Working in Marketing for a very large internet retailer with our own in-house creative and photography teams, I can tell you that most people overestimate the amount of retouching that gets done. They don't necessarily "photoshop the pics to make them look better so the customer is more enticed to buy". Photoshopping implies changing or manipulating the subject within the actual image to look different. You photoshop a unibrow on someone, you don't photoshop product photography. Retouching (which is what is actually done) is a very different objective. Retouching is typically done to optimize coloring, highlight important parts of the product and clip out anything around the product from the studio environment. If you're ever in the Philadelphia area, I can give you a tour of our facility and show you exactly what is done.
The two barrie lasts in the examples provided are quite obviously different. Messing with colors won't change that. The only thing I will say is that the shots aren't taken from an identical angle, so that may make for a little bit more of a dramatic affect. The show looks like it's taken from maybe 3-4 degrees higher which will look bulkier. I still think it's larger.
The one selfish plus that I took from this discussion was the guy that was saying he is a C-width in Barrie and wishes the combination last was A/D not either A/C or B/D because the heel is too wide. That's EXACTLY how I feel in barrie shoes. I need a C-width in a LWB but my 9.5D barrie boots fit perfectly.
Thanks for your inside scoop. Thanks also for confirming my main point which was that regardless of any editing Jcrew may have done, and regardless of slightly different angles of the 2 pics, the bottom line is that those 2 shoes have different toe boxes and vamps, with the blucher being more voluminous vs the boot.