Tuesday, July 26, 2005

London Bombers Photos

Upon inspecting the “official” photos released by the British Government of the bombers of 7/7 and 7/21 I have found striking inconsistencies and irregularities in the photos. With simple examination, it is easy to conclude that 2 of the “official” photos have been altered, and another has a questionable element.

My source of the photos is The Guardian:

Also, note that I have crossed reference my Guardian.co.uk versions of the photos with ones on the bbc.co.uk site to ensure that I have the “official” versions.

Click on images for larger versions

Example 1: (The 4 bombers of 7/7)

The area in question of this photo is the hijacker in the middle back wearing the white cap and the fence behind him.

1) The hijacker’s left arm appears as if it is behind the lower rail. This is physically impossible seeing as he is walking in front of said rail. It is also evident that his arm is not bent toward his torso at the elbow, which might create this effect, due to the fact that his sleeve can been seen continuing below the rail.

2) A similar occurrence appears across hijacker’s face. The upper railing looks as if it is in front of half of the man’s face. Also, the black “halo” around the man’s head (which might be intended to be a backpack) has the same issue. It is also possible that the black “halo” is part of a different photo that hijacker originally appear in.

3) It appears that a section of the middle rail is missing next to the left shoulder of the hijacker. Comparing this area to similar areas in the same region, it is obvious that the upper part (what should be a lighter grey line) of this segment has been removed. It can be concluded that since the lower part (the darker / shadowed line) of this segment still appears, there is supposed to be a rail here. Also, from a logical standpoint, there should not be a hole here, seeing as there are 3 continuous rails throughout the rest of the photo.

Running a solarize filter (done in Photoshop) makes these irregularities even more apparent.

Example 2: (No 26 bus, Hackney)

Since there is only one man (also in a white cap), he is the area in question.

Overview: The body posture of the man appears unnatural for the environment he is in. The positioning of his hands and arms, his weight distribution, and the angle of his hips give the impression that he is leaning on something; however, there is nothing to lean on. Trying to recreate this position, without leaning on a something like a rail or counter is horribly unnatural. Also, His body position is of a form that would not occur during any type of walking shuffling in open space or between seats.

There are many issues with the lighting in this photo:

1) The direction of the main light is coming from the right windows and going across to top left corner of the photo. This can be clearly seen by the direction of the shadows in the isle. The arrow helps to illustrate the light direction more clearly.

With the light direction being the way it is, a man in a position similar to his, oriented similarly to the camera would be mostly backlit. However, the man in this photo is lit mainly from the front.

2) Due to his incorrect lighting, there is a major issue with the specularity of his left side. Notice that all the objects on the left side of the bus have a white “hot spot” the closer they are to the window (light source), but this man has no such specularity. The area between his left ear and shoulder is too dark for the environment.

It appears that there are either scratches on the lens of the camera in this same area or a poor attempt and faking the light source. With a few moments of focus on these scratches, it is easy to see their similarity to a paint brush tool in any photo editing program.

3) The left hand of the man is almost completely black, and void of any definition. This is odd considering his hand and arm are in an area of the photo that appears to be receiving a large amount of light. This can be seen by looking at the seats just behind his left hand. Were his hand to really be in this area, it would be drastically brighter and thus more defined.

Example 3: (Oval tube station)

Once again, there is only one man in the photo, and his “New York” sweatshirt is the area of focus.

The official account states: “He is wearing a dark top with the slogan New York and a zip near the neckline.”

It is clear that this man’s sweatshirt does not match with the word “York”. It is even easier to see when a solarize filter is applier:

The 2 letters that are in question are the “R” and “K”. Also, note that there are no ways to fold or smush the 2 letter together to create an image to resembles a “U”.

Overall Conclusion: I find it impossible to believe that these images have not been altered.

*Note: I have taken into account that these images have undergone different types of video and image compression. However, this fact does not explain the inconsistencies and irregularities I have found.