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BP Photoshopping Goes From Bad To Ridiculously Bad

from the oh-come-on dept

With BP finally admitting it Photoshopped an image showing its “oil spill response center,” it appears that people are finding all sorts of ridiculously bad photoshops done by BP in describing its response to the oil spill. Take, for example, the photo below:

It doesn’t take long to realize that the helicopter cockpit you’re looking at is not actually in the air at all. In the upper lefthand corner, above the pilot’s head, you can see an air traffic control tower. Oops. And, at the link above, they also zoom in on some of the panel instrumentation, suggesting that the door and ramp are open and the parking brake is engaged. Oh, and that document in the pilot’s hand? Pre-flight checklist.

Perhaps BP is practicing in an effort to Photoshop the oil out of the gulf… However, somehow, I get the feeling it would leave some… artifacts.

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Companies: bp

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Comments on “BP Photoshopping Goes From Bad To Ridiculously Bad”

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78 Comments
Meoip says:

Re: look at the gauges

If this pattern of misleading positive data is found to be rampant you may see the FTC open an investigation. If they continually release photos which are misleading in regards to the state of the spill or the reaction of the company it may be seen as an attempt to artificially increase stock value. Since BP is a public traded company they have to be careful about releasing data which influences their stock price (which is why we didn’t hear much from them good or bad at the start of their screw up). I doubt the FTC will investigate or care but it may eventually become an issue, especially near the end of the disaster.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: look at the gauges

Yup. They spill millions of gallons of oil into the gulf killing countless wildlife and ruining an ecosystem…

…and the graphic artists that they had photoshop some images are the ones fired.

I don’t think these graphic artists should keep their jobs (they are clearly incompetent), but I think someone should take BP to task on the actual disaster at some point too.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think I hear the ‘care’ police driving up!

Seriously though… Who cares what BP does? No one cared enough to help them clean up the oil spill which directly affects us… especially Louisiana.

It’s just my personal opinion that if your not part of the solution then you have no right to criticize BP for failing at life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Seriously though… Who cares what BP does? No one cared enough to help them clean up the oil spill which directly affects us… especially Louisiana. “

Oh, I do care. But to help out in the gulf being a “small” people. I’d die in 10 years, respiratory issues internal hemorrhaging, liver/kidney failure thanks to the 2 million gallons of dispersant in the water.

If your not a “specialist”, BP Company men or the Coast Guard you are NOT getting proper safety equipment for this clean up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Remember Chernobyl? The oil spill is comparable to the Chernobyl accident. It’s worse. BP knew something like this could happen, but still skipped the necessary repairs just to save a few bucks.

BP should be hit HARD for their crime, and even HARDER for trying to cover it up.

AW says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not the franchisees fault and the gas is usally cheaper around where I live.

Adobe tries to get Photoshop out of the vernacular and Google loves to be googled. A difference of companies one on a decline and one on an incline. Without PS and possibly DW Adobe would have little to offer most people that they couldnt’ get from otehr sources.

iNtrigued (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

First off, I don’t understand why they would want to have Photoshop removed from the vernacular, but they most definitely aren’t on the decline. Plus, Adobe is a software company while Google is a service company (mostly). So there isn’t much room for comparison between the two. When it comes to PS, that is Adobe’s core product. That is like saying if Google didn’t have its search engine… Doesn’t really say much.

Now in regards to Adobe’s competition from open source products, there can be something said for the Gimps and Inkscapes out there. Most notably, they are FREE instead of hundreds of dollars.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: half life

“comparable to the Chernobyl accident”

with the exception that Chernobyl was a nuclear incident which distributed radioactive waste with a half life of hundreds of years. The area around Chernobyl will be a restricted zone for hundreds of years to come.

This oil slick will probably have dispersed by the end of the year and the after effects will not be measurable by normal means within ten years.

There is a substantial amount of experience about this gained from other oil spills elsewhere in the world.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Re: Re:

little mikee cares, he needs something to pout about and throw random accusations at to drive up hits so his advertisers will still keep paying him.

There aint shit on this site that’s original, and rarely ever does little mikee say anything worth while. This entire site is about selling Advertising to the very people little mikee then turns around and pouts about because they are trying to protect their IP.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“pulled up and like most motorcyclists I have a little bit of arrogance and like to park on the sidewalk instead of the parking places.”
Oh you are one of THOSE assholes. I like to kick those over.

