run silent, run deep

Controversial Lee Harvey Oswald photograph

Toronto. Did you think this post was another subs and photos post? Nope, the deep in this case is Deep Fake – a term that introduces the nasty side of this new world of ours – you can’t take anything at face value any more!

In the early days of photography, double exposures in camera were necessary to create ‘ghost’ photos (often used to ‘fleece’ the gullible or the uneducated). Later in the 1800s and 1900s prints were made and enlargers could be used to make double exposures.

Sometimes a drawing or photo was carefully cut out and re-photographed to make the photograph for the gullible – like the infamous Cottingley Fairies mentioned in the recent post titled ‘fairy tales‘. Of course, such photos could be made on purpose to complement an album missing a couple together in one photo.

In the 1960s when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, we all remember where we were (I was at university in a science lab).According to news stories, Lee Harvey Oswald was accused, but then murdered by Jack Ruby before going to trial, opening the door for numerous conspiracy theories.

The photograph shown above was one of the controversial shots of Oswald.  People took sides arguing whether or not it was a real photo or fake – one created to show Oswald armed with a rifle like that used in the assassination.

Early in the 1900s, Hollywood introduced special effects to create short film clips for a movie when the filming of the scene was too expensive (relative to its content) or just impossible to shoot. This idea migrated into sound with numerous cases of leading actors (and actresses) lip syncing tunes sung out of sight by those more proficient in song.

Early digital imaging led to images being photoshopped for fun and profit. In movies, wedding portraits could have the features of the leading actor/actress photoshopped in to establish the ‘authenticity’ of a scene. In the early days of digital manipulation, a careful look at any disruption in adjacent pixels could separate the fake from the real. Not so easy now. Machine Learning allows even video to be modified so one head and voice can be superimposed on another for profit or mischief. Unless very technical analysis is done, the scene appears to be authentic, opening people so compromised to blackmail.

NOTE: The title of the post is from the 1958 movie and 1955 book of the same name.

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