50 Soviet Russian Photos Correction

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

Posted on February 22, 2007 by

People say that some pictures from the past might be photoshoped. Yes it can be true. But what is the truth anyways? Was the “authentic” photos from times passed long time ago always authentic and true?

Here are a few examples of how Soviet authorities “photoshopped” their photo-chronicles without even using this popular Adobe software. And the whole word got those images as true and authentic.

On the pic above you can see Stalin and co. going for the walk, on the image to the right there are four people and to the left.. three are left. And look how did they manage to recreate the background. This one, from the left part, was published officially. And the guy who is missing was executed.

That’s another group shot. On the top part of it there is how it was in its original state.
The one below is edited. Two guys are missing. They were also executed. And in such manner it was published. Look what a precious job was done. In the era of no-computers-available.

This one is not so brilliantly remastered. If to look closer one can spot some roughness in its post-processing. Russian authorities changed the shop sign “Watches.Gold.Silver” to “In Fight You’ll Get Your Right”. Yeah, why not?
Also the flag, previously just red got the sign “Down with the Monarchy”.

This is a shot of Lenin reading his speech on the city square.
People who published his shot decided it’s way too little people listen too him to impress newspaper readers all over the Russia so they…

Added some more listeners. A lot of them. I wonder how many hours of work took those things to be made without the Photoshop and a computer.

That’s Stalin. On the photo to the left one can see a guy, a comrade, showing a way to Stalin. “This way please!”.
But how can somebody show the way to Stalin thought authorities? So they removed that guy. None should point the way to the leader of Russian people. Never.

On this shot you can see Lenin with his wife sitting in the middle, surrounded by farmers and their kids.
But just a little time passed after this photo was made and many of those farmers were executed – just because they had too much money and didn’t want to share it freely with surrounding poor neighbors.

So the photo that was published looked like that. All those who were executed were removed. Including kids.

Almost the same story happened with this photo. In the middle of it one can see Chapaev, famous Russian army officer, surrounded by other Soviet army seniors.
But many of the early Communist leaders were then executed by the order of Stalin. So the photos were also corrected when published.

And much more can be found in Russian archives. Was this happening only in Russia? Remember those speculations on “Were or Weren’t People on the Moon?” etc. So what is really true and what is photoshop sometimes is hard to understand.

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50 Responses to “Soviet Russian Photos Correction”

  1. ptc says:

    That “photoshop technique” is called retouching and it is known to photographers many decades. Mixing more pictures together, removing some unwanted parts using only negative, photographic paper and enlarger is very easy. On most of the pictures is clearly visible that they are exposed twice (it is copy of a copy) or there were some parts of pictures masked when photos are made from negative – you can see brighter areas on some picture with clear borders. Also some negatives was modified the simple way – using paint and brushes. Editing these pictures was maybe simple for skilled person or journalist than doing it now in Photoshop. Same technique is also used to remove scratches and dust from negatives. Because there pictures were made by large format cameras, size of negative (glass plate) was around 24×18 cm, therefore it was very easy to do something with the picture. If you want to compare to today digital cameras, it is somewhere around 600 megapixels size.

    • serviving says:

      If Stalin was so great and everybody loved him but he left dead bodies everywhere he went including children.
      How can someone like that be so great?

  2. D says:

    Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.

  3. mrcann says:


  4. lithuanian says:

    this article really amazed me.
    and nice captcha you have here!

  5. Bishop Brennan says:

    Good post.

  6. TTT says:

    Hey in the picture were Lenin makes his speech, what is this Korean flag all about ?

  7. Robbie says:

    Loved this article! Very interesting, just like Orwell’s 1984!

  8. LEVON says:

    retouching is way easyer then sitting many hours if front of a monitor… And also there is more fun, when you work in dark room, with chemical liqids :)

  9. katjusha says:

    you should see the famous photo of soviet soldiers rasing the soviet flag in berlin after capturing it. it was edited and recolored. at original photo, soviet solder has a hand full of watches stolen from dead german soldiers but on edited photo there are no watches. also AFAIR some soviet solders were removed and the scene of burning berlin was made without smoke…

    • Peterm says:

      He had only two watches, one on each wrist ;).

    • sefu tau says:

      According to some sources, the second watch was in fact a compass. In the Red Army, wearing both a wrist-compass and a watch was fairly common, but from a distance, as in the photo, it appeared as if he was wearing two watches. [WIKIPEDIA]

  10. lauhaen says:

    I don’t think that Lenin would have had executed tonns of people. It was Stalin.

    • Publius says:

      Is that a joke?

      • Solovetski Islands says:

        > I don’t think that Lenin would have had executed tonns of people.

