As hard as it may be to believe, it sure looks that way. Go read Randy. The only thing he gets wrong, I think, is which photo he thinks is ‘shopped. The one with the bright colors is bogus; I’m going to try to recreate it myself.

Standby for updates.

Updates: Right off the bat, it should be emphasized that there’s no way to prove who did it. It could be that the photo department at the Brazilian paper, not Hajj himself, boosted the saturation; in fact, that’s likely what happened, since an undoctored version of the photo was on the wires and got picked up by the Times.

An amazing coincidence, though, if it’s true. The guy who got fired for photoshopping something at Reuters had another, genuine photo of his photoshopped/retouched by a newspaper’s photo department?

Update: I have Photoshop Elements, which is like Photoshop for poor people, so here’s the best I can do with the few bells and whistles it gives me.

Original:

hajjnew2.jpg

Brazilian paper:

hajjnew1.jpg

Mine, after fiddling with the saturation and midtone contrast:

hajjnew2a.jpg

The smoke isn’t as dark. I could have made it darker, but to do that in Elements would makes the shadows in the buildings at the bottom of the photo darker too. To see how you’d get the effect they got, watch the Dissident Frogman’s very brief tutorial on how Hajj manipulated the original Reutersgate image. Playing around with those tone curves — which aren’t available in Elements, alas — would probably do the trick.

This one isn’t nearly as much of a big deal as the one Hajj got busted for, but it does show that someone’s messing around with war photos, presumably to make them more dramatic.