Here’s the original photo
Here is a doctored version put out by Reuters (which was quickly withdrawn)
How could anyone let this slip by. Whoever did it, clearly just used photoshop’s cloning or stamping tool and didn’t even clean it up with a blur. And why would anyone think they needed to “enhance” the original photo. The original clearly shows thick black smoke rising up from the city; what more could you want.
I wonder whether the photographer was just fooling around with the photo and accidentally sent the doctored one in to Reuters, instead of the original. This is such a bad photoshopping job, it hardly seems likely someone was actually trying to get away with it.
Actually I just found this quote from someone who spoke to the photographer (hence the strikeout above):
According to Reuters spokeswoman Moira Whittle, Hajj denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image. He said he was trying to remove dust marks and made mistakes because of bad lighting conditions, she said Sunday.
Well, looks like 1) the photographer was just incompetent or b) was trying to lie his way out of the situation he got himself into. My money is on option 1b. He’s incompetent and he’s a liar.