07 August, 2006

photoshop

just incase you're one of those people that accepts photographs in main stream media as being 100% reliable; here is something that will change your mind...

Photoshopped version:

courtesy of lgf

Original (more like supposed original):

courtesy of some random website

You can read more about Adnan Hajj's pathetic photo manipulation efforts here and here

Well, at least we won't be seeing anymore of his photos...
Reuters, the global news and information agency, told a freelance Lebanese photographer on Sunday it would not use any more of his pictures after he doctored an image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Beirut. ...

Reuters withdrew the doctored image on Sunday and replaced it with the unaltered photograph after several news blogs said it had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more smoke. Reuters has strict standards of accuracy that bar the manipulation of images in ways that mislead the viewer.
-- more here

42 comments:

BD said...

Thanks for clarifying the issue with the two photos. Now that I see what it's all about, my take is that the controversy is more like a tempest in a tea cup.

Big deal! The picture's contrast was enhanced. I don't see any fraud or deception in that. The two pictures tell the same story to me. Beirut is being pounded to smitherines.

Woke said...

Far from it. There are allegations of stage managing as well and this 'green helmet guy' appearing almost everywhere.

Not the best topic to discuss when hundreds are being killed, but relevant nevertheless.

samuraisam said...

bd: he not only enhanced the contrast, look at the clouds of smoke, they are clearly manipulated.

If you look at the patterns within the edited smoke clouds it is clear to me that he has no skill whatsoever in using photoshop or has any sense of the word 'subtle'

He's a photographer for a news agency, his job isn't to enhance smoke.

Image doesn't have enough contrast?
Image>adjust>auto levels

The fact he is using the clone stamp to remove anything other than specs of dust on the lens shows he is intent on editing the images to create bias.

The best question I have to ask (and it has not only been asked by me) is why on earth did he bother to edit it? and why on earth did he think he'd get away with it?

bandicoot said...

woke - I read the eureferendum account and it is nothing short of repugnant and outrageous. This blog is mocking a human tragedy, following the images of rescuers and victims, without any understanding of what happened and with stupid assumptions about what should have happened and drawing some truly idiotic conclusions.

I saw enough video footage of the aftermath of this horrific massacre and I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of any of these pictures. You can search and find this footage and watch it for your self. I don't know who "Mr. White T-shirt" is; he could be a
neighbor, a survivor, or a passerby trying to help. I also know that "Mr. Green Helmet" is the head of some local rescue team (civil defense or Red Cross) He was interviewed on TV, exhausted and shaken after hours of digging into the rubble to extract shattered bodies of dead women and children.

Frankly, I find it very insulting and unfathomable that these ignoramuses at eureferendum can set so calmly and do this "anatomy" of a massacre, poking fun of the whole thing as if it's some Hollywood production! These guys are obviously a bunch of bastards with a very sick perspective on reality.

This murderous attack has been at the center of global media attention and any hint of fabrication or manipulation would have become a front page story in the NYT, TToL and the TV networks, not to mention the Israeli press itself; that is unless the “analyzers’ at eurferendum are geniuses and everybody else has just been duped! As far as I’m concerned the most inconsistent and pathetic account so far about this massacre is the official story (or stories) coming from the Israeli government.

Woke said...

bandicoot,
Allegations I said, not that I agree with their viewpoint.

Photographers/reporters manipulating data to enhance its 'news value'( and not necessarily advocating personal sentiments) is something that can happen everywhere. If a Lebanese photographer does it today, an Israeli photographer can do it tomorrow. The point is, if such a thing is happening it is wrong.

TwinTopaz said...

You know what..all the video footage we are seeing these days are nothing but animations...

Israel never invaded lebanon..

Thanks SAM for pasting this extremely important info on front page of UAE community blog..please show us some more doctered images..specially of dead children..

Tainted Female said...

The only proof I'm seeing, is proof that those who DO doctor photos will be caught and shamed publicly, even if it does take a while.

