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crickhollow

Edited WW1 photos

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crickhollow

I thought GWF members might be interested in noting the contrast between two identical WW1 photos

 

The first is extracted from the book  'Twenty Years After' and shows ' A Trench near Montbrehain'

 

image.png.eb110512e19327579ed45397bb072c90.png 

image.thumb.png.6ede2da942ed42775f5a81ac65974ea3.png 

 

The caption concludes: 'The trench was originally filled with German dead'.

 

I recently noticed the photo below in an Australian publication ( 'The Great War', Weekend Australian, October 2018) 

image.png.5f06eb0c2dc6d5081fd4eff8f33d9102.png

 

It is clearly the same photo but without the images of dead German soldiers.

 

I suppose sensitivities were still raw in the years just after WW1.  I am sure there must be other examples in publications and collections.

 

 

 

 

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David Filsell

Not much new in photoshopping us there?

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
5 minutes ago, David Filsell said:

Not much new in photoshopping us there?

Photoshop still uses the old photographic terms- dodging, burning etc etc.

Yes it is from the same negative- you can even see the nearest German's gas mask/bag that hasn't been completely rubbed out.

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Buffnut453
16 minutes ago, David Filsell said:

Not much new in photoshopping us there?

 

Agreed, although in fairness the caption in the original publication does state "The trench was originally filled with German dead."  Rather than trying to alter the facts of history (as modern "photoshopping" so often tries to do), in this case it was censorship to minimize the impact of what was probably perceived as an overly-graphic image. 

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IPT

I'm mildly impressed. I wouldn't have known.

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David Filsell

It was a well deloped art 'back in the day'.  One example is of the dark art is that of Adolf Hitler in Munich reacting to the declaration of war - the picture generally shown  places him in a crowd - the original shows the entire square and a relatively small group of listeners of which Adolf is one. The full frame shot shows the crowd to be quite small. Then there's Russian photograph of the Soviet leaderrship -  from which Trotsky was removed after his fall from grace.

Edited by David Filsell

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GreyC

Sometimes it works the other way round like in the attached photo. Here the guy on the right was later inserted in a larger grouphoto. Maybe he was already dead by then or wounded and by trickery reunited with his pals. See the fissures that give the trick away and the slightly different contrast.

GreyC

xUnbekanntesMGAbzeichenb1IR_Montage.jpg.4a7cb36e7d7ac6012896254ffd60b10f.jpg

Edited by GreyC

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Indeed, the origin of 'Cut & Paste', and the first photo a good example of Masking.

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GRANVILLE

What I can't quite work out about the 20 Years After photo, is why they went to the trouble of removing the dead when presumably someone could have stood in the same position and photographed what remains of the scene - what the notion of the book was all about. In the light of the revealed 'photo-shopped' image I admit it makes me look at the publication in a whole new light.


David

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David Filsell

Simple. Pictures of corpses were not considered 'the thing' to print at that time or for many years after. Even now they rarely make the front page, or those in the middle.

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GreyC

Hi,

as far as I am aware that´s true if it comes to corpses of your own army (true for all sides). Corpses of the enemy were shown in publications such as postcards or magazine-articles.

GreyC

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Buffnut453

But this book is 20 years after the war, which was a different time to when postcards of dead enemies were peddled.

 

When was the book actually published?  If it was 1934, then it's plausible that the powerful pacifist sentiments voiced at that time influenced editorial decisions.  If it was 1938, then such an influence is less likely.

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crickhollow

I can find no publication date in the book but given the title "Twenty Years After' I interpret this as after the end of the war i.e published 1938.

 

An edition advertised on eBay claims 1938

 

image.png.0ab2b74ccea4b607d6046a7d7f52cca6.png

 

The attribution of the photo in the book is to 'Imperial War Museum'

 

However the Australian War Memorial seems to claim ownership of the uncensored photo  https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search?query=E03779

 

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crickhollow

I came across this article on http://ww1.canada.com/battlefront/strict-military-censorship-covered-up-much-of-what-was-really-happening-in-the-trenches

 

 

so maybe Sir Ernest Swinton (enthusiast and supporter of the tank) censored the photos himself?

 

The conspiracy to hide the scale of casualties condemns the principal conspirators, British prime minister David Lloyd George and Lord Kitchener, minister for war and munitions. Kitchener had been vehemently hostile to journalists ever since the Sudan. He had seen no reason for them to be there and was outraged by the slightest criticism in reports of his war against the Dervishes, the Mahdi’s army. “Get out of my way, you drunken swabs!” he shouted at them on his arrival in Khartoum.

Within months of the declaration of war, he introduced blanket press censorship, the most severe by any British commander yet. In the first year of the war, all press accreditation was refused. The public, anxious to understand the reason for British involvement in a Continental conflict, had to be satisfied with clumsy propaganda from the government’s newly formed Press Bureau that censored even military communiques before passing them on for publication. Its mantra was simple: “Do nothing. Say nothing. Keep off the front pages.”

David Lloyd George, who was soon to become prime minister, told C P Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian, that if people knew what was going on in the trenches, the war would be stopped immediately. At the time, the government even denied trenches existed.

