“And if World Press Photo believes that the modifications were acceptable for their contest, then that really is fine.” Again, the original block post remains below — but we have inserted another block towards the end, to explain the current state of play.
It turns out that the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year — the largest and most prestigious press photography award — was, in actual fact, a fake.
The World Press Photo association hasn’t yet stripped the photographer, Paul Hansen, of the title, but presumably it’s just a matter of time.
Updated @ pm 5/14: An independent expert in the field of image forensics, Eduard de Kam, has analyzed the original Raw file, compared it to the prize-winning JPEG file, and concluded that “all of [the pixels] are exactly in the same place.” He also says that the final photo has experienced “a fair amount of post-production” (as in, dodging, burning, etc.), which probably explains a lot of the seemingly incredible lighting in the image.
Updated @ am 5/15: Neal Krawetz, the forensic analyst who originally claimed that the image was significantly altered, has issued a response to the World Press Photo’s independent analysis.
In short, despite the independent analysis, Krawetz still believes he is vindicated in saying the award-winning photo has been significantly modified.
There’s a roll-over image on his site that shows two different versions of the image — and it quite clearly shows that the award-winning photo has been subject to more than just dodging/burning.
The original blog post remains below — but we have inserted new section that discusses the new revelations.
Updated @ pm 5/15: Hany Farid, an expert in image forensics, says: “We have reviewed the RAW image, as supplied by World Press Photo, and the resulting published JPEG image.
It is clear that the published photo was retouched with respect to both global and local color and tone.
Beyond this, however, we find no evidence of significant photo manipulation or compositing.” On the flip side, Krawetz has also provided further analysis of the XMP data, which really does seem to suggest that the prize-winning photo was the result of four different photos. The fact that external reviewers confirmed both global and local modifications just makes my day,” says Krawetz.
— we’re going to look at how Hansen seemingly managed to trick a panel of experienced judges with his shooping skillz, and how a seasoned computer scientist spotted the fraudulent forgery from a mile off.