I suppose for those who want to call Photoshop 'conspiracy' for every shocking photo they see, this can go two ways...

Prove their conspiracies. Or prove them wrong simply because they weren't caught.

All about perspective, isn't it?

And for everyone giving Sam a hard time for publishing this... I don't think it's needed. Yes, it seems a little irrelevant considering the whole situation, but it's information that we can all use and process in our own ways. Not only that but everyone around here should know that doctored photo's is something Sam has always believed in, why shouldn't he prove it happens, in the very same place where he's debated the very issue so many times in the past?

Woke said...

I dont think anyone is contradicting Sams opinion. Infact we all agree that such a practice of doctoring photos, if it exists is unethical.

It just that some seem to have a difference in opinion on how much relevance such photos have in the context of this conflict.

In my opinion, it is very much relevant as we are fully relying on international media agencies for impartial reporting.

Tim Newman said...

In my opinion, it is very much relevant as we are fully relying on international media agencies for impartial reporting.

Indeed. If their photos have been altered, what other elements of their reporting have been altered?

BD said...

Bandicoot--Your comments echo my thoughts (and my words--I had prepared a long comment to similar effect as yours but lost it). The "green helmet guy" post is totally preposterous. The genius that the writer is, he forgot to assert that the white shirt and green helmet guys are also the ones who dropped the bombs.

No offense to Woke, but that doctored photo pales beside the crass insensitivity and cruelness of the green helmet guy post.

samuraisam said...

To be clear: I have no bias towards either side, really I can't state that enough.

The problem is, when you allow something to be edited other than general image clarity/brightness/clarity, you're falsifying evidence; you allow clouds today, you allow extra soldiers, nuclear bombs tomorrow.

My main problems with this are...
a.) the photographer was a moron for thinking he could actually get away with it
b.) he had absolutely no motivation to edit the image
c.) why on earth did the Reuters photo editor allow this photograph through? The manipulation is of a level I'd expect from a 12 year old; like seriously, I could conjure up a better effort than that in a few minutes.
d.) the photographer has clearly been allowed to submit edited images; this is absurd, he can edit the images in any way/shape/form using this method; they should only be accepting raw, verifiable camera files which are direct from the cameras without editing; although this certainly wouldn't prevent manipulation by editors (they could however document exactly what they do to images to respond to any public inquiry). From what I know the Canon 1Ds is the only camera that records a digital signature that can be cross checked against the photograph to ensure authenticity; Something as simple as this can prevent falsified images.

twintopaz: Did I say I agreed with any particular view expressed by the blogs I linked to? No. All I mentioned out of them was the photo manipulation and nothing else. You obviously can't seem to realize what I'm actually pointing out and you probably never will. Please read the first paragraph; what I was saying goes for any modern news event. If you think I’m insinuating that the entire conflict doesn’t exist you’re wrong.
This was a photograph distributed by a news agency; not an arts and crafts company, they get paid to deliver the news, not the news with added smoke
My intention by posting this wasn’t to reference “the green helmet guy”; whilst one of the articles I linked to did mention it, I had no intention of bringing it onto here; someone else did. In general I try to avoid any images of dead children where possible.

tainted female: If this image has been doctored, how many others do you think have been doctored by this guy? At the end of the day the general public lacks access to high-resolution copies of these images; all we see are 16.7 megapixel images (that’s a resolution of 4992 x 3328 pixels) downsized to usually somewhere around 1/10th of that size (i.e. perhaps 499x332 pixels); I can tell you from personal experience that editing such a large image and even getting a satisfactory result, once you bring its size down 10 notches, you’ll think it’s the real photo. I would never say this is irrelevant, it means anything you see in the news can be edited, and whilst I appreciate the general premise of the war and I do believe innocent children and innocent civilians have unnecessarily been murdered, I still like to get clear and unbiased news so I can make my own judgment.

Hesham said...

it is just disgusting to see everyone fuss about some fake pics when there are bigger issues that almost everyone has been duped into believing or atleast stopped questioning....


wake up....or just spare us the headache and take the blue pill (or was the red pill?)

