Famous Photoshopped Fakes

Eight photos too good to be true

  • 0220091154_M_fakes_tourist_guy.jpg
    One of the most famous Photoshop fakes of all time, this image went around via e-mail following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But Sept. 11 was a bright, warm day; this photo clearly shows that it's cold and hazy. It turned out that man in the image himself, a Hungarian names Peter Guzli, had spliced the image of the plane into a 1997 photo of his visit to New York, and then sent it around to friends as a joke.

    Peter Guzli
  • 0220091154_M_fakes_shark_chopper.jpg
    This one went around for years in the earlier part of this decade. The military helicopter really is hovering just west of the Golden Gate Bridge, but the shark's in False Bay at the tip of South Africa.

    USAF/National Geographic/Charles Maxwell
  • 0220091154_M_fakes_soldier_iraq.jpg
    A photographer with the Los Angeles Times lost his job because he combined two photos taken seconds apart to create a more dramatic image. The British soldier on the left was directing refugees near Basra, Iraq, in 2003. But by the time the man holding the baby had gotten close to the soldier, the soldier was looking away from the camera and didn't appear to be as menacing. So the photographer in the field combined the two on his laptop, and might have gotten away it had he not had put one person in twice -- the man in the white shirt and red bandanna whose back appears on both sides of the soldier's legs.

    Los Angeles Times
  • 0220091154_M_fakes_kerry_fonda.jpg
    A photo that circulated via e-mail during the 2004 presidential campaign showing then-Democratic candidate John Kerry speaking at an anti-Vietnam War rally in the early 1970s. Fonda was spliced into the original photo, which showed only Kerry. A different photo circulating in 2004 showing both Fonda and Kerry sitting apart in a crowd at another anti-war rally was real.

    Corbis (original photos)
  • 0220091154_M_fakes_tsunami_skyscraper.jpg
    This widely e-mailed photo claimed to be an aerial shot of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people on Dec. 26, 2004. But the city's actually in Chile, the wave was cropped in and the real tsunami was a rapid but even rise in sea level, not a regular-looking wave.

    C. Lantadilla (image of city)
  • 0220091154_M_fakes_beirut_smoke.jpg
    A freelance Reuters photographer based in Beirut apparently didn't think there was enough smoke in this image of an Aug. 5, 2006 Israeli air raid on Hezbollah positions. So he used the Clone tool in Photoshop to add more. It shouldn't have taken a blogger to figure this obvious one out.

  • 0220091154_M_fakes_bikini_gun.jpg
    This image of 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin looked too good to be true, and it was. Someone had simply Photoshopped the Alaska governor's head onto that of another woman holding what turned out to be a BB gun.

    Addison Godel/Flickr
  • 0220091154_M_fakes_obama_smoking.jpg
    President Obama may or may not still be smoking cigarettes, but like recent first lady Laura Bush, he's always been careful not to let anyone photograph him doing it. The cigarette was inserted into an image of Obama taken during his 2004 Senate campaign.

    Kwame Ross/University of Illinois