The history of Photo – manipulation

See my presentation in full here.


This form of photo manipulation has been around for almost as long as photographs. Retouching was also used as a big factor in propaganda mainly used by Joseph Stalin. Stalin was notorious for airbrushing images in order to show him with only those who were in his good graces at the time. One famous image which he had edited in 1930 had a commissar completely removed from the image after he fell out of the Soviet Union leader’s good graces. This editing of photographs helped Stalin to succeed in winning the favour of the country and turning his followers against certain men. Mussolini was also a culprit of photo-editing where he has been shown to have airbrushed images in order to make himself appear manlier and more heroic. An example of this can be seen when he had a horse handler removed from an image to give the impression of his masculinity being very great. Hitler was also known to use manipulated photos in order to make himself more likable An example of this was when he had a close friend of his removed from a photo. It has been guessed that Hitler done this in order for himself to appear more of a ladies man as he stayed very close to this man until his death. Although the editing we see today isn’t done by people who are as monstrous as Hitler, Stalin or Mussolini, they still have very serious and lasting effects.


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