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Ease of digital photo alteration adds a hurdle for news outlets
International Herald Tribune ^ | 8/14/2006 | Maria Aspan

Posted on 08/14/2006 7:44:46 AM PDT by markomalley

The recent discovery that a Lebanese freelance photographer, Adnan Hajj, had manipulated pictures he took for Reuters has raised questions about the standards of photojournalism at a time of widespread digital photography.

The case also increased pressure on news photo editors, who select and edit thousands of photographs under deadline pressure each day, to detect digital alterations.

"The Soviets had to have a whole department to doctor pictures," said David Friend, an editor at Vanity Fair and a former director of photography for Life magazine. "Now all it takes is a swipe of a mouse, and the kid down the street can add smoke and mirrors to everything."

Detecting the smoke and mirrors is a challenge. While editors for print publications commonly rely on editing systems that track changes made to an article, photo editors have fewer such tools at their disposal and often rely on experience and instinct. As a result, skillful manipulation can be difficult to catch.

Careless digital alterations, like Hajj's, are easier to spot. He used a computer program like Adobe Photoshop to darken and duplicate the smoke from an Israeli air strike on Beirut and to add extra dropped flares from an Israeli jet.

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2006israelwar; 4thestate5thcolumn; adnanhajj; alreuters; antisemites; arabstreet; biasmeanslayoffs; buckheadismyhero; bullzogby; communisttrick; congame; d; daralislam; denydenydeny; dhimmis; drivebymedia; dustypixels; enemedia; fabrication; fakebutaccurate; fakephotos; fauxlebanonpics; fauxtography; fired; ghg; goebbelswouldbeproud; greenhat; greenhelmet; greenhelmetguy; haj; hajj; hezbollah; idiots; islam; islamoganda; israel; lebanon; leftistsubversion; lgf; liberalism; maggotman; makingitup; malkin; mdm; mediabias; mediajihad; mediawar; mediawarwaronerror; middleeast; mohamedanmedia; msm; msmwoes; muhammadsminions; muslim; nme; pajamahadeen; pajamapeoplerule; pallywood; photoshop; picturekill; pingdanrather; powerghraib; propaganda; proterrorist; qana; ratherbiased; reuterbias; reutergate; reuters; reuterschmoiters; reutersgate; revisionisthistory; rotoreuters; rotorooters; terrorists; terrorsympathizers; theevilweevil; traitors; treason; trysellingthetruth; waronerror; whywefight
And the naval-gazing analysis (and the excuses) continue on...
1 posted on 08/14/2006 7:44:47 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Funny.

The writer isn't blaming OUTRIGHT FRAUD and Muslim hatred for the propaganda. Propaganda pushed BY the editors in questions because it supports the editor's positions and intents.

Instead, he is "sympathetic" to the "plight" of the editor being "hoodwinked."


2 posted on 08/14/2006 7:49:07 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: markomalley
Try hiring people with integrity and the problem is solved.

But to the MSM, the agenda is ALL so they happily hire advocates of particular causes which fit their own evil agenda.

For sure the truth is the last thing on the list when it comes to the MSM.

3 posted on 08/14/2006 7:51:14 AM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: markomalley
Careless digital alterations, like Hajj's, are easier to spot.

Even then it was too much for Roto-Reuters...

4 posted on 08/14/2006 7:51:25 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: markomalley

Well, now that that's settled, maybe the media can spend more time staging photos than editing them.(Sarcasm)


5 posted on 08/14/2006 7:52:42 AM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: OldFriend

Integrity is hard to find these days in the MSM


6 posted on 08/14/2006 7:52:46 AM PDT by gth833s
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To: markomalley

7 posted on 08/14/2006 7:53:08 AM PDT by The G Man (The NY Times did "great harm to the United States" - President George W. Bush 6/26/06)
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To: markomalley

8 posted on 08/14/2006 7:54:03 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: markomalley

Long before it was possible to alter photographs, they were used for propaganda purposes. The idea that photographs do not lie is perhaps one of the biggest lie of all.


9 posted on 08/14/2006 7:55:48 AM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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To: CIB-173RDABN

Time to remember:

Believe only half of what you see and none of what you read!


10 posted on 08/14/2006 8:00:31 AM PDT by AMHN (Book Survey: Which is greater "Truth" or "Love"? FReepmail a reply)
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To: USNBandit

11 posted on 08/14/2006 8:01:55 AM PDT by Dr.Deth
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To: AMHN

BUMP!


12 posted on 08/14/2006 8:02:57 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: USNBandit

Thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning....my kids are looking at me weird now....


13 posted on 08/14/2006 8:08:27 AM PDT by mockingbyrd
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To: markomalley

> ... has raised questions ...

Rubbish. This has been festering since Photoshop was first
released.

The National Geographic, for example, has very strict
standards for what/how photogs must submit.

A publisher who was really concerned would require
that the photogs use only digital cameras that
digitally sign and encrypt each image, and tag it
with GPS-provided time-date-coordinates (in addition
to all the other EXIF data), and submit only
camera .RAW.

What the legacy media is really concerned about here
is that they have been caught, and that fictional
images are now no longer an easy way to boost their
agendas. They will not fix the underlying process flaw.


14 posted on 08/14/2006 8:09:41 AM PDT by Boundless (Imagine if Fox had a news channel)
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To: markomalley
"The Soviets had to have a whole department to doctor pictures,"...

