Retouched Photos in the Family Album

This week Time Magazine ran an article on the top ten doctored pictures including the famous Matthew Brady image of the Civil War generals. Matthew Brady may have been the most proficient but he certainly wasn’t the only nineteenth century photographer changing the appearance of an image. Take this family group from the late 1890s. I posted a short video online on Vimeo a few months ago. The woman in the back stands out. She’s been added in.

Can you spot a retouched picture in your family album? Look for obvious signs like the border surrounding this woman. Watch for individuals that are the wrong proportion. Notice how she’s larger than the rest of the group. Photographer’s trained studio assistants to remove blemishes, beard stubble and in general make their clients look better than reality.