Blogger notices BP had Photoshopped picture

By Steve Safran 

A great example of how a blogger spotted something that traditional media failed to notice… The AMERICAblog analyzed a picture of the BP crisis command center and noticed plenty of bad photoshopping. I don’t want to steal too many of his great observations, but here’s just one example of how they changed the shot (note the ridiculously bad cropping around the upper right of the man’s head:

Detail of Photoshopped BP picture

The blogger had a reader note that the picture’s metadata indicates it was originally shot in 2001, although that may be a flaw in the camera’s internal settings. BP has taken down the doctored shot and replaced it with the original. The Washington Post has now picked up the story, along with BP’s less than apologetic response:

“Normally we only use Photoshop for the typical purposes of color correction and cropping,” Dean said in an e-mail. “In this case they copied and pasted three ROV screen images in the original photo over three screens that were not running video feeds at the time.”

Oh, is that all? This is actually a fine example of why news organizations should not take photo handouts. You don’t know (unless you’re a hawkeye like this blogger) how the picture has been altered.