The sudden appearance of photograph showing Madeleine sitting alone at the poolside gave rise to speculation that she had been superimposed onto the ‘Last photo.’
People rightly pointed out that Gerry’s elbow is far too close to Madeleine’s head for it to be a crop. However, when I took a closer look at the photo which shows Madeleine on her own I noticed that not only is the background blurred but so are the edges around Madeleine’s arm, head and body – to superimpose this blurred image onto the ‘Last photo’ and result in sharp edges around Madeleine seemed impossible...but it does make sense if Gerry and Amalie had been removed from the photo!
I’m not an expert with photographs but I hope the following gives a good enough example to explain:
The crop from ‘last photo’ released to the public via the media:
The photo which caused the speculation:
Red squares denote the cloning of one section from the right side of the wall to the left. Blue line denotes (roughly) where Gerry’s elbow would be:
How I think it may have been done
I’ve chosen a different part of the wall to clone over Gerry’s elbow and Amalie’s head:
Gerry is now completely gone:
Using the right side of the photo to clone the paving over Amalie:
Amalie is now completely gone. But there are some irregularities from the cloning...
...Now to disguise the irregularities...Background blurred to hide any obvious cloning which also results in the edges around Madeleine’s head, arm and body also becoming blurred.
And now for the final touch...altering brightness and contrast.
I believe the person who originally removed Gerry and Amalie from the photo may have used the bottom of the wall to clone the top of the wall hence the reason it looks straight in the original ‘Lone Madeleine’, whereas I chose to continue the 'hump' in the wall.
There are some very interesting photo comparisons on Pamalam’s site: Original Last Photograph, Hair Bead, Altar; Photoshop pictures