FauxPhotography: The NYT cheesecake shot isn’t photoshopped

posted at 2:41 pm on August 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

Four different people have sent me this alleging that the mike cord has been photoshopped out:

purrfect.jpg

Yeah, it looks weird, but there’s an innocent explanation. And the site we owe our thanks to for getting to the bottom of it is … no, I can’t say it. Crediting them for anything is simply too hard.

Photographer Jim Wilson explains:

If you look carefully at the frame, you will see a slightly wide band of dark area that runs from the head of a marine with dark hair in the back row up to the singer. Look carefully at the wall from that marine’s head up to the top of the frame and you will see the blurred cable that was in motion because the dancer was moving it as she spoke to the marines. The full cable is in the shot but is blurred. The reason it isn’t sharp is because the frame was shot at 1/6 of a second in a room that was dark. The flash filled in the frame but wasn’t the main light, the room light provided the main light for the frame. The long exposure balanced the light from the strobe on my camera with the ambient light in the room. The cable was moving as was the singer and the marines. If you look carefully at the frame, you’ll see that nothing in the frame is tack/crisp sharp. I looked in the paper that I got out here and know that the reproduction left the wire virtually invisible.

Move along, nothing to see here. Well, uh, there is something to see here — it just doesn’t involve photoshop.

Check this guy out:

purrfect2.jpg

Great photo. And the article it ran with is fun too, especially the headline. The Angelz naturally have their own webpage, which I’m obliged to link because this is, after all, an important news story.

If you’re at work, clicking that probably won’t get you fired. Just suspended.

Update: I’ve got to call our pals at Newsbusters out on this one, too. I’m 95% sure that’s not a billboard in the upper right; it looks to me like freestanding letters on some sort of scaffold frame, a la the Hollywood sign. I spent a half-hour last night googling “al janoub” to see if I could prove it, but I can’t.

In any case, I think we’re dealing here with an example of slight overexposure, not photoshop chicanery.

Update: AJ Strata thinks it’s a photoshop. As I said to him below in the comments, we have two possibilities here:

1. Wilson snapped a photo that happened to catch the mic cord at a moment when it was undulating just so.
2. Wilson put his career on the line by photoshopping a photo there was absolutely no reason to photoshop. And rather than either photoshop a solid cord into the picture or remove the cord from the photo altogether, he decided to mix and match just so it would look as strange as possible and thereby draw attention.

What would Occam say?

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I am having a hard time concentrating on anything in that picture that isn’t a female leg.

BillLalor on August 28, 2006 at 2:44 PM

It’s like one of those invisible dog leash things, only it’s the invisible Ms. Microphone….

dallas94 on August 28, 2006 at 2:50 PM

Put her in longer pants and Norman Rockwell could have painted that.

Jim Treacher on August 28, 2006 at 3:01 PM

I LOVE listening to you guys discuss chick-related stuff. Keep talking fellas. (and I mean that in ALL honesty. No sarcasm.)

Men are fantastic! (eat your hearts out feminazis!)

tickleddragon on August 28, 2006 at 3:02 PM

Hehe..you know, Treacher…I think you’re right. It DOES look like a Rockwell painting in the makin’ (less a little leg.) Although, I think Rockwell woulda had her in a skirt, I think.

tickleddragon on August 28, 2006 at 3:06 PM

Judging from this, it seems that certain corners of the ‘sphere are falling for the news cycle trap, i.e. a proven process is being put into mass production to make a sensational difference to yesterday’s news, over and over again.

In other words, when all you have is a hammer, everything will start to look like a nail.

Niko on August 28, 2006 at 3:07 PM

Nice boots. Sorry, a typo.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 28, 2006 at 3:10 PM

Put her in longer pants and Norman Rockwell could have painted that.

Seriously. The guy in the red circle is vintage Rockwell.

Allahpundit on August 28, 2006 at 3:11 PM

That a photo is not faked being a news story is pretty much all you need to see here, folks. Move along folks.

MacStansbury on August 28, 2006 at 3:20 PM

Oooh,Dayna……

bbz123 on August 28, 2006 at 3:32 PM

Hummm,

Well if the dancer has her “Hands on their miniskirted hips,”as the article says, then how can she be holding the mike while” the blurred cable that was in motion because the dancer was moving it as she spoke to the marines.” And “The cable was moving as was the singer and the marines.”

Any Ideas oh photo shop master?

