All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Reuters Gets Photoshopped II

It’s nice to see that we can make a difference, as witnessed by this piece on the ynet site. I was one of a number of people who emailed Reuters to ask them to investigate the photos:

Reuters admits altering Beirut photo

Reuters withdraws photograph of Beirut after Air Force attack after US blogs, photographers point out 'blatant evidence of manipulation.' Reuters' head of PR says in response, 'Reuters has suspended photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to photograph.' Photographer who sent altered image is same Reuters photographer behind many of images from Qana, which have also been subject of suspicions for being staged.

A Reuters photograph of smoke rising from buildings in Beirut has been withdrawn after coming under attack by American web logs. The blogs accused Reuters of distorting the photograph to include more smoke and damage.

The photograph showed two very heavy plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attack on the Lebanese capital. Reuters has since withdrawn the photograph from its website, along a message admitting that the image was distorted, and an apology to editors.

In the message, Reuters said that "photo editing software was improperly used on this image. A corrected version will immediately follow this advisory. We are sorry for any inconvience."

Reuters' head of PR Moira Whittle said in response: "Reuters has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut. Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures."

"As soon as the allegation came to light, the photograph, filed on Saturday 5 August, was removed from the file and a replacement, showing the same scene, was sent. The explanation for the removal was the improper use of photo-editing software," she added.

Earlier, Charles Johnson, of the Little Green Footballs blog , which has exposed a previous attempt at fraud by a major American news corporation, wrote : "This Reuters photograph shows blatant evidence of manipulation. Notice the repeating patterns in the smoke; this is almost certainly caused by using the Photoshop "clone" tool to add more smoke to the image."

Johnson added: "Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There's really no question about it."

A series of close ups are then posted on the blog, showing that "it's not only the plumes of smoke that were 'enhanced.' There are also cloned buildings." The close ups do appear to show exact replicas of buildings appearing next to one another in the photograph.

The Sports Shooter web forum , used by professional photographers, also examined the photo, with many users concluding that the image has been doctored.

"I'll second the cloned smoke...but it looks so obvious that I don't know how the photographer could have gotten away with it," wrote one user.

After further research, Johnson posted a photograph he says is the original image taken before distortions were made, showing much lighter smoke rising.

Other blogs have also analyzed the photographs, and reached similar conclusions, such as Left & Right , which states: "The photo has been doctored, quite badly."

The author of the Ace of Spades blog wrote: "Even I can see the very suspicious "clonings" of picture elements here. And I'm an idiot."

The Hot Air blog also looked at the photo, describing the image as "the worst Photoshop I have ever seen."

Adnan Hajj, the photographer who sent the altered image, was also the Reuters photographer behind many of the images from Qana - which have also been the subject of suspicions for being staged.

1 comment:

he who is known as sefton said...

well, here's a ocpy of an e.mail, recently sent out to a bunch of Jewish bloggers . . .

. . . its text is found just after the immediately following three dots . . .

If you've opened this communiqué, because you found the previous ones interesting, please let me assure you. You won't be disappointed. Provided, that is, I've correctly assayed the intensity of your interests in the Middle East.

I'm inviting you to begin by clicking on the longer hyperlink below. By doing so, you'll bring up my blog post article with begins with my musing about the organizations that abducted Israeli military personnel. The graphic you'll encounter replicates a reader's letter of mine to the good people at The PRESS & SUN-BULLETIN, the major regional daily for New York state's Greater Binghamton area.

In a sense, what's being offered is a "consolation prize". For a while there, I contemplated writing a piece with the title, and I'm quoting,

"Did (?) Hezbollah fail to rescue (!) Islam".

However, I decided to postpone undertaking the task. Instead, I prognosticate, in my "concluded second sefton potpourri", the termination of the myriad of wonderful social services, provided by Hezbollah.

Anyway, my piece titled "reckoned in bloodshed" goes from the aforementioned reader's letter, and concludes with my disclosure of "Hezbollah's dirty little secret". I'm willing to wager my five doughnuts to some foolhardy soul's three that you'll find it interesting, if not enlightening.

.he who is known as sefton

. . . oh, yeah, perhaps, you'd like to try a scenic route. If so, you're in luck. Just so happens, there's a hyperlink to my blog on the "Hear, O Israel" blog. Clicking on the maroon hyperlink you just passed brings up that blog. Once that blog is brought up, look for the "Alexander Stella's Musings" hyperlink. After that blog is brought up, then look for my "reckoned in bloodshed" post.