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Hoax Photography

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by

Stacy Ciccone

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Hoax Photography

Cryptozoology:
the search for and study of animals whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti.
Those were all examples of Cryptozoology hoaxes.
What is a Hoax?
This WAS done in Photoshop
More recently there was this...
This is a photo of a fish that supposedly washed up in Tampa Bay, Florida. After a bit of internet hysteria, it was found that the photos were real, but the creature was actually a
sculpture
by artist Juan Cabana. You can google his name and find his website, where you can see his other aquatic creations.
There were also The Cottingley Fairies
The first of the five photographs, taken by Elsie Wright in 1917, shows Frances Griffiths with the alleged fairies.
You are probably familiar with the following photograph...
There were photographic hoaxes long before there was Photoshop
A hoax:
something intended to deceive or defraud.
something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means.
Hoax Photography
The Irish monk St. Columba is said to have made the first sighting of the Loch Ness "monster" in the wilds of Scotland.
Since then, the legends, folk tales, accurate observations or complete hoaxes -- your choice -- that have come down to us as "Nessie" have bedeviled zoologists and everyone else who has tried to establish the existence of this cryptid over the centuries.
The Loch Ness Monster
The original photograph
In 1917, a series of photographs depicting two young girls alongside what seemed to be fairies, became famous as proof of the existence of the legendary creatures.
"The Cottingley Fairies" as they came to be known, were debunked in 1983 after the young girls depicted in the photographs admitted that the fairies were actually drawings cut from cardboard and propped up with hairpins. There is, however, still some controversy. You can read more about that on Wikipedia, searching the term "Cottingley Fairies."
This is not Photoshopped!
Supposedly, a giant squid washed ashore near Santa Monica, CA. The squid's size was reported to be caused by the radiation coming from the Fukushima reactor meltdown.
Common hoax themes are:
Cryptozoology
Celebrity/Beauty
Politics/Photojournalism
Common hoax methods are:
(in photography)
Composites
Staged Scenes
Manipulated/Deleted Details

Celebrity/Beauty
April 1, 2013 — the site Daily Makeover claimed that actress Jennifer Aniston had cut off her hair for a role in a film and quoted her as saying, "My character gets to this really broken point, and [director] Daniel [Schechter] and I thought it would make her more realistic.

The site later announced it was an April Fool's joke.

The same picture would later be used, quoting Aniston as shaving her head in support of a niece with cancer.
The original photo, below.
Lena Dunham
Photoshopped for Vogue
Lena Dunham, creator of show "Girls," is famously proud of her "real girl" beauty, publicly embracing her looks and body. Thus, her Photoshopped photo shoot by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz for "Vogue" magazine caused quite a controversy- both because Dunham was digitally enhanced, and because she hasn't spoken out against it.
Political and Photojournalism Hoaxes
There is also a long history of images being manipulated for political reasons.

This image of Mitt Romney was circulating the internet with the caption "Romney's family misspell their last name in the greatest Freudian slip in history."

As it turns out, the image was a fake, and the family is not even his, but rather political supporters.


Photojournalism and Sensationalism
In 1994, O.J. Simpson appeared on the cover of Time magazine shortly after Simpson's arrest for murder. The original photograph, taken in a police station, was on the cover of the magazine "Newsweek".
"Time" magazine also put Simpson's mugshot in the cover, but manipulated the photograph to make Simpson seem ominous and threatening.
Yes, this was actually a real news article...
Iran's Fars News Agency (which is often described as a "semi-official" news agency with ties to the government) recently revealed the shocking news that "The United States government has been secretly run by a 'shadow government' of space aliens since 1945."

It seems that these aliens initially supported the Nazis, but switched to Team USA after that didn't work out. This information, says Fars, comes from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The article, not the picture, is the hoax, but they did such a nice job in Photoshop creating the image.

"Snowden Documents Proving 'US-Alien-Hilter" Link Stun Russia"
Photo Manipulation Methods:
Composites: combining two or more images to create a false reality, most often done in Photoshop.
Staged Scenes: the photograph is real, but what is being photographed is not what it claims to be.
Manipulated/Deleted Details: can also be referred to as "digital plastic surgery."
Many of these images and the stories behind them (not gonna lie, I copied and pasted a lot) came from:
www.museumofhoaxes.com
Details are removed or otherwise manipulated. Most often done in Photoshop.
The "M" and the "O" were swapped. This is also a case of a misleading caption. The family is real, they are just not Romney's family.
Full transcript