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 3:38 PM

I mean, how do you hold a mike that is moving while standing with your hands on your hips?

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 3:40 PM

Because she was probably only moving the hand that held the mike.

Allahpundit on August 28, 2006 at 3:43 PM

I’m not sure how that happened, but I’ll be more than happy to spend as long as it takes investigating the dancers on various pedestal-like furnitures in order to get to the bottom of this story.

If someone could be so kind as to get me the corporate credit card, I’ll be on my way. Journalistic integrity and whatnot.

MacStansbury on August 28, 2006 at 3:49 PM

This is definitely photoshopped… Someone photoshopped the ass right off that girl……. OH SNAP!

Seriously, she doesn’t have to be J-Lo, but she’s got nothin’ there?

RightWinged on August 28, 2006 at 3:50 PM

There’s an al-Janoub Supermarket in Tyre, and there’s a big S following the name in that photo. It looks like a 1950s hotel sign to me (I figured the S was for Sheraton, at first), but maybe Mr Sulaiman would send you a picture if you asked nicely.

That is a great shot. Very Norman Rockwell.

Tanya on August 28, 2006 at 3:50 PM

Allah,

The DNA doesn’t match the suspect…just heard it

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 3:51 PM

Check this guy out:

HAHA now that gave me a much needed laugh today. God bless our troops.

Travis on August 28, 2006 at 3:52 PM

There’s an al-Janoub Supermarket in Tyre

Yep, that’s what I was looking for. Great minds, etc.

Allahpundit on August 28, 2006 at 3:52 PM

JonBenet murder suspect’s DNA doesn’t match : report
BOULDER, Colo. (Reuters) – A DNA sample taken from John Mark Karr, the schoolteacher who claims to have been with child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey when she died in 1996, does not match DNA found in her underwear, a Denver TV station reported on Monday.
KUSA-TV cited two unnamed sources in the report, which comes hours before Karr was due for his first Colorado court appearance. Amid skepticism over Karr’s account, legal experts have said that a DNA match was critical to the prosecution case.

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 3:53 PM

Hmm, I wonder. Anyway. Looks like some kinda islamofascist conspiracy to undermine the troops if you ask me.

Just kidding of course. Truth be known, I didn’t even notice there were troops in the shot till my wife pointed them out. (Too busy wondering what that blurry mike cord could be). ;O)

THeDRiFTeR on August 28, 2006 at 3:54 PM

Oh my God! GIs and USO girls! What has happened to this country. Idiots!!!!!!!!!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on August 28, 2006 at 3:55 PM

Almost got me in trouble, RightWinged. Couldn’t help but laugh!! (OH SNAP!)

NTWR on August 28, 2006 at 4:04 PM

Seriously. The guy in the red circle is vintage Rockwell.

True. Looking at all the faces of ‘our men and boys’, each one could be a Rockwell character. Smile. Smile. I adore those faces and the entire force.

But AP, you might need to remove the red circle, lest the PC’ and feminsts’ police accuse the poor lad of sexual harassment…

I second tickleddragon on August 28, 2006 at 3:02 PM :)

Entelechy on August 28, 2006 at 4:16 PM

Sorry Allah, but there is no way the mic chord was moving that much up top and absolutely still above the ground. I would be that theory if the chord’s movement was all the way to the ground – maybe. I use chords like this and that kind of motion would have travelled to the ground at least. Plus, the singer would have had something out of focus herself to move the chord in this manner. And why are there no other ‘blurs’ from other movements? Either the photo would blur easily (because the mic phone ‘haze’ is thin and thus shows a slow motion) or the chord is moving incredibly fast (which means the singer must be doing SOMETHING to create short, but high frequency movements). The faster the chord moves the more it would move side to side.

Sorry, the DU alibi is DUmb.

Cheers, AJStrata

AJStrata on August 28, 2006 at 4:16 PM

Uhh, Marines, microphone cable…where are you folks seeing this stuff?

jcon96 on August 28, 2006 at 4:16 PM

There are GIs in that photo? I’ll have to look again.

High Desert Wanderer on August 28, 2006 at 4:16 PM

as a leg and *** guy, that is the best set I’ve seen in a long while.

MikeG on August 28, 2006 at 4:24 PM

Sorry Allah, but there is no way the mic chord was moving that much up top and absolutely still above the ground. I would be that theory if the chord’s movement was all the way to the ground – maybe. I use chords like this and that kind of motion would have travelled to the ground at least. Plus, the singer would have had something out of focus herself to move the chord in this manner. And why are there no other ‘blurs’ from other movements?

