The Fauxto That Wasn’t

Media • Views: 6,725

In the midst of a liveblogging session on the conflict in Gaza, the Muqata raised the alarm about a possible fauxtograph: The Muqata: Day 12 of the War, Wednesday, January 7, 2009.

The picture he noticed was filed by AP photographer Adel Hana in Gaza:

An explosion is seen after an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from Gaza City, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009.

The debris certainly does look odd; the pieces seem too large. The photo is also being discussed at Snapped Shot, where several commenters said the hills in the background seem out of place for the region (Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza).

It’s always good to question and criticize photos such as this, because as we’ve learned, occasionally an outright fake will come through the wires.

But in this case the picture is indisputably genuine—because here’s the same explosion photographed from the opposite point of view at about the same time, with the same flying debris and at least one of the same buildings, by a different photographer: Nikola Solic for Reuters.

Debris flies up as a bomb explodes after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip January 3, 2009.

That looks like a hell of an explosion (a 500 lb. bomb or larger), so it’s not surprising that two media photogs would immediately focus their cameras on it.

Nope. No fauxtography this time.

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