“like most motorcyclists” Speak for your own ignorant ass. I ride, and have done so for 30 years.

After reading: Humor, the best way to get through the day, on your whiny insignificant little blog; You are just a little punk bitch that is a legend in your own mind. Is the conclusion I have come to. Whaaaa whaaa whaaa whaaa whaaa. I also fail to see the “humor” Not funny at all. Sad really.
Also, for your safety; you should not be such an ass with so much personal info in your blog, guns or not.

Bass boat and cruiser… appears that old is setting in. Its ok. Grumpy old men are funny…sometimes.

F’in wannabe biker fag.

Richard Allcheck says:

Re: Re: Re: "arrogance parking on the sidewalk"

Hardly arrogance! When I do park on a “sidewalk” it’s out of the way and not bothering anyone. Besides I’ve actually had people YELL at me for parking in a parking space saying they are for cars ONLY! No pleasing everyone anyway. I’ve also had people park over the parking spaces into my space because “Hey it’s only a bike,why not take up that extra space because I’m too lazy to park my car properly.”
As for this BP spill,they are getting away with murder,remember this when election time comes and vote against all the politicians that are not mad as hell and showing this with what they do against BP!

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t think BP is doing anything nefarious with the photoshops…sorry, images enhanded with Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) Elements(R). They’re not a news organization so they don’t realize that people feel you’re being dishonest when you do stuff like this. Hell, even actual news organizations can’t get it right. Remember the Economist photoshopping their cover?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Slapping in a photo of pristine sparkling waters where ships are supposedly cleaning up the oil spill is not nefarious? The rest of it is probably just lazy. They already had a photo of the inside of a helicopter, so it’s easier to paste some stuff in than actually send a photographer up with a chopper*. But when they put in the beautiful tropical water, that was an intentional choice to lie about what is going on.

* I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that there really are helicopters involved and they could have gotten a similar shot to this if they’d bothered. If that’s not true, then the whole thing is a lie and should be condemned entirely.

Anonymous Coward says:

BP is making a mockery of this catastrophe and honestly it’s pretty enraging.

They have ruined a the lives and ecosystems of 5, FIVE states. And what do they concern themselves with? Photoshopping stupid pictures to try and save some face in the media.

The decision makers at BP need their assets stripped and a good face smashing.

Brad Hubbard (profile) says:

I don't see the problem

Maybe I’ve just worked in industry too long, but I don’t get all upset every time a company releases some badly ‘shopped press photo. You know how hard it is to take a good photograph from the inside of a helicopter? Of course they were sitting on the ground. It’s not like they released it saying “This is what we’re doing to clean up the spill” – it’s a damn press photo.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: I don't see the problem

They were definitely saying “this is what we’re doing to clean up the spill.” Even if those words didn’t appear on the same page, that is clearly the message. This image in fact has nothing to do with their cleanup efforts, which makes them liars. And we should point it out when people lie.

You know how hard it is to take a good photograph from the inside of a helicopter?

I’m sure that is how they rationalized it.

TDR says:

As a graphic artist myself, I find it hard to imagine that whoever slapped this together didn’t see that it would be caught. Maybe they didn’t care. Or maybe they deliberately made it bad so it would be found out and BP would get hit for it – about as much protest against that bloated giant as he or she could pull off, perhaps. Graphic artists aren’t exactly high on the company ladder, as we all know.

And since bureaucrats and execs usually aren’t technically savvy enough to see or care about how good the composite image is, it’s not an unreasonable assumption that it just slipped past them, as a protest or careless job or whatever it happened to be.

In any case, the damage was done. Let’s hope BP gets royally smacked down for what they’ve done. And by the way, anybody know how or why that rig blew up in the first place and caused all this?

darryl says:

Thats because its NOT flying, its preparing for takeoff.

or they are sitting on a platform, 300 meters above the sea surface, doing their pre-flight prior to takeoff.

They certainly do not look like they are ‘at altitude’.

But you assume too much me thinks, and you are only guessing on what they are doing, to dig up some dirt on them.