We have two possibilities here:

1. Wilson snapped a photo that happened to catch the mic cord at a moment when it was undulating just so.
2. Wilson put his career on the line by photoshopping a photo there was absolutely no reason to photoshop. And rather than either photoshop a solid cord into the picture or remove the cord from the photo altogether, he decided to mix and match just so it would look as strange as possible and thereby draw attention.

What would Occam say?

Allahpundit on August 28, 2006 at 4:26 PM

as a leg and *** guy, that is the best set I’ve seen in a long while.

Are you nuts Mike? See my previous comment… I’m also a leg and *** guy, and I’m disappointed. Like I said earlier, someone photoshopped this girl’s butt off.

RightWinged on August 28, 2006 at 4:38 PM

Allah,

I was going to point out some other things, such as his cumbersome no lighting, The reason it isn’t sharp is because the frame was shot at 1/6 of a second in a room that was dark.,only my flash, The flash filled in the frame but wasn’t the main light, the room light provided the main light for the frame…. to my flash filled in the ambient light so I left the lens open excuse, The long exposure balanced the light from the strobe on my camera with the ambient light in the room..

I mean, if there was only ambient light, the door would have dominated the shot. If he was using a flash/strobe there wouldn’t be a lighting balance, (the foreground would be bright fading in to a dim backroom. Therefore, the room was well lit otherwise the door would have washed out the shot.

But in the end, I have to agree with this, Wilson put his career on the line by photoshopping a photo there was absolutely no reason to photoshop.

So while I agree with AJStrata, I can’t see the reason.

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 4:40 PM

I think it might be time for me to call a moratorium on fauxtography posts here. Greg Mitchell must be reading this thread and laughing his ass off.

Allahpundit on August 28, 2006 at 4:44 PM

Just saying, shoot a shot at directly at a door full of sun light with out bright overhead lighting and see what happens.

Also, you can see the flash on the glasses.

Or we could just talk about her ass. Hottie rating?

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 4:46 PM

In other words, why leave the lens open? That wouldn’t solve the problem. The door would dominate.

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 4:48 PM

Oy, if this photo is in question then fauxtography has officially jumped the shark.

the wolf on August 28, 2006 at 4:51 PM

Indeed.

Allahpundit on August 28, 2006 at 4:55 PM

In the immortal words of Keith Jackson…

“Whoa Nelly!”

Theworldisnotenough on August 28, 2006 at 5:06 PM

I should have looked closer when this pointed out. At first I also thought it was “fauxtography”.

Now that I’ve taken a closer look, I agree that the missing cord was due to “dragging the shutter” (flash with low shutter speed). Hats off to the photographer, most won’t have been able to pull off this balance of flash & ambient lighting.

Dave on August 28, 2006 at 5:17 PM

Allah,

Occam would say “Uncle”. It took me a while to see the classic ‘mic end up’ move singers make as possible move that could hold the body pretty still and fgget the cord moving – but it still should have cause movement to the floor. Anyway the only reasons I am giving in is I see no benefit in the photog lying. None. Peace.

AJStrata

AJStrata on August 28, 2006 at 5:59 PM

No but see, Muslims only use cordless microphones, so, so the NYT didn’t want to offend them, right?

Hey, how about everybody just calms down a little bit. Do a little light reading.

Jim Treacher on August 28, 2006 at 6:04 PM

I agree Dave, He is good. That is a very tough shot. I would have taken it from the other side. I mean shooting into an open door that has sun light, wow.

Rustyw on August 28, 2006 at 6:22 PM

Well I had to laugh at the other guy in the front who clearly sports a wedding band. I wonder what how his wife reacted when she saw that picture.

Catie96706 on August 28, 2006 at 6:25 PM

I wish we had a preview key, what should not be in the previous post!

Catie96706 on August 28, 2006 at 6:35 PM

Aloha Catie96706 – so long as they still look and notice, they’re healthy. Never mind any wives. Looking has never blinded anyone :) Be well,

Entelechy on August 28, 2006 at 7:03 PM

NOT photoshopped.

I could get into wave theory, angles of attack, angles of incidence etc. shutter speeds etc… But I won’t.

(Mostly because I’d be ‘talking through my hat’.)

