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Behind the Scenes: How Conflict Photographs Come To Be 178

Posted by timothy
from the have-you-tried-throwing-left-handed? dept.
First time accepted submitter benro03 writes "Airing photojournalism's dirty secret, Italian photographer Ruben Salvadori demonstrates how conflict photography is often staged by the photographers themselves. He spent a significant amount of time in East Jerusalem studying the role that photojournalists play in what the world sees. Ruben is about to graduate with dual majors for a BA in International Relations and Anthropology/Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel." Some commenters on the linked story defend much of what's shown as ordinary aesthetic and editorial decisions; doubtless a parallel documentary could have been shot from a few hundred yards away with an opposite slant.
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Behind the Scenes: How Conflict Photographs Come To Be

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  • by Pope (17780)

    Do we really need "?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+PetaPixel+(PetaPixel)" at the end there, or are you getting paid for this story?

  • Especially since the advent of 24 hour news networks. It existed before then, but not with the same voracious, unrelenting appetite.

    • by sycodon (149926)

      Journalists twist and manipulate facts to match their political narrative.

      Shocker.

      • Journalists twist and manipulate facts to amp the drama, in order to capture eyeballs, gain influence, and garner advertising dollars.

        I don't normally do FTFY type posts, but this time it seemed kind of appropriate.

        I do (partially) agree with you that the ideologies of management does cloud the waters a little (especially in newspapers), but honestly? When it comes to cable news networks, they have only one overriding ideology - increasing ratings to gain influence, and more importantly, to get more of that almighty dollar bill.

        • by rthille (8526)

          There's definitely more ideological influence on some networks than others.

        • by sycodon (149926)

          they have only one overriding ideology - increasing ratings to gain influence, and more importantly, to get more of that almighty dollar bill.

          Hmmm...MSNBC's obvious slant and piss poor ratings argue against this. But they do seem to operate by another set of rules than other networks.

          • The acronym of their name explains why... they've got patronage from NBC (who is in way too deep financially to pull out now), and Microsoft (whose continued presence is curious at best, and a full-on "WTF are they still doing there!?" at worst.

      • This only proves that they fundamentally influence the conditions of an otherwise known state simply by observing it.

        Now why does that seem familiar?

    • Exactly. The reality is there isn't enough significant news to fill an entire 24 hour period so the sensationalism needs to make events bigger than they actually are. Kind of like how there were a number of school shootings in the 1970s, but they were just not played hundreds of times on 24 hour news channels so people tend to think it is only a recent phenomenon.
      • A fair portion of what I do for a living involves photographing things in what most people would consider 'conflict zones'.

        The reality is that opportunities to photograph anything a news agency would consider interesting in relation to any conflict are few and far between. More often than not it is just not possible to move fast enough, even by helicopter, to get to the fighting while it is still going on unless you are riding along with whomever starts it. Most of it starts fast and ends fast.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Search for "Pallywood".
  • Famous Photos (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OFnow (1098151)
    Well, the Famous Photo of WWII of the flag raised on Iwo Jima was staged. Twice. The second one was the one folks have seen. Nothing new here. Move along.
    • I thought that was the case too, but the wikipedia article on the controversy [wikimedia.org] paints a more complex picture. Apparently there is a video of the flag raising that clearly shows it was not staged initially, but there was a second photo that was staged, the "gung-ho shot;" however, no one tried to pass the second photo off as being anything other than a posed shot... so there's a myth that sounds scandalous, but the reality is that it was simply a misunderstanding.
    • by benro03 (153441)

      No nothing new at all, BUT did you watch his film? His point isn't that it's occurring but that the majority of people (and I understand the irony) don't know it's not real. Photojournalists and reporters get fired and blacklisted for creating news, so why isn't it happening here? They get paid by the piece and these are clearly faked.

      • I'm not real sure that you - or anyone else who has posted already - got the entire message.

        Every Friday, after noon prayers, there are young people staging a riot or protest. And, every week, after noon prayers, there is a hoard of photographers onhand to "get the shot". We saw (well, some of us saw) the interaction in the video, between the photographers and the rioters. What may be less clear is - if the photographers didn't show up, maybe the young people would find something better to do.

        Picture the

      • But that doesn't mean the photos won't remain distorted.

