August 7, 2006

Not enough drama?

Why do they do that? Isn’t there enough ‘drama’ in the image? This weekend bloggers found out about a photo that had been manipulated, faked by a Reuters’ photographer. In a really clumsy way, he added smoke to the image of Beirut to make it more dramatic i guess. Reuters pulled the image immediately and offered the corrected version soon after, question remains who really altered the image: the photographer or the editor?

Reuters fake:

beiroet-0.jpg

Reuters corrected (original):

beirut-real.jpg

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Join the conversation! 35 Comments

  1. Very odd, the undoctored version is striking enough, makes no sense why anyone would want to fake it…

    Reply
  2. […] After Reuters ran a photo last week of black smoke over Beirut, suspicious bloggers noted that smoke isn’t known to rise in incredibly symmetrical bulbous billows. That was clear evidence of Photoshopping, using a tool to “clone” one part of a picture so you can cut-and-paste it over other parts. Someone took this photo, added smoke and made it darker. You can see the before-and-after most clearly here. […]

    Reply
  3. talk about a crappy fake job!!! anyone who edits photos in photoshop would notice this!!

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  4. The scene was horrific enough without adding more smoke. The photographer or the editor, whoever did it or ordered it, should be given a severe talking to.

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  5. You’d have to be mentally-incapacitated to be convinced by this “doctored” image.

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  6. Yes, this truly is a horrendous photoshop job. A first-year college student could do far better. Furthermore, it doesn’t amplify the impact of the photo — it just looks dumb.

    For these reasons, I wouldn’t be surprised if a unscrupulous editor, or hacker, created the fabrication with the intent of putting the photographer in the hot seat. To me this makes a whole lot more sense than the photographer editing the photo himself (which is relatively rare for photojournalists in the field to do, anyway).

    Of course, even if this is proven, the photographers reputation is now forever destroyed.

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  7. Bloggers are looking at more images they can find from the same photographer and the least you can say is that they look conspicious. Although I agree I also would expect it more from the editor than the photographer.

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  8. Spinning couldn’t get sicker than this. Reasons?
    1-It could be done so that we will drop actual argument and discuss over a fake photo.
    2-We will be thinking that things are not that bad. It is the media that over dramatizing this.
    3-Things are actually not so bad on the ground.
    Of course all these assuming that the journalist or the editor is the agent of the propaganda organs on the US-Israeli side.

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  9. Whatever the moral arguments, this photographer should be fired for his appallingly bad photoshop skills.

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  10. Disagree with you there, Dermot. A doctored image made to make the bombing look worse would surely be to the favour of those seeking to characterise the Israeli action as ‘disproportionate’.

    It’s more likely however that the doctoring was done to make the image more striking and therefore worth more.

    And if that’s correct, it suggests the photographer him or herself did the editing.

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  11. The original looks bad enough. The doctored one just looks dumb. Most five year olds could pick that as a fake. Regardless the possible propaganda twist, one has to query the intelligence of this ‘photographer’.

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  12. Further comment – one must also be skeptical about the intelligence of the editors who published this.

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  13. i am a heavy user of photoshop and there is no way that a photographer, outside of ninth or tenth grade would find this acceptable.

    it is my understanding that war photographers upload their images straight from their cameras to reuters, where the photograph is either chosen or not. it seems highly dubious that a war photographer would add an intermediate step of so horrendously changing an image, nay, destroying an image as this one…

    there is something fishy going on…

    at first, i thought this reuters photo that i linked to the other day had been photoshopped, but, i can’t believe, if indeed it had, that the photographer ‘on the ground’ did it…

    Reply
  14. Actually what rather increases the dramatic impact of the doctored picture is that he’s significantly increased the contrast which makes the smoke comparatively much darker, the cloning (adding to the 2 plumes) is indeed very badly done and just looks silly. This is however sadly the nature of the media, i remember the CNN graphics “Americas New War” with its CGI’d flames and explosions as the US went into afghanistan.
    I guess the higher and brighter the flames (or smoke) and the greater the deathtoll the more viewers an editor (advertiser) can expect. Those working in the journalistic chain are aware of this, hence such work

    Reply
  15. Smoke IS known to rise in incredibly symmetrical bulbous billows – on occasion it can CURL in a way not all that different to what we see here.

    I think the reason it’s easy to spot is more because so many of us have experience with Photoshop and what we see here rings a bell. ‘Don’t bullshit a bullshitter…’ or whatever.

    I am not sure that whoever messed with the photo even did it for dramatic impact, or just for fun.

    Very unethical.

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  16. The original one itself is striking enough…there is not reason to manipulate it…

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  17. now people are speaking abuot fake

    but don’t speak abuot deads
    normal exercise of the intelligence agencies

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  18. I’d say he manipulated the image for the purpose of adding another plume. In the original, there appears to be only one, with all the smoke in the picture having drifted over from the burning building on the left.

    By darkening the smoke, and selectively adding some (and taking some away in the middle) he’s made it look more like two separate plumes, which of course is more dramatic ;)

    Still dishonest and exceptionally poorly done however.

