Florida Congresswoman Katherine Harris, who was running for a U.S. Senate seat the following year, accused some newspapers of doctoring photos to distort her makeup as a way to poke fun at her. Harris became famous when she oversaw the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election that gave George W. Bush a 537-vote victory in the state. “I’m actually very sensitive about those things, and it’s personally painful,” she said. “But they’re outrageously false. … Whenever they made fun of my makeup, it was because the newspapers colorized my photograph.” Harris and her staff did not, however, cite a specific example of an altered photo. The photo of Harris, shown here, is not known to have been doctored.
Though photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography. Gathered below is an overview of some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history. For recent years, an exhaustive inventory of every photo manipulation would be nearly impossible, so we focus here on the instances that have been most controversial or notorious, or ones that raise the most interesting ethical questions.
We’ll continue to update this gallery as more incidents come to our attention, so if you come across any notable ones you think we should include, feel free to send us an e-mail at
[Click thumbnails to view complete images.]