A couple of you have sent in the photo above (thanks to Larry_from_PHX
and The Elder
), and pointed to a Mere Rhetoric
article related. (Also: Are We Lumberjacks
Is it Photoshopped? I'm on the fence. There are a number of inconsistencies in the photo, the most questionable of which is the crown of the smoke cloud. There's a little indentation at the top (circled in white) that looks like it could
have been retouched with the clone tool. On top of that, the debris looks impossibly big—Unless the Israeli military was exploding a barn, one would think that it would be much smaller.
The Elder points out that the original photograph was taken by AP's Adel Hana, seen on Daylife here
. Bob Owens
also thinks that the debris looks impossibly large, that it should've been broken up into smaller pieces. Not being a demolition expert, I can't really say one way or another whether that'd be the case, but there are certainly some spots in the photo that might
have been inserted after the fact (circled in red). I've enhanced the color and contrast on the local copy of the image to hopefully illustrate more clearly the areas in question—And again, I can't stress enough that I'm not
convinced that this is a fraud.
I'm trying to get in touch with Adel Hana right now to see if a higher-resolution version of the photograph would be more conclusive. Watch for updates to this article if and when I hear back from him!Update:
Thoughts from The Elder
. Also, the kind folks at rotter.net
temporarily overwhelmed our server. My apologies for the outage, and hope it's working better now.
There's a Yiddish Report
? That's awesome
—Thanks for linking, guys!
Also: I've made this article sticky, since it seems to be what's hot for today.Update:
Hooray! Static mode!Update:
Is this a picture of the same explosion
, from the opposite side? It sure looks like it might be to me, which would suggest that the photo above is legitimate—Though the date listed is different than Adel Hana's (3 January versus 5 Jan.)
(Thanks to InMontreal down in the comments!)Update:
My blogfather, Charles Johnson of littlegreenfootballs
fame, has responded to this controversy via e-mail thusly:
I don't know enough about the terrain to judge. The buildings in the foreground do look Palestinian. I think it must have been a radical telephoto zoom, which could have shortened the background a lot. The debris in the air looks striking, but it could be large pieces of cheap metal roofing material, possibly even blown into air by secondary explosions.
I'm leaning toward not fake. At most, there's a small possibility it was mislabeled - from somewhere else. Adel Hana is in the Gaza area, though, and he's been filing a lot of pictures.
also note that one of the captions says "in Beit Lahia, as seen from Gaza City." So it would have been taken looking north.
Which pretty much sums up my initial thoughts on the matter. For what it's worth, I'm still waiting to hear back from Adel Hana, who apparently doesn't check his e-mail very often. C'est la vie.Update:
Charles Johnson provides a more detailed writeup
over at LGF. On the timestamp issue I mentioned above, he points out that both photos are correctly identified as being taken on the same day. I must've been confused by the date on the FARS
A number of you have written to say that the terrain isn't Gaza, but is instead most likely somewhere in Lebanon. I'm not an expert on the terrain either, but that would presume that this
are all fraudulently identified, too—which pushes the bounds of credibility.
At this point, I concur with Charles: This controversy can clearly be put to rest
. Thanks to all of you who contacted me for your added commentary!Update:
A little birdie has dropped the original photo into my inbox—I'm providing a crop of a small
portion of the image, which I think shows pretty conclusively that there was no cloning or retouching of the dust cloud, and that the debris is not modified or inserted in any way. The original image is very grainy, which is probably due to a high ISO setting on the camera, combined with the typical RAW-to-JPEG conversion and other reprocessing that the AP editorial desk does before retransmitting the picture.
Thanks for the additional info, my fine-feathered friend!Update: Jules Crittenden
replies via e-mail:
I bet it broke whatever windows weren't already broken.
R.F. just sent a picture across that captures what I think was the target of the IDF airstrike: What appears to be a (reinforced?) concrete bunker!
Military experts: One of those
could create some pretty massive chunks of debris, right?
Tags: adel hana