One Twitter account approached FakeHistoryHunt and me after finding an interesting photo pair:
Question: is the “Westminster photo” real or modified image based on Len A. Puttnam’s Battle of Britain photo?
The backgrounds of these two images are the same, which indicates the Westminster photo has been modified. Here’s an overlay of the two images:
The remaining question: was the Westminster image Photoshopped or was it made much earlier?
I found a book published in 1953 with the modified image: New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. I). The book is available online. Westminster photo was captioned as “Vapor trails over Westminster”.
The book finding indicates that the Westminster image is a pre-Photoshop image manipulation, a collage. However, I don’t know when it was first published or who made it. Nevertheless, it is a great example of image manipulation before digital tools.