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Thread: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

  1. #1
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    This recent image was posted as a photo of the week by the news agency Reuters, but was forced to to take it down after it went viral as being accused of being a photoshopped fake.

    But after analyzing the image, forensic expert Neal Krawetz, considers the photo is 100% real.

    "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."

    Read the blog article here.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When I first saw this image I was certain it was fake. It just doesn't look right to me.

    I'd be really interested in your first reactions to this image and then to the conclusions.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    I can believe it to be real - I guess we're looking up the rear end of the launcher tube just as he fires.

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Based on all the information presented, the photographer was not directly behind the RPG if he is shooting at a tank at the 2 o'clock position and we can see the tank. He must be slightly to the right and there is no indication as to how far back. If he was directly behind the RPG then the RPG should be blocking our view of the tank. But, as I have never fired an RPG, I am only guessing.

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    I am wondering about the shadow, there appears to be no shadow of the actual device the grenade is shot from?
    Peter

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Quote Originally Posted by Poider View Post
    I am wondering about the shadow, there appears to be no shadow of the actual device the grenade is shot from?
    Peter
    Good spot Peter, there is no shadow from the furthest crutch either

    I didn't follow the other links.
    Like many, I concentrated on the explosion and didn't look around

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Not that I have ever stood behind someone firing one of those devices, but the lack of shadow arguement really does make you question just what the "expert" was using as his criteria? I would love him to explain that.

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    It's a fake; cos even a teeny weeny little gun has got a kick to it.

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    A man with crutches with a kick

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Well, IMHO a fake......
    1)The shadow of the man apparently shows a strong side light – from our right. An RPG – of whatever type – is basically a length of drain pipe. Given the apparent geometry of the image I can see no shadow of the RPG – which should be at a right angle to the shadow of the man.
    2)There is no apparent shadow for the left most crutch.
    3)Given the strong – approximately half size – shadow of the man, why are there no apparent, corresponding, shadows from any of the other vertical objects in the image?
    4)Given the apparent geometry of the image, the RPG is mounted IN the right shoulder of the man rather than ON the shoulder. Thus the centre - or origin – of the rocket blast, should be about level with his right ear.
    The frightening thing about this is that the chap who has analysed this image, and proclaimed it authentic, is the sort of guy who will appear in court as an “expert” witness …....

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    The photo is real and was just a bit of random luck.

    Unless he used some sort of high speed trigger, he was incredibly lucky to capture the initial milliseconds of the rocket motor's ignition. I have experience with photographing model and high power rocket launches ( My ranch also serves as my personal missile launch range ) and these can be very fast events requiring either luck, fast reflexes, or expensive photo triggers.

    From my perspective, I feel this image demonstrates a fault of the technology - Digital photography does not provide a negative. Back in the days where everyone used film, if the authenticity of an image was ever questioned, the analysis was not done on a print or digital film, but the actual length of film that passed through the camera and the camera itself to determine if the "manipulations" necessary could have even been achieved. Add to that the explosion of imaging and video manipulation software that is available, some at Zero cost, which enables incredible, yet fabricated, images.

    I feel we just should expect faked photos being promoted as real and real photos being labelled as fakes.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 2nd October 2011 at 02:12 PM.

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    My concern is not as much with the ability to fake images as it is with fake video. Just look what Hollywood produces. You can manipulate elections, change world opinion, and start wars over emotional events that may not have occurred exactly as they are portrayed in video. Before the truth can be determined, vengence and hatered can spark widespread bloodshed.

  12. #12
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Just a few things to mention...

    I don't see a shadow from the RPG tube nor from the crutch on the (supposed) shooters right side. There is a silhouette shadow of the person to the left and I believe that this would include the rocket tube if the person were to be holding the RPG.

    As far as not seeing a tank... RPG's are not always shot at tanks nor are they in the Libyan uprising always shot at definite targets. Just firing the various RPG launchers or AK-47 assault rifles keep the morale of the fighters higher. That is the reason for the indiscriminate firing in the air done by certain groups of untrained fighters.

    I don't know if these video clips are real either but, I would hate to be standing to the rear of this back blast...

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a28f6d7e38
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl5wHGnxmqE

    IMO, the RPG-7 which is the primary rocket propelled granade in use in Libya is certainly large enough and long enough to cast a significant shadow when side lit...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket-propelled_grenade
    http://world.guns.ru/grenade/rus/rpg-7-e.html

    There are different versions of an RPG available but, I don't know any that are short enough not to cast a shadow.

    Finally, any photographer standing directly behind an RPG launch is a damn fool, in fact he is probably a late damn fool.

    We recently saw a thread that discussed the morality of using photoshop to convert images. I took the point that all images have some conversion. BUT, IMO, the direct faking of an image has no place in photojournalism.


