Photographer Denies Using Cloning Tool On Picture Of ‘Natural’ Phenomenon
By Mikelle Leow, 05 Nov 2018
Image via Shutterstock
A photographer was called out for apparently pulling a “Photoshop fail” after a news outlet shared his work on social media.
On 22 October, ABC Brisbane uploaded the picture, shown directly below, that was shot by Australian photographer David Pyle, bringing attention to what looks like four men riding on their horses in the clouds.
While several of the network’s 123,000-odd Facebook fans applauded the unusual sighting, some discerning users critiqued that the supposed phenomenon was “heavily manipulated.”
UPDATE: Regarding the concerns of digital alteration, we sent David Pyle’s photo to social media intelligence agency...Posted by ABC Brisbane on Monday, October 22, 2018
“It’s actually ridiculous how many people are sharing this photo under the belief that it’s real,” said Facebook user Jess Littler. “[C]an’t you see how heavily manipulated this image is?”
“Blotchy work, the cloud line randomly jumps up…” described user Rimantas Quatro Vaičiulis. “As someone who does this sort of work daily (at a high quality, I might add)—I can only say this is the work of a complete amateur.”
Responding to the flak, ABC Brisbane said it sent the image to social media intelligence agency Storyful, which claimed that it could not identify any clues that the focus area might have been digitally altered.
“They said they ‘superzoomed’ the image on [video verification tool] InVid and can’t see anything that looks overly unusual (ie evidence of photoshopping)—it’s not appearing as pixelated or glitchy, as a photoshopped image would likely be.”
Further, the agency said that the “riders” were not positioned uniformly, which would have been a telltale sign that parts of an image had been cloned.
ABC Brisbane added that it spoke to Pyle, who maintained that the only area that was edited in the photo was a palm tree that was “too blurry.”
That’s not the end of the fiasco, though. According to PetaPixel, Pyle uploaded different variations of the photo on his Facebook page that seem to contradict his claim.
For instance, Pyle posted this image some 35 minutes before sharing ABC Brisbane’s version:
This shot got last night out off bundaberg qld it looks like horse riders in the clouds has a lightning hits downPosted by Dave photography Australia on Sunday, October 21, 2018
Apart from the additional “horsemen” in the second photo, you might have noticed that the two images are near-identical.
Even the lightning strikes appear in the same areas—and as the saying goes, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, much less two places.
A day after ABC Brisbane refuted claims that the photo might have been manipulated, Pyle uploaded the wholly untouched version of the image.
Ok my followers this is a raw shot this only got watermark on it so you love it or some of you will hate it now there is no Photoshop on this at all enjoy and 1 1/2 horses #abc #australia #qld #photographyPosted by Dave photography Australia on Thursday, October 25, 2018
ABC Brisbane seems to be moving on from the controversy, and hasn’t addressed it since.
[via PetaPixel, images via various sources]
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