        Reuters continually runs distorted photos from the Arab/Israeli conflicts. Sure, they were publicly shamed into ditching one photographer after two extremely public examples of image editing showed, but they continue to be caught using obviously faked, staged and misrepresented photos.

        I don't mean just staged by independent photographers. I mean like Green Helmet Guy, who arranges shoots pretty much professionally, using the bodies of dead kids and suc

        • by grcumb (781340)

          But that doesn't mean the photos won't remain distorted.

          No more (and no less) distorted than the view through a gun sight. Having used both, I prefer the camera.

    • True. Does not necessarily make it right. The Iwo Jima photos were taken with a manual camera and real film. If you want to make sure you get the shot, I can see staging it. But with today's digital cameras and automatic triggers that can shoot multiple shots every second, I am not so sure staging a shot is necessary except for propaganda.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        It's not really true, the real story of that is that there was one posed shot and one that was real. The photo itself was sent over the wire directly after printing before the photographer had even seen it, which was a large part of why there was confusion over that aspect of it. If you take a look at the image from the film reel, if he did stage the actual photo, he did a damned good job at replicating how it really happened.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima#Publication_and_staging_ [wikipedia.org]

      • Depends on the photographer. Not everyone can capture every pivotal event with perfect composition. Even though I am a fairly handy photographer, I realized pretty quickly that getting the perfect shot takes *work*, even with digital cameras and perfect frame-by-frame HD video to help out.

        People and objects get in the way, the lighting could be absolute crap, crowds (and your subjects) ebb and flow in unpredictable patterns, the action could be taking place from an angle that makes the composition look like

        • say you're recording a fist-fight between two political ideologues on the street, but there's a topless young lady in the background).

          Yeah you really messed up that shot of the topless woman. Terrible framing, out of focus...it's a pity.

  • Simple rule of thumb (Score:5, Informative)

    by JazzHarper (745403) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:00PM (#37680212) Journal

    All photography is staged unless the image has been captured unintentionally or accidentally.

    • by justdiver (2478536) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:16PM (#37680354)
      I was going to say that if those in the photo are unaware the picture was being taken then it isn't staged, but on second thought, the framing of the photo, the time at which the photo is taken, the angle and placement of the photo, what is cropped out or left in the frame, all of these things are left up to the photographer to decide. So yes, I would agree that even photos where the participants are unaware the picture is being taken can be called staged. The photographer is staging the photo by leaving our or including certain details.
      • Yes. Always this. Photography isn't 'reality' - it's a portion thereof. That is pretty much the whole point of being a photographer - to determine what portion of reality you want to capture to create a certain effect. Whether it's cropping the souvenir stand at a National Park or tightening the crop onto a teenage 'rioter' and ignoring the rest of the pastoral street scene, it's what photographer's DO. The other stuff, the camera, lens, exposure, post processing is just details.

        The problem is that peo

      • Photo's are meant to be attention grabbing lets not forget. Just posting pictures that don't grab an audiences attention won't work. So of course thought goes into the shot for media coverage to drive page views. The same way news anchors tend to be dolled up with makeup or pretty to get higher ratings.

      • by he-sk (103163)

        Exactly. Slightly off-topic, you can give almost the same reply to people who think that Photoshop isn't real photography. Of course it is, it's just another tool at the photographer's disposal.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:19PM (#37680378)
      Even when not staged there is always some bias and complexity. Take for instance the "looting" vs "finding food" photos in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The "finding food" photo showed two white people wading in chest high water with food whereas the "looting" photo showed a black man with food wading in chest high water. According to the "looting" photographer he labeled it looting because people were going into a flooded grocery store and taking things. The "finding food" photographer said people were taking food that had floated out of a flooded grocery store. In reality everyone was technically stealing food for survival but there are different perspectives.
      • by Solandri (704621)

        Even when not staged there is always some bias and complexity.

        Perhaps the most famous case of this is the photo of a Viet Cong prisoner being executed [wikipedia.org].

      • Here's a dilemma for you... With all your honor and dignity what would you do? This test only has one question, but it's a very important one.

        Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test where you stand morally.

        The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision one way or the other. Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous. Please scroll down slowly and consider each

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Would you select color film, or rather go with the simplicity of classic black and white?

          Haven't the Palestine war photographers taught your anything?

          Just shoot anything and Photoshop it later.

