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« Israel As a Jewish State: A 'Relatively Minor Issue' | Main | September 15 Links »

Wednesday, September 15 2010

Egyptian Gov't-Owned Paper Caught Photoshopping White House Summit

Al-Ahram, Egypt's government-owned daily, was caught photoshopping an image of Mideast leaders at the White House summit. It's a great example of the power of manipulating an image, and the extent of propaganda in the Arab government-controlled media.

Here's the real image. I'll head off the conspiracy theorists by comparing everyone's positions to the same image in the White House photo gallery (image 19/23).


Now here's the image Al-Ahram readers saw (see WaElk's screen capture, via The Arabist). Note the prominence of President Mubarak, strolling front and center.


I can't wait to see Al-Ahram's photos of the new round of talks Egypt's hosting in Sharm el-Sheikh.



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You should simply remember what Soviet leaders did: Stalin, Bregnev, etc. There's nothing new about it, although nothing pleasant either. But this is simply what politics is all about.

They also used a mirror image of Mubarak, note how he's in step with the others in the photoshopped image and out of step in the other.

In addition to his steps changing, his tie is slanted to the right in the original picture and to the left in the photoshopped one. Plus, in the original picture you can see the end of his sleeve on his left hand while on the photoshopped picture you can see the end of his sleeve on his right hand.

Give the Egyptians a hand here. That's pretty good photoshopping. The shadows were also altered and appear to be consistent. Also, the brightness increased to make Mubarak look like he got the brunt of the flash.
If it wasn't for the original, it would be difficult to spot the fake ( well, at least for me).


Concerning these Photoshop abilities, I disagree about the shadows being correct in the second pic. Look at the shadows falling backwards from Obama and all the other figures in pic.1. If the shadows had been added correctly in pic.2, we wouldn't see pure red carpet (i.e. without any shadow) in the right lower corner of pic.2. Instead, all shadows from President Mubarak's body are thrown in the opposite direction (see Obama in in pic.1). Other surroundings (floor, furniture, pillars--everything but the red carpet) have been removed...Why? To me, it would be the first sign of the fact that the manipulator had opened the original photo in Photoshop...

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