LOL! Where do you think those Soviet fauxtographers went after the
fall of the Soviet Union!?

I've presumed they worked for the MSM...either as retouchers
or "image consultants".

For a great example of the work-product of these Soviets, see:
"The Commissar Vanishes"
by David King
15 posted on 08/14/2006 8:14:39 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Boundless

My sentiments exactly - I'd like to see the DOD mandate that embedded journalists use cameras that embed direction, location, GMT, etc. so that stock or file footage r frames cannot be used ad infinitum to illustrate say the present conditions in Iraq, when they are in fact dramatic photos taken long ago, or in an entirely different location. There has to be a way to integrated GPS, a verifiable time register, perhaps even information as to focal length and aperture into a raw file, encrypt and then pass though a DOD server.


16 posted on 08/14/2006 8:15:59 AM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Boundless
Silly question, but, why can't they go back to FILM cameras, and get the negatives to the regional news agency, and then scan them?

I know digital is easier, but negatives...

17 posted on 08/14/2006 8:16:21 AM PDT by akorahil (Thank You and God bless all Veterans. Truly, the real heroes.)
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To: markomalley
Ease of digital photo alteration DETECTION adds a hurdle for news outlets.
18 posted on 08/14/2006 8:23:44 AM PDT by MrEdd (More cheep than a flock of baby chickens.)
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To: Boundless

It's a long way from the raw photo in the camera's memory or CF card and the published print. Wire services don't want to be in the business of spending time preparing a photo for publication. AP receives several thousand photos a day, it would be a very daunting task to be responsible for cropping, sizing and color correcting that many photos. A lot of the photos they put up on the wire aren't even seen by anyone at AP other than a cursory glance to make sure they are in the right orientation and not upside down. They won't even catch one that's reversed. They put 'em out there and wait to hear from members if they find anything wrong. It's not uncommon for the page designer at a major newspaper to wait until the last possible minute to get art for a front page article from AP and simply download the image and drop it into the hole on the page. They seldom pay any attention at all to the details of a photo. If it looks good on the wire they run with it.

The weak link in the chain is the shooter, it all starts there, and that link is getting weaker and weaker.


19 posted on 08/14/2006 8:58:46 AM PDT by jwparkerjr
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To: markomalley

Uhhh, how about getting CREDIBLE JOURNALISTS and then you wouldn't have to sift through thousands of photos.

Idiots.


20 posted on 08/14/2006 9:02:50 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: akorahil

> ... why can't they go back to FILM cameras ...

Silver halide photography is nearly dead.
Before long, it will be used only by darkroom
nostalgics, along with daguerreotype.

Plus, negs have zero meta-data to bolster their
authenticity. A digital image from a secure
camera is much more credible than a neg.

Shoot your base scene with a 20Mp DSLR, edit
in Photoshop, print at high-res, re-shoot on
Ektachrome 400, and yer good to go.

The recent scandal was not really about technology
anyway. Some of those frauds were so blatent that
the only explanations are:
- massive editorial incompetence at Reuters
- massive agenda-driven corruption at Reuters

... well, maybe both.


21 posted on 08/14/2006 9:06:42 AM PDT by Boundless (Imagine if Fox had a news channel)
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To: jwparkerjr

> Wire services don't want to be in the business
> of spending time ...

Then they don't get to blame the technology, which is
what they are trying to do here.

> The weak link in the chain is the shooter ...

There is a bottomless pit of photo hacks with an
agenda to drive with fake images.

If the news services fail to vet the images, they take
the heat. Reuters has earned the present scorn.


22 posted on 08/14/2006 9:10:58 AM PDT by Boundless (Imagine if Fox had a news channel)
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To: Boundless
re: Reuters has earned the present scorn

And then some!

I have no sympathy for any of them. I'm really more familiar with AP having worked in the news photo department of a major daily newspaper. There's a good deal of competition between the big players for members. It's gotten so expensive that a lot of papers have only a single wire service these days. AP really has the edge here in the US since the AP wire is the source for a lot of the stories that are printed and it's much easier to get both the story and the art from one source. When the wire carries a story the point you to any accompanying art. And if the ink-by-tank-truck gods are smiling you might actually find the art where they said it would be. More often than not it's a chore to find the pictures.

But I certainly agree with your observations!
23 posted on 08/14/2006 9:28:11 AM PDT by jwparkerjr
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To: Boundless
Don't no about 'Silver Halide is nearly dead'. I use both and until somebody comes up with the quality of my Leica Ms and lenses in digital I will continue doing so as I suspect most people with Leica's will. And if you say what about the new digital M? I bet because of the compromises like still having to use retro focus wide angle lens designs and a limited pixel count it will be worse than an equivalent 35mm film Leica. Ok so in news, sport etc and photojournalism its 'convienient'But when I go out to take a picture I take My MP and a couple of lenses in my pockets
24 posted on 08/14/2006 10:16:03 AM PDT by Brit1 ('Suppers Ready.' (23 mins and 32 seconds of Heaven))
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To: Boundless
Fair enough.
Thanks for the explanation.
25 posted on 08/14/2006 12:05:46 PM PDT by akorahil (Thank You and God bless all Veterans. Truly, the real heroes.)
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