Toronto. When I was a kid the common expression was “a camera doesn’t lie”. No longer. In today’s world our neighbours have elected a president whose first reaction to anything he feels is derogatory or against his rather ill-informed opinion is to claim it is FAKE NEWS.
As I aged, I realized that photographic images from the very beginning could be manipulated. I even helped a friend. She had no print showing her parents together – not a single print. I added her father to a print of her mother and rephotographed the result making a print of her parents together, managing to get the height and shadows correct as well.
Years ago, I innocently mentioned to my dad that my grandfather must have had a suit since he wore one in the big print that hung in my bedroom. My dad thought I was hilarious! The portrait of my grandparents was taken by a street photographer who coloured the print and threw in a suit for my grandfather complete with a gold chain. In the black and white negative snapped by this photographer, my grandfather wore his usual overalls! No suit, no watch chain, no tie, no shirt collar… even the tree full of apple blossoms belonged next door in a vacant lot.
All this came to mind when my friend George Dunbar sent me a link to a BBC article called “The Hidden Signs that can Reveal a Fake Photo“. The article, by Ms Tiffanie Wen appeared in the BBC’s 30 June 2017 post. It is well worth the read. With digital cameras and software like Photoshop, it is even easier to fake a photograph. No darkroom skill needed. Such an image can be used as misdirection, deception, to damage a person’s reputation, a malicious effort at humour, etc.