- The history of doctoring photographs dates back to the 1860s, only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814, photographs were already being manipulated. The nearly iconic portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is a composite of Lincoln’s head and the Southern politician John Calhoun’s body. Around the 1910s, photographic composites of different images were created by commercial photographic studios to bring family members together into one picture when they were not together in reality for the portrait session.
Photo manipulation involves transforming or altering a photograph using various methods and techniques to achieve desired results. Some photo manipulations are considered skillful artwork while others are frowned upon as unethical practices, especially when used to deceive the public, such as that used for political propaganda, or to make a product or person look better.