Was George Clooney Cropped Out of the Photo That Became the Famous Barack Obama ‘Hope’ Poster?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about the world of photography and whether they are true or false.

PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN LEGEND: George Clooney was originally in the photo that was used as he basis for the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster.

During the 2008 campaign, a poster featuring Barack Obama created by Shepard Fairey began to appear. While it had a few different words under it, the most famous one included the word “Hope.”

It became one of the most iconic political posters of all-time and certainly the most iconic one in the 21st Century.

However, the origins of the poster have been the source of some wild intrigue and criminal charges, if you can believe it.

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Was the Famous Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima Photograph Staged?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about the world of photography and whether they are true or false.

PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN LEGEND: Joe Rosenthal’s photograph, “Raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima,” was staged.

As we end Memorial Day this year, I thought it would be nice to clear up a bit of confusion about one of the most famous war photographs of all-time (heck, one of the most famous photographs of all-time period), Joe Rosenthal’s photograph “Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima,” a shot of five United States Marines and a United States Navy corpsman raising the United States flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

The photograph was an instant classic, but over the years, Rosenthal has been accused of staging the photograph.

Is that true?
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Did Men’s Fitness Photoshop Someone Else’s Biceps on to Andy Roddick on a Cover of the Magazine?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: Men’s Fitness gave Andy Roddick someone else’s biceps for the cover of the magazine.

NOTE: I did this as a Tennis Legend, but it also belongs here. – BC

Former professional tennis player Andy Roddick was (and is) a very fit man.

Just check him out playing tennis without a shirt on…

The guy had no complaints in the body department.

However, when he was featured as the cover model for a 2007 issue of Men’s Fitness, the folks at Men’s Fitness thought that they could make some improvements…
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Were Life Magazine’s Famous Photos of the D-Day Invasion Blurry Because the Photographer’s Hands Were Shaking?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: A series of photos of the Normandy landing during D-Day by famed war photographer Robert Capa for Life Magazine were blurry because Capa’s hands were shaking as he took the shots.

Robert Capa (born Endre Friedmann in Austria-Hungary in 1913) was a famous war photographer, active from 1933 until his death in 1954, while photographing the conflict in Indochina (he tragically stepped on a landmine).

Capa was particularly well-known for how close to the action he got. He had a saying that, effectively, if your photos weren’t good enough it was because you weren’t close enough.

Capa was with the invading troops on Normany, and he took close to four full rolls of film of the invasion.

But what came next was a minor tragedy in and of itself.
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Was Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville” Really a Candid Shot?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about the world of photography and whether they are true or false.

PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN LEGEND: Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville” was a candid shot.

While obviously Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “V–J day in Times Square” photograph of a soldier spontaneously celebrating the surrender of Japan in 1945 with a nearby woman is the most famous candid kiss captured as a photograph…

Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville” was always a close second, with his seemingly candid shot of two young lovers kissing in the streets of Paris, which (like Eisentaedt’s picture in 1945) appeared in Life Magazine in 1950.

Interestingly enough, while Eisentaedt’s photograph was an instant classic, it was not until the early 1980s that Doisneau’s photograph became a sensation, after a publisher came to Doisneau looking to turn the decades old photograph into a poster.

Over the years, the photo was treated as a candid shot and various people had come forward claiming to be the kissing couple. Doisneau always let them have their chance at making their claim – it was fine by him, as he knew who the actual couple was, so if others wanted to say it was them, it was no skin off his back.

That changed, however, in 1993.
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Is One of the Most Famous Abraham Lincoln Photographs Really Lincoln’s Head Super-Imposed on Another Person’s Body?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about the world of photography and whether they are true or false.

PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN LEGEND: A famous photograph of Abraham Lincoln is actually a picture of Lincoln’s head superimposed on another man’s body!

To put the following into context, do note that photographs as we now know them today basically only started around the 1820s.

So to see “photoshopping” like the following images in 1860 is pretty remarkable!

In 1860, a photograph of the Republican Presidential candidate Abaraham Lincoln were circulated (photographer unknown). It’s a dynamic, statesman-esque piece.

However, it’s also not actually Abraham Lincoln’s body!
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Were a Group of Ivy League Schools Taking Nude Photos of Their Students for Decades?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about the world of photography and whether they are true or false.

PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN LEGEND: A variety of Ivy Leagues took nude photos of most of their incoming freshmen for decades.

While the topic had been come up here and there over the years, it was not until Ron Rosenbaum’s feature piece in the New York Times Magazine in 1995 that the truth was widely known about the bizarre series of nude photos taken of Ivy League freshmen from 1940 to 1960 (or thereabouts – some schools lasted until the early 1970s).
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How the Heck Did Oprah’s Head Land on Ann-Margret’s Body?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: TV Guide once put Oprah Winfrey’s head on Ann-Margret’s body for a cover.

Nowadays, we’re a little more used to the idea of photoshopping, but in 1989, photoshopping was a bit more of a secret.

Not that photoshopping is new, of course. Basically as soon as they had photographs they had photoshopping.

But it wasn’t as popularly used as it is nowadays with the rise of technology like, well, PhotoShop.

So yeah, in 1989 it was certainly something that people knew existed but it was not used popularly.

So imagine people’s surprise when not only did TV Guide photo shop Oprah Winfrey on the cover of an August 1989 issue of TV Guide, they did so by putting Oprah’s head on Ann-Margret’s body!!!!

Read on for more details!
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