    • by Deadplant (212273)

      pics and it didn't happen

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I don't know in your country but in mine (France) if a journalist publishes pictures that are staged like this one and passes them as depicting a real event, he would probably be fired.

      I think that whet he depicts, are not photojournalists but people selling propaganda pictures. On a given event you will not just see journalists taking picture but also commercial photographers that make images for arts and profit but not necessarily for information.

      Who are these photographers ? journalists looking for
      • by chispito (1870390)

        I don't know in your country but in mine (France) if a journalist publishes pictures that are staged like this one and passes them as depicting a real event, he would probably be fired.

        Journalism is a global business and works the same everywhere. I seriously doubt the photographer would be treated differently in France, as the papers there and elsewhere buy and sell photographs from all over.

        • by gfreeman (456642)

          Journalism is a global business and works the same everywhere.

          Wrong on so many levels. For example there's no 1st Amendment in France. Privacy laws in France are also way stricter than in the US, so photojournalists (including "paparazzi") have many rules about what they cannot photograph.

          I suggest you rethink your statement that XXXXXX is a global business and works the same everywhere. (Substitute a variety of global businesses into XXXXXX and you'll see how silly your statement is).

          • by chispito (1870390)

            Journalism is a global business and works the same everywhere.

            Wrong on so many levels. For example there's no 1st Amendment in France. Privacy laws in France are also way stricter than in the US, so photojournalists (including "paparazzi") have many rules about what they cannot photograph.

            I suggest you rethink your statement that XXXXXX is a global business and works the same everywhere. (Substitute a variety of global businesses into XXXXXX and you'll see how silly your statement is).

            Hmm. Okay, can you give me some examples to help put this in context? What I'm interested in knowing is if those privacy laws affect which photos taken out of country are legal to run. Thanks.

      • Then the only thing allowed in France is the Google Street Maps car?

        I rather doubt that.

      • by Sun (104778)

        To the best of my knowledge, Talal Abu Rahma still holds his job [wikipedia.org] with France 2.

        Shachar

    • by cyfer2000 (548592)
      like this, I mean the first one [aixmind.com]?
    • All photography is staged unless the image has been captured unintentionally or accidentally.

      Whether or not that's true depends very much on your definition of "staged". I doubt your definition agrees with what most people mean when they speak of staged photographs. "Staging" to most people means manipulating that which is in front of the camera rather than the shot itself, in which case things like framing and focusing would not be considered "staging". Shots manipulated after the fact would be "doctored"

      • No, he means staged the same way you do - just different connotations. The act of putting your eye into a camera's viewfinder 'stages' the scene. You decide what to include / exclude - same as if you cloned out something in Photoshop. The act is the same, only the technical details differ. That is exactly the point of the OP's statement.

        • No, he means staged the same way you do - just different connotations.

          No he doesn't. I define "staging" as manipulating the scene itself while he defines "staging" as part of the intentional act of taking a picture (any picture).

          The act of putting your eye into a camera's viewfinder 'stages' the scene.

          Again not what most people mean when they speak of staged photographs. Putting your eye into a camera's viewfinder is a means of framing the scene, but it certainly doesn't stage it.

          • by he-sk (103163)

            There's a distracting piece of paper in the corner of the picture I want to take. I have three options:

            a) "staging": physically remove the paper from the scene,
            b) "framing": slightly move the camera so the paper is no longer in the frame, or
            c) "doctoring": cropping or cloning the paper out of the picture in post-production.

            What is the difference between these three options except for a minor technical detail? There is no fundamental difference. I agree with the GP. Every photograph is staged, unless it was

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:05PM (#37680262)

    Sometimes this kind of humour just gives people Ideas I guess..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ2bvR3BT_g

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:07PM (#37680286) Homepage

    Pallywood anyone?

    • by ichthus (72442)
      I came here to point out the same thing. Great documentary.
  • by bobaferret (513897) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:17PM (#37680370)

    I used to frequent Medellin, Colombia in the 90's after my mother moved there to teach English. This was during the period of time where there was a large amount of violence due to Pablo Escobar and company. Lot's of bombings etc. (Side note... Bombs happen on the quarters of the Hour, thunder any other time)... We we're driving by a recently bombed, mafia owned, apt. building from night before, and noticed some of the CNN crew from our hotel in the parking lot of the building closely surrounded by about 12 people. The camera guy was on his knees. The rest of the lot was pretty much empty. A cleanup crew here or there. The reporter was on the outside of the circle directing folks around. Later that night, we happen to see the footage produced.... it was a riot... No seriously... CNN portrayed the 12 people as a massive riot of frightened locals in complete panic. They weren't even from the building.... Mafia families who pay $1,000,000 for an apt. in that building don't tend to stick around, much less dress like laborers. Nothing like being a rural mid-western teenager spending his summers in a third world country.

