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HIPA Grand Prize Winner Looks Like It May be a Big Photoshop Fail



The photograph above by Chinese photographer China’s Fuyang Zhou just won $120,000 as the Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA) overall grand prize winner. The theme was “Creating the Future,” and you can see why the photo won: it’s a wonderful composition that captures the spirit of that theme. And yet, something seems off about it…

Pointed out to us by photographer and creative director David J. Nightingale, something seems very wrong with the arm of the teacher in the middle of the image. As he put it in a Facebook post about the image:

I could be wrong, but that arm, and various other bits of the image, all look a little bit strange to me.

And a little bit is an understatement. Here’s a closer crop:


Of course, we’re not passing judgement here, simply asking the obvious question because the HIPA rules are extremely clear in this case:


So, what do you think? We’ve already emailed HIPA and requested comment but haven’t heard back yet. As soon as we do, we’ll post an update and notify you. But until then, let us know what you think is going on in this award-winning image (higher res available on the British Journal of Photography website).

Is this a Photoshop mess-up created by merging two images together badly, or simply a trick of the light that makes it seem this way?

(h/t David J. Nightingale)

Image credits: Photograph by Fuyang Zhou