LA Times Defends Itself Over Accused Photo Manipulation

LA Times readers have apparently been complaining quite a bit about a couple of strange photos the Times has recently run. The two photos in question were both from Reuters: one in which readers a reader alleges a “little person” with a stick was inserted in a photo of a riot, while another photo of ballerinas received a reader complaint that the image must be altered because otherwise the dancers would all suffer from ‘luxation of the hip joint.’

The complaints were curious enough that Times‘ deputy director of photography Steve Stroud examined both photos for the paper’s website. Of the mysterious “little person” in question, Stroud writes: “On close examination using Adobe Photoshop software, the photo by Reuters staff photographer Saad Shalash showing the Baghdad protest appears to be genuine. The ‘little person’ in the foreground, while he may be shorter than those around him, is also bending down as he prepares to deliver a blow to his opponent.”

As for the ballerinas: “Immediately upon opening the original photo file using Adobe Photoshop software it’s evident the picture was greatly enlarged before being transmitted. Enlarging the photo only slightly more causes it to break up at the pixel level, causing aberrations for lack of digital information. …The resulting lack of digital information makes the details look soft, small elements appear incomplete and, in this case, gives the appearance the feet might be facing in impossible directions.”

Keep movin’, nothin’ to see here folks.

H/T Romenesko