Kitchener was adamant. There would be no press anywhere near the action. Instead, he appointed the loyal and subservient Colonel Ernest Swinton as the official war correspondent, later joined by a conscripted journalist, Henry Tomlinson. Only untrained, army cameramen were allowed anywhere near the Front. Their filming was amateur, under-exposed, grainy – and more often than not faked.

 

 

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GRANVILLE
20 hours ago, David Filsell said:

Simple. Pictures of corpses were not considered 'the thing' to print at that time or for many years after. Even now they rarely make the front page, or those in the middle.

I appreciate this David but the point I was making was why Hammerton and the publication thought it better to airbrush out history rather than return to the location as they had been apparently doing with numerous other images in the books (of which I have copies). The books were supposed to be about showing how the landscape had changed 20yrs after the war, not about cleaning up photos of the time. That's the aspect which puzzles me and of course calls into question just how many other images in the book might have been given the same treatment?


David

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David Filsell

I'm not certain why. But tweaking pictures was very wide spread and the best of those who did it did extremely well. I suspect no one has questioned the shot in question before nor raised the question asking how many other shot in the volume have been altered

I have a wartime German post card showing the Kaiser with a bunch of his top brass at a meeting - fact was a number of those in the picture were never at the meeting, but it's also virtually impossible to detect the faking even under a linen guage. 

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stripeyman

 I have known about the Montbrehain photograph for years, here is another of the same type. It appears in 'The Story of 25 Eventful Years in Pictures'. An Odhams Press book of the reign of King George V 1910 -1935. The IWM photo was taken at Garter Point some time during 3rd Ypres. although it is in the 1916 section. Original shows a dead German left of centre.

Garter Point.jpg

Edited by stripeyman

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crickhollow

The photo in Swinton's book is attributed to the IWM  but there is no reference number and I have not found this photo on the IWM web site.  The photo lodged with the Australian War Museum showing the bodies appears to be the official photo.

 

Swinton published his book as a memorial to those who fought in WW1 and his photos come from many sources.  I cannot find any photo showing a dead soldier. Someone obviously felt that this book should simply keep to the theme of the landscape before and after without showing the reality of warfare.

 

Manipulation of WW1 photos was not just about deleting dead bodies as this well-known photo by Frank Hurley attests

 

image.thumb.png.c64db499c69b9d1e9d52867b8437c454.png

 

“Episode after Battle of Zonnebeke 1918 Hurley” by State Library of New South Wales. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 au via Wikimedia Commons.

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Buffnut453

They should add a few more armaments factories...and not quite as many elephants.

 

Sorry...couldn't resist! :)

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ServiceRumDiluted

verdun.jpg.0df2a36de131d67d53b04f7588fa98d2.jpg

 

By contrast this is a much published image perporting to show a French corpse at the battle of Verdun. It is in fact a still from the 1928 film Verdun Visions d'histoire. A few seconds later the 'corpse' wipes debris from its face! The realism comes from the pugilist position of the body, and I suppose the cast being veterans of the battle, they knew a thing or two about corpses.

 

Sequence starts at 1.35

 

https://youtu.be/NDC1Z8Pj0e8

Edited by ServiceRumDiluted

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crickhollow

I suppose that one of the best-known fake WW1 war scenes is the clip from  the 'Battle of the Somme' showing British troops 'going over the top' - 'now generally considered to have been staged for the camera, possibly at a Trench Mortar School well behind the lines ' Source  https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205022462image.thumb.png.3f8ff63214262b6adf0ff92270ec9d51.png

 

This opens up the debate about the use of images for record vs. propaganda.

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crickhollow

 

 

Whilst on the topic of fake photos how about this extract from :

https://io9.gizmodo.com/these-wwi-aerial-dogfight-photos-are-incredible-too-ba-1134100268

 

During the 1930s, a woman claiming to be the widow of a British Royal Flying Corps pilot sold 34 photos featuring scenes from a dramatic WWI aerial battle to a publisher for U.S. $20,000. The pics were later published in a popular book — but it was all an elaborate hoax.

 

image.png.622306c4880394b4d05fbf0e13ac78c5.png

After purchasing the images, the publisher featured them in a book titled, Death in the Air: The War Diary and Photographs of a Flying Corps Pilot. But it wouldn't be until 1984 that the photos were definitively declared forgeries.

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David Filsell

And yet they still appear - published as the real thing!

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crickhollow

One clue: I suspect that the aircraft would fall faster than the pilot who would be thrown backwards by the slipstream once he ejected?

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MrEd
On 30/11/2018 at 21:11, GRANVILLE said:

What I can't quite work out about the 20 Years After photo, is why they went to the trouble of removing the dead when presumably someone could have stood in the same position and photographed what remains of the scene - what the notion of the book was all about. In the light of the revealed 'photo-shopped' image I admit it makes me look at the publication in a whole new light.


David

Dont know, but its a good question, could it be that the trench didnt actually look like that 20 years later and this photo was portrayed as '20 years later' for dramatic effect or similar? 

 


 

Edited by MrEd

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