(Pocket-lint) - Photoshop is the modern go-to tool for editing and altering images, but changing photographs to put a different spin on them is far from a new trend.

There are plenty of instances where photo manipulation techniques have been misused - to even change history at times. Some of them occurring long before Photoshop existed.

We've tracked down some of the best from over the years, including recent examples that did indeed use Adobe's software, to show just how popular and crazy this trend has been.  

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Joeseph Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov

During his reign as leader of the Soviet Union from the 1920's until his death in 1953, Stalin was famous for many things, including the notorious doctoring of images to remove people who had fallen out of his favour.



Stalin and censorship

So rife was this trend that there's even a Wikipedia page dedicated to it. In this photo, Commissar Nikolai Yezhov is removed by censors after he fell out with Stalin, was arrested in 1939 and later executed.

Another classic example shows a photograph changing multiple times as the people in it fell out of good graces with the Stalin regime.  

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HItler and Goebbels

Stalin wasn't the only famous dictator prone to removing friends from his photos. There are several instances of Adolf Hitler having people censored from official snaps too.

Here Joseph Goebbels is shed from this otherwise friendly scene of Hitler and friends.


Flag over the Reichstag

Another famous photo has one of the smallest alterations we've seen. Here, Soviet soldiers are pictured raising their flag over the Reichstag at the end of World War Two. If you look closely you'll see the original photograph shows the soldier below wearing what looks like a watch on each wrist.



Flag over the Reichstag Original

The photo was later edited for fear that it might imply that the soldiers had been looting. There was however conjecture that one of the wrists was merely a tactical compass. 


Kings College London

Churchill's trademark cigar

Many of the iconic photos of Winston Churchill feature the trademark cigar, but this one was digitally altered to remove the cigar when it was featured at The Britain At War Experience museum in London. Though why, nobody knows, not even the museum manager.  

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Fidel Castro and Carlos Franqui

Another classic case of old friends and comrades falling out of favour, this photo of Fidel Castro taken in 1968 shows him approving the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia.

The original image included Carlos Franqui who had abandoned the regime and gone into exile in Italy.  

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The Queen Mother and Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King

This apparently doctored photo shows Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King with the Queen Mother and King George VI.

King George VI was removed from the final photo presumably to make the Prime Minister seem more powerful and magnetic.


Asian Tsunami 2004 Fake

This image purports to show the incoming disaster that was the 2004 Tsunami in Asia but was revealed to have been taken on the coast of Chile with the enormous waves simply Photoshopped in.

Péter Guzli

The accidental tourist at the world trade centre

In quite possibly one of the worst attempts at a manipulated photo we've seen (and in poor taste too) this one depicts a tourist atop the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 just before the hijacked planes struck the towers.

It was later revealed that Péter Guzli had taken the image and doctored it for friends.

Know your meme

Sad Keanu in the Situation Room

The Situation Room was a photograph originally taken in the White House showing various members of the National Security Council including Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and others watching the events unfolding around the special forces mission to capture Osama Bin Laden.

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The photo was later Photoshopped heavily across the internet after being posted to the White House's official Flickr account and included such joy as Sad Keanu being inserted.

Just Scandals

Deceased Osama Bin Laden

After the mission to capture Osama Bin Laden and his subsequent death, several fake photographs of his body appeared online.

Most notable was this one that was shown to be a composition from several different doctored photos with the majority of the picture being made up of a frame from the film Blackhawk Down.

Korean Central News Agency

Korean Military Might

In an attempted show of military might, this photo was released in 2013 by the Official Korean Central News Agency, apparently showing military manoeuvres being carried out by North Korea.

Closer inspection shows some of the hovercraft to be clones with inaccurate wakes, possibly to make the force appear more intimidating.


Kim Jong Un Fake Korean Missile launch

Photos released in 2015 show Kim Jong-un watching a test-firing of a ballistic missile from an underwater submarine – posing a serious threat to America and the rest of the world.

At the time its authenticity was questioned as the photos appeared to be heavily modified and included discrepancies with the reflections of the missile exhaust flame on the water below.

Xav Marseille photography

Then & Now

Adopting them same technique and blending photographs from modern times with a bygone era, Xav Marseille sets a modern scene blended with the past but without the backdrop of war.

In a series of photos dubbed "Then & Now" we're thrown back through time via locations we might find familiar in our everyday lives.  


George Bush upside down book

This classic photo from 2002 shows President Bush holding a book upside-down when visiting the George Sanchez Charter School in Houston Texas. The photo purports to show Bush as the buffoon that many people thought him to be. 

In fact, on closer inspection the book shows signs of being digitally doctored and the original image shows the book the correct way up in his hands.  

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David Cameron Fake Poppy

British Prime Minister David Cameron came under criticism in 2015 after a photo of him wearing a Remembrance Day poppy was posted on Downing Street's Facebook page.

The poppy was clearly Photoshopped and the official page was forced to take the photo down after a sea of ridicule that included many follow-up edits poking fun at the Prime Minister.  


The Scuba Diving couple

An unsuspecting couple on holiday in Australia had their photo snapped underwater blissfully unaware that there's a great white shark lurking behind them.

Of course, this one was quickly outed as a fake, but at least it's reasonably well done.


Helicopter Shark

Another classic case of two photos being merged together, this photo dubbed "helicopter shark" purportedly shows a great white shark leaping out of ocean to grab a free lunch in the form of military personnel climbing down a Black Hawk ladder.

Gaining popularity in 2001, helicopter shark was quickly found landing in email inboxes across the world.

Legends Revealed

The Beatles Abbey Road without cigarrette

The original album cover to the famous "Abbey Road" album from The Beatles shows Paul McCartney holding a cigarette.

At a later date, an American poster company removed the cigarette from the picture. They did so without permission and no seems to know why.


