Here’s a case of state-sponsored photo manipulation that matches the boldness of Stalin’s celluloid liberties (like the disappearing commissar above).
Spot anything odd in this photo? It was attached to this news story.
Specifically that part. The part with the three layers of identical looking corn flakes.
The cereal’s been clone-stamped to make it look like a veritable cornucopia (Cornucopia. Heh). What’s the reality here? Is the media covering up a foodstuff shortage in NZ? Can we know that Hubbard is really smiling in the original? Maybe he’s casting his hands out in despair over the last cup of flakes left in the warehouse. Should I be hoarding Weet-bix and rolled oats?
Seriously, news photographers, clone-stamping does not improve the composition of your photos. It’s just ugly. It’s also like chartjunk in that it’s unnecessary, and though a very light shade of gray on the lie-spectrum, does say something about how you regard your audience. You’d think the bevy of stories about photographers being fired for taking similar compositional liberties would scare anyone in a newsroom a mile away from doing it.