Soviet Russian Photos Correction

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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”.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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…

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

Soviet Russian Photos Correction

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.

50 thoughts on “Soviet Russian Photos Correction”

  1. 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.

    • 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. 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 🙂

  3. 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…

    • 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]

      • > 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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(?) 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.

  6. 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.

    • I bet Tiger Woods wishes he could do that, lol. But seriously, did you ever see a picture of Mrs. Eisenhower? Ike deserved a little fun and he didn’t get caught.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.


    • 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.

  14. 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.

Leave a Comment