Pictures Don’t Lie. Except When They Do.

No time to obsess properly over this, so just a quick one to mention some noteworthy photography-themed links I’ve been staring at lately:

* I am very much in love with BAGnewsNotes.

* ymatt took one look at more bouncy balls and declared it an obvious piece of Photoshop fakery. At first I agreed. Then I looked closer, and decided no, it was real. ymatt seemed to agree, then did some more fiddling, and said no, he was leaning fake. I’m still leaning real. What do you think?

* You’ve seen me link before to daily dose of imagery. Recently, valued contributor Sven sent me this link from photojunkie profiling the amateur photographer behind the site: Sam Javanrouh : Serving up your Daily Dose.

P.S. It’s Sven’s birthday today. Happy birthday, dude.

5 Responses to “Pictures Don’t Lie. Except When They Do.”

  1. ethan-p Says:

    As far as the debate on the fake Vs. real bouncy balls, please see the following. According to the posts, it was for a Sony commercial, and they covered all of the storm drains and had nets on the bottom of the hill. They closed the intersection at Leavenworth and Union. The images don’t look real, but the stories surrounding them sure do.


  2. ymatt Says:

    Words are easier to fake than images and all the words seem to come from random people on the net. Although I could be wrong, but I have trouble believing that image isn’t a (pretty well done) fake.

  3. hossman Says:

    There was a blurb in the SF Chronicle when i got back from vacation two weeks ago about some public notices in that neighborhood mentioning an upcoming comercial shoot which would involve releasing several thousand balls down the hill. The details matched what ethan-p said…

  4. jbc Says:

    Yeah, I saw all the above-referenced data as part of my initial evaluation that led to my thinking it’s real. But still…

    It wasn’t like an SF Chronicle reporter was actually there, and wrote up the event. It was a sort of bloggy-style “heard on the street” roundup piece, which just mentioned someone mentioning seeing a flyer in his neighborhood. With people like Improv Everywhere around, you kind of have to ask yourself, okay, if someone really wanted to put across a hoax of this nature, what would be easy for them to do? What would be hard?

    Up until the point when I examined the largest-format images in the Flickr set, all the confirming data seemed like the sort of thing that would be relatively easy to pull off in order to sell a hoax. Yeah, you’d have to be fairly pathetic to go to such lengths for such a silly reason, but again with the Improv Everywhere example.

    Then I looked at the largest-format images, and decided that no, the technical effort involved in faking the shadows and whatnot was too great. For me, it reached the point where it became easier to believe that it really was what it purported to be: a shoot for a Sony commercial.

    But ymatt and Hiro, in looking at the same largest-format images, opined that actually it wouldn’t be that hard to fake up something like that. So I guess I don’t really know. Unless someone I know and trust was there, or some non-Net-based media outlet is willing to stake its reputation on reporting it as fact, that little bit of doubt remains.

    Which is actually kind of bothersome. I’m as disgusted at the idea that I would reflexively disbelieve something based on being too cynical as I am at the idea that I’d reflexively believe something based on being too credulous. Both mistakes are basically the same thing: a failure to use adequate rigor in matching my mental model to the reality it attempts to describe.

    So anyway, going by gut feel, mostly, taking all the evidence into account, I believe the bouncy ball photos are real, not faked. But I honestly wouldn’t be shocked to discover that I was wrong about that. Surprised, but not shocked.

  5. ethan-p Says:

    Ymatt: Words are easy to fake? Nonsense! I believe everything I read…especially on the Internet…and particularly what I read on Usenet!

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