Tainted Female said...

f this image has been doctored, how many others do you think have been doctored by this guy?

Well, since he's been caught Sam... And you said yourself the guy was an idiot to think he could get away with it... I'd personally assume ALL or most of them at best.

But that doesn't mean every photographer is doing the same.

samuraisam said...

tainted female: with regard to other photograhpers, no, not necessarily; but it does mean photographers are under pressure to produce 'better' photographs that are equal to edited photographs; with regard to him and his images; he's reportedly been working freelance for reuters for at least 10 year (Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.); so it's been at least 10 years, and only now due to sloppy photo-manipulation efforts he has been caught. I'd imagine back in '93 he would've been using film, in which case its definately plausible he staged photographs seeing as he has no qualms with modifying them post-shutter snap.

hesham: such as what issues?

Woke said...

Indeed. If their photos have been altered, what other elements of their reporting have been altered?
The photo manipulation was done by an inidividual who has been punished for his offence. Reuters must have have overlooked the error but they are what I consider a responsible organisation with no hidden agendas.

BD,
Once again, the links that I have posted are for the sake of knowing what others have to say - For hearing both sides of the story. I did not mention anywhere that I find the green helmet guy post agreeable.

BD said...

I can see now on closer inspection of the image that more than just being enhanced, it has been modified to make the dark plume at left larger (or higher) than the original. I think it's wrong, however, to consider any touching up of a photo, newsphoto or otherwise, as deceptive. A photo is to various degrees a creation--including how the photographer frames the image, crops it, chooses the angle, etc. The fact that one continues to tweak the photo whether electronically or in the studio, is a continuation of the creative expression.

Bearing that in mind, any photograph should be viewed as a "portrayal" of reality, and not the reality itself.

So, maybe the journalist "enhanced" the photo a bit too much to make a point, but so did the photographer. He could have shot the same event from any number of angles or cropped the photo any number of ways, creating a different effect. The reality would not have changed but any number of factors can result in a photo that interprets that reality differently.

So, I still don't think it's a big deal. It's a photo--it's someone's interpretation of reality. That's all. We need to form our opinions based on a variety of input--photos, news video, written news reports, blogs, etc.

Woke said...

Sam,
I dont think it can be safely assumed that since he has been caught doing this now, he has done it always. Ofcourse he is a suspect and shall remain so.

Like many other professions, photography, especially digital photography offers chances for such malpractices. The solution is to have a news agency expert review the submitted photos(more thoroughly) before they are accepted. Ofcourse this is not fool-proof. It would be better if the reporters and photographers refrain from such stupidity.

Woke said...

bd,
The point is journalists and photographers are not supposed to 'make a point'. They are there to report an incident with absolute impartiality.

It is upto the viewers what to infer from them, ideally speaking. Whether its some smoke or a building that is added is not the issue - the very act of manipulating a photo to advocate a viewpoint is.

samuraisam said...

woke: I believe the best thing is for every photograph that is published, the details on how it is has been edited should be easily made available on the news agencies website; they don't need to go into meticulous details, but saying ligthing and contrast have been edited as opposed to the clone stamp for minor edits; however I believe using such tools to recreate half of the image (such as the clouds) is unacceptable.

However the meticulous details of edits should be kept on record for quite a few years; they should record the process from importing a RAW image to the image that goes into the press.

If we look at historical events (10,20,30,40,50 - 100 years back) many of the photos can be held in clear doubt due to the technology used at the time.
Nowadays given the technology available it is unacceptable there are no records kept (to the best of my knowledge they are not kept), given the lack of information provided with these photo's, i'd imagine at least some of them may come under a fair amount of scrutiny in years to come.

BD said...

^^^That is a good idea. AP, Reuters, etc. should provide a variety of details with the photos they provide, including details about photo editing.

TwinTopaz said...

SAM..let me repharse my point..