The more I look at that picture, the more that is exactly what is happening, if anything they are on a raised platform, preparing for takeoff. Ie doing their preflights.

You would expect their doors to be open when they are landed, until it comes time for them to close.

And what has a picture of two guys in a chopper have to do with the oil spill anyway ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Thats because its NOT flying, its preparing for takeoff.

“or they are sitting on a platform, 300 meters above the sea surface, doing their pre-flight prior to takeoff.”

That’s kinda the point everyone was making. It appears they are really sitting on the platform above the sea surface doing their pre-flight routine prior to takeoff and that they Photohshopped/Gimped/whatever it to look like they were in the air and did a very bad job of it. and the later release of the original photo taken supports what everyone already suspected to be the case. So thanks for pointing out what everyone was already saying.

darryl says:

Thanks generally are easier than you assume.. look at photo again..

Never seen anyone in a helo flying at the apparent altitude in the photo with their hands not on the cyclic control.

At altitude !!!! there is a freaking tower ABOVE THEM and to the left, its part of the rig infrastructure, they are “ON THE GROUND” or at least on the rig helo platform, doing their pre-flight checks, preparing for takeoff.

The cannot be “at altitude” with there is a freaking huge tower WAY ABOVE THEM..

But lets not let the facts stand in the way of a spin.

The “control tower” is not a control tower, how many control towers do NOT have windows, or have 2 hand railings, and a flight hazard black and yellow sigh in it.

Its not a tower, or control tower, its a part of the oil rig they are about the take off from.

And what benifit of damage would BP receive if they did modify a phone of 2 guys taking off in a chopper ?

But you CANNOT be at altitude, and at the same time have a part of the oil right towering over you !!.

So who is really lieing here ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Thanks generally are easier than you assume.. look at photo again..

I do a fair amount of image editing, and have used 35mm and medium format cameras for almost 40 years.

This appears to have been taken with a moderately wide angle lens, in which case I would normally expect the photo to exhibit a fairly large depth of field in which near and far objects would generally be in focus. What surprises me is that in this instance all of the objects seen through the windown are plainly out of focus.

While the tower in the upper left window could be some for of a tower, I find it difficult to believe that every ship seen through the windows are fuzzy to the point of showing virtually no detail. The obvious change in the coloration of the water through the large left window, coupled with large portions of the water exhibiting no waves of any sort makes me believe that what is presented through the large windows have been imported and inserted into the photograph.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Thanks generally are easier than you assume.. look at photo again..

“The obvious change in the coloration of the water through the large left window, coupled with large portions of the water exhibiting no waves of any sort makes me believe that what is presented through the large windows have been imported and inserted into the photograph.”

I was about to reply with something like “gee, you think so?” (dripping sarcasm). Then I realized darryl might actually be claiming this is not an altered photo. I knew he’s an idiot, but… wow.

crade (profile) says:

If you look at the original compared to the shopped one the only real difference is that many of the more obvious indicators that the helicopter is not in the air are shopped out.

A moderately close analysis of the picture will tell you that they are not in the air at all. Your average person briefly glimsing the picture will think that they are.
This was the obvious intent in the photoshopping, but wtf for, and why a half assed job? who knows.

David W says:

it is important

The fact that BP released Photoshopped images isn’t the problem. The issue here is an ongoing culture within that business that cultivates possible fraud, mis-information and possibly more.

Sure, it’s enjoyable to find something like this and spread it around the Net, but what is more important is realizing this is yet another document showing the deceit, possible fraud, and open disregard to the facts.

having a BP official demand certain new rules for image processing is nothing more than a band-aid on a pustule of a corporate citizen that is highly infected with bad practices. Dealing with the source of the problem is what is needed.

I’ll leave those actions to those qualified to state them.

Regards,
David W
Austin, TX

JoshuaJ says:

Nice recovery

I’ve gotta say, I think that the flickr account is the best corporate response to a scandal that I’ve ever seen. Most companies try to deny the accusations, to cover it up, and threaten to sue anyone telling the truth. BP has not only admitted to the problem, but posted hi-resolution images showing exactly what they did wrong to a third-party website!

(My point? I dunno. I guess it’s nice to see that even a company as profoundly incompetent as BP manages to get some things right 🙂

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