The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

North Korean Shadow Play

Upon further reflection, I think there's definitely something fishy going on with the latest North Korean photo set of Kim Jong-Il. Looking at this picture of Dear Leader standing proudly with the People's Army, I noticed that there was something odd about his shadow, which looks at a glance to be a totally different shade than those of the bigwigs standing farther down the line. And, after perusing through the archives, this doesn't appear to be anything new. For reference:

Source, Clockwise: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
The photo on the left, taken in 2007, is how we would expect this picture to look. There's a solid line across the front of the bleachers where the "platform" portion sits on top of the facade.

In the photos on the right, which purport to be taken from October 31 to today, pay particular attention to the bleachers behind Dear Leader.

Now, one could say that his illuminousness is the reason for the oddity, but to a salty, cynical photojournalism-watcher such as myself, it seems to be more reasonable to say that someone has photoshopped that part of the bleachers into the background, allowing a picture of Dear Leader, taken elsewhere, to be inserted into a photograph where he would otherwise be absent.

It seems somewhat convenient that this anomaly only exists between the two soldiers standing next to Ronery Kim, and that only the shadows touching it are different.

Of course, that's not to say that all of the photos that've been transmitted today are fakes. But it's certainly plausible that some of them are, especially when one considers the possibility of civil unrest if Dear Leader were to be announced as dead without a suitable replacement.

I'd love to hear what you think—Feel free to sound off down yonder.

Update: Holy Crap, I'm Slow! Aussie Dave reports that this anomaly was first reported way back on the 11th of November. Thanks to Dave for pointing that out, and a "Slowpoke" to me for the effort.

No, slowpoke is me.

Update x2: ... which begs the question: Will the Associated Press categorically reject this photo fraud the same way it did "fraud" perpetrated by the United States Department of Defense?

Standards are the hobgoblins of idiots, after all.

Update x3: Rusty says I'm wrong. And judging by this photo, it's certainly possible that I am—except I'm not the only person in the world that's calling these photos fake. (I'm just the slowest person to have done so—See above.)

Agence France-Presse described one such photo as an alleged fake, stating:

This undated picture, in the original version released by the Korean Central Agency on November 5, 2008 allegedly shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (C) posing with soldiers of Korean People's Army unit 2200 at undisclosed place in North Korea. Fresh rumors on the North Korean leader's health emerged after analysts in the British press have discovered discrepancies in that picture leading to them to think the image has been doctored. In the photo, the shadow cast by Mr Kim's calves runs in a slightly different direction to the shadow cast by the soldiers on either side of him, the UK Times pointed out. In addition, a black line running along the stand on which the soldiers are positioned mysteriously vanishes on either side of Mr Kim - suggesting his picture may have been superimposed onto the image. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS

Keep in mind that the North Korean government is currently nothing without Kim Jong-Il. His personality over there is the country, it is the government. Therefore, until they're able to find a proper successor for his reign, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that doctored photographs will continue to be released "proving" that he's alive, ala Fidel Castro. And, as in Castro's case, if they continue to only be photos, and not actual video, I will continue to be skeptical of such photo-ops as being the media manipulation that they are.

Not that the media is ever fooled by dictatorial propaganda or anything.



#1 Barkmor 01-Dec-2008
Do ya think those little dickheads on either side of Fearless Leader would dare let their sleeves touch his?
#2 Donkeyrock 01-Dec-2008
Notice how his right pant leg (our left) bulges at the bottom, but the shadow disappears behind the bulge instead of showing a shadow bulge.
#3 Donkeyrock 01-Dec-2008
Nah, I'm fooling myself. Angle of the shadow seems to show the bulge where I thought the shoe was casting a shadow. This is why I don't do this for a living. :>
#4 captainfish 03-Dec-2008
Isn't it funny that he has the exact same expression and the exact same coat and pants on each time?!?!

And, dang, don't they just look unhappy.
#5 Donkeyrock 03-Dec-2008
When you're hungry, you don't smile much. Oh, and your fate decided by the whims of a megalomaniacal midget, that doesn't put the lulz in your day.
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