The issue of doctored images was NOT important enough that you posted it on a front page..there are bigger issues to discuss about....

Woke said...

Sam,
First of all I dont think, options such as clone tool should be allowed in news photos. Infact no effort should be allowed to make the photo aesthetically more appealing than it actually is. Newsphotos are meant to depict the truth with all the technical flaws. If the photo needs enhancing, it can be done by the New Agency pre-press team to make ti more clear in actual print.

Recording details on edits(especially say if its a TIFF file with the steps recorded as a part of file data) might be useful but is not a practical solution always. I can do a motion blur in PS and claim its a camera movement.

Even in cases like Canons digital signature, there are technically ways to replicate the 'noise' of the signature for each camera. So if I know a specific noise pattern of a particular camera after compiling data from 10-12 photos taken using that model, I can apply the same signature to any photo to make it look as if it has come from that model.

Woke said...

By the way, it is quite easy to ignore what is considered irrelevant. People may not have discussions based on the priority of what is generally considered to be important.

samuraisam said...

twintopaz: define "bigger issues"

woke: I think you fail to understand what the canon technology does; from what I gather (and I may be wrong, any experts around?), it takes the photograph, it records said photograph on a compact flash card, and then on another card it creates a 160 bit or whatever it is hash of the file; so when you recieve it on your computer, you say "create a hash of this image" and it creates one and you check it against the hash the camera made when the photo was taken.

Woke said...

Sam,
Assuming that the technology you are refering to is this,if algorithm of this process is known it is possible to manipulate the image in such a way that it matches as per an article in read in a Computer Arts magazine recently. Since this technology is flawed there are some proposals for a universal stadard for image verification.

Anonymous said...

I think it's messed up and wrong to edit a picture, which is for media purposes. And it is an important subject because we want to rely on the pictures and the articles which the media feeds us every day. We can only see and understand things clearly if we are being given the right information. A news reporter or photographer is not supposed to take sides, their job is only to report the current situation to the world, not their own opinion or exaggeration.

John B. Chilton said...

twintopaz,

This fake is important to the larger issue of the war for this reason: Everyone's understanding of the war is influenced by the sources of information they access and the credence they give to those sources. This photojournalist has undercut the credence given to those who are making the case that Israel is in the wrong, is using excesssive force.

This explains the motivation of the friends of Israel making such a big deal of the photo manipulation. It could also explain why someone on the other side would prefer that this manipulation not be widely known.

bandicoot said...

I for one see no problem in Sam's posting on this issue; and I believe it is important. I also appreciate that neither he nor woke are endorsing the linked sites. Doctored images by anybody whose job description and ethics require strict factual honesty should be identifies and those responsible for them disgraced.

For me another benefit of this was that more people now know about the despicable fraud posted by the eureferendum "doctors" on the Qana massacre; I only want to add that apparently they found a big fan in none other than Rush Limbaugh.

For some more exploration of this subject, here are some relevant interesting links:

bbcC

csmonitor

forensicgenealogy

news.com

secretdubai said...

SAM..let me repharse my point..

The issue of doctored images was NOT important enough that you posted it on a front page..there are bigger issues to discuss about....


Care to share with us a list of issues you do deem appropriate for "front page" posting?

samuraisam said...

just incase you weren't bringing every photograph ever taken by mr. hajj into question, take a look at this analysis

Now it is two photographs quite clearly manipulated.

Woke said...

Thanks for the links bandicoot. Very interesting.

Regarding the Qana Conspiracy theory, Washington Post puts things into perspective here.

Woke said...

Sam,
Since you had Photoshop, you should have double checked before posting that link.

Take the original image posted in Reuters and compare the flares. The three flares, do NOT match.

This guy has manipulated the stretched image to make the flares look same when magnified. Check for yourself.

John B. Chilton said...

Woke,

Thank you for that WaPo link.

Megan McCurdle guest blogging at Instapundit had this to say about the Qana conspiracy theory which she ties back to WTC conspiracy theories. Pretty wise words.

