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.
The US is following the UK’s lead in banning advertisements for having too much digital manipulation. The National Advertising Division, a US watchdog that imposes self-regulation on the ad industry, has banned a CoverGirl mascara ad by Procter & Gamble because Photoshop was used to make the girl’s eyelashes thicker than they were in real life. Even though the enhancement was disclosed in the ad itself, NAD wasn’t satisfied, saying,
You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’
The NAD says that it’s following the lead of its sister body in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority. Back in June, ASA banned a makeup ad featuring Julia Roberts for being too manipulated.
(via Business Insider)
Falling Apart is a series by Japanese photographer Yuya Takeda that consists of synthetic photographs of apartment buildings. It’s reminiscent of Andreas Gursky’s sweeping architectural photographs.
The photographs in artist Max de Esteban’s Proposition One project might look like X-Ray images, but they were actually captured with an ordinary camera. They were created by carefully deconstructing old gadgets, photographing them in “layers”, then “reassembling” the gadgets digitally. You can see them on display through December 9th at Klompching Gallery in NYC
Advertising photographer Paul Ripke‘s project “Man Babies” features portraits of parents with their children… with their heads swapped. Ripke enlisted the help of two professional Photoshoppin’ friends, and says that the photographs were purely for fun and to test the limits of Photoshop.
Earlier this week, a Reuters photograph showing a Libyan rebel firing an RPG caused a stir after people on a number of sites suggested that it might have been Photoshopped. Well, it turns out the photo is 100% real — not only did Reuters confirm this with us, but forensic expert Neal Krawetz arrived at the same conclusion after analyzing the image:
By using a suite of analysis methods, it becomes extremely difficult for a fake image to pass unnoticed. While an intentional forgery might pass one or two tests, it takes a level of skill that most photographers and amateur graphic artists lack. This picture easily passes every test (including a whole slew that I didn’t include here). I have no reason to question the authenticity of this picture.
Typically, amazing photos come about through digital modifications. However in this case, Anis Mili has truly captured an amazing photo. And he did it without using a crutch like Photoshop.
You should definitely give Krawetz’s blog post a read — it’s an interesting look at image forensics.
Without a Crutch [The Hacker Factor Blog]
Update: Erin from Reuters contacted us informing us that this is in fact a genuine, non-manipulated photograph. Here’s a good explanation of why it’s real.
Reuters published the above image as an Editor’s Choice photo yesterday, and almost immediately readers began leaving comments questioning whether the photograph was Photoshopped. The debate soon spread to other websites, including Reddit, and it appears that the photographs has since been taken down (though it can still be seen in its original slideshow from last week).
A huge photo scandal erupted over in Sweden this past weekend after a well-known and award-winning wildlife photographer admitted to faking some of his photographs. Terje Helleso — a nature photographer who was named Nature Photographer of the Year by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 — was discovered to have published multiple images in which stock photographs of hard-to-find animals were Photoshopped into nature scenes.
Apparently the universe isn’t perfect enough for Apple’s products. David Kaplan, a keen-eyed physics professor at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, noticed that an entire galaxy is missing from the image of the Andromeda Galaxy used as OS X Lion‘s default wallpaper.
Government officials have been caught in a number of Photoshop flubs recently, from the Egyptian president being edited to be walking at the head of a pack of world leaders to a badly Photoshopped photo of Chinese officials that went recently went viral. Now the Syrian government may be the latest culprit — the country just released an image of its president swearing in a newly appointed governor, and something doesn’t quite look right…
The Guardian’s imaging expert David McCoy believes two pictures have been merged to make it seem like the men are in the same room, with the one on the right positioned fractionally higher than the one on the left. This becomes clearer when you look closely at the floor, which is distorted. The right hand side of the picture has been stretched downwards into place to line up with the left side (which is not distorted). [#]
What’s your analysis? Is this this yet another government manipulated photo?
(via The Guardian)