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:


Reuters corrected (original):




  1. leon says:

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

  2. Mkeffer says:

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

  3. 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.

  4. DrTchock says:

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

  5. Rob Maguire says:

    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.

  6. Kris Hoet says:

    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.

  7. IknowWhy says:

    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.

  8. Dermot says:

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

  9. Chris says:

    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.

  10. John McClatchie says:

    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’.

  11. John McClatchie says:

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

  12. james risser says:

    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…

  13. bongoid says:

    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

  14. Alan Byrne says:

    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.

  15. Technozest says:

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

  16. desnos says:

    now people are speaking abuot fake

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

  17. Cliff Beach says:

    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.

  18. That’s pretty lame…

  19. bananasfk says:

    This sort of reminds me of the film ‘wag the dog’

  20. The published photoshop job not only cloned smoke, it cloned buildings according to Little Green Footballs, (quoted in 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!

  21. usfguy says:

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

  22. Syndi says:

    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.,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html

  23. ulisses says:

    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…

  24. aboutmakingmoney says:

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

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  26. campioni says:

    um… buoni, realmente buoni luogo e molto utile;)

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