        Yes, he was the Original Murderer. From him, much evil flowed and ramified far and wide across the rodina.

        Lenin was the creature that spawned all that followed, and Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili learned at his knee, and learned well the ways of the despot.

  11. Ian says:

    This is a great post, thanks for the excellent bit of history!

  12. Mike says:

    Good post, good work.

    @ the line about Lenin&Stalin:
    Whatever Stalin and Lenin whas the same type of man like Hitler was (but West nations wanted to be free from Hitler, so they decided to be a “comrade” wiht Stalin. That’s why Stalin took the whole eastern europe for himself).
    What a pity that all of this history has been forgoten.

  13. FRESCO says:

    jajajaj in soviet land use phoshop xD

  14. gary murat says:

    I sell good watches .

  15. poop says:

    hahahahahahahahahah ur mom!!!hahahahahahaqha

  16. Redpurusha says:

    What a joke. But not a funny one.

  17. Passer says:

    As for removal, there’s even a better example you’ve missed. I do not remember the exact details, unfortunately. On the original photo there were some 10 people on a bench in a park. Then Trotsky was exiled and removed from the photo. Then Bukharin(?) et.al. were executed and removed from the photo. Then Stalin was re-evaluated (“de-crowned”) after his death and removed from the photo. On the final version that was in school textbooks in 1960s-1980s there were only Lenin and Kalinin(?) on the opposite ends of the bench.

  18. Bleepless says:

    I always liked the Politburo photo wherein Trotsky was turned into a tree.

  19. RogerV says:

    This sort of thing didn’t only happen in Russia. There is a rather famous picture of General Eisenhower with a group of people in England. One version clearly shows his English driver/mistress, Kay Sommersby. In the version released to the press, she has been edited out.

  20. Miss Russia says:

    OMG Russians are so poor, thy can not even afford computer and photoshop for imageediting. :-(

  21. Jason says:

    My god,you are everywhere!I dont care who you are,carry on.


  22. sergei says:

    For many, History goes unnoticed as yesterdays storm. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. I am glad we had Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others to awaken a sleepy world to the past evils. May the leaders of the world learn from it.

  23. Ryan says:

    From the first photo:

    “This one, from the left part, was published officially. And the guy who is missing was executed.”

    That was Nikolai Yezhov, head of the NKVD after Stalin executed Yagoda.

    This is a great website of information, photos and history. I’ve enjoyed the past few hours looking at all this material you have put together.

  24. George says:

    In todays world of Digital audio and video, any picture or audio can be altered with absolutely no trail. We have gotten to the point that video tapes and sounds are completely unreliable in a court of law.

    When you can edit every pixel, you can create anything. Just look at the latest CGI in the movies. They have reached perfection. All it takes is an army of digital artists.

  25. Elle says:

    its a real good article, real intresting, have you got anymore?

  26. Picky picky picky says:

    Thanks for the article. English Russian writers and editors, I hope you won’t be offended if I make a correction. There is no such word as “anyways.” The correct word is “anyway.” Some uninformed speakers of English write and say “anyways,” but they are in error. Please don’t emulate them. Thanks for an awesome site.

  27. Chinese says:

    The same thing happened and happens in China as well.

  28. podo says:

    Obviously, not everyone removed from a photo, got executed. On some photos, like the one with Chapaev, people were cropped in order to make a better composition focused on the main subject. I believe this is the case with Lenin and his wife too.

  29. Jim-Bob says:

    Even in recent times this sort of thing happens. It happened in Iran during the election unrest, and there is also proof of major retouching in Obama’s election rally photos when they were less than complimentary.

  30. thats true ,you see how photo corrections and manipulating could change history , nice article to be noticed

  31. Jerry Yan says:


  32. raja ranjit singh says:

    dont mind but whats the proof that these photos are not edited using todays photoshop software

    • Iman Azol says:

      Well, lots of them are in books printed before Photoshop.

      As to proving it was the Soviets who did it–in the West, those people still existed. In the USSR, their entire history disappeared and they became “unpersons.” Easy enough to figure out who wanted them dead.

      PKS: Yes, those “farmers” look like horrible, evil people. Especially the children.

  33. Chip says:

    Photoshopski and clonestampovich. Adobnik.

  34. myonclown says:

    I could tell by the pixels!

  35. Naveed Fikar says:

    Stalin cruelties blocked soclist revolutions in many countries. He went on agreement with the capitalist countries. The whole world would be a soclist, and now we would have been on the road to communism, but his horrors blocked the ways in particular to that of INDIA.

  36. itn malang says:

    nice post i like it

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