John Lennon and Che Guevara

Another famous photo puts John Lennon and Che Guevara together strumming out some tunes. An unlikely duo indeed.

No surprise then that this is yet another in a long line of fakes and the real photo is of Wayne Gabriel and Lennon. Here Che's face has been superimposed over the top with almost convincing results.    


A British soldier calming civilians

This modern doctored image (top) was a culmination of two other photos combined to enhance the composition and emotion of the shot.

Here a British soldier is pictured in Basra urging Iraqi civilians to stay down and take cover. The staff photographer, Brian Walski altered the image to improve the end result.


US National Debt Counter

This doctored photo was taken during an American Republican convention in 2012 but was altered to show the US National Debt counter above the slogan.

In reality this counter was on the other side of the convention arena and could not be seen from this angle.

Rare Historical Photos

The many faces of Hitler

Near the end of World War Two, the Allies were concerned that Hitler might try to escape Germany and assume a disguise of some sort.

Rare Historical Photos

Hitler in disguise

The Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the CIA, created these altered portraits to show what Hitler could look like if this happened. With his death at the end of the war they were never needed but were later published when a German magazine discovered them in the 1990s.

Another similarly amusing (and disturbing) set was published at the end of the war by a Canadian newspaper.  

Sergey Larenkov

Link to the past

An amalgamation of two images, one from 1945, the other from 2012 shows the location of the Yalta Conference with the Allied Powers coming together to discuss the shaping of post-war peace and the new Europe.

This is one of a series of photos by Sergey Larenkov which blends the past with the present and includes many photos of World War Two merged into their modern scenes.      

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Abraham Lincoln's fake portrait

One of the earliest examples of an altered image is this classic portrait of President Lincoln which has been doctored with his head appearing on John Calhoun's body.

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General Ulysses S. Grant on a Horse

This photo from circa 1864 shows US General Ulysses S Grant in front of his troops during the American Civil War.

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General Ulysses S. Grant on a Horse originals

However, a full investigation into this image by researchers at the Library of Congress showed that this photo was actually an amalgamation of several different snaps. They included the body of Major General Alexander M Cook, a different photo of General Grant and a background image of prisoners captured during a battle.    

The Telegraph

Iran Missile Launch

As a demonstration of their military might, Iran released this photo in 2008 showing multiple missiles being launched from mobile platforms in the desert.

The Telegraph

Iran Missile Launch

In reality, only three of the four missiles successfully fired and the photo was doctored to cover up the failure.  


Donald Trump's inauguration crowd

After US President Donald Trump's inauguration there was much debate as to whether the crowd sizes were comparable with that of Barack Obama's in 2009.

Comparison photos show side-by-side differences but President Trump put these stories to bed as "fake news" when he shared this panoramic photograph of the event – the only problem being the photo was captioned as being taken on 21 January - the day after the inauguration took place.

The Stock Photobomber

The Stock Photobomber

In 2015 Matt Vescovo (aka The Stock Photobomber) began humorously injecting himself into a variety of stock photos breathing hilarity into otherwise dry and depressing photos from stock image suppliers.

The Average Rob

The Average Rob and Taylor Swift

We all know how heavily Photoshopped images of celebrities are generally, but The Average Rob has put a fresh spin it by putting himself into the picture in different and hilarious ways.

Instagram prankster Rob describes himself as a "mediocre dude" from Belgium but his photography shenanigans are anything but dull.


The Angry Koala

One of the less famous, but probably most scary Photoshopped images in our list is this snap of a wet Koala who is apparently not too happy at being photographed or rained on or both.

Thankfully, the image is fake and was shown to be a Photoshop of a dog's jaw superimposed over the Kola's. The original snaps of the wet Koala are far less terrifying.

Hai-Kef zoo

The MGM lion

Leo the Lion was famously the original face of MGM studios, following on from several other magnificent creatures from the years before. The image on the left surfaced on the web a few years back and appeared to show the way the studio got the imagery of the lion without risking harm to life or limb. Of course, it was shown to be a fake and the real image showed the large cat having a brain scan before life-saving surgery.

Bored Panda

Space Shuttle alternations

Space shuttles are already fairly awesome. As is the original snap (on the right) of one shrouded in mist.

One Photoshopper decided to up the ante by making it appear as if it was bursting through a cloud bank on its way through the atmosphere. A cool alteration but an unnecessary one. 


Einstein doesn't look at explosions

The top doctored image appears to show Albert Einstein casually riding away happily as an atomic bomb explodes behind him. Hilarious the faked image is actually an amalgamation of two different photos taken nearly 30 years apart. The atomic bomb test pictured also took place in 1962, several years after Einstein's death. 

erliner Illustrirte Zeitung

Flying skies

This image from 1935 seemingly shows a Geman man taking flight on a pair of skis by simply breathing into a weird-looking machine. The image fooled many, but was meant to just be a joke for April Fool's day - the photographed man going by the name "Otfried Koycher" a twist on the German word "keuchen" which translated as wheeze.

Unknown author

Benito Mussolini on horseback

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had this image of himself doctored in order to remove the horse handler from the frame of the image.

This was designed to make him look more iconic. 

Unknown author

Willy Brandt and Leonid Brezhnev

In 1971, Willy Brandt, the German Chancellor of West Germany met with Leonid Brezhnev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party.

They were photographed in a jovial mood. The German press of the time had images of them with champagne bottles on the table. By contrast, the Soviet press made efforts to remove those bottles from the photos when they published them. They didn't want such important political figures seen as drunk. 


The college of bad planning

This image made its way across the internet and seemed to show some rather bad planning on the part of the college of architecture and planning when its sign didn't fit. Though the image made little sense, it was still widely believed, but it was soon shown to be a fake.  

Writing by Adrian Willings.