Photoshop is a powerful piece of software and when used correctly produces spectacular results, but done badly it can be hilarious.

For photographers it’s a way of fine-tuning their photos, correcting colour here and cropping unwanted elements out there.

Even if you’ve never used it, you’ve certainly seen its influence. From magazines to billboards, and album covers to websites, the vast majority of pictures have been Photoshopped.   

This could range from minor effects such as brightening and exposure tweaks to major changes that affect the entire context of a photo and tell a very different story. Nikon came under fire when a doctored image won a photo competition.

Here are some of the most memorable Photoshop failures from the last 26 years.

1. Korea change

North Korea’s secretive regime has used photo manipulation techniques on many occasions.

The picture above was issued by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), and allegedly shows leader Kim Jong-un visiting a children’s hospital. However the shadows and lighting suggest the men were superimposed onto the picture.

In March 2012 a photograph of hovercrafts landing on a beach during a military exercise appeared to have been manipulated, with a few of the vehicles clearly being duplications. The photo was later withdrawn by the photo agency AFP due to ‘excessive digital tampering’.

2. Chinese officials and the tiny pensioner

Bad Photoshop - Chinese officials on a balcony

Local government officials in China created this Photoshop horror complete with shrunken pensioner and legless mayor.

According to The Guardian, embarrassed officials said two shots were merged because there wasn’t enough room to get the officials and the pensioner (Cheng Yanchun) in the same picture.

“The balcony space was very small and the camera lens could not cover the whole scene … When the employee of the municipal civil affairs department uploaded the photos … he simply merged two shots,” a statement read.

[Related story: Adobe Photoshop: The case for and against]

3. The ladies vanish

The Announcer newspaper with European female leaders removed

Ultra-conservative Israeli newspaper The Announcer removed all women from a photograph of European leaders marching in solidarity through the streets of Paris following the attack on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini were all in the original photograph, but don’t appear in a replication of the photo that appears in the Israeli newspaper.

It wasn’t a particularly good piece of Photoshopping either, as Hidalgo’s gloved hand remained on the arms of a fellow politician even though the rest of her had been scrubbed out.

4. US planes invade Vietnam skies

Daily Worker newspaper

Proving that photo manipulation is nothing new, this photograph appeared on the front page of the Daily Worker, the paper of the American Communist party, on November 19, 1961 during the Vietnam War.

Even though it was nearly 30 years before Photoshop was available, the photograph is obviously manipulated as a piece of anti-American propaganda.

5. Where’s Hillary?

Obama and Clinton in White House

Being the most powerful woman in the US wasn’t enough to prevent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be removed from a photograph showing President Obama and his staff monitoring the attack on Osama Bin Laden.

Hilary Clinton removed from newspaper story

Di Tzeitung, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper, apologised for the digital manipulation.

"Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention,” it said.

Photo credits: Getty Images/Rex/PA/Ningguo Civil Affairs Department