But while I could duplicate this image in photoshop from one with a solid, steady microphone cable, I don’t believe that there is any fauxtography here.

In fact, I’m not sure if AllahPundit isn’t just ‘having us on’ by running this at all, trying to see who is silly enough to take this seriously.

LegendHasIt on August 28, 2006 at 7:04 PM

AP probably wanted to share that pair of legs with the healthy male-kingdom of this blog, and found a vailed way to do it. The mystery man is brilliant and psychology is not foreign to him.

Plus, way better than ohter palate cleansers…

Entelechy on August 28, 2006 at 7:11 PM

Which of course gives me tons of entertainment, as i mentioned before. Yay, Men! (Thanks, Allah)

tickleddragon on August 28, 2006 at 7:21 PM

This photographer should play around with a wide angle lens. Nice gams, but where’s the smile?

Coronagold on August 28, 2006 at 7:22 PM

Yeah, I know I know. I mean the gal.

Coronagold on August 28, 2006 at 7:22 PM

Entelechy, you sound like my husband! When we first got married he went to Kosovo and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were there and he had his pic taken with a few. I was a bit upset though but know you’re right! :) Happy Aloha Monday!

Catie96706 on August 28, 2006 at 8:12 PM

What a charming group of young ladies…

Jaibones on August 28, 2006 at 9:47 PM

Who cares about the mic cord. Can someone please photochop those shorts out?

speed647 on August 28, 2006 at 10:22 PM

Or we could just talk about her ass. Hottie rating?

Very low… judging by what we can see, something like a 5. As I’ve said twice, someone photoshopped this girl’s butt away.

Not to mention that most of the “Purrfect Angelz” (How lame by the way) are very mediocre. Am I right? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not all that impressed with these girls. I feel like I could go to any grocery store or college campus and see way hotter girls without having to look very hard.

RightWinged on August 28, 2006 at 10:38 PM

so long as they still look and notice, they’re healthy.

It doesn’t matter if the hubby looks – he comes home to me and knows he gets the real deal.

pullingmyhairout on August 28, 2006 at 11:50 PM

I just have to say – this whole discussion is hilarious. I feel like I’m eavesdropping in a men’s club.

Men are such funny and cute creatures :)

bluestarchronicles on August 29, 2006 at 12:32 AM

Have some respect here, folks.

Do you have any idea how hard it was to photoshop out the donkey?

Lehuster on August 29, 2006 at 1:12 AM

Is it just me, or is that Arabic writing on those boots??

gary on August 29, 2006 at 10:17 AM

That guy in the front – the one with the wedding ring?

Yeah, he’s in trouble.

Slublog on August 29, 2006 at 10:38 AM

That guy in the front – the one with the wedding ring?

Yeah, he’s in trouble.

LOL!! yeah I’d say. It looks like he doesn’t know whether to smile or not.

Travis on August 29, 2006 at 11:19 AM

Allahpundit,

I don’t think the photog is telling the truth. I’ve been on television for twenty three years and I’ve never had any of me “disappear” no matter what angle or what lighting. It is my experience that the world is full of people who LIE WHEN THE TRUTH WOULD SERVE.
Rather than looking in the back row of the pic, LOOK AT THE SOLDIER WHO’S BODY IS PARTIALLY OBSCURED BY HER LEGS! He’s the guy with the shoulder strap extending across his chest. Notice his right arm. If as the Photog says, this is mere, “blurring” (ROFLMAO) we should at the very least, BE ABLE TO SEE SAID “BLUR”! But we don’t, instead we see the Soldiers uniform which could only happen if the object obscuring it, the cord, were removed. Not to mention the fact that if she’s whipping a mic cord around at speeds which make it INVISIBLE, the lower end of the cord wouldn’t be stationary, would it?

Soothsayer on August 29, 2006 at 4:02 PM

BTW, I don’t nessarily see anything wrong with the picture! If all the guy did was wipe out the cord to clean up his shot, I’m okay with that. Happens all the time in my world. The evil in Fauxtography is the intent as I’m sure you know. Photogs airbrush, pimples, dark circles beneath the eyes, etc, in almost every pic you’ve ever seen in any magazine. Usually this isn’t done in NEWS photos, but in this case, if it were, it would be harmless. It’s hardly the same as adding smoke or damaged buildings to scenes in order to affect the political debate.

Soothsayer on August 29, 2006 at 4:12 PM