Woke said...

John,
It is indeed.

samuraisam said...

woke: I beg to differ; here is a secondary analysis of the image

Also remember there is certain stuff preventing people from doing a proper scientifically and visually sound analysis due to the lack of high-resolution copies; my personal opinion is that the image has been doctored.

If you look at the two flares on the left, on the upper half you can notice two distinctive dots that are present on both; on the bottom half of both of these flares, the trails of smoke are far too similar for something that has just been dropped out of a fighter-jet travelling at hundreds of kilometres an hour. I personally doubt the presence of two unique marks on both streams; taking a look at the flare on the right, it is easy to see at least one of these distinctive marks despite the rest being cut off by cropping.

The fact the slideshow that contains said image won't even load on Reuter's site makes me even more suspicious.

Looking here there is suspcious photograph upon suspicious photograph. There is also a picture of the guy.

Given the blatantly obvious photoshopping done in the 'smoke' image, all of his images are going to be held in doubt, and until such a time as when reuters/whoever releases decently sized copies, it'll be difficult to make judgement, but my opinion is that the flare one is definately manipulated, but much better than the smoke one.

Woke said...

Sam,
Iam only referring to the picture with the three flares.

Even with a limited no:of pixels because of the low resolution - there is a marked difference between the three. If it is manipulated it has to be identical. Now the website which you have pointed out clearly does a dirty trick in manipulating the three flares to make it identical in their magnified version. All you have to do is check that in Photoshop.

I have checked the matte difference too and it is significant enough to indicate a difference in this resolution. These Photoshop experts are distorting the facts to suit what they are trying to prove.

See for youself in Photoshop.
Yes it will take the high resolution photo to make a perfect analysis - but until then I prefer not to believe these sites which made a conscious effort to manipulate an image to prove a point.

Another permanent suspect.

bandicoot said...

sam and woke, I'm no expert on this, but how about trying to find and examine other photos or a video footage of the same jet-fighter and compare the signatures of smoke trails and dropped bombs? I don't know how easy it would be to find it though!

Hesham said...

I remember seeing a PM refrencing an intelligence report that turned out to be a copy of a student's paper....apparantly the PM didn't notice the spelling mistakes and grammer errors..but decided that the paper was enough evidence to go to war....


I also remember a certain foriegn secretary flaunting a power point presntation that detailed how they have discovered mobile WMD platform (accompanied with an actual model) and thier suspected locations...

ofcourse, 3 years later and there is no evidence of an WMD let alone mobile manufacturing platforms....

I guess the 250,000 or so casualties are just photoshoped bs...

TwinTopaz said...

SD and company..

let me (with out his permission)copy paste hesham edited post here..


I guess women and children killed and maimed is not news anymore, especially if they are arabs and muslims....but photoshoped images are....

Forget the fake WMD presentation made by Powell, forget the fake intellegince document that Blair cited...forget the 250,000 lives that those lies took....

But don't forget that the extra smoke and a couple of mis-dated pics is something that the brain farts that have no regard for human life can't seem to shut up about....

Woke said...

bandicoot,
I compared the original Reuters photo with the ones they have 'magnified' to make an analysis. (I have posted it in my blog) It is quite clear that they have manipulated it themselves to propagate their theory.

It is just that they put in some technical terms and complicated pictures to make people believe in conspiracies.

And twintopaz,
This particular post is specifically about those manipulated images. There are other posts about the conflict in Lebanon where anyone can voice their thoughts.

Hesham said...

woke:

I will (and others) will voice our thoughts in this post and other posts, and anywhere else that undermines the humans suffering that the lebanese and other arabs are suffering due to outright injustce and baltant racism...


Don't get academic about our children being killed and maimed...

Hesham said...

woke:

I will (and others) will voice our thoughts in this post and other posts, and anywhere else that undermines the humans suffering that the lebanese and other arabs are suffering due to outright injustce and baltant racism...


Don't get academic about our children being killed and maimed...

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here