    • by Zocalo (252965)
      Far, far, FAR longer than that. Almost since the dawn of photography in fact, let alone the advent of the war correspondent as a profession. The NY Times (no registration required, for once) has a rather interesting tale of what might be the first instance of this in three parts, part one here [nytimes.com], about whether or not Roger Fenton manipulated a post-battle scene for a more interesting image. The image in question was taken during the Crimean war, in 1855 - over a century and a half ago.
      • I didn't end up going into Journalism, but took a number of classes associated with the University Of Missouri School of Journalism. And one of the things that was beaten into you was the ethics. I've never been able to understand how much corruption really is in the system vs. what every Journalism student is taught. It's amazing and sad really. That saddest part is that the corruption is considered normal, and the unbiased reporting is what really makes the news.

    • by Solandri (704621)
      Some of CNN's "live coverage" from Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War was shot in a studio [youtube.com]. That's not to say CNN is the only press agency doing this. From what friends and relatives who've worked in journalism tell me, this happens to differing extents pretty much everywhere. The truth is quite often mundane and boring, and needs to be spruced up to make it worthy of airing so people won't change the channel.
  • by Gavin Scott (15916) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:17PM (#37680372)

    The Journalist observes and then writes words that try to communicate his/her understanding of the situation.

    The Photojournalist observes and then takes pictures that try to capture the essence of the situation as he/she understands it.

    If you don't want someone else interpreting and summarizing for you, then go there yourself.

    We read and view the work of journalists because we want to understand but we don't want to do all the raw data collection and reduction ourselves. To the degree that journalists exhibit biases of one sort or another, we try to chose sources that exhibit similar biases to our own such that their interpretation and analysis will likely be the same (or at least similar) to our own. When the bias is for sensationalism, that's simply not journalism.

    G.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      The issue occurs when a photojournalist comes into a situation with a per-conceived idea and then slants the photos to support that preconception. That is when they cross the line from reporting news to creating propaganda. Take a photo from the right angle and it looks like 20 soldiers are firing at a few kids when just out of frame there are a couple hundred youths with rocks and slingshots.The message the photojournalist wants to send is that the soldiers are overreacting and oppressing the kids. The rea

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        There is a huge difference between summarizing and slanting.

        If you have some sort of positive evidence of this happening you absolutely should bring it up. The problem here is that the TFA author doesn't, he just sees photographers lining up shots, and talking to the subjects, and makes the leap that this is, perforce, distortion. I just don't think he understands how photography works.

        I want the whole story so I can draw my own conclusions and not just the story the reporter/photographer wants me to see.

        If the conflict is something like Israel/Palestine, taking place over 60 years in a country thousands of miles away, involving entire nations of people, of whom you've maybe only me

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tincho_uy (566438)
          If you want a more comprehensive view supporting this guy's work, check out Pallywood. You'll see it's all staged.
          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            I've seen Pallywood -- for one, Pallywood was about Palestinian journalists, which TFA isn't about, and second, to be honest I didn't find a lot of the video evidence in Pallywood to be particularly convincing, and it commits a lot of the errors, decontextualization with narration, suspicious sourcing, editorializing, that it accuses news agencies of committing.

        • by crossmr (957846)

          The problem is that people have the idea that photojournalists are dodging gunfire to take shots as they happen. When a lot of people see these pictures they expect there is a camera man hiding under a burned out car with a zoom lens taking these photos of action as it is happening.

          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            The problem is that people have the idea that photojournalists are dodging gunfire to take shots as they happen.

            "The journalist wasn't doing what I see journalists in movies do, therefore what he's reporting didn't happen."

    • And sometimes, people will just produce whatever they get paid the most. I think that is one of the points that was being made, dramatic photos sell and photographers will stage them to make a buck.