    OTOH - just the photojournalists choice of photographs and subjects can be used to manipulate public opinion one way or another. Also, which photos the media and public embrace will manipulate that opinion one way or another. Photos of an inflamatory (excuse the pun) subject are never neutral.

    Was Robert Capa's award winning photograph of the soldier being shot in the Spanish Civil War faked?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Soldier

    Lately research seems to confirm that this was, indeed a "faked" picture. However, most of the world WANTED to accept the validity of the picture...

    Was the manipulation of fallen soldiers in U.S. Civil War photographs legitimate or did it editorialize in a false way?

    http://rdhs.msad5.org:8080/pjohnson/...20Snipers.html

    Finally, was Joe Rosenthal's iconic Iwo Jima image of the U.S. Marines raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi, real or faked?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising...ag_on_Iwo_Jima

    This was a flag raising "for the camera" another flag had actually been raised on the mountain earlier but, it did not provide the emotional or visual appeal of the larger flag raised later and documented by Rosenthal; winning him the Pulitzer Prize...

    Now... Since that flag raising was a "repeat" performance "for the camera" what would be the legitimacy of a repeat performance of the firing the RPG. What if (and whis is a BIG WHAT IF?) the photograher saw a man on crutches fire an RPG and was not able to capture the image? What if the photographer decided to replicate the action through the magic of photoshop? After all, a guy on crutches firing an RPG says something about the Rebel forces, doesn't it? Whether we choose to embrace the image is up to us!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd October 2011 at 03:38 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    My concern is not as much with the ability to fake images as it is with fake video. Just look what Hollywood produces. You can manipulate elections, change world opinion, and start wars over emotional events that may not have occurred exactly as they are portrayed in video. Before the truth can be determined, vengence and hatered can spark widespread bloodshed.
    It's not just Hollywood, anyone can do it as TheFakingHoaxer proves:


  14. #14
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Ya not blowing up London again, ya wouldn't get away with that in America. Not even the financial district

  15. #15
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Ya not blowing up London again, ya wouldn't get away with that in America. Not even the financial district
    Don't worry, this is all Ok, TheFakingHoaxer is in the UK, so this is a home grown destruction of London.

    Back when "Independence Day" was in the theaters and the alien craft blew up the White House, the audience cheered !! ( Not only accepted, it was welcomed. )

  16. #16
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    It's got to be fake. Like many have said the shodows, or lack thereof say it all. I spent a bunch of time looking at the guy's shodow but after a spell I realized there are no other shadows anywhere in the picture. I thought the crack running across the road was a shadow at first but it is not. Not a single one of the sturctures in the middle of the road is casting any shadow at all. While the side of the curb looks dark or in shadow, it still seems like if the "crutched RPGer" has a shadow then some of these lightposts and such should have a shadow as well.

  17. #17
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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    My first impression is that this is a real shot.

    The blog mentions a few issues that people have with this shot, the most important ones being (in my opinion) the recoil from a rocket launcher and the visible shadows.
    Other arguments used are the backblast from the rocket launcher and what he is firing at.

    Well, a rocket launcher has a balanced recoil, which is not difficult to understand if you know that the back-end is open. Compare it to your typical exhaust pipe of car or mortorcycle. Fill it up (with a potato or such) and the engine won't start, because now it has resistance. Take it out and there is not much recoil effect, as the gases just flow through.
    And even if there was recoil I wonder why a guy on crutches like these would be hampered. They can actually function as extra supports to keep him steady and anyway I would have to know what kind of affliction he has first to assess his stability properly.

    There is shadow next to the shooter and there is some relief in that shadow as well, so it could be correct. Visibility is not good, but it looks like there is a form (like a tin can) sticking out from his shadow at about one third from the left. It could very well be the rocket launcher.

    The photographer was not standing too close to the shooter I would say and the lens he used looks like a tele. This would distort a lot of what we see, so I find it difficult to analyze that shadow part properly. It is even diffficult to see what kind of relief the road itself has because of this.
    In my opinion the photographer would not have been in any danger from the backblast.

    The backblast itself looks real enough. It might be a lucky shot, but we have to assume that the photographer has seen the preparations that were made for this shot, so he knew that it was coming and he could have shot a whole series to capture this. The backblast probably blossomed out further after this shot, which looks like the early stages and the other photos maybe just didn't work.


    Last impression: still looks like a good photo to me.
    Last edited by Letrow; 3rd October 2011 at 08:52 AM.

  18. #18

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    Re: Real? Or Fake. Your opinion....

    Usually when Reuters finds itself in doubt of the validity of a photograph they are pretty quick on removing it. The fact that this photo is still on their site tells me they know something all fake-screamers do not (which probably is the rest of the burst of shots).

    Another thing to note is if you look closely, right in the middle between the left leg of the guy and the sprigs of grass on the left, you can see the tell-tale trumpet shape of the back end of an rpg-7 launcher.

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