August 06, 2006

Reuters Doctoring Beirut Photos (Updated)

Critical Update II: Definitive proof that another Adnan Hajj photo is doctored. And by definitive, I mean "coffin meet nail" definitive.

Critical Update: Reuters admits photo doctored, suspends another employee for death threat.

Scroll down for other updates.

The photo below is attributed to Adnan Hajj, of the Reuters news agency. The photo alleges to show smoke covering the Beirut sky. The problem with the photo is that it is that it has been doctored to make it appear that an Israeli missile strike did much more damage than it actually did.

Adnan Hajj also took the photos of dead children at Qana. Allegations have arisen that the Qana photos were part of a staged event put on by Hezbollah operatives.

There is no doubt that the photo below is doctored. And not very well. It uses a common Photoshop technique called cloning, where one part of a picture is copied and replicated onto another part of the photo. The billowing smoke and several buildings in the photo are clones of other parts of the photo.


Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has an animated version of the photo which points out more clearly that the photo was doctored. With his permission, I have posted one of them above. Go to LGF for more detailed photo analysis.

More below.

Left & Right has another animated version of the photo which is also convincing.

And reader efussekay points out the smoke cloning.

Update: New American Citizen also has a good photo.

But this may not be the first time Reuters has distributed doctored photos by Adnan Hajj. Below is another example of Hajj's work. It was allegedly taken on July 13th and supposedly shows damage done to Beirut's civilian airport by an Israeli missile attack.

However, the photo appears to actually be a composite of two different scenes. One is of the airport which seems to be cut and pasted on to the Beirut skyline.

Here is a small version of the photo, as it appears at Yahoo News.

Now, here is a larger version of the same image with the cut and paste line pointed out. Click for larger view.


Perhaps someone with better skills can do a better job with the photo? I hope that puts to rest any notion that Hajj was motivated by not getting any good shots, as Allah suggest. It seems as if Michelle has found another candidate here.

So, who is this Adnan Hajj and does Reuters know that he is doctoring photos? I doubt that any one at Reuters was involved, as Lawhawk seems to think is plausible. It seems the more likely story is that since the people at Reuters want to believe the Hezbollah propaganda version of events, they are less likely to question the validity of photos that simply reaffirm what they already know.

Perhaps he was hired for his access to Hizbollah?

Ace chimes in:

Seems to me someone was just writing a lot about the MSM setting itself for a major scandal by credulously taking every report or picture submitted by a foreign stringer with likely poltiical biases, unknown loyalties, and dubious ethics, and splashing them on the front pages as if they'd all been carefully scrutinized and vetted.
Indeed. And Allah, as always, is all over this.

Update: Here's Hajj speaking to the students at the Lebanese American University. I'm guessing he's the guy in the middle because of the way the caption read at the LAU website.


Perhaps the poor photoshopping skills can be attributed to his age? Photoshopping skills belong to the young. But the fact that he was asked to speak to students seems to suggest that he has the appearance of being a legitimate journalist.

UPDATE: And plagiarism, too? (scroll to the end update) I guess that's the academic terminology. Lawyers call it copyright infringement, I think.

UPDATE II: Er, what the??? Another Hajj "photo" from July 24th with the caption "Smoke rises from a Hizbollah stronghold in southern Beirut after being hit by Israeli warplanes." Call me crazy, but what the hell is a straight line doing in the middle of the Beirut skyline? Update within an update: And by "straight line" I mean the stark contrast between the upper 90% of the photo, and the lower 10%. It's very odd to have such stark lines in nature. A reader suggests that it is the airport, but if you check out the other two photos which are in the series, that doesn't appear to be the case. The other two photos by Hajj (here and here), taken the same day and of the same scene, show a similar sky, but none of the houses in Beirut have turned on their lights yet. It's almost as if.......

UPDATE III: And another one. I wish I had the original, larger photo. But this one is suspicious. Look closely. --Update within an update: Look at the explosion in the background. Seems a bit out of proportion. I could be wrong.

UPDATE IV: So, you're telling me that this neutral media observer just happens to be pointing his camera in the right direction as the missile is being fired by Hezbollah to take out the single Israeli ship damaged in the war? If he wasn't tipped off by Hezbollah, then I'm going to give him a ring and ask him for this week's lottery numbers!