      That is a far cry from communicate one's understanding of a situation. I agree with your assessment that photographers and journalists can only report on what they understand to be the truth. But it appears that the truth isn't even being shown here, some people are justifying their existence at a non-event
  • Should be obvious (Score:4, Informative)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:27PM (#37680446)

    Cameras lie. Photography is an artform and its basically impossible to create an objective photograph.

    • Even if we make the usual assumptions for photojournalists (they don't montage photos, they don't get too fancy in the darkroom...
    • There's a frame. You can't see the action around a frame in context, wether this context is a guy off camera with a gun, or a guy signing a treaty 40 years ago.
    • The lens has selective focus, that its lens always distorts the space that's photographed. Two subjects who appear quite close might in fact be rather far away. People who appear to be able to see each other may not actually have a vantage on each other in the actual space.
    • Useable news photographs require acceptable lighting conditions. You can't shoot a night battle with a flash.
    • If the photographer didn't communicate with the subject, he probably wouldn't have any photographs that actually demonstrated the conflict.

    What do you want? Do you want to feel like you're there, experiencing the action? If that's the case, then the photographer is pretty much going to have to stage everything, because real conflicts generally don't yield photogenic angles, or give the photographer a way of capturing both sides in a way that makes the conflict "real" from the perspective of someone looking at the pictures. Real war footage is boring as hell, it doesn't remotely capture the experience of being there, and the only way you can stand it or make any sense of it is with aggressive editing and narration, which has the potential to recontextualize everything.

    Do you want the truth? All the photographer can tell you is what he saw, and if he only gives you the photos he took. Reporting is epistolary: somebody saw something, they are now telling you about it, you're relying on their account. Photographs are part of their account, they are not separate, "real" things that are somehow more reliable than someone's testimony.

    • by afabbro (33948)

      Photography is an artform and its basically impossible to create an objective photograph.

      This sentence would mean exactly the same thing without the word "basically".

      • No, it's complexly possible to create an objective photograph. It's very complex, so people stick to the basic level impossible.
      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        You can create an objective photo, like in a lab experiment where the background is graduated and the subject is plain, but even then it's only objective within the very narrow parameters of a particular experiment -- lab photography of a bullet splitting an apple can find its way into a montage or a music video, where it somehow conveys violence, because divorced from the lab context the image takes on new meaning.

        • A photo (singular) is not objective, but photos can be objective, if they (plural) give a complex and more complete view. A photograph that is properly framed by the photographer doesn't tell any story except that which the photographer wants to tell. However, if you take a look at most of the examples given in the video, the real perspective is one that is further away from the "framed" picture, and exposes the framing as a farce.

          That is the problem with today's photo journalism is that it colludes with it

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Wow, I must being having a stroke or something, very ESL...

  • When there are conflicts being photographed, there are conflict photographers?

    The pretense of the article seemed to imply that the events or photos were "staged" or something by the journalists. Nothing of the sort was happening in any of these photos.

    Are we supposed to be shocked to believe that there were photojournalists on the scene when these photos were taken?

    Inane.

    • Did you actually look at the video or are you just barking? He clearly shows photographers interacting with the 'rioters' - smiling, joking, moving about. Much more the staged movie set than a happenstance 'conflict' photo.

      The take home point is that you get an entirely different feel for the scene when you step back and show the photographers taking pictures of the 'conflict' scene. It's visceral. It's actually pretty well done. Go look at TFA.

      • Yes. I did the entire video.

        So what if the was talking or joking with the rioters? Does that make the pictures invalid or untrue?

        It's not like he was "directing" the people in the pictures. Or bringing props. Or putting the people into poses. Or "staging" the photographs.

        If a rioter talks to a protester before or after a picture is taken or an incident occurs, that's wrong somehow?

        He's acting like it's a crime for a photographer to be on a riot scene!

        • by fruitbane (454488)

          No, the author of the video is doing no such thing. The article author was adding unnecessary spin. The video author was pointing out that many "action" shots are posed (not necessarily by the photographer). Because there are photographers there the individuals involved put on a show, even when not much was going on. The video author/photographer's point was that photographers in many conflict areas sometimes are in the middle of legitimate moments of high drama, but often there is also low drama staged for

        • by Christoph (17845)

          Agreed. Any critics should take their camera and fly to the next hot spot and take their own photos...nothing to stop you, other than not wanting to risk your own blood and treasure, and probably come home empty handed because it's damn hard work, including getting access to timely shots.

