We regarded that afterwards as a mistake, and we wouldn’t repeat that mistake today." There are other incidents of questionable photo manipulation in journalism.
One such incident arose in early 2005 after Martha Stewart was released from prison.
Photo manipulation dates back to some of the earliest photographs captured on glass and tin plates during the 19th century.
The practice began not long after the creation of the first photograph (1825) by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who developed heliography and made the first photographic print from a photoengraved printing plate.
(For more information, see Censorship of images in the Soviet Union.) The pioneer among journalists distorting photographic images for news value was Bernarr Macfadden: in the mid-1920s, his "composograph" process involved reenacting real news events with costumed body doubles and then photographing the dramatized scenes—then pasting faces of the real news-personalities (gathered from unrelated photos) onto his staged images.
Often even subtle and discreet changes can have a profound impact on how we interpret or judge a photograph, making it all the more important to know when or if manipulation has occurred.
As early as the American Civil War, photographs were published as engravings based on more than one negative.
The transition from film to digital has been an ongoing process although great strides were made in the early 21st century as a result of advancing technology that has greatly improved digital image quality while reducing the bulk and weight of cameras and equipment.
An early example of tampering was in the early 1860s, when a photo of Abraham Lincoln was altered using the body from a portrait of John C.
While the equipment and technology progressed over time, it was not until the late 20th century that photography evolved into the digital realm.