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Gaza Burial image is not fake, World Press Photo says

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Gaza Burial image is not fake, World Press Photo says

World Press Photo has announced that the Photo of the Year 2013 captured by Paul Hansen is authentic and has confirmed the integrity of both RAW and JPEG files.

Photographer Paul Hansen has been accused of severely modifying the image which has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2013 award. A forensic image analyst has tested the photo and he came to the conclusion that the photo, Gaza Burial, is actually a composition of three different images.

Gaza Burial World Press Photo
World Press Photo of the Year 2013: Gaza Burial. It has been captured by photographer Paul Hansen, who has been accused of submitting a composite, instead of a single image. However, photography experts have deemed the photo as being authentic.

Photographer Paul Hansen accused of forging the World Press Photo of the Year 2013

Neal Krawetz has also given three reasons why he thinks that the image has been altered. The XMP analysis indicated that three RAW files have been processed, the Shadow Analysis displayed three different shadows, which were all wrong as the sun was not supposed to be so high up in the sky, while the Error Level Analysis (ELA) said that the pixels have been modified.

Even though Paul Hansen has previously provided the full explanation of his editing, the World Press Photo has decided not to ignore the allegations, therefore it has called in the experts to verify the authenticity of the photograph.

Experts say that the World Press Photo of the Year 2013 is real

The experts are called Fourandsix Technologies. Dr. Hany Farid, co-founder and CTO, and CEO Kevin Connor have concluded that there are no real signs of compositing. They added that the previous analysis has been “deeply flawed”.

Dr. Hany Farid, who is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College, has revealed that the photographer has only modified the color and tone of the image. World Press Photo says that this is well within the contest rules.

Myth busted! Allegations and analysis have been debunked

The experts have also shared their views on the forensic analyst’s conclusion. They say that the XMP analysis actually reveals that the image has been modified in Adobe Camera RAW three times, then imported into Photoshop and finally exported as a JPEG file. Moreover, Photoshop’s XMP metadata cannot determine whether a file is the result of a composition.

The ELA is also flawed, experts say. Such analysis is not used by the experts because it has been proven that it can deem fake photos as real and real images as fake on numerous occasions.

Last but not least, it is said that the Shadow Analysis should reveal that the shadows need to “intersect at a single point”, but the location of the sun is unknown, just like the location of the photographer. However, this is hardly enough evidence to jump into conclusions so quickly.

Gaza Burial image has been the subject of post-production

The experts have determined that the photo has been edited, as some parts have been lit, while others have been made darker. Nevertheless, the pixels are aligned and the image is authentic, not a composition.

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Gaza Burial image is not fake, World Press Photo says