On second thought, how do we know Hajj didn't see a flare, snap a photo, and then wire it in with the amazing news that he just happened to see Hezbollah fire at the Israeli ship? Update within an update: Reader tells me it's no flare. Since my experience with flares is limited to debunking the Phoenix "UFO" sightings, I'll take his word for it. Now about those lotto tickets Mr. Hajj........

UPDATE V: The plot thickens. A man with a very similar name to Adnan Hajj particpated in other anti-Israel media ops. Update within an update: Adnan Hajj = Adnan Hajj Ali. Think Israel has this long expose of Pallywood manipulation of the media by use of Arab stringers.

It appears that pictures taken by Hajj and other Arab stringers of a child surrounded by bodies in a morgue after the IDF destroyedsome homes in a raid in Rafah were used by the Palestinians to accuse Israel of "genocide".

Why does this sound so familiar?

While perusing the online photo archives of Reuters, I couldn't help but notice that the same corpse of a child was repeatedly photographed with different people carrying it. Was it staged or candid? I really don't know, but deliberate or not, it does give the illusion of additional casualties. Suspicions are raised even further now that IMRA disclosed that two Palestinian children who died in the Rafah procession incident were murdered by Palestinian gunmen and that the IDF photographed the shooting. If you doubt the authenticity of this report, please note that it was first reported in Haaretz by Amir Oren on May 21st.

Meanwhile in the oft photographed morgue, a lone child is repeatedly photographed in different locations of the room as he sits over assorted groupings of bodies. A spontaneous photographic opportunity or was it posed for propaganda purposes? ....

These are the names of the photographers and photojournalists from AP, Reuters and AFP who covered the action for the Palestinian side of the street in Gaza these past two weeks....Adnan Hajj Ali

Boy, it's almost like we have another Bilal Hussein. Do you think Adnan will win the puliltzer like our buddy Bilal?

UPDATE VI: I'm going to bed. Since I'm on West Coast time, I won't be able to keep up with this in the morning. If you have a good observation or more info regarding this, please leave it in the comments.

Also, for other Jawa authors, consider this an open invitation to add your own two cents to this post.

UPDATE 8/06: No doubt that the smoke was cloned, but I dunno about the building. After a night to sleep on it and seeing what Reuters is now claiming is the original photo, it seems to me that there is a very logical explanation for the apparent cloning of the building, namely, that this is socialist housing using the same architectural plans at two close locations.

I've never been to Beirut, but I have spent time in Eastern Europe where it is not at all odd to see "the same building" all over the place. Just a thought.''

The third image I have posted, though, seems like a clear case of cutting one image and layering it over another. But, then again, I'm no Photoshop expert. But that is why it seems so obvious to me, I've done the same sort of thing myself with the same problems. Usually layer 1 is of Princess Leia in a metal bikini and layer 2 is of Padme in that one scene where she......but I digress.

As for the "beach" theory of the photo in Update II? Yeah, I might buy that. It would be nice if we could see the original larger photo.

Reader Clemente thinks this one is doctored too.

UPDATE within an Update: Proof positive that this is a fake here. No joke, this is definitely a doctored photo!

I'm no expert in what missiles being fired from an F-16 would look like through a long lense. Any thoughts?

Readers with more expertise than me say that the F-16 isn't firing "missiles", as Reuters reports, but is dropping bombs. The other objects are anti-SAM flares.

But, another reader points out.....

Case of adding a few more "missiles" for affect? I dunno. Update: Definitely a fake. See here.

Question: How many bombs can an F-16 drop at a time? Update: Irrelevant. It looks like the original photo had no bombs being dropped.

Oh, and it turns out that Green Helmut guy is a mortician. UPDATE: Allah isn't buying it, though. Me? Hey, I just drop the links. You be the judge.

UPDATE 8/06 III: MSM Hizbollah propaganda and staged photos popping up all over the place. You know who I blame? The J-O-Os.

More commentary: Say Anything, Flopping Aces, Jeff Harrell explains it well....Bill Faith

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:30 AM | Comments |