About the Hoax Photo Database
The Hoax Photo Database catalogs examples of photo fakery, from the beginnings of photography up to the present. Included in the database are photos that are "real," but which have been suspected of being fake, as well as images whose veracity remains undetermined.

The photos are displayed, by default, in reverse chronological order, but if you're more interested in the historical development of the art of image manipulation than in the latest crop of fake photos circulating online, then you can also view the database in chronological order (1840 to the present). Images are categorized by theme, technique of fakery (if known), and time period. See below for the full list of categories.

The database can also be viewed as a thumbnail gallery.


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A Sharpshooter’s Last Sleep
Status: Staged Scene
Date: Taken in 1863. Exposed as a fake in 1961.
Alexander Gardner and his assistants took a series of photographs showing the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. These photos were published in Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War, a work which proved very influential in defining the image of the Civil War for many Americans.

But in 1961 Frederic Ray, art director of the Civil War Times, noticed that two of the photographs, taken in different locations on the battlefield, appeared to show the same corpse. In one scene (top) a Confederate soldier's corpse lay on the southern slope of Devil's Den. Gardner had captioned this photo "A Sharpshooter's Last Sleep."

But in another scene (bottom) the body had moved forty yards to a rocky niche. Gardner captioned this photo "The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter." Apparently Gardner had moved the soldier's corpse to the rocky outcropping for the sake of creating a more dramatic image. He even turned the soldier's head to face the camera and leaned a gun against the rocks.

Although Gardner identified the soldier as a sharpshooter, the weapon beside him is not a sharpshooter's rifle. It was probably a prop, placed there by Gardner.
References:
Moving the Body, Hoaxipedia article.
The Case of the Moved Body, Library of Congress.
Ray. F. (Oct 1961). "The Case of the Rearranged Corpse." Civil War Times. 3(6): 19.
Technique: Staged Scene, Movable Prop. Time Period: Before 1900.
Themes: Death, Military, War, Photojournalism.

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