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4-1  Introduction

Image manipulation for fun, publicity or profit is not new.   "In-camera tricks" using superimposed images, special "props" or optical perspectives as well as  "darkroom games," fraudulent alteration of negatives and prints date from the nineteenth century.  The bag of hoax photographs has included everything from the Cottingley Fairies series (circa 1917) which fooled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the intentional miscaptioning of news photos.  With the advancement of computer technology, manipulation of photographs has become easier and quicker.

 

The Cottingley Fairies

In 1917, two girls from Cottingley, England, produced photographs of fairies in the garden (Figure 4-1).  Although few can view these photos today and accept them as real, that was not the case in the early 1900’s.   Published in newspapers of the day, many accepted the photos as evidence for existence of fairies despite lighting anomalies and the fairies’ cartoonish appearance.

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Figure 4-1. The Cottingley Fairies

"Images of comet Hale-Bopp (Figure 4-2) showing a mysterious companion are fraudulent.  The companion object is not real, having been added to the image most likely using digital image processing techniques."   Adapted from Dr. David Tholen’s statement about the "Mystery Image.   The fraudulent image was positively identified as based on one of Dr.Tholen's images and used without his knowledge or permission.

 

 

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Figure 4-2. Hale-Bopp and "Friend"

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