          Would you like pictures of the rebels when they grab Gaddafi? It would make a great photo. Should you be a cold, dismissive jerk to the rebels and then ask them to take you with when they go to grab him?

          When a photographer

      • by grcumb (781340)
        Oh for fuck's sake, you know why the photographers laugh and joke with the protesters? It's so they don't get their heads kicked in when people start to panic, and so the protesters don't think they're undercover cops recording the events. Yes, photography is subjective - that's kind of the point. But try to bear in mind that the camera recording the photographers is subjective, too.
  • when there is a market for conflict images, "conflict images" will be produced to satisfy that demand.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes there's a full blown Hollywood style production done for journalists.
    Google the term "Pallywood"
    I'll give you an example: http://youtu.be/t_B1H-1opys?t=4m15s

  • I can't bring myself to say adequately how dishearteningly this is. Between the two different accounts of Occupy Wallstreet I saw this weekend* and seeing this today? Why the hell did I go to school to be part of the media?

    *Ranged from glorious freedom supporters to hedonistic sex crazed drug addled hoodlums that need sent off to Iraq to fight if they have nothing better to do. Dear god I wish I was joking about that last one.

  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about what happens when the money runs out. Exchange harsh words, create nice pictures, have a few of the sheep kill a few other sheep and the money starts flowing again. From the US, and from Saudi, respectively.

    • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about what happens when the money runs out. Exchange harsh words, create nice pictures, have a few of the sheep kill a few other sheep and the money starts flowing again. From the US, and from Saudi, respectively.

      And here we have it folks. Six thousand years of conflict distilled into three profound sentences. And here on Slashdot!

      Give bytesex a hand!

    • by burris (122191)

      It's all about land.

  • but going all the way back to the US Civil War and Mathew Brady is really pushing the envelope of staleness.
  • Doubtless, when you see it in use you KNOW that a person is trying to claim something that he wishes to be true but can't even be bothered to get the simplest anecdote or anon post to support it. Doubtless the other side does the same. No proof, not even a hint but we nonetheless can't doubt it.

    A weasel word if ever there was one.

    Remember that story about the "Kraken". That is very similar, in science an extra-ordinary claim should have extra-ordinary evidence. Doubtless is the word of religious freaks and

  • I know the combatants have other things on their minds but you'd think an army would want to record things to improve itself. Also that footage could be used to vindicate yourself on the world stage.
  • Not news (Score:4, Informative)

    by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @08:14AM (#37688730)

    Back in 2006 a number of scandals surfaced during the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. The initial incident was later nicknamed "Reutersgate" because one very obviously photoshopped picture distributed through Reuters that landed on front pages all over the world led to an investigation by Reuters that revealed almost a thousand similar pictures from a number of "well-reputed" freelance photographers, and they were subsequently 'fired' by Reuters and their contributions removed from the archives.

    Then the scandal spread. Additional pictures from Reuters were brought into question, as well as pictures from other agencies, especially Associated Post. Not only were these pictures fairly obviously staged; they were staged Hollywood-style, complete with fake blood, staged ruins, actors and so on. Characters like "The World's Unluckiest Mom", "The Dead Son", "The Omnipresent Victim" and most legendary of all: "Green Helmet Guy" filled pictures reputedly from various places all over Lebanon (but in reality shot in more or less the same place). We saw the same grieving mother with or near a dead-looking child (also often the same) again and again, the same wounded civilians, the same burned-out cars, and always the same rescue party prominently featuring the legendary Green Helmet Guy. Then a series of pictures, obviously not meant for public distribution surfaced, showing the characters having a lunch break in the shade of a building. We see the 'dead child' play and later drink a soda.We see Green Helmet Guy in conversation with The Omnipresent Victim (obviously unharmed of course) and so on. Assuming all pictures featuring these characters are faked/staged, this fauxtography scandal involved thousands of pictures. Later extremely well-reputed photographers from BBC also appears to have engaged in this fakery.

    Googling pictures with these tags will yield you hundreds of samples of these staged pictures, all with the obvious intent of showing how cruel and evil Israel were. As Hizbollah in Lebanon (thought to be behind this little troupe of actors) found a need for this, it is obvious that reality didn't offer anything similar so it had to be staged for the proper effect on the world audience.

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