Monday, August 07, 2006

The Reuters Lebanon photo controversy

Now, who can tell me which one of the above photos is real and which one is photoshopped? If you guess that the first photo is photoshopped, then congratulations. You are already more qualified than the Reuters editors who allowed the distribution of the photo to news websites on Saturday.

A blogger who saw the photo suspected that it was doctored using Photoshop. From lgf:
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.

It’s so incredibly obvious, it reminds me of the faked CBS memos. 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.

But it’s not only the plumes of smoke that were “enhanced.” There are also cloned buildings.
Reuters later announced that it has dropped the freelance photographer who took the shot and admitted that he had used Photoshop to create more smoke in the photo. From Reuters:
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.

"The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under," said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

"This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," Whittle said in a statement issued in London.
Reuters also released the original photo minus the bad photoshop work (see the second photo). Meanwhile, the blogging community is questioning some of the photographer's work. It seems that he has been doctoring his photos before sending them to Reuters.

Note: Photos copyright Reuters/Adnan Hajj (freelance photographer and a very lousy Photoshopper)


Reader collett says, "Here's the link to all of Adnan's photos that were accepted by Reuters. See if you can spot more bad photoshop work."

Reader GeekGod says, "Dude, here are more questionable Reuters photos and they are not even taken by Adnan Hajj."

Related: Reuters confirms second Adnan photo is a fake too


Boywonder said...

I think Reuters trust their photographers too much.

wiqai said...

i hope this doesn't mask the true fact that people in lebanon are really suffering from the israel attacks.

Rickie said...

Ha! My little brother can do a better photoshop than him.

Shy said...

Adnan is a good photographer. Sad that he had to resort to doctoring the photo.

finatiq said...


That's the cloning tool alright.

Anonymous said...


Stevie G said...

I find it sad to read lots of commentary in the blogosphere saying that this is all part of the Hesbollah media propaganda.

Let's not lose focus on the facts of the conflict - Israel IS inflicting huge damage to the people and country of Lebanon.

xoom said...

they think they can fool us with that pic...

oh boy, they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

What's there to photoshop? The original picture to me is good enough to show the world the destruction in Lebanon.

xXx said...

He might as well cut and paste a dragon flying in the skies blowing out flames from its mouth.

Sir Thomas said...

This is a big blow to the mainstream news/media. They have always said that news/info from blogs cannot be taken seriously because there's no credibility in the source. Well, now look who's lacking in credibility here.

Zoom3 said...

Shdln't they remove the editor who was incharge of reviewing the photo too?

LIBERATI said...

"The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under.."

Yea right.