NBC recently received some criticism for distributing the above photo of Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon to several news outlets — some of which used it on their front page — without disclosing that the background and road in the image were fake. Being an entertainment outlet, however, they were granted a pass; the fakery was obvious and it was the news outlet’s job to figure it out and disclose it to their readers.
But one particular newspaper has drawn more fire than the rest. The New York Daily News was one of the papers that used the photo on their front page, but on top of not disclosing the initial fakery, they further ‘shopped the photo and kept that part to themselves as well. Read more…
Former Photoshop product manager Kevin Connor and Dartmouth professor (and digital forensic expert) Hany Farid are working together to help put a stop to image manipulation where it doesn’t belong. Putting their two brains together they formed a company called Fourandsix, which is primed to release a full suite of software tools that will help law enforcement officers, photo editors and other interested parties detect secret digital photo manipulation. Read more…
It’s common knowledge that models in magazines are Photoshopped to look the way that they do — often to the detriment of the young girls that aspire to have these computer generated figures — but for the most part protests have come in the form of ad campaigns like Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. But in the past couple of weeks, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm decided to take a different approach. Read more…
CNN published an opinion piece yesterday by photojournalist Nick Stern, who has some pretty harsh things to say about the spread of Instagram-style “fake images” in the news:
The app photographer hasn’t spent years learning his or her trade, imagining the scene, waiting for the light to fall just right, swapping lenses and switching angles. They haven’t spent hours in the dark room, leaning over trays of noxious chemicals until the early hours of the morning.
Nor did they have to spend a huge chunk of their income on the latest digital equipment ($5,999 of my hard-earned cash just went on ordering a new Nikon D4) to ensure they stay on top of their game.
The app photographer merely has to click a software button and 10 seconds later is rewarded with a masterpiece.
Stern also states that “Any news photographer worth his or her salt will tell you that the best camera is one that lets you take the photo unencumbered by the technicalities of the process.”
News photo agencies EPA, AFP, and Reuters have all issued kill orders for a photo of Kim Jong-il’s funeral procession released by the Korean Central News Agency, the state news agency of North Korea. The photo (above at bottom) raised red flags after a comparison with a Kyodo News photo taken just seconds earlier revealed that a number of people had vanished from the scene. The New York Times writes,
A side-by-side comparison of the full images does point to a possibly banal explanation: totalitarian aesthetics. With the men straggling around the sidelines, a certain martial perfection is lost. Without the men, the tight black bands of the crowd on either side look railroad straight.
Perhaps it was a simple matter of one person gilding the lily.
Spanish sports daily AS was forced to publish an apology earlier this week over a soccer match photo in which a player was airbrushed out. The photo was of a controversial no-call in which a Barcelona player might have been slightly offsides before receiving the ball and assisting in a goal. In the photograph published by AS, the last defender was removed, making the Barcelona player look clearly offsides.
The apology posted by the paper had the headline “Pedimos disculpas por un error en la infografía del 1-0,” which translates to “We apologise for the error in the computer graphics in the 1-0 incident”. So it seems that while they were adding in the lines and player names explaining the play, the brilliant Photoshop guru accidentally performed some Content Aware Fill mojo on that last defender. Clearly an understandable mistake, wouldn’t you say?
The top photo was published by Al-Ahram, Egypt’s second-oldest and most widely circulated newspaper, while the photo below it is another photo taken at almost exactly the same moment in time by Getty Photographer Alex Wong. The main gripe people have with the edited photo is that the paper placed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the front of the group — suggesting that he was leading the Middle East peace talks — while he was actually trailing behind the others.
Not content with shifting people around, the paper decided to change the colors of the ties, and to make the leaders look like they were strolling on a flying carpet. It’s pretty clear Al-Ahram needs to fire their Photoshop guru and hire someone more competent — either that, or stop being a “corrupt regime’s media“.
The most recent fuel for resentment towards BP comes from a doctored photo of the company’s crisis center in Houston. America blog’s John Aravosis made the connection when he examined a hi-resolution version of the photo, which was displayed prominently on the BP website. All this comes after BP promised for increased transparency between the company and the public.