pictures don’t lie … yeah, right

Drake Album cover April 2016 taken by Caitlin Cronenberg

Toronto. When I was a kid, my mother, looking at a  newspaper photo often said, “cameras don’t lie”.  Once I grew up and learned photography seriously, I realized ‘double’ exposures in a camera or darkroom with some skill could indeed show something or someone where they had never been.

When digital technology became common, the computer with Photoshop and its kin made such obfuscation even easier – layers, masks, and feathering merged part of one image into another seamlessly – if the operator was at all skilled and careful.

Ghosts, people, articles, even events, could be shown elsewhere with manipulated photos. The controversy over a photo of Lee Harvey Oswald – real or fake – was in some cases based on shadows projected by the sun. In movies, faces of the actors were placed on wedding portraits of others to validate a back story.

In 2016, when Drake’s latest album came out, it showed him sitting atop the bulge in the CN tower in a shot taken by Ms Caitlin Cronenberg. She was supposedly suspended by helicopter to take the shot. It turned out to be a telephoto shot of the tower that she took and merged by computer with her studio shot of a sitting Drake.

While the article shown is uncredited (couldn’t find the source), Alex Bozikovic published an article in the Globe after Drake’s  album was released.

My thanks to my good friend, George Dunbar, once again for sharing the article with us and bringing back memories of ‘fake’ photos created by myself and many others since photography began in the 1800s. After all, pictures don’t lie …

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