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25 comments

1 Daniel Ballard  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 10:40:41am

After a good look myself, I'm convinced the missing shadow for the launch tube shows this to a fauxtography in classic Reuters style. The only thing missing is an anti Israeli rant.

2 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 10:58:02am

Yeah.

3 shutdown  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:00:21am

Agreed. The pixillation on the tripod is wrong, shadows are missing, and above all: what the heck is he shooting at?

4 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:03:00am

Maybe someone should re-stage the photo to see how it takes?

I, personally, do not own an RPG, so I'm out of the running.

5 Decatur Deb  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:10:18am

There are either 2 spindly tripod legs or crutches in the pic. No RPG I've seen comes on a spindly tripod. In fact, I can't remember any with tripods.

6 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:11:45am

The blurring of the "smoke" at the top of the blast around the guys head seems really photoshopped to me.

Looks like my first attempts at using that particular tool on photoshop--of which I cannot remember the name.

7 shutdown  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:12:58am

My first thought when I saw the photo was that it should have come from FARK: "Photoshop this man on crutches"

8 Decatur Deb  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:14:48am

re: #7 imp_62

My first thought when I saw the photo was that it should have come from FARK: "Photoshop this man on crutches"

OTOH, if crutchman is humping an RPG, he's badass.

9 Daniel Ballard  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:33:16am

re: #6 ggt

The blurring of the "smoke" at the top of the blast around the guys head seems really photoshopped to me.

Looks like my first attempts at using that particular tool on photoshop--of which I cannot remember the name.

Clone stamp maybe.

10 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:41:24am

re: #9 Rightwingconspirator

Clone stamp maybe.

I think you are right. It give a slight "halo effect" depending on the setting.

11 philosophus invidius  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 12:07:23pm

Real.
1. Why would anyone bother to fake it?
2. It looks too weird to be faked

12 Decatur Deb  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 12:10:22pm

We can find out if it's fake--just look for a blind photographer with a busted camera. Backblast is a harsh mistress.

13 celticdragon  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 12:13:07pm

re: #11 philosophus invidius

Real.
1. Why would anyone bother to fake it?
2. It looks too weird to be faked

I agree. Also, I think the visible distortion corona around the flash is a heat effect. I caution about reading too much into shadow angle. Look at the decorative urns and telephone poles across the street. The shadows are not visible. I think the shadow of the man is subect to angle distortion and foreshortening which gives a misleading effect.

14 Zathras  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 12:38:37pm

There is no doubt that he is leaning on a crutch. Wouldn't the recoil from an RPG be enough to knock someone who uses crutches flat on his ass?

15 Achilles Tang  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 12:47:33pm

re: #14 Zathras

There is no doubt that he is leaning on a crutch. Wouldn't the recoil from an RPG be enough to knock someone who uses crutches flat on his ass?

An RPG has no recoil, however as has been pointed out there is no shadow for the RPG. The left arm appears to be down, not holding anything and a high speed photo that can freeze the flash like that would likely have caught the RPG in flight not far from the shooter.

16 Achilles Tang  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 12:50:30pm

re: #11 philosophus invidius

Real.
1. Why would anyone bother to fake it?
2. It looks too weird to be faked

Fake.

1. Reuters, if you were around not many years ago, pays local people for "news". A few minutes with photo shop could have earned this photographer a few hundred dollars, from the suckers at Reuters.

2. It looks too weird to be real.

17 shutdown  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 1:30:09pm

OMG! I ran the image through a digital image analytical programme, setting the parameters in such a way that any photoshopping or other changes would be stripped away. This is what I found:

Image: The_Truth_Revealed.jpg

18 Decatur Deb  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 1:31:26pm

For reference: An RPG shot from the side. This would be a couple milliseconds later than the photo in question.

Image: Afghan_National_Police_officer_fires_an_RPG_round_at_a_special_mission_conducted_by_US_Army.jpg

And video:

19 Decatur Deb  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 1:32:04pm

re: #17 imp_62

OMG! I ran the image through a digital image analytical programme, setting the parameters in such a way that any photoshopping or other changes would be stripped away. This is what I found:

Image: The_Truth_Revealed.jpg

Are there layers?

20 Varek Raith  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 3:00:41pm

That's not just fake.
That's MSPaint fake.

21 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 9:02:19pm

Mr. EmmmieG thinks it's fake because the guy isn't standing like someone who expects his body to encounter the laws of physics right now. The guy in the Afghan army photo, you will notice, is definitely standing like someone who expects to encounter Newton's 3rd law really soon.

22 docproto48  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 9:09:17pm

As a rehabilitation doctor even without access to photo shop type tools those are clearly standard aluminum axillary crutches,
1 notice the padded grip at approximately his hip
2 adjusting holes for the grip are obvious above and below it show it at the midpoint meaning likely no one ever adjusted it
3 there is a rivet where it goes from two bars to the single support post.
4. the spring post for adjusting the single peg is clearly visible
5. soft rubber "feet" are also standard for crutches and haven't changed much since crutches were wood
6. The position of his feet suggests a possible congenital rotation deformity of the right leg...good luck shooting a rocket if you have a leg deformity and you are standing up straight
7. as mentioned, no sign of a shadow for the weapon
DOC

23 John Vreeland  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 9:41:40pm

It appears to be a man with leg braces and standard hospital crutches firing an RPG, shot from directly behind the launch tube.

We have (so far) three problems with the picture:
1. The edges of the back-blast appear to be rubber-stamped in. I cannot remember ever seeing a real explosion with edges like that, though I have not often stood directly behind an RPG. This is a red flag.
2. He is firing at...what? He might have just been firing into the trees across the street as part of a staged shot, however, not wanting to shoot anything valuable. This is yellow flag.
3. Due to the angle of the sun (about 60 degrees above his right shoulder) he leaves a narrow shadow. The shadows on the ground are distinct enough to identify his torso and right elbow, however. The alleged RPG tube, which would be ideally situated to cast an excellent shadow, appears to cast no shadow at all. This is a chalk outline.

If you are having trouble making sense of the shadows recall that sunlight travels in pretty much parallel lines, so once you identify one feature of the shadow to its source you can draw parallel lines from all the other features back to their sources. An RPG would cast a shadow like a cross across the shadow of his body, longer in the front than in the back. The actual shadow here has only a short bump corresponding to his right elbow, which is sticking out backwards slightly. What looks to be faint shadow extending near into the grass is actually some debris on the road, similar to other such bits nearby.

24 John Vreeland  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 9:51:24pm

Also, if the blast itself were truly that dark, then it would cast a shadow itself, in the same way that a glowing light bulb filament will cast a shadow in an overhead projector. On the other hand, the fireball itself will cast shadows and illuminate the back of the man holding the RPG, but perhaps it has not advanced that far yet.

25 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 10:40:41pm

re: #21 EmmmieG

Mr. EmmmieG thinks it's fake because the guy isn't standing like someone who expects his body to encounter the laws of physics right now. The guy in the Afghan army photo, you will notice, is definitely standing like someone who expects to encounter Newton's 3rd law really soon.

Yeah, I didn't look at that aspect.

He's not standing as he is firing a weapon. Well, I've never seen anyone, personally, fire a weapon like that, but I'd think it'd be more like a shotgun stance --no?


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