April 20, 2007

Fauxtography at CBC: Global Warming

The CBC decides to add some dramatic effect to a story about global warming by changing the coloration this picture of the Toronto skyline. And they didn't even bother to change the file name from the original. Oh, and those smokestacks? Torn down in 2006.

CBC_kyoto2.jpgCBC_kyoto1.jpg

Oh what a difference photoshop can make!

Kate has the entire story and the original photos. I cropped the ones above to show how the CBC did it, but not perfectly.

Here are the two photos overlaid over one another and with the opacity of the overlaid image reduced to 50%. Except for the bad cropping job I did, they're an exact match.

CBC_kyoto_overlaid.jpg

And remember this is the CBC--the government run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Perhaps not as bad as the Reuters fauxtography scandal, but it certainly doesn't seem ethical. Check out the rest.

UPDATE: To clarify, this seems like an attempt to make the air look more polluted than it actually is and to somehow link that pollution to global warming. Color changing, per se, is not considered 'out of bounds' for journalists, but only minor tweeking and for enhancement reasons.

The color in this photos seems to have been 'enhanced' in such a way as to mislead the reader into thinking that this is the actual color of ths skyline in Toronto. That color, by the way, is what you'd expect to find in ozone (smog) or particulate laden cities, like my own home town of Los Angeles. And low level ozone and particulates are not greenhouse gasses. The opposite, actually.

UPDATE II: Just to show the difference of what "coloration" can do to a photo, here is a pic of the same Toronto skyline without enhancments taken by reader Pete. I had to reduce the image size which kills some of the clarity, but hopefully you get the picture.

TO skyline.jpg

By the way, the vast majority of visible "smoke" that people see coming out of smokestacks isn't smoke at all--it's steam.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:49 AM | Comments |