Travel blogger busted for adding herself into photos

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If you think this woman’s vacation snaps on Instagram look too good to be true, you may be right.

Travel, fashion and beauty blogger Amelia Liana has been called out for photoshopping Instagram images of herself at stunning locations around the world, including New York City and the Taj Mahal.

Eagle-eyed followers noticed something was up when in May Liana uploaded on Instagram a stunning photograph of herself at the top of the Rockefeller Centre, gazing out at a view of the New York City skyline, with the caption: “What a welcome to NYC #TopOfTheRock.”

The problem, as commenters pointed out, was that One World Trade Center (formerly called Freedom Tower) — which was completed in 2013 — was notably missing from the city’s skyline.

“Cute! That’s pre-World Trade Center (the new one) though…the skyline is very, very different now,” one person wrote, according to the Mail Online (the image has since been removed from Liana’s feed).

Another said: “Why is this skyline completely photoshopped? The buildings are different now.”

Picture experts at The Times pointed out the image of Liana appeared to have been superimposed over an old image of New York City.

And that wasn’t the only suspicious image on Liana’s feed.

For comparison, an actual photo of the Taj Mahal.Shutterstock

The Times also noticed an altered image of the Brooklyn Bridge, and one of Liana somehow laying in bed with the London skyline right behind her.

In another too-good-to-be-true photo, Liana poses outside the Taj Mahal in India. But the massive crowds of tourists normally seen outside the famous building are missing from her photo, as well as the scaffolding that was around the tower at the time the photo was supposedly taken.

Blogger Ellie Dickinson told The Times light editing was considered acceptable but bloggers shouldn’t go too far.

“It’s considered normal to change things like brightness levels but moving buildings and people and adding sunsets is something else,” she said.

“The problem with fake photos comes down to the premise of blogging. It’s supposed to be accessible and authentic, not a glossy magazine. People want to see a lifestyle that’s amazing, but attainable.”

In a post published on her blog after The Times’ article ran, Liana denied she was cheating her followers.

“I feel a great bond with you, my followers, and I would never wish to deceive you,” the 26-year-old said, adding she was striving for “authenticity as well as giving you imagery that is stylish, progressive and inspiring.”

Outlining what she called her “image principles,” Liana said all her imagery was shot at the time in the location specified, that she tried “to present images that have been shot using natural light and in real conditions”, and that she “may use all available techniques to enhance, sharpen or smarten my images.”

“This may include improving the light, tidying the background and other enrichments, but always in a way that is representative to the true setting and always in a way that reflects my aesthetic,” she said.

It’s not the first time travel bloggers have been called out for appearing to deceive fans with unrealistic photography.

Earlier this month, news.com.au reported on an Instagram blog called “You Did Not Sleep Here”, which calls shenanigans on pretentious posers flooding the platform with glamorous shots of “illogical” campsites that are more than likely fake.



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