years ago, a man... who I thought was a friend... posted some fake nude pics of me on his webpage. At least he was thoughtful enough to put my head on a good-looking body.

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    1. It's really a shame that some people use photo altering for devious intent. I hope the bastard who did that to you was punished - - I would have wanted to kill him.

      Unfortunately (as you and I both know) justice is not always served....

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