July 10, 2008

Skyrockets in flight, Photoshop delight

Gonna grab my missiles/Gonna hold them tight…


Iran’s state media is under fire for apparently digitally adding another missile to a photo of an artillery test.  I like the first comment on the NYT story:  “Clearly someone thought 4 missiles would be 33% more scary than three… or they thought it really tied the composition together, which, I have to say, it actually does.” [Via everyone ever]


Now, excuse me while we get back to work making it even easier for various Great Satans to fake you out.  (Actually, a number of Adobe folks have been collaborating with news agencies on ways to offer greater image authentication, and PBS hosts a 13-minute Nova segment focusing on Dr. Hany Farid & discussing his work with Adobe.)




  • Wonkette refers to "the Iranian Revolutionary WoW Photoshoppers Guild." Nice. [Via Russell Brady]
  • I think the Iranian peeps were inspired by the Chinese news agency.
  • Gizmodo challenges readers “to use Photoshop to create some sweet Iranian propaganda, showing their technological advancements that are heretofore unseen.” [Via Fergus Hammond]


PS–To everyone who now has that awful song in their heads, you’re welcome.

Posted by John Nack at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2008


  • Rob — 12:10 PM on July 10, 2008

    Totally ignored in the New York Times story is the fact that it was bloggers who discovered and reported the digital alteration, whereas the mainstream media accepted and ran the photograph uncritically. Quel surprise.

  • J. Peterson — 12:35 PM on July 10, 2008

    Actually, I’ll bet the real reason for doctoring the image wasn’t to show an extra missile, but to hide the launcher. You wouldn’t want a certain air force (or two) to get a good look at such an interesting target…
    [Perhaps, but Iran has been in the ballistic missile-lobbing business for 20+ years. Something tells me that their TELs aren’t all that mysterious. –J.]

  • Doug Nelson — 2:08 PM on July 10, 2008

    So Photoshop is not only changing the face of media, but also shaping history and instigating world events.
    Kind of makes it fun for you to wake up in the morning, no?

  • David — 3:56 PM on July 10, 2008

    Not quite as blatant as the horrendous cloned smoke image but a superb example nonetheless.
    Will we be seeing a Yellowcake Layer Style preset any time soon?

  • keith — 6:08 PM on July 10, 2008

    Yep Farid’s pixel’s have been cloned detector software would have sniffed out that phony PS’d photo.

  • Eric — 10:29 PM on July 10, 2008

    This is propaganda. Photoshop didn’t start it, and it certainly won’t change it. In the 1920s, newspapers in New York were creating fake stories with composmographs.
    Photoshop might make it easier, but it’s hard to conceive the Iranian news agency thought for even one second “should we lie?” Of course they lied. That’s their job when working for a government with so little regard for the truth.
    As the wise man once said, the camera never lies – but photographers do.

Copyright © 2020 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy and Cookies (Updated)