What a marvel the first photographic images must have been to their early-19th-century viewers — the crisp, unassailable reality of scenes and events, unfiltered by an artist’s paintbrush or point of view.  And what an opportunity for manipulation. It didn’t take long for schemers to discover that with a little skill and imagination, photographic realism could be used to create manufactured realities.  “The very nature of photography was to record events,” said Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth University and a detective of photographic fakery. “You’d think there would have been a grace period of respect for this new technology.”

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