    Reply
  19. […] After Reuters ran a photo last week of black smoke over Beirut, suspicious bloggers noted that smoke isn’t known to rise in incredibly symmetrical bulbous billows. That was clear evidence of Photoshopping, using a tool to “clone” one part of a picture so you can cut-and-paste it over other parts. Someone took this photo, added smoke and made it darker. You can see the before-and-after most clearly here. […]

    Reply
  20. […] Now, though, a telling example of the misuse of this technology has come to light in some of the photographs sold by Reuters to media outlets around the world. Adnan Hajj, a freelance photographer used by them in the region since 1993 has been caught out, by Little Green Footballs (not a site I generally spend much time at, by the way) ahem, enhancing, pictures of the aftermath of Israeli bombing in Beirut. As a result, Reuters have fired him and withdrawn all 800+ of his pictures from their catalogue. There is, as you can imagine, much discussion of this in the blogosphere, not least because this is the second time that LGF has caught the mainstream out on ‘creative’ news. Personally I want to believe that, even in the knowledge that it is in Hezbollah’s gameplan to trumpet (and some would say even to promote) Lebanese civilian deaths and infrastructure damage as part of their propoganda war, Reuters were just being naively trusting of the images coming out of Beirut. Others, naturally, have suggested that a darker agenda is at work. I just hope that one of the outcomes of this will be that future ‘evidence’ of ‘atrocities’ by either side will be treated with a little more circumspection by the media that disseminat it. Local Tags: beirut, blogosphere, current affairs, journalism, media, Middle East, photography, the lebanon, warTechnorati Tags: beirut, blogosphere, current affairs, journalism, media, Middle East, photography, the lebanon, warSearch local tags […]

    Reply
  21. […] Wow. I can’t believe the extent the media goes to to blow something out of proportion. Read about it here. […]

    Reply
  22. […] According to Jeff Jarvis of the Guardian, After Reuters ran a photo last week of black smoke over Beirut, suspicious bloggers noted that smoke isn’t known to rise in incredibly symmetrical bulbous billows. That was clear evidence of Photoshopping, using a tool to “clone” one part of a picture so you can cut-and-paste it over other parts. Someone took this photo, added smoke and made it darker. You can see the before-and-after most clearly here. […]

    Reply
  23. This sort of reminds me of the film ‘wag the dog’

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  24. The published photoshop job not only cloned smoke, it cloned buildings according to Little Green Footballs, (quoted in HonestReporting.com) Personally, I can’t see it, but I am not gifted with a photographer’s eyes. The allegedly undoctored photo seems to me to have the exact same buildings as the admittedly altered cut and paste. (Should I say, “clone and paste?”) This raises a legitimate question, viz., did Reuters replace one photoshopped picture with another, albeit a less obviously altered one?

    Visit the Schapira blog “What we know so far …

    … and tell ‘em Big Mitch sent ya!

    Reply
  25. […] ‘Cross The Breeze » Blog Archive » Not enough drama? Han pillado a Reuters en una falsificacion de una foto de Beirut. Tampoco es para sorprender, estos ‘periodistas’ son los mismos que siempre han hablado de terroristas como ’separatistas’… Es solo otra mas… (tags: periodismo periodistas reuters sinverguenzas falsificacion) […]

    Reply
  26. I’m sure the media does this all the time.

    usfguy.net

    Reply
  27. The irony here is that everyone wants to distract the world from the World crimes the Israelis are committing in Lebanon. The two images are not the issue. The issue is that the 21st Century Nazis, aka Israelis, are massacring children left and right! Those images are real. As in Qana! You should view this link and learn the real history behind the Israeli attrocities.

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html

    Reply
  28. i was thinking…
    (sorry my english is not that good okay)

    when you draw a picture in a paper…
    every time you make a wrong trace… so you erase that and make it right… and then you wrong again… you erase again… and wrong gain… if you wrong and erase times and times again… you will fuck up the paper(sorry, i didn´t know other word to express what i want to say…)

    so what you do? you rip out the paper and start a new picture…

    so that´s my idea…
    i´ll destroy the humanity… everyone…
    and me and some people that i choose… will start all over again…making sure that the humanity will never do the same mistakes again…

    start everything again , very carefully…

    Reply
  29. Typical media try to make more drama than normal not that the original looks bad. That is just silly and discredit the news.

    Reply
  30. hi friends take a look at my site I think you might like it

    http://www.globaleflyer.com

    thank you

    Reply
  31. […] After Reuters ran a photo last week of black smoke over Beirut, suspicious bloggers noted that smoke isn’t known to rise in incredibly symmetrical bulbous billows. That was clear evidence of Photoshopping, using a tool to “clone” one part of a picture so you can cut-and-paste it over other parts. Someone took this photo, added smoke and made it darker. You can see the before-and-after most clearly here. […]

    Reply
  32. um… buoni, realmente buoni luogo e molto utile;)

    Reply
  33. […] Not enough drama?This post is an outsider in many ways. To begin with, it has driven far more traffic to this blog than any other post I’ve ever written. Even only on the first day it brought nearly 8.500 visitors to this blog and many thousands followed the few days after making ‘Cross The Breeze the n°1 blog on WordPress.com for a day or two. It learned me that this can happen to anyone, but given the fact the post was a bit off topic, I learned as well that it doesn’t mean people stick to your blog after. […]

    Reply

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About Kris Hoet

My name is Kris Hoet and this is my blog dedicated to subjects such as advertising, gadgets, interactive, internet, movies, games … and whatever things that interest me. More at http://crossthebreeze.com/about-cross-the-breeze/

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