Mug shots and airbrushing are both photography-related, but they aren’t commonly found together in stories. Not so with some ongoing controversy over in Greece, though. The police there may soon be under investigation after releasing a number of mug shots that appear to have been Photoshopped.
Why would they ‘shop photos of suspected criminals, you ask? The claim is that the images were edited to hide injuries that were inflicted by officers during (or after) the arrests.
If you’re looking for a bizarre photo concept to try out, and live in a cold snowy environment, look no further than Yorkshire, UK-based photographer Oliver Turpin‘s Snow Portraits project. Turpin shot a series of self-portraits, but instead of photographing his real face, he captured photos of imprints of his face in snow.
Several mugshot websites — including Just Mugshots, Busted! Mugshots, Mugshots Online, and MugRemove — are ringing in the new year with a massive class action law suit. According to NPR, hundreds of people who have been exonerated of all charges and had their records sealed are suing the websites for not only keeping their mugshots up and using them in banner ads, but refusing to take them down and “scrub” them off the Internet unless the victims pay a hefty fee.
Last year there was a minor controversy when the Portland Police Department began posting photos of arrested Occupy protestors to Facebook. It may or may not have been inspired by the PPD, but Pottstown, Pennsylvania newspaper The Pottstown Mercury has begun sharing photographs of wanted individuals through the popular photo sharing service Pinterest.
Earlier this year, a set of mugshots from the 1920s showing Australian criminals made the rounds on the Internet. When art director Michael Jason Enriquez came across this portraits, he was struck by the artsy-ness of the photos. He writes,
There’s a strange connection that draws us into vintage photographs. Seeing doppelgängers (look-a-likes) in old pictures is our brain’s way of linking us to the past. We see what isn’t there – someone recognizable, a family member, maybe a friend, and then there are the ones that bear an uncanny resemblance to modern day celebrities. We’re so used to seeing celebrity faces on our tv, on blogs, and we even know what their mugshots look like. The tacky looking mugshots we have today are in stark contrast to the mugshots taken in the 1920’s. Vintage mugshots have an eerie beauty to them that’s lost in current mugshot photography. What would celebrity mugshots, the ones we’ve become accustomed to seeing on TMZ, look like if instead they were taken in the 1920’s?
Enriquez decided to find out, and created Mugshot Doppleganger, a website to which he posts Photoshopped images of celebrity booking portraits fused with 1920s mugshots.
There was a minor hoopla yesterday after Boing Boing shared that mugshot photos of arrested Occupy Portland protesters were being uploaded by the Portland Police Department to Facebook. The police department quickly explained that it’s their standard practice to publish mugshots that are of media interest. However, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of Facebook being used as a way to share mugshots. Stan Horaczek at PopPhoto writes,
While it doesn’t seem that there’s anything legally wrong with the photos ending up where they are, it is a little…creepy. Facial recognition software is getting scary accurate and with something as simple and straight forward as a mugshot, any program looking for a person on the web would almost certainly be able to find them without any trouble.
Regarding the copyright status of mugshots: did you know that federal mugshots are automatically entered into the public domain in the US?